Many folks from the island went to see Waiting for Superman this week at the Lynwood Center Theatre. It has made for some good discussion and I know it has been on my mind since I saw it on Monday. As a former public middle and high school inner-city English teacher, I thought the movie was right on in its portrayal of the plight of many inner-city schools, unfortunately. For the bulk of my ten year career, I taught at a middle school of about a thousand students. After having our first baby, I clearly remember coming home and announcing to my husbad that there was no way our kids would ever go to any of the schools I had taught at. As sad as that was, and is, I really related to Davis Guggenheim, who created both The First Year and Waiting for Superman. After he had kids, he drove past the public school and dropped his kids off at a private school. Moving to Bainbridge Island was our move to a “private school.” A conscious choice to move to a district that consistently scores a Ten on greatschools.org ratings. And, yes, that move, like a move to a private school, came at a cost. For us, it was, and is a higher cost of living. However, we know, without a doubt, that it has been worth it.
The movie brought up many things, one being the percentage of high school students who go on to college, as a measure of a school district’s success. Here are some local numbers to consider:
Bainbridge Island High School on Bainbridge Island:
Percentage of students who go on to a 4 year college – 81%
Percentage of students who go on to a 2 year college – 12%
North Kitsap High School in Poulsbo:
Percentage of students who go on to a 4 year college – 38%
Percentage of students who go on to a 2 year college – 25%
Kingston High School in Kingston:
Percentage of students who go on to a 4 year college – 29%
Percentage of students who go on to a 2 year college – 44%
As a Realtor, I see many families who weigh the decision of whether to move to Poulsbo or Bainbridge Island. Yes, there is a big difference in how much house you can buy. In Poulsbo for $500k, you can get a nice, new 2700 square foot home. On Bainbridge Island, that would be an 1800 square foot home, and it would not be new. Tradeoffs. But, powerful numbers to consider if you have kids in school.
Data taken from each school’s most recent School Profile. The numbers above were updated March 2015 based on current data available on each school’s website. Blog post was originally written in 2010.
For more information, send me an email and I am happy to send you a copy of the current BHS School Profile, as they can be tricky to find online.