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Old 06-23-2014, 12:58 PM
 
2 posts, read 2,531 times
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Hello! I moved to Maine a year ago and am currently renting a home in Kennebunk. I will be starting a new job where I can pick to be based out of Saco or Brunswick. I am leaning towards picking Brunswick and moving up there this summer. I have visited the downtown area before (and will make more trips to see more of the area) and have really liked what I have seen. (Morning Glory foods, Wild Oats, etc., are my cup of tea!) While I am happy with Kennebunk and especially with its great elementary school, I'm an only parent now and it costs a fortune to live in Kennebunk. It seems like housing is less expensive in Brunswick, and the schools are supposed to be good. (The town appeals to me more anyhow.) I'd like to find a small-ish rental, like a townhome, that is very nice but still relatively affordable.

What is most important for me is being zoned for a great elementary school. My son is going into 1st grade and has some special needs. Past experience has shown me that if he goes to a great school, he does well. A less good school, on the other hand, can be a disaster. He also tends to be picked on/bullied more if he attends school with "rougher" kids.

I've searched the forums but couldn't find anything about the individual elementary schools in Brunswick. Greatschools.org does not have ratings for any of the elementary schools except for Harriet Beecher Stowe, which only is rated a 6. So, I'm hoping to learn which are the best/better elementary schools in Brunswick, so I can try to find a rental zoned for a better school this summer.

Also, if anyone has recommendations for great child care facilities, I need to find one of these for my toddler as well.

Thank you!
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Old 06-24-2014, 09:28 AM
 
Location: Maine
18,560 posts, read 22,358,418 times
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We had nothing but good experiences with the Brunswick elementary schools. Our middle kiddo also had some special needs, and everyone at the school was great with her --- teachers, administration, and fellow students. This was at Longfellow, which is now closed.

Since the newly constructed Harriet Beecher Stowe, we haven't had any kids in the elementary schools.

I'm not a fan of Brunswick Junior High to be honest. The educational program is great, but they seem to have more than a few teachers there that honestly should not be teaching. They don't seem to like themselves very much, much less the kids. There were a few notable exceptions, but for the most part the junior high teachers just seemed like really unhappy people.

The high school is okay. There are some truly wonderful, dedicated, inspiring teachers there, especially in the music and science programs. Absolute gems. And there are a few who are ... well, not. The administration ... ? Hard to tell, since they seem to have a new principal every year. It was either the last one or the one before that (I can't remember) who left under some controversy. I get the impression that the assistant principal, secretaries, and other mid-level folks are the ones who really keep the school running, while a new principal comes in every year to make speeches.

There is also a charter school in Harpswell that seems to be gaining popularity. Not sure what grades they are accepting at this time.

St. John's Catholic School is fantastic. Probably the best education for kids K-8 in the area.

Craigslist seems to be the best place to find local rentals. There are a few property management companies in the area that handle rentals, but in my experience, they seem to prefer catering to the rich Bowdoin crowd or summer people. You'll have better luck on craigslist.

Brunswick is a great place to live.
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Old 06-26-2014, 07:02 AM
 
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Thank you so much for the feedback, Mark! This is very helpful. I realized since posting (by calling the school district) that all 1st graders go to Coffin. I had thought Brunswick had five elementary schools, because greatschools.org listed Longfellow, Coffin, Hawthorne, Jordan Acres, and Harriet Beacher Stowe as ALL being open and having first grades! So I thought I was going to need to rent in a particular neighborhood so he could go to a better school. Now I can see I can rent anywhere. That will make things easier!

Thank you again for all of your feedback; so helpful!
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Old 06-26-2014, 01:47 PM
 
Location: Maine
18,560 posts, read 22,358,418 times
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Yeah, Brunswick schools reorganized a lot in recent years with the construction of the new Harriet Beecher Stowe school. Longfellow closed and I believe was sold to Bowdoin College. I think Hawthorne closed as well. Jordan Acres and Coffin are still open.
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Old 06-27-2014, 04:18 AM
 
Location: Portland, ME
234 posts, read 300,753 times
Reputation: 250
Jordan Acres is closed as well.
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Old 06-27-2014, 08:52 AM
 
Location: Maine
18,560 posts, read 22,358,418 times
Reputation: 22435
Did it? I hadn't heard.

Jordan Acres was ... odd. I was in the building a few times. The classrooms were "open concept," separated only by shelves and such. I can't imagine how teachers ever got anything done. It must have been horrendously noisy.
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