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Old 11-14-2010, 09:59 AM
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Hi! My may be relocating from Arizona to Westchester county -- specifically around the Armonk/Bedford/Chappaqua area. Our children will be starting kindergarten and we were wondering the difference between these three different school districts. Which is the best? Which would be more welcoming to new students? Also, a little nervous about how welcoming these new towns are to newcomers in general? Are there plenty of family activities? Thanks for your help!
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Old 11-15-2010, 04:46 AM
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I live in Chappaqua. My family could not be any happier about where we live. The schools have been terrific from both an academic and social standpoint. While there is a lot of pressure in the high school, I suspect that is true of the other two districts you mentioned as well. When we were deciding where to move to (from Northern California) we chose Chappaqua for the schools and the commute. If you are planning on commuting to NYC, only Chappaqua has a train of those three towns. (Otherwise you drive to North WHite Plains.) We found we were welcome right away as were our kids, but they (and we) were younger then. My kids were in elementary school when we moved. (What a change from Marin!!)
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Old 11-15-2010, 08:49 AM
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We just moved to Chappaqua in June and I agree the town and elementary schools are very welcoming to newcomers. The staff at the town hall was very patient with us as we navigated the purchase of our house (pulling old plans and flood maps, etc.) and the train parking permits. When you register your kids in the school district office, those ladies are also super nice and will explain how the process works with obtaining your school info and bus schedule. The bus company has a kindergarten "bus tour" to get them (and you) acquainted with the bus system. We are in Roaring Brook elementary and same story: nice, friendly staff, great teachers, lots of "new family" activities at the beginning of the school year.

I highly recommed the town camp for the summer - terrific activities, swimming 1-2 times per week, group leaders are local high school kids (my daughter bonded with those girls immediately) and it gives the kids a chance to meet other kids in their grade before the school year. They have a separate shorter-day camp for kindergarteners. You can find info on the Town of New Castle website: Town of New Castle

Good luck!
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Old 11-15-2010, 06:33 PM
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I also live in, and recommend, Chappaqua! The schools are wonderful and people are very friendly. Train to NYC is great, there's even a direct train during rush hour. The Chappaqua School District covers more than Chappaqua, it also includes Millwood and some parts of Mount Kisco.
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Old 08-03-2011, 08:07 AM
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Default Kindergrten in Westchester

Many parents in this area seem to hold children back from kindergarten if they have a Fall birthday. For many children, this provides the time they need to be able to participate in academic, full-day public school kindergartens. For some families, it gives them more confidence that their child is in the "older" half of their class instead of being the youngest. Many people in the area go to World Cup. They have a few different options that suit families that want to hold their child back from Kindegarten. We had a great experience there.
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Old 08-03-2011, 03:16 PM
Location: East Millcreek
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The "best" district is highly subjective unless your criteria are limited to collecting statistics. I can't speak for Armonk,* just Bedford and Chappaqua, and mostly Bedford at that.

Both high schools are outstanding. In the contest of statistics Chappaqua is certainly ahead, but that's mostly a function of diversity. Horace Greeley has none, virtually all the kids are college bound and it's very competitive. In addition to uber-affluent Bedford and Pound Ridge, Fox Lane serves Mt Kisco and Bedford Hills and their working class and immigrant populations - hence a far more heterogeneous mix, more socioeconomic diversity and resources allocated accordingly. That said, the socioeconomic strata at Fox Lane that corresponds to Chappaqua ends up at the same colleges.

Summary: If you want to shield your kids from the working class and Hispanics then go Chappaqua. If you seek a more color-balanced environment then go Fox Lane. There are lots of people that could afford to go anywhere but choose Fox Lane for exactly that reason.

Elementary schools are more nuanced. The Bedford district ES's range from diverse (Mt Kisco, West Patent) to something more like a private schools for rich kids (Pound Ridge, Bedford Village). I've never heard anyone say anything less than wonderful about PRES and BVES. My brother sent 3 kids through Bedford Hills and he loved it. Others can comment on MtKES and WPES.

Apart from Mt Kisco and some of Bedford Hills the communities served by Bedford Central are generally an increment more "rural" than Chappaqua - generally larger lots, more open space, farther slanted towards horse country. In fact it is horse country. Of all these places Pound Ridge (which I include cause it's joined to Bedford Village at the hip, shares a newspaper, etc etc) leans more avant garde, notably "artier," less tethered to the daily NYC commute, least keeping up with the Jones. But this ethos is distorted by the fact that there's no need to keep up, since most everybody is already ahead of the Joneses in the first place.

Regardless, the pace in all these places is vastly slower and more relaxed that any of the southern Westchester communities. Anybody that can afford to live there will be welcomed and feel right at home. Those that can't (or feel they can't) will still be welcomed, but maybe feel awkward that they can't chitchat about treks to Nepal or summering in Tuscany.

*though Armonk has gotten a lot of bad press here. Maybe justified, maybe not.
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Old 08-04-2011, 08:45 AM
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[FONT=Verdana]Hi. As a Realtor, I cannot offer an opinion (I'd lose me license) but I can direct you to my website [URL="http://www.athenamiles.houlihanlawrence.com/"]www.athenamiles.houlihanlawrence.com[/URL]. If you look under the HOME tab there are tons if direct links to school reports, town demographics, commuter information, recreation and restaurants, etc. There are even professional videos on the different neighborhoods. Take a look and see if you find the information you are looking for. Give me a call if I can be of any further help! As part of the areas largesr real estate brokerage, I work out of the Armonk office, but service surrounding towns as well...Athena 914-424-3551. [email]amiles@houlihanlawrence.com[/email][/FONT]
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