Picking School Districts
posted at 6/1/2009 6:10 PM EDTI posted this in the RE section and then thought better of it and decided to post this here. We are looking to move and are considering three different towns and for us one of the criteria that we are going to consider is the school district. I am having a heck of a time figuring out where to find any type of consistent information other than MCAS scores and even then it is hard to find the results for our three towns.
Does anyone have a place to check out how the schools are performing and what some reviews of them are? I tried greatschools.net but there are some schools that have reviews and some don't.
This next bit is purely personal opinions but in your situation how would you answer this question:
Would you consider a school district that had great elementary and middle schools but there were questions about the HS? (The questions are the age of the building as well as some of the teachers and their interest and involvement in helping kids.)
I am inclined to consider that type of district right now since we do not yet have kids, I would want a quality early education to get a solid understanding of the basics. And then be involved to improve the HS experience prior to our children attending. I feel that if you are grounded in the basics then you can compensate and still have a good high school education, but if you have bad basics then you will struggle once you move on to either HS, higher education and even the "real world". I would even consider private HS, but at the moment I am not as concerned with the HS experience.
Re: Picking School Districts
posted at 6/2/2009 8:44 AM EDT
When we were trying to decide which town to live I did a fair amout of research. I used Boston.com, they used to have a place where you can compare towns but I can't seem to find that today. I looked at median income, level of education, how long people stay, taxes, diversity and households with children.
I also used mass.gov to look at teachers level of education, expenditure per student, diversity, technology, extra curricular activities, drop out rate, SAT & MCAS and plans after graduation. Here's a link to the page:
I called the police stations in each town to get information on certain areas of town. Somewhere on mass.gov they also list crime rate by town and whether it's violoent crime. I checked the sex offender registry.
I used zillow to look at home values over the past 5-10 years.
Personally I would focus on a solid high school. For us I feel like we can keep them interested and challenged in elem school but once in high school good teachers are so important.
Good luck, I am sure you will find the right fit for you.