U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > Massachusetts
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Old 05-08-2008, 02:08 PM
18 posts, read 101,941 times
Reputation: 13


Hi. We will be moving to the Boston area and my husband will be working in Cambridge. We'd like to move somewhere near Cambridge that offers a Spanish Two-way immersion/dual language program. My oldest will be three so we still have some time, but I don't want to get attached to one place especially since this is a high priority for our family.

I found Spanish immersion programs in Boston (South End) , Brockton, Cambridge, Chelsea, Framingham, and Roxbury.

I realize that due to the nature of this type of program, the schools are not the "best" on paper or may not be in the "best" places. However, based on the places mentioned, which would you recommend as the best place to raise a family keeping in mind a commute to Cambridge (I don't know where some of these areas are in relation to Cambridge).

Cambridge does seem to be a good choice but the cost of living might make it impossible for us to find an affordable place for a family of 4.


Last edited by mjgandthree; 05-08-2008 at 03:31 PM.. Reason: added cities
Quick reply to this message

Old 05-08-2008, 09:46 PM
Location: Cambridge, MA
4,726 posts, read 10,681,953 times
Reputation: 6430
Cambridge's public schools are a lot better than they're given credit for, and as a matter of fact the "Amigos" school is consistently one of the most sought-after and highly regarded of the K-8 schools. (There's an open choice program in effect so that everyone has an equal chance at sending their child/ren to the elementary schools they prefer. One high school, Cambridge Rindge & Latin, serves the entire city.)

While it's true that no other city in the entire United States - populated higher than 100,000 anyway - has more single-family houses valued at over $1m, it's not impossible to find Cambridge property that's at least somewhat affordable. The real coup would be if you found a place with a significant amount of yard that wasn't attached to at least one other dwelling. It's both amusing and scary to me that despite a comfortable middle-class salary I still fall within the income guidelines for public housing!

Chelsea isn't a terrible distance away, but a good bit of the city is pretty rundown and the schools have a bad reputation in terms of academic quality. Well over half of its population is Hispanic, so opportunities to be bilingual would abound. But that in and of itself shouldn't be reason to move there.

Within Boston, the largest concentrations of Spanish-speaking people are in Jamaica Plain, the South End, Roslindale, East Boston, and the Uphams Corner section of Dorchester. Roslindale and "JP" would be the areas to look at houses in, as the level of safety in Dorchester varies greatly and sometimes can change markedly from one block to the next. The South End's residential real estate consists entirely of apartment buildings and row houses, with "pocket parks" the only green space, plus it's the city's ubertrendy guppie/yuppie community with inflated costs to match. "Eastie" is on the decline mostly, and with the exception of the Orient Heights neighborhood doesn't contain many free-standing houses.

Brockton is some distance south of Boston, and you'd have to pass through the city in order to reach Cambridge. There's now commuter rail service out there, which would entail a fairly lengthy trip into South Station and then the Red Line subway from there to Cambridge. It has both nice and not-so-nice neighborhoods, but little in the way of distinctive homes. (Many of the dwellings are Capes, ranches, and split-levels built in the 1960's and '70s. Blah.) Pretty much any section is "good," but the part west of Route 24 is probably the best followed by the northern, western, and eastern corners of town (not necessarily in that order.) Brockton's schools are fair-to-middling, having borne the brunt of tax-levy defeats and the Baby Bust. The city's no stranger to crime, but the bulk of it occurs in the downtown core and its immediate surroundings.

Then, to the west there's Framingham. I could picture your ranking it #2 behind Cambridge (due to relative commute time.) Most of the town, especially north of Route 9 and the Turnpike, retains a distinctive suburban feel. Only a small area around the commuter rail station could be described as "urban" or "sketchy." Boston's "Metro West" sprawl of housing developments and malls has Framingham as one of its anchors, but within its boundaries you'll find not only the sprawling Nobscot Reservation (a state park and Boy Scout camp) but also the famed Garden in the Woods. Its schools hover in or near the mid-range in terms of quality. Commuting by car to Cambridge really isn't all that much of a trial, since the turnpike connects the localities and is rarely backed up to a standstill.
Quick reply to this message
Old 05-09-2008, 07:24 AM
Location: Boston
142 posts, read 583,507 times
Reputation: 72
There's probably not too many programs such as the one you're looking for left in the state. The state standards shifted towards English immersion as opposed to bilingual education a few years ago. Typically, all districts perform annual assessments on English proficiency, and then design programs approved by the DOE around serving those students. I believe a district needs to have certain percentage of students not proficient in Engiish (LEP) in order to offer the dual-language programs that you describe, but I'm not entirely sure about that.
If you're in the South End or Roxbury, you're in the Boston school system. Verify whether you obtain a spot in the school you want. It may not be as easy as it seems. You may have a better chance in a smaller school district.
You can find good information on the state 's Education web site: Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. There's detailed information on the LLE and LEP programs, and data on academic performance of individual school districts, including breakdowns of LEP students.
Quick reply to this message
Old 05-09-2008, 07:38 AM
18 posts, read 101,941 times
Reputation: 13
(There's an open choice program in effect so that everyone has an equal chance at sending their child/ren to the elementary schools they prefer. One high school, Cambridge Rindge & Latin, serves the entire city.)
So can you chose a school for your child outside your district?

Last edited by mjgandthree; 05-09-2008 at 07:40 AM.. Reason: quote
Quick reply to this message
Old 05-09-2008, 12:24 PM
2,127 posts, read 4,150,855 times
Reputation: 1274
Originally Posted by mjgandthree View Post
So can you chose a school for your child outside your district?
there are no "districts" in Cambridge you can go to school across town or the school next to your house if that's where you end up after the lottery (there is a slight prefrence in the lottery for those living near it and for siblings). Slots for each school are determined based on the number of low SES and high SES kids applying each year.

If you want more info on how the lottery works check out the discussion forum on cambridgepublic.us
Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.

Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply

Loading data...
Based on 2000-2016 data
Loading data...

Hide US histogram

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > Massachusetts
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

2005-2017, Advameg, Inc.

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32 - Top