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Old 03-15-2012, 03:16 PM
 
Location: Plano
179 posts, read 490,014 times
Reputation: 91

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Hi. My family is relocating, just like half of the people on this board. My husband is already in Dallas, and the company he's working for has him in an apartment in downtown for six months. After that time, we are going to rent a small house as we have two kids (ages 5 and 2) and two dogs. We are looking at locations based on elementary schools as my son will be entering the first grade in the fall, but I'm starting to panic about what to do with my daughter. You see, she's been in preschool all this past year here in Atlanta and I'm afraid that I'm not going to be able to find anywhere with any openings for her in the fall. I'm not looking for an elite private school that has a fast-track to Harvard; I just want something that doesn't have those creepy knock-off paintings of cartoon characters nailed to the building. (In other words, my standards aren't *that* high.)
We are looking in East Dallas as DH works in Deep Ellum, but I don't have a new job lined up, which throws a bit of a wrench in things since if I do get a job, it could change up our location. (I currently teach online and I'm holding out hope that my employer doesn't mind that we are moving and I can continue to work at my current job after the move.) I'm also nervous that our budget will not be such that we can afford anything in the actual city of Dallas that isn't next to a boarded-up foreclosure with a drug ring running out of it next door. Then again, does that even exist there? I have no idea. (I live in the inner city now, so I'm not scared of a little riff raff, but I also want to move somewhere 'safe enough' for my kids with 'decent enough' schools. Vague enough for ya?)
Anyway, does anyone have recommendations of places to look in East Dallas for preschools that aren't insanely academically oriented and competitive but that are also not sketchy? I'm not opposed to small mom-and-pop home preschools, and we are currently in a small school at a Methodist church. My other target area is the Richardson ISD part of Lake Highlands, again, depending on our budget and what we can find (love my DH, but he's a liberal-arts type, and as a community college instructor, it's not like I'm rolling in the dough, either.) I have a couple of friends in Dallas that said they would get me lists of preschools, but one is in Preston Hollow and wants her kid to go to Harvard, so she is on a different preschool planet than I am, and the other is in Lakewood and hasn't given me any info yet. I will be in Dallas in two weeks over my son's spring break and I was hoping to do a couple of tours and maybe get on some wait lists at that time.
I will also be scoping out areas - have I overlooked any places that might be a good fit? We are young 30s, small kids, pretty outgoing and like to be involved in our 'hood and know our neighbors. Not rich, but not completely broke, either. Junius Heights was mentioned to me on another thread, and I am intrigued - but I need to see it for myself and realistically see if we can afford it.
TIA!

Completely Unrelated Edit: I'm also looking for places to run around downtown - I currently run 25-30 miles per week and I see 6 AM runs in my near future with this horrid heat. Any suggestions?

Last edited by VirtualM; 03-15-2012 at 03:18 PM.. Reason: added content
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Old 03-15-2012, 03:27 PM
 
743 posts, read 1,063,412 times
Reputation: 709
It sounds like you are on the right track.

You might want to consider Old Lake Highlands or the Peninsula. Those neighborhoods have a variety of housing stock and price points, they feed into an excellent elementary (Hexter) and have more rental properties than the Lakewood/Stonewall names.

Take a look at these maps and learn the borders for Stonewall/Lakewood/Hexter. They are the strongest schools in east Dallas:

http://www.dallasisd.org/cms/lib/TX0...cksonS2011.pdf

http://www.dallasisd.org/cms/lib/TX0...kewood2011.pdf

http://www.dallasisd.org/cms/lib/TX0...Hexter2011.pdf
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Old 03-15-2012, 03:40 PM
 
2,982 posts, read 8,182,238 times
Reputation: 1539
Take a look at the preschool at Greenland Hills UMC. Also Ridgewood Rec Center for preschool.

Our chiropractor trains for marathons and lives in Old Lake Highlands. He can easily leave right from his house to run around White Rock Lake.

You may be able to find a small house to rent in Little Forest Hills. You could still run from here to White Rock.
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Old 03-15-2012, 03:51 PM
 
Location: Junius Heights
1,245 posts, read 2,940,783 times
Reputation: 910
If looking for a rental, I would also strongly consider Junius Heights. Both are primarily single family homes, but with a number of duplexes as well. Rentals of either are rarely advertised, and are best found by driving the neighborhood. WE also have a pretty high number of both Liberal Arts, and Creative Arts types. Kids in those neighborhoods. go to Lipscomb Elementary which is an excellent school.
Preschools in Dallas run the gamut. but for a true Preschool, rather than a day-care, or a glorified day-care calling itself a pre-school, be prepared to either have more applicants than spots, or to have a higher price point. If you will be in our East Dallas area and your husband working in Deep Ellum, you might look at East Dallas Development Center or Bright Horizons downtown in the Plaza of the Americas
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Old 03-15-2012, 05:56 PM
 
Location: Plano
179 posts, read 490,014 times
Reputation: 91
I am not as concerned about price as we have the same issue here - preschool is very expensive. This is why I want recommendations - so I can filter through them and start putting our name on wait lists. I signed my daughter up for next year at her current preschool over a month go, so I know tht admissions happen really early, but maybe there is a newer school or something that doesn't have quite as strong of a reputation yet and has a spot or two open - I figure it never hurts to ask! And I am looking for a true preschool as I currently work from home and hope to continue doing so when we move, thus meaning we will not need a true daycare.
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Old 03-15-2012, 07:02 PM
 
Location: Junius Heights
1,245 posts, read 2,940,783 times
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In that case have a serious look at Bright Horizons. It is an excellent Pre-School program, and would be convenient for your husband if he is in Deep Ellum, or for you if you end up in East Dallas. It is a newer school (a year or two old) and I believe it has some available slots. Most Bright Horizons are not open to the public, but this one is. My wife works there which is how I know it - also her 10 years as a pre-school teacher are how I know some of what to avoid, like anything operating as Kindercare, or Children's World both part of Knowledge Learning Corp - and it has great kids and parents. The teachers, even down to the teacher assistants, must have a minimum of a CDA and several years experience to work there. Their last several events have had 100% parent participation, and though it is not near the top of expensive pre-schools, it attracts a number of people who could afford more expensive options (Mexican Consul, A Curator at the DMA, etc). Well worth your while to check out.

Glad to know you are looking for a true pre-school. Unfortunately the terms pre-school and daycare have become all but interchangeable own here nowadays.
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Old 03-15-2012, 09:05 PM
 
31 posts, read 53,964 times
Reputation: 23
Hi!!! We just moved to Dallas last summer from Denver. We are currently living in Preston Hollow, but would love to move to a neighborhood that fits us a bit more. You might also want to look into Dealey Elementary. They have a pre-k (4 year olds) and it is part of the Dallas ISD and I heard lots of great things about it!


One little school I really liked in the White Rock Lake Area (Forest Hills) was the Children's Center. The Children's Center

Another little gem I heard about is called St. Christopher's and it is a Montessori, if you are looking for that.

One school I still need to check out is called the Dallas Day School and it is part of Dallas Services, which provides services for visually impaired students, but their preschool services all types of kids. In my experiences, teachers and adults who have experience with students with special needs are usually really great with all students. But I have not gotten to visit it yet.

Anyway, jogging around here is crazy- especially in highland park. There are very few joggers and drivers never expect us and I almost got hit three times today, while carefully and slowly following signals. But for every car that almost hit me, there was a very courteous driver as well. Another fun run is the Katy Trail which goes through downtown. But it is short and enough for me but maybe not for you! And it is crazy hot in the summer. The craziest part is that it does not cool down at night. I could wake up at 5AM it is is still above 95 degrees. So, even early morning jogs are a challenge in July and August, at least!
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Old 03-15-2012, 09:26 PM
 
Location: Plano
179 posts, read 490,014 times
Reputation: 91
pepper131 and Macbeth2003, thanks for the recommendations! I've actually already heard back from Greenland Hills UMC and I've sent off some e-mails to others and will make a few calls tomorrow.
deli456, I may need to just make peace with the treadmill over the summer or take up swimming instead. It's hot in Atlanta, but it's hotter in Dallas and I'm just not sure I'm equipped for it. We got through last summer (my running buddies and I) by running at 6 AM. If you do end up moving to East Dallas, hit me up as I'm going to need to find some new running mates!

Edit: lol I removed the info that was quoted below!

Last edited by VirtualM; 03-15-2012 at 09:36 PM..
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Old 03-15-2012, 09:34 PM
 
Location: Junius Heights
1,245 posts, read 2,940,783 times
Reputation: 910
Quote:
Originally Posted by VirtualM View Post
I've actually already heard back from Greenland Hills UMC and they amazingly still have spots (should I be spreading that info around online?)
I wouldn't
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Old 03-15-2012, 10:21 PM
 
2,982 posts, read 8,182,238 times
Reputation: 1539
Lol!!! I know someone who posted that their kid got in recently....that's why I suggested it....because I assumed Learning Tree and Children's Center spaces might already be taken for fall - although they are both located in Little Forest Hills.

It's sad though, my absolute favorite preschool is closing - the Science School at the Museum of Nature and Science.
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