Raising children in Southern Utah naturally leads parents to be highly interested in the community’s schools. Personally, having children at all levels in the charter and public school system, we have had quite a bit of experience with different schools.
Washington County school district is somewhat unique in that there are four different schools in the progression of schools from kindergarten to 12th grade: Elementary is K-5, Intermediate School is 6-7, Middle School is 8-9, High School is 10-12. The areas that feed into each high school are referred to as cone sites. In Washington County, we have the Desert Hills, Dixie, Hurricane, Pine View, Snow Canyon and Enterprise cone sites. In addition, there is Millcreek, an alternative high school, that is fed from all of the cone sites. A list of all the schools can be found on the county website: http://www.washk12.org/
There are also several private and charter schools that are worth, at least, considering as you choosing which area to purchase a home and lay down roots. Currently, the charter schools are George Washington Academy, Success Academy at Dixie State, Tuacahn, Valley Academy and Vista at Entrada. http://www.charterschooltools.org/charterSchools.cfm?stateID=44
One of the first things I find myself researching is test scores and comparisons of schools in the area. And one place to start is at the Utah Department of Education site. https://psdreports.schools.utah.gov/Gateway Type in the school that you are curious about; see what scores pop up.
But as helpful as scores can be as a starting place, I find that talking to locals helps me find out more about the personality of each school and the meaning behind some of the scores. For example, East Elementary in St. George in recent years has posted low test scores, but when I talk to people whose children attend the school, I hear about wonderful, dedicated teachers and fantastic teaching. The explanation (that is completely unquantifiable and subjective) I hear from parents is that there is a high percentage of students who are not native English speakers. Despite the quality of teaching, this seems to drag down the test scores as a whole.
In the following posts, I will look a little closer at the schools, but there is nothing like talking to the locals. We can be some of the locals you talk to as you look for homes in the area. We have heard the praises and the frustrations. We want to help you find the best situation for you.
Chris Jones 435-313-3966