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Old 10-27-2009, 01:41 PM
 
3 posts, read 9,739 times
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It looks pretty likely that we'll be moving to the Schenectady area in the next few months. We're somewhat familiar with the area because we have family that live in Niskayuna and we've been up to visit a few times.

I'd like some input from any parents of toddlers in the area...

Right now we live in a very family friendly area in SC and our sons go to an excellent preschool. Finding the right neighborhood/preschool/school district is keeping me up at night.

My perfect neighborhood would have a village feel--with good schools in walking distance (you really don't want this southern driver out in her mini-van in the snow :-P) and a family friendly environment. If the houses were older craftsman-style bungalows, and the neighborhood was close to parks or bike riding trails, etc. that would be the icing on the cake for me.

I love Niskayuna and know the schools are excellent. That's our first choice, as my husband would be working there. Any other neighborhoods I should know about that fit the bill?

Thanks for all your help!
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Old 10-27-2009, 06:23 PM
 
291 posts, read 883,067 times
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I'm not aware of any village feel areas in Schenectady. Aside from Niskauyna I would not want to live anywhere in Schenectady. The entire Capital region area lacks sidewalks and bike riding trails. Most of the hiking trails are dirt and full of branches so it would hard to get by even with a dirt bike. I don't recomend it for families with toddlers.

But I do think you should look at Delmar for the village feel you are looking for. There are some sidewalks, some bungalows and some parks. Not sure if the school would be walking distance but it can if you live in the right area. In any case, I would not walk my kids to school in the middle of the winter even if I lived two blocks from the school. First the temperatures tend to be fridig (in the single digits & teens). Second, there are giant snow banks on the side of the roads and the few sidewalks don't get cleared so you might have to walk in the middle of the road with your kids. Note this area is not pedestrian friendly at all so you'll end up driving pretty much everywhere.

One thing you should know about Niskayuna is that the property taxes are extremely high. Make sure to do your homework before hand so you know what you are getting yourself into. The schools in Delmar are very good too and the taxes are not as high. In general, taxes tend to be very high in NY.

Let me know if you have any other questions. I have two pre-schoolers and I know a lot of moms that have kids in pre-schools in the Delmar area. I can get you some contact info, if you want.
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Old 10-28-2009, 01:15 PM
 
3 posts, read 9,739 times
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Thanks for the reality check. I forgot about the cold/snow banks. I think the heat here has fried my brain, and it's going to take me awhile to get up to speed. LOL

So forgetting about my probably non-existant dream town, what I'm most interested in finding an area full of young families and all the activities that go along with them. As newlyweds, my husband and I moved into a neighborhood filled with retirees, so I know how important finding the right neighborhood dynamics are. What are the family friendliest neighborhoods in the area? Any family neighborhoods with an artsy vibe? (I'm a writer.) I LOVE the houses I've seen on Eastern and Central Parkway, but am concerned about Schenectady schools... Any areas with similar architecture/prices, but better schools?

I would love more information on preschools in the Delmar area (and any other areas that you're familiar with, too). Here, it's very common for 2, 3, and 4 year olds to go to 5 day preschool. I've noticed that that doesn't seem to be the norm in NY, based on the websites I've seen. My son is used to going to school all five days and I'd prefer to find him another 5 day program for next year (he'll be 4 yrs old next fall), so any info you might have on that would be particularly helpful.

Also, getting into preschool here is highly competitive. If you don't get your child into a school's 2 year old program, good luck ever finding space in the 3s and 4s. To get those spaces, it's not uncommon to camp out in the school's parking lot overnight so you're first in line at registration. I'm hoping this is just local craziness...

Thanks for helping me out.
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Old 10-28-2009, 01:37 PM
 
267 posts, read 891,122 times
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Try looking at the Upper Union St. area of Nisky & Sch'dy. Hillside is the elem school for Nisky, Paige for Sch'dy. Both really good schools. Upper Union has a variety of shops, restaurants, banks, etc. Very walkable, near Central Park in Sch'dy. Scotia has that village feel that you are talking about, Collins Park is a great park w/in walking distance of Scotia's main strip. I also love Ballston Spa, a bit larger than Scotia, but still has the small town charms and again very walkable. I have young children and would live in any of these areas. I live in Sch'dy, my kids go to the public schools and we love the area. Our neighborhood near Ellis Hospital & Union College isn't village like, but very suburban. Great tree lined streets, older homes, friendly neighbors. I enjoy living outside of downtown, but have the ability to walk to a handful of stores and restaurants. We enjoy playing at the Union College campus, esp. Jackson Gardens, and the lawns around Nott Memorial, Steinmetz Park we like to walk on the few wooded trails and look for wildlife in the pond. Zoller School has a nice playground and fields for games. All with in walking distance. We liked the diversity of Sch'dy and the lower housing price. For school we've always done a private nursery school when the kids were 3, then the Universal pre-k (which is free to Sch'dy residents) when they were 4 (which is a 1/2 day program 5 days/week), then public elementary school, all day kindergarten. If you want more specifics feel free to email me or search thru previous emails that I've commented on for Sch'dy. Good luck w/your decision, where ever you choose you'll find friendly people, and lots of activities for kids.
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Old 11-03-2009, 01:39 PM
 
291 posts, read 883,067 times
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I'm not aware of any 5 day/ week pre-schools in the area, unless they work as daycare as well. Usually the 4 year old programs run 3X/week and the 3 year old programs run 2X/week. The pre-k spots are not so competitive but you probably want to get the kids sign up by January of the year starting school. If you start looking for schools after January you might end up in a wait list situation but if you do your homework ahead of time and I'm sure you can find something suitable.

Delmar is very family friendly with lots of familes with young kids. Maybe you should go check it out and see if the architecture matches your taste. There are some older homes near the 4 corners but some near homes further away. The school system is the third best in the area, after Voorheesville & Niskauyna.

The best school districts in the area are Vooheersville, Niskayuna, Bethlehem (Delmar & Slingerlands included), Guilderland & North Colonie (including Latham, Loundonville & parts of Colonie). Let me know if you are interested in information on these areas. I'm not very familiar with any other areas since I focused my research on the top 5 best school districts of the Capital Region. That was the deciding factor for us when deciding where to buy a house.
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Old 11-03-2009, 01:48 PM
 
267 posts, read 891,122 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OrangeSunset View Post
I'm not aware of any 5 day/ week pre-schools in the area, unless they work as daycare as well. Usually the 4 year old programs run 3X/week and the 3 year old programs run 2X/week.
The 5 day (1/2 day, 2 1/2hr) program that I mentioned is part of the Sch'dy school district for city residents. The child must be 4, by December of the year going into school. It is not daycare, but several locations do offer wrap-around care for working parents, one location I think is an all day school program. Private nursery schools (not daycare) you are right about the 4, vs 3 year old programs.
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Old 11-03-2009, 06:42 PM
 
66 posts, read 199,624 times
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I just moved to the Five Forks near Greenville SC area from Schenectady NY please feel free to email me with any questions. I lived right off of Upper union street and my daughter and son both went to Schenectady schools before I pulled them out for private schools. I would totally reccommed Niskayuna great schools nice homes I would not move to Schenectady. I have several friends who live in Schenectady and can't wait to get out. Again please feel free to contact me I can even connect you with some of the Mom's in Niskayuna. They have a great newcomers club as well as a great Niskayuna Mom's group.
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Old 11-06-2009, 04:09 PM
 
18 posts, read 70,357 times
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Ballston Spa might be worth a look. Village feel, sidewalks, very easy to get down to Nisky and close to Saratoga Springs as well. I don't know anything about the school district, though.
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Old 11-09-2009, 09:53 PM
 
1,340 posts, read 2,590,137 times
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Originally Posted by dave230 View Post
Ballston Spa might be worth a look. Village feel, sidewalks, very easy to get down to Nisky and close to Saratoga Springs as well. I don't know anything about the school district, though.
Ditto on Ballston Spa, Scotia-Glenville schools are good-high property taxes are the bane of upstate NY, which otherwise is one of the USA's best kept secrets.
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Old 12-31-2009, 07:00 AM
 
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We are definitely moving to Schenectady too. It will just be me, my husband and our two small dogs. Any suggestions as to any houses or condos to rent for a reasonable price in a good neighborhood? I am an endoscopy technician and will be looking for a job in that field, any suggestions as to where to start looking?
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