According to a survey by the Webby-award winning website, ApartmentList.com, the Town of Apple Valley and the City of Hesperia made the list of 100 Best Cities for Young Families.
Using the methodology, which included safety, housing costs, school quality and child friendliness, Apple Valley took the No. 68 spot and Hesperia came in at No. 71. Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, and Green Bay, Wisconsin, are the two cities that separate the High Desert locations.
The website, which draws over 2.5 million visitors on a monthly basis, said Fontana took the No. 51 spot, the highest spot in San Bernardino County, with Rocklin taking the top spot in California.
Located in the center of Indiana, the award-winning town of Fishers earned the No. 1 spot in the nation.
In 2011, Fishers was named the No. 1 city for families by The Learning Channel. Over the decade, the town has also received awards for best places to live and most affordable suburb.
Statistics for the methodology, which were gathered from 500 cities, came from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, ApartmentList.com, the American Community Survey and the Department of Education.
Information on the stats included the percentage of the average income required to rent the average two bedroom apartment, the cost of housing, violent and property crimes, and high school graduation rates for public school districts.
In September, the California Exit Exam statistics showed that in Apple Valley, 94 percent of students passed from the Academy for Academic Excellence, 82 percent from AVHS and 81 percent from Granite Hills High School.
The California Department of Education stated that 79 percent of students passed at Hesperia High School, 86 percent at Oak Hills High School and 80 percent at Sultana High School
In California, 458,297 sophomores took the math test and 85 percent of them passed, while 460,398 completed the English language arts test and 83 percent passed.
Ton Hoegerman, superintendent of the Apple Valley Unified School District said he believes that the the High Desert, in particularly Apple Valley, is a great place to raise children.
“We strive to make our schools top notch in education and we’ll continue to strive to improve.” Hoegerman said. “I’m glad the survey and data reflects our efforts.”
“Our graduation rates continue to grow and are above the county wide average,” said David McLaughlin, superintendent of the Hesperia Unified School District. “Our schools provide a quality education for all students in a safe and encouraging environment with wonderful teachers and staff.”
The exit exam is given for two subjects, math and English language arts, beginning sophomore year. Passage of the test is a state requirement to graduate from high school.
With some of the lowest apartment and homes prices in the state, Becky Otwell, president of the High Desert Association of Realtors, said
she can understand why Apple Valley and Hesperia received high marks in the survey.
Otwell said young families starting out are seeing the average price of an apartment running anywhere from $600 to $700 in the High Desert and a home at $186,500.
“The median price for a home in Apple Valley comes in at $209,000, and Hesperia at $197,000,” Otwell said. “Those are great prices and still very affordable for the area.”
To see the complete list of the Best Cities for Young Families, visit apartmentlist.com.
RENE RAY DE LA CRUZ