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Michigan, Oakland County. Which school is the Best?


Aguascalientes May 9, 2008

I know everyone has their own thoughts on what is the best, & some feel as if they can't say. However, I am lost! I live in Mexico as an ex-pat & we are relocating to MI in July. My husband will work in Farmington Hills & I need to find a house now. We all speak Spanish, but of course English is our 1st language. My oldest will be 8 years & my youngest will be 4 by the first day of school. Both are very outgoing & very smart. They both need to be challenged or they may become bored. They also love to swim & would like a pool at school (if possible). I am looking at South Lyon, Commerce, Walled Lake & others. Which school would you choose? Oh please don't hold back on your answers, I really want as much feed back as possible. I have spoken to many schools already & it has helped but only a little. We are to take a week sometime next moth to look around, but I feel as if a week is too short, but a week is all I have! Thank you so much in advance for all your advice!

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kkornas May 9, 2008

Yeah! Oakland County is my old stomping ground. There are plenty of great school districts there, including the Farmington/Farmington Hills district ( I did some student teaching in South Lyon ( -- great schools, but if you're looking for diversity, nearby Ann Arbor ( might be a better bet.

Here's a map that shows you how cities near Farmington compare:

By the way, I was just back there visiting this past weekend. Springtime in southeast Michigan is absolutely beautiful!!


Debbie_T May 20, 2008

Look into the Lake Orion school district or West Bloomfield, at least for elementary. I haven't checked middle school yet. Most of my nieces/nephews went to West Bloomfield High and did NOT like it.

Good luck and welcome to Michigan!


charyl February 6, 2009

Hi good luck with your move. Stay away from s.Lyon, old school over crowded, gang actiity try brighton but beaware of the heavy traffic on 96( parking lot) leading out to brighton and s.lyon. Northern in Walled lake is great, brand new. Walled lake on commerce rd is great, walled lake in wixom is in old, huron valley is okbut not great. keep in mind you are looking into some very large student body schools. I don't know any thing about farmington hills schools but it is close to 8 mile which past woodward is the line you don't want to be very careful.


Coldjensens July 14, 2009

South Lyon has execellent schools. There are two high schools. One is only a couple of years old and is a beautiful facility (South Lyon East) The other is less than 20 years old (I cannot remember what year it was built), but it is a very nice facility. Both have pools and a nice theater gymnasium, stadium etc. The old school has a special artifical turf field that is sometimes used by universities in a pinch. The schools are academically outstnading and they are very competitive in virtually every type of sport/activity. I do not know where the prior commenter gets the idea that there are gangs or unusuaully serious drug problems etc. Keep in mind that many people just want to say bad things because that is in their nature. South Lyon is one of the better schools and you cannot go wrong there.

Also in the same area with execellent schools are Northville; Novi; Plymouth Canton; West Bloomfield. . . All of these and several otehrs in the area are excellent schools. I beleive that they all have pools. These communities are all great places to live although they offer very different lifestyles.

Walled Lake is a very nice school as well. I do not remember their academic standing, but they were in the top 25% at least.

You really cannot go wrong with most of these schools.

Northville is probably the best schools and has the neatest (quaintest) downtown in the immediate area. Plymouth has a better downtown, but I do not think that their schools are quite as good as Northville.

Novi has no downtown, and is basically suburban sprawl and shopping malls. If that is what you like, then it is ideal.

Walled Lake has - a lake!.

Milford is a very quaint little town and sits right at the edge of Kensington Metropark. One of the best developed parks anywhere that I have ever been. It is a terrific place. Milford schools are very good schools, but not quite on par with some of the surrounding communities. Again how good do you really need? How hyper competitive do you want your kids experience to be?

Do you really need the very best school in the State? To me, simply great schools are good enough. Choose the community that you like not just the school.

There are a lot of factors that go into choosing a school. We chose Grosse Ile because it is a very small school system. We did not want our kids in a giant school (and we loved the community and liked the idea of living on an island). However in doing so we missed out on the big school programs and facilities. (no pool, no child care center for child development learning, no state championships in major sports, no debate team, only one teacher for most elective subjects - etc). In trade we got teachers who know all of the students, football games with virtually every student and parent in attendance, a small town feel in every aspect of the schools coupled with a 98% graduation rate, 90+ % college matriculation; around 70% scholarship earners; an A+ rated school by the Michgian Dept of education; and we know all of our kids friends AND their parents as well as their teachers.

You have to figure out what is important to you and to your kids in addition to great academics. Lots of schools have great academics. Are your kids good in music, theater, football, tennis, baseball, basketball, debate, writing, golf, sailing, horseback riding, etc? Choose a school that excells in your kid's areas of interst. Do you want a huge school with lots of options or a small homey school? Does diversity matter to you? Do you care how many books are in the library? How many kids are in the band/orchestra? Does it matter how many merit scholar finalists graduated from that school last year? Do you care about the moral and social atmosphere? Are you trying to avoid a school where materialism is the prevelant value?

There are a lot of things to consider in deciding what makes a good school. Then you have to factor in what makes a great community, remember that school is only a portion of the learning experience.

By the way, every school has issues with drug and alcohol abuse. People who say that their school is better or worse are dreaming. Aside from a few really bad schools (like much of Detroit), they are all about the same. Rich kids have more money and are often bored so they turn to alcohol and drugs for entertainment. Poor kids often get booze and pot from their parents and use them to froget problems. the main difference that I see is that the rich kids use fancier drugs/booze and the poor kids use chepaer ones. It is up to you to stay informed on what is going on in your kid's life and who their friends are. You cannot keep them away from drug or alcohol use by changing schools, you can only raise them to refuse to participate in abuse and stay away from the "stoner" crowd.

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