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Old 07-15-2012, 04:20 PM
 
Location: Brooklyn
71 posts, read 121,158 times
Reputation: 19

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We are likely moving to Westchester but have not yet decided on which town. Schools will play a big factor in our decision as to exactly where we go. The good news is we still have lots of time to decide, our plan is to move within two years.

Question for the board - when evaluating school districts, is it common and accepted to schedule visits to schools even before you live there? Or do people typically take advantage of school or district open house days instead?

Thanks in advance.
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Old 07-15-2012, 05:06 PM
 
114 posts, read 258,324 times
Reputation: 31
Hi,

Yes, it is common and perfectly acceptable to visit a school in the town of which you may eventually be residing. My husband and I began our search early as well, as it really does take time and effort to attend the visits. Most schools we called were happy to either schedule a personal tour or invite us to come to a monthly visitation day. All districts do it differently.
Some districts simply do not allow you to visit, which was a bit of a turn off for us and may have swayed our decision to cross certain towns off of our list.
We visited MANY of the districts at all levels of elementary, middle and high school due to the fact that we plan to use the public schools system all the way through. The way I look at it is we aren't just buying a house, we are also buying into a school system. We wouldn't buy a home without stepping foot in it, so it is equally as important to step inside the schools and see what they are all about.
The ones that we saw and had no problem with us visiting were: Ardsley, Pleasantville, Pelham, Rye Neck, Katonah-Lewisboro, Mamaroneck, Harrison, New Rochelle.
Eastechester -only two of the elementary schools allowed us to visit-MS and HS said no.
Yorktown Heights -refused for months, then I finally got someone to agree and it was only to one of the elementary schools. Westlake -also refused and would only let me come in the summer without any teachers or students and was only given a tour by a sectretary(???)....that was strange.
I think what you are doing is important and you will find that you will know what school/town you feel most comfotable in. Hope that helps. I know it is a stressful and difficult decision, but we have found that many of the schools are really nice and offer a lot to their students. Good luck to you!
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Old 07-15-2012, 05:36 PM
 
432 posts, read 964,931 times
Reputation: 208
Here is a simply rule of thumb.
The more expensive the town, the better the school.
Invest accordingly.
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