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What to do? Need advice...#1 school district for high school or #1 private school??

Posted by on Mar. 26, 2014 at 11:53 AM
  • 15 Replies

confusedOkay--here is my story and I need some other motherly advice from anyone who has teens.  We live in the Williamsville School District (rated #1). My daughter who is in 8th grade is beyond your average smart (like 99%average all 4 years so far of middle school). She just  recently auditioned for All-County Orchestra and got 99/100 and made it even only after learning how to play the bass since this September. Next is the NYS auditions, tried out for all-star volleyball-made it, tried out for softball-made it. Going to tryout for next level in AGSL this Sunday. Performing at KIeinhans at Mary Seton Hall this Sunday also. I  am not trying to toot her horn----just giving a little background. It seems whatever she tries or sets her mind to, it just seems to work out. Now granted, she does put in a lot of effort. She is one amazing kid.

So, automatically, she would be going to our local high school, who offers numerous AP classes and electives and either BOCES or HARKNESS if you want to learn more. It's a great school. My son (who is an average student) goes to our local high school. It's a 2 minute ride if they ever miss the bus, get sick, forget a book, have to be in early or stay after for a sport. No problem.  

But, for some moment of me not really thinking ahead (lapse of judgement??), I one day say to my daughter--"hey, why don't you take the test for Nardin?" Not thinking of the actual cost at the time I said it, not thinking of the not close proximity (what if she misses the bus, forgets a book, gets sick, etc.). Her dad and I both work full-time. So, at first, dh was pissed that I even suggested the idea, because by no means are we wealthy--just your average hard-working people. So, she gets the book and works with my husband on testing strategies, etc. Winds out getting 750/800. Whereas the normal average score is 400-450. Auditioned for their orchestra-got in. So, now my husband is a little more on board. Now, he is willing to do anything to have her go. He thinks the name NARDIN will get her a full scholarship-his thinking--pay for high school and we wont have to for college. I told him this is not a guarantee at all.

So, I finally come to my senses a few days ago--what was I thinking>>I told him I do not want her to go to the private school. We pay over $4000/year in taxes and live in the #1 public school district in WNY. Why would we pay over $12k/yr to have to take the same AP classes that she can take at the Williamsville HS? Why would I spend and hour (1/2hr there, 1/2 hr back) in case I need to go to the school (ex-sports practice/games---at her softball meeting, she just got the calendar and EVERY DAY from now til the end of May, there is either after school practice or game--but no problem, because its 2 minutes from my house---but if this was at Nardin, I would be driving an hour after work every day. What about dinner, homework, my son, etc. Dinner would be until after 7. Then there is homework, showers, etc. And the bus for school next year picks her up at 6am, whereas the bus for Williamsville comes at 6:50, but the school is 2 minutes from my house and on my way to work, which dropoff could be 7:30.

What did I do? If I had never even mentioned this idea, my daughter would just be assuming she would be going to our high school down the street, just as her brother is and sister did.  I feel terrible that I got her hopes up, but want to tell her that she is going to her school that we pay taxes for, 2 minutes away. Now my husband is opposing my thoughts on this, even though originally he was all against it. He still thinks the Nardin name alone is now her ticket to all that is good, and could not possibly compare to our #1 rated school .

I even called over 5 colleges yesterday and asked them very bluntly: "What does the name of the school have to do with someone getting in with a Nardin name or a Williamsville name in relations to getting into your school?"   The answer from every single college was: " We dont look at the name, nor care that your kid went to a private school you paid for -vs- your local public high school." I asked what they do look for. Their answer--and I mean every college admissions office I called was:  GPA, SAT, ACT, school involvement, community development, played sports, played instruments, etc. That is the stuff they look for and award scholarships for.

 

What would you do? What are your thoughts? This has been wrecking havoc--haven't slept in over a week, so stressed about this that if I think about it, I will just start crying, have had major stomach pains. I know in my heart of hearts, my daughter will do just fine at our local high school. But now I have opposition. My daughter is very mature and I think she will understand. I feel bad that she studied for the exam for so long and now I have no desire for her to attend the private school. UGH

by on Mar. 26, 2014 at 11:53 AM
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Replies (1-10):
ItsaJOB
by Bronze Member on Mar. 26, 2014 at 5:10 PM

We sent our daughter to a private HS for 2 years.  FRANKLY, the extra cost was not worth it.  We transferred her to the public school her Junior and Senior year.  I would agree with the colleges, it does not make a difference where she graduates from.  Her GPA and involvement DOES, however.  She can apply for scholarships just as easily at either.  Good luck.  I'm sure she will understand.  After all, her siblings didn't get to go, why should she? 

teensrmyworld
by Member on Mar. 26, 2014 at 5:53 PM

This has nothing to do with getting into the "right" college or qualifying for scholarships.  This issue has to do with what is the right environment for your child who by the sounds of it needs a special school to thrive in.  Our job is to do what is best for our kids, costs, driving, time, taxes be damned and sacrifice are all part of the deal.  I should know.  My son is a lot like your daughter and needed private school from first grade until middle school, he then only spent 2 years in the local high school before leaving to go to college early.  We do what we need to do for the children we are blessed with.  Unless the local high school can match classes, students and opportunities to her intelligence level, you will be cheating her out of the chance to become who she needs to be.  High schools teach to the lowest to middle common denominator which means that the bright kids wind up bored and frustrated which if not addressed leads to poor performance in school even though they are gifted/very bright.  Send her to the private school, it will be the best decision you ever made.

teensrmyworld
by Member on Mar. 26, 2014 at 5:54 PM

She should go becasue she needs this and they don't.  It is that simple.

Quoting ItsaJOB:

We sent our daughter to a private HS for 2 years.  FRANKLY, the extra cost was not worth it.  We transferred her to the public school her Junior and Senior year.  I would agree with the colleges, it does not make a difference where she graduates from.  Her GPA and involvement DOES, however.  She can apply for scholarships just as easily at either.  Good luck.  I'm sure she will understand.  After all, her siblings didn't get to go, why should she? 


romalove
by Member on Mar. 26, 2014 at 5:57 PM
What is she likely to want to go to college for? She is young and you may not know yet. But if you have a clue it would help,
ItsaJOB
by Bronze Member on Mar. 26, 2014 at 6:37 PM

Just a further note on this, where we live, if a student is 'gifted' and wants to further themselves in the PUBLIC school district, they can take college classes for dual credits.  Meaning, if the HS doesn't offer a particular class your child likes, she can take it at the college (either on-line or at the college) AND receive HS credits to graduate AND college credits.  This is a win/win.  If this might be your case, your daughter will NOT be bored in HS.  And, of COURSE you do what you need to do for your child.  It IS about sacrifices and doing what you know is best for your child..regardless of costs!  Our daughter, even though she is in the public school now...does not attend the public school in OUR local town we live in...but 35 minutes away.  A smaller school fit her much better than the larger, overwhelming local public school.  And, the private school just wasn't the right fit for her, either.  The cost of the public school at a distant drive was about the SAME as the private school (out of district tuition PLUS all the gas to drive her back and forth)....she didn't have her drivers license so I drove 35 minutes to TAKE her to school and again, to pick her up.  That's 2 hours and 20 minutes EVERY school day of her Junior year that I sacrificed (except when spring came when she got her license).  PLUS the sports events.  So....I KNOW what sacrificing is about.  You don't cheat your child out of what you know is best.  If it is for convenience only that you DON'T want to do this...but know the school would be the best for her...then you DO it.  It IS that simple.  But, check the option of taking the college classes (btw...the school district PAYS for those college classes, BUT the private school did not offer that).

Quoting teensrmyworld:

She should go becasue she needs this and they don't.  It is that simple.

Quoting ItsaJOB:

We sent our daughter to a private HS for 2 years.  FRANKLY, the extra cost was not worth it.  We transferred her to the public school her Junior and Senior year.  I would agree with the colleges, it does not make a difference where she graduates from.  Her GPA and involvement DOES, however.  She can apply for scholarships just as easily at either.  Good luck.  I'm sure she will understand.  After all, her siblings didn't get to go, why should she? 



Carmel63
by Bronze Member on Mar. 27, 2014 at 7:07 AM

I have had this conversation with many parents over the years.  My kids attend a high performing school district in Massachusetts.  We have a very prestigious private school in town where the tuition for a day student is $37,000 plus fees.  We know people that have attended the private school.  It is only worth it if the private school offers something that your local school can not provide.  

I looked at the profile for the Nardin Academy, and it looked good, but not that exceptional.  It also appeared to offer fewer AP classes than the local high school.  The results of the AP scores did not look to be higher.  If you were to see the college acceptances of the top students, I doubt you would see a difference between your local public school and the local private school.

So, if I were you I would be looking at Nardin if it offered smaller classes, and that was what your daughter needed to succeed, or offered a different class structure that would make her more successful.

HopesNDreams
by Member on Mar. 27, 2014 at 7:28 AM
I did dual enrollment in high school and the district did not pay a penny of it. It was considered a choice and not their educational obligation. This may have been paid for in your district due to limited options for gifted students.

I will say that it was absolutely worth it! I spent the second half of my senior year at a local college. My only regret is not doing it for my entire senior year.


Quoting ItsaJOB:

Just a further note on this, where we live, if a student is 'gifted' and wants to further themselves in the PUBLIC school district, they can take college classes for dual credits.  Meaning, if the HS doesn't offer a particular class your child likes, she can take it at the college (either on-line or at the college) AND receive HS credits to graduate AND college credits.  This is a win/win.  If this might be your case, your daughter will NOT be bored in HS.  And, of COURSE you do what you need to do for your child.  It IS about sacrifices and doing what you know is best for your child..regardless of costs!  Our daughter, even though she is in the public school now...does not attend the public school in OUR local town we live in...but 35 minutes away.  A smaller school fit her much better than the larger, overwhelming local public school.  And, the private school just wasn't the right fit for her, either.  The cost of the public school at a distant drive was about the SAME as the private school (out of district tuition PLUS all the gas to drive her back and forth)....she didn't have her drivers license so I drove 35 minutes to TAKE her to school and again, to pick her up.  That's 2 hours and 20 minutes EVERY school day of her Junior year that I sacrificed (except when spring came when she got her license).  PLUS the sports events.  So....I KNOW what sacrificing is about.  You don't cheat your child out of what you know is best.  If it is for convenience only that you DON'T want to do this...but know the school would be the best for her...then you DO it.  It IS that simple.  But, check the option of taking the college classes (btw...the school district PAYS for those college classes, BUT the private school did not offer that).

Quoting teensrmyworld:

She should go becasue she needs this and they don't.  It is that simple.

Quoting ItsaJOB:

We sent our daughter to a private HS for 2 years.  FRANKLY, the extra cost was not worth it.  We transferred her to the public school her Junior and Senior year.  I would agree with the colleges, it does not make a difference where she graduates from.  Her GPA and involvement DOES, however.  She can apply for scholarships just as easily at either.  Good luck.  I'm sure she will understand.  After all, her siblings didn't get to go, why should she? 

Carmel63
by Bronze Member on Mar. 27, 2014 at 7:31 AM
1 mom liked this

My district also pays for classes at a local college, in our case it is a private catholic college located within our town.  

Quoting HopesNDreams: I did dual enrollment in high school and the district did not pay a penny of it. It was considered a choice and not their educational obligation. This may have been paid for in your district due to limited options for gifted students. I will say that it was absolutely worth it! I spent the second half of my senior year at a local college. My only regret is not doing it for my entire senior year.
Quoting ItsaJOB:

Just a further note on this, where we live, if a student is 'gifted' and wants to further themselves in the PUBLIC school district, they can take college classes for dual credits.  Meaning, if the HS doesn't offer a particular class your child likes, she can take it at the college (either on-line or at the college) AND receive HS credits to graduate AND college credits.  This is a win/win.  If this might be your case, your daughter will NOT be bored in HS.  And, of COURSE you do what you need to do for your child.  It IS about sacrifices and doing what you know is best for your child..regardless of costs!  Our daughter, even though she is in the public school now...does not attend the public school in OUR local town we live in...but 35 minutes away.  A smaller school fit her much better than the larger, overwhelming local public school.  And, the private school just wasn't the right fit for her, either.  The cost of the public school at a distant drive was about the SAME as the private school (out of district tuition PLUS all the gas to drive her back and forth)....she didn't have her drivers license so I drove 35 minutes to TAKE her to school and again, to pick her up.  That's 2 hours and 20 minutes EVERY school day of her Junior year that I sacrificed (except when spring came when she got her license).  PLUS the sports events.  So....I KNOW what sacrificing is about.  You don't cheat your child out of what you know is best.  If it is for convenience only that you DON'T want to do this...but know the school would be the best for her...then you DO it.  It IS that simple.  But, check the option of taking the college classes (btw...the school district PAYS for those college classes, BUT the private school did not offer that).

Quoting teensrmyworld:

She should go becasue she needs this and they don't.  It is that simple.

Quoting ItsaJOB:

We sent our daughter to a private HS for 2 years.  FRANKLY, the extra cost was not worth it.  We transferred her to the public school her Junior and Senior year.  I would agree with the colleges, it does not make a difference where she graduates from.  Her GPA and involvement DOES, however.  She can apply for scholarships just as easily at either.  Good luck.  I'm sure she will understand.  After all, her siblings didn't get to go, why should she? 




littlelamb303
by Member on Mar. 27, 2014 at 7:37 AM

my dd went to parochial school for 9 yrs and we still had to pay our taxes of over 6k  a year.  We put her into public HS because we did not want to spend 9 k  a year right before the college years.

atlmom2
by Susie on Mar. 27, 2014 at 8:31 AM
1 mom liked this
No doubt, public.
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