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Old 05-12-2009, 10:51 AM
 
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Greetings--Thanks to all of you regular posters I have learned a great deal about Durham and the surrounding areas over the past few months. We will be relocating to Durham this summer and are interested in living in a historic downtown neighborhood. We are big fans of diverse people, diverse architecture, walking/biking to parks, library, shops, etc. We also like to garden, enjoy green space, etc.

Trinity Park, Watts-Hillandale, and Duke Park top our list. Can anyone help me understand the significant differences between these neighborhoods? Is one more family-friendly than another? Is one more student oriented versus more professional oriented? Is one "safer", quieter (I know it's near Duke--thus students...), more peaceful?

We also have a young child--kindergarten age next year--so schools and school lotteries are a concern (private is not an option). Does one neighborhood have more influence over the Watts (I know this is DPS-wide) or Central Park School lottery (I know this is a state-wide charter--but does locality count at all) than another?

I really appreciate any insights you may provide.
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Old 05-12-2009, 11:22 AM
 
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Central Park School is a state wide lottery (although it is overwhelmingly Durham residents who apply).

I don't know if there is a walk zone for Watts. Looking at the MLS, there is a house that is virtually across the street that is zoned for Powe, so I suspect there is not. Another excellent option is Morehead Montessori (it is a magnet like Watts). We have friends with children at each school who really like them...both schools have pretty strong parent groups.
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Old 05-12-2009, 12:35 PM
 
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You might like this site Endangered Durham (http://endangereddurham.blogspot.com/ - broken link)
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Old 05-12-2009, 02:21 PM
 
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All the Charter Schools have held their lotteries for the 09-10 school year. Magnet and Year Round DPS schools have also held their lotteries for the 09-10 school year. If you did not already apply you will be wait listed. And honestly at this point your hope of getting into Central Park & Morehead Montessory is less than 1%.

HOWEVER, you might have somewhat of a chance at some of the other DPS magnets. But I would make sure you are happy w/ your neighborhood school just in case.

I don't mean to be blunt but some of the Charter schools and some magnets have tremendous competition in their lotteries. DPS has a very liberal transfer policy to other neighborhood schools. So you might be able to transfer.... however, there is a deadline...I'm not sure if you have missed it or not. Definately CALL DPS.

Good luck.
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Old 05-12-2009, 07:35 PM
 
Location: Durham, NC
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Generally speaking, Watts-Hillandale is smaller houses, younger people. Trinity Park is middle of the road size houses, with a slightly older than WH population and finally Duke Park is the largest houses with the oldest, relatively speaking, population.

I love those areas, but the houses are all on the pricey side, IMO.
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Old 05-13-2009, 07:18 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PDXmom View Post
DPS has a very liberal transfer policy to other neighborhood schools. So you might be able to transfer.... however, there is a deadline
This is not really the case any longer. Last year, DPS tightened the reins on their "transfer anywhere" policy due to overcrowding at schools. Now, there are tight criteria one must meet in order to qualify for a transfer.

This is not the case for year-round schools, though, where some zones can request a transfer into their year round option.

I also agree with the pp regarding house prices in Watts-Hillandale, Duke Park, Trinity Park, etc. You can get much for house for the money elsewhere in Durham, but many are willing to pay since they're getting the things you are looking for, like walk/bike proximity to parks and shopping, diversity, etc.
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Old 05-13-2009, 10:16 AM
 
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Originally Posted by jill7930 View Post
This is not really the case any longer. Last year, DPS tightened the reins on their "transfer anywhere" policy due to overcrowding at schools. Now, there are tight criteria one must meet in order to qualify for a transfer.

This is not the case for year-round schools, though, where some zones can request a transfer into their year round option.
I know they tightened the reins a bit. But the transfer policy is still much more liberal than say Wake County, where you can only apply to attend certain schools that are oked for your node.

It is my understanding that if you can show some sort of hardship you can still get most neighborhood school (not magnet or year round) transfers granted. It's not hard to come up w/ hardship reasons or documentation. I've met people who looked for baby sitters that were zoned for certain schools so they could claim a hardship that their child needed to attend X school b/c the baby sitter lived in that neighborhood. Most transfers to Jordan High School (the most over crowded HS in Durham) are still granted as long as the student enrolls in the Agricultural Tech program, which really only requires they take a couple of courses in this area.

If the district has indeed done away with these sort of transfers at overcrowded schools, I would be VERY interested and hearing about it.
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Old 05-14-2009, 07:59 AM
 
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Originally Posted by PDXmom View Post
I know they tightened the reins a bit. But the transfer policy is still much more liberal than say Wake County, where you can only apply to attend certain schools that are oked for your node.
I don't know how things actually have played out since the DPS open transfer policy changed last year. Sounds like you know about some loopholes/exceptions people are using, but it certainly isn't as easy or trivial as it used to be. I couldn't find info from when the proposal was actually passed, but here's an article on the proposal, which did eventually pass and was put into place Durham schools rethink transfers - Durham County - News & Observer (http://www.newsobserver.com/145/story/1082675.html - broken link)
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Old 05-14-2009, 06:14 PM
 
Location: Durham, NC
1,232 posts, read 3,638,336 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by josiejo View Post
Trinity Park, Watts-Hillandale, and Duke Park top our list. Can anyone help me understand the significant differences between these neighborhoods? Is one more family-friendly than another? Is one more student oriented versus more professional oriented? Is one "safer", quieter (I know it's near Duke--thus students...), more peaceful?
Go to Yahoo groups and look up each neighborhood you are interested in moving and, then, join the listservs of each of those neighborhoods. From there, you'll get a good idea of the type of neighbors you could be next door. They are active, quite vocal, political and open about opinions. And you should get a good idea of the type of people these neighborhoods are comprised of... certainly of those types most vocal that know of the listserv. Some are likeable. Others not. But a great insight.
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