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Old 02-13-2014, 02:39 AM
 
8 posts, read 8,208 times
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Hello there,

I have been reading this forum and finding great advice about living in St. Louis, about neighborhoods & schools etc, but it’s all a bit hazy as I have never been to St. Louis before (the closet I’ve been is Chicago, which I love). We are making a big move from Asia in 5 months’ time, so I hope to have your help with some specific questions – thanks very much in advance!

Our top priority is a good school for our 10 year-old. My husband will be at Lindenwood Uni and we would prefer less driving time for him (no more than 30 min). Coming from a crowded city that never sleeps, I would prefer somewhere with a city vibe and some nightlife. My driving skills are horrible and I would love to be able to walk to shops. Having Trader Joes and Starbucks or comparable shops within walking distance would be fantastic. Having said that, we can’t afford to spend much on rent (budget is 1 to 1.5k).

From research, we are considering these places:
1. St Charles
2. Clayton
3. Webster Groves
4. Kirkwood

From photos, I really like Clayton but I also read that it’s really expensive. I don’t really know what that means because I’ve found apartments with comparable rents as the other areas above. Can someone please explain?

What do you think would be the best fit for us out of the 4 above? Other suggestions are welcome too!

Our current plan is to move to a temporary apartment in St Charles a month before my husband starts work so we can look around and decide. However, we are not sure if this is a good idea. Would there be rentals that are immediately available? Would less than a month be enough time to get my son into school?

So we have lots of things to work out and would appreciate your knowledge and advice. I know that there are some really nice and helpful people on this board and I look forward to moving to St. Louis. Thanks so much!

Last edited by GiantSquid; 02-13-2014 at 03:02 AM..
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Old 02-13-2014, 02:17 PM
 
446 posts, read 417,554 times
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On the paper, Rockwood school district has a good reputation; however, I personally know a family who moved into the Parkway West School district from Rockwood and are EXTREMELY pleased with the school.

You can also look for apartments in Creve Coeur and Ladue if you wanna stay close to Linden University yet live in very nice and healthy area with excellent schools.
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Old 02-14-2014, 03:24 AM
 
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Thanks for the suggestions! I will look into those places too. Is your child guaranteed to get into a school just because you live close to it? I know nothing about the US school system.
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Old 02-14-2014, 09:32 AM
 
Location: Saint Louis, MO
1,908 posts, read 4,142,667 times
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Each school has geographic boundaries. You must live within the boundaries to go to that school. This is the general rule. The city is a little different, where there are neighborhood schools (generally not good), but there are also public schools (magnet and charter schools) that pull from all over the city. You must apply to these schools. The good ones are so popular that there is often a lottery. This system generally drives a lot of families away from the city towards the suburbs where they can live in the boundaries of a good school district and their kids automatically go there.
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Old 02-14-2014, 11:05 AM
 
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Thanks, billiken! Would there be a situation where a good school in a suburb is oversubscribed so your kid can't go there even though where you live is within the district? I'm also concerned that since my son is coming in at 5th grade, there wouldn't be any spots left. Would St. Charles, Clayton, Webster Groves & Kirkwood all be considered suburbs?

Do you think getting an address about 3-4 weeks before school starts is enough time to do everything to gain admission? For eg., would my son have to take any tests? I read that testing is required for the magnet schools but I'm not sure about the others. Would really appreciate if you can clarify. Thanks!
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Old 02-14-2014, 04:01 PM
 
Location: Saint Louis, MO
1,908 posts, read 4,142,667 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GiantSquid View Post
Thanks, billiken! Would there be a situation where a good school in a suburb is oversubscribed so your kid can't go there even though where you live is within the district? I'm also concerned that since my son is coming in at 5th grade, there wouldn't be any spots left. Would St. Charles, Clayton, Webster Groves & Kirkwood all be considered suburbs?

Do you think getting an address about 3-4 weeks before school starts is enough time to do everything to gain admission? For eg., would my son have to take any tests? I read that testing is required for the magnet schools but I'm not sure about the others. Would really appreciate if you can clarify. Thanks!
No, if you live in a good neighborhood school district, the school district cannot turn you away and send you to another school instead. St Charles, Clayton, Webster Groves and Kirkwood are all suburbs. I'm not as familiar with the schools in St Charles, but I would say the schools in Clayton, WG, and Kirkwood are all considered to be good school districts, with Clayton being best, Kirkwood next, then Webster Groves (although I used to live in the area of WG with the "worst" school of the District and I would still send my kids there). Each school district may have many different schools within the district (just adds to the complications).

For example, Webster Groves School district is not just 1 school. There are several. See this link for the elementary attendance areas: http://www.webster.k12.mo.us/pages/W...t_Map__Google_

I do not know how enrollment works, especially coming from another country. This is something I would call the district about.
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Old 02-15-2014, 08:55 AM
 
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Thanks so much, billiken! It all seems very complicated to me. I just need to keep asking questions.
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Old 02-18-2014, 03:06 PM
 
446 posts, read 417,554 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GiantSquid View Post
Thanks so much, billiken! It all seems very complicated to me. I just need to keep asking questions.
Keep asking questions, no problem. This is what we are here for.

You can also check great school's website to get some idea about the school reputation and neighboring apartments for rent.

where are you coming from? India?
The reason I ask this is that there is a very nice Hindew temple and a very pretty Islamic Mosque off of Weidman Rd in Ballwin area.
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Old 02-20-2014, 01:41 PM
 
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Thanks! Actually we are coming from Singapore, in South East Asia (next to Malaysia, Thailand, Philippines)
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Old 02-20-2014, 03:53 PM
 
Location: rural North Carolina
272 posts, read 703,360 times
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Have you considered private schools? St. Louis has some great private schools. They can be pricey ($10k-$20k/year) but often offer need-based grants.

No one I know who is a product of these schools, or has sent their children to them, regrets their decision. Many are religious based but accept non-believers. For example my high school was run by Catholic Jesuit priests but you didn't have to be catholic to go there. And it offered Chinese - something no other high school in the country offered at the time (1980s). It was an amazing education.

Others can speak to the public schools which really aren't bad in many cases. But a private school might offer you the flexibility you need to live in an area and not worry about the quality of the school district - for a price.
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