Tell me about Harrisonburg~ moving in less then 6 weeks! - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 2 Old 07-04-2014, 09:23 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Tell me about Harrisonburg~ moving in less then 6 weeks!

My husband just accepted a job 30 mins north of Harrisonburg, and a quick look at the area shows great schools in the burg, but less then good ones. We are moving from northern California, but are from the east coast, our 5 yo (also have a 6 mo) was going to start at a waldorf charter here, but we are more in line with Montessori thinking. I am apprehensive of traditional public school, especially for my spirited, intelligent, sensitive child who will be going through a huge change. We are people of faith, but very liberal. I would love feedback on schools, public and private, homeschooling networks, as well as doctors who support full term breastfeeding, parental choice in vaccination, vegetarian and vegan diets, and areas that would welcome people committed to these things.
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#2 of 2 Old 07-27-2014, 05:00 PM
 
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Welcome! The schools in Harrisonburg and Rockingham County are very good, by and large. Don't know as much about Shenandoah County schools but I assume they're fine also. Harrisonburg actually has a very ethnically diverse population due to a large hispanic population and lots of refugees who have settled in the area, and the city schools have a very popular dual-immersion bilingual education program starting in Kindergarten, which I have heard nothing but good things about. This is generally a conservative area but there is definitely a crunchy sub-culture going on in Harrisonburg. There is at least 1 homeschool network I know of, only through a Facebook group, but there are certainly homeschoolers around. There is a Montessori school in H'burg although the closest Waldorf school is in Charlottesville, which is about an hour away. I'm currently pursuing my master's degree at Eastern Mennonite University and was pleasantly surprised by the diversity of the (graduate) students and the liberal-leaning faculty. Eastern Mennonite School (K-12) shares a similar philosophy. There are several other private schools, including one that emphasizes the classics (Redeemer Classical). Don't know too much about it. There are several other colleges in the area, as well. JMU tends to have a rep as a party school, at least for undergrads, but has a lot of graduate and some doctoral programs. Bridgewater College is a fairly conservative, bachelor's only institution nearby. There is definitely local support for BF, non-vax, etc, especially since there are many old order Mennonites in the area. Brookhaven Birth Center is a great resource and has classes and a monthly birth circle it sounds like you'd enjoy to connect to other similarly-minded folks.

I grew up here and although I couldn't wait to leave after high school, I returned to the area and have discovered there really is so much to offer even though it is largely rural. Harrisonburg has a pop of around 50k so there are definitely things to do, especially if you enjoy the outdoors.

Let me know if you have any other questions!
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