I will try to make this as concise as possible, and I appreciate any and all advise. We live in a wonderful neighborhood in a house that we love, but happen to fall into a school district that may be less than desirable. When my husband and I purchased our house 7 years ago (well before kids) we just figured that we'd move when it was time for school. Well my DD1 will start kindy next year and we are absolutely torn on what to do. Here's the deal:
Our current district is one of the largest and by far the most diverse (economically and racially) in our area-Cincinnati, OH. It has recieved "Effective" as the rating by the state. It's not so much their education I'm worried about, as I'd actually prefer to not be in a super high pressure academic environment, but the general atmosphere of the school. Some of the communities that go to the district are basic working middle-class, but there are a couple that are downright "ghetto".
I'm not racist at all, but I do have a concern with sending my girls to a district where they will be the minority. The district as a whole is rated at med-high poverty and has up to 20% of students who are "not English proficient." Now, the flip side to this, and is what I consider the biggest selling point of the district, is that they will definitely have to learn to accept/deal with people of all backgrounds.
Because of the size of the district they have one of the best programs at the HS level in terms of AP classes, International Baccalaurette (sp) programs, many foreign languages, etc. The district just passed a levy, by a significant percentage, to build a new middle and high school (all elementary schools are new within the last 5 years). Due to the large diversity I imagine that there would be a peer group for all kids and possibly not as much peer pressure to "fit in" as there would be at a predominately white, upper middle class school., which would be the district we would move to if we make that decision.
I actually have a meeting with the elementary school principal next week and I just really want to know why the district isn't performing as welll on the tests and what the general class atmosphere is like. I have thought about sending her for kindy and making a decision once we actually get into the district but I really hate to move into a new school once she starts if can avoid it.
The overwhelming majority of kids on our neighborhood use private school, which isn't an option for us financially.
Although we will move if it really is best, I would love to stay in our house for as long as possible, but I just wonder if I'm doing the kids a disservice of not putting them in the "best" school district.
If anyone has any help for me I would really appreciate it, I'm so torn on this that I'm literally losing sleep. Thanks so much in advance!!