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Old 08-17-2007, 04:09 PM
 
94 posts, read 398,303 times
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I am house hunting in Farmington, Avon, Simsbury and Glastonbury. I know the schools are very good and the towns are nice. I'm looking for more specific information about the schools and neighborhoods. Are there any schools in these areas which are less desirable than others? Are there any areas of these towns which are less desirable? Are there any neighborhoods or schools that you recommend? I'd appreciate any insight. Thank you for your help.
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Old 08-17-2007, 07:47 PM
 
Location: Connecticut
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I can give you my experience in Glastonbury. Glastonbury has a great school system and we have been very pleased with them so far. There are now six elementary schools (K through 5) in town (Naubuc, Hebron Avenue, Eastbury, Hopewell, Buttonball and Nyaug). The newest school is Nyaug in South Glastonbury which is set to open in two weeks. All sixth graders in town go to Gideon Welles; middle schoolers (7th and 8th) to Smith Middle School and high schoolers (9 to 12) to Glastonbury High. Smith School is a few years old. All of the older elementary schools and Gideon Welles have been remodeled and updated in the past 10 years and Glastonbury High is just completing a major expansion and renovation. This means that all the schools are throughly modern and up to date.

Some people in town will tell you that there is a difference between each of the elementary schools and that Naubuc School should be avoided because their test scores are the lowest in town. This is so NOT true. Naubuc serves the north end of town which has a more diverse group of students. The north end is has a small public housing project (not a slum, just a town owned group of duplexes that date back to the war) and more modest working-class homes than other parts of town. It also has some very nice neighborhoods of well kept upscale colonials, so the school has a broad range of students that the other schools in town don't.

Because there is such a broad range of students, test schools at Naubuc are lower than other schools which have students mostly coming from families of professionals and executives. The good thing about Naubuc is that the class sizes are lower than the other schools (my kids have never had more than 19 kids in their classes) and there are more para-professionals to assist teachers. Naubuc also gets more money allocated from the Title 1 program and uses that to enrich the students even more. They have a great reading program that provides one-on-one reading tutoring to students several times a week. It was great.

Another thing that I feel is good is that my kids see that even though they have a lot of things, there are kids that do not have as much as they do or live in as nice a home as we have. I also like that they are exposed to other cultures with kids from Central America, Asia and Europe. This is something they do not get in other schools. Also they were not exposed to the problems commonly associated with upscale towns like kids wearing designer clothes and having cell phones in elementary school. Finally I will tell you that a math teacher at Gideon told me that she generally finds the students coming from Naubuc to be a little better prepared for 6th grade than the other schools.

With all I have said I would add that the towns you listed all are known for having excellent schools. Because the school systems in Connecticut are pretty small in comparison to other States, the curriculum offered is pretty uniform through out each school district. No school would be allowed to fall behind another. These towns are known for being very nice and have very few if any "bad" neighborhoods. I hope this helped. If you have any questions, please let me know. Jay
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Old 08-20-2007, 08:12 AM
 
94 posts, read 398,303 times
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Thank you for the information Jay.
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Old 08-20-2007, 08:32 AM
 
Location: Connecticut
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NY2CT - I did not mean to go off about the Naubuc School in Glastonbury as much as I did. I will say we know people with children in all of the schools in town and they are all excellent. You won't go wrong with any of them. I think that is the same for the other towns you are looking in as well. Good luck and let me know if you have any questions. Jay
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Old 08-31-2007, 11:50 PM
 
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All of the towns you have mentioned have excellent schools and neighborhoods. They all have upper class families and are almost crime free.My inlaws have lived in simsbury for over 50 years and I go their 3 times a week. It's a wonderful town with beautiful homes, and has a reputation of being a town for only those who are ver very well off.
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Old 09-01-2007, 11:03 AM
 
Location: Ithaca NY
286 posts, read 1,041,521 times
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I went to high school in Farmington. It's pretty uniformly upper- or upper-middle class (except for me; we lucked out with a very inexpensive apartment), and my understanding is that the schools are all high-quality. I did some teacher-helping at Noah Wallace and Union Elementary when I was in school, this was about 10 years ago, but all the teachers I met were great.

In terms of neighborhoods, I'd say that Unionville skews a bit in the middle-class direction, lots of above-ground pools in backyards. The Devonwood area skews *way* into upper-class territory. The neighborhood around Noah Wallace (also where Miss Porter's is) has some very beautiful old historic houses, and more old-money families. The area close to Westfarms Mall is more middle-class typical suburbia.

There's one area, looking at a map I *think* it's Talcott Notch Rd. but I'm not positive, but there's one part of town a ways from these other areas where there's a lot of condos, that's also a fairly regular middle-class area--though the only 'crime' that I ever knew of happened in this area (a friend on a bike got hit by a car, which ran, and I know a few cars got egged while people were driving). Out in the direction of Avon, it gets somewhat rural compared to other parts of town, there's a lot of houses on a lot of land, set back far enough from the street that you can't see them through the trees. Those places are pretty expensive, but it's not much of a neighborhood per se.

Hope that helps!
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