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Old 08-21-2007, 10:11 AM
 
30 posts, read 78,228 times
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Default Bigger house vs. better school district...and another question about school disticts

We are currently in contract on a great house in Dix Hills. It's a lot smaller than the home I originally dreamed of buying, but the fact that it is in the Half Hollow Hills school district was a positive. However, I can't stop thinking about the huge, beautiful homes we looked at out east. Was buying a smaller house in a better school district the "right" thing to do? I feel like this needs to be justified because as nice as the Dix Hills house is on the inside, it's really nothing to look at on the outside. When I drove some family members past it, they were like, eww, you bought that? And the other question for those who have kids in school: Assuming that school districts are rated based on test scores, do you feel that teachers teach to the test? I am asking because my neighbor's friend lives in HHH school district and when I mentioned how I was happy to be moving there, she rolled her eyes and said "Oh, please. It's not that great. The teachers teach to the tests". Whatever that means...
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Old 08-21-2007, 10:26 AM
 
222 posts, read 579,907 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KM04 View Post
We are currently in contract on a great house in Dix Hills. It's a lot smaller than the home I originally dreamed of buying, but the fact that it is in the Half Hollow Hills school district was a positive. However, I can't stop thinking about the huge, beautiful homes we looked at out east. Was buying a smaller house in a better school district the "right" thing to do? I feel like this needs to be justified because as nice as the Dix Hills house is on the inside, it's really nothing to look at on the outside. When I drove some family members past it, they were like, eww, you bought that? And the other question for those who have kids in school: Assuming that school districts are rated based on test scores, do you feel that teachers teach to the test? I am asking because my neighbor's friend lives in HHH school district and when I mentioned how I was happy to be moving there, she rolled her eyes and said "Oh, please. It's not that great. The teachers teach to the tests". Whatever that means...
My personal opinion is that, in general, school district performance is more of a marketing tool to either inflate or maintain home values in a particular area. In general, I find that even folks in supposedly "good" school districts believe that private school training is "better" and send their kids to such ***if they can afford to do so***.

Don't get me wrong...some districts are certainly better than others. In the end, it's what you're most comfortable with. If resale is an issue, the better school district might be an easier sell for a family with school aged kids that can't afford private school...

Test scores are only one part of the picture.
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Old 08-21-2007, 11:40 PM
 
1,776 posts, read 4,000,441 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KM04 View Post
We are currently in contract on a great house in Dix Hills. It's a lot smaller than the home I originally dreamed of buying, but the fact that it is in the Half Hollow Hills school district was a positive. However, I can't stop thinking about the huge, beautiful homes we looked at out east. Was buying a smaller house in a better school district the "right" thing to do? I feel like this needs to be justified because as nice as the Dix Hills house is on the inside, it's really nothing to look at on the outside.
I debate on the same thing. We are looking to move and want a newer nice house. To get a new house is not easy. We do plan to renovate a lot and it will be LIKE new, even probably new electrical, when we buy our next home. We really want something practically new and that might be the only way to get it somewhat "closer" within our price range. I think the same thing as you.

I looked in DH. I would have had to gut any house that i was interested in to get what I want. ANd that goes for ANY other area I looked in also, it was not just there in DH. The only way I could get what I want was to move further in Suffolk than I want to.
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Old 08-22-2007, 09:45 AM
 
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Like it ot not, schools with high test scores typically indicate some form of quality. It also generally leads to more kids getting into good colleges, etc. Further, your home value will be stable if its a good SD. Look at any neighborhood, really, the homes in the better SD cost more. Now, do you have to go to the TOP SD, not likely. Just a good one.
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Old 08-23-2007, 10:55 AM
 
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Most schools on LI do well with elementary, its high schol and junior high thats a problem. In any event, I also struggle with the same question. There are towns like Freeport that has awesome big houses at a great price but then the school district has a bad reputation. I took the time to investigte the schools and there are so many wonderful things happening there. Its all over shadowed by the negatives. Colleges do not look at the high schol you went to. I work for a college and its the entire package-students' SAT scores, essay and extra curricular activities. So find away to met yourself in the middle. My nephew went to Baldwin HS and got a full academic scholarship to Columbia University. I understand how you feel and now I have decided to widen my house search to districts that are doing well but because of hearsay people aviod like Malverne, Freeport and yes even Elmont. There are a lot of good quality teaching going on in these districts.
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Old 08-23-2007, 02:51 PM
 
1,876 posts, read 145,746 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mgcmcw View Post
Most schools on LI do well with elementary, its high schol and junior high thats a problem. In any event, I also struggle with the same question. There are towns like Freeport that has awesome big houses at a great price but then the school district has a bad reputation. I took the time to investigte the schools and there are so many wonderful things happening there. Its all over shadowed by the negatives. Colleges do not look at the high schol you went to. I work for a college and its the entire package-students' SAT scores, essay and extra curricular activities. So find away to met yourself in the middle. My nephew went to Baldwin HS and got a full academic scholarship to Columbia University. I understand how you feel and now I have decided to widen my house search to districts that are doing well but because of hearsay people aviod like Malverne, Freeport and yes even Elmont. There are a lot of good quality teaching going on in these districts.

Correct, the same could be said for Riverhead out east.

The JH and HS are horrible.

Elementary is very good in Jamesport.

C
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Old 08-24-2007, 01:37 PM
 
Location: Beautiful Upstate NY!
12,252 posts, read 16,609,888 times
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Bigger isn't always better (at least that what my wife told me!) I think it's true here, also. I'd opt for the school district.
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Old 01-21-2009, 05:42 AM
 
1 posts, read 4,313 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KM04 View Post
We are currently in contract on a great house in Dix Hills. It's a lot smaller than the home I originally dreamed of buying, but the fact that it is in the Half Hollow Hills school district was a positive. However, I can't stop thinking about the huge, beautiful homes we looked at out east. Was buying a smaller house in a better school district the "right" thing to do? I feel like this needs to be justified because as nice as the Dix Hills house is on the inside, it's really nothing to look at on the outside. When I drove some family members past it, they were like, eww, you bought that? And the other question for those who have kids in school: Assuming that school districts are rated based on test scores, do you feel that teachers teach to the test? I am asking because my neighbor's friend lives in HHH school district and when I mentioned how I was happy to be moving there, she rolled her eyes and said "Oh, please. It's not that great. The teachers teach to the tests". Whatever that means...
Everybody in the district will tell you the same: "it is great!".
I'm sure it's one of the good school districts but I think in generally they all are not that great. I've been in HHH Schools for 7 years and I don't think my kids are developing any studing habits (they are in 6th and 7th gr, both avg. A+ with no effort). Recent data shows that Middle Grade students in US are in 15th place in the world in Earth Science/Math. So I don't know anymore.
One good thing about the district is: diversity. There is a chance that your child will find the right crowd and will be normal in the end.
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Old 01-21-2009, 07:02 AM
 
856 posts, read 1,791,941 times
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I think you have to decide how important location is to you as well. We looked for a year in DH and Melville. For what we paid in Melville, we could have gotten a lot of other, bigger, needing less work homes. I sometimes grapple with the choice we made as well-but I wanted a particular location and gave us the bigger, better house for it. As far as schools, I have 3 children in the district and can say I have had many wonderful teachers and a few who must have known someone to get and keep their job. You probably have that everywhere. I do feel as far as trying to sell, not really looking to do that for many many years, having the HHH sd, as opposed to say one of our neighboring communities such as Deer Park-no offense to anyone-is a plus. I think it comes down to that saying "location,location,location" Good luck whatever choice you make.
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Old 01-21-2009, 07:07 AM
 
3,178 posts, read 3,624,664 times
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lets not kid ourselves, in many cases, "good school district" is a PC way of saying "white".
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