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Who is moving to (and out of) the Heights?


jmontrose

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So my wife and I are thinking of moving to the heights with our 11 year old son.  Looking for neighborhoods with more kids than the 'Trose where we have been for a while.

 

I'm wondering how the demographics are changing now that all the new houses in the Heights seem to be pushing 7 figures.

 

Who is moving in to all of these mansions?  People with big families?  What ages?

 

Who is moving out?

 

What are you seeing on your streets and among your friends?

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On our block, we currently have 11 kids, all between 5-11. We did lose 3 to Garden Oaks about 2 yrs ago for schools, but the others seem to be going the private school route. Somewhat oddly (or not), the four newest adds on the street are empty nesters with grown kids, all moving into larger houses (new build, remodels).

We've been here 10 yrs now, and there are definitely more kids playing in the streets now than when we arrived, which has been great to see. I think with prices increasing so much, the pool of buyers leans towards the older/professionals. We know of a few couples that moved here recently, knowing they were going to start a family. They figured they have a couple years plus 5 before they have to decide on schooling. Enjoy the hood until then versus suburbia now. If those with kids could just link arms and stay, the schools could be great too.

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9 kids on my block.  But that is above average for the western side of the Heights.  We are zoned to Love.  No one intends to send their kids to Love.  We hit the HISD lottery as did one other family on the block.  All the others are sending their kids to private school.  No one is planning on moving out of the neighborhood for schools. 

 

It used to be the norm that people would move to the Heights with the intention of moving to the burbs once their kids are school age.  But now due to the massive change in the price point it takes to get into the neighborhood (and to get into other close-in neighborhoods like GOOF, Spring Valley and Bellaire), most everyone is buying with the intention of staying.  Commute times from the burbs have just gotten ridiculous and quality of life inside the loop has improved tremendously.  So, more and more people are willing to pay for private school or work to improve public schools because a move to the burbs ends up being at best a sideways move in terms of quality of life for a family.

 

The transition in the schools is moving quickly, but it is not easy.  Harvard and Travis are great.  Parents are making a big push to help Field turn around.  Helms is getting there.  Love and Browning have a long way to go.  There are more and more families sending their kids to Hamilton and Hogg. 

 

For every segment of housing, any assumption you make will be filled with so many exceptions that it just isn't safe to make any assumptions.  I always assumed that the seven figure houses would all go to older empty nesters or DINKs who had no intention of having kids.  But three of the most recent seven figure sales around me all went to families with babies and pre-k/toddlers.  On Saturday morning, a trip to the local breakfast/coffee spots is like going to a Gymboree class.  We were playing at Jaycee park earlier this month and the place was packed with four different birthday parties going on.  A few years a go when we first started going there, barely any kids would be there even on the weekend.  So, if I were to make a guess, I would say that better than half of the new residents are younger couples with new families. 

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We built and lived in the Heights from 2003-2014. The number of kids increased greatly over those years.

There are a lot of families there.

We moved out of the Heights to have a larger yard and a smaller (but still good sized) one-story house. We have kids. They remain in private.

We just couldn't afford the kind of house and lot we wanted in the Heights anymore. So, we left the property taxes behind. We moved to a more modest neighborhood to offset tuition.

The Heights is a great place to live. I'm glad we were able to be a part of it.

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Thanks s3mh! I  do hear a lot about people moving to the Heights with small children or to start families (good elementary schools).  I also hear about people like "lilyheights" who move out (as much as they love the heights) for more affordable space (and better middle/high schools).

 

Some people say "Big houses will give more people the option to stay" or "we plan/hope to stay".  

 

But I am still looking for examples of a family with children age 10-13 moving into the central Heights, or upgrading to a new house in the heights, within the last year.  (bounded by Shepard-20th-Studewood-Whiteoak).  

 

Has anyone seen this?

 

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I don't understand the disdain for Love Elementary. It's a decent school with a good principal. Lots of non-zoned students fight to go there.

 

It is not really disdain as much as a reality that the school is made up of 90% economically disadvantaged kids and about 60-70% at risk kids.  I do not doubt that the teachers and principal are doing a good job.  But the reality is that most of the kids come to kindergarten with no pre-k and many are just learning numbers and letters for the first time.  The kids who have pre-k are ready to learn to read and write.  There is only so much in the way of heroics that a kindergarten teacher can do to manage the wide range of learning levels in that kind of situation.  And things just get worse when it gets close to time for testing. 

 

Love does have a large number of transfer students.  But they are not coming from Harvard, Travis, Helms, etc. 

 

They are starting a dual language program at Love.  That might help get people motivated to send their kids to Love.  But there is still a long way to go.  Most people I know zoned to Love do not consider it as an option at all. 

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Of course, everyone forgets that Harvard was much like Love just a few years ago. I cannot believe the racism/classism I am seeing here on this topic. If you gave a crap about your neighborhood, you would send your kids to an HISD school and get involved.

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Of course, everyone forgets that Harvard was much like Love just a few years ago. I cannot believe the racism/classism I am seeing here on this topic. If you gave a crap about your neighborhood, you would send your kids to an HISD school and get involved.

You think you see it here? Go on NextDoor, the friendly neighborhood app, and you’ll read how lots of people think.  It makes me sad that some people actually think this way. These local schools and teachers need everyone’s help. Do you think they aren’t trying their best to help EVERY child get a good education? I'll tell you this, if you teach your child at home what is right or wrong, they will be fine at any school. 

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You think you see it here? Go on NextDoor, the friendly neighborhood app, and you’ll read how lots of people think.  It makes me sad that some people actually think this way. These local schools and teachers need everyone’s help. Do you think they aren’t trying their best to help EVERY child get a good education? I'll tell you this, if you teach your child at home what is right or wrong, they will be fine at any school. 

Oh God... NextDoor is the Houston Chron comments section on steroids.

 

Edit: On Nextdoor, some person started a thread that a helicopter was flying over the Heights and a person repeatedly responded that it's the federal government coming here to invade us simply because we are hostile.............................................................The look on my face.

Edited by Triton
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Of course, everyone forgets that Harvard was much like Love just a few years ago. I cannot believe the racism/classism I am seeing here on this topic. If you gave a crap about your neighborhood, you would send your kids to an HISD school and get involved.

 

My kids go to an HISD school, just not Love.  The school's demographics are well balanced in terms of economics and race and it is much more middle class than Harvard or Travis.

 

Harvard was NOTHING like Love a few years ago.  Not even close.  You would have to go back well over a decade to see Harvard anywhere close to Love in terms of demographics and on its "transition" trajectory.  Love may very well progress faster than Harvard because the real estate market is much more aggressive than it was when Harvard started to turn around.  But, my kids are already in school and would completely miss that turnaround.

 

HISD has a school choice system with magnets and transfers.  That system helps build up schools like Harvard and Travis as much as  and possibly more so than the participation of zoned parents.  So, you can actually thank all the racists and classists you berate for helping build up Harvard and Travis.  But, the unintended consequence of that system is that it pulls students away from schools like Love and leaves them to bear the burden of a disproportionate number of disadvantaged kids.  While it may be admirable for parents to have their kid attend a school like Love to "take one for the team", the reality is that kids can get a better education at other HISD schools. 

 

If you want to wag your finger at someone and call people racist/classist, look to the people who move to the pastey white burbs as soon as their kids are ready for school or who send their kids to high priced private schools.  My kids are in HISD and I pay plenty in taxes to be entitled to the best HISD has to offer.   

 

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To answer your question, I lived here in 91-93 and moved back around 2011. Wouldn't move anywhere else... all the development is coming to us. Don't have any kids and am not married (have a girlfriend), but we have no intention of leaving anytime soon. The Heights just keeps getting better.

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Ok this is not a thread about the quality of the schools. We will be in a private school no matter what.

My question is: is there any indication that people with kids in grades 6-9 are moving to the heights into any of the newly built single family homes?

So far the answer seems to be "no"....

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jmontrose,

 

I will try to give you a balanced answer as there is already a lot of finger-waging going on :). We lived in Timbergrove up until Allison/flood. We ended up in the Heights (west - between Shepherd/Yale and 16th/11th) as a result. This was in 2002 when no one was really moving to the Heights. We had already decided to stay in "the loop" and not commute, a radical decision at that time. So we are biased. In Timbergrove we were originally zoned to Sinclair but were suddenly sectioned off to Love El . No matter, as we were already pretty dedicated to private schools at that point. Our first child tested into Travis back when you could only test at one Vanguard school and she got in, but we decided to take another path. Our reasoning was based on the testing that was starting to go crazy (ha, ha, compared to now!) and the specter of middle school. We felt like we could carve out a pretty good (or better) elementary experience but would be really scrambling for MS. Middle School is a crap-shoot where ever you are thanks to the age range, but HISD middle schools are really a low point. We followed our heart and instinct into private schools and never looked back. We are pasty white but not willing to sacrifice our kids to the whole studying to the test among other things. My opinions are pretty fixed but here they are:

 

The test that sucks up so much time in public school is really a joke. In private schools, the annual test (ERB) is one that is much broader in application and thus is a better marker of "achievement". What they serve up in public schools is such a lower benchmark compared to this so kids who are "passing" would not make the mark in the private school arena. I probably just brought a lot of hate on me with that statement, but it is true. 

 

Private schools do not have to spend all that time on the "test".  

 

Diversity: Private schools don't have the same diversity as public schools in Houston, but they definitely have diversity - it is just different. 

 

Bottom line - one of my kids would have been lost to MS and HS would have been a sad addendum. The other would have been lost to different forces but with not much outcome. They are both thriving - one in a post-grad situation and the other in a terrific though unknown in NE school. Would they have done OK in HISD and TX colleges? Who knows but I don't think they would have done as well.

 

Let the hate begin . . . .

 

 

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And to the original question - sorry for the segue - I think there are tons more kids in the Heights than there used to be. The challenge is how to bring them together in a neighborhood kind of way. That wasn't much of an option for my kids since we moved to the Heights at a different time. I don't know the answer. We always signed up for all the kid oriented things: MFAH classes, HMNS classes, zoo classes, etc. Naomi Smulian was a great exception with the art classes, but most of the things we had available where elsewhere. I did put an old-fashioned bell hose along our driveway recently to warn walkers as there are so many more and we have a bit of a blind driveway situation. There are lots of folks walking dogs and babies that I never had seen before. The Heights is at heart a choice, but for the right folks a very good one. You just have to want it and make it work. just my humble opinion!

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As of next month, I will have been in Sunset Heights for 6 years.  There were hardly any families with children living here in the first few years.  The neighborhood was turning around, but it still felt pretty sketchy with lots of stray dogs and shady people wandering in from Airline and North Main.  It was hardly a family friendly environment.   

 

Now, I see parents out walking with their kids almost every evening.  Granted most of these kids are probably under age 10, but lately I have noticed a few new families with middle school and high school age kids.  It seems like most of the new families around me are young couples with newborns/toddlers who have outgrown a townhome, or empty nesters who have decided to move back to city, since schools are no longer an issue for them.

 

I know Heights schools have come a long way, but I'm with Heightsfamily.  I have a lot of issues with HISD and their approach to educating children.  Regardless of what Houston neighborhood I live in, I will only consider private schools for my children.

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I went to school at Love around 1980. It wasn't the best school but I was zoned to it. Was a little rough but I learned a lot and moved on to Middle school. Parents taught us to respect everyone and to treat everyone the same. I had some friends that knew no English when they started at Love and learned English as they grew up. I didn't know about classes back then, thanks to my parents. I hear it is an up and coming school. Good luck to them.

Welcome to the Heights!

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In the Woodland Heights here. I have nieces around that age in the neighborhood and they seem to have lots of friends within walking distance around them.  

 

To answer the question about who is moving in and out, new neighbors in the past years seem to be 50% doctors and/or lawyers (seriously is everyone moving in a doctor or lawyer??) with one or two small kids and then 50% emptynesters. The people moving out seem to be a mix of cases with a lot being related to old age issues.  

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Longtime former Heights resident as many of you know. My family lived on East 26th from 1947-2002. The schools have come a long way since then. I went to Waltrip because my parents looked at John H. Reagan for what it was back then, a cesspool. Things have changed tremendously from just 15 years ago. Sure, the Heights is much cleaner now, the biggest portion of the original occupants of the bungalows have died off, and businesses that never would have set foot in the Heights back then, are now beating down a path to set up shop in the old neighborhood.

The Heights has gained a lot in the last 2 decades and lost an equal amount in the same time frame. The biggest gain is that the area is overrun by yuppies as opposed to gangbangers these days, the biggest loss would be the charm. The Heights used to function as its own little community, and a very tight knit one at that. Sure, it was significantly rougher then than in it is in its current state, but we survived, we learned, and we were more street smart for it.

The commentary above is somewhat amusing to me. People are scared to send kids to Love?!? Love Elementary? Simply wow...please be careful. There's a significant chance of rain this week, and with that nose so high up in the air you just might drown.

What a travesty if your child ends up going to school and ends up sitting next to a poor person.

Let's also add that a significant amount of those old people that moved out of the Heights did so because they were priced out of their homes that they had owned for decades and decades.

When taxes doubled and tripled on these Heights homeowners in the late 90s, many of them that relied solely on thier SSI check just to get by, didn't have much of a choice other than to move out. Think about this, my grandparents house on 26th wouldn't sell in 1992 for $38,000. We couldn't have given it away, if we'd tried. Same house, no major changes, sold in 2002 for $105,000. The guy we sold it to removed the 220 window unit, stripped the aluminum siding from the house, added central AC & heat, repainted the house, and took out the carpeting re-exposing the hardwoods, turned around and sold it in less than two years for $190,000. A lot of people left their homes because they had to do it. Others unfortunately were rent houses and the slumlord owners that owned those falling down disrepaired shacks, pulled a Steve Miller and took the money and ran. That's what started the whole thing right there. Slumlord owners that saw the chance to dump their beaten down old bungalows to a developer for big land money, they sold, other landowners saw what the developers were paying for the run down properties and figured what the hell, they can have mine too for that kind of money. I mean, you show 100 grand to someone that hadn't made that much money in their entire lifetime, and of course they're going to jump on it. That was big money to my parent's and especially my grandparent's generation.

In conclusion, I'd like to offer a one man standing "O" for both Bullman & Ross. It would be my privilege to shake hands with both of you gentlemen. You are spot on with your responses.

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Btw, before I'm accused of being one of those that moved out of the Heights to the lavish lifestyle of the ritzy 'burbs, as of last Saturday, I live in Acres Homes now (N. Shepherd @ Parker). Prior to that, my wife and I lived in Camden Park (Vets Memorial @ Antoine). Not exactly the wealthiest class of neighbors, either.

Edited by Purpledevil
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Have two kids, walking distance to Travis.  Not ready for Kindergarten yet, but will soon.  No other kids on our tiny street, but lots in the area.  Seen many homeowners change, about half are empty nesters (many of whom are now grandparents whose grandkids are potential playmates for ours down the road) and younger families that may be just starting out.  There is a definite price jump when you look at Harvard and Travis zones and the houses that are within.  If HISD schooling isn't an issue for you, I'd start by looking outside the prime elementary school zones since you'll be paying a premium and wont need it.  Its an extraordinary neighborhood though, I can't imagine being anywhere else.  

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Its not racist or classist to not want to send your kids to a school that's not up to par. Im not sending my kids to a school where more than half cannot speak english.  What kind of education are they actually getting??  Also, 92% hispanic is not diverse, so you cant say that not wanting your kids there shows that we're scared of diversity. 

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I went to Waltrip because my parents looked at John H. Reagan for what it was back then, a cesspool.

The commentary above is somewhat amusing to me. People are scared to send kids to Love?!? Love Elementary? Simply wow...please be careful. There's a significant chance of rain this week, and with that nose so high up in the air you just might drown.

What a travesty if your child ends up going to school and ends up sitting next to a poor person.

 

 

So, it is just fine when your parents decide to send you to a different school because of concerns about the affect the student body may have on your education, but when parents of children zoned to Love do the exact same thing, they are monsters.  Please.

 

It is easy to wag your finger at someone when it is not your kids. 

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Its not racist or classist to not want to send your kids to a school that's not up to par. Im not sending my kids to a school where more than half cannot speak english. What kind of education are they actually getting?? Also, 92% hispanic is not diverse, so you cant say that not wanting your kids there shows that we're scared of diversity.

Correct. It's exactly the opposite. In the new hyper sensitive culture of America, sending your kids to a school that is 92% Hispanic should be showing that you are racist. Unless, of course the people who like to race bait every issue they can aren't logically consistent.

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Amazing, folks think Love is awful because of its demographics and won't send their kids there, then delicate flower about crappy neighborhood schools. Look in the mirror, the fault lies with you.

 

As for Middle Schools, the bulk of the people we know in the Greater Heights area are sending their kids to Hogg, Black, Lanier, or Hamilton. Check out the Learn Local folks for information on improving your local schools by sending your kids to them, especially Hogg.

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Once upon a time Travis was in pretty dire shape, too.  What happened?  A group of parents who were willing to put in the effort to make it a good school rolled up their sleeves and made it so, rather than recoiling in horror at the reality that they were the minority at the time.

 

For what it's worth, when I was a little white bread kid I started to learn Spanish in second grade - not by choice, either.  To this day I maintain that it helped with my ability to express myself in English, not to mention being able to navigate around and enjoy places other than homogeneous bubbles.

 

Riffing off of another thread, perhaps it's time to build some front yard dinosaurs of my own...

Edited by mollusk
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So, it is just fine when your parents decide to send you to a different school because of concerns about the affect the student body may have on your education, but when parents of children zoned to Love do the exact same thing, they are monsters. Please.

It is easy to wag your finger at someone when it is not your kids.

No, I wanted to attend Reagan. It's where my friends from the neighborhood went and I wasn't happy about going to Waltrip. I'm sorry, I didn't make that clearer in the earlier posting. It was a bad school in the 80s. There's an iron fence around it as a result of that period, but it was my preference. I would've received the very same HISD diploma from Reagan, but in my mind my folks didn't trust me to do what I needed to do to graduate regardless of the surroundings. My parent's decision to know "what was best for me" in their mind, is a direct result as to why I have the opinion I do about it. My parents had that racist side that many of their generation did. That was par for them and so many like them, so it was accepted. Sad to see that their are those out there, here in the 21st century, that share in those antiquated ideas. Please yourself, the poor and foreign born are people too, and neither deserve to be looked down upon.

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Once upon a time Travis was in pretty dire shape, too.  What happened?  A group of parents who were willing to put in the effort to make it a good school rolled up their sleeves and made it so, rather than recoiling in horror at the reality that they were the minority at the time.

 

 

That's a good idea, but in practice upper middle class parents tend to be more concerned with careers, socializing, and their own personal lifestyles to spend much time trying to improve the schools.  They'd prefer to drop the kids off at a school with "the right sort of people" so they don't have to unduly worry about how the school is raising their children.

 

The only exceptions to that that I've seen is where the parents were raised in large, close-knit, loving families and in particular where one spouse deliberately leaves a lucrative career to stay home and raise the kids.  That can be hard to do in a place like the Heights where two six figure salaries might be needed to buy a house big enough for a family.

 

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That's a good idea, but in practice upper middle class parents tend to be more concerned with careers, socializing, and their own personal lifestyles to spend much time trying to improve the schools.  They'd prefer to drop the kids off at a school with "the right sort of people" so they don't have to unduly worry about how the school is raising their children.

 

The only exceptions to that that I've seen is where the parents were raised in large, close-knit, loving families and in particular where one spouse deliberately leaves a lucrative career to stay home and raise the kids.  That can be hard to do in a place like the Heights where two six figure salaries might be needed to buy a house big enough for a family.

 

 

http://www.houstoniamag.com/articles/2014/8/3/return-of-the-neighborhood-school-learn-local-august-2014

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I went to Reagan in the late 80's and it was a good experience and I have friends from there that I still communicate with to this day. There were certain groups of kids that weren’t the nicest or some that didn’t want to go there. Minor gang problems, drinking and drugs with certain groups was certainly a problem. I knew many people and was friendly with everyone. People that I know who live out in the burbs or some of these private schools have the same problems. Maybe no gangs, but definitely 'groups' that hang together. They are kids. I point it all to the home where these kids come from. If you can be involved in your kid’s life and teach them right from wrong, they will be fine wherever.

 

 

I read sometimes how some of these new folks think about people not in their same 'level' and it saddens me. You should be able to rub elbows with anyone. That usually starts with your parents. IMO

 

Edited by BullMan008
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We lived in Sunset Heights for several years (2001-2008).  There were no kids on our street until we moved and then only one other family with kids.  We were zoned to Helms Elem at the time.  We moved because we needed another bathroom with a kid that was potty training age and we were exhausted from diy remodeling for the entire time we lived there.  

 

We moved to Lazybrook where we now have 2 bathrooms.  The neighborhood was pretty much blue hair when we moved in but now has lots of younger folks.  We were the only family with a kid on our block in 2008 and now there are 3 other families with kids.  We are zoned to Sinclair but when the kindergarten teacher suggested I drug my kid, we got in the lottery to move to another magnet school.  We're at Harvard now.  I would prefer Travis but we couldn't get in there.  I am happy with the zoned middle school (Black) and don't anticipate putting in for a transfer to another magnet school when we get to that point.  Harvard is pushing Hogg Middle School because it's a continuation of their IB program.  My neighbor that has a school aged child is sending her to Travis.  My husband refuses to pay for private school when he's already paying taxes for school.  My kid is exposed to every type of person and I'm happy about it even though he's still a little spoiled.  He knows kids at Travis, Harvard, Sinclair and Love because of his involvement with little league and cub scouts and Esperanza after school.  I would be comfortable moving him around from school to school if needed because it's not a drastic change for him.  The whole area is a really good community and you start moving in the same circles with other people that have kids just by virtue of participating in extra curricular activities.

 

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That's a good idea, but in practice upper middle class parents tend to be more concerned with careers, socializing, and their own personal lifestyles to spend much time trying to improve the schools.  They'd prefer to drop the kids off at a school with "the right sort of people" so they don't have to unduly worry about how the school is raising their children.

 

The only exceptions to that that I've seen is where the parents were raised in large, close-knit, loving families and in particular where one spouse deliberately leaves a lucrative career to stay home and raise the kids.  That can be hard to do in a place like the Heights where two six figure salaries might be needed to buy a house big enough for a family.

 

 

That is just a bunch of bull.  If anything, I have seen parents getting too involved with schools because they obsess over their kids development.  My wife works full time and is co-room mother with another mom who works full time.  Both are professionals and have family incomes that put them in the upper middle class demographic.  Every time I pick up my kid from school, there is a long

 

A few years before my kids were ready to start school, we looked at Love.  There were parents trying to get organized and replicate the successes of Harvard and Travis.  5-6 years ago, the feeling was that Love was next for a turnaround and Field was stuck because the principal at Love was very receptive to parents getting involved and the principal at Field was not very welcoming.  Everyone rallied very hard to keep Love from closing back in 2011.  Love tried to get a magnet program for computer science when the current principal took over about 5-6 years ago.  But that came too late as HISD was moving in the direction of scaling back magnets.  There was a "Friends of Love" group for a while, but it fizzled and did not seem to be able to mesh well with the existing PTO.  Now, there is momentum at Field with a new principal in place.  Every year, parents have been trying to get organized to work on improving Love, but there just has not been any momentum.  The number of zoned kids going to Love from the Heights has remained at just a trickle even though there is lots of interest and numerous attempts at getting groups of parents organized to help the school. 

 

HISD just does not seem to want to back Love the way it backed Harvard and Travis with magnet programs.  Magnet kids have to maintain a B average and are generally from families that are more motivated about their kids' education because they are wiling to take the time to deal with the lottery and drive their kid around town to find the best school.  Harvard, Travis and school in GOOF have benefitted greatly from the presence of their magnet programs which are probably as much the secret to their success as parental involvement.  Love has a difficult task of trying to improve without the benefit of a magnet program. 

 

We chose a magnet program instead of Love.  It was the right choice.  Our school is on a very good trajectory with lots of parental involvement.  It is actually more diverse than Harvard and Travis.  It is about 50% at risk and white kids are in the minority.  We had spots at private schools, but gladly gave them up for HISD. 

 

It is a bit funny how people wag their finger at parents who do not want to send their kids to Love because the student body is overwhelmingly low income and at risk, but at the same time argue that the only way these schools can improve is if the middle and upper middle class kids zoned to the school attend the school.  I never thought HAIF would be a hub for PC witch hunts.  The reality is that schools like Love are focused on all the issues that come with a large at risk population of students.   Most of the extra time teachers have is spent trying to keep kids from failing behind.  At the other schools, kids are held to higher standards and have more opportunities to do advanced work and get ahead.  If there were good signs of growth and forward momentum at Love, I would have been willing to take a risk.  But there just has not been any real momentum.  So, I made the right choice.

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I'm on no witch hunt, and am probably one of the least PC people in here.

You know why I wag the finger? Because it doesn't matter how you try to spin the original statement's wording, the intent is pretty clear. Those class of people are beneath my child and ultimately me, and there's no way I'm sending my child there to be corrupted by those undesirable elements.

Mine went to Aldine after a long argument with my wife, over this very same thing. She wanted him to use her parents address so he could go to Terry in Rosenberg because Aldine was too rough for him, and he won't get the attention there that he would at Terry, and so on and so on. When it was said and done, my boy graduated a Mustang.

I'm certainly not trying to tell someone else how to raise their kids, but try having a little faith in them that they will make the right decision when faced with such adversity.

S3mh, I don't necessarily disagree with what you did. If Love's curriculum isn't up to par, then you did the best thing for your child. That's a whole different set of circumstances altogether, and I applaud you for seeing to it that your child received the finest education available to him/her. I have no qualms with that. I do have a problem, however, when someone basically walks in the front door of the school house, takes a look around, says "Oh my, look at all the Mexicans!" and walks right back out because their child would be "put at a disadvantage" by attending the same school as them.

Apparently, you moved your child for the right reasons, s3mh. Given the wording of the other poster, it seems they did not, and are trying to mask their true feelings with a bunch of fancy words such as "underprivileged" and "English deficient".

...and some people actually wonder why we white folks are hated by so many.

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I'm on no witch hunt, and am probably one of the least PC people in here.

You know why I wag the finger? Because it doesn't matter how you try to spin the original statement's wording, the intent is pretty clear. Those class of people are beneath my child and ultimately me, and there's no way I'm sending my child there to be corrupted by those undesirable elements.

Mine went to Aldine after a long argument with my wife, over this very same thing. She wanted him to use her parents address so he could go to Terry in Rosenberg because Aldine was too rough for him, and he won't get the attention there that he would at Terry, and so on and so on. When it was said and done, my boy graduated a Mustang.

I'm certainly not trying to tell someone else how to raise their kids, but try having a little faith in them that they will make the right decision when faced with such adversity.

S3mh, I don't necessarily disagree with what you did. If Love's curriculum isn't up to par, then you did the best thing for your child. That's a whole different set of circumstances altogether, and I applaud you for seeing to it that your child received the finest education available to him/her. I have no qualms with that. I do have a problem, however, when someone basically walks in the front door of the school house, takes a look around, says "Oh my, look at all the Mexicans!" and walks right back out because their child would be "put at a disadvantage" by attending the same school as them.

Apparently, you moved your child for the right reasons, s3mh. Given the wording of the other poster, it seems they did not, and are trying to mask their true feelings with a bunch of fancy words such as "underprivileged" and "English deficient".

...and some people actually wonder why we white folks are hated by so many.

 

I think people care more about the quality of the education provided at certain HISD schools as opposed to the ethnic makeup of those schools.  We decided to send our kids to private school as we were not zoned to Harvard or Travis and are incredibly happy with the decision (although in all honestly we probably would have sent our kids to private school even if they were zoned to Harvard or Travis or any other HISD school but that is a personal choice).  The private school they attend is quite diverse which we are pleased with because part of an education is being around people of different cultures, who don't look just like us, etc.  It is actually one of the major reasons why we decided to stay living where we do instead of moving to the suburbs as exposing our kids to people of all different socio-economic backgrounds, racial backgrounds, cultures, etc. was something we highly valued.

 

All that being said I think it is a reasonable concern for a parent to have that if a high majority of students don't speak english, come into the school without knowing how to read, etc. that the quality of their kids education is going to take a hit.  It is certainly sad for those other kids and is part of the way our school systems are setup but one of the most important jobs I have as a parent is to give my children the best education they can and I'm not going to criticize a parent who chooses to not use their kids as guinea pigs in helping to turn a school around.

 

On a different note I actually attended Terry High School and thought it was a pretty bad school from an education standpoint (I'd also describe it as fairly rough).

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jmontrose

you are getting just about everything but an answer to your question! You talk about kids in the Heights and this inevitably turns into a discussion on schools in the Heights. Heights people tend to be a passionate lot. I don't necessarily think schools bring kids to an inner loop neighborhood school (there are a few exceptions in Houston). So how do you find out about that elusive age group like your 11 year old son? What is he interested in? There is a very active scout troop in the Heights. I don't know if there are too many really active youth groups in Heights churches. We go to church downtown so it is always a bit of a struggle with the youth as there is not that "parish" community though currently there seems to be growth in this group. There are two little leagues active in the area. You mentioned your son is in private school. Ask the school to give you the list of students in the Heights zip codes - that could be telling. I will say that my first started private school in 1997 when we lived in Timbergrove and there was absolutely no hope of a carpool. We were the only ones in 77008. By the time my second graduated from HS in 2014 there were lots of contemporaries in this zip code. My son used to complain in elementary school that we did not live in West U where much of his classmates lived. He saw that they had lots of informal play opportunities. Trying to explain why we chose the Heights over West U was challenging, but he (college sophomore now) has commented recently how much he appreciates growing up in our neighborhood and sees some of the limitations of a neighborhood like West U. Good luck!

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It is a bit funny how people wag their finger at parents who do not want to send their kids to Love because the student body is overwhelmingly low income and at risk, but at the same time argue that the only way these schools can improve is if the middle and upper middle class kids zoned to the school attend the school.  I never thought HAIF would be a hub for PC witch hunts.  The reality is that schools like Love are focused on all the issues that come with a large at risk population of students.   Most of the extra time teachers have is spent trying to keep kids from failing behind.  At the other schools, kids are held to higher standards and have more opportunities to do advanced work and get ahead.  If there were good signs of growth and forward momentum at Love, I would have been willing to take a risk.  But there just has not been any real momentum.  So, I made the right choice.

 

No PC on HAIF?  You must have missed the 100+ page thread on the Heights Walmart.

 

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JMontrose - This is what I've noticed, purely anecdotally:

 

People moving into the large $850+ renovated or new-build houses in the Heights predominately have very young children or are less than a year out from that. The comfort with the elementary and middle schools now is significantly better than with Reagan.

 

Due to this, it seems that a lot of these couples are ones who have kids later in life. Mostly because there aren't a ton of 28yos buying $1mm houses. Thinking about the surrounding blocks, all the new families that have moved here into new/renovated houses, the parents are all 35+. Just an interesting dynamic.

 

I will say, I wish there were more community things to do. For instance, we don't have a pool and really have no care for one, but I would happily pay $2500/year to have a pool club in the Heights.

 

Also, we're not religious at all, but wish there was a place that had all the community events of a church. Hell, just a place to meet other couples of small kids. I guess that's what grade school is for.

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The only people I see use the term "politically correct" are the people who complain about the "other side shoving PC down our throats" kinda bs. Whereas the progressive's, or the accused PC'er's, don't care so much about being whatever it is conservative white people delicate flower about. They care more about not being assholes to underprivileged people who haven't been given the same opportunity to succeed in life as others.

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Thanks everyone - I really didn't care about the quality of the Heights schools, since we will be in a private school.  

 

But I got an education very quickly here- the MISMATCH between (percieved) quality and demographics of the elementary VS Middle/High Schools here is a driving force.    

 

Here's what I was trying to find out.  If I move to the Heights, and my 11 year old son is a private school outside the loop, are there likely to be other boys around for him to play with informally, now and for next few years, within walking distance of my house  (and is it safe for an 11 year old to walk three blocks without crossing a major street?).

 

Here is what I have concluded from the evidence so far: from this post, a post to Heights Moms, and a post to Next Door Heights, and to various people in the Heights.  

  1. A lot of people started moving to the heights a few years ago, with wee-ones or planning to start families.  Those people could obviously afford the houses in the heights at that time.  The "good" elementary schools with the demographics they like helped them feel like that would be fine even if they couldn't afford private school.
  2. Most of those families outgrow the place they had when they moved there.  (Mostly small houses)
  3. Some of those families have had their income grow by the same proportion as housing prices, and can afford to buy a bigger place in the Heights now.  (Maybe haven't really heard of them).
  4. But some of those families can also afford RiverOaks / Memorial now and decide to move there.  (The house we were looking at north of White Oak is a family with 2 kids moving to West U).
  5. And Lots of families cannot afford to expand in the Heights now.  Incomes have not typically tripled like home prices in the Heights.   Esp if it means they will be sending their kids to a private High school with $20K per kid added. So they move.   WHO takes their place?
  6. The people who are choosing to move to the heights now to buy houses in the 800K+ range are very likely to be either Empty Nester's or people with young kids (going to those "good" elementary schools you guys are all fighting about).
  7. The people in the big new houses with little kids will probably have enough room to stay as long as they like.  Their income will probably grow enough to enable them to afford private schools, and they will probably stay. (Just my guess).  Maybe the public school demographics will shift as well.  They are probably older parents who will have smaller families also.

I did hear from a lot of people with kids that age who are staying in the heights.

I even heard of one family moving in with a kid at St Thomas high.  

I heard from people ashamed to admit they moved away for better schools and bigger houses.

I talked to a mom who has 2 boys that age in the area I was looking who sadly shook her head and said that there were not a lot of boys that age around.

These are all anecdotes. 

 

But the combination of rapid price appreciation combined with a drop-off public school desirability will, on average, mean that there will be fewer and fewer kids my son's age for the next 6 years...  

 

I haven't ruled it out, lots to love about the Heights.   But all these new houses being built are not a sign that a lot more boys his age would be moving in.

 

 

 
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JMontrose - This is what I've noticed, purely anecdotally:

 

People moving into the large $850+ renovated or new-build houses in the Heights predominately have very young children or are less than a year out from that. The comfort with the elementary and middle schools now is significantly better than with Reagan.

 

Due to this, it seems that a lot of these couples are ones who have kids later in life. Mostly because there aren't a ton of 28yos buying $1mm houses. Thinking about the surrounding blocks, all the new families that have moved here into new/renovated houses, the parents are all 35+. Just an interesting dynamic.

 

I will say, I wish there were more community things to do. For instance, we don't have a pool and really have no care for one, but I would happily pay $2500/year to have a pool club in the Heights.

 

Also, we're not religious at all, but wish there was a place that had all the community events of a church. Hell, just a place to meet other couples of small kids. I guess that's what grade school is for.

 

Isn't there a city of Houston pool over on 35th?  Or are we looking for something a little more exclusive?

 

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There's even a city pool at Stude park. But it's Memorial Day to Labor Day, is basically just a lap pool, no lounges, no food etc. I'm not looking for the Briar Club, but something at the same level or nicer than Afton Village Swim Club. A kiddie pool, a decent grill, a lap pool. Westside, but 20 minutes closer and better food. The Kickstarter Stretch goal would be a lazy river.

 

Not more exclusive, just nicer with better hours.

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