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Thinking ahead - B&M Lutheran K-8 to B&M High School


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My kids attend a Lutheran K-8 school where they enjoy being part of a tight school community.  I had planned to put them in public school for 9-12 for a few reasons.  Now, however, my kids are weighing in, saying they want to go to the Lutheran 9-12 (like many of their friends) rather than go someplace where they don't know anyone.  I have talked to some folks connected with the Lutheran 9-12 and now I am wondering ....

 

So here are my considerations:

  • Distance.  The Lutheran school is about a half hour drive from home (much of it freeway).  The public school is about 2 miles from home (unless they consolidate, which I'd heard they were planning).  Lutheran school would require some creative planning for transportation on a daily basis (probably public buses).  In either case, my kids will be in extracurriculars and need me to drive to the school fairly often.
  • Standards.  One of my kids is very bright, the other is just average with some learning difficulties.  I don't want to put them in a school where the standard is very high across the board.  This was a reason to go with the public school, which is rated "Excellent" but has the usual different ability levels that you expect in PS.  I assumed that the Lutheran school would be high standard, but a mom who works there says they have lower level classes for kids who aren't that academic.  I don't know if they have all the help my kid would need or not.  She doesn't have a diagnosis but does use school tutoring services.
  • Sports.  The offerings at the public school sound better than those at the Lutheran school.  However, they both offer a variety of sports.
  • Cost.  I'm afraid to even look at the cost of the Lutheran school.  :)  I would probably have to dip into my kids' college fund to pay for it.

If any of you have gone through this thought process, how did you weigh things and how did you come out?

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My kids attend a Lutheran K-8 school where they enjoy being part of a tight school community.  I had planned to put them in public school for 9-12 for a few reasons.  Now, however, my kids are weighing in, saying they want to go to the Lutheran 9-12 (like many of their friends) rather than go someplace where they don't know anyone.  I have talked to some folks connected with the Lutheran 9-12 and now I am wondering ....

 

So here are my considerations:

  • Distance.  The Lutheran school is about a half hour drive from home (much of it freeway).  The public school is about 2 miles from home (unless they consolidate, which I'd heard they were planning).  Lutheran school would require some creative planning for transportation on a daily basis (probably public buses).  In either case, my kids will be in extracurriculars and need me to drive to the school fairly often.
  • Standards.  One of my kids is very bright, the other is just average with some learning difficulties.  I don't want to put them in a school where the standard is very high across the board.  This was a reason to go with the public school, which is rated "Excellent" but has the usual different ability levels that you expect in PS.  I assumed that the Lutheran school would be high standard, but a mom who works there says they have lower level classes for kids who aren't that academic.  I don't know if they have all the help my kid would need or not.  She doesn't have a diagnosis but does use school tutoring services.
  • Sports.  The offerings at the public school sound better than those at the Lutheran school.  However, they both offer a variety of sports.
  • Cost.  I'm afraid to even look at the cost of the Lutheran school.  :)  I would probably have to dip into my kids' college fund to pay for it.

If any of you have gone through this thought process, how did you weigh things and how did you come out?

 

Distance - My state provides busing for private school students going to a school ten miles or less from the district.  (I don't know where they measure from - I honestly think they leave it pretty fuzzy on purpose as they bus to all schools within a reasonable distance.)  The kids are collected by the regular public school bus for their neighborhood and taken to the public high school, where they board a bus that takes them to their private school.  It is not a short commute, but they quickly learn to sleep, study, or do their vocab homework on the bus.  Kids from other states use school-arranged busses at an annual fee, or public transportation, or create car pools.

 

As to after school, the private school allows them to stay until five or six in the evening, opening the cafeteria for an informal study hall type situation.  With the help of the school, kids and parents fairly quickly identify kids who have similar schedules and live near each other; ride sharing is common and most seniors and many juniors drive. 

 

Standards - Different kids have different needs, so the same school might not work for every child in a family.  That said, one thing to consider is that private school students come from families who value education enough to pay for it, and who are stable and functional enough to navigate entrance exams, applications, and deadlines.  If it is an academic "college-prep" school, most of the students will have goals and will be working towards them, so serious shenanigans are somewhat minimized.  The school has a vested interest in having successful graduates, thus they are likely to invest significant time in helping non-superstar students to rise to the challenge.  

 

Sports - A particular sport wasn't important to us.

 

Cost - For us, worth every penny and then some for the serious academics, the lack of shenannigans, the stable peers with solid goals, and the college-prep atmosphere.  In some cases the increased likelihood of merit scholarships can offset some of your investment.

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