We may be relocating to Richmond in 3-6 months. We have a daughter who will be in first grade and a son who will be in kindergarten in 2010. Looking for good public schools there are diverse as well. Any insight on neighborhoods would be great too!
I recommend the area of Chesterfield County that feeds into James River High School because it (a) has great schools, (b) is close to numerous amenities (name a retail chain and it is located on Midlothian Tpk), and (c) is a quick commute into the city and anywhere in the region.
I highly recommend the Bon Air area of Chesterfield County - incl. Bon Air Elementary, Crestwood Elementary, and Greenfield Elementary. It has quick and easy access to downtown (either via the Powhite Pkwy or Huguenot Road/Bridge). The Bon Air area has great pride for its historic homes, but lots of affordable non-historic areas too. Bon Air has homes options for most income levels (incl. some apartments in Greenfield and Crestwood footprints).
If you are willing to have a longer commute into the city (still less than 30 mins), feel free to check out Robious Elementary and Watkins Elementary. These communities have many more options for high-cost homes.
You can get more house for your money in Chesterfield than in Henrico. In the city of Richmond I would only reccommend 3 ES J.B. Fisher, Fox and Munford. After elementary school Richmond's options get very slim. Chesterfield has speciality centers for HS where you can apply to concentrated programs. Not much diversity in the JamesRiver Neighborhood. The homes are 300K and up75127
Careful on looking for the diversity in a school. Most schools around Richmond have various levels of diversity - I don't believe there is a single school that is all white vs all black. However, do not got to a school with a ESL program (English as a second language). Your child will get a substandard education as they cater to the kids who are a part of the ESL programs. There is little homework and rarely projects to be done at home - why? The reason given is b/c these ESL kids parents most of them, do not speak English therefore they can not help them if needed with work at home so none is assigned in order to keep these kids from failing! Meanwhile, our kids are getting a substandard education b/c of the imigrant populations in the county.
Chesterfield also recently institued the 'no zero' policy. Meaning up to teacher/school descression kids have until a week before the 9 weeks end to turn in any missing work. Depending on the teacher will depend on if points are taken off for being late or not. It makesit hard to teach your child accountablity with such flexable rules.
Chesterfield use to be one of the best school systems in the state. I know, I grew up in this county and attended these schools. Sadly this is not the case anymore. In part I blame the current superattendant who does not even reside in or anywhere near Chesterfield County. . . .78578
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