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Old 03-01-2007, 08:09 PM
 
Location: Villanova Pa.
4,910 posts, read 12,771,485 times
Reputation: 2635

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Quote:
Originally Posted by rcovph View Post
We have visited the West Chester area and Devon, Malvern area.... No we are really NOT into MCMANSIONS, to be honest that is what we are trying to get away from. Although I realize in our price range that is what there is, it is not our top priority. I want alot of activites for my kids, I place they can hang out with friends besides a mall {thats what they do here}.
Since you weren't crazy about the West Chester area I would give the Mainline a look. The succession of towns like Bryn Mawr,Haverford,Rosemont,Narberth, Gladwyne, Villanova,Radnor Wayne Berwyn, Devon . Those communities are well-to- do and have a lot of character, its the anti- mcmansion part of the philly suburbs. The area is full of tudors,victorians and french style houses. The downtowns themselves are very small though, but it seems like a tight knit safe walkable area especially the towns on the eastern edge like Bryn Mawr, Haverford,Narberth,Rosemont.

Thats about it for the quaint downtown areas. Media might be an option but if you didn't like WC you might not like Media as its a smaller version of WC.

Chestnut Hill in NW Philadelphia is probably the cleanest quaintest downtown and best neighborhood in the entire area but I don't know where that leaves you in regards to schools. Chestnut Hill sounds exactly what you are looking for, but it probably means your children will have to go to private high schools. Elementary schools should be fine.

Chadds Ford has good schools but is very rural, a country setting.
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Old 03-04-2007, 03:13 PM
 
21 posts, read 38,360 times
Reputation: 14
Default West Chester schools

Our children went rthrough WC schools and I think they are wonderful. Many of them are blue ribbon schools and yes they are diverse but that doesnt mean they are bad. I suggest you go to the West Chester area school district website and explore there more. I believe they have scores on their site or a link to them. Dont base a decision on scores though, we rented a townhome in Chadds Ford while looking to buy here after moving from out of state and even though we chos Chadds Ford because of the scores it was apparent they arent necessarily the best thing to compare. Go visit the schools . I did! You will get a feeling for the school , the community feel of the schools. Also if you want private schools such as Malvern Prep, Villa Maria etc.. its all possible to attend these schools which provide bussing from West Chester.
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Old 03-16-2007, 02:11 PM
 
3 posts, read 15,710 times
Reputation: 13
Default Malvern Rocks

I lived in Philadelphia until 3 years ago when I decided to move outside the city so my children could be in a better school district. I originally was looking in the Tredyffrin/Eastown district because they have an exceptional reputation (Philadelphia magazine rated them the #1 school district in the tri-state area this year). However, parent comments I read online led me to believe those schools are only focused on the high-achieving students. We ended up moving to Malvern (which, by the way, was rated this year by Philly magazine as one of the best places in the area to live). Unfortunately, we are moving to CT this summer because my husband was transferred by his job. We are DEVASTATED. My son asked me "How can we leave this perfect place?" The teachers challenge my son, who is gifted, but also offer tons of help and attention to my daughter, who has ADHD. When we first moved here, the middle school school counselor even went so far as to find a table of girls for my daughter to sit with at lunch so she wouldn't have to sit alone. The staff is that caring. We have an adorable, quaint downtown that my daughter likes to walk to and window shop with her friends. My son plays sports and rides bikes around the neighborhood with his friends. Neighbors mow each other lawns, shovel each other's snow, and have pot luck block parties. We have a town Halloween parade where the kids show off their costumes and an annual Christmas tree lighting in the park in the center of town. There's such a sense of community. I hope we get as lucky wherever we settle in Connecticut.
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Old 03-16-2007, 02:51 PM
 
1,134 posts, read 3,677,578 times
Reputation: 653
It is so strange for me to see the metamorphisis West Chester has taken over the years. I moved there in 1973 and watched it go through many, many changes. I remember when West Chester was a place you ran your errands in and then left. There were even race riots on friday nights for a while. To see what it has turned into is crazy ! To some the renaissance is great, shopkeepers, restuarants etc, but after living there and having to move because of this shift I am not one to be too happy with it. In the 80's it used to be a cool, little closely knit town but the more money that poured in and the more Main Line Bourgeous attitude that ensued has turned it into somewhere where you have to choose your living situation carefully. I lived in the center of town and in the 90's the college student / pub crawlers / diners made living peacefully an impossiblility. Starting thursday night 'til Sunday the random vandalism, sounds of breaking glass all night long, beligerant drunks commandeering the sidewalks en masse made moving out a necessity if quality of life was a priority as it was ours. The WC police are useless. They have a tacit agreement with West Chesters BID (Business owners BLOC) to not hassle people who appear drunk or disorderly because it might hurt business if they get a reputation for harrassment. They are arrogant unprofessional and condescending to people who complain about this, too. They will not venture into the south section of town where the renting college students have free reign over the homeowners. There are violent conflicts all the time between them. Again, the town has determined college students are good for business and put the money they put into the beer and pizza joints over the people who are homeowners. West Chester has turned into a vibrant, desirable town but I would only say if you want to move there choose your area carfully. If you want to be close to town go to the north side. Avoid anything south like the plague it is. Be prepared for traffic too !! It might take a full 30 minutes to make it from one end of Market St. to the other on a Friday afternoon.
All this being said....I moved to Vermont to get away from this nonsense but would move back to PA in a heartbeat if I could, so I guess the bad really isnt that bad !!

Last edited by KoZmiC NinJa; 03-16-2007 at 03:40 PM..
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Old 04-16-2007, 06:42 PM
 
6 posts, read 37,109 times
Reputation: 13
Default Garnet Valley/ Media/ Swarthmore area schools

Hi,
We are in the same boat.. looking to move from central NJ to somewhere in PA that is within reasonable commuting distance of Wilmington, DE as well as the Cherry Hill area in NJ (where I work).
So far, the school districts we've looked at are:
Garnet Valley (Glen Mills, PA)
Media
Swarthmore

We considered West Chester/Chaddsford , but that is too far for me to commute. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 04-17-2007, 08:46 AM
 
12,767 posts, read 28,906,844 times
Reputation: 7341
We moved from Garnet Valley school district ten years ago. My older kids went to school there from k-6th grade. At that time it was a pocket of semi-ruralness amidst the suburban sprawl. Sadly, the sprawl ate Garnet Valley. The schools are still good and amazingly kept up with the quick population growth. Check out www.schoolmatters.com to do a comparison.

The schools really are good and that's not a little thing. The churches are very active and parents are involved. What's lacking is a center of town but some people center their lives around their neighborhoods, churches or the parents groups at the schools. I think you will find that newcomers are welcomed and normal.
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Old 04-17-2007, 04:52 PM
 
21 posts, read 38,360 times
Reputation: 14
Smile West Chesters changes

As a resident of WC that has seen nothing but good changes to this town I would like to talk about what the alternative would be to having NO progress in a town. Yes West Chester may have changed since you lived here but now instead of having mostly lawyers and banks in town there are wonderful shoppes and amazing restaurants and people are actually strolling the streets of West Chester. The merchants cant complain, their business are thriving once again and West Chester is attracting homeowners who want to actually feel like they belong to a real community. The University is offering more of the arts for the public and yes there is traffic but this town is alive! The alternative would be a town with many closed stores/restaurants and no one having anything to do in town. I do live in West Chester and I am proud of it and what it is becoming. Oh yes, the schools are awesome too! BOTH HENDERSON and EAST! I had kids in them for 15years!













Quote:
Originally Posted by KoZmiC NinJa View Post
It is so strange for me to see the metamorphisis West Chester has taken over the years. I moved there in 1973 and watched it go through many, many changes. I remember when West Chester was a place you ran your errands in and then left. There were even race riots on friday nights for a while. To see what it has turned into is crazy ! To some the renaissance is great, shopkeepers, restuarants etc, but after living there and having to move because of this shift I am not one to be too happy with it. In the 80's it used to be a cool, little closely knit town but the more money that poured in and the more Main Line Bourgeous attitude that ensued has turned it into somewhere where you have to choose your living situation carefully. I lived in the center of town and in the 90's the college student / pub crawlers / diners made living peacefully an impossiblility. Starting thursday night 'til Sunday the random vandalism, sounds of breaking glass all night long, beligerant drunks commandeering the sidewalks en masse made moving out a necessity if quality of life was a priority as it was ours. The WC police are useless. They have a tacit agreement with West Chesters BID (Business owners BLOC) to not hassle people who appear drunk or disorderly because it might hurt business if they get a reputation for harrassment. They are arrogant unprofessional and condescending to people who complain about this, too. They will not venture into the south section of town where the renting college students have free reign over the homeowners. There are violent conflicts all the time between them. Again, the town has determined college students are good for business and put the money they put into the beer and pizza joints over the people who are homeowners. West Chester has turned into a vibrant, desirable town but I would only say if you want to move there choose your area carfully. If you want to be close to town go to the north side. Avoid anything south like the plague it is. Be prepared for traffic too !! It might take a full 30 minutes to make it from one end of Market St. to the other on a Friday afternoon.
All this being said....I moved to Vermont to get away from this nonsense but would move back to PA in a heartbeat if I could, so I guess the bad really isnt that bad !!
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