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Old 04-08-2008, 10:06 PM
 
9 posts, read 24,080 times
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I grew up in Verona actually, at the time they were one of the "best" schools to be in. My kids originally went to elementary school and middle school in Madison, one with an IEP.

We moved to Illinois for 5 years and returned home. I was originally not happy about taking over my mother's house in Windsor, but this semester my daughter has been in DeForest High and I couldn't be happier. They are rarely mentioned as a suburban school choice on these forums, but the school is more than excellent.

Looking at the school ratings website, they actually rank 11 for the state and above any other school in Dane County. And unlike Verona, it's soooo close to everything. I90/34 and US 51 are both right here and downtown is actually closer I think coming in from this area.
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Old 04-09-2008, 09:05 AM
 
9 posts, read 50,920 times
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For being away from campus, but conveniently located, I think it's hard to beat the near west side in Madison.

We live in the Westmorland neighborhood, and have lots of friends and neighbors who work on campus and downtown, and often use the nearby bikepath to get to work. We're only a mile or so from Camp Randall, but there is no undergrad population around here at all. There are lots of first-time homeowners in a quiet neighborhood with sidewalks and good schools. And lots of people who have lived in their houses for many years because their house is big enough and they love the location.

The near West side happens to be the area I live, so I'm only speaking from experience, and am not necessarily recommending it over other parts of town. But I'm sure if you drive around neighborhoods like Westmorland, Sunset Village, Midvale Heights, etc. you'll see that it's super family-friendly, and all the great things about living in a college town are nearby. You can go use them when you want them (Memorial Union, State Street, football/basketball/hockey, running trails, picnic point, etc., etc.) but they won't adversely affect your quality of home life one iota. Within Madison, there are multiple lakes, golf courses, the arboretum, tons of parks, and lots of running and biking trails.

Having all that stuff within biking/short driving/walking distance is a tremendous convenience, and really makes it a high quality of life here. You will love Madison.
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Old 04-12-2008, 06:42 AM
 
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Deforest is a nice suburb area full of families and is easily commutable to Madison. I also would recommend Cottage Grove--great place to raise a family (I have family there, in fact).
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Old 04-13-2008, 01:53 AM
 
86 posts, read 121,944 times
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I would visit one of Don Tierney's communities... Waunakee Livable Communities - Dane County (http://www.waunakeelivablecommunities.com - broken link)

We have recently visited them and plan to sell our home in Mount Horeb, WI and buy one of his homes... the schools in Waunakee are the best and his communities are like Norman Rockwell. We have talked with many of the residence there (they walk up to us, wave, and are very proud of their community) and they even say that in the winter they all get together to sing Christmas carols and sip hot chocolate.... you just have to see this to believe it.

Good Luck!
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Old 04-13-2008, 11:02 PM
 
Location: Central FL
5 posts, read 13,802 times
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Default Thanks!

I just wanted to say a quick thanks to everyone who has offered their advice! I really really appreciate it!!
Thanks to all.
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Old 04-16-2008, 07:22 AM
 
Location: Northeastern WI
19,333 posts, read 15,829,596 times
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Madison is more of a 'college' town but Middleton seemed pretty family-friendly.
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Old 05-12-2008, 07:25 PM
 
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We live on the east side of Madison with 7 year olds and it is hard to imagine a more perfect life for children. They can independently go to the park, their school is diverse and full of great, committed teachers, they can bike everywhere on the bike paths, swim at the beaches and the city regularly hosts free, accessable kid-friendly activities. Sometimes I love to take my kids to campus - especially in the spring when it's hoppin' . Recently, we took a frisbee to the library mall, got ethiopian food from a cart and ice cream from the memorial union. We tossed the disc while listening to Indian rock music which was blaring to advertise an international festival on campus. All the college kids were out enjoying the sun (finally!), and the energy was palpable. It was a fabulous day.

also, I could NEVER live in the burbs here. Too much driving and huge cookie cutter houses in what used to be the countryside. Yuck for me.

Last edited by Coldylocks; 05-12-2008 at 07:28 PM.. Reason: I forgot something
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Old 05-12-2008, 09:38 PM
 
1,610 posts, read 2,903,965 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Livewire View Post
Madison is more of a 'college' town but Middleton seemed pretty family-friendly.
Ummm... Not so much, actually. If you only went to school here (I see you're in SoCal), you might not have been aware of the rest of the city, but I've lived here for over 20 years and rarely even come in contact with college students unless I go to campus. There are whole bunch of us "townies" living perfectly happy lives outside of campus - about 270,000 of us.
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