We are considering a move to Durango, CO, probably some time in the next 6 months, once we get our house on the market and sell it. Home sales are doing very well here, so we believe we can sell quickl. We have a business that allows us to live almost anywhere, so work is not an issue. My biggest concern with the move is schools. Our kids are going into 2nd, 3rd, and 5th grades this year. We live in the mountains of North Central AZ, and they attend a charter school with a Multiple Intelligences approach. They love their school, and so do we. It's small, around 200 students total, with excellent, caring teachers and a great curriculum, with lots of art and music, lots of project-based learning and family involvement. The school goes through 8th grade.
I read a few reviews of Durango schools on GreatSchools.org, and reading about the middle school in particular kind of freaked me out. Reviews mention violence and other issue. I know this is only a few reviews, but still...The elementary schools seem to be pretty highly rated, but again, the reviews are limited. We want to move to a town with a more liberal attitude, and we love Colorado for many reasons, but I don't want my kids to be unhappy in school. I did notice online that there is a new charter middle school in Durango, opening this year, which is encouraging, and a newer high school, Big Picture, which seems interesting and promising. We've also considered homeschooling for high school and would probably homeschool for middle school if our son is unhappy. He's a new and promising mandolin player, and if he gets really into playing we'd homeschool to allow him more practice hours each day.
We love a lot of things about where we live. Our family is about 1.5 hours away, great school, good friends. We want to move because we want to be part of a community that cares on a larger scale (here it's a very small minority) about sustainability and related concerns. The city council here is a group of very conservative old farts, who care little about the arts, water concerns (a very serious issue in our area), and sustainability. When I read about Durango's mayor and city council, its plans to improve as a bike friendly city, public transportation, and citizen involvement in these areas, it seems like such an improvement over our own area. We have no public transportation, for instance, and we are not bike friendly. My fears/concerns all come down to schools
I would love to hear about any experiences, positive or negative, that any Durango families have had with area schools. A large part of me feels like this move is meant to be. We've been wanting to leave our area for years and haven't ever quite found the right place to move to, but Durango feels right. If anyone has made it this far in my long post, please share! Also, anything else you have to say about Durango, fire away!