Schools in Eugene, Oregon - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 7 Old 01-16-2014, 09:14 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hello out there! :D

 

I had not posted on here in so long that I had to start a new account because I couldn't remember my login or related email account, so this is my "first"!

 

My family and I are moving back to Eugene, OR this summer (ideally).  We lived there for a short time when our first child was just a toddler, so we did not look in to schools and remember very little about the area.

Can anyone weigh in on some of the schools I've been looking at? This being such a big move for my kiddos---all the way from PA---I want to get them into a school where they will stay.

 

A little background on us first---

My dd is going into middle school, 7th grade, next year.  She started in a private Montessori, and from K-6 she's been in a wonderful public charter Montessori. She's quirky, loves to be involved in performing arts, and is a great artist and writer.

My ds went to a preschool that was arts-centered, then joined her at the public charter Montessori. He will be in 4th grade next year.  He's pretty outgoing, also very artistic.  He doesn't sit still for very long.  And he loves to build stuff!

 

From afar---I am interested in Ridgeline Montessori, Jefferson Arts and Technology Academy,and the Family School. Also, Roosevelt Middle School seems to have good online reviews.  I would LOVE for them to go to their new school together, but if we need to find separate schools that's ok too.  I'd be ok with a public school for dd b/c I think it would work out just fine for her, as long as it wasn't too clique-y.  She can be shy.  For ds--he could be alright at a public school too, I don't know.  

 

How competitive is the lottery process there?  Would we have a fighting chance to pick a school in the middle of summer?

 

This seems really daunting to me and I would SO appreciate anyone's input that is familiar with the schools & neighborhoods.

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#2 of 7 Old 01-16-2014, 09:55 PM
 
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Hello! My daughter is in 1st grade at Family School and we're very happy with. I've also heard really good things about the Village School and the local Waldorf school. As for the 4j public school lottery, you won't be able to get into the lottery until next year. The application process is going in right now, and you have to be in residence in Eugene to apply. If waiting a year to get the chance to get into the school you want is a problem, you should either go with private or move into the district you want. But some schools, like Family, are lottery only. You can live right next door and you will not be guaranteed a spot. Frankly, if we could afford private, we'd go that way. The public schools here are quite good but they are woefully underfunded.
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#3 of 7 Old 01-16-2014, 09:56 PM
 
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Yikes. Sorry for all the typos. On my phone.....
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#4 of 7 Old 01-17-2014, 10:59 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks...what specifically do you like about the family school?  I was reading about it and it seems like it could be a good fit for us.

 

I thought it might be a problem, living far away and applying for the lottery.  I am pretty sure we won't be able to afford private schools, so we'll have to aim for the best public schools?areas at this point I guess.  There's always homeschooling, however I don't think that suits our family very well.

 

I'm hoping if I keep digging around I will find out more specifics about public schools.

 

Thank you for your input!

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#5 of 7 Old 01-17-2014, 01:35 PM
 
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Oh, let's see....some thoughts in no particular order....

 

- Family School starts later than most (all?) of the other elementary schools in town -- 8:45 -- this works out really well for our family in terms of work and sleep schedules

- It's less than a mile from our house, so we walk or bike almost every day

- The families *seem* to generally be: mid- to -low-income, educated, crunchy, and concerned but not hippier-than-thou. 

- Classrooms are mixed.  My daughter's room is 1/3 1st graders, 1/3 2nd graders, and 1/3 third graders. The 4th & 5th grade kids are similarly split up.  Kindergarten is single-grade.

- Classes aren't quite learn-at-your-own-pace but are pretty close

- I think that families are pretty mixed with regards to vaxxing.  I know some who don't, we partial, I'm sure some kids are fully vaxxed. 

- The kids seem to skew dorky/unique -- in a good way -- as far as I know, my daughter's never been teased for her clothes, her looks, her interests

- The most recent school fundraiser was through a seed buying company and they have a school garden

- They still do standardized testing, but there's not the strong focus on testing that we saw at our daughter's last school.

- Her Kindergarten school was Cesar Chavez.  Many of the teachers I know in the district send their kids to Chavez, and the Chavez neighborhood is a relatively cheap one to move into. So, that might be something to think about.

- Eugene does have some language immersion schools that you might consider--spanish, french, and japanese. I would have liked to have enrolled our daughter in one of these schools, but distance became an issue.  One of the things we love about Eugene is NOT having to drive all of the time.

- One plus for Chavez is that, even though it is not an immersion school, over half of the kids come from spanish speaking homes, so it's one of the more diverse schools in town.

- I don't know much about the middle schools; everyone seems to talk like South is the only decent high school 

- Another thing to consider are after-school programs.  Some of the "better" schools -- Edison springs to mind -- that are better funded have fee-based after school academic programs. These programs are not offered at the lower income schools because of the belief?/fact? that lower income families won't spend the extra money for the programs.

- If you qualify for free or reduced lunch, that CAN increase your chances in the lottery at some schools -- Edison, again, springs to mind.

- FYI, Edison is the elementary school around the university.  Rentals are almost all student housing, so as a family it's next to impossible to either find a place that will rent to you or a place that you would want to live. You pretty much have to be crazy rich to buy a house in the Edison neighborhood.

 

Hope this helps and that some others who know about the other schools you mentioned can chime in!

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#6 of 7 Old 01-18-2014, 05:30 PM - Thread Starter
 
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est72---thank you!!! This is exactly the kind of "inside" info I'm looking for.  It's funny, your description of the Family School sounds so much like the description that I'd give for my kids' current school.  I will definitely keep it in mind. :)

 

Can anyone else out there speak from experience about some of those other schools???

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#7 of 7 Old 04-14-2014, 05:16 PM
 
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Oh gosh, I haven't logged into this site for so long.  This is probably my first post in years. :)  I don't have anything concrete to tell you, but my girlfriend's daughter goes to Ridgeline and they LOVE it. They were dyed-in-the-wool homeschoolers, but life got in the way and this has definitely been the next best thing. She had been talking about wanting to move from Eugene before too long, until they found this school, and now she doesn't see them leaving.  They went to Family School too but didn't have the same experience.

 

I'm jealous of the Eugene schools.  My kids are in Seattle and we have found a good one, but it's not quite the same as the options that are in Eugene.

 

I got to visit Ridgeline when I was there last, and it's pretty neat.  They love their teachers, and the classrooms and the school grounds were awesome.


Weirdo Mama to amazing Aurelia, age 9 & Ember Roslyn, age 3!
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