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Old 11-30-2017, 02:12 PM
 
2 posts, read 2,539 times
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Hello message board—

I am trying to decide between moving to Darien and Greenwich. I have a young son (10 months) and am looking for some insight on the differences in the public school systems. I am aware that Darien is frequently rated higher at the high school level, but that much of that is due to the (relative) diversity of the student population and larger size of Greenwich High School. We found the dream home in Darien but are hesitating to purchase because of what seems to be a more international educational program in Greenwich (IB program, language magnet school, etc.) and our perception that the larger population and larger student body results in more diverse and interesting programs and extra-curricular offerings.

Is there much of a difference between the towns in terms of education? (The early language programs in Greenwich feels like a big sticking point to me.) At the high school level, are the student bodies relatively similar in terms of achievement/attitude etc.? (Truthfully, I'm hoping our son might find his way to the debate team rather than the locker room.) Does Greenwich have more of an international feel? Is one more academically-focused than the others? Or am I just splitting hairs?

If anyone has any insight, I would be most appreciative.

Thank you.
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Old 11-30-2017, 02:21 PM
 
Location: Northeast states
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They both have a good school district but Greenwich is bit more diverse than Darien. I would say Darien score bit better than Greenwich in testing
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Old 12-01-2017, 10:07 AM
 
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You're splitting hairs here as both districts are excellent. But overall the Darien district is much smaller than Greenwich and less diverse (both ethnically and demographically). These things can be good or bad depending on your preferences. Also keep in mind elementary redistricting is always a (admittedly unlikely) possibility in Greenwich (due to racial inbalance), and the fiasco going on with the New Lebanon school. These things could potentially effect property values. These factors made us favor Darien over Greenwich (and my wife went through the Greenwich public schools). I would find out what elementary district the Darien house is in and find out as much as you can about it since that school will be your more immediate concern, and they vary a bit, but you can't really go wrong here.
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Old 12-01-2017, 10:54 AM
 
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Hi allanny13. Thank you so much for your thoughtful response. This is very helpful! Might you or your wife be able to speak at all to the programs offered in Darien vs. Greenwich? It seems as though Greenwich offers more along the lines of language at an earlier age and perhaps more robust clubs and extra-curriculars at the high school level. Have you found this to be true at all? How have you found the education for your children in Darien?

Thank you, again. I so appreciate your thoughts.
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Old 12-01-2017, 11:00 AM
133
 
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two great school systems but Greenwich gets my vote for the town itself.
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Old 12-01-2017, 12:29 PM
 
Location: Connecticut
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Both towns are excellent with excellent schools so you really can't go wrong with selecting either of them.

One thing you should keep in mind is that Greenwich is a much larger town than Darien. In fact it has almost three times the number of people (just over 61,000 verses just under 21,000). Greenwich High School has over 2,600 students while Darien High has about 1,300. A bigger school and school system can offer more programs and electives to students. On the other hand, 2,600 kids is a lot and a student could more easily get lost in the crowd.

Rather than worry about which school system is better, you should be more concerned with which community fits your family better. There are some significant differences between them. Greenwich is larger and more diverse and is considered to be one of the wealthiest towns in the country. Darien is smaller and IMHO more conservative. There is nothing wrong with either of these towns but one might suit you better than the other. Also keep in mind that Darien is just a bit further from Manhattan so the commute might be a bit longer depending on what train you take. To me these things are more important than which has the marginally better schools. Jay
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Old 12-01-2017, 12:49 PM
 
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Take this with as much humor as you like... You and your kid(s) will encounter some anti-elitist sentiment (or pro-elitist favoritism) whenever you venture outside of Fairfield County for being from Greenwich, but the name recognition of Darien falls off pretty quickly as you travel away from CT and the NYC metro area. In terms of long-term consequences of choosing between the two, perhaps consider that Darien is less known, with fewer of the pros and cons that come with a reputation for wealth and exclusivity.

Last edited by nico7; 12-01-2017 at 01:00 PM..
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Old 12-01-2017, 03:26 PM
 
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Both school systems are excellent, so focus on the towns themselves. Greenwich is definitely more of an international community than Darien, which is very homogenous. Many of the public schools begin language classes in kindergarten, and GHS has international classes that few other high schools in CT offer. Trade off is Greenwich schools are bigger and the town is more expensive (you get more for your money in Darien). Spend a weekend visiting both and sit in coffee shops, talk to locals, see where feels more like "home" to you.
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Old 12-01-2017, 06:03 PM
 
594 posts, read 308,184 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jax12479 View Post
Both school systems are excellent, so focus on the towns themselves. Greenwich is definitely more of an international community than Darien, which is very homogenous. Many of the public schools begin language classes in kindergarten, and GHS has international classes that few other high schools in CT offer. Trade off is Greenwich schools are bigger and the town is more expensive (you get more for your money in Darien). Spend a weekend visiting both and sit in coffee shops, talk to locals, see where feels more like "home" to you.
Darien is not so homogeneous anymore. I know, I often get stuck behind school buses and see the kids.
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Old 12-02-2017, 06:43 AM
Status: "Will Fall ever arrive???" (set 18 days ago)
 
689 posts, read 617,818 times
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Default Who knows

Quote:
Originally Posted by allanny13 View Post
You're splitting hairs here as both districts are excellent. But overall the Darien district is much smaller than Greenwich and less diverse (both ethnically and demographically). These things can be good or bad depending on your preferences. Also keep in mind elementary redistricting is always a (admittedly unlikely) possibility in Greenwich (due to racial inbalance), and the fiasco going on with the New Lebanon school. These things could potentially effect property values. These factors made us favor Darien over Greenwich (and my wife went through the Greenwich public schools). I would find out what elementary district the Darien house is in and find out as much as you can about it since that school will be your more immediate concern, and they vary a bit, but you can't really go wrong here.
where things will be when your now baby is at a HS. The whole coast of CT could be underwater? But let's pretend that climate change isn't happening :-) Darien HS is better academically, smaller which is better for the kids & parents, and by far better on the sports field. So since you said sports wasn't important then pick Greenwich.
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