At the present time both my husband and myself are contemplating on moving to Tucson AZ. At the end of May we will be travelling over to view some schools and also areas as to where we would like to live. Certain people have informed my husband that Catalina Foothills is a very family,friendly area to live in. On the school side of thing my husband has been informed that the following schools are the best in the Catalina Foothills area: Since we have one child in Elementary School this was some of the suggestions: Khalsa School Manzanita School Sunrise Drive School Also we have a child in High School and we where told that Catalina Foothills High School was terrific. Would someone so kindly inform me as to if the above schools are great and also what do they think of the Catalina Foothills area. Any information on other areas would also be appreciated. Actually any information on living with a family in Tucson would be extremely highly appreciated has we are an Australian family and if we do decide to move this will be our first time living in the USA. Thanks.
We have several Australians at our school, the International School. You should probably talk to them before putting your children in an Arizona public school. I don't know to use PM on this board, but if you google the International School of Tucson and email the director he can put you in contact. P.S. Don't buy in the Foothills. Live in midtown.69936
We spent a great deal of time looking at schools and parts of town prior to our move. I grew up near Tucson and had many friends in the area who could assist. I also have school friends who are now educators and they were able to advise about schools. Catalina Foothills district is a wealthy district, but we found that they homes in the area were too small and quite overpriced. We had also heard many disturbing things about some of the non-school related activities that happened at the CF schools. After much encouragement from educators, friends--and even strangers--we chose the Vail School District. We have found the schools to be small and personal and SAFE. The Sierra Morado neighborhood is an amazing, family friendly area which provides many opportunities to stay active even close to home. Love it!71006
Cat. Foothills is a very good district, but you will need to be able to afford the lifestyle. You do not need to live in the district to attend the schools but, and this is very true of the high school, it can be very expensive when it comes time to foot all the incidental bills that come from the school. Thee are fees for almost everything your student will sign up to do and then you also need to include the cost of events held at the school and things like yearbooks, prom tickets (an overnight event where they raffle off a new car!), dances, ect. Stay away from TUSD if you can. Vail disrtict is okay but I think the Tanque Verde district is wonderful. Small class sizes, still offers many thing (like library, PE, ect.) at primary levels that other districts have dropped for money reasons. Parent groups are very active in all schools, teachers are not only engaged in the classroom but because the schools are so small they become more like family to the students. Open enrollment is an option for families that live outside of the district line. 72118
I am a teacher and a parent in the Catalina Foothills School District. I moved to this district because of the schools!! My children have been given a great gift of a wonderful education in the district, from 1st grade through high school. I teach at one of the elementary schools as well. I know the ins and outs! No school and no school district is perfect, but Catalina Foothills is VERY GOOD! I feel like many people have a perception of the school district that is simply not true. The kids do not need to be wealthy to be accepted or fit in, nor do the parents...I am a teacher and fit in just fine. The parents are very involved and the kids do have that advantage. The district puts students' needs first, while working within the constraints of a budget, as all schools are dealing with. The teachers are highly qualified and prepare students for life and college. There are no more fees charged than any other school in Tucson. My son in active in several sports and has never experienced anything "questionable". I take responsibility for his actions and what he does, that is up to me , not the school! I am sure Vail and Tanque Verde are good school districts, but I hear negative comments about all districts from other teachers in town. I take pride that Catalina Foothills is a small district and all involved work hard for the students! Please visit schools for yourself, meet teachers and the administration and make your judgements based on recommendations, as well as experience!72263
We also just recently bought a home in Tucson, and decided that there is no reason to live in the school district - Catalina Foothills, Vail, or any other - as all offer open enrollment and are desperately taking students from the largest district, TUSD. The state is rapidly cutting school district budgets, and the only way they have to increase the flow of money coming in is to take students from other districts. They're all doing it.
That being said, we put both of our children in TUSD schools - we found an elementary school where they get violin instruction 4 days a week (!!!!), can participate in teams of basketball, track and field, soccer and more, PE, a gardening / composting program, offers a free (academic!) after school program where they can take subjects like Spanish, and more. We absolutely love the school.
Be careful of charter schools; they are not as open as district schools about key things such as finances, staff training and student enrollment, and you'll have to research them with the AZ Dept. of Education in Phoenix - there is no repository for charter school records in Tucson. We've had a number of charter schools fold in Tucson; one day they're there, the next they're gone. Ask if and how long they'll keep your child's records, in case you ever move again and need an official transcript. Times are tough, and charter schools are businesses - they're feeling the pinch of hard economic times, just like everyone else is, and many were operating with fewer resources to start with.
Hello- We purchased our home in the Catalina Foothills 14 years ago, when our first chid was in preschool. We bought in this area so that our kids could have the advantage of a Catalina Foothills education. Now that our daughter is in high school (and 2 other children are in elem. and preschool in the district), we feel we made the right decision. The academic and social climate of all schools in the district, K-12, is outstanding. You will find top-quality curriculum and teachers, excellent extra-curricular activites, and great parent involvment. To me, one of the best things this school district and this community offers is a committment to each other; people are nice here!
As for the comments about "having to have money to fit in," etc., sometimes I think the only people who have that preception of living in the Foothills in Tucson are those who don't live here:-) My family and I live in a modest neighborhood and our children attend school with other kids who live in apartments as well as at the country clubs within the Foothills. We have never ONCE experienced a sense of exclusion because of wealth or status.
On living out of the district and seeking "open enrollment," I would just caution that you will have to apply EVERY year for a spot in one of the district schools. Also, it is better to be a real part of the community rather than have to drive for miles to get your kids to school: your kids have playmates nearby, they get to take the bus, and you can avoid the traffic:-)
Catalina Foothills will be a good option for you if you want your kids to have a good education. Tanque Verde School District has a brand new high school, so I have no info. to report on its quality. Ironwood Ridge high School (Amphitheater School district) would also be a good neighborhood for top-quality schools. Vail Schools are located quite a way from the city of Tucson and is really a community unto itself. Maybe you want to visit the area to see what you think...
On affordibility: we are in Arizona, after all, and the housing crisis has hit us harder than many places! There are many more homes now available in the Foothills (and throughout the city, for that matter) for a great price. I look at the real estate listings frequently and also see many, many single-family houses for rent. Perhaps you would want to rent first to really see where you'd like to live:-)
Best of luck to you on your journey. If you make the move, let me say that we welcome you to "The Old Pueblo!"
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