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Old 05-20-2014, 10:19 AM
 
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I'm relocating to Westchester this summer with 2 kids that will be in high school. I'll be coming out there soon to do school and area tours, but want to get as much information as I can beforehand. I'm open to most southern Westchester areas (need to commute to Grand Central during the work week) and while I can see what each town has to offer fairly quickly, I really want to know what the high school cultures and environments are like. I'm looking for any input from parents that currently or have had children in these schools. I'll be looking at properties in these areas as well, but really want to choose the school first. Here is what I've narrowed down to so far (keeping in mind that I need an area for a decent commute too):

Rye Neck: Nice and small, ranked one of the top in the country, worry that it might be too small and limited in academic and extra-curricular activities.

Rye: Great academic reputation, ranked top in the country, but have read about student hazing. Do not want my kids in a bullying environment, want to know if this is common or isolated.

Mamaroneck: Not ranked, but seems to have solid academics and activities.

Hastings: Don't know much about, but has been recommended to me by parent with very young kids (not in high school), want to know more.

Irvington and Dobbs Ferry: Similar to Hastings, referred by people who love the towns and say the high schools are great, but don't have kids there.

Edgemont: Nice and small like Rye Neck, but seems hard to actually find a place to live in the district.

Any advice is great appreciated!
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Old 05-20-2014, 12:25 PM
bg7
 
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I can only speak for Rye Neck - but quite frankly I think your children would do well at any of these schools if they are motivated.

Rye Neck is small as you say - some prefer that others don't. Extra-curriculars are very large here though. The high school play (often a musical), for example is taken very seriously, and it has been a finalist in nationwide competitions. The level of sports involvement among the students is above average (i.e. a greater percentage of participation), and is highly supported by the school, both financially and spiritually (so to speak) and there are good playing fields, seating and gyms. Language exchange programs are solid, with a nice Italian program especially, and community volunteering is extensive. Various music and engineering competitions are encouraged. Rye Neck HS is also about 26% "diverse" if that is important to you.
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Old 05-21-2014, 08:14 AM
 
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What extra-curriculars are your kids into? Some town skew more athletic and some skew more to the arts. All the schools will have both but what's the focus in town can be very different. I grew up in Hastings and arts are a real focus. We live in Eastchester now and sports are bigger than arts.

Check out the facebook groups for the towns - Hastings is 10706 over there and you'll see lots of discussions that will help you
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Old 05-21-2014, 08:26 AM
 
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They are all fine. Just find a community in which you, your spouse and kids would be most comfortable in.

There could not be two more dissimilar communities than Rye and Hastings. Rye is a known as a high pressure and incredibly affluent community, while Hastings has a stereotype of being hippie central. You could love one, hate one, or hate both.

And my understanding is that rankings are based on the number of students divided by the number of AP courses taken. If that's the case, the ranking are mostly based on the wealth of the parents. Mamaroneck is not ranked? Don't worry about it. It would be a reflection of its economic diversity.
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Old 05-21-2014, 08:45 AM
 
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Originally Posted by bg7 View Post
I can only speak for Rye Neck - but quite frankly I think your children would do well at any of these schools if they are motivated.

Rye Neck is small as you say - some prefer that others don't. Extra-curriculars are very large here though. The high school play (often a musical), for example is taken very seriously, and it has been a finalist in nationwide competitions. The level of sports involvement among the students is above average (i.e. a greater percentage of participation), and is highly supported by the school, both financially and spiritually (so to speak) and there are good playing fields, seating and gyms. Language exchange programs are solid, with a nice Italian program especially, and community volunteering is extensive. Various music and engineering competitions are encouraged. Rye Neck HS is also about 26% "diverse" if that is important to you.
Thank you for this insight on Rye Neck. I do like the fact that it's small and glad to hear that's a plus. I look forward to visiting it. The exchange program is also a plus, my son is looking for a good one. My daughter is currently in Japanese and I'm not finding any high schools in Westchester that offer it though.
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Old 05-21-2014, 08:47 AM
 
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Originally Posted by NYGirl128 View Post
What extra-curriculars are your kids into? Some town skew more athletic and some skew more to the arts. All the schools will have both but what's the focus in town can be very different. I grew up in Hastings and arts are a real focus. We live in Eastchester now and sports are bigger than arts.

Check out the facebook groups for the towns - Hastings is 10706 over there and you'll see lots of discussions that will help you
Great idea about the Facebook pages of the towns! My kids are a mix, one of my highschooler's is much more of an athlete than the other, one is into science and computers, but they are all into arts.
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Old 05-21-2014, 08:53 AM
 
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Originally Posted by rubygreta View Post
They are all fine. Just find a community in which you, your spouse and kids would be most comfortable in.

There could not be two more dissimilar communities than Rye and Hastings. Rye is a known as a high pressure and incredibly affluent community, while Hastings has a stereotype of being hippie central. You could love one, hate one, or hate both.

And my understanding is that rankings are based on the number of students divided by the number of AP courses taken. If that's the case, the ranking are mostly based on the wealth of the parents. Mamaroneck is not ranked? Don't worry about it. It would be a reflection of its economic diversity.
I do agree that the ratings aren't always the best insight, which is why I appreciate the responses here. Glad to hear about Mamaroneck because I've already spotted some great properties there! I think Rye might be too high pressure, but I still want to visit.
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Old 05-21-2014, 06:58 PM
 
Location: Armonk NY
425 posts, read 955,050 times
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Did you consider Blind Brook which is in Rye Brook? Its a small school district but excellent. I think its bigger than Rye Neck but much smaller than Rye. You would take the train in from Portchester on the New Haven line.
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Old 05-27-2014, 10:24 AM
 
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Originally Posted by john70 View Post
Did you consider Blind Brook which is in Rye Brook? Its a small school district but excellent. I think its bigger than Rye Neck but much smaller than Rye. You would take the train in from Portchester on the New Haven line.
I will look at Blind Brook as well, thank you!
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