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Buying A New Home In A School District That Makes The Grade

GSIR agent Bill Tierney explores the homebuyers crucial step of researchingschooldistricts and spotlights the Cohasset Education Foundation


Bill Tierney, Gibson Sotheby's International Realty.

There are several variables to consider when choosing that perfect place that you and your family can call home. To help you make this important decision, the quality of local school systems often inevitably enters the equation. People will search publications such as US News and World Report, The Boston Globe, and Boston Magazine to learn how school systems rank among their local counterparts. Fortunately, the aforementioned publications rank the Cohasset Public School system rather highly. Cohassets public schools are a significant part of the local municipal budget and in a similar train of thought, a great source of local pride.

But what does not get factored into many of the ranking methodologies, is the amount of local support that the schools receive from the community. One extraordinary yet often overlooked fact about the Cohasset Schools Systems is the support the schools garner from the local community.

Now, in fairness to the various ranking methodologies, it can be cumbersome to equally measure a school systems level of community support. To assess support for schools in Cohasset, prospective homebuyers can look to the tremendous support earned by the Cohasset Education Foundation over approximately the last ten years. Since its revitalization over a decade ago, the Cohasset Education Foundation has evolved an endowment of nearly one-million dollars for the Cohasset Public Schools, while simultaneously funding over $1.2 million dollars in grants for teachers to improve various aspects of their curriculums. With all funding deriving from local businesses and residents of Cohasset, the unmeasurable level of advocacy offered to the Cohasset Education Foundation is arguably the X Factor that makes Cohasset schools so attractive.

So, what is the Cohasset Education Foundation?

The Cohasset Education Foundation (The CEF) is a non-profit, tax-exempt community-based organization whose mission is to ensure that Cohasset students, teachers and administrators have access to the programs, materials and up-to-date equipment necessary to maintain a level of academic excellence in todays competitive environment.

The CEF raises funds throughout the year through contributions from residents, businesses and corporate and private enterprises who recognize that excellence in public education is essential to the social and economic fabric of our community. Entirely independent of the school system, the CEF maintains a close partnership with the school administration and evaluates for funding those needs submitted for consideration by teachers and administrators. The CEF is not intended to supplant or replace the public funding of our schools. (Cohasset Education Foundation)

In simpler terms, the CEF is run by a small group of volunteers that raise funds from the local Cohasset community. Half of the funds collected are placed in the endowment fund, which ultimately serve the Cohasset School System. The other half of the funds raised on an annual basis are used to fund grant requests for materials, training, programs, and programming designed to enhance the educational experience of Cohasset students. The CEF has funded various educational programs, including Digital Literacy, The Model United Nations, Lego Robotics and The Robotics Team. Other programs strengthen math fluency and establish digital learning for special education.

For Cohasset teachers, the process of making a grant request is rather simple. Teachers simply submit a grant application to the CEF Board. Members of the CEF grant committee then review and select which grants to fund. The grants have historically funded items or programs that enhance the educational experience for both teachers and students alike.

Since its inception in 1992, the CEF has funded dozens of grants, improving the educational experience for teachers and students alike. Several teachers have asserted that they have remained in the Cohasset School System due to the CEFs support for their educational mission.

If you find yourself evaluating school systems during your home search, look beyond the rankings and dig deeper. How much support does the school system have from its community? Does the school system have an official support network like the CEF? Would your children benefit from being in a school system that receives close to $100,000 in annual support from an outside organization?

For a full list of funded grants, click here.

This article was authored by Bill Tierney, a realtor withGibson Sothebys International Realtywho is based in the firms Cohasset office. Tierney serves as a board member of the Cohasset Education Foundation.

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