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Thread summary:

Good San Antonio Texas schools, healthiest communities for children, private schools emphasize God, firsthand experience with the NISD, highly dedicated teachers, parent involvement

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Old 01-20-2008, 09:50 AM
 
197 posts, read 704,452 times
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We are considering a move to SA and with two little ones, school is very important to us..... I hear schools in SA are excellent but see little to back it up. Then again, perhaps I just don't know what I am looking for?

What makes San Antonio schools good? If you had a choice of where to live and/or send your kids to school, where would you choose and why?

What is the "healthiest" community for children in terms of opportunities, sports, things, sense of community to do etc? Given we are out of towners, transplant communities where we can form our "own family" of neighbors and friends are important. Things like sidewalks, community centers, places to shop are important too.....

We have looked at some golf club communities and we like the sports factor but of course, worry about they snooty factor as well. We'd like the kids to have a wholesome upbringing where they can play a lot, ride their bikes freely, go to good schools and grow up centered. We know that as parents that is our job--but choosing a community that will support that is a big issue as well. We are fortunate that we are coming from out of state where real estate is much higher and can therefore afford anywhere from 800K-2M but quality of life is the most important thing we are after......

We are not very religious and some of the private schools I have called really emphasize God which is fine, but not for us.... However, I do want the kids to go to academically challenging yet nurturing schools that inspire kids to learn but allows them to be kids....

Where would you live if you were us and why? ANy advice would be so appreciated.... I am so stressed trying to make this decision because our other option is to move to NJ where family resides. Our cost of living would go dramatically, but we feel as though overall quality of life would be less. The only two things NJ offers us is 1) a sense of community given family and 2) phenomenal public schools.....

Please advise!! THANKS

Lola
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Old 01-20-2008, 10:02 AM
 
Location: San Antonio, TX
8,400 posts, read 20,103,487 times
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You are from California, aren't you?

OK, a simple search of this forum will answer most of your questions; but to sum it all up for you, San Antonio is a great place to live (easily supported by the vast number of people moving here) but it is only as good as you make it.

We are not you and honestly asking people who live in San Antonio if they would chose to live in San Antonio is going to get you some "slightly" biased responses. It is best that you do your homework and make that decision for yourself.

As for schools, we think they are sensational here. Do I have "stats" to back up that feeling? No, our beliefs come from firsthand experience with the NISD. We have found the teachers and administrators to be highly dedicated and motivated individuals, and we are fully engaged in our children's education. I also worked with the NISD staff on the 2007 Bond, and was quite impressed. Sure, not everyone there is perfect; but overall we are glad to have them involved in educating our children. But as I said, we don't expect them to do it by themselves and if you really want a "phenomenal" school then you need to get involved to make it so.

Maybe it was the numerous moves when I was in the military, but why do people stress out so much when the decision is in their own hands? If you want stress, try being told where you are going to move for 20+ years! Of course, the majority of military families learn early that no matter where you go, it is only going to be as good as you make it. And as such, I can honestly say we never had a bad assignment.

And, just to answer your question, when we finally got a choice in where we were going to live, we chose San Antonio for a variety of reasons. We were stationed here once during my career, and love it; and we have been very happy with that choice to move here after I retired.

Cheers! M2
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Old 01-20-2008, 10:13 AM
 
197 posts, read 704,452 times
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No not from California. As for being stressed, I hear you but can't help it. This is my upteenth corporate relo move and as a SAHM, it feels like a wrecking ball comes our way every few years and destroys every thing I build---from friendships, to community contacts (doctors etc) to schools etc. You talk about being involved--I am a board member in the local parents association at school. When I move, I get to start over--making connections, acquiring a reputation, learning who to go to and hoping the present school is at least as good as the one I left. Don't even get me started on how this affects our kids. Frankly, I hate it but for many SOLID reasons that have to do with responsibility and NOT greed, it is the way we live.

Anyway, I can help my DH make a choice between a job in NJ or one in SA--what I can't do is what i want to do most, stay put. But enough about that....wa-ha-ha, KWIM?? :-) So it's not under our control, exactly.... But I suppose we are lucky we at least have two options and have the finances to make it work.

I have been perusing this forum and my question comes from not finding what I want most----first hand anecdotal stories which can tell you much more than mere stats. Your sentence about first hand experience is a fantastic data point for me--much more reassuring than running some comparison data on a website. I am hoping to get enough responses to build a mental picture of what I need to consider. I have learned from moving that every city is unique and it is impossible to find the exact same set of pros and cons every place you go. Seattle was different from NJ and Atlanta is different from both. Only through conversation do I ever learn what each city has to offer, KWIM? This is me doing part of my homework and I appreciate you sharing your insights.

Lola
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Old 01-20-2008, 10:23 AM
 
Location: San Antonio
2,216 posts, read 3,982,829 times
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We recently moved from a suburb of Atlanta. My son (elem age) was a A and B student but struggeled. Class sizes were ginormous. Here the student to teacher ratio at NISD seems to be much smaller from what I can see. As for his grades......All A's. And he makes it look easy now. I worked in the school system in Atlanta. From what I can see here I am impressed. I have just recently been hired as a sub with NISD and I can tell you they seem to require much more training and education from their staff. The bar is set high.
Also, being that this is a military town kids here are used to seeing kids come and go so it was very easy for us to make the transistion into school. There was no feeling of being the odd new kid.
As for neighborhoods, I am way below your price range so I can't really say what's good and what's not. I am off 1604 and Potranco and we love it. I've been thru many relocations - we are retail management and it comes with the territory.

Personally I would pick San Antonio without hesitation.
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Old 01-20-2008, 10:30 AM
 
1,276 posts, read 3,433,607 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lolamom View Post
This is my upteenth corporate relo move and as a SAHM, it feels like a wrecking ball comes our way every few years and destroys every thing I build---from friendships, to community contacts (doctors etc) to schools etc. You talk about being involved--I am a board member in the local parents association at school. When I move, I get to start over--making connections, acquiring a reputation, learning who to go to and hoping the present school is at least as good as the one I left. Don't even get me started on how this affects our kids. Frankly, I hate it but for many SOLID reasons that have to do with responsibility and NOT greed, it is the way we live.
As a military daughter and now spouse, I have done this for 35 years. I don't look at it as destruction to my family nor the loss of friendships. I look at it as an opportunity to see what it's like to live in different parts of the world (and country). I have kept in touch with people as far back as from when I was in 5th grade--I don't know of many who can say that. I definitely know what it's like to start over every 3-4 years. Looking for a new job is always the fun part (insert sarcasm here).

Even with the negative (having to start over at a new job, missing friends, etc) there is a lot of positive like experiencing another culture, making new friends, and growing as a person and family.
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Old 01-20-2008, 10:57 AM
 
Location: San Antonio
4,149 posts, read 9,303,154 times
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Numbers about schools can be skewed to say anything. As far as I know, the standardized test results in most NEISD and NISD schools are good, but I hate standardized tests, as I don't like schools teaching to pass a test, instead of teaching them how to excel in life.

That being said, when I was in school, I never felt that we were lacking anything. There were tons of computers, the schools always had money to add new buildings and wings, most teachers were great and the ones that weren't, well it was probably due to me being a smart*$$ teenager. I just never felt like anything was lacking. It never seemed that we needed something that wasn't there.

It's not statistics, but my firsthand experience was good. Granted, this was years ago, but the schools are still incredibly well funded. And some of these new schools look like palaces.
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Old 01-20-2008, 11:50 AM
 
Location: San Antonio, TX
8,400 posts, read 20,103,487 times
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OK, you want some firsthand stories? Well, our youngest is autistic, and obviously has greater requirements than your average student. The elementary school he started in has been absolutely wonderful in getting him integrated as well as providing the special programs he needs. All our concerns were immediately addressed, and we are not only very engaged with his teachers and aides; but also the staff at his school.

And concerning moving all the time, I think hadleyzoo nailed it (and I rep'd her for it), you have to approach it in a positive manner. Heck, if you think moving is tough, try doing it to countries where you don't speak the language! And imagine what it is like when you are living in those countries and your husband has to deploy for several months. But we--and most military families on here--have done that numerous times. It is a true test to the strength of the family...not just the members but the family itself.

San Antonio isn't for everyone, and there is no guarantee that you will like it here; but most of us feel this is a wonderful city with lots to do. I have lived in many nice places and some that weren't too nice; but like I said when it came down to where I actually wanted to live (instead of being told), we had no problems choosing.

I would recommend a visit before deciding.

Cheers! M2
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Old 01-20-2008, 11:53 AM
 
197 posts, read 704,452 times
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Thanks guys.... Normally am a very positive person---the whole move thing brings out my worst attitude.

However, your assurances are MOST welcome and I loved, loved, loved the post from kevcrawford aboout never feeling you were lacking. That's fantastic to hear. Thanks everyone--keep the opinions coming!!
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Old 01-20-2008, 12:25 PM
 
Location: Mid South Central TX
3,183 posts, read 7,413,016 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lolamom View Post
Thanks guys.... Normally am a very positive person---the whole move thing brings out my worst attitude.

However, your assurances are MOST welcome and I loved, loved, loved the post from kevcrawford aboout never feeling you were lacking. That's fantastic to hear. Thanks everyone--keep the opinions coming!!
Well, for one thing, your housing $$ will go a lot farther here than in NJ. I am originally from Boston, my husband from DC. I would LOVE to move back-however, the housing prices are killer. Does that mean I don't like living here? Not at all! In fact, I think that San Antonio is one of the most family friendly (let's face it-friendly overall!) cities.

While there IS more to it than $$, your children will receive an excellent education here (public or private). THEN, you take whatever leftover equity you have, and put it towards their college funds.

FWIW, My kids went to both private and public. I now teach in public as well. I don't think that you would regret a move to SA, no matter where you send your kids to school. For the record, more people here send their kids to public schools than on the East Coast.

Keep posting questions as you think of them...
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Old 01-20-2008, 03:31 PM
 
1,276 posts, read 3,433,607 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lolamom View Post
Thanks guys.... Normally am a very positive person---the whole move thing brings out my worst attitude.
Even for me having to move every 3-4 years, I would get attitudinal (is that even a word?) too. It is a stressful time...but think positive and everything always seems to work out.
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