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View Poll Results: For a balance of socioeconomic and racial diversity as well as great education, where would you live
Wyoming Elementary section- Short Hills/Millburn 1 8.33%
Millburn 2 16.67%
Montclair 6 50.00%
Upper Montclair 2 16.67%
Deerfield Elementary section- Short Hills 0 0%
Glenwood Elementary section- Short Hills 1 8.33%
South Mountain Elementary section- Short Hills 1 8.33%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 12. You may not vote on this poll

Old 08-01-2016, 09:15 AM
4 posts, read 4,263 times
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We are a mixed /interracial family moving from Brooklyn to NJ. We are torn between the outstanding school district in Short Hills and Millburn and the diverse, but lower rated schools of Maplewood / South Orange, or even Montclair. We are willing to pay for private schools if needed or maybe when the kids are in middle school and high school, but definitely do not want the kids growing up in an environment without racial and socioeconomic diversity. I have seen that there might be 0 black kids in Hartshorn. Could this be true? In the entire elementary school?

Would it be a mistake to move to Short Hills? Anyone able to speak to their experience?
How about moving to South Orange or Montclair and supplementing the education?

Lastly, Everyone is telling us about Maplewood and how amazing it is, but we have not found a home or lot that is large enough for our family needs. So Maplewood is last on our list.

Lastly, we need to have a short and easy train and driving commute to the city, so anything further than Summit is pretty much out for us.

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Old 08-01-2016, 09:25 AM
Location: Durham NC
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For the most part diversity will bring poorer schools. You have to weigh that yourself.
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Old 08-01-2016, 10:48 AM
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If you can afford it, move to Short Hills/Millburn. I don't know anyone in their right mind who wouldn't especially if schools are part of the consideration.
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Old 08-01-2016, 11:21 AM
Location: West Orange, NJ
701 posts, read 1,439,508 times
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Short hills will get you the best schools. If you want diversity and cant find something in Montclair/South Orange/Maplewood check out West Orange. You get much more house for the money and they have jitneys that take you to the train. Gregory area is right by South Orange/Maplewood.
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Old 08-01-2016, 12:21 PM
1,155 posts, read 857,421 times
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This question comes up every month or so. You might check the archives. Just searching on "Maplewood" will find you a bunch of threads.

My stock response (as a South Orange resident) is that Maplewood, South Orange, and Montclair are full of wealthy people who could live anywhere they wanted, including Short Hills, but choose to pay a big tax premium to live in these towns specifically because of the racial diversity, the liberal/creative vibe, and the strong community spirit. That's reflected in our crazy housing markets.

Our schools are excellent, but our ratings are brought down by the presence of lower-income kids and ESL kids. Racial diversity often comes with socioeconomic diversity, and that's the case here.

ETA: South Orange and Maplewood share a school district. These two towns essentially function as one town. People move between them all the time. However, South Orange will get you bigger houses and more diversity, especially wealthy African Americans.
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Old 08-01-2016, 07:47 PM
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Racial dot map of the US

The Racial Dot Map: One Dot Per Person for the Entire U.S.

I can't direct link to a spot, but if you turn on map labels and find South Orange, you'll see that in South Orange there are a fair number of black people everywhere in town, most of the rest white and Asian. As you move south into Maplewood, not very many black people west of Valley Road (not none, just fewer), but still quite a few on the east side of Valley. Once you're into Millburn, almost no black people, same for the Short Hills section of Millburn on the west side. Going north gets you into West Orange, with a substantial black and Hispanic population, further north into Montclair, also very diverse.

So, basically, Kthrny is right. I'd add that if you have the money for Millburn, you might prefer the west side of Valley to the East, which suggests South Orange rather than Maplewood for the diversity in that district. West Orange is a possibility if you're only interested in the elementary schools (and you have to choose carefully there), but taxes are even more ridiculous and the middle and high schools aren't rated well; South Orange or Montclair is probably a better bet.
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Old 08-02-2016, 06:37 AM
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The only benefits to living in Millburn or Short Hills is that real estate taxes are lower than Montclair or Maplewood/South Orange, and public schools are rated better.

Otherwise, Millburn and Short Hills really aren't friendly or that comfortable to an interracial family (or really anyone, for that matter, very snobby town). Montclair, Maplewood, and South Orange are much nicer/friendlier towns, not to mention much more diverse.

Millburn is marginally more down to earth than the Short Hills section (which is still part of the town of Millburn), but everyone's all together in the middle and high school and the atmosphere isn't pretty.
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Old 08-02-2016, 07:43 AM
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Having moved from the city to South Orange early last year, I'm part of the people that preferred to live in a diverse community instead of a town with better online school rankings but a more homogeneous population. I actually grew up in Phoenix in an area with a desirable, but homogeneous high school and I think that was somewhat a disservice to me. While I did have a liberal family and friends, you don't really understand the reality of race in America until you are actually exposed to people affected by it.

As mentioned, South Orange/Maplewood aren't really different enough to bother singling one out over the other. The towns function as one community with the high school as the center of it. Neighborhoods cross town borders, all the community groups I've seen are for both towns. Inventory can be low in either town as this is a popular place for people leaving the city to end up, so there's no strong reason to look at one versus the other. All of the differences are just relatively minor details due to them being different municipalities.

While the schools don't get rated as highly on the sites, everyone I know here sends their kids to public school and most rave about their experiences. Our son is only 3, so he's still in preschool, but we are definitely planning to send him to public school.
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Old 08-02-2016, 07:05 PM
Location: Durham NC
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Although Maplewood and SO share the same HS you cannot compare the two. Maplewood ain't SO.
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Old 08-02-2016, 07:53 PM
1,155 posts, read 857,421 times
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Originally Posted by lancers View Post
Although Maplewood and SO share the same HS you cannot compare the two. Maplewood ain't SO.
Care to expand on that?
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