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Old 04-11-2012, 10:37 AM
 
11 posts, read 13,273 times
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Hi All,

Hi, We are relocating to Jax from Miami this summer. We have two kids who will be attending elementary and middle schools. My husband will be working at St. Vincent's/Shircliff Way.

Please advise us on safe neighbourhoods for families and excellent schools. Both my sons are under gifted programs right now and I'm looking for schools which offer full time gifted programs.

I did some research on schools and most of the good schools are Magnet schools, which i think is through lottery system. I also observed that if the elmentary is excellent, the middle is not so good or vice versa.

Also looking for a place which is easily accesible to Indian groceries/temples/communities.

Any advice will be greatly appreciated. Thank You.
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Old 04-11-2012, 10:48 AM
 
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The "good" magnet schools you have seen online are probably in Duval County and I must add that they are difficult to get into unless you are military, which would put you higher on the list. You may want to look in St Johns County, as well. I know that PVPV/Rawlings has a full time gifted program and the middle school this elementary school feeds into is Landrum, which is a Blue Ribbon school. Neither of these schools is a magnet school, you would simply have to move to a home zoned for these schools.

What is your price range? Rent or buy? How long is your husband willing to commute? Is being close to Indian grocery stores and Temples a must or a "would like"?
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Old 04-11-2012, 11:33 AM
 
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Thanks for the quick reply. We are looking for rentals townhome/single family last option is a condo.
If we like the area we would like to buy in the near future. Price range around $1500, not sure about rental market over there.

My husband is willing to commute upto 15 to 20 miles. We would like to be close to Indian places/communities. Thanks again.
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Old 04-11-2012, 02:45 PM
 
Location: Jacksonville, FL
3,530 posts, read 4,475,820 times
Reputation: 848
Quote:
Originally Posted by MiamiMom2 View Post
Hi All,

Hi, We are relocating to Jax from Miami this summer. We have two kids who will be attending elementary and middle schools. My husband will be working at St. Vincent's/Shircliff Way.

Please advise us on safe neighbourhoods for families and excellent schools. Both my sons are under gifted programs right now and I'm looking for schools which offer full time gifted programs.

I did some research on schools and most of the good schools are Magnet schools, which i think is through lottery system. I also observed that if the elmentary is excellent, the middle is not so good or vice versa.

Also looking for a place which is easily accesible to Indian groceries/temples/communities.

Any advice will be greatly appreciated. Thank You.

My wife works at St. V's, as well as a couple other family members. It's a great hospital.

Lucky for you, you can live in a fantastic neighborhood, right where your husband works.

St. Vincent's is located in the Riverside & Avondale historic district, which has won all sorts of praise in recent years for being such a great area to live, work, and play in.

www.riverside-avondale.com
Perfectly preserved - FT.com
http://www.planning.org/greatplaces/neighborhoods/2010/
Insider's Guide: Jacksonville, FL - Southern Living
The Pop Traveler: Seven reasons to visit Jacksonville
Residents already know how great Jacksonville's Riverside-Avondale area is | jacksonville.com
Homes with 'walkability' command higher premium | jacksonville.com
High gas prices lead to obvious and subtle changes for Jacksonville residents | jacksonville.com
Historic areas draw in buyers | Jacksonville.com

The schools are also pretty good there too. Many schools, not just Magnet schools, (depending on age) offer IB classes & gifted ciriculum too.

Another you might consider is San Marco, which you may have seen mentioned in some of those links above too. It's just across the river from R & A. Very good schools there too.

www.mysanmarco.com
www.smpsjax.com


Also, FYI, Magnet schools are not a true lottery. It's weighted based on what schools you are zoned for. So, for example, if you live in the Springfield historic district, which you've also seen mentioned in some of the above linked stories, then it's almost automatic that your elementary school aged child gets into Pinewood Elementary, because the neighborhood doesn't as many highly rated schools. There's also a weird things having to do with proximity to Magnet schools, so if you live with in a certain distance of a Magnet school, then you get preference....or something like that. There's a million little quarks and loop holes in the school system.


As far as Indian grocers, much of that will be around Baymeadows Road. Here's a few:

Raja Indian Spices
5111-16 Baymeadows Road,
Jacksonville, FL 32217
Phone: 904-448-8006

Apna Bazaar
10769 Beach Boulevard
Jacksonville, FL 32246
Phone: 904-996-8780

Indian Grocer
9802 Baymeadows Road,
Jacksonville, FL 32256
Phone: 904-807-9802

Last edited by fsu813; 04-11-2012 at 02:56 PM..
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Old 04-11-2012, 07:49 PM
 
11 posts, read 13,273 times
Reputation: 11
Thank you so much. That was lot of info. I would definitely research about the areas you mentioned.
Some friends suggested Greenland pines/Mandarin/Bartram Park. We heard a lot about St John's county, will it be too far away?
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Old 04-11-2012, 08:38 PM
 
Location: On the banks of the St Johns River
4,190 posts, read 4,765,005 times
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From the border of St Johns County and Duval County on I-95 it takes about 30-40 minutes to get to St Vincents Hospital in Riverside on a normal day. And less than 15 minutes to get to the Indian Grocers on Baymeadows. Plus Duval County schools are rated B overall, St Johns County schools are rated A overall. Not much difference unless it's your kids!
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Old 04-11-2012, 09:28 PM
 
Location: Jacksonville, FL
3,530 posts, read 4,475,820 times
Reputation: 848
Quote:
Originally Posted by MiamiMom2 View Post
Thank you so much. That was lot of info. I would definitely research about the areas you mentioned.
Some friends suggested Greenland pines/Mandarin/Bartram Park. We heard a lot about St John's county, will it be too far away?
Depends.

You can find great neighborhoods far closer. Like those I listed above. Or Ortega. Or San Jose. (2 other great neighborhoods closer, with good schools).

If you don't care about commuting and you prefer a suburban, car-centric, semi-generic bedroom communities, then the areas your friends suggested are great.

If you'd like to live closer to work, and value character, proximity to "things" in general (the arts, sports, parks, festivals, unique shops and cafes) and would like to be able to bike or walk to things, instead of always driving, then the places your friends suggested are not great.
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Old 04-18-2012, 04:51 PM
 
Location: Ponte Vedra Beach FL
10,833 posts, read 8,286,691 times
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The only Hindu temple in Jacksonville is in Mandarin on Greenland Road. If you are Muslim (small chance - but I thought I'd mention it) - the only mosque in Jacksonville is on St. Johns Bluff Road between Beach and Atlantic Boulevards. In general - I think the center of Indian restaurants - grocery stores - the Hindu temple - etc. - goes from west of Southside at about Baymeadows - give or take - to Mandarin.

The schools in Mandarin are pretty good - and you're not too far away from northwest St. Johns County in that area. On the other hand - it will not be a great commute from that area to St. Vincent's in Riverside.

Note that I am not Indian/American (I just eat at some of the restaurants and shop at some of the grocery stores) - but my dentist's wife is. I don't know if she'd be willing to talk with you about these things. But you can DM me with your email address if you'd care to - and I will forward it to her. Robyn
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Old 04-19-2012, 10:37 AM
 
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Hi Robyn55, That was really good info. We finally shortlisted Mandarin/Bartram Park/Julington creek.
I see that the middle/high schools in St.John's county are very good easy to get in than Duval county as we missed the Magnet application deadline. I have to make a choice between Fruit Cove Middle/Mandarin Middle/Twin Lakes Middle.

My husband is willing to commute if we find something nice in St.John's county. We will be renting first and then buy within a year. By the way, we were looking for a Hindu temple. As you mentioned, most of the places we need to go are around Mandarin. That's one reason why we are considering Mandarin.
Its a really tough decision. We are going to make our house hunting trip in last week of April, once FCAT is done.

Thank you very much to all of you for helping us through this wonderful forum. M
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Old 04-19-2012, 06:22 PM
 
Location: Ponte Vedra Beach FL
10,833 posts, read 8,286,691 times
Reputation: 3873
Good idea to rent before buying. I recommend that to everyone moving here from out of town if possible. Good luck! Robyn
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