Relocating to AZ from MI... - Mothering Forums

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Old 04-07-2009, 12:24 PM - Thread Starter
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My family and I are relocating from MI to AZ, most likely to Casa Grande, although from what I have been reading on the City-Data forums, people say the schools are no good. We are a multi-ethnic family. My dh is Mexican-American, I am Chilean-American. My dd from a previous relationship is African-American, and we have a son together. I have researched the local schools there on great schools.net and they don't seem to be very racially diverse. They also don't score as well as the schools my children would have been attending next school year if we were to stay in MI. I am considering the online/virtual school that's available there as an option.
I originally wanted to move to Chandler or Gilbert, because the schools there scored much higher, but I am unsure if we could afford the rent there.

My question is this:
Are there any MDC mamas is either town, and could someone please give me an objective opinion of the area? We are very social people and make friends very easily...

~Diana~ Mama to DD 13 blahblah.gif and DS 10 jumpers.gif

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Old 04-08-2009, 12:40 AM
 
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There are a bunch of us in Tucson, about an hour plus south of Casa Grande. I don't know much about that city as it's kind of in the middle of nowhere. My guess is it's fairly conservative as is much of Arizona. Tucson is probably the most liberal area of the state.

Created an instant family (7/89 and 5/91) in 1997. Made a baby boy 12/05 adopted a baby girl 8/08. Ask me about tandem adoptive nursing. Now living as gluten, dairy, cane sugar, and tomato free vegetarians. Homeschooling and loving it.

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Old 04-08-2009, 02:53 AM
 
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I've lived in Chandler and Gilbert and just from casual observation, I'd say that Gilbert is a "nicer" town, but Chandler is probably more racially diverse. Not to say that Gilbert isn't diverse, just if you had to pick one or the other.

Chandler and Hamilton High Schools (In Chandler) are very high on the list of good schools from what I hear, but many of the feeder schools are not so great. My oldest is only 3, so I haven't researched myself.

I'd move back to Gilbert in a snap though. Would you consider Maricopa or Queen Creek? I think there are just more people and they have the feel of a larger, more connected town. The housing prices are *significantly* lower there than Chandler, Gilbert or Mesa too... though it's still pretty far "out there" if Phoenix is your destination.
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Old 04-08-2009, 04:00 AM
 
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Arizona is ranked either 49th or 50th in the Country for schools so Arizona is not the state for education .. Yes we suck but I love living here !!

I would check into Charter Schools in the Area you decide to move into .
Charter schools in Arizona are free ,
They usually have less student to teacher ratio
and most (not all) seem to teach at a higher standard then the public system for their area ..

Queen Creek/Johnson Ranch (pinal county area) would be your best bet for getting out of the "Casa Grande" area and still having affordable housing (2000+ sqft house rent is about 850-900) and it is about 40 min from Casa Grande ..
The public schooling in the area is bad but there are a few charter school in the area that are amazing (and also have a waiting list)
Edu-prize (queen creek) there is also one in Gilbert
Cambridge Academy (queen creek) there is also one in Mesa
Benjamin Franklin Academy (queen creek)
There are a few more but I can not think of the names
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Old 04-08-2009, 11:38 AM
 
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Regarding racial diversity. Depending on where you go, there is a huge percentage of hispanic folk as well as Native Americans. However, the AA communities here are very small. I grew up in Scottsdale which was predominantly white. I live in Tucson with a mix of hispanic, na, and white. I think there is a 3% aa rate here. I happen to live next to an aa church.

Created an instant family (7/89 and 5/91) in 1997. Made a baby boy 12/05 adopted a baby girl 8/08. Ask me about tandem adoptive nursing. Now living as gluten, dairy, cane sugar, and tomato free vegetarians. Homeschooling and loving it.

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Old 04-09-2009, 01:10 AM - Thread Starter
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Hi mamas!! We got home a bit ago and are finally settled in for the night... We were out celebrating ds turning 8 today.

Thanks for all the great info... I will definitely check out Queen Creek and Maricopa. If I can't find a decent public/charter school in the area, I am seriously considering the homeschool/online public school. I think it's called Connections Academy. They seem to offer a wide variety of classes that I can tailor to their needs, instead of the public school 'like it or not, this is what we got' attitude. So, we'll see how it goes... The only thing is that I also attend school online (UOP) and I would need to make sure I could do it. Two words for myself - STRICT SCHEDULE... aaggghhh

~Diana~ Mama to DD 13 blahblah.gif and DS 10 jumpers.gif

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Old 04-09-2009, 02:11 AM
 
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I want to say it's Queen Creek that has a Montessori school that everyone raves about.
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Old 04-09-2009, 02:26 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by LittleLlama View Post
I want to say it's Queen Creek that has a Montessori school that everyone raves about.
I'll check that out, but I'm not holdin my breath to get 2 spots for next school year this late in the game though... I saw one site for Benjamin Franklin that looked ok...

~Diana~ Mama to DD 13 blahblah.gif and DS 10 jumpers.gif

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Old 04-09-2009, 11:07 PM
 
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There are parts of Mesa that belong to gilbert school district. That's where I live and I really like it. Gilbert schools are really good, but town of gilbert is more expensive to live. There are many homes in my neighborhood for sale or rent- can't imagine the rent is more than $1k/month, but it's something to look into.

Queen Creek and Higley schools are ok, but I really think Gilbert is the best.

Michelle -mom to Katlyn 4/00 , Jake 3/02, and Seth 5/04
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Old 04-10-2009, 01:21 AM - Thread Starter
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There are parts of Mesa that belong to gilbert school district. That's where I live and I really like it. Gilbert schools are really good, but town of gilbert is more expensive to live. There are many homes in my neighborhood for sale or rent- can't imagine the rent is more than $1k/month, but it's something to look into.

Queen Creek and Higley schools are ok, but I really think Gilbert is the best.
So Gilbert is more expensive than Mesa? I gathered that about the schools near you, I've been looking at several school districts and the districts in Chandler and Gilbert look great to me.

~Diana~ Mama to DD 13 blahblah.gif and DS 10 jumpers.gif

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