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Old 07-05-2015, 01:28 PM
 
Location: Charlotte, NC
186 posts, read 393,068 times
Reputation: 112

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Okay, we started looking in the Binghamton area, then smaller villages like Brockport (love it but can't afford it- mainly taxes), Canandaigua (still a big possibility), Naples (semi-possibility), and Geneva (concerned about some of the school ratings and maintaining a good property value- any input?).

Now, my question is: How about Rochester? We looked at Rochester several years ago based on the recommendation of a professor of mine who was from there (and since moved back to teach)- she loved it. However, at the time, there was nothing there for my husband job-wise, and the houses we looked at had very high taxes and weren't in areas we adored. My husband works from home now (an actual job that he can take with him as long as we have high speed Internet), so that is much less of a consideration. We hope to avoid heavy snow, and now that we have a family, we are looking for a nice, quieter neighborhood that is safe and welcoming.

To give you an idea, we currently live in Charlotte, NC in a nice neighborhood but we have to drive everywhere. For everything. Including taking the kids to the park... or library... or anywhere. I would like to be able to walk them more places, perhaps be close to good schools, meet other moms and be part of activities. We also want to escape the high summer humidity we get here.

Very random, but if you have ever been to Pittsburgh, we really like that city for its lovely parks and neighborhoods, especially the Mount Lebanon area. We are looking for something like that- a nice hamlet within the big city. We can afford about $150k for a house since we need to leave room for taxes, hopefully 4 bedrooms and a nice yard- doesn't have to be huge, but usable. Older Victorian homes are perfectly good, just hope to have at least major updates like electrical, plumbing, etc.

Three of our four kids are adopted- two are black and one has Down syndrome, so we really want to be in a friendly, welcoming area that accepts everyone! We are in our thirties, quiet, and don't go out much- just a typical, young family.

I honestly have no clue where to start looking in Rochester and appreciate any help!

Thank you!!
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Old 07-05-2015, 03:02 PM
 
56,672 posts, read 80,973,859 times
Reputation: 12521
Look in the Southeastern portion of the city. Highland Park(aka Ellwanger-Berry) may be a good fit: Highland Park Neighborhood Association | "The Finest and Healthiest Part of The City"

Highland Park Neighborhood - Rochester Wiki

More info: Southeast Quadrant - Rochester Wiki

You can find similar areas in other Upstate cities. For instance, if you still want Binghamton, the West Side(south of Main) and into the SW corner of the city could work.
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Old 07-06-2015, 12:10 AM
 
351 posts, read 240,736 times
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What are your plans for schooling? Public, private, or home schooling? Unfortunately a huge drawback of the city is schools, but depending on where you plan to send your kids I'm sure the greater Rochester area has something for your family.
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Old 07-06-2015, 08:02 AM
 
Location: Charlotte, NC
186 posts, read 393,068 times
Reputation: 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by UncleBenny View Post
What are your plans for schooling? Public, private, or home schooling? Unfortunately a huge drawback of the city is schools, but depending on where you plan to send your kids I'm sure the greater Rochester area has something for your family.
We need public school with a good special ed department for our rising kindergartener. She has Down syndrome and needs therapies as well. I really like the neighborhood CHKTHANKGOD posted, but yes, I noticed the 1-3 school ratings! We currently are zoned for a 2 rated, very urban, high turnover elementary school, but our daughter was able to get a spot at a better school down the road since she is so delayed. Our 12 year-old will most likely attend public school. She is also adopted and has cognitive issues but does okay (i.e. is an average "C" student with lots of help) in public school. We plan on probably homeschooling our two youngest kids in several years. Thank you!
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Old 07-06-2015, 10:09 AM
 
56,672 posts, read 80,973,859 times
Reputation: 12521
Quote:
Originally Posted by Luv4ThePaws View Post
We need public school with a good special ed department for our rising kindergartener. She has Down syndrome and needs therapies as well. I really like the neighborhood CHKTHANKGOD posted, but yes, I noticed the 1-3 school ratings! We currently are zoned for a 2 rated, very urban, high turnover elementary school, but our daughter was able to get a spot at a better school down the road since she is so delayed. Our 12 year-old will most likely attend public school. She is also adopted and has cognitive issues but does okay (i.e. is an average "C" student with lots of help) in public school. We plan on probably homeschooling our two youngest kids in several years. Thank you!
It article may help in terms if where to look in the area: Watchdog report: Special education comes home
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Old 07-07-2015, 12:35 PM
 
Location: Charlotte, NC
186 posts, read 393,068 times
Reputation: 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by ckhthankgod View Post
Look in the Southeastern portion of the city. Highland Park(aka Ellwanger-Berry) may be a good fit: Highland Park Neighborhood Association | "The Finest and Healthiest Part of The City"

Highland Park Neighborhood - Rochester Wiki

More info: Southeast Quadrant - Rochester Wiki

You can find similar areas in other Upstate cities. For instance, if you still want Binghamton, the West Side(south of Main) and into the SW corner of the city could work.
I checked out West Binghamton. You're right, that is exactly what we had in mind!! Schools are still subpar and on the same level as Rochester schools- lots of 1-3 ratings. But, the lots are a little bigger and the homes seem to be maintained better as a whole. I really appreciate you, AGAIN!, taking the time to help I wonder how the schools actually are though. Hard to find out reliable info.
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Old 07-07-2015, 12:42 PM
 
Location: Charlotte, NC
186 posts, read 393,068 times
Reputation: 112
I also liked the Southeast Rochester area that you recommended- some of the houses were gorgeous! But, the ones we can afford tend to be in so-so areas.
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Old 07-07-2015, 12:55 PM
 
56,672 posts, read 80,973,859 times
Reputation: 12521
Quote:
Originally Posted by Luv4ThePaws View Post
I checked out West Binghamton. You're right, that is exactly what we had in mind!! Schools are still subpar and on the same level as Rochester schools- lots of 1-3 ratings. But, the lots are a little bigger and the homes seem to be maintained better as a whole. I really appreciate you, AGAIN!, taking the time to help I wonder how the schools actually are though. Hard to find out reliable info.
You can look at other sources like Schooldigger, USA Location information - USA.com, the NYSED Report Cards or even the school/district sites as well.

Keep in mind that the numbers are for test scores only and some times, if a school has more special ed students or ESL students, that may have an impact on scores.
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Old 07-07-2015, 01:37 PM
 
Location: Charlotte, NC
186 posts, read 393,068 times
Reputation: 112
Yes, you are exactly right. For instance, my 12 year-old Ethiopian daughter is not a good student. She lacks drive and motivation, so she got miserable results on her end of grade (EOG is what they call them here) tests. That definitely affects test scores. However, our "2" rated schools also mean fairly bad circumstances for the kids- i.e. dilapidated buildings and portable classrooms taking over, crime, extreme poverty, etc. Her first year of elementary school, a parent brought a gun to school, two women got in a screaming/cussing match in the parking lot and ripped out each other's hair weaves, lots of uninterested parents, etc. Our "2" schools are very urban.

So, I guess what I am trying to figure out is the school atmospheres up there as a whole. Are they rated poorly but they are nice schools with teachers that care? Or, are they like ours where Teach for America sends the nice do-gooder teachers for a couple of years to try and make a difference, then they leave and everything goes back to the way it was... complete with metal detectors and limited chance for a good education. I want our tax dollars to go somewhere good for once!!
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Old 07-07-2015, 02:04 PM
 
56,672 posts, read 80,973,859 times
Reputation: 12521
Quote:
Originally Posted by Luv4ThePaws View Post
Yes, you are exactly right. For instance, my 12 year-old Ethiopian daughter is not a good student. She lacks drive and motivation, so she got miserable results on her end of grade (EOG is what they call them here) tests. That definitely affects test scores. However, our "2" rated schools also mean fairly bad circumstances for the kids- i.e. dilapidated buildings and portable classrooms taking over, crime, extreme poverty, etc. Her first year of elementary school, a parent brought a gun to school, two women got in a screaming/cussing match in the parking lot and ripped out each other's hair weaves, lots of uninterested parents, etc. Our "2" schools are very urban.

So, I guess what I am trying to figure out is the school atmospheres up there as a whole. Are they rated poorly but they are nice schools with teachers that care? Or, are they like ours where Teach for America sends the nice do-gooder teachers for a couple of years to try and make a difference, then they leave and everything goes back to the way it was... complete with metal detectors and limited chance for a good education. I want our tax dollars to go somewhere good for once!!
This elementary school in the SE part of the city seems to be pretty solid: Francis Parker School No. 23 / Overview

Just to throw another small city out there that may work: Special Education (From what I've been told, Casey Park and Owasco have good programs, but may have been reconfigured)

Here are the neighborhoods/areas those elementary schools are in: https://www.google.com/maps/@42.9406...8i6656!6m1!1e1

https://www.google.com/maps/place/Ow...4b4ee8!6m1!1e1

I know Herman and Seward were mentioned on the site and this is what the area around those schools look like: https://www.google.com/maps/@42.9349...8i6656!6m1!1e1

https://www.google.com/maps/@42.9165...7i13312!8i6656

It is closer to Syracuse. So, I don't know if that would be an issue or if you have specifically honed in on the Rochester area. If so, have you looked into Canandaigua or perhaps any other villages in the area?

Last edited by ckhthankgod; 07-07-2015 at 02:27 PM..
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