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Old 04-22-2019, 08:59 AM
 
9 posts, read 10,150 times
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So my husband and I are trying to determine where to purchase our house. And our major criteria is good public high school with reasonable commute to Boston. So we narrowed down to Weston (south part close to Wellesley), Newton, Wellesley, Westwood, Needham, Medfield (southeast corner close to Walpole) and Belmont.

I feel Weston and Wellesley are the same league while Medfield might be second. Then Newton, Needham and Westwood are the third. Not sure if this is an accurate perception. How does Belmont compare to the rest?

With my perception, I want to buy a house with the highest ranking high school so I'm more interested in Weston. But we also read a comment somewhere that in Weston, parents pay a lot for coaches to help their kids academically and athletically. Then my husband totally changed his mind about letting me have my way: "If it's all parents and coaches work, what's the added value of the school?"

So my question is among Weston, Wellesley, Westwood, Newton, Needham, Medfield and Belmont, which high school has the best value added? If money is not issue for you, which town would you choose for best high school?
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Old 04-22-2019, 09:06 AM
 
Location: East Coast
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The schools in all of those towns are good, so you really can't go wrong.

My only other comment is that my friends who live in Medfield won't take a job downtown because in their calculation, it is too long of a commute. Take that FWIW.

The biggest consideration is the combination of your budget and what you want in a house/what you are willing to compromise on. You can get a larger house on a bigger lot in Medfield than you can in Newton.
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Old 04-22-2019, 10:02 AM
 
Location: Needham, MA
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As Liz said, Medfield is probably at the bottom of your list in terms of "ease of commute." There's no public transit in town and there's not a major highway that runs through town. My brother in law lives in Medfield and can't wait to move out because he hates his commute so much.

As far as what you read about Weston . . . I would say generally in all of the high ranking school districts parents are very involved in their children's education. Often, being involved means filling out your child's schedule with extracurricular activities which might involve something like Russian School of Math or tutoring of some sort.

Personally when looking for a house, I like to take a little more rounded picture of what I'm getting. I want great schools for my kids. However, I also want to live in a house that I'm going to enjoy and I want to live in a town that's going to fit my lifestyle. I don't really have any commuting needs. However, that's obviously a very important consideration for many other people though. I don't personally subscribe to obsession over school rankings because at the end of the day a ranking is just someone else's opinion expressed in a number form. I used them as a guide when selecting a town. They weren't the end all and be all for me though.

If you can share more information about your housing budget, what kind of house you'd like to live in, what type of lifestyle you live (ex. do you like to hike/bike or are you more of an indoor person?), and where you commute to I'm sure you'll get much higher quality feedback.
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Old 04-22-2019, 10:23 AM
 
Location: Massachusetts & Hilton Head, SC
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As long as you live close to the train station in Walpole Center, you should be okay in Medfield (27 south).

You might also want to consider the town of Dover, Dover/Sherborn high school, to be specific if you are looking for a prestigious town with an excellent school.
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Old 04-22-2019, 11:11 AM
 
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Thanks everyone for your inputs. My husband and I will both commute to back bay area. But we can work three days from home each week so we are okay ubering to train station for the other two days if necessary. Our budget is 1 M ish.

The biggest disagreement between my hubby and and myself is how to measure the value added of high school. I know Weston is ranked high but is Medfield, Westwood, Needham not as highly ranked because parents don't push their kids as much?
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Old 04-22-2019, 11:32 AM
 
Location: East Coast
3,934 posts, read 2,534,022 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DingYat View Post
Thanks everyone for your inputs. My husband and I will both commute to back bay area. But we can work three days from home each week so we are okay ubering to train station for the other two days if necessary. Our budget is 1 M ish.

The biggest disagreement between my hubby and and myself is how to measure the value added of high school. I know Weston is ranked high but is Medfield, Westwood, Needham not as highly ranked because parents don't push their kids as much?
In some rankings I've seen, Medfield has been ranked #1.
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Old 04-22-2019, 11:48 AM
 
601 posts, read 347,301 times
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What about a condo in somerville? You might be able to get a 2Bed condo in Davis for $1M. It'll be an old triple decker built in 1925 but it will be renovated with brand new floors, appliances, and wood trim.

The schools look pretty good once you subtract out 70% of the student population and just focus on the top 30% by household income and look at their 5th grade MCAS results.
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Old 04-22-2019, 11:50 AM
 
1,351 posts, read 695,051 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DingYat View Post
So my question is among Weston, Wellesley, Westwood, Newton, Needham, Medfield and Belmont, which high school has the best value added? If money is not issue for you, which town would you choose for best high school?
Based on this criteria, I would choose Weston. Places like Needham have excellent schools but are increasingly challenged by class sizes. Weston has an interesting dynamic where many residents send their kids to private schools just because they can. The result is extremely small class sizes in the high school. Children I know who are currently in the Weston school system have all thrived.
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Old 04-22-2019, 12:06 PM
 
Location: Massachusetts & Hilton Head, SC
8,406 posts, read 12,716,346 times
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That's true about the private schools, you also see some of that in Wellesley.

I don't know what you can get for 1 million in Weston, though.
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Old 04-22-2019, 12:54 PM
 
1,272 posts, read 1,055,855 times
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I would suggest you focus on your commute an a town that fells right. You will not see any meaningful difference in achievement across those school, the biggest factor is the home environment that puts importance on education, how many get tutors, etc. My kids are in an "average" district (Somerville) based on sites like greatschools but my kids outperform Lexington, Belmont and Wellesley on test scores, as do their peers. Greatschools measures privileged, period, you are better off using Niche.com. The 'vibe' across those towns will be different - Wellesley and Weston have snobby reputations.

And don't forget - every 5 minutes you add to your commute adds up to 40 hours per year of your time. Time you could spend with kids helping them with school!
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