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Old 02-18-2012, 07:32 AM
1 posts, read 4,813 times
Reputation: 10


We are relocating to MI this summer from Washington DC.

I am wondering about whether Northville or Farmington Hills is better for family? I've read a lot about Novi, but am undecided.

Our primary concern is schools, a decent commute to Detroit for the couple times a month we need to go in for work (we are teleworkers primarily) and proximity to a gym. We love to work out and if we are far from a gym in cold weather, I fear we won't go!!

Finally, we are considering Catholic schools, specifically Mercy High, but we don't want to live in an area where none of our daughters' friends from school live. So we then thought about catholic elementary feeder schools to Mercy, but we are not catholic and I don't know if, with good public schools, we can justify the expense.

Any comments welcomed!
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Old 02-19-2012, 11:26 AM
Location: On the brink of WWIII
21,088 posts, read 29,203,753 times
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There is probably little difference in your commute from Northville vs. Farmington Hills.
Catholic Central just moved to Novi a few years ago and has a reputation for academics and sports. I believe there is no real "neighborhood" for most Catholic schools as students tend to come from all over to parochial schools--at least at the high school level.
Not sure why you want to avoid public schools, except Northville has just opened a mega-school that houses 2,300 or more students there on 6 MIle Road.
You can find gyms in Novi and CAnton areas.
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Old 02-20-2012, 09:00 AM
Location: Grosse Ile Michigan
30,708 posts, read 79,757,770 times
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Northville has some of the best public schools in Michigan and there is a lot of strong competition. They are execellent schools.

Farmington Hills could potentially include several different school districts. All are good, none as good as Northville IMO.

Northville is a terrific little town, one of the best in the metro Detroit area. OF you you really benefit the mst if you are actually in town. If yu are looking for the McMansion lifestyle, then you can do better price wise in Novi or South Lyon/Lyon township. Both also have execellent schools and plenty of subdivisions where they remove most or all of the trees, level out and fill and geographic features and build a bunch of big, similar looking houses on tiny lots. Although I do no understand it, this is what many people seem to want these days. If that is what you are looking for, it may not be worthwhile to pay the premium for Northville. Yes there schools are somewhat better, but it is all relative. All of the schools in the area are great. If one is rated a little bit better than another, I cannot see how it really matters. There are 600,000 other factors that will be more important for yur kids than whether their school is ranked 2% or 5% higher than another nearby school.

I you are not Catholic why pay for private schools which are usually not as good as the public schools int hat area? Maybe they offer something that you specifically want for your kids (i.e. atmosphere, Christian based education, etc).

If you want the very best rated school, then send your kids to Cranbrook (+/- $36,000 per year).

I am not sure what all this paying tons for "the best" school is about. OUr close friends put their kids in Cranbrook, our kids went to public schools. Our kids are attending as good or better colleges and doing as well or better in college. We spent about $500,000 less on pre-college educaton. Not sure where the advantage is.

Anyway different polls or studies will provide different results, it depends on what is considered important. (for example to me, I do not care about whether they offer scuba diving, Karate and Graphic Arts. Nor do I care about how many books are in the library, diversity of skin color, special edcuation, and many other criteria that get considered when evaluating a district or school). By my criteria based on reviwing several studies/reports, visiting the schools and talking with frineds and relatives who attend or recently attended the schools I view the districts as follows: The better schools in the area are Northville, Novi, Plymouth/Canton (but not the other districts that serve Canton). Then South Lyon, West Bloomfield, Walled Lake. Then Farmington. Then Milford, Brighton, Highland, Livonia. I think that covers most of what is in the immeidate area for you.

If you do decide to look at Private/Catholic Schools, Orchard Lake St. Marys seems to be fairly highly regarded. Country Day (not Catholic I think - not sure) is good. U-D High School is great for boys (they learn to be gentlemen). Ligget is supposed to be pretty good as well.

You have a lot of nice choices and it is hard to go wrong. All of the schools int he area are very good to execellent with a very few exceptions. All of the communities are very nice. Each offers something a little bit different. It depends on what you want.

Also keep in mind that schools change. If your kids are young, the great high schools now, may be not so great in ten years and vice versa.
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