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Back-to-School Season

More than two-thirds of adults with children under 12 say that the neighborhood school district is among the most important considerations when choosing to build or purchase a home, according to a June 2013 Trulia survey. However, some parents factor schools into their housing choices differently. Nationally, 10% of school kids grades 1-12 attend private schools, and in some neighborhoods, the majority of kids go to public school.

In recognition of the back-to-school season, it got me thinking about what our area has to offer regarding schooling options.   Here is what I found.  Did you know that in Cambria County alone there are 13 public school (Blacklick Valley,Cambria Heights,Central Cambria,Conemaugh Valley,Ferndale Area,Forest Hills,Glendale,Greater Johnstown,Northern Cambria,Penn Cambria,Portage Area, Richland, Westmont Hilltop) and at least 7 private/parochial schools?  In addition, there at 5 more public and 5 more private schools in Somerset County. That a lot of choices, all within about a 16 mile radius from Johnstown!

Per a recent article in the Johnstown Tribune Democrat, 15 schools in Cambria and Somerset counties earned national recognition in U.S. News & World Report’s annual public schools ranking.  This U.S. News & World Report, looked at state assessment scores, enrollment data and “college readiness” indicators at 19,400 schools in the nation to determine top schools.  “The 2014 Best High Schools rankings are designed to help families understand the increasing public school options available to them,” said Brian Kelly, editor and chief content officer of U.S. News & World Report. This reports proves that Johnstown not only has quantity of choices but quality when it comes to our children’s education.

(More information on U.S. News & World Report’s rankings and profiles of each school is available at www.usnews.com/education/best-high-schools.)

Johnstown not only boasts a strong elementary and high school presence but we also have many Post-Secondary / Higher Education institutions as well.  Such asCambria Rowe Business College, Mount Aloysius College,Penn Highlands Community College, St. Francis University, and University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown (UPJ).  Not only do colleges provide a steady source of jobs for the local economy, but enrollments have swelled as the unemployed go back to school seeking new job skills.  So even developers who have cut back on other housing projects, continue to build in college towns.

This goes to show you what is important to families as they consider building or purchasing a home. It’s not always just about the home. It is also about location and lifestyle.


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