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REAL ESTATE TIPS: School districts more than numbers

Part 1: How to know which school district you should buy into

I don’t know how many people use the district report card to choose which school district to buy a house in, but I do know in my personal experience I have had two clients use school report cards to determine where to send kids to school.
Perhaps it is because both Wayne and Stark counties seems to be defined by our schools – the history, the rivals, and the preconceived ideas. We based our idea of district on opinions that we have had for generations and feel that we know enough about the district to make that call. Just a guess but I see it in my own life.
My dad graduated from Wooster and my mom graduated from Orrville. With my mom almost eight years older than my dad, they didn’t go to school together but they still had all of the feels for their school due to a rivalry between the two districts that has been there for generations. Wooster or Orrville could have a reputation of producing Einstein type students and my parents would not have budged by allowing any future children to go to “that other school.” So they agreed that anything in Wayne County could be considered EXCEPT Wooster and Orrville (to keep them both happy) and it had to have a detached garage so that my dad could fulfill his goal of owning his own machine shop business (hmmm, wonder where I get that same entrepreneurial spirit?).
In the end, they bought outside of Apple Creek and it looked like I would graduate as a Golden Bear. Then during Thanksgiving break of my sophomore year, my now divorced mom asked my sister and I what we thought about moving to Orrville. I was immediately on board. My Papa lived there and we spent a lot of time there so Orrville always felt like a second home anyway. My mom sold our house to my dad and I became a Red Rider. And I loved it.
In the case of the Ryder boys, there was no discussion. My husband believes with all of his heart that Dalton school district is the best place on earth and he always knew that his kids were going there. I was up for more of an adventure. He was not. So when we bought our first house in the district, it wasn’t that we loved the house, we wanted the district and there were very few houses available.
The other thing to consider is what the school district report card is telling you and what it is not. For example, graduation rate is on the report card and a lower graduation rate will affect your school district’s report card. So let’s look at East Holmes Local Schools where Andy taught for 15 years. East Holmes school district, a fabulous and well-respected district, gets docked points on its report card for its graduation rate. Since Amish students quit after eighth grade, it looks like East Holmes’ graduation rate is very low but for those who stay, the graduation rate is extremely high. The less than perfect graduation rate does not keep their school from excelling and their property values from being some of the most expensive in the area.
I’m not saying that the report card is a bad thing to use to help you determine what school district to reside in but if you use that as your only determining factor, you might not be as content as you expected to be. There are so many other factors to consider as well that may not be present in report card data. So I thought over the next few weeks, we would talk about the differences in big and small school districts. We haven’t talked about that before and I thought that it would be interesting to talk about. Until next week, have a blessed day!
Esta Ryder, Realtor
President’s Club
Ryder Realty, LLC

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