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Old 06-30-2011, 08:16 PM
Location: Mauriceville, Texas
39 posts, read 82,778 times
Reputation: 38


My husband's company recently asked him if he would be willing to relocate to the Los Angeles area (his office would be somewhere around Long Beach). So I am researching areas I would be willing to live. I love the area, but I really want to live in a nice spot for my kids.

I am coming from a very small rural town in Texas so my kids are going to go through culture shock!! (I lived in California before I moved here so I much prefer it and the city totally beats the country for me!). I have three children ranging in ages from 6 - 15. Right now they are in either elementary and high school. All of them are in G/T classes so some sort of G/T program is important to me, and my High School-er is in band and that is important to him. I really would like to find a school that isn't hugely materialistic, I try to teach my kids things like that don't matter and keeping up with others is silly. That isn't a problem too much out here where I am, but I have heard it can be a BIG problem at schools in larger cities especially in nicer neighborhoods/apartment/condos. Of course it has to be safe and what not.

Those are the kid factors, the commuting factor would be my husband (when he works in town) would be, like I mentioned, working around Long Beach. My oldest and middle son want to use Tempest Freerunning Academy which is farther north (near Chatsworth). Is there anywhere that would be in between those that has the type of neighborhoods/schools I am looking for? From what I read online (which could be all lies for all I know lol) the Simi Valley schools look pretty awesome, but it seems like that would be a hellacious commute for my husband. Any information would be very much appreciated!
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Old 06-30-2011, 08:37 PM
Location: Lemon Heights, Orange County, CA
805 posts, read 1,354,715 times
Reputation: 1299
It all depends on your housing budget. You will get more responses if you post that.
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Old 06-30-2011, 08:46 PM
62 posts, read 126,510 times
Reputation: 56
The commute will be absolutely brutal if you don't stay south of downtown. I'd consider Redondo Beach, Torrance or somewhere in Orange County. Finding something equidistant to Chatsworth means both your sons and your husbands would have horrible commutes, spending 3+ hours a day stuck on the 405. (There's not much worse in LA than the 405 during rush hour, except for maybe Hollywood at 1AM on a weekend.)

Assuming you can sort out a good school, find something south and near the beach.
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Old 06-30-2011, 09:57 PM
92 posts, read 166,790 times
Reputation: 227
Is there a reason you aren't considering actually living in Long Beach? No way would I want to commute from Simi Valley to Long Beach unless driving in extreme off hours (like 4am).

Long Beach actually has its own top-rated school district with Gate or Pace programs (accelerated academics). Most of the schools have a uniform policy like khakis and a polo shirt. Some of the schools are better than others of course, but you can see their API scores online. CSU Long Beach is also a highly rated state university looking ahead to college.

If you aren't particularly looking to be close to the water (Belmont Shore, Naples are more expensive), further south-east in Long Beach is also very nice. Depending on your budget, Park Estates or Los Altos are safe neighborhoods with good nearby schools.
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Old 06-30-2011, 10:03 PM
Location: RSM
5,113 posts, read 17,784,349 times
Reputation: 1893
Yea, Long Beach, Los Alamitos, or Seal Beach would be tops on my list. Not Simi Valley(omg I'd shoot myself with that commute). If your children were especially gifted, they could test in to Whitney or Oxford High Schools. They're rated among the top in the nation, and both are in good areas with easy commutes to Long Beach
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Old 07-02-2011, 03:16 PM
Location: Mauriceville, Texas
39 posts, read 82,778 times
Reputation: 38
Thanks for the input. I thought it would be a pretty miserable comute, but I thought id ask. My price range is flexible depending on area and schools. I really wouldn't want to pay over 3500 a month though, I have seen what seem to be nice houses for rent online in the 2500-3000 range, just not sure about school district. I am not at all against long beach, I just had never heard they had a good school system. My husband stayed there a few years ago (don't remember where but it was on pch near a roundabout) and it was a nice apartment, but I didn't really examine the area cause I wasn't thinking about moving there. I am not a big fan of schools with uniforms, are most schools like that out there? thanks to all who have replied!
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Old 07-02-2011, 06:04 PM
Location: RSM
5,113 posts, read 17,784,349 times
Reputation: 1893
Long Beach Unified uses uniforms
Los Alamitos Unified does not
I don't believe ABC Unified does
Not sure about any other nearby districts

As far as the quality in Long Beach, they win the Broad Prize for Urban Education often enough(guess it's a yearly prize? I dunno). As far as quality, the system offers everything one would want and students that give the effort will be rewarded, but the overall test scores don't necessary reflect that because of the high number of "disadvantaged" students and non-English speakers. Wilson and Poly offer the best high school programs for academically outstanding students in the district.
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Old 07-02-2011, 06:13 PM
671 posts, read 1,914,859 times
Reputation: 882
Your question is a fairly common type of question here on the board, where you're trying to balance a set of different needs, but, where the board responds with "live where you work". I know that when people give that "live where you work" advice, it sounds a little bit simplistic or glib or like we're not taking your concerns seriously. But it is really the best possible advice we can give to keep you from regretting your move.

Some days, the traffic is just brutal. You should make your decisions about housing and schools with the rule of thumb that rush-hour traffic moves at 12 mph. It will often be better, but you can't rely on that.

I know that the schools issue is a big deal, but, having a home full of tired cranky parents is a much bigger deal. You can't parent your children unless your actually around and not tired out.

So, truly, live where you work; send your kids to a local school; and that way you can be present for your family.

(Sorry if this sounds preachy.)
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Old 07-02-2011, 06:44 PM
4,100 posts, read 7,813,081 times
Reputation: 4784
Maybe Cerritos. This is part of the ABC School District (mentioned in an earlier post).
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