Moving to Mendocino County

Parent Q&A

  • Moving to Willits or nearby

    (2 replies)

    Wondering if anyone has experience moving to or from Mendocino County? We are looking to move to Willits or further south. My husband works up there anyway and my work went away with the pandemic so not much holding us here, and it's much more affordable. 

    The only sticking point is the schools. We'd planned to send our toddler to one of the Waldorf Schools in the Bay area. There is a Waldorf school in Calpella but it's very small, and I'm worried about what'll happen if she doesn't jive with her class for some reason or when she graduates high school... the public schools in the area seem to have abysmal rankings.

    Wondering if anyone has experience living up there, especially with the schools, and what the pros/drawbacks might be. And if there are any other non-religious private school options I'm missing. 

    RE: Moving to Willits or nearby ()

    I lived in the Anderson Valley for a short while before I was married, and traveled around the county for work. It definitely depends on your appetite for rural and small-town life (and hot weather unless you're close to the coast). There are some industries represented up there as you already know - gaming and wine along them - but also a lot of poverty, drug addiction (and production) and people living on the fringes for various reasons. Every person I met with children either moved away when the latter attained school age or ended up sending them to a school requiring long-distance commuting or boarding. The bigger towns (esp Ukiah) might be different. I know a few people now who work in Mendocino County but commute from Sonoma County so they can keep their kids in school there. though that is a long drive if your husband works in Willits proper. There is a friendly community feeling in some of the small towns but in my experience this is mostly organized around retirees, not families with kids.

    RE: Moving to Willits or nearby ()

    I'm not a fan of Willits. There are a lot of parollees there and lots of crime. If you're white your kid might be okay in the public schools.

    We moved to a rural county in California and have been shocked by the racism. One of the really white kids told our son that he didn't like him because of the color of his eyes, hair, and skin, and the teacher and office lady conspired to cover it up. They hid it from the principal until I demanded to know what the school was doing to combat the disgusting racism. Nothing improved and we ended up home schooling. I didn't have the energy to try to force the horrible teacher to be a decent person and I didn't trust her not to continue bullying our son every chance she got. We had teachers in the bay who we didn't love but none of them were racist bullies like this teacher.

    Our son has very few friends and is lonely. Your concerns about schooling in Willits are more valid than you think. And the meth problem is bad.