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Old 03-08-2010, 12:59 PM
 
Location: Raleigh, NC
6 posts, read 15,168 times
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We are new to the area, we have a 4yr old little girl who will start elementary school in 2011. We have moved here from Puerto Rico, and we both have good jobs (Pharma).

We just went to Cary Park this weekend and really enjoyed the area (Amberly) but are unsure of the schools, we would really like our daughter to continue her spanish while also learning english.

Schools we have looked at so far are:

J.Y. Joyner - Raleigh (Five points)
Mary Scroggs - Chapel Hill (Southern Village

We would like to know your opinions.

Thanks again.
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Old 03-08-2010, 01:12 PM
 
997 posts, read 4,158,951 times
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My vote is for Chapel Hill. They have better schools than Wake. What is your price range? If your target price range is Amberly I don't think you will find much in Chapel Hill.

In Wake, it's good to visit schools but I wouldn't get too attached to one particular school. That can always change. The new board says it is favoring neighborhood schools but it is too early to tell yet.
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Old 03-08-2010, 01:15 PM
 
Location: Cary, NC
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I think they're both fine, it just depends on what you like better. But, if you live in Cary, then chances are good you won't be able to go to Joyner Elementary school.
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Old 03-08-2010, 01:36 PM
 
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Have you looked at the elementary schools in the Cary Park/Amberly area? There's Green Hope, Highcroft, Mills Park, Alston Ridge. Green Hope and Highcroft are highly rated and Mills Park and Alston Ridge are new. Not sure what kind of language programs they offer, though.

I have lived in Southern Village and am moving to the Amberly area (Weycroft). I think both areas are great. Southern Village has a great feel with Mary Scroggs right there and restaurants, shops, theater, grocery store all integrated into the neighborhood. Very family oriented neighborhood. It is pretty expensive to get in and the tax rate is much higher than Cary. The reason I moved out of Southern Village was the commute to RTP was too long for me, about 30min each way. That may be short for some who are used to long commutes in other parts of the country, but a little too long for me.

NW Cary is closer to RTP, my commute to work will be only 10min. The schools are still pretty good, maybe not rated as highly as Chapel Hill, but still pretty good. So if schools are the #1 priority for you, then you will just have to look at the schools and see what they each have to offer and make your decision based on what you find.

Hope this helps.
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Old 03-08-2010, 01:50 PM
 
Location: Durham, NC
2,530 posts, read 7,922,722 times
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Just know that Wake's public schools are changing right now, so buying a house based on its current assignment may mean nothing in one to a few years if the full shift to neighborhood schools occurs.

You may have very good reasons for this, but it seems you're completely passing over Durham. There are some very good schools in Durham, and it is possible some might even offer Spanish in some of the early years...especially at some of the magnets.
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Old 03-08-2010, 02:09 PM
 
9,198 posts, read 21,151,892 times
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Cary and Chapel Hill are two very fine communities, but they are quite different from one another. Both have a very strong sense of community, and offer a lot for families and children. Both tend to have good schools (due largely to populations of well-off families who are involved in their children's education), although as has been pointed out Cary is subject to all that is going on with the Wake County schools generally. Cary offers more "suburban conveniences" than Chapel Hill (e.g., big box stores, fast food). Chapel Hill is a bit more eclectic, and politically a more liberal environment. On an apples-to-apples basis, housing will be more expensive in Chapel Hill, and the property taxes are higher as well.
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Old 03-08-2010, 02:39 PM
 
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FWIW, Southwest Elementary in Durham offers a Dual Language program in Spanish. As one previous poster pointed out, it seems you're skipping over Durham right in between Chapel Hill and Cary. One of my friends has her son enrolled in it and has been happy with it. I will look into it for my own kids as well. My oldest is currently in a Spanish immersion preschool program. It's worth checking out Durham at least. I was writing it off as well given its reputation and decided to save money and rent here until we were ready to buy in a "better" place. It has been nothing short of a pleasant surprise to me and we are strongly considering buying right here.

But back to your original question, if you'd be happy with the house you'd be able to afford in Chapel Hill, I personally would opt for Chapel Hill. It's all subjective, though. Cary is a very nice community, but I just like the "feel" of Chapel Hill a bit more. Also, the school situation is more predictable.

By the way, I'm from Puerto Rico too. I haven't met any Puerto Ricans here yet!
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Old 03-09-2010, 06:24 AM
 
1,840 posts, read 5,125,454 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CHTransplant View Post
Cary and Chapel Hill are two very fine communities, but they are quite different from one another. Both have a very strong sense of community, and offer a lot for families and children. Both tend to have good schools (due largely to populations of well-off families who are involved in their children's education), although as has been pointed out Cary is subject to all that is going on with the Wake County schools generally. Cary offers more "suburban conveniences" than Chapel Hill (e.g., big box stores, fast food). Chapel Hill is a bit more eclectic, and politically a more liberal environment. On an apples-to-apples basis, housing will be more expensive in Chapel Hill, and the property taxes are higher as well.
Honestly, I see very little difference between Southern Village and the newer areas of Cary. Except for the fact that the residents of Southern Village merely grumble that they can't buy diet coke at their nearest grocery store, while in Cary they'd have thrown Weaver Street Market out and replaced it with a Harris Teeter by now.
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Old 03-09-2010, 06:44 AM
 
9,198 posts, read 21,151,892 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by toot68 View Post
Honestly, I see very little difference between Southern Village and the newer areas of Cary. Except for the fact that the residents of Southern Village merely grumble that they can't buy diet coke at their nearest grocery store, while in Cary they'd have thrown Weaver Street Market out and replaced it with a Harris Teeter by now.
True - you can probably take an area in either city and find comparables to what's typical in the other. My comments were more generalized and not focused on Southern Village vs. Cary.
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Old 03-09-2010, 07:20 AM
 
Location: Cary, NC
8,263 posts, read 21,803,020 times
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I really think you could live in either one and be perfectly fine. I think it boils down to which type of area you like better. Chapel Hill has a reputation of wonderful schools, but Cary schools in general are very good, and while yes, our school board is having some *issues*, if they get their way (and it looks like they will) then honestly Cary schools will probably be even better than they are now.
I would say though, that you will probably have very little chance of attending Joyner, as it is a magnet in Raleigh and already not easy to get into, plus it is not available to all areas. Also, no one is sure how the magnet system is going to be restructured with this new board. I'm just saying, don't get attached to the idea of Joyner or any magnet school in WCPSS.
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