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Old 03-30-2010, 08:54 AM
 
4 posts, read 14,468 times
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My family will be moving to the Lehigh Valley area in June 2011. At that time my son will be ready to start Middle School (6th grade) and my daughter will be going into 3rd grade. Our top priority is school district. We are looking for a new home in the 400-475k price range. We are currently looking at the East Penn, Parkland and Southern Lehigh School districts, although we are open to suggestions. I can check School Matters, but I would love to hear from parents who have children attending the schools.

We would really like to live in an area with a community feeling, not too far from shopping and church. I wouldn't want my taxes to be too high. We would also consider a resale, if the timing was right.

If you can offer some insight, that would be great!! We currently live in Palm Beach, Florida, and our information is limited to what we can find on the web. We visit about twice a year, but still that is not enough for us to make a well-informed decision.

I would appreciate any help!!
Thanks!!!
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Old 03-31-2010, 06:44 AM
 
12,870 posts, read 29,506,883 times
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Have you read through this forum? If you use the search box you can find quite a bit of information about each of the school districts and area's that you are looking at. For us, Southern Lehigh was the right choice. We never considered Parkland because it was too far from my husband's job. East Penn was too big. But, that's just our family, and most of the posters that look here have been choosing East Penn because houses are a little less expensive and I think they wanted a bigger school district.
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Old 03-31-2010, 08:55 AM
 
4 posts, read 14,468 times
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Thanks for the reply. I have been reading through the posts and I am still confused. I have a similar situation where we live now and I guess I am looking for great schools, but I also want to make sure my children have friends in the neighborhood as well. I am a teacher and I work out of my district and my children attend my school rather than our home school and they have a hard time with play dates because their school friends live too far and the neighborhood kids go to different schools.

I do plan on taking a teaching position once we are settled into the house, I guess I am asking for myself and my kids. What made Southern Lehigh the right choice for you? What aspects of the district helped you make your decision? And if you don't mind me asking. How are the neighborhoods? I haven't seen to many new home communities, is the area still growing?
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Old 03-31-2010, 09:15 PM
 
12,870 posts, read 29,506,883 times
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The neighborhood is what sold us in the end. We moved from Delaware County where we had a small very good school district and we were looking for something similar. We also wanted a neighborhood with children the same age as our kids. This was really important since our oldest child was going into 7th grade (middle school - ugh!) and our next one was shy and going into 4th grade. We weren't really worried about our four year old.

When we came to visit our current house we were running late because there had been a huge accident on the turnpike and we were delayed an hour. Because of that, the homeowner was actually home and he's the one that told us about our neighbors - lots of kids our kids ages!

When we moved in all of them came over (with food!) to introduce themselves and welcome us to the neighborhood. It was really nice. In the years since we've become very close friends with several of the neighbors and often hang out at each other's houses to watch sports or just talk. Our kids are also still friends even though they are in their early twenties.

That's not to say this will happen in every neighborhood but it's not that uncommon. Three other neighborhoods that I know of, Valley Green, Tara Lee, and Blue Ridge Estates all have Bunco groups and regular get togethers. Vally Green is very close to the HS, MS and the brand new Intermediate School and is a fairly new development. People tend to move in and out of there pretty often with corporate transfers. The houses are big but on small lots. Blue Ridge estates are large older (20 years old) homes on large lots, but all very well maintained. I know a few pilots live in there. Tara Lea is similar to Blue Ridge Estates but not as deeply wooded. There are a lot of new housing developments going up, but with the current economic situation I'm not sure how many are going to get finished!

In particular, we chose this district after really looking around for almost a year. We chose the school district and then only looked for houses in this district - our priority was the schools. My husband works near Quakertown so we looked there first but just didn't like the schools. Then we looked at all of the other school districts surrounding Q-town and they were either too big and/or experiencing a growth spurt. We visited the MS and an elementary school here and were impressed with both the academics and the friendliness of both. I like how there is a very rigorous course offering at the HS level but not too much keeping-up-with-the-Joneses. Southern Lehigh has an undeserved reputation of being the rich kid district. I've served on a few district wide committees and have enjoyed working with people in the administration and on staff. I go to several board meetings every year.

As for the teaching job - good luck there. Besides a hiring freeze (either official or unofficial) there are not many jobs in good years in the area because teachers stay in their positions until they retire for the most part. Also, since PA has a strong teachers union, wages and benefits are good. People will work as aids and subs for years just hoping for a classroom. Hopefully, you know someone up here or are (PA) certified in secondary ed.
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Last edited by toobusytoday; 03-31-2010 at 09:25 PM..
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Old 04-06-2010, 04:39 AM
 
Location: PA
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We moved to Lower Macungie in the East Penn SD two years ago and LOVE it here!

It came down to Parkland and East Penn for us, and while they are both excellent school districts, Parkland was very spread out where as East Penn was more densely populated giving more of a community feel. We went with our gut on this one, and it paid off - the community here is very close knit and since there are lots of transplants, it is very easy to make friends - adults included!

IM me with specific questions - I'm happy to help!

K
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