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Old 01-22-2013, 05:08 PM
 
7 posts, read 19,392 times
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We are planning to move to either Livingston or West Windsor. Kids are in 1st and 3rd grade.
We shortlisted 2 cities for moving purely for academic and school reasons. Me and my wife work in Piscataway and Park ridge NJ. We live in Clifton, NJ. We are ready to comprise the travel for the kids as they show lots of interest and are in different clubs locally. In school they are getting bored. Not bragging here. They both are in gifted and talented but its very limited like 2 hours per week here and is not competitive or challenging for them. We cannot afford Private for both. They are already in Robotics programs, Science programs locally. Its community programs and not much is done in schools for the full 8 hours they go. They are enriched outside school curriculum like Kumon etc... not more could be found here where I live.

Livingston
Pros
-Robotics, Science bowl preparations, Aggressive local teams for different clubs and various activities
Cons
-Expensive houses
Neutral
-Distance for both of us, Ok.

West Windsor
Pros
- STEM ranked 11th last I checked, Science bowl top 6 in various categories, great reputation, challenging curriculum, affordable townhomes, low property taxes
Cons
- Distance is terrible. Test drove in peak time 5pm, 8am to Park ridge. It took solid 2 hours for my wife. For me it took 25-35 mins depending on traffic. She can work from home 2 days a week. she is ok but still its a long drive. We are ready to bit the bullet if schools are awesome as heard in few places and seen in results in many STEM competitions

Our goals
Kids school, challenging curriculum, STEM, Science bowl, Robotics, Good inspiring/spirited/motivated parents & kids

What Iam looking for
Advice from Parents who are living in either Livingston OR West Windsor on
a. School system + curriculum
b. Is there a gifted and talented system
c. Is the pressure too much for kids [I heard a story of a friend's friend that in a party his friend's son and his friend were very sad...'cas his son could not get 98% and missed AP by 1% since cut off was 99% in 1 subject.]
d. How is the commute time to norther NJ or in the nearest highways - what time is best to avoid or travel back from North to South or vice versa
e. TownHomes: [budget:450k] are there are good localities with competitive kids around, motivated families - this is one of the problems we are facing now in our community. They look at us like deer on headlights. Some join our club - most of them dont do much but expect us to do all the coaching, preparation etc... no help from others. Frustrating and Tiring over years...

Any help from people who lived/living in these 2 places would be greatly appreciated.
thank you !!!
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Old 01-22-2013, 05:52 PM
 
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WW is a great town, however there are many towns equally as good in Morris County. Do this and it would make your commute and life much more enjoyable
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Old 01-22-2013, 05:57 PM
 
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Originally Posted by OysterCatcher View Post
WW is a great town, however there are many towns equally as good in Morris County. Do this and it would make your commute and life much more enjoyable
Thanks. But we decided on either of these two for the reasons cited. Iam looking for info from parents who have kids here or who has lived here-either of the places.
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Old 01-22-2013, 08:38 PM
 
2,940 posts, read 8,205,488 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rarara576 View Post
We are planning to move to either Livingston or West Windsor. Kids are in 1st and 3rd grade.
They both are in gifted and talented but its very limited like 2 hours per week here and is not competitive or challenging for them.

West Windsor
c. Is the pressure too much for kids [I heard a story of a friend's friend that in a party his friend's son and his friend were very sad...'cas his son could not get 98% and missed AP by 1% since cut off was 99% in 1 subject.]

Any help from people who lived/living in these 2 places would be greatly appreciated.
thank you !!!
I have edited your post as I am confused. Are you looking for a district that is competitive and challenging but does not put too much pressure on the kids?

Our daughter went to WW-P schools from K-12th. From K-6 the only competition we saw was from a few parents, there were lots of kids in the G and T program but the kids didn't care much, their play time was pretty important to them.

The district offers a ton of opportunity to its students, there is pressure to be successful and there are parents and kids who are very competitive. There are more kids that have been raised in this school culture where good study habits, good grades and having fun are all emphasized. There is lots of parental involvement.

I know nothing about the Livingston District but we were more than pleased with our daughters education in the WW-P district.

You can do the research on the 2 districts, factor in your commutes, home prices etc. and make the decision that works for your family.
Good luck with your search

PS, If you are looking for a more competitive environment for your kids that 1% cut off miss will probably be a major factor in the WW-P District!

Last edited by jerseyj; 01-22-2013 at 08:47 PM..
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Old 01-22-2013, 09:26 PM
 
7 posts, read 19,392 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jerseyj View Post
I have edited your post as I am confused. Are you looking for a district that is competitive and challenging but does not put too much pressure on the kids?

Our daughter went to WW-P schools from K-12th. From K-6 the only competition we saw was from a few parents, there were lots of kids in the G and T program but the kids didn't care much, their play time was pretty important to them.

The district offers a ton of opportunity to its students, there is pressure to be successful and there are parents and kids who are very competitive. There are more kids that have been raised in this school culture where good study habits, good grades and having fun are all emphasized. There is lots of parental involvement.

I know nothing about the Livingston District but we were more than pleased with our daughters education in the WW-P district.

You can do the research on the 2 districts, factor in your commutes, home prices etc. and make the decision that works for your family.
Good luck with your search

PS, If you are looking for a more competitive environment for your kids that 1% cut off miss will probably be a major factor in the WW-P District!
Yes, to the highlight in bold. We want challenges, but not to the point of getting the kids depressed for 1%. But from what you said, seems like, it could be expected, if its extremely competitive environment mix. thanks !
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Old 01-22-2013, 09:32 PM
 
10,022 posts, read 17,205,286 times
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If the only choices were Newark and West Windsor, MAYBE it'd be worth the 2 hour commute. But there is no way, no how, that the difference between Livingston schools and West Windsor schools is worth a 2 hour commute.
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Old 01-22-2013, 09:37 PM
 
7 posts, read 19,392 times
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Originally Posted by nybbler View Post
If the only choices were Newark and West Windsor, MAYBE it'd be worth the 2 hour commute. But there is no way, no how, that the difference between Livingston schools and West Windsor schools is worth a 2 hour commute.
I hear you. But isnt the STEM ranking - curriculum, AP course based #11 th rank in the country for Plainsboro South high school mean something Vs no STEM ranking Livingston [even though they have great community outreach club programs] ?
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Old 01-22-2013, 10:32 PM
 
10,022 posts, read 17,205,286 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rarara576 View Post
I hear you. But isnt the STEM ranking - curriculum, AP course based #11 th rank in the country for Plainsboro South high school mean something Vs no STEM ranking Livingston [even though they have great community outreach club programs] ?
Not really. They only evaluated STEM for their top 500 high schools, so Livingston at #605 (out of 22,000!) didn't get evaluated. These differences really amount to splitting hairs. What would you expect your kids to get out of West Windsor that they wouldn't get out of Livingston? And what do you think it's going to do to your kids to have one parent exhausted from commuting 4 hours a day?
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Old 01-23-2013, 03:59 AM
 
1,787 posts, read 5,393,463 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nybbler View Post
Not really. They only evaluated STEM for their top 500 high schools, so Livingston at #605 (out of 22,000!) didn't get evaluated. These differences really amount to splitting hairs. What would you expect your kids to get out of West Windsor that they wouldn't get out of Livingston? And what do you think it's going to do to your kids to have one parent exhausted from commuting 4 hours a day?
I was thinking the same thing. Parent involvement should part of the decision; how involved will an exhausted parent be?
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Old 01-23-2013, 09:49 AM
 
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You're putting to much credence in what you read about school rankings
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