Ask any real estate expert and they will agree: after location, and the home itself, the next big consideration when buying a new home is the school district that services the area. After all, if you have children or plan to have children, finding the right school is nearly equally as important as finding the right home. Even if kids aren’t in the cards for you, or if your children have already left the nest, school districts still play a crucial role in your home’s resale value.
For families living near Dallas, Fort Worth, and Plano, the nearby towns and suburbs provide a variety of choices for both homes and schools. Whether moving to the area for the first time or starting fresh in a new home, you’ll want to research school districts and homes together to make the best purchase for you and your family.
Proximity of Schools to Neighborhood or Home Community
There are certainly pros and cons of living near a school, but overall experts agree the benefits generally outweigh the drawbacks. For starters, nearby schools provide a host of logistical benefits: speed limits are often lower and community safety is a greater focus to protect students.
For families with children, having an on-site elementary, and nearby middle, or high school makes it easy for kids to walk to and from school, meaning you won’t need to rush them out the door at 7:08 sharp to catch the bus before it sputters away. And as they walk each day with neighborhood friends, they will begin to form friendships that could last them throughout their schooling.
Potential homebuyers around Dallas can see this exemplified with Melissa ISD. This district is award-winning and one of the best Texas school districts for Liberty by Hillwood Communities. There are five schools in the district including the Harry McKillop Elementary School, which is located within the community and houses first through fifth grade classes. In addition to this on-site elementary school, Melissa ISD includes the Melissa Ridge Education center for pre-kindergarten and kindergarten, Melissa Middle School for sixth to eighth graders, and Melissa High School for high school students.
Within Melissa ISD, the elementary and middle school offers both standard and enhanced curriculum to meet the needs of all students. Melissa High School also offers advanced placement programs and even a dual-credit program with the local community college.
Plus, The Academy, a before and after school care program for children in kindergarten through fifth grade, is operated out of the Harry McKillop Elementary School. It is open throughout the school year from 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., giving working families more academic flexibility.
Education, Activities, and Athletics
While the convenience of proximity is key in choosing a home and school district, you’ll also want to consider the education, activities, and athletics the school district offers. For families with older children who have already started playing sports or joining clubs, check to ensure nearby schools offer the extracurricular activities your son or daughter loves before making a move. If your children are younger or still on the way, opting for a school district with a wide range of offerings – from debate club to lacrosse to theater – will ensure your child has room to grow and explore their interests down the road.
For families considering purchasing a home near Melissa, Texas, the Melissa ISD offers a variety of academics including career and technical education, special education, advanced academics, and gifted/talented services. Athletics include baseball, basketball, cheerleading, cross country, football, golf, powerlifting, soccer, softball, tennis, track and field, volleyball, and wrestling. Finally, many of the schools offer fine arts activities, including marching band, choir, and drama clubs.
By the Numbers
In your search for a new home and school district, it is also helpful to understand the numbers. Do your research and ask your agent for the following insights to find the right school district for your children:
- Number of children in district elementary, middle, and high schools
- Class sizes or student-to-teacher ratios
- Standardized test scores
- Financial reports
- Teacher certification rates and years of experience
- Diversity and demographic statistics
As a highly-rated school district in Texas, Melissa ISD serves about 3,200 children with a 16:1 student-to-teacher ratio. There are a number of required postings school districts in Texas must have on their website, including various report cards, testing scores, and financial reports. There are also a number of independent websites that offer information on school districts to better understand the education they offer.
Planning a Visit
While quantitative assessments of a new school district are great, don’t forget to plan a visit to the local schools when you are looking at new homes. It’s important to get a feel for the environment in person, not just for yourself but for your children.
A new school can be a challenge for any student, but walking through the halls and driving or walking the route from the home can engage the child in the process to build up their excitement. When looking at Liberty by Hillwood Communities, take a stroll over to the Harry McKillop Elementary school and be sure to stop by the lap pool, interactive splash pad, park, or fishing pond on your way!