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Old 07-26-2007, 10:17 PM
 
3 posts, read 11,715 times
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A new job is taking me and my family (wife, kids ages 9, 6, 7 months) from Brookline, MA to Connecticut. We want to find a community where we will find people like us--intellectual, liberal, not stuck up or overly materialistic, concerned with teaching our kids to be good people who care for others. We also obviously want our kids to have a really good school experience--preferably in public school. Ideally, we'd love a neighborhood where we and the kids can walk to school, to shops, etc.

We are attracted to the Spring Glen neighborhood in Hamden but have some concerns about the schools--kids getting beat up, lack of leadership, lack of funding, etc. We also have heard great things about Fairfield but are concerned about whether we can find the neighborhood that will meet our desires stated above.

Any thoughts about Hamden and/or about neighborhoods in Fairfield would be very welcome.
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Old 07-26-2007, 11:36 PM
 
53 posts, read 235,308 times
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Default Try Milford

It seems like Milford , CT can give you the best of everything and your $$ will go long way in Milford .

1>It has the best shopping Mall and all the big box stores on Route 1
2>Alternative of Fairfield county...people are moving from NY and Long Island to Milford , considering its great location on the beach and easy access to highways...so it has a great investment potential.
3>It has a nice downtown that you can actually walk in to with your kids without having a fear of getting robbed...
4>Public school system if not the best in CT...is far Better then Hamden and better then even Fairfield , or Stratford.
5>It is also located on the shoreline, so you can walk to beach etc.
6>They are building upscale shopping malls in Milford..so it has come a long way...

I used to live in Hamden and if you have your mind set on Hamden then only look for a house in Mt.Carmel (that's the only nice area left in entire Hamden)...everything else is pretty much adjectent to New Haven and has all kinds of issues.
My wife and i moved from hamden to Milford and people are very family friendly and very down to earth in Milford even though it has a Fairfield county flair to it because of the proximity...so at any rate, you can't get disappoint with Milford...the only area that is haveing some issues is Devon and it is going through revitalization and is going very slow...so buy that house before all the NYorkers snap it...:-)

Good Luck and let me know if any questions...
CoolStrom
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Old 07-27-2007, 04:40 AM
 
999 posts, read 4,183,268 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by backtoct View Post
A new job is taking me and my family (wife, kids ages 9, 6, 7 months) from Brookline, MA to Connecticut. We want to find a community where we will find people like us--intellectual, liberal, not stuck up or overly materialistic, concerned with teaching our kids to be good people who care for others. We also obviously want our kids to have a really good school experience--preferably in public school. Ideally, we'd love a neighborhood where we and the kids can walk to school, to shops, etc.

.
I know nothing about Hamden, however lived in Fairfield for much of my childhood (Stratford for most of my adulthood---but now in NC) Anyhow, Fairfield is NOT what you are looking for. Probably not Stratford either......some parts maybe. I agree with the prev poster, Milford seems like a good fit, though the walking to school and other things may not be possible, downtown Milford is a great place, and maybe there would be something there that would allow walking to shops and enjoying downtown music and such.
Good luck
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Old 07-27-2007, 05:05 AM
 
Location: Connecticut
24,570 posts, read 40,120,453 times
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BacktoCT - Welcome to Connecticut (or should I say welcome back). I too would share your concerns about the schools in Hamden. Hamden High School is large and does have issues. It sounds like you are looking for a town that is similar to Brookline with sort of an old fashioned feel to it.

Fairfield would suit your needs. It has excellent schools (among the best in the state) and there are the types of neighborhoods you describe. I would check out the ceenter of town (Sherman School) neighborhood. Fairfield has a diverse population (despite what others have said on this Board) and I am sure you will meet people that will share your interests there. Fairfield has a nice downtown area with great shops, reataurants and a small community run theater. THere are excellent parks and beaches and a lot of family activities. I would highly recommend it.

As others have indicated, Milford might be another option. It is similar to Fairfield in that is has a nice, but smaller downtown and offers a lot of nice parks and beaches. Milford has a more diverse population than Fairfield but does offer some of the best shopping options in the State along the Post Road (Route 1). Check it out. Good luck, Jay
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Old 07-27-2007, 05:08 AM
 
Location: Connecticut
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CoolStrom View Post
4>Public school system if not the best in CT...is far Better then Hamden and better then even Fairfield , or Stratford.
Coolstrom - I must disagree with this statement. Schools in Milford are not better than Fairfield's. Fairfield schools are among the best in the State and while Milford schools are very good, they are not quite at the same level. Jay
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Old 07-27-2007, 05:53 AM
 
Location: Connecticut
570 posts, read 1,877,216 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JayCT View Post
Coolstrom - I must disagree with this statement. Schools in Milford are not better than Fairfield's. Fairfield schools are among the best in the State and while Milford schools are very good, they are not quite at the same level. Jay
While I am not discounting the public schools in Fairfield, which I'm sure are very good, I have never heard them referred to as among the best in the state. When you say this, do you mean high SAT scores, % that go onto college or standardized testing scores in elementary and middle schools? All three are pretty average for CT, IMO.
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Old 07-27-2007, 07:24 AM
 
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I would have to say that the down town area near Milford Green would be very nice for you as mentioned above. The schools in Milford are OK as well. As far as "better than Fairfield" I would also have to disagree. Fairfield has a great reputation when it comes to their schools. You won't go wrong with an education there. I would ABSOLUTLY pick Fairfield over Milford. You did mention liberal and not materialistic as criteria, Fairfield has a trend for the Conservative Yuppie but I would still love to live there(so don't jump all over me for saying so). Plus it is in the perceived more desireable Fairfield County. Housing is higher priced though.

Speaking of Fairfield County I have to put a plug in for Stratford. The Schools are not as good as Fairfield nor Milford in my opinion but they do realize it and have fully funded their education budget to rectify. You will nail every other one of your aforementioned prereqs. Pardise Green would be a nice location for what you mentioned with a small shopping area and Longbrook park and Wilcoxson school within walking distance. Lordship also will offer you the water and school within walking distance.
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Old 07-27-2007, 07:42 AM
 
Location: Connecticut
24,570 posts, read 40,120,453 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeremeyk482 View Post
While I am not discounting the public schools in Fairfield, which I'm sure are very good, I have never heard them referred to as among the best in the state. When you say this, do you mean high SAT scores, % that go onto college or standardized testing scores in elementary and middle schools? All three are pretty average for CT, IMO.
Well you obviously have not been listening very well. Fairfield has always been among the top school systems in the State. I do not have the time to get into all of the statistics, but for the 8th Grade Connecticut Mastery scores, 93,2% of Fairfield students meet or exceed the math proficiency levels; 92.0 for reading and 94.9 for writing. If that isn't considered excellent for a town as diverse as Fairfield, I do not know what is. Jay
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Old 07-27-2007, 09:12 AM
 
Location: Connecticut
570 posts, read 1,877,216 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JayCT View Post
Well you obviously have not been listening very well. Fairfield has always been among the top school systems in the State. I do not have the time to get into all of the statistics, but for the 8th Grade Connecticut Mastery scores, 93,2% of Fairfield students meet or exceed the math proficiency levels; 92.0 for reading and 94.9 for writing. If that isn't considered excellent for a town as diverse as Fairfield, I do not know what is. Jay
Listening....to what? No need to get so rude.

I think there are better options than Fairfield for liberal parents looking for a place with excellent schools.

Westport is widely known for being a very liberal community in southern CT, and the school district is also widely known for being among the top in the state. You will pay more to live here, but IMO, you get what you pay for. Coming from Brookline, however, home prices shouldn't be too much of a shocker.

Some districts that are well-known for top notch schools are Greenwich, Darien, New Canaan, Glastonbury, West Hartford, Amity (Woodbridge, Bethany, Orange - also liberal and highly recommended), Southbury/Middlebury, Westport and Weston.
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Old 07-27-2007, 12:18 PM
 
Location: Connecticut
24,570 posts, read 40,120,453 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeremeyk482 View Post
Listening....to what? No need to get so rude.

I think there are better options than Fairfield for liberal parents looking for a place with excellent schools.

Westport is widely known for being a very liberal community in southern CT, and the school district is also widely known for being among the top in the state. You will pay more to live here, but IMO, you get what you pay for. Coming from Brookline, however, home prices shouldn't be too much of a shocker.

Some districts that are well-known for top notch schools are Greenwich, Darien, New Canaan, Glastonbury, West Hartford, Amity (Woodbridge, Bethany, Orange - also liberal and highly recommended), Southbury/Middlebury, Westport and Weston.
Sorry Jeremy - I did not mean to be rude, but I was very surprised (shocked may be a better word) that someone would think that Fairfield schools were not excellent. They have been among the best in the state for many many years. Long before even I attended them. It is one of the reasons that the town is considered so desireable of a place to live and why it is so expensive.

I will agree with you that Westport has a reputation for being more "liberal" than Fairfield. This reputation dates back to when Westport was more of an "artist colony" and home to many actors and theater people. I am not sure how true that is today.

I also will say that Fairfield is a lot more liberal than some of the other towns you name (Greenwich, New Canaan and Darien), and it is at least as liberal as the others (West Hartford, Glastonbury, Southbury, Middlebury, Woodbridge, Bethany, Orange and Weston). Sorry to disagree with you, but I do and strongly. Jay
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