Category Archives: Schools

Kids were tough back then!

A guy posted this old historic photo on Twitter. It was noted that it was taken at Trinity Park in Dallas around 1900.
Trinity Park, Dallas TX (1900)

The tweet received a LOT of comments since it represents a much different playground than is allowed today. Some people noted that these were the kids that helped win WWI. (These kids were also the ones who walked to school in the snow, uphill both ways.) Today’s helicopter Moms would faint at the thought of their snowflakes playing in such an area. One skeptic noted that there’s a kid on the left that appears to be falling to his death. Not really! If you look carefully you can see he’s on a swing.

I grew up in the late 40s-50s. Our grade school had pretty tall swings that allowed us to swing “way up high” … and the seats were metal! We also had 2 sizes of slides – a shorter one and a very tall one. Amazingly we survived although broken arms were considered a right-of-passage. 🙂

We were allowed to be independent – learning to make decisions on our own. If we made mistakes we had to accept the consequences. When I think of the things I (and other kids) did when young I chuckle because kids today would never be allowed that freedom. I think that freedom made us better, stronger adults as a result.

13 of 50 Best Suburbs Are In Ohio

MSN/Money announced their “50 Best Suburbs“. Most of the suburbs were in the Midwest … not surprising to those of us who call the heartland home.

As I was scrolling through the list, I noticed many were Ohio suburbs! In fact, 13 of the 50 were in Ohio. MSN/Money’s criteria evaluated:

  • Population 5000 to 100,000
  • Average commute time
  • Median household income
  • School, poverty & crime rates
  • Availability of affordable housing

The 13 Ohio suburbs were:

COLUMBUS AREA – 3 are in MSN’s Top 10!

Suburb MSN Rank Median HH$ School Rating
UpperArlington 6 95,588 10
New Albany 8 161,374 10
Powell 9 133,133 10
Grandview Hts 16 80,729 8
Dublin 22 114,183 8.67


Suburb MSN Rank Median HH$ School Rating
Madiera 3 87,232 10
Springboro 10 95,406 9
Montgomery 21 109,779 9
Wyoming 24 95,572 10


Suburb MSN Rank Median HH$ School Rating
Monroe Falls 33 8
Hudson 35 116,188 10


Suburb MSN Rank Median HH$ School Rating
Bellbrook 49 73,168 10


Suburb MSN Rank Median HH$ School Rating
Kirtland 50 85,938 9


Central Ohio High Schools Highly Rated

The American Institutes for Research worked with U.S. News & World Report to rank schools relative to how those students performed based on the state’s average, how the schools are preparing students for college, and how minority/low-income students perform vs similar students in the state. They did this for 20,000 high schools around the nation.

Five of the central Ohio schools were ranked within the Top 10 in the State. Nine were ranked in the Top 25 of the State. Here are their rankings:

American Institutes for Research School Rankings
School Ohio Rank National Rank
Bexley 2 120
Dublin Jerome 5 156
Olentangy Liberty 7 216
Upper Arlington 9 244
Olentangy 10 256
Olentangy Orange 16 393
Dublin Coffman 17 410
Dublin Scioto 22 583
New Albany 25 659

Bexley, Upper Arlington, Dublin Coffman, Dublin Scioto and New Albany are located in Franklin County. The remaining schools are in southern Delaware County.

Read the complete Columbus Business 1st article

The Wheels on the Bus go round & round

Like other states, Ohio has a budget problem that our new Republican Governor is trying to fix. Discussions are taking place on revenue options for schools to prevent taxes from being raised to solve the budget problem. It’s been suggested that schools be allowed to sell ad space on the school buses.

If this occurs, I just know that Realtors® will be the first to buy ad space for the visibility throughout neighborhood homes. They’re the same agents who paste their face on park benches and grocery carts.

school busesA twitter person questioned why schools didn’t just purchase smaller buses, since we seldom see a bus full of kids except for teams and bands. That started me to wonder why the design of school buses hasn’t changed for eons. Even though our cars have changed drastically and become much safer, school buses still look essentially the same as when I was a kid.

They’re high-profile, not aerodynamic, and still use the hard brown seats without seatbelts. I don’t understand why they need to be so high unless it’s to allow people to stand up inside.

I wonder if buses could be downsized to a Hummer-like long vehicle like a limo? Since many schools pick up elementary kids separate from the highschool kids, they’re carrying fewer students each trip out. Maybe two of the Hummer-type buses could replace one typical bus at less cost with greater safety built-in. How important is it to stand up in the bus vs the potential cost savings?

Does anyone know whether there have been any challenges to the typical school bus design? Is there a perfectly good reason for the design to stay the same? Or has no one asked the question as to why this sacred cow remains unchanged?

I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Olentangy school district has LOTS of kids

The U.S. Census Bureau data is interesting, but not always that surprising. The Dispatch published a map that shows the percentage of kids under age 18 according to the school district area in which they live. The caveat is that the child may or may not attend the schools in the district where they live (perhaps they attend a private school).

Statewide, 23.7% of Ohio residents are younger than 18. In Central Ohio …

Four school districts exceed 30%: Olentangy 32.8%; New Albany 31.9%; Pickerington 31.1%; and Canal Winchester 30.9%.

central ohio school map of students under 18

Click to enlarge, then click again

Young families typically seek to live in a district that meets their needs/wants for their offspring yet is affordable for their home budget. Too many or too few students has implications on the district’s budget. A high ratio of kids, like Olentangy, can put pressure on needing to pass levies to build new schools. A low ratio, like Columbus, can cause lack of support to pass levies if residents don’t have school-age children.

Read other articles I’ve written similar to this subject:

Do you REALLY know where you live?

Searching the Internet for homes for sale in Delaware County by zip code can be a mistake. Likewise, trusting any housing stats that show the info by zip can be very misleading. Why? Because the boundaries for the zips in Delaware County have no relevance to municipalities or school districts or general geography.

The first home I purchased was located in Franklin County, in the Worthington School District, with a Dublin phone exchange. The property taxes were based on the city of Columbus with Columbus police, fire, trash and snow removal. My MAILING address was Powell 43065. Essentially, I wasn’t sure where I lived.

At that time, I inquired as to why I had a Powell mailing address since Powell is in Delaware County. I was told that it was due to the mail routes (and zips) being set up when the land was rural. They told me that Worthington wasn’t set up to do mail delivery to farm land properties.

Click map to enlarge

So fast forward to today to see how strange the zip codes are for southern Delaware County. I’m not sure how these zip boundaries were determined but since the area was farms until recent years, I suppose it has something to do with rural carrier routes. Even then, I don’t understand why 43015 (Delaware, orange area) extends all the way down to Powell Rd, west of Rt 23. Why doesn’t 43065 (Powell, lavender area) go straight to the east with Rt 23 as its border?

Another issue is that these zip areas contain multiple school districts. For example, the 43065 Powell zip contains portions of 4 school districts (Olentangy, Dublin, Worthington and Buckeye Valley). Because home sales/prices differ within each of the four school districts, it would be misleading to provide you with the data using only the zip code. A similar problem exists for the Galena zip code (43021, teal area) and the Delaware zip (43015, orange area). These additional areas also have multiple school districts which aren’t aligned with the zip boundaries.The Lewis Center zip code, 43035 is a little “cleaner”.

This “mess” is why I typically report sales by school district. First of all, doing so provides larger geography, making the reports a little easier to understand. Home buyers are “generally” a little more familiar with school district areas, and even if they don’t have children in school, they know that their property taxes will be impacted (high or low) by the levies from the schools.

The next time you see a real estate agent or a newspaper reporting on housing sales or prices, try to determine what they are using for their search, otherwise you’re apt to be misled..