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Old 05-27-2012, 02:52 PM
 
2 posts, read 8,125 times
Reputation: 11

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I just found this forum today - how timely. We are on the verge of buying a house in the Parkway North School district. We like everything about the house - with the exception of some of the reviews I have read about Parkway North schools.

I know the Parkway school district in general is very good, but I have read some disconcerting things about North in particular. Are there any opinions out there? Quality education is very important to us, and it seems like while the North rates well versus "average" Missouri schools it rates poor versus the other Parkway schools.

Any insights would be very appreciated. We are new to the area and really don't have anywhere to turn for opinions.

Thanks a lot!
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Old 05-28-2012, 08:40 AM
 
Location: Saint Louis, MO
3,483 posts, read 9,023,943 times
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Parkway North is a good district in terms of St. Louis school districts, or as you stated Missouri districts. The Parkway District as a whole is pretty wealthy, but the largest concentration of that wealth is through the central, southern, and western corridors. While there are some affordable homes throughout the district, much of the later urban sprawl occurred in the Western limits, and in the form of expensive "McMansions", while the suburbs in the North area typically date to the 1960's-1980's and could often be had for significantly lower money...which means they're not as exclusive as the western areas, creating the stigma you're encountering...I wouldn't consider Parkway North Schools as a reason to move somewhere else in the metro, the district still seems pretty solid, and it still compares pretty well throughout the rest of St. Louis County.
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Old 05-28-2012, 09:10 AM
 
Location: St Louis County (63117)
321 posts, read 1,004,381 times
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I agree with flynavyj in that saying Parkway North is "less desirable" is only when compared to the other Parkway high schools or some of the other more "prestigious" public high schools in the area. It has lower test scores than the other Parkway high schools simply due to its broader socioeconomic demographic (which can be seen as both a positive and a negative.) Any student there can receive a high quality education and move on to a top notch college or university. We know a bunch of people with children there and just about everybody I know loves the high school. Just because it is not as "exclusive" as the other schools in the Parkway district does not make it undesirable.
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Old 05-28-2012, 03:26 PM
 
Location: Saint Louis, MO
1,197 posts, read 2,280,377 times
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This thread is what frustrates me to no end regarding how the public views education. The north part of the Parkway school district is still the Parkway school district. It's the same district office and the same board of education. The curriculum is designed the same and the funding is similar. The classes offered and the opportunities will be the same. The teachers will be just as good if not better, then the more affluent schools in the district.

The reason the schools in that part rate lower is because of the students and their families, period. That is it. When you have a less affluent neighborhood, you have more families that value education less. You also have fewer successful, highly intelligent parents, who genetically speaking are more inclined to have those same types of kids.

So if you want to have your kids separated from kids that might be bad influences (i.e. put a lower premium on academics) then I would look at test scores (which is what almost all the rating systems are based on). But if you are simply worried about the quality of the education they receive then I would not be concerned at all.
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Old 05-29-2012, 09:15 AM
 
Location: Tower Grove East, St. Louis, MO
12,063 posts, read 31,642,167 times
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I would have about zero concern with sending my kids to Parkway North. if you like the house, buy it!
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Old 05-29-2012, 11:22 AM
 
Location: St Louis, MO
4,677 posts, read 5,771,932 times
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Parkway North also has much large number of apartments than the other Parkway schools.

Apartments will always bring down your test scores in a higher quality district as it means more children who were not educated inside the district for their entire schooling.
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Old 05-30-2012, 04:15 PM
 
2 posts, read 8,125 times
Reputation: 11
Great - thanks everyone for your inputs.
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Old 05-30-2012, 09:11 PM
 
Location: Saint Louis City
1,563 posts, read 3,875,050 times
Reputation: 651
Quote:
Originally Posted by scocar View Post
This thread is what frustrates me to no end regarding how the public views education. The north part of the Parkway school district is still the Parkway school district. It's the same district office and the same board of education. The curriculum is designed the same and the funding is similar. The classes offered and the opportunities will be the same. The teachers will be just as good if not better, then the more affluent schools in the district.

The reason the schools in that part rate lower is because of the students and their families, period. That is it. When you have a less affluent neighborhood, you have more families that value education less. You also have fewer successful, highly intelligent parents, who genetically speaking are more inclined to have those same types of kids.

So if you want to have your kids separated from kids that might be bad influences (i.e. put a lower premium on academics) then I would look at test scores (which is what almost all the rating systems are based on). But if you are simply worried about the quality of the education they receive then I would not be concerned at all.
This.
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Old 06-01-2012, 07:29 AM
 
5 posts, read 20,571 times
Reputation: 12
I am a graduate of Parkway North, class of 2004. I think I got a great education there and had an easier time in college compared to my peers because of it. At least when I was there, there were so many amazing teachers and the honors program was quite challenging, we always had a few kids who got a perfect score on their SAT or ACT. The art and drama department was very strong as well. Also the student body and teachers are quite liberal if that makes a difference to you.

I will say that it certainly has a different feel than the other Parkway schools. I took summer classes at West and Central and I felt the student body was very snobby and it was definitely a different demographic than my school. North is probably one of the most diverse schools in the STL area. We had many immigrants and people from every socioeconomic level were represented. There was a lot of emphasis on respect for other cultures. I remember one of my teachers telling us how lucky we were bc an environment like the one that existed at North is very hard to find. After I graduated I realized she was right. So I definitely give a for North! I didn't have the greatest high school experience, but I don't think that was the school's fault.
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