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Schools in Murfreesboro- Any good?

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Seattle, WA
posts: 9
Schools in Murfreesboro- Any good?

My family and I are possibly relocating to Tennessee from the Seattle area (I know, a big move!). The cost of living has gotten so outrageous here, and we've heard so many wonderful things about Tennessee. We are actually coming out the 1st week of April to check things out. I have 2 boys, and schools are the #1 priority for me. (one elementary, and 1 middle school). We really want affordable housing, and wonderful schools. (I know, I'm asking for a lot!) We are thinking of the Murfreesboro area (husband would work in Nashville). Does anyone have any info on schools in that area? I checked one school website I heard of, but it has limited info. I was hoping for some first hand comments. It is so hard to do this long distance!! I've learned so much from everyone here, what a wonderful website! Thanks again.

Murfreesboro, TN
posts: 1
1. Re: Schools in Murfreesboro- Any good?

Most of the schools are pretty good here; I would say the Siegal schools and the Blackman schools are as far as I know, the best in the Murfreesboro area. If you go to Williamson County, where I am from, you get the best schools in the state (by test scores). Brentwood is a much higher price range area, but Nolensville, where my parents live, is right next to Brentwood, has its own brand new elementary and middle schools and is zoned for Ravenwood High School in Brentwood, one of the newest schools in the county, the up-and-coming best school in the county, and the 2005 football state champion school (football is huge here in the south, but they also have state of the art facilities for anything else your boys could desire to get involved with at school...choir, other athletics, art, theater, stage production, tv broadcasting, you name it). My brother is graduating from there this year and we both personally know the principal: she is a very intelligent, very capable woman. It's a great area to be in, closer to Nashville than Murfreesboro is, has a wonderful shopping area nearby, and is just overall a great place to grow up in; I know, I lived there from 4th grade on...

Murfreesboro, TN
posts: 1
2. Re: Schools in Murfreesboro- Any good?

I wanted to respond to your post because I've been spending a lot of time looking into schools for my 4th grader. He currently attends Black Fox Elementary in Murfreesboro and has since kindergarten, which is when we moved here from Virginia. Of course, the cost of housing is much more affordable here than in Seattle and that is no small thing. Murfreesboro/Rutherford County is cheaper than Nashville/Davidson Co. and much less expensive than Franklin/Williamson Co. And, compared to N/DC, M/RC schools are good. And the other poster is right that F/WC county schools are considered the best in the state. But when the state is Tennessee, that aint saying much. By comparison to other states in the nation, Tennessee's public schools are not great. Do not expect that the public schools here will be as good as the public schools in Seattle. We have been so disappointed with the level of education that we have finally decided that private school is the only real option for our smart kid. This after 4-1/2 years of trying to push for more complex learning and critical thinking kinds of skills in our son's public school. This is not to say that your children definitely WON'T get a good education here, but it's more likely to be mediocre than great. That said, in Murfreesboro, Siegel and Blackman schools are considered the best, in part because they are the newest schools. Depending on the age of your elementary school child, you may be able to get him into McFadden (4th grade is the biggest entry point after kindergarten) or Bellwood, which are merit schools. I'm not trying to be discouraging but our general experience has been that the public schools are lacking here.

Seattle, WA
posts: 9
3. Re: Schools in Murfreesboro- Any good?

Wow,

thank you both so much for the info, I will definitely keep all of this in mind when we come out your way. My son will be entering 5th grade this year, and my older one will be entering 8th, so if we're going to make this move, I feel we should do it now, and not keep waiting. This is such a hard decision, the schools are great here, but definitely getting over-crowded. But with the cost of living the way it is here, I feel we could give the boys so much more with this move. I don't know, I'm hoping coming out in April will answer a lot of questions (as well as this great website!) Thanks again.

Murfreesboro, TN
posts: 206
reviews: 29
4. Re: Schools in Murfreesboro- Any good?

I have lived here in Murfreesboro for all of my 31 years, and I have seen the schools grow and change, some for better, some for worse.

The previous posters are pretty accurate... Siegel and Blackman are considered better schools in M'boro. Let me just add to that and say that a school you DON'T want your child going to is Central Middle School. When I went there, it was the only middle school in M'boro, and it was fine. Now it's not the only school, and it has suffered for it. My cousin has taught English there for some years, but she is leaving soon because she just doesn't feel safe there.

Besides McFadden and Bellwood, you might also want to look into getting your younger son into Homer Pittard Campus School. While it is technically a public school, it is very much like a private school, but without the tuition. There is no zoning restriction, so you could live all the way across town and it wouldn't matter. It is affiliated with Middle Tenn. State University, and Campus School students enjoy many educational benefits as a result of that relationship. Enrollment is limited and subject to a waiting list. While children can be put on the waiting list for kindergarten as early as 3 years old, each grade has its own separate waiting list. I'm sure the waiting list for each grade is shorter as you reach each higher grade. It might be worth your while just to put your son on that list, because Campus School is far and away the best public school in Rutherford County, and probably in the state as well. The test scores are consistently unbelievably high. I went there, and I intend to put my child on the waiting list for kindergarten there. Also, the music teacher there recently won Tennessee Teacher of the Year honors.

As far as your husband working in Nashville, M'boro is very convenient to Nashville by interstate. I think you will find that M'boro is a wonderful place to live. Good luck!

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