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Old 02-17-2008, 02:10 AM
 
3 posts, read 11,688 times
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Hi everyone,

I've searched on this but haven't seen this specific question before, so I'm hoping some of you may have some insight.

We are British and relocating from Hong Kong to New York. I haven't been for a look around yet, but I really like the sound of some of the towns in WCC, especially Rye (we would like to be near the water, if possible).

We are fortunate in that we have a schooling allowance so could afford private schools if necessary. However, my question is - should we use the private schools or would it be better to go with the public ones? Everything I've read says that the public schools in Rye are excellent.

One more thing: I'm hoping to find a school with a fairly international community.

Our children are 6, 3 and baby.

Thanks!

PS Our budget is not unlimited, obviously, but for the purposes of addressing this question could we assume that it's not an issue..
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Old 02-17-2008, 07:08 AM
 
Location: Bronx, NY
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What part of Hong Kong are you living in?

If you're accustomed to living in the middle of everything in HK you might enjoy Manhattan more than Westchester. Westchester is very nice, but quite suburban.
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Old 02-17-2008, 07:55 AM
 
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Default Hk

Hi,

We're on the south side of the island, close to the beach and surrounded by the countryside. I'm sure I'd miss the proximity of the city, but if I moved to Manhattan I suspect I'd miss the beaches and the hiking more...
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Old 02-18-2008, 07:51 AM
 
Location: Bronx, NY
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Ok then some place like Rye might be a good pick. I would reccomend checking out the area before you make up your mind completely.

I just hope you aren't too accustomed to the great food over there. There's very few good Chinese restaurants in Westchester County. They are really few and far between.
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Old 02-18-2008, 05:00 PM
 
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There was another poster on this site somewhere asking about schools with an international flavor and got a response, I believe, that there was an international area and school in Larchmont/Mamaroneck - also near the water and right next to Rye. I'll have a look for it....
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Old 02-18-2008, 05:01 PM
 
Location: southern california
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dont go to public schools.
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Old 02-18-2008, 06:30 PM
 
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The previous post said not to go to public school, but I've been doing lots of research and there are a number of outstanding public schools in Westchester. Scarsdale, Bronxville, Rye Brook (Blind Brook school district), and Rye are all outstanding. Larchmont/Mamaroneck have a great reputation as well. We drove through some of the towns this weekend, and we loved Rye. The middle school absolutely blew us away (we only drove past, but the facilities looked incredible!).
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Old 02-18-2008, 10:42 PM
 
Location: Bronx, NY
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Are you even familiar with Westchester county? Westchester has probably one of the largest clusters of outstanding public schools in the entire country. Your advice seems somewhat ill-informed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bunky39 View Post
dont go to public schools.
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Old 02-18-2008, 11:56 PM
 
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Default what about private schools?

Thanks for the input so far. The public schools do sound very good and I'm reassured by your comments. I've checked out the performance of the high schools and they are absolutely excellent (Rye is in top 100 according to one list I saw), which would suggest that the feeder schools are also very good.

What I can't glean from my research is how the public/private divide plays out in practice. What kind of parents choose public and who chooses private? Would it be considered slightly odd to choose a private school? If we go for the private schools would we be effectively isolating ourselves and our children from the rest of the community?

My other consideration is religion and my desire to avoid it if at all possible. When private schools say they focus on moral values do you think that's code for religion? If my kids ended up in a school taught by creationists I'd despair.

Thanks for the input. As you can tell I still have a lot to learn about the basics of living in the US.
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Old 02-20-2008, 12:27 PM
 
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There are excellent public schools in Westchester and your children can get a wonderful education there. That said, there can be advantages to private schools such as smaller classes or less focus on standardized tests.

I don't think "focus on moral values" is a code for religious instruction and certainly not for the sort of fundamentalist instruction you're concerned about. There are religious private schools in the area and I think they're completely open about what they're teaching and what religious instruction they are giving, since presumably it's part of the draw of the school. I'm sure a conversation with the admissions department at any private school could clarify exactly what "focus on moral values" means, what's taught in science classes, chapel requirements, etc. I definitely wouldn't worry that someone is trying to put one over on you.

I don't think people would find you weird for sending your kid to private school. It will change your experience of the community in the sense that most of kids in the neighborhood in a place like Rye will be going to public school and your children won't have the natural introduction to the local kids (or you to their parents) that might otherwise happen. On the other hand, presumably you'll all meet people through the private school. There is an extremely well regarded secular private school, Rye Country Day School, right in Rye and I assume most of the students are from Rye or immediately surrounding towns.
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