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Old 01-12-2013, 09:08 PM
 
83 posts, read 84,786 times
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Default Need help!! Family of 4 moving to SF

Hello all,

I have absolutely no knowledge of SF at all. We will be relocating to SF soon. We have a 5 year old and a 7 month old. I will be working in Mission district and my wife in downtown. We are looking for a 3 bedroom to rent and can afford up to $3,500 (maybe a little more). What are our options for good schools (my 5 year old is gifted), good daycare, and an easy commute for both of us? Is it possible to live in the city or will we have to move outside of SF? Thanks for your help!
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Old 01-12-2013, 10:49 PM
 
Location: Baghdad by the Bay (San Francisco, California)
2,613 posts, read 1,490,555 times
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Honestly, if I had kids, I would raise them in Marin County. SF just isn't a great place for kids.
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Old 01-13-2013, 01:09 AM
 
Location: South Korea
5,245 posts, read 6,401,830 times
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I wouldn't live in SF mainly because the schools are bad, lots of parents move to the burbs once their kids get to kindergarten age.

For the burbs, depends on if you want to drive to the Mission or take BART there--maybe your office is in somewhere out of the way like near Potrero Hill, so driving would be best. Or maybe you work near the 16th Street or 24th Street BART stations, so BART would be really easy to use.

If you do work near a BART station, then look at towns with good school districts and BART stations: Lafayette, Orinda, Walnut Creek, Dublin, Pleasanton, maybe Fremont. Also maybe Millbrae in northern San Mateo County.

The other alternative would be living in northern San Mateo County--somewhere like Burlingame or San Carlos or whatever--and you'd drive to the Mission and she'd take Caltrain towards downtown. But take note of where the Caltrain terminus station is in SF, it's about a mile from Market Street where most jobs are. You didn't say where she works but I'd guess BART would be more convenient. But if she works somewhere in SOMA near the Caltrain station, that would be a way better option than BART.

Anyway start with the areas I listed and see what you can find at your budget--depends on if you want a house or apartment too.
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Old 01-13-2013, 10:33 AM
 
785 posts, read 1,183,247 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AreWeThereYet?? View Post
Hello all,

I have absolutely no knowledge of SF at all. We will be relocating to SF soon. We have a 5 year old and a 7 month old. I will be working in Mission district and my wife in downtown. We are looking for a 3 bedroom to rent and can afford up to $3,500 (maybe a little more). What are our options for good schools (my 5 year old is gifted), good daycare, and an easy commute for both of us? Is it possible to live in the city or will we have to move outside of SF? Thanks for your help!
There are good (and some excellent, and some not so good) schools in San Francisco, however the enrollment/selection process drives many families away to the suburbs, so you should check out the SFUSD website to determine if enrollment in an SF school is the route you want to go. Note that the SFUSD does not identify gifted children until 3rd grade.

There are east bay and peninsula cities with very good school districts. Others will add info on the east bay, but on the peninsula the schools in Millbrae, Burlingame & Belmont are excellent all the way through (elementary, middle & high school). Millbrae has a strong asian culture (which you may or may not like, and identification for gifted programs, like SF, start in 3rd grade). Burlingame School District appears to identify gifted in 3rd grade also Burlingame School District - Gifted and Talented Education (GATE) . If your daughter is profoundly gifted, you might be interested in Nueva School (a private school in Hillsborough The Nueva School - Welcome to the Nueva School ).
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Old 01-13-2013, 11:11 AM
 
920 posts, read 711,573 times
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Bay Area has some of the worst traffic in the U.S.. If you want to waste hours of your day stuck in that mess, then move outside of The City. BART is an option, I would check it's availability to where you want to go, but still, you will be taking long commutes. SFUSD has been closing schools over the past decade because families simply cannot afford to live in SF, so take the good with bad. And the good is that The City is one of the finest in the world in terms of walking where you want to go. I attended USF and very rarely did I need to use my car. In fact, I would lend it to my cousin for weeks at a time when she had to drive back to Colorado. If you're not coming from an area where congestion is a major issue, then you will not be aware that commuting is a terrible waste of time. Forget your kids schooling for a second, what about having their parents in their lives more than just a quick peck on the cheek before they go to bed? What about the money you can save not spending it on cars, parking or BART expenses? That is just as important as any gifted program available, or any school for that matter....
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Old 01-19-2013, 07:32 PM
 
Location: San Francisco Bay Area
140 posts, read 207,730 times
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Sorry, San Francisco schools are a poor choice, we tried & tried, and even the private schools are sad. Not that there are not some good ones like in the Sunset District, but it's extremely hard to get placement in them, better chances though if you live in the Sunset district though. I would give SF a skip, & look at Corte Madera, Burlingame, Belmont, Orinda, Danville, etc. The list is short for consistently good school districts. Most districts have good & bad schools, and guess what? Your kids always get assigned the worst of the school options, so choose a district with ALL good schools as options.
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Old 01-19-2013, 11:19 PM
 
1,351 posts, read 2,292,087 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by loloroj View Post
Bay Area has some of the worst traffic in the U.S.. If you want to waste hours of your day stuck in that mess, then move outside of The City. BART is an option, I would check it's availability to where you want to go, but still, you will be taking long commutes. SFUSD has been closing schools over the past decade because families simply cannot afford to live in SF, so take the good with bad. And the good is that The City is one of the finest in the world in terms of walking where you want to go. I attended USF and very rarely did I need to use my car. In fact, I would lend it to my cousin for weeks at a time when she had to drive back to Colorado. If you're not coming from an area where congestion is a major issue, then you will not be aware that commuting is a terrible waste of time. Forget your kids schooling for a second, what about having their parents in their lives more than just a quick peck on the cheek before they go to bed? What about the money you can save not spending it on cars, parking or BART expenses? That is just as important as any gifted program available, or any school for that matter....
This is the best advice in this thread. Especially with a 7 month old baby in daycare. I would look in the Parkside district of SF with about a 20 minute commute to downtown on the L train.
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Old 01-21-2013, 12:36 AM
 
Location: Go West young man...
409 posts, read 358,623 times
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There are a number of good public elementary schools found in the City's western neighborhoods (Clarendon Elementary, Lawton K-8, Ulloa Elementary come to mind). However, unless things have changed over the past few years, assignment is not based on the neighborhood you live in. Rather you apply for the schools, list the schools you'd like in order of preference and lose some sleep as you await the results. Options diminish for good middle and high school choices and are found in the Sunset ( Abraham Lincoln High and AP Gianinni Middle as well as Lawton K-8). The attraction for the suburbs becomes stronger at this point to seek out excellent public schools at these grade levels. Lowell High is SF's top performing public school but requires an admissions test (I've heard mixed reviews of the school as some parents feel the overwhelming emphasis on homework doesn't necessarily make for a better education).

Can't give advice on daycare for a 7 month old (had family help us with care) but Little Star Preschool is a great choice for toddlers (Sunset/Parkside).


Suburbs are an option but do yourself a favor and forget about driving in and out of SF. Definitely want access to a BART station nearby. Millbrae is a great little suburban town that happens to have a BART station and the summers wont be hot like some of the other suburbs mentioned.

SF is a great place for families with young kids. As mentioned getting into a good public school is a challenge. However, there are so many things to do with kids...SF Zoo, Golden Gate Park...boat ride around Stow Lake always a hit with kids, Sharon Meadows Playground, California Academy of Sciences, Yerba Buena Center with the ice skating rink and adjacent playground, bike rides around Lake Merced or in Golden Gate Park on the weekends, etc.

Enjoy
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Old 01-21-2013, 02:29 PM
 
4 posts, read 2,922 times
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SF is not for everyone with kids (or without, for that matter). However, living in SF with kids is certainly doable; you just have to map out your plans and then execute them. There are a few incorrect statements above regarding SFUSD:

"wouldn't live in SF mainly because the schools are bad" - some are "bad".. some are good but not all are bad (and there are some excellent schools too)
"Note that the SFUSD does not identify gifted children until 3rd grade" - California schools do not identify students as GATE/gifted until 2nd or 3rd grade, so SFUSD is not outside of the "norm" for CA
"SFUSD has been closing schools over the past decade because families simply cannot afford to live in SF" - The last I heard, SFUSD hadn't closed a school since 2006 so yes, I guess in the "past decade," but not recently
"Not that there are not some good ones like in the Sunset District, but it's extremely hard to get placement in them, better chances though if you live in the Sunset district though" - Where you live does not necessarily provide you with a "better chance" of getting into a certain school. Yes, attendance area is a criteria used for tie-breakers in the lottery, but that's it.

I'm a parent of kids in SFUSD, so I'm familiar with the process for SFUSD. It's not all "unicorns and rainbows," but it's doable if you have the time, energy and fortitude for the process. If not, then you certainly have great options within the Bay Area. For me, it was worth it because I *want* to live in SF and am comfortable with the pros and cons of living here. YMMV (your mileage may vary).
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