Strong school district drives families to Oldham County

Strong school district drives families to Oldham County

This article originally appeared on The Oldham County School District is located approximately 20 miles northeast of Louisville and serves over 12,000 students. Oldham County Schools continually ranks among the highest-performing school districts on various academic achievement and college readiness assessments. The district consists of a preschool, nine elementary schools, four middle schools, three high schools, an alternative school, a career center and a center for the arts and community education. Oldham County Tourism strives to create a high quality of life for those who choose to live and play within Oldham County, with its many attractions, events and tours. Once you’ve settled in, there’s no need to leave the county – with so many food and shopping options, annual and ongoing events,  such as Oldham County Farm Tours and Trackside Summer Tunes, plus fascinating local history around every corner, you’ll fall in love with Oldham County and all it has to offer.

By Amber Smith
March 29, 2022

OLDHAM COUNTY, Ky. — The housing market is anything but normal right now, with homes flying off the market soon after listing. Depending on where you live, it could be even more of a challenge to find your dream home.

What You Need To Know

  • A real estate agent said Oldham County is popular among her clients with school-aged children
  • The White family moved to Oldham County, mostly because of the school district
  • According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the Oldham County population grew 12% from 2010 to 2020
  • Looking at KDE data for school districts, Oldham County Schools have higher ratings than Jefferson County Schools

Many families with school-aged children are searching for homes in Oldham County, citing the school district as a major factor driving them to want to move there.

Bailey White is in preschool in Oldham County right now. Next fall, she will attend Oldham County Schools. Her mom, Allyson White, said they feel confident she will have an enjoyable experience there.

“I feel like everyone that I talked to in our neighborhood and our area has only had really positive things to say about the school,” said White.

She grew up in Jefferson County, but moved to Lexington to attend the University of Kentucky. While there, she met her husband, Jason White. The two lived there for a bit, but wanted to move to the Louisville area to be closer to Allyson’s family once their daughter, Bailey, was born.

When deciding where to buy a home, the new parents had schools at the top of their minds. While Allyson had an overall positive experience attending Jefferson County Public Schools growing up, she felt the school choice options created less continuity and sense of community than she would like to see for her daughter. She recalls so few students attended school with her through elementary, middle and high school.

White said, “I grew up in Hikes Point. My parents were taking me to Fern Creek, Okolona and out here in Prospect. It was a lot. We were mixed around the city a good bit.”

Jason White, not being from the Bluegrass State, did his research. He found it to be more of a challenge for them to find homes in Jefferson County because of the variety of school ratings.

“We couldn’t find a place that we liked that also had three good schools that we felt like we could stick around for a while,” said Jason White.

The Kentucky Department of Education did not do school ratings for the past two years because of COVID-19.

Looking at the data from the 2018-2019 school year, JCPS as a whole had 2/5 stars at all grade levels. In that same year, Oldham County Schools had 4/5 stars for elementary and high school, and three stars for middle school.

The Whites said that was a major driving factor when picking their home in the Oldham County side of Prospect a few years ago. The Whites are not alone.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the Oldham County population grew 12% from 2010 to 2020. Jefferson County’s population grew during that same time period, but at half the rate of Oldham County’s growth.

Louisville area real estate agent Emily Domeck Sackella said she’s noticing that Oldham County boom.

“I have several clients that have moved out to Oldham County just for the school district,” said Domeck Sackella.

She said it’s challenging to find a home in Oldham County right now. Her eldest son, Hunter, was in JCPS when they were sent home because of COVID-19 in 2020.

“That March or April, he got sent home and didn’t go back for a year. We ended up putting him in a Catholic school in the neighborhood, so he wouldn’t lose so much. He stayed a semester at the Catholic school and we are back at Wilder,” said Domeck Sackella.

She said the way the district handled COVID-19, mixed with other things, has her wanting to move her family out to Oldham County too. She just doesn’t know how long that will take amid the high interest in the area.

“It’s tough to find a house out there because they are going so quickly,” said Domeck Sackella. “I have buyers looking out there and we are looking at the same houses.”

The Whites said they saw over 30 potential buyers come through a nearby open house. Seeing that, they said they are thankful they bought their home and got situated well ahead of Bailey’s first day of kindergarten.

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