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No alternative to a bad school?


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janeriad August 10, 2009


Our girls are 4 and 6. Our home school is one of the worst in the district (Blackford Elem, San Jose, CA). The school is located in a transient, low socio-econ area - we are in a more affluent area for which only a few blocks are designated to this school. We don't know anyone in our neighborhood with kids at the school - they all say the same thing "OMG! You CANNOT send your kids there!". We've even heard the same thing from the Asst Superintendent of the neighboring district. We've applied for transfers within the district and even out of the district, with no success. As a result, we're heading into our second year of sending the girls to a private school, which is costing us more than $20k/yr. All the neighbor kids are either going private or managed to get into one of the other schools in the district. I am completely frustrated with the fact that we are spending a fortune on taxes for a school system we can't (in good conscience) use for our kids. Besides moving, any advice?

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TeacherParent August 11, 2009


I'd only suggest that this year you take a day and go and spend it at the school and see it for yourself. Unless California has School Choice, I don't see any option. But reputation and reality can be two different things - it costs nothing to go and look and see for yourself what your neighborhood school is really like.

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lockmama August 12, 2009


You might look into any local charter schools to see if they would be a better option for your children.

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josefsberg October 17, 2009


There's always homeschooling.

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techtlily October 20, 2009


You could try getting them into Village School or Discovery Charter School. Both should be a reasonable distance from your neighborhood.

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luckystarmom August 2, 2010


Look into the Cambrian school district. They have several good charter schools: Sartorette, Farmham, and I think one other. They have Price Middle School for when they are older.


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fijakcollins September 8, 2011


We live in the same neighborhood as you. For the last two years I had sent my daughter to private for the very same reasons you cited. It came to a point where private was no longer financially feasible. Fortunately, when I did start to explore Blackford again, turns out the school has made some MAJOR changes. The most important is bringing in a new principle, Katie Middlebrook, who happens to come from Village School in the district. Katie has has an incredible impact on the school in her third year already. The district has made huge strides in effort to turn the school around both internally and externally. This is our third week of school and my second grader LOVES her new school and I am really impressed with how much has changed. This school has amazing potential and I am proud to represent the "other" neighborhood. I hope to contribute to the school to make sure ALL kids from any background experience an extraordinary elementary journey. Please check it out, take a tour and meeting with Katie...I think you may be pleasantly surprised.

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Family2479 October 28, 2011


Hello "Janeriad",
I agree... go to the school, meet the principal, and hang out for a while. No one ever knows until they go visit. Schools get reputations that stay around for years, even if a school changes. It's worth it to go have a chat with people who actually attend the school.
If you don't want to go to the school, contact the PTA President....

Don't be fooled by rumors based on the past... find out for yourself and make an educated choice!

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Blkfdlead February 6, 2012


Where did you end up? How is it going three years later?



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