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Old 05-19-2010, 02:03 PM
 
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My family and I are considering making a major life change and moving from the San Diego area to Colorado, possibly the Castle Rock area? Any comments/suggestions for good family communities with decent priced homes and highly rated schools? Thanks in advance for any guidance.
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Old 05-19-2010, 03:32 PM
 
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Yes. We moved from the Bay Area to Castle Rock in 2006 after a brief stay in Maryland. Although we were happy in CR at first, eventually we came to want something different: a less car dependent lifestyle, better schools (I understand that this is a controversial topic, and everyone does not agree about what makes a great school), and a mature neighborhood with more amenities. Do a forum search on Castle Rock, and you'll find lots of discussion about the pros and cons.

In general, I can tell you that Castle Rock is very family-oriented and offers a variety of housing options at many price points. CSAP scores for all Castle Rock schools can be found at the Denver Post. Here's a link.

Last edited by formercalifornian; 05-19-2010 at 04:05 PM..
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Old 05-19-2010, 05:36 PM
 
Location: Just south of Denver since 1989
10,920 posts, read 29,435,354 times
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Where is work?
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Old 05-20-2010, 09:24 AM
 
68 posts, read 100,820 times
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I'm betting on Louisville.
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Old 05-20-2010, 03:06 PM
 
4 posts, read 17,418 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by formercalifornian View Post
Yes. We moved from the Bay Area to Castle Rock in 2006 after a brief stay in Maryland. Although we were happy in CR at first, eventually we came to want something different: a less car dependent lifestyle, better schools (I understand that this is a controversial topic, and everyone does not agree about what makes a great school), and a mature neighborhood with more amenities. Do a forum search on Castle Rock, and you'll find lots of discussion about the pros and cons.

In general, I can tell you that Castle Rock is very family-oriented and offers a variety of housing options at many price points. CSAP scores for all Castle Rock schools can be found at the Denver Post. Here's a link.
Thanks for the feedback. I will definitely check out the school scores. What is it that you don't like about living in CR besides needing the car alot? Thank you for your honesty.
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Old 05-20-2010, 03:08 PM
 
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Originally Posted by 2bindenver View Post
Where is work?
My husband has a recruiting business and can work from home anywhere. I have both a teaching credential and a real estate license.
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Old 05-20-2010, 03:43 PM
 
Location: Just south of Denver since 1989
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What are you looking for in a community?
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Old 05-20-2010, 04:21 PM
 
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What are you looking for in a community?
Please don't say California.
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Old 05-20-2010, 04:59 PM
 
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Originally Posted by theresag2 View Post
Thanks for the feedback. I will definitely check out the school scores. What is it that you don't like about living in CR besides needing the car alot? Thank you for your honesty.
What disappointed us...

We did not have much in common with our neighbors (although they were all very nice), and there was a great deal of upheaval from foreclosures beginning in 2006, which made it difficult for us to forge lasting bonds with other families.

Education is VERY important to us, and the elementary school's performance was abysmal, which was clearly apparent in the '07 & '08 CSAP scores. I was terribly concerned about my oldest falling behind, and I got very little traction from her teachers when I tried to get her additional help. That said, my experience is limited to one particular elementary school on the eastern side of CR, and I do not wish to condemn the district as a whole.

We wished to live in a walkable community where we could pursue a less carbon-intensive lifestyle. Exurban living, like that you find in CR, is very car-dependent!

We also wanted an active community, and our neighborhood was bereft of social groups and activities. I rarely saw people outside other than to mow the lawn.

What we have now...

Our current neighborhood is near the south end of the tech center and has a very active community. There are groups for nearly every interest, and the community is criss-crossed with walking paths that allow easy access to commercial centers. In the mornings, the roads are clogged with...bikes! Both kids and adults use them for the daily commute. In fact, my family can go days without needing to drive, which is a welcome change! After the rush hour ends, the streets and paths are filled with runners, walkers, and tennis players on their way to the neighborhood courts. Kids have their choice of a variety of teams that practice within the boundaries of the neighborhood, meaning I don't have to play chauffeur The teams include soccer, baseball, swimming, tennis, football, and lacrosse, among others. If kids don't want to play team sports, they can ride their bikes safely on the paths, away from busy roads, to friends' houses or to the park. They can even hunt crawdads in the stream that bisects the neighborhood, a very popular past time for neighborhood kids of all ages. Adults also have their pick of groups: women's club, book clubs, gardening, crafts, and pick up sports for those who still own a pair of cleats or a racket. And, when the day is over, we can all hop on our bikes and head over to the ice cream store for a sweet treat.

The school is head and shoulders above the one we left, with an exceptionally active group of parent volunteers. Supervised children are encouraged to stay and play after school. Additionally, the school provides lots of great groups and events for the kids, including science, art, and math clubs, Destination Imagination, movie nights, an ice cream social, field trips, intramural sports, a theater group, and after school language & martial arts instruction, along with absolutely outstanding academic instruction. Within a month of arrival, my oldest was enrolled in after school tutoring (at no expense to me), and by the end of the year, she was performing above grade level in all subjects!

This community is a much better fit for us. I hope you find what you're seeking, too. Good luck in your research!

Last edited by formercalifornian; 05-20-2010 at 06:27 PM..
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Old 05-20-2010, 09:56 PM
 
Location: RSM
5,113 posts, read 17,476,883 times
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We didn't like the schools in CR. We visited a few schools in the area and were happiest in HR(particularly older areas like Northridge) and Parker. All of them are great safe family areas and all of them are affordable(if CR is affordable, Parker and HR will be as well). I would suggest touring schools and reviewing the curriculum.

We also liked some of the areas north of Douglas County/south of Denver like Littleton, but they were priced out for us(under 250k) considering the type of neighborhood we wanted.

One of the big problems I had was that the elementary schools were teaching Everyday Math in elementary school and while some of the schools use it sparingly it still seems to be the norm. EM isn't in very many schools in CA(I think it was only recently approved), but the current math curriculum still isn't math mastery focused so we put our child in Kumon to supplement his math education.

In the end the two years we searched were fruitless as we had banks pull out of deals and job loss to contend with, but we did all the homework we could eventhough we didn't end up moving.
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