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Old 11-16-2019, 06:58 PM
 
2 posts, read 468 times
Reputation: 10

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We just got a job offer for a job in the city and a requirement is that we live in the city. We have a middle schooler and she is in advanced courses now. In looking at the public schools, I’m nervous about opportunities for her to continue to be challenged. Hoping to find advice on what to do for school for her. Where to live, charter school application processes, etc.

When are you moving? March 2020

Where are you coming from? Frederick, Maryland

Why are you moving? Job

Where will you be working? FJD, Philadelphia

Have you been here yet? Just for interviews

Will you buy or rent? Either

If buying, are you looking for a house or a condo? Either

How much can you spend? $500K

If renting, are you looking for an apartment, a townhouse or loft? Townhouse

How much can you spend? $2600/mo.

Do you prefer hi-rise or walk up? Either, just needing for 3 bedrooms

Do you have a preference of living in a NJ or PA suburb? Has to be a Philadelphia address
(If you answered NJ - post your answers here: http://www.city-data.com/forum/new-j...-philadelphia/)

Are you married or single? Married

Do you have children? Yes, middle schooler

Do you prefer public or private schools? Public. Trying to avoid paying tuition AND dance tuition

Do you have pets? Yes. 2 cats and they want a dog

Do you want or need a yard? It’d be nice but we can make do. It’s part of city living

Are you keeping a car? Yes

Do you prefer bustling activity or calm and quiet? Calm and quiet

What do you want to be closest to? Transportation
Work
Shopping
Basic services (supermarket, drugstore, etc.)
Nightlife
Train or subway stations

Do you want to live with people of a similar age, race, religion or sexual preference or do you prefer a diverse neighborhood? Diversity is awesome but a neighborhood with peers for my child would be great

Favorite Beverage - Craft Beer, wine, water? Wine!
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Old 11-18-2019, 11:16 AM
 
823 posts, read 493,517 times
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Just off the top of my head I would say that if you need to be in city bounds, but value calm and quiet over hustle and bustle and want a yard, you should look in Northeast Philly or in the NW neighborhoods (Chestnut Hill, Mt. Airy).
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Old 11-18-2019, 11:51 AM
 
Location: Philadelphia
1,145 posts, read 665,956 times
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I would also 100% recommend Mt. Airy and Chestnut Hill as your first options. Desirable neighborhoods, with historic charm and a diversity of housing stock/types and a strong family neighborhood.

If you choose to be closer to Center City for work, I would also highly recommend Fairmount and Spring Garden. Very desirable with a strong presence of families with school aged children.
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Old 11-18-2019, 01:23 PM
 
517 posts, read 232,291 times
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School is going to be your primary concern here. If you do have an academically gifted child, you'll want her in a magnet school. I'm not really qualified to give you any advice on how to navigate that, but it should be your top priority. There are several excellent college prep public magnet schools (e.g. Masterman, Central). There is also a very good school for performing and creating arts if you think the dance will be a possible professional career.

There are many great neighborhoods to live in in Philly, that is less of a concern. Do the research on the schools first and foremost.
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Old 11-18-2019, 02:53 PM
 
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for middle school, Penn Alexander is a top school. It's in West Philly around Penn's campus, but usually housing comes at a premium due to the school. Greenfield and McCall in center city, as well as Meredith in queen village are good. There are also several schools that have strong neighborhood support and are steadily improving (Jackson in Passyunk square, Nebinger in Bella Vista, Chester Aurthur and Stanton in Graduate Hospital, Waring and Bache / Martin in Fairmount are the ones I've heard good things about, but I'm sure there are more). I believe the schools in Manayunk and Chestnut Hill/Mt Airy (Jenks, Charles Henry, Dobson, Cook-Wissahickon, Shawmont) are decent as well. Science Leadership Academy around Drexel's campus is good and it's specifically middle school. For HS, the good ones I think you need to test into, but not as familiar with them (other than Central/Masterman) as I've got a while to worry about that still. There are also numerous charter schools in addition to the public schools that I think operate as a lottery for enrollment. Independence is one that I've heard is good and is in center city.

You can see the district boundaries on this map:
https://webapps1.philasd.org/school_finder/

Last edited by skintreesnail; 11-18-2019 at 03:17 PM..
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Old 12-02-2019, 05:23 AM
 
676 posts, read 616,882 times
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We also plan to move to Center City and I'd be interested if anyone had input on the differences between Greenfield and McCall schools? They seem to be similar in performance as well as a similar in types of kids going to that school. Thanks
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Old 12-02-2019, 07:00 AM
 
2,185 posts, read 6,804,877 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JakeinChina View Post
We also plan to move to Center City and I'd be interested if anyone had input on the differences between Greenfield and McCall schools? They seem to be similar in performance as well as a similar in types of kids going to that school. Thanks

This was discussed extensively on a thread you started a few months ago. Nothing has changed.

To refresh your memory.

Center City Public Schools
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Old 12-02-2019, 07:28 AM
 
2 posts, read 468 times
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Thanks for the advice, all. I’ve contacted several Charter and Magnet schools. Now to decide where we want to live. Close to work (City Hall) or further afield. How is the commute from Chestnut Hill, et al. to Center City?

Also, any recommendations on a good ballet school? DD is currently in a pre-professional program 5 days a week.
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Old 12-02-2019, 07:52 AM
 
2,185 posts, read 6,804,877 times
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It's an easy commute from Chestnut Hill. You have a choice of two train lines ,and it will take about 35 minutes (depending where you get on.)

SEPTA | Chestnut Hill West Line Regional Rail Schedule | Weekday | to Center City Philadelphia

SEPTA | Chestnut Hill East Line Regional Rail Schedule | Weekday | to Center City Philadelphia
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Old 12-02-2019, 09:07 AM
 
Location: Germantown, Philadelphia
5,669 posts, read 2,760,074 times
Reputation: 3573
Quote:
Originally Posted by rowhomecity View Post
I would also 100% recommend Mt. Airy and Chestnut Hill as your first options. Desirable neighborhoods, with historic charm and a diversity of housing stock/types and a strong family neighborhood.

If you choose to be closer to Center City for work, I would also highly recommend Fairmount and Spring Garden. Very desirable with a strong presence of families with school aged children.
You knew, didn't you, that I would add northwest Germantown to this list?

Close to Mt. Airy in geography, neighborhood character and housing stock, and your dollar will probably go further there. Also a little more racially diverse than next-door West Mt. Airy (Mt. Airy as a whole still deserves its reputation for integration, but one side of the neighborhood is more heavily white and the other more heavily African-American).

I've heard direct testimony from parents of children enrolled in that school that Anna Lingelbach, its ratings and scores on the school rating sites notwithstanding, actually has an excellent teaching staff who are dedicated and committed and that the school actually has what children need to thrive. (Some of the problems people identify with schools like this one are more closely related to socioeconomic status and the home environment. For that reason I would also suggest that you not rule out the neighborhood public schools in Mt. Airy proper should you decide to settle there (Lingelbach sits on the Germantown/Mt. Airy border and draws students from both neighborhoods). I've become something of a contrarian on school advice, in part because I'm an integrationist through and through and my reading of history suggests to me that we have the schools we have not because the schools can't perform but because parents refuse to give them a chance based on (most likely unconscious) race and class prejudice. My advice to house-hunters is: Visit the school; you don't buy a house sight unseen, do you?

As for ballet schools, the two I know of are the Rock School in South Philly at Broad and Washington and the School of the Pennsylvania Ballet, which is on North Broad Street between Callowhill and Spring Garden. Either will be a commute from Northwest Philly, but both are fairly convenient to Spring Garden, Fairmount, Francisville and Northern Liberties.

(FTR: I have no children, but I write and edit the real estate channel on Phillymag.com, so I pay attention to stuff like this.)
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