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Old 01-14-2009, 12:36 AM
 
Location: West Linn, OR
216 posts, read 910,020 times
Reputation: 86

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Hello,
Can any locals tell me the best place to live if working in Fairfield? I am orginally from San Jose, but have not spent enough time in the surrounding areas of Fairfiled. We are wondering which city/area has the better rated schools (most concerened about high schools), low crime, and clean environment. We were told the Fairfield schools are having problems with gangs/drugs. Is this true? Here are the cities we were looking at--

1. Napa
2. Sonoma
3. Vacaville
4. Benicia
5. Dixon
We would hope to keep the commute time no more than 40 min one way.
Thanks in advance!!
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Old 01-14-2009, 11:33 AM
 
Location: Sacramento, Ca
94 posts, read 332,874 times
Reputation: 50
Having commuted for a number of years from Sacramento to Napa, I would abandon the idea of moving to Vacaville and especially Dixon. WHen there is an accident on I-80, and it frequently happens, the freeway bottlenecks and it takes forever to get anywhere. Commuting from the Napa/Sonoma area to Fairfield can be crazy depending on the time of day you work. The Highway 12 (Jamison Canyon) and I-80 interchange with I-680 right after can be a nightmare. I would guess a commute from Sonoma to Fairfield would be too long for you if want it less than 40 minutes.

Fairfield does have some definate undesirable areas. I think the areas of Green Valley, Wooden Valley, and most of the city north of I-80 are somewhat desirable, aesthetically speaking. My wife and I are considering moving to the region but like you, want good schools and that I'm not sure of. Basically, don't totally discredit Fairfield. As for Benecia, I have heard nothing but good things about the city although I don't know much about it.
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Old 01-15-2009, 10:51 PM
 
Location: West Linn, OR
216 posts, read 910,020 times
Reputation: 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by CMKM-Miller View Post
Having commuted for a number of years from Sacramento to Napa, I would abandon the idea of moving to Vacaville and especially Dixon. WHen there is an accident on I-80, and it frequently happens, the freeway bottlenecks and it takes forever to get anywhere. Commuting from the Napa/Sonoma area to Fairfield can be crazy depending on the time of day you work. The Highway 12 (Jamison Canyon) and I-80 interchange with I-680 right after can be a nightmare. I would guess a commute from Sonoma to Fairfield would be too long for you if want it less than 40 minutes.

Fairfield does have some definate undesirable areas. I think the areas of Green Valley, Wooden Valley, and most of the city north of I-80 are somewhat desirable, aesthetically speaking. My wife and I are considering moving to the region but like you, want good schools and that I'm not sure of. Basically, don't totally discredit Fairfield. As for Benecia, I have heard nothing but good things about the city although I don't know much about it.
Thank you so much for that info! Do you think working nights would be OK?Going in at 9:00pm and leaving Fairfield to Napa at 8am? I know going in would be a breeze but what about in the AM going into Napa? Do you have any idea if that could be brutal as well? And would Sonoma be an option as well with going in that direction?

Thank you!
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Old 01-16-2009, 09:57 AM
 
Location: Sacramento, Ca
94 posts, read 332,874 times
Reputation: 50
I can't speak for the moment - I stopped commuting in January 2008, but when I commuted to Napa to start work at 800a.m., it was one of the worst commute times. At worst, it sometimes took 45 minutes to get from the Green Valley Rd exit to downtown Napa. I know there's been some widening of the offramp on I-80 and Jamison Canyon so I don't know how much that has helped. A way around I-80 is to take Wooden Valley Rd. up to Highway 121 into Napa but that takes you 45 minutes.

Like you said, you definitely wouldn't have a problem going into Fairfield at 900p.m. Smooth sailing. Sonoma to Fairfield at 900pm is doable in 40 minutes but not in the morning hours.

Going back to what I said in my earlier post, I'll clarify a bit what I said about Vacaville. I made it sound like the commute is horrid. Generally speaking, it's typically 10-20 minutes depending on where you get on the freeway. If an accident happens, which seems to be most common around the Westfield shopping center through the Truck scales in Cordelia, that is when the commute can bottleneck. I still would advise against Dixon. If your commuting to Fairfield from Vacaville at 900pm - no problem and same should be the case returning in the morning. The commute isn't as bad in that area going towards Sacramento.

So you're moving from Oregon to California ? Usually it's the other way around.
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Old 01-16-2009, 01:26 PM
 
516 posts, read 1,338,537 times
Reputation: 120
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nature Girl View Post
Hello,
Can any locals tell me the best place to live if working in Fairfield? I am orginally from San Jose, but have not spent enough time in the surrounding areas of Fairfiled. We are wondering which city/area has the better rated schools (most concerened about high schools), low crime, and clean environment. We were told the Fairfield schools are having problems with gangs/drugs. Is this true? Here are the cities we were looking at--

1. Napa
2. Sonoma
3. Vacaville
4. Benicia
5. Dixon
We would hope to keep the commute time no more than 40 min one way.
Thanks in advance!!
I taught high school in Napa at a very progressively-modeled school called New Tech High (New Technology High School) that you should check out. You can actually send your kids there even if you live in the area surrounding Napa (There are students from Fairfield and Vallejo). Acceptance is based on a lottery system since only 100 students are admitted per year. The school is a project-based learning school that has a 1/1 student-computer ratio. I loved teaching there...mostly because the students there are so amazing! There are no honors classes or sports teams though (although many New Tech students participate in sports and music programs at the two larger local high schools).

Also I think that American Canyon is in the process of building a new high school so that is something that might be worth checking out as well.
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Old 01-16-2009, 05:56 PM
 
Location: West Linn, OR
216 posts, read 910,020 times
Reputation: 86
[quote=CMKM-Miller;7024460]I can't speak for the moment - I stopped commuting in January 2008, but when I commuted to Napa to start work at 800a.m., it was one of the worst commute times. At worst, it sometimes took 45 minutes to get from the Green Valley Rd exit to downtown Napa. I know there's been some widening of the offramp on I-80 and Jamison Canyon so I don't know how much that has helped. A way around I-80 is to take Wooden Valley Rd. up to Highway 121 into Napa but that takes you 45 minutes.

Like you said, you definitely wouldn't have a problem going into Fairfield at 900p.m. Smooth sailing. Sonoma to Fairfield at 900pm is doable in 40 minutes but not in the morning hours.

Going back to what I said in my earlier post, I'll clarify a bit what I said about Vacaville. I made it sound like the commute is horrid. Generally speaking, it's typically 10-20 minutes depending on where you get on the freeway. If an accident happens, which seems to be most common around the Westfield shopping center through the Truck scales in Cordelia, that is when the commute can bottleneck. I still would advise against Dixon. If your commuting to Fairfield from Vacaville at 900pm - no problem and same should be the case returning in the morning. The commute isn't as bad in that area going towards Sacramento.

So you're moving from Oregon to California ? Usually it's the other way
around.[/QUOTE

Thank you! You gave great information on the drive. Do you know around what time the traffic slows down in the morning? Hubby will be working at the hospital, so it would almost be worth it for him to hang out at the cafeteria and have some breakfast until it slows. And is the traffic on James Canyn Rd. bad?

Funny you mention that, we moved out of California 3.5 years ago, but hubby received a wonderful job offer back there that is hard to pass up! I know what you're saying, so many Californians, New Yorkers, and Texans are flocking in like crazy!!!! I do miss it back there though, especially the SUN!
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Old 01-16-2009, 05:58 PM
 
Location: West Linn, OR
216 posts, read 910,020 times
Reputation: 86
OOPS, I meant "Jamison Canyon", not James. hehe
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Old 01-16-2009, 06:07 PM
 
Location: West Linn, OR
216 posts, read 910,020 times
Reputation: 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stacy From Cali View Post
I taught high school in Napa at a very progressively-modeled school called New Tech High (New Technology High School) that you should check out. You can actually send your kids there even if you live in the area surrounding Napa (There are students from Fairfield and Vallejo). Acceptance is based on a lottery system since only 100 students are admitted per year. The school is a project-based learning school that has a 1/1 student-computer ratio. I loved teaching there...mostly because the students there are so amazing! There are no honors classes or sports teams though (although many New Tech students participate in sports and music programs at the two larger local high schools).

Also I think that American Canyon is in the process of building a new high school so that is something that might be worth checking out as well.
Wow, that sounds like a wonderful school! The only problem is, we would want sports, cheerleading, etc. at the school they attend. That is very important to us. But it sounds like it is still worth looking into it. Do you know if the public Napa high schools are good? Thanks for the info!!
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Old 01-17-2009, 08:06 AM
 
516 posts, read 1,338,537 times
Reputation: 120
I really can only speak for the one I worked at, although I got to know some amazing teachers from the other two schools. I DO know that the district has had some issues with meeting NCLB testing standards resulting in a couple of years of program improvement. This was really frustrating because it is a result of having a fairly high population of students for whom English is a second language, and NCLB/STAR testing does not make any provisions for this.
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Old 01-17-2009, 07:59 PM
 
226 posts, read 1,125,984 times
Reputation: 72
I have made several posts in the past regarding a neighborhood in southeast Vacaville and northeast Fairfield that has very good schools under the Travis Unified School District. Homes there are VERY affordable by SF Bay Area standards and most schools, except Cambridge Elementary School, are highly rated. The district is among the best in the county, now on par with the Benicia Unified School District this past year.

If you come across a short sale, or REO home, don't be afraid to bid! As long as you don't get attached to a particular home, and place several bids on different homes, you can get a good deal. You may be surprised to find that many are livable or require relatively few touch-ups.



API Index by the California Department of Education:

County List of Schools

800 out of 1000 is the proficiency mark, but high schools that in the mid to high 700's usually rank in the top 30%-40% of the state high school system, sometimes even 20%. This translates into a score of 7-9 out of 10.

Past posts and information:

https://www.city-data.com/forum/5239903-post6.html
https://www.city-data.com/forum/5215099-post4.html
https://www.city-data.com/forum/4350466-post9.html
https://www.city-data.com/forum/4332688-post20.html
https://www.city-data.com/forum/4332594-post3.html
https://www.city-data.com/forum/2841463-post14.html
https://www.city-data.com/forum/2841768-post6.html
https://www.city-data.com/forum/2833437-post4.html

Last edited by tennis368fan; 01-17-2009 at 08:08 PM..
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