Welcome to City-Data.com Forum!
2,500,000 members. Thank you!
U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > New Jersey
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 05-09-2009, 09:40 PM
 
4 posts, read 21,918 times
Reputation: 12

Advertisements

Hello all-
My wife and I bought a house in Morristown in 2006 because we wanted a house that was close to every thing. At the time we did not have kids. We like our house a lot, and we enjoy the convenience. Now that I have an 18 month old girl and another girl on the way, I worry that the school district and the town may not be very conducive to raising a family. I don't mind diversity, I just don't want my girls to be exposed to any unnecessary problems. I know that there is no perfect place, but I would like to know if this is a reasonable place to be. Is the town going to get better with all of the redevelopment? I need to know if we are going to have to move in the next five years, or if we are going to have to consider private school. I would ideally like to hear from people who are currently raising kids in the area who have kids in the school system. I would like to hear from every one with regards to their positive and negative experiences.

Thank you!
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 01-03-2010, 09:34 PM
 
4 posts, read 15,387 times
Reputation: 21
This may be more directed to your wife but speaking from a women's perspective this is my advice. I would highly recommend your wife join one of the mother's groups in Morristown, e.g., the MOMS Club of Morristown because it will allow you to really become connected with the town you live in through your children. There are about 50+ women in the group who reside in Morristown and Morris Township and our children range in age from newborns to those in grade school. I would say that 95% of those women send their children through the Morris School District. We understand the bad "PR" but we also understand that it is the parental involvement and the dedication of teachers and school's administration that makes it successful. My children attend Normandy Park and even if they didn't get into our charter magnate school we would have been just as happy with our local elementary school up the block. All of the MOMS that I know are very pleased with their schools, Woodland, Hillcrest, Alfred Vail, etc. and most could afford private school is they chose to go that route.

My other recommendation would be to talk to your neighbors who have school-aged children and hear what they have to say. MANY parents love Morristown HS and take pride in their children going there. Just because it has a more diverse population doesn't make it a bad school. Many students will tell you that it prepares them for the "real" world. Our school system does suffer from certain rankings due to test scores but we understand that and know that doesn't entirely dictate the quality of the school.

My husband is an attorney and I work part-time in Manhattan in publishing and we felt we have made great choices in our lives......we believe we are doing the same for our children. I volunteer in my childen's classrooms and the student's enthusiasm to learn....for a lack of a better word....is colorless.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-04-2010, 08:44 AM
 
1,673 posts, read 2,760,531 times
Reputation: 940
I have many friends there that like Morristown and are happy with the schools. However, they ARE somewhat brave as compared to my friends in other towns like Chatham, Madison, Millburn ,etc. In other words, they are comfortable with more diversity in socioeconomics/race/educational aspirations, etc. Morristown does send kids to Ivy League and other top tier colleges each year. However, I have heard it is ESSENTIAL to be on the Honors/AP track in Morristown to be with kids with higher educational goals (if that is the goal for your chlidren). The top students do well on that track. Having an "average student" or "basic skills" student in Morristown, who is not really capable of AP work, may not be desirable.

Also, Morristown schools do have a good Gifted program for elem/middle also but that requires qualifying (test scores, recommendations, etc).

Generally, most people say the elem schools are fine. The middle school is OK, and it is the HS that you have to worry about. To me, the problem is that I'd worry about the chances of a real problem occuring (ie, drugs, gang issue etc) and that affecting innocent kids. I could not live with that worry. Not that terrible things can't happen anywhere, they can, but to me the chances are higher in a school with an urban element.

I don't think the population is changing for the positive...if anything it is getting MORE diverse.

I'd stay if you're OK with the diversity; I'd plan to move before school age if you think you would be uncomfortable with it. I agree with talking to your neighbors and asking lots of questions...ask not only about the elem schools but also middle/HS. Pretty sure people love the elem schools like Woodland (note only K-2 and that goes fast!), Normandy (K-5, requires application/lottery, I think), and like TJ (though note, it is pretty big for a 3-5 school).

Last edited by snuffybear; 01-04-2010 at 08:47 AM.. Reason: add info
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-04-2010, 05:21 PM
 
Location: South Orange, NJ
825 posts, read 3,148,012 times
Reputation: 260
I would say that Morristown is more than an alright place to raise a family. I grew up next door to Morristown and I would have much rather lived in Morristown than were I grew up. When you're kids are teenagers, they will thank you for bringing them up in Morristown. They won't have to bug you for rides because they can walk to their friends houses and/or Burger King, because they have one there in Morristown and that's pretty much the only place that teenagers hang out anyway. It's either there or your basement.

Morristown is very diverse but very safe! The last time someone got killed there was like 6 years ago and let's hope that streak continues. Unfortunately though, I do not know you're children so I'm not sure how they would do in the school system because every child is different. Some children do fine in the Morristown schools, others do not. I had this one friend who got beaten up just about everyday when he attended Morristown High School. He was white and he used to get beaten up by a lot of hispanic kids. He was small, scrawny and weak though... easy target. And he was one of those white kids that acted black so of course he's gonna get beaten. I'm gonna assume your children won't turn out like him though, so you should be ok.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-05-2010, 11:29 AM
 
62 posts, read 231,663 times
Reputation: 32
Morristown schools are not ranked (Star-Ledger) well at all... For whatever that's worth.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-03-2010, 04:57 PM
 
1 posts, read 8,763 times
Reputation: 11
I lived in Morristown since I was 5 yrs old. I lived in government housing, was around the "urban life" in Flagler street. After graduating from Morristown Highschool I attended Rutgers University, New Brunswick campus with a full scholarship, I then attained a masters degree, and I'm about to begin dental school. At the end of the day its really up to the student. My mother raised me to make the correct choices and I developed "street smarts" which were essential when I lived on campus at school.
Still do your research, but I'm a student who grew up in the "urban world" of Morristown and have managed to do well for myself.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-04-2012, 03:31 PM
 
3 posts, read 17,632 times
Reputation: 13
I also live in Morristown and I'd like to say that the tone of some of these posts come across as racist to me. By "diversity" and the city becoming "more diverse" are you saying that more African Americans and immigrants are coming to the city and this freaks some white people out? If so, come right out and say it if this is what you mean. I personally am very happy to have my child growing up in Morristown surrounded by people of color, immigrants, people speaking different languages and so forth. I would rather not have her growing up around people who use the statement "diversity" as a code word (don't get me wrong, many people use the word sincerely but some of these posts made me feel... hmm... like the posters really wanted to say something else). Thank you Madgonza for your thoughtful post. And also to 8PMReservation too.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-05-2012, 08:25 AM
 
396 posts, read 702,991 times
Reputation: 708
I think a ton of the feedback you have gotten here is very valid.

To Morristown Parent-I get where you are coming from, I do. It doesn't sound that great but I honestly think/hope the concern is not so much racial as it economic--meaning, it's economic diversity that makes people uncomfortable. Some of it is valid as the economy being what it is today, we have seen an uptick in crime and gang activity across our state. I don't think these are issues in Morristown--to my knowledge. If I lived there, I might take a closer look at private school options for that reason. Given I am a big public school proponent, however, I would give the schools a very hard look as well.

I'd like to suggest too that all of us frame the inquiry in a different manner. Rather than focusing on stereotypes, maybe the best thing to do is look at the "fit" between the community and the OP.

I have wonderful friends who will swear up and down that Maplewood is the place for them because they love artsy and racially/economically diverse communities--and they are right. That is a good fit for them. I have other friends who believe that private school is the only option because they believe in single sex education and their daughters are vibrant soccer players with incredible confidence. We all have our biases and beliefs and that shapes what communities and environments we seek. Sometimes--those biases become self fulfilling prophecies too which is why in the end, I think you have a ton of good options that may work for you very well including where you are today.

Ask yourself what your concern is......what is worrying you, precisely?

That your child will:

1. Get a subpar education? Look under the hood, study the schools curriculums, see what choices they have made. Look at testing results, college placement and go and visit the school so you can see if your assumptions are accurate.

2. Are you worried that they may hang with an "undesirable element"? Again--try and quantify. What do you mean by an element? What specifically is undesirable---to you?

And so on......

If you are looking for more economic and racial homogeneity, Chatham and Madison are both towns that come to mind. Summit is another good town, however, their schools are not as highly ranked as the home prices would indicate and there is more economic diversity there as well. Millburn is the place if academics is your main concern as is Bernards Twshp. Randolph is a good mix of in between....and so on.

In the end, NJ offers a wide array of fabulous educational opportunities and communities to explore and you have time to do the homework.....which is what I think you have started to do here. I think you really are doing a fine thing by asking these questions today rather than when the kids are in school. My dad once told me that when struggling with two choices, it often means we don't have all the facts. I have followed that advice and it has never failed me. Whenever somethign is troubling me and I am mulling it over and over in my head, it likely means I need more factual information vs. assumptions and opinions. I think the data you collect here will be very useful but I also think try and visit some of these schools and options and make up your own mind. If I can leave you with anything solid, it is this: I think your questions around Morristown are legit because they have come up time and time again when people are considering moving there--and those things tend to be self fulling too.

Best of luck!

Last edited by CanonGrace; 01-05-2012 at 08:34 AM..
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-05-2012, 06:50 PM
 
Location: Planet Earth
3,921 posts, read 9,073,850 times
Reputation: 1670
Quote:
Originally Posted by CanonGrace View Post
1) To Morristown Parent-I get where you are coming from, I do. It doesn't sound that great but I honestly think/hope the concern is not so much racial as it economic--meaning, it's economic diversity that makes people uncomfortable. Some of it is valid as the economy being what it is today, we have seen an uptick in crime and gang activity across our state. I don't think these are issues in Morristown--to my knowledge. If I lived there, I might take a closer look at private school options for that reason. Given I am a big public school proponent, however, I would give the schools a very hard look as well.

2) Are you worried your child will:

1. Get a subpar education? Look under the hood, study the schools curriculums, see what choices they have made. Look at testing results, college placement and go and visit the school so you can see if your assumptions are accurate.

2. Are you worried that they may hang with an "undesirable element"? Again--try and quantify. What do you mean by an element? What specifically is undesirable---to you?

And so on......

Best of luck!
1) Well, I'm sure it's both. There are plenty of people who truly feel uncomfortable around people of other races (they'll make a big deal about a Black kid being in their child's class or something), and there are people who are worried about economic diversity.

I don't live in Morristown, but I'd just like to say that my high school (in NYC) is very diverse in both ways you described, and there are really very few issues in the school. No real racial tensions or tensions between people from different areas with different economic compositions.

2) See if there are ways of avoiding contact with that undesirable element (and by that, I'm referring to people actually out to cause trouble, not minority kids or poor kids or anything like that). For instance, in my school, they have different "Houses" to group people based on their interest (math & science vs. culinary vs. JROTC vs. business, etc), and generally the people who are in a "House" rather than just the "Zoned" program are more motivated and a better type of student to hang out with. For the most part, I don't come in contact with the troublemakers.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-06-2012, 12:03 AM
 
85 posts, read 214,600 times
Reputation: 15
For an objective view, try the NJ School Report Cards - New Jersey Department of Education | School Report Card
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:




Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > New Jersey

All times are GMT -6.

© 2005-2024, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Contact Us - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37 - Top