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Old 02-13-2013, 07:09 PM
15 posts, read 25,399 times
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My husband, our three kids (5, 3, and 2), and I will be relocating to West Hartford this summer. We would love to live within walking distance of West Hartford Center and Blueback. The houses we are considering are districted for Duffy, Morley, Braeburn, or Bugbee (and perhaps Whiting Lane or Webster Hill). I realize that school preference is a very personal thing and our kids are way too young to have any particular interests or talents, but I would love to hear any feedback on these schools - and the middle and high schools they feed into - from those in the know.

Thanks in advance for any insights or advice you can give us!
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Old 02-13-2013, 07:41 PM
Location: Connecticut
1,044 posts, read 1,290,160 times
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All are great schools. You can't go wrong with any of them.
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Old 02-13-2013, 07:46 PM
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Any of these elementary schools will probably be fine. Take a look at greatschools website and look at the racial and economic composition of the schools - that will give you a picture of them, socioeconomically. Bugbee is the least diverse, both economically and racially. It has a nice small school feel, even though it is stuffed to the gills and has had to add on portable classrooms and utilizes every square inch of space in the building. Most of the children there come from middle to upper middle class homes. It would be my first choice. After that, I'd probably say that Braeburn and Duffy are fine. Morley and Whiting Lane and Webster Hill all draw on some areas with multifamily house apartments, hence are getting more diverse, but are still good schools. Bugbee, Morley, and Whiting Lane feed into KP and Hall. Braeburn, Duffy, and Web Hill feed into Sedgwick and Conard. KP as a middle school is just okay, in my opinion. I have heard the same about Sedgwick. It seems to me that the kids are just marking time in middle school here in WH. Hall offers a very good education, with some excellent teachers teaching AP and honors classes. I think the same is available at Conard. But by the high school years, the kids have been permitted to sort themselves into a two tier system. My kid says that Hall is almost like two schools - one where the kids are killing themselves with AP and honors courses, and one where the kids are taking it easy in regular or basic level classes. If your kids are bright and you have high expectations, they can get the equivalent of a private school education at Hall, and probably at Conard, too. If your family is musical, Hall has an amazing jazz band program, that has a very prestigious history of winning awards. It travels to Europe every other year. Conard has a jazz band too, but it's treated like the stepchild in the family. Overall, the performing arts programs at both schools are very good.

Many Jewish families in town choose to go to schools that feed into Hall, but there are Jewish families in the schools that feed into Conard, also. Other ethnic groups seem to be more equally distributed throughout the town. Overall, Hall is seen as more desirable, but it's also more academically competitive. That can be a real strain on some kids. If I were new to town, and wanted to live near the center, I'd probably be looking at the areas zoned for Bugbee that are near the center, but I don't think you can really go wrong with any of the schools you've mentioned.
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Old 02-14-2013, 05:55 AM
15 posts, read 25,399 times
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Thanks for the vote of confidence, RogerAnthony, and the details from your experience, parentologist. I really appreciate your taking the time to answer my question.
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Old 02-14-2013, 08:48 AM
Location: Connecticut
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For information on the schools you are interested in, please check the link below. Unlike greatschools.com, this site gives you basic information and does not try to rate the school by some unknown criteria. Generally look at how well the schools perform on the Connecticut Mastery and Connecticut Academic Performance Tests and other things like class size, teacher credentials, etc. that may help you decide which school is best for your children. Jay

State Department of Education - CEDaR
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Old 02-14-2013, 08:55 AM
Location: Coastal Connecticut
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Don't think you can go wrong. Find a house you like.
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Old 02-14-2013, 11:24 AM
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Thanks a lot, JayCT and Stylo. I've never been able to figure out GreatSchools's criteria and am grateful to have a link to the hard data.
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Old 03-05-2013, 09:24 AM
Location: Santa Fe, NM
62 posts, read 149,672 times
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It was obviously many years ago but I am a graduate of Morley, KP and Hall. They were, and are, excellent schools (though I kind of agree about KP just being a holding place for Hall). I was one of the kids who killed myself throughout high school with honors/AP classes, and while it was incredibly stressful, I got an amazing education and went to an excellent private liberal arts college. Many of my friends/classmates attended highly prestigious schools, Ivies, etc.

i was a member of the jazz choir and yes, there is a lot of attention given to that area, but it's really amazing. The Eurotour is fabulous.

Feel free to pm me if you have any questions. I know it was quite awhile ago when I went there, but if I can be of any help, I'm happy to! Good luck.
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Old 03-05-2013, 11:38 AM
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Originally Posted by parentologist View Post
KP as a middle school is just okay, in my opinion. I have heard the same about Sedgwick. It seems to me that the kids are just marking time in middle school here in WH. ...d.
Lots of transitions in middle school. While my oldest became more organized and responsible for her choice last year, I too feel like she's in a holding pattern. Looking back, I felt the same way when I was in middle school. I'm starting to wonder if the purpose of middle school is simply to lock up that raging hormonal age group until they become normal human beings again.
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Old 03-05-2013, 06:10 PM
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Hall is a wonderful school. I went to a prestigious college and found some of my AP classes at Hall more challenging than those in college. I agree it is the equivalent of a private school education. Conard has an excellent football team and is a good school but I would say Hall is better academically,
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