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Old 07-23-2013, 12:12 PM
 
34 posts, read 49,432 times
Reputation: 14

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We currently live in Virginia and are considering moving to the Jacksonville area after my husband retires. We still have small children (7 and 4), so schools are very important - it appears St Johns County is the place to be for schools? We would also be interested in a private Catholic School (our children go to a private school now) - are there any stand outs there? Because we are moving from a much higher cost of living state, from what we can tell, we will have a generous housing budget for the area and would prefer new construction homes if possible.

I would love to be within about 45 - 50 mins to the military base, right now we live in the suburbs and I already drive 30-35 minutes to the commissary, so I don't mind adding a little time on, just might go less often.

My husband will be teaching (elem school specifically) when he retires, so a growing area where teaching jobs may be available would be great - he is far more sick of the daily commutes than I am!!

I realize, this list conveys that we are basically looking for an area that will have "the total package" and that may be a bit unreasonable, but am hoping someone might be able to point us in a direction that most closely matches what we are looking for! Thanks in advance for any help, it is definitely appreciated.
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Old 07-23-2013, 07:31 PM
 
Location: Jacksonville, FL
3,528 posts, read 8,292,991 times
Reputation: 914
- it appears St Johns County is the place to be for schools?

That county has highly rated schools because of the population it serves.

Jacksonville is far more diverse, thus far more diverse range in schools. Rest assured, there are many good schools in Jacksonville. Depends on where you live, if you enroll them in special programs, etc.

We would also be interested in a private Catholic School (our children go to a private school now) - are there any stand outs there?

Assumption Browser Not Supported
San Jose San Jose Catholic School | Jacksonville, FL 32217
are the 2 most popular.

St. Mathews is also well thought of St. Matthew's Catholic School


I would love to be within about 45 - 50 mins to the military base

Which military base? Mayport or NAS? You can live almost anywhere in Jacksonville an be that far away. You can be much closer.

Also, there are schools everywhere.


The most important question for you to answer are:

1) What's your budget?
2) What are your must haves in a community & home?
3) What sort of lifestyle do you want?
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Old 07-24-2013, 09:47 AM
 
34 posts, read 49,432 times
Reputation: 14
Thanks fsu813 for the reply! As for the military base, it doesn't matter which one - I just want to be able to still use some of our benefits, mostly commissary and maybe medical as we age! The commissary, at least here in Virginia, makes a huge difference on the grocery bill - it might not be as significant there.

Our budget should probably stay around $300-$325K for housing, it's not necessary to be at the top end and we don't want to spend just to spend. We would like a nice housing development and if possible a community with amenities, preferably new construction. It's difficult because we would really like a place to stay for a very long time! We have small kids now, but eventually they will be gone and so our needs will change. A swimming pool (or at least lots large enough to put in our own), walking, biking, etc would be great (maybe even a little golf). It seems there are many planned communities popping up that seem like they would be great.

In terms of lifestyle, it would be great to be employed!! Ha! That's partly why we would love a growing area with opportunities for teachers. My husband has spent years commuting and we are not interested in the long drives anymore, we actually drive 30 mins just to take our kids to school. I don't mind some driving, but just don't want the daily grind anymore. Out of everything at this point, because of the ages of our children, there isn't really anything as important as schools though. Of course, I know a school that is great now could be awful by the time our kids get to high school, but we would like a solid foundation. We would love to keep them in private school (by the looks of it, it is a lot cheaper there than it is where we live now!) but we don't want to rule out a great public school either - we know you can find wonderful educators in public schools, just like some private schools don't always have the best.

I am not sure if this helps, or just adds to the confusion. I feel like one of those people on House Hunters that I make fun of for wanting everything under the sun!! We are certainly willing to make compromises, especially if it is better for our kids.
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Old 07-25-2013, 07:17 AM
 
Location: Nokomis Fl
1,008 posts, read 2,639,515 times
Reputation: 475
In St Augustine there is a pte catholic school Epiphany Cathedral School which is excellent
My daughter is an elem school teacher and can testify it is very difficult to get a job teaching in St Johns County
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Old 07-25-2013, 01:09 PM
 
34 posts, read 49,432 times
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Peter the Brit, do you happen to know if Florida has a Veterans Preference status in their hiring process for educators? Also, you mention the Catholic School in St Augustine, which is very helpful. Since your daughter is a teacher, do you have a recommendation for the best schools in the area. We would prefer to find the hands down best schools and then work backward for housing if we need to. Are there particular areas where you generally suggest to people?
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Old 07-25-2013, 06:30 PM
 
40 posts, read 88,757 times
Reputation: 50
Most people when looking to relocate and have small children are drawn to St. Johns County due to having the best ranked schools in the state. While many schools in the state have A rated schools, St. Johns continuously beats out the other counties and maintains the other#1 schools in the state title. See https://app2.fldoe.org/Ranking/Districts/ . That being said, the houses are a little higher priced than in other places near Jax, and so are the amenity fees. Basically you get what you pay for. That then brings the arguement, why pay for St.Johns schools if you plan on putting the kids in Catholic School. If thats the route you prefer, I would a assume you could do way better on your home purchase elsewhere. Ive traveled the majority of the county looking to purchase a home, and if its amenities you want, you will find amazing communities there. Just take a trip and visit.
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Old 07-25-2013, 06:39 PM
 
34 posts, read 49,432 times
Reputation: 14
Thanks incomniac! Schools are the most important - honestly, our schools here are just not good - heck, I am already worried about high school! That's why we would like to be in an area where good public schools may be an option. We drive our kids to school about 35 mins each way already, and while it is simply necessary now because of our school system, it is getting tiresome. So we don't want to buy a house further out and then have to drive the kids to school so far unless we have to. I am in exactly the difficult situation you describe, still determining public vs. private school - we know there are fabulous public school teachers and there are not so great private school teachers, so it is always a tough call. We are planning to take a few trips, but on limited time I would like to concentrate our efforts if we can. This will actually be a process over the next year or so, so we are going to have a decent amount of time to work on it. Like most people, we are trying to figure out the best place for our kids and go from there. We don't have any communities in our area with the types of amenities that seem to be there. At most here a community will have a pool (of a golf course if it is a golf community), so seeing some of the other things looks pretty good!
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Old 07-25-2013, 06:40 PM
 
40 posts, read 88,757 times
Reputation: 50
By the way, St.Johns County is in the middle of building two ne elementary schools. One in Durbin Crossing slated to open this year, and the other being built in Nocatee, slated fall 2014.
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Old 10-15-2013, 09:22 AM
 
Location: Jacksonville
3 posts, read 3,036 times
Reputation: 10
[SIZE=3]Please look at www.depaulschool.com... They are the best for students with specific learning differences and special needs....[/SIZE]

[SIZE=3][/SIZE]
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Old 10-15-2013, 09:46 AM
 
146 posts, read 225,085 times
Reputation: 68
Here's an easier to follow link to what the above poster is trying to link;

DePaul School of Northeast Florida - Home
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