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Old 07-02-2013, 12:05 AM
15 posts, read 30,073 times
Reputation: 14


Hi Everyone
My husband & I and two 6 year olds will be moving to West Hartford this coming winter. We plan on putting down roots & staying in the area(we've traveled a lot due to husbands job) for years to come. Through my research it seems that while all West Hartford schools seem to be very strong, Hall H.S. seems to be preferred by many. Based on the schools statistics and all the great opinions I've read in the forum we would like to settle in a part of WH that will allow our children to attend Hall in the future.

We're interested to get peoples thoughts on the elementary schools that feed into King Philip/Hall. Any that are better than others? Not just academically, but financially stable, better student/teacher ratios, class size, behavior issues, etc.

Also, when looking for a home are there names of neighborhoods that these schools fall into? We know where the elementary schools are on the map, but what are the neighborhoods called? This may help us in sorting through homes when we search online and with a realtor.

Any opinions on the different neighborhoods within the Hall school districts? Any thoughts and comments are not only welcome, but most appreciated. We've heard so many wonderful things about West Hartford and are truly looking forward to calling it home!

One last thing. I'm a stay at home mom. Is it difficult to meet people????

Thanks again...
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Old 07-02-2013, 07:00 AM
3,308 posts, read 3,245,165 times
Reputation: 8358
Norfeldt, Aiken, Bugbee, Morley, Whiting Lane, and Smith all feed into Hall. If you want a school that has largely middle to upper middle class children, you want Bugbee or Norfeldt. Aiken is also good. Morley is mixed, Whiting Lane more so, and Smith has over 60 percent of children receiving subsidized lunch and gets extra assistance from the town to try to help the challenging population. As for the neighborhoods: AIKEN draws from east of North Main, and mostly north of Albany, from a neighborhood called the "Reservation" because it has Indian street names, and because in the fifties through the seventies, realtors steered incoming Jewish families to this neighborhood and away from older, more established, WASPier parts of town. The Reservation now has a mix of Jewish and upwardly mobile Asian immigrants - thus a good elementary school because of who goes there, in addition to the overall good school system in WH. The houses there are small, post WWII ranches and split levels. There is also an area farther east, near the Hartford Golf Club, which has absolutely stunning mansions from the thirties and earlier. In addition, there is an area south of Albany, to the east border of town, which has larger homes than in the Reservation - mostly colonials, some ranches.

Bugbee draws mostly on an area bordered by Flagg Rd to the north, Mountain Rd to the west, Cliffmore to the south, and Troutbrook to the east. In addition, some of the area extends along N. Main, south to Farmington Ave. There is a small area near Kingswood Oxford school and south of Farmington that was gerrymandered in about 15 years ago. It is a lovely school with mostly white and Asian middle to upper middle class students. Old but graceful building. I think it was recently rated the second highest school in the entire state of CT for standardized test scores. The only problem is that everyone wants to be there. It's a very desirable school, and houses zoned for it usually sell very quickly, and for high prices. There are large graceful colonials near the school, small ranches on the other side of North Main, and some bargains can be had in the area just south of Farmington Ave, east of Troutbrook.

Norfeldt draws on the area largely north of Flagg Rd and Albany, east of N. Main, west to the border of town. It is largely white middle and upper middle class. Very nice school, highly desirable. Houses can range from smallish splits, ranches, and colonials near the school, to palaces west of the Mountain Rd.

Morley draws from the eastern central part of town. Some two to three family homes there, in addition to single family homes. Whiting Lane draws from the eastern part of town, largely south of Morley. Both of these schools draw from mixed economic areas. The schools are good. There are more children from poorer homes than in Aiken, Bugbee, and Norfeldt.

Smith draws on an area that has many immigrant families, and a lower socioeconomic group. There is a great diversity of home languages amongst the children who attend Smith.

Here is a link to an elementary school map for WHPS:


Here is a link to Great Schools, which gives a wealth of information regarding school demographics, including breakdown by race and socioeconomic level, as reflected in percentage of children receiving free lunch.

West Hartford Elementary Schools - West Hartford, CT | GreatSchools

I don't know why Norfeldt gets a higher score than Bugbee, especially with Bugbee's test scores having been so high for years. But the point is, all three schools, Norfeldt, Bugbee, and Aiken, would be absolutely fine. Whiting Lane and Morley would probably also be good. Many families love Smith, too, but it has a more disadvantaged student population.

As for meeting people, it will be very easy for you. Just join your local church or synagogue, enroll your kids in the plethora of town activities for children, and in no time, you will have made lots of new friends through the other moms (and dads) bringing their kids to the activities.

Of you give me a number for your housing budget, and an idea of which schools you're interested in, I can give you more specific information about neighborhoods to look in.
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Old 07-04-2013, 09:54 PM
15 posts, read 30,073 times
Reputation: 14
Oh my gosh, thank you so much for all the fabulous information. I will need to map this all out and try and zero in on an area. This will definitely help when we come to visit & explore. It almost seems like a hidden gem..you don't often hear people talking about West Hartford, but I'm glad we managed to find it.

Our budget is $7500-800k max. I'd like to look in the Bugbee, Aiken and Norfeldt areas. While I want great schools I'm concerned about those areas with respect to the attitudes and behaviors that often times can(not all the time) accompany kids in upper middle class homogeneous neighborhoods. We are not raising our children with a sense of entitlement and want to be surrounded by like minded families. We want to be involved in a community that is laid back, welcoming, open and believes in the greater community as a whole. Is there such a place with great schools??? Where we're from the best school districts don't guarantee the most welcoming or genuine people....

Would love to get your thoughts. I really appreciate your insight...
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Old 07-05-2013, 05:25 AM
2,504 posts, read 2,413,381 times
Reputation: 1391
Originally Posted by ckg12171 View Post
It almost seems like a hidden gem..you don't often hear people talking about West Hartford, but I'm glad we managed to find it.
People talk about West Hartford ALL the time. Between being a one of the top places to raise a child in the Greater Hartford Area, the downtown is one, if not, the best in the State. It is a very popular location.
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Old 07-05-2013, 04:46 PM
Location: Coastal Connecticut
14,677 posts, read 17,885,135 times
Reputation: 3316
Originally Posted by Mr_250 View Post
People talk about West Hartford ALL the time. Between being a one of the top places to raise a child in the Greater Hartford Area, the downtown is one, if not, the best in the State. It is a very popular location.
Yes, it's one of the most recommended on this forum and is a shopping/dining destination for the entire Greater Hartford area. Hardly under the radar.
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Old 07-05-2013, 10:46 PM
15 posts, read 30,073 times
Reputation: 14
Thanks for the insight, but when you live in Boston you're really not hearing people talk about West Hartford.
Either way, sounds like a great place & we're looking forward to this next chapter....
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Old 07-07-2013, 09:56 PM
Location: Coastal Connecticut
14,677 posts, read 17,885,135 times
Reputation: 3316
I see what you mean, I think it's just symptomatic of being a small city. But it's very popular within CT and especially the Hartford area. It's also often featured in national "best places" lists.
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