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Old 02-13-2018, 10:42 AM
 
26 posts, read 47,580 times
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We have a child who is smart and loving, but is sensitive to how others treat him and has some with self-esteem challenges. I am trying to move to where he'll have the best shot at a rewarding middle and high school experience. (Let's set aside the issue of rezoning for a minute).

Test scores are easy to find. What is harder to tell is what the student culture is like at local schools. We would like a high school that that is positive, welcoming and friendly, that will maximize happiness and minimize stress, while offering opportunities for higher-level classes that will help our child take some challenging courses and get into a good college. We don't want to be in the top scoring school if our child will be in a pressure cooker or bully-laden of conflict-ridden environment and feel stressed or bad about himself. I would rather go down a notch or two if it means greater happiness.

Any thoughts on these high schools (or other high schools or nearby middle schools) would be much appreciated. Cary high is probably the lowest performing school on this list, and I know the least about Apex High, so I'm particularly interested in thoughts on those schools. But thoughts on any of these high schools (or others) would be so helpful.

Also, we are looking for a neighborhood with lots of school-age children to play with, so any suggestions there would be helpful as well.
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Old 02-13-2018, 10:55 AM
 
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I don't think you'll see major differences as far as students/peers go. There will always be some kids who are academically competitive, some who are bullies, some who are athletically competitive, etc,etc,etc.

I don't know you or your child's personal situation, but stepping outside the comfort zone is part of growing up, and part of life. I think you may be overthinking a little bit, but I may not know enough about the situation.
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Old 02-13-2018, 01:14 PM
 
26 posts, read 47,580 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by m378 View Post
I don't think you'll see major differences as far as students/peers go. There will always be some kids who are academically competitive, some who are bullies, some who are athletically competitive, etc,etc,etc.

I don't know you or your child's personal situation, but stepping outside the comfort zone is part of growing up, and part of life. I think you may be overthinking a little bit, but I may not know enough about the situation.
I appreciate your thoughts. I agree that there will be friendly people everywhere and bullies everywhere, but schools can vary in their overall morale and in norms about behavior. I have seen this myself in the two schools in which he has been enrolled. There is a big difference between those two schools in the degree of daily emphasis the administration places on respect and behavior toward one another. I have heard from people who have moved around a bit that there are differences among various high schools. For example, I've heard a lot about performance pressure and anxiety at green hope, and materialism and cliquishness at Broughton (the latter is not one of the schools I've mentioned but one about which I have heard repeatedly), and lots of conflict at another high school that I haven't mentioned here. I'm just wondering whether people can share experiences about the "feel" of different high schools or even middle schools - the overall character in terms of enthusiasm and acceptance of others versus conflict, competition or bullying.
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Old 02-13-2018, 01:28 PM
 
Location: under the beautiful Carolina blue
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You mentioned other children to play with, so is the chid in question actually HS age? Where are you moving here from?

I doubt there are many people here who have or have had kids at more than one public HS, so that can make the comparison game rough. They would just be going by "what they've heard". Also, people vary in their sensitivity to various things. What one person can let slide, another can be beaten down by.

The high schools here are huge. I doubt the culture varies very much from one to the other. Each town around here has its own vibe, but teens are teens. There are still jocks, nerds, the band kids, the drama kids, and so on and so forth. There are going to be snobby kids everywhere. There are druggies everywhere. I have two HS juniors and there is really nothing new under the sun as far as high schoolers go. If your child is super sensitive, then being under the crushing weight of 3000 other students may just be too much for him. Being around kids who are constantly striving to be 10-AP-taking, straight-A making students...may be too much for him. In a school of 3000 students it is pretty hard to generalize. Green Hope has also turned into an athletic powerhouse and some of those kids aren't so great to deal with.

If your child is still a child, this may all sound very frightening. One of mine is on the autism spectrum, and has sensory issues, but he still manages to navigate Green Hope High School every day, which I marvel at. But to him, it's just life. We've given him the tools to manage it the best he can, and he does, the best he can. Is it perfect for him? Nope, but that's life. I'm not the mom who wants things to be too cushy for her kids though, so I may be the wrong person to ask. The only thing he really ever vocally complained about was getting made fun of for his iPhone 5, so we upgraded him for Christmas. One little thing that can make his life easier there.
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Old 02-13-2018, 02:33 PM
 
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I have a 10th grader at Middle Creek and he has been happy there. I tried talking to him about the culture and environment there after reading your post and he is totally confused. lol. He's in the engineering and design academy and marching band and does not do any kind of sports. He said he isn't aware of much bullying and if it's a pressure cooker environment, he isn't aware of it. He gets almost all A's in his classes, but he is not taking AP classes just to increase his GPA, so he is not in the top % by any means. But he hasn't felt much pressure there. He's never complained about any kind of negative encounters. He has some friends from different groups (band, classes, elementary/middle school, neighborhood, etc) and seems to get along with all of them. I honestly don't have any complaints about Middle Creek.
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Old 02-13-2018, 03:28 PM
 
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Thanks all - he's school age now but his dad does not want to move again for a long time, so it's a lot of pressure to land in the right area (I do know about the redistricting and caps, though). Interestingly, someone alerted me to data on criminal acts reported at each school - there are data by type of crime for each wake county school, although they are from 2015-2016. They are just one piece of the puzzle but they might be of interest to someone who happens onto this thread http://www.ncpublicschools.org/docs/...iolence-c6.pdf
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Old 02-14-2018, 08:31 AM
 
70 posts, read 53,953 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mcrcat View Post
We would like a high school that that is positive, welcoming and friendly, that will maximize happiness and minimize stress, while offering opportunities for higher-level classes that will help our child take some challenging courses and get into a good colleg
If this is your expectation, public school is not for you. Private or homeschool is probably a better fit.

Also, since your child is elementary school age now - you are literally asking us to predict the future. Wake is a rapidly growing county - by the time your child hits high school, your neighborhood will have likely been re-assigned at least once, maybe more.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mcrcat View Post
Also, we are looking for a neighborhood with lots of school-age children to play with, so any suggestions there would be helpful as well.
Any neighborhood where the houses are all 4 bedrooms and up will have a ton of children. Subdivisions with things like pools and playgrounds pretty much guarantee it.
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Old 02-14-2018, 10:34 AM
 
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Moved for similar reasons. Came her in’15 with a future assignment at Green Hope. We are leasing, moved last year to a future assignment at Apex Frienship High. Follow your instincts on this one. Though much more profound, hugh difference in culture moving here from CA. There are as well with different schools and neighborhoods.
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Old 02-14-2018, 11:09 AM
 
87 posts, read 91,436 times
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Originally Posted by freefolk View Post
If this is your expectation, public school is not for you. Private or homeschool is probably a better fit.

Also, since your child is elementary school age now - you are literally asking us to predict the future. Wake is a rapidly growing county - by the time your child hits high school, your neighborhood will have likely been re-assigned at least once, maybe more.
I agree that it is a little early to start worrying about high school, but if you are planning on living wherever you move to for years, it makes sense to think ahead. I don't necessarily agree with the idea that the high school assignment is likely to change one or more times though. The OP didn't say what grade in elementary their child is in, but even if he is younger (1st, 2nd grade?), that's only 7-8 years. If he is older, it could be as little as 4-5 years. They aren't building that many new high schools in this area right now. Green Level will open in a year and a half I think, but you can probably predict how that assignment will go. Otherwise, I don't think there are any actually under construction in the area the OP is talking about are there? In general, I think high school assignments are pretty stable. Of course, some people get reassigned every year, but it's not *that* common. For example, I've lived in Cary for many years and my neighborhood been assigned to Middle Creek at least 16-17 years.

The other thing though is that your son could change a lot in the next few years . I don't think it hurts to think about the future, but I wouldn't stress too much about how he will handle high school before he is even in middle school.
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Old 02-14-2018, 11:14 AM
 
Location: Holly Springs, NC
4,547 posts, read 2,269,209 times
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If I may...it sounds like you need to work more with the student than worry about the school.

My son graduated from Holly Springs High last year so I can only speak to that. But as was said multiple times before, I don't expect to find a huge difference among schools. Every school is generally made up of the same types of kids - and well kids will be kids.

In other words, if there was a school known to be "positive, welcoming and friendly, that will maximize happiness and minimize stress, while offering opportunities for higher-level classes that will help our child take some challenging courses and get into a good college" then you would have heard about it by now. Every parent on this forum would ask "how do I get my child there".

As a parent - and I'm not trying to talk down to you or anyone else because we all have our own views - I would want to ensure that my son is best equipped to handle the stress of high school because that stress level does not decrease as we enter the real world. I'm not always going to be there to make sure that his path in life is perfectly flat with no obstructions.
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