We had only lived in Richland for a year when my oldest son completed 5th grade. Because of our address, we learned he would attend Chief Joseph Middle School, even though all of his new friends from school would go to Carmichael.
We requested a transfer to Carmichael, also so he wouldn't have to, "break up relationships with friends ... at a sensitive age." We didn't know enough then about the so-called 'socio-economic circumstances' at either school for that to affect our choice. Our request was denied, also due to capacity issues, so we chose to make the best of it.
Looking back, Chief Jo was one of the best things that ever happened to our son. He fell in love with the music program there, which kept him interested in his other classes all the way through high school and on to college. His younger sister went on from Chief Jo to graduate as a valedictorian from Richland High School.
School is like anything else -- you get out of it what you put in. Any student can succeed at Chief Jo. But ultimately, that success will depend more on the students and their parents than on which school they attend.
Thomas Hillebrant, Richland