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Old 02-09-2008, 09:04 AM
 
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We are relocating from a suburb in NY, and are looking at high schools and middle schools in the following school districts - Chadds Ford, Radnor, Great Valley, and T/E.

Are any of these areas more accepting of newcomers? Also, I was told that even joining a pool club (rather then a country club) requires sponsorship, is this correct? Is it possible not to be part of the country club system and still be accepted?

Also, do any of these schools do a better job at helping new students acclimate? I am most concerned about my children being able to form new friendships, and feeling comfortable.

Thank you for your help.
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Old 02-09-2008, 09:39 AM
 
Location: Villanova Pa.
4,910 posts, read 12,771,485 times
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Great Valley and Chadds Ford are the newer areas with alot of growth. Not saying T/E and Radnor are not excellent choices but they are older established areas hence not much turnover (especially Radnor). There is a steady influx of new families moving into Unionville-Chadds Ford and Great Valley areas because there is room to grow, not so much for the other two.

Exton/Chester Springs and the Garnet Valley area(Concord Twp and Bethel Twp) are 2 other areas that are growing very quickly and come with great schools and are upscale.

Good luck.
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Old 02-10-2008, 02:58 PM
 
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If you poke around here you will find postings from a guy who relocated from FL to Wayne (Radnor/TE area), rented it for a year and hated it. He ended up in Great Valley SD and loves it. I am a local from the lower middle class side of the tracks and am currently struggling with a similar situation - best schools academically vs best environment psychologically for my kids. Which is why I've scratched Radnor, just too rich and snobby.

Working on T/E but the $600K home I saw today gave me pause...it was not much house/land/location for the money. We may end up in Great Valley so we don't feel claustrophobic and because I know the people will be warmer to new neighbors...its a tough call...You may also want to consider Rose Tree Media SD, Wallingford Swarthmore SD, Downingtown and West Chester - all great though RTM and WS are a cut above as far as academics go.

Here's Matildap's comments:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

We moved from FL last Jan and rented a home in Wayne while househunting. I've been to many appointments in Ardmore so had to drive back and forth a lot..we left Wayne because it was way too pretentious for us..I agree with others about the new money vs. old money- I'm sure there's a huge difference. We just didn't feel welcome there- being new seems to be very difficult in the mainline area. Schools are great but not 'warm' or friendly- so we moved slightly west to Great Valley (Malvern, specifically) and love it. I agree that Wayne is very pretty- just not 'for us'...one huge lesson I learned is to go first, and feel it out. Buy something once you get a good feel for the area. You can't possibly know for sure until you live there for a while.
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Old 02-13-2008, 09:41 PM
 
Location: Downingtown, PA
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I agree with both rainrock and orrmobl's comments. Garnet Valley has been one of, if not the fastest growing school districts in PA for years now.

The Exton Chester Springs area rainrock was referring to is Downingtown Schools. I will tell you that Downingtown School systems are also fantastic and is another area that is experiecning major growth. They just split the high school a few years back and already have plans in place for a 3rd. West Chester just added a 3rd a few years ago as well. I think you get more bang for your buck in Downingtown, but just my professional opinion. But, the taxes in Downingtown are higher than West Chester.

Good luck.
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Old 02-14-2008, 10:00 AM
 
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Where in NY do you live now? Also, are Downingtown schools really that good? I remember when I was researching, that they scored significantly lower than Great Valley, T/E and Radnor- though I could be mistaken...
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Old 02-14-2008, 10:05 AM
 
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orrmobl:
I agree that a $600,000 house in T/E or Radnor will not get you much. You would likely do much better in Great Valley and the schools would exceed your expectations, as well as the area would be much more welcoming/less snobby - I think you'd be nuts to think you were going "less" by moving to the Great Valley area- a lot of people seem to think it's actually better-
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Old 02-14-2008, 02:13 PM
 
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newto:

Thanks so much for the heads up...the wife is definitely leaning that way...now if I could just keep the voices in my head from reminding me that Conestoga ranked in the top 10 nationally, I would be fine with it...but ultimately, we have to find a house we love so its all up in the air for right now...
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Old 02-17-2008, 08:08 PM
 
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orrmobl:
you're kidding me? Conestoga high school in T/E? It may be one of the "best", but I was recently told by a "local" parent that they have major drug problems at that school- think about all the stress those kids must have to 'perform' to their parents' expectations- like most 'upscale' or majorly rich areas, the schools are going to have hidden problems of the rich. I just checked Great Valley HS on greatschools.org and they score a 10 out of 10- can't get any better than that. I'd rather have my kids in a relaxed and enjoyable atmosphere where the school still is top notch, than in a pressure cooker where the kids sound like they're about to go off the deep end. Did you read the article in the Philadelphia Magazine a few months back about mainline kids and how the parents are 'ruining' them? You could not pay me to send my kids to school in that district, sorry!
I'll probably get a lot of backlash for that but the orig. poster did say he was concerned about his kids, psychologically, and was talking about fitting in and being accepted as a newcomer- in my opinion, T/E fails miserably in those areas.
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Old 02-24-2008, 10:28 PM
 
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Not to reply so late but...I've heard drugs are rampant in Downingtown schools as well...blah blah blah apparently drugs are rampant everywhere in America these days, yet the federal government still spends all this money fighting them...

Anyway I don't think of T/E as "Main Line" main line...that's Radnor and Lower Merion if you ask me and that's why I'm not interested in those areas...Berwyn and Paoli seem much more laid back and not really into flash or status...and the houses I've been looking at seem to reflect that as well...

And I have looked online at houses in Malvern...the land and house sizes are pretty comparable to what I'm looking at in Berwyn/Paoli...so why wouldn't I go with the better schools and closer commute for my wife?
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Old 02-25-2008, 07:54 PM
 
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I want to just say that not everyone in the Main Line area is snobby or unfriendly. We have been very happy in a corner of Wynnewood (Lower Merion schools) called "Penn Wynne"--the area around City Line and Haverford Road. The place is full of young families and kids, the schools are top notch (and welcoming of newcomers), and there are a lot of casual community events (library kids programs, a FREE summer day camp at the parks for ages 7 and up, a 5K race, Fourth of July party, etc.). And the newly redone pools are still a bargain for families--no sponsorship of any kind, you just have to live in Lower Merion.

I agree that the other townships around here are wonderful, too--but it's clearly misleading to me (someone who grew up in northern MN and lived in CA and Boston before here) to paint the whole area as snobby...it's just not true.

My two cents...
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