Our City Online

Messageboard - General Columbus Discussion

NOTE: You are viewing an archived version of the Columbus Underground forums/messageboard. As of 05/22/16 they have been closed to new comments and replies, but will remain accessible for archived searches and reference. For more information CLICK HERE

Raising Kids in The City

Home Forums General Columbus Discussion Raising Kids in The City

Viewing 15 posts - 46 through 60 (of 106 total)
  • Author
    Posts
  • #548350
    Walker Evans
    Walker Evans
    Keymaster

    fensterbme said:
    I think the question I’d have for parents with school aged children are: Is living downtown and all the great things that come along with that worth the price of putting your children in an clearly sub-par educational system?

    That’s an incredibly condescending and insulting thing to ask anyone. It’s a loaded question and a much more complex an issue than that.

    Something really important to keep in mind is that CCS is the largest district IN THE STATE with 118 individual schools within it. Which means that this “sub-par educational system” actually has both some of the best schools in the region *and* some of the worst schools in the region. Simultaneously.

    It sounds like the one school you’ve experienced is shitty, and that sucks, and you certainly should find a better option elsewhere. But it’s also completely unfounded for you to try to label the entire school district as worthless when other schools in the district offer a better experience than what you received.

    Let’s try to keep an open mind about the options out there and not step into the territory of casting judgement on the parenting choices of others.

    #548351

    heresthecasey
    Participant

    FWIW, I’ll say from personal experience that the Columbus Catholic schools should definitely be seen as a viable option for families living in the city that have the means to pay for them. (Even for families that are not Catholic and/or not religious in general).

    They are excellent quality and located throughout Columbus’ urban core. When I attended there were many others in my class who were also not Catholic. We never really experienced any problems or anything else that I can think of which would dissuade me from recommending Diocesan schools to others.

    The bishop in power now and the Church in general I take issue with politically, but the schools are unquestionably top notch. The staff, teachers, and other families were nothing but friendly and accommodating. Treat their beliefs with respect and they will do the same for yours. I’d seriously suggest at least exploring the options they offer before I would uproot and decamp to the suburbs.

    #548352
    Anne Evans
    Anne Evans
    Keymaster

    heresthecasey said:
    FWIW, I will say from personal experience that the Columbus Catholic schools should definitely be seen as a viable option for families living in the city that have the means to pay for them.

    …the schools are unquestionably top notch. The staff, teachers, and other families were nothing but friendly and accommodating. Treat their beliefs with respect and they will do the same for yours. I’d seriously suggest at least exploring the options they offer before I would uproot and decamp to the suburbs.

    I explored this option for our son when he was entering K and I will say I was less than impressed. (This is just a case scenario, I wasn’t looking and going to every Catholic school in town). I do belong to the particular church we were applying to and I was made to feel like a less-than-stellar parent, and that my son was a problematic child. Which I felt was hardly the case.

    I will also say that exploring for a private school while at the same time waiting on the lottery option for CCS is a NIGHTMARE. Ohio has a voucher program where you can apply for money, at the time I think it was $4,250 and a year’s tuition for K at the Catholic school was around $5,800. However, the deadlines for these options were not designed to allow a person to really be able to wait on the lottery decision because the private school wanted your confirmation because they are the ones that submit the EDChoice application and the deadline for that is also before the lottery placements are released. Throw in Easter and spring breaks when no body is working and it’s a difficult time.

    In our particular case, it has worked out fine and the Catholic school had/has its own budget and funding issues and had to lay off staff which was not really a desirable situation anyway.

    Those other options are not always easy.

    @fensterbme, have you asked the teacher for an in person meeting? It is tough when you have expectations that are not being met. I have found the teachers my son has had so far to be always willing to meet with me and talk with me.

    #548353

    MrChengsaw
    Participant

    I wondered the same thing about the disparity between neighborhood schools and the relatively high property value in areas like Victorian and German Village–I recall seeing somewhere in my research that +70% of parents in those areas send their kids to private schools.

    As a parent, if you are concerned with your child’s teacher’s perceived investment, then you are already doing the right thing. As a former teacher, I encourage you to talk to the administration and other parents to find out who the best teachers in the school are and push to have them switched. As dismal as things are in the current public education system, there ARE still great teachers out there–find them and enlist them. Nothing inspired me more than when I met with invested/concerned parents who demanded the same from me for their kids.

    #548354

    howatzer
    Participant

    What was a real travesty was having Clinton, the highest performing elementary school in CCS, temporarily housed in the heart of VV – and the local kids couldn’t go. Like they were just rubbing it in.

    Most of the few kids in VV and DP go to private school – it would be interesting to know the # and % of kids at St. Joe’s montessori coming from the 5th Ave. district. It seems like that’s become the de facto “local” school for mid-upper families.

    My thinking is that, Fifth Ave. is caught in a feedback loop where the higher-income families see the performance/demographics and then either flee to the burbs or send their kids to private school, so the 5th Ave takes more lower-income kids from out of the locality and that drives the metrics down further. Breaking the cycle would require a critical mass of parents willing, in coordination, to choose to send their kids there. The shortnorthparents.org group may be a good way to facilitate that.

    #548355

    Analogue Kid
    Participant

    howatzer said:
    My thinking is that, Fifth Ave. is caught in a feedback loop where the higher-income families see the performance/demographics and then either flee to the burbs or send their kids to private school, so the 5th Ave takes more lower-income kids from out of the locality and that drives the metrics down further. Breaking the cycle would require a critical mass of parents willing, in coordination, to choose to send their kids there. The shortnorthparents.org group may be a good way to facilitate that.

    I think you’re on to something. There is a new group in my area trying to raise awareness of the local public schools so people can make a more informed decision on where to send their kids. Hoping for more success and involvement in all areas of the city.

    [b]Group supports Centennial feeder schools[/b]
    By KEVIN PARKS
    ThisWeek Community News Tuesday August 20, 2013

    Although she was once a member of the Columbus City Schools Board of Education, Stephanie Groce sits down with husband Steve Niehoff every year to determine if a public education is still the best thing for their daughter, Lanie.

    With classes starting at Ridgeview Middle School this week, the Northwest Side couple is staying the course.

    “Every year we evaluate our school and are we making the best decision in sending our child back to the public school,” Groce said.

    “I don’t begrudge anyone who makes a different choice.”

    Groce and Niehoff have joined in creating an organization for like-minded parents that seeks to make the difficult choice a little easier each year.

    It’s called Northwest STARS, which stands for Standing Together and Realizing Success.

    The group’s members are parents, teachers and Northwest Side residents who want to support and be advocates for students in the Centennial High School feeder system, which includes Cranbrook, Gables and Winterset elementary schools as well as Ridgeview.

    Read more: http://www.thisweeknews.com/content/stories/northwest/news/2013/08/19/northwest-stars-group-supports-centennial-feeder-schools.html

    #548356
    Walker Evans
    Walker Evans
    Keymaster

    howatzer said:
    Breaking the cycle would require a critical mass of parents willing, in coordination, to choose to send their kids there. The shortnorthparents.org group may be a good way to facilitate that.

    +1

    #548357

    Aaron Marshall
    Participant

    fensterbme said:
    I’m totally with Stinkybomb… My wife and I have gone through all kinds of calls trying to get any information and it’s been horrible. We too went to an ice cream social event, that was not well planned and while I have heard some good things about the teacher generally and a strong PTA, the specific kindergarten teacher my daughter has doesn’t impress me and also seemed beaten down by the system.

    I think there are reasoned debates that can be had about how much of a gap there really is between Columbus Schools and the other suburban options, and that the quality of Columbus schools varies quite a bit… I don’t think there can be any real debate that overall options like Upper Arlington, Dublin, Olentangy, Worthington are on paper vastly better than Columbus. I know in talking with my coworkers who have their kids in the big name suburban school systems even though things aren’t perfect out there, they are vastly better than what kids in Columbus schools receive.

    I think the question I’d have for parents with school aged children are: Is living downtown and all the great things that come along with that worth the price of putting your children in an clearly sub-par educational system? For some parents, perhaps the costs keep them out of those school systems, but for a lot of upper income younger downtown residents they won’t hesitate to move back out to the burbs for good schools. If the city wants to retain families who are pretty north of the poverty line, they need a wholesale change up.

    Personally we are planning on putting our house up for sale in the coming year (hey if anyone is interested we have a great remodeled house in Westgate that will be for sale)… For us the education is of paramount importance for our kids, and easily trumps all of the stuff we love about living near downtown. We are going to try to stay as close as we can by looking hard at Upper Arlington, Bexley and Worthington.

    The whole thing is really painful, because *every* kid deserves to have a first rate educational experience, and IMO it’s one of the cheapest and best investments we can make as a society in our future.

    What it comes down to is what you value.

    First of all, I utterly reject the notion that kids in Columbus Public schools can not get a quality education on par with Dublin/Worthington or wherever.
    I graduated from a Columbus Public school and I graduated with AP credit, top SAT scores, Ivy League school acceptance etc etc. Everything that you would want for your kid.

    Did that have a bunch to do with high standards in my home and learning outside the classroom? Oh yeah. Absolutely. No matter where you send your kid to school, you will have to VALUE EDUCATION IN YOUR HOME for your child to succeed at the highest level.

    One key difference is that in Columbus Public you can’t just count on a quality educational experience happening because you got your kid on the school bus and off to school. Sadly, a bunch of Columbus schools are not that good to downright bad (South High being the most obvious example) and you have to investigate the different options and find a good one that fits your kid. It’s hard work.

    And here’s another key point: Your kid will not have the typical suburban experience in Columbus Public. Your kid will likely not go to school with any rich kids, and most of the kids will not be white. You may not be able to relate very well to the parents of the other kids, they will be working people.

    And there will be a few shady characters at the school probably selling drugs, some kids that go to school with your kid will get pregnant, and a few of them will be homeless or sleeping on their aunt’s couch or whatever.
    There will be kids that have real problems, just like in the real world.

    Your child’s school will not be a shelter from the world, it will be an exposure to the world.

    Your kid will probably have to swim upstream a little bit to get that high quality education. There will be kids in school with them that aren’t going to college and maybe aren’t really interested in school. It won’t be as easy for your kid to get a good education as it might be at Worthington/Dublin. But they can get it. That’s the downside.

    The upside is that they will go to school with a whole bunch of different types of people. They will go to school with black kids, Hispanic kids, Asians kids. Some kids will be Muslim, some kids will have families who just immigrated from Mexico and Central America and Africa. It will be a reflection of the world we live in, not a distortion.

    And your kid will leave Columbus Public understanding a whole hell of a lot more about how to relate to different people than the kids in Worthington or Dublin. They will be more prepared for interacting with other human beings.

    So what do you value? That’s what this is really about.

    #548358
    Walker Evans
    Walker Evans
    Keymaster

    MrChengsaw said:
    I wondered the same thing about the disparity between neighborhood schools and the relatively high property value in areas like Victorian and German Village…

    Keep in mind that the boundaries of these neighborhoods don’t overlap 1-to-1 with the school boundaries. The same information disparity exists when evaluating statistics from zip code data. German Village is 43206, but that zip also includes a huge swath of the southeast side all the way over to Driving Park.

    #548360
    Walker Evans
    Walker Evans
    Keymaster

    Aaron Marshall said:
    And there will be a few shady characters at the school probably selling drugs, some kids that go to school with your kid will get pregnant, and a few of them will be homeless or sleeping on their aunt’s couch or whatever.

    Uh… This stuff happens in the suburbs too.

    #548361

    Aaron Marshall
    Participant

    Walker said:
    Uh… This stuff happens in the suburbs too.

    Absolutely. The drug problem is probably worse. My point was that poor people have more problems than rich people.

    #548362
    Josh Lapp
    Josh Lapp
    Participant

    fensterbme said:
    The whole thing is really painful, because *every* kid deserves to have a first rate educational experience, and IMO it’s one of the cheapest and best investments we can make as a society in our future.

    If you check out the data in the table down below (which I found here[/url]) you can see that, at least in 2010-11 school year CCS spent the 3rd most per pupil overall and 7th most per pupil in Franklin County.

    There are obviously a lot of problems with the district (as evidenced by the large amount the district spends per pupil overall vs per pupil instructional) yet as others mentioned there is obviously a self perpetuating cycle.

    If every family of means leaves the district for ‘better schools’ by default those schools become better and CCS become ‘worse’. I think we all are aware that in a school where 90%-99% of the students come from impoverished families, we’re not going to see the same results as school districts where most families have high paying jobs and college degrees, even with the same or even higher amounts of money being spent.

    Additionally I had these thoughts:

    1.) Does anyone who is very invested in their child’s education truly believe that its going to matter what school district they attend?

    2.) The school district I grew up in was very economically mixed and in my somewhat older age I can now see how that mixture helped to give those who didn’t have every advantage in life a stepping stone. When 100% of the students in the school are getting free or reduced lunches, who is there provide and example to these kids what their options are in life.

    #548363

    jillg
    Participant

    fensterbme & stinkybomb,
    my kid is also starting kindergarten at westgate this year. i had some concerns after the ice cream social as well, but after yesterday (our orientation day) i felt a lot better. i think we’re going to give it some more time before we make up our minds about the school. we have two neighbors that sent their kids there for kindergarten last year and they had a good experience. feel free to message me if either of you would like to talk about it in more detail.

    #548364

    lattethunder
    Participant

    joshlapp said:
    Additionally I had these thoughts:

    1.) Does anyone who is very invested in their child’s education truly believe that its going to matter what school district they attend?

    2.) The school district I grew up in was very economically mixed and in my somewhat older age I can now see how that mixture helped to give those who didn’t have every advantage in life a stepping stone. When 100% of the students in the school are getting free or reduced lunches, who is there provide and example to these kids what their options are in life.

    These are a little contradictory though. If you see a problem with a school with a high proverty rate versus one that’s mixed income, then wouldn’t you see how what school you go to does matter?

    #548365

    Analogue Kid
    Participant

    ^I won’t quote Aaron’s whole post, but spot on.

Viewing 15 posts - 46 through 60 (of 106 total)

The forum ‘General Columbus Discussion’ is closed to new topics and replies.

Subscribe below: