Welcome to City-Data.com Forum!
U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > New York > Westchester County
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 03-31-2008, 10:39 AM
K&F K&F started this thread
 
40 posts, read 168,086 times
Reputation: 17

Advertisements

I am seriously considering a move from Virginia to the Greystone area of Yonkers in a year. I am a widow with a six year old daughter and her godfather lives in this area and is really the only active male in her life that is willing to help me raise her. Also, she is adopted from another country and has some emotional issues - partly from her abandonment and neglect as an infant, partly from the trauma of losing her adoptive father to cancer. Frankly, she has been ostracized in our whitebread, suburban area (really the whole state if you ask me is this way) and I want to get her in an area where diversity is natural and she won't stick out like a sore thumb (appearance and other ways). I am sort of stuck on the Greystone area because that is where the godfather lives, but I also like the area and the ease of taking the metrorail north into the city (I am a legal asst. and could get a job easily at one of the hundreds of law firms just steps from grand central).

I am a little concerned about the Yonkers Schools. I'm trying to do my research on them. I understand the schools hit rock bottom 10 or 15 years ago, was taken over by the state, and is now much better and still improving? is that story correct? I am impressed with the "magnet school" approach with the elementary schools, but an ex-westchester resident (one of her docs) told me that was just to force segregation. That motive is fine with me, if it works and if it's good for the kids.

She just got classified as special ed for emotional disabilities - she has a mood disorder - (supposedly) - so I need to make sure whatever school system she enters has a strong special ed program - although I think the way the school itself has treated her while she's been grieving, etc., has really been most of the problem. I also feel like there are stronger and more social programs in New York for kids like her. Just to get her an IEP for her special ed required my hiring an attorney - it seems the goal in Virginia is to run you out of town before spending the money on special ed for a child in need.

My biggest question here is about the schools, but if anyone has any input on the Greystone Co-op Building in particular, I'd be interested in that as well - I'm really interested in buying into that building.

thanks in advance.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 03-31-2008, 05:18 PM
 
Location: Boston
137 posts, read 1,005,261 times
Reputation: 69
Yonkers schools are not good, especially for middle and high school. Pearls is a decent elementary schools, but I personally would not buy into the district.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 03-31-2008, 07:13 PM
 
305 posts, read 1,895,785 times
Reputation: 130
Yonkers schools aren't the best. But they have some decent elementary school (school 15, 28, 29 and Pearls come to mind). I think Yonkers Highschool and Saunders are the most decent when it comes to the upper grades. I don't know much about Yonkers special ed offerings but if you are looking for a diverse area with a reputable special ed program, you may want to consider New Rochelle. I've heard some good things about their special ed program and some not so good things about the Yonkers special ed program.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-01-2008, 12:41 PM
 
371 posts, read 1,567,664 times
Reputation: 185
Your child has to make it into Pearls though right? Don't they have to go through testing first?

I personally would not move to Yonkers. Are you planning on renting or buying? If you are looking to rent , I would move to the Rivertowns like Hastings or Dobbs Ferry. They have some diversity, not alot but there are some. The schools are good, the train is nearby and it is alot safer than Greystone. also, its not a long drive to yonkers either so you still will be near the godfather.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-01-2008, 01:24 PM
K&F K&F started this thread
 
40 posts, read 168,086 times
Reputation: 17
Default I'm back . . .

First of all, buying, not renting. and I can't afford over $300K, but I should be able to find a simple two bedroom for that.

My friend has lived in the Greystone area for almost ten years now, and I've never heard him complain about it being unsafe. He lives in a building up the road (easy walking distance) from the Greystone train station. He did have his car broken into one time, they damaged his sunroof and took his radar detector, but that's the worst thing I've heard about.

I did think about Hastings - but after looking at the Hastings schools website I thought it might lack diversity.

My friend goes to church in Hastings (his building is probably a mile from there) and we've attended with him, and had lunch at Maude's down by the river. It's a really cute, quaint little town. however, I want to be able to walk to the train station, and most of the condos in Hastings in my budget are a bit far from the train station, although I won't rule that out until I've had my friend's realtor friend show me around, which we hope to do Memorial Day weekend.

I'm still not convinced to avoid Greystone and Yonkers. I posted something on the education forum on Craigs List. A couple of people said 'stay away from Yonkers schools' without giving a reason. One lady replied and said her niece and niece's best friend were learning Japanese and Italian and loved their school. Then a Yonkers teacher replied and said the schools weren't bad, and they weren't violent or unsafe, and they were just as good as the parent's participation. Can't argue with that.

My friend said "she'll be going to school with the children of gardners and housekeepers". That is fine with me, I'd much rather have her integrate with children of hardworking people than children who are indulged, from upper white middle class neighborhoods.

It's hard to get real insider info, especially from afar, but I am just starting out. I'm hoping my additional comments can spur some more discussion.

Does anyone know about the history of the Yonkers schools, did they hit indeed rock bottom and are now improving, or are they truly still rock bottom?

I have to say, I bought our current residence, a brand new townhouse, in an upper white middle class community because I was told the schools were great. The schools are great if your kid is an upper white middle class kid. My kid is an orphan 1.5 times over, emotionally damaged, and minority. All this school system wants to do is whatever they can to run her out. They just see her as a big drain on their special ed budget. She needs speech therapy and occupation therapy at school, along with counseling. So I'm a little skeptical of towns that supposedly have good school systems, but have a 'higher class' of residents. I'm looking for a solid school system in a truly diverse community, where kids with some special needs (none of hers are drastic) are no big deal.

Plus, I hate to say it, but as a widow, I have to work full time, and I think I'm going to need to commute into the city for that. So I need to make the commute as easy as possible. I don't want to have to take a bus to the train, etc. I want to walk to the train station, get on and go to work. And I need to be able to reverse commute as fast and easy as possible so I can get to her if she gets sick or has an emergency. So saying 'near the train' meaning it's only a 5 mile drive to the train station, or even a mile, isn't quite convenient enough. If the commute is too complicated then I'll be miserable and we won't be happy.

I really appreciate the discussion and input.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-01-2008, 08:38 PM
 
305 posts, read 1,895,785 times
Reputation: 130
Having grown up in Yonkers, I can tell you that Yonkers schools used to be very good. In the 80's Judge Sands decides that the schools were too segregated and started busing kids from one side of Yonkers to the other so that the communities could be more diverse. When that happened, people started pulling their kids out of the Yonkers school system and sending them to private school.

The schools really started to deteriorate sometime in the early 90's. Lack of parent participation contributed greatly, plus the fact that many people pulled kids out at the middle school level (or highschool in my case). School violence rose, the administration went downhill.

I have 2 friends that teach in the yonkers district. One teaches at Yonkers Middle School and the other at Emerson. Both say that the compared to other districts, Yonkers is lacking. The programs aren't as good - special ed programs have taken a back seat, the teachers are lacking the resources they need, the administration is a mess, parental involvement is missing. Of course, these are just opinions from 2 people who work in the district and 1 person who grew up in it. I think it is safe to say that the majority (not all) of the people in Westchester would not choose to buy into the Yonkers school district if they didn't have to.

That being said, I would consider New Rochelle, Ossining or White Plains over Yonkers. These schools have the diversity you are looking for but are slightly better in my opinion.

As far as living close to the train, it may be hard to find an area where there are affordable apartments within a 5 minute walking distance to the train. White
Plains may be your best bet.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-02-2008, 10:22 AM
K&F K&F started this thread
 
40 posts, read 168,086 times
Reputation: 17
jyyanks, thank you very very much for your very honest explanation. this is the kind of thing I'm looking for. when people just say "white plains is better" or "I wouldn't buy into Yonkers" - I have no idea what their perspective is. are they way upper middle class with a large income so they would never consider Yonkers because they don't have to? do they have first hand experience or know someone who does? or are they just repeating what they heard some other stay at home mom say at a soccer game, who heard it from their second cousin at Thanksgiving five years ago?

what you say about the special ed is my biggest concern.

I'm going to take a close look at White Plains. My friend has mentioned it. I took a quick look at realtor.com and there are condos/coops there I can afford, however, have no clue what the particular neighborhoods are like or how close they are to the train. he said there's a hub with express trains to the city which would be great if I can get close to it (which I doubt).
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-02-2008, 10:39 AM
 
371 posts, read 1,567,664 times
Reputation: 185
I am glad that other person posted about the Yonkers School System. My friend teaches 1 st grade in Yonkers and she agreed, the schools are lacking. I just wanted to add that a ex co worker of mine lives in Hastings and her child has autism (not comparing your child to him ) but I just wanted to let you know that they do have programs for children with special needs. White Plains schools are much better and WP has gone through alot of changes-good changes. It is like a mini NYC. You might even be able to find a job there, there are so many companies there. Look at all your options first before you consider Yonkers. I would hate for you to move there only to find out you hate the schools. White Plains, Ossining and New Rochelle are all very diverse areas and the schools are very good compared to Yonkers. My sisters kids go to Ossining and they love it! I don't think Ossining has its own train station though but the neighboring towns do. Good luck!
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-02-2008, 11:43 AM
K&F K&F started this thread
 
40 posts, read 168,086 times
Reputation: 17
Hey, MomofToo - funny, I was hauling my daughter around to all these different specialists, trying to pinpoint out her problems, and on the suggestion of a couple of other adoptive parents I took her to see a pediatric neurologist. I wasn't looking for autism, I just wanted to see if she had any 'wiring' problems. Turns out he's Richmond, Va.'s "autism doctor" - his waiting area was plastered with autism posters, art, pamphlets, etc. he spent maybe 3 minutes with my daughter and 45 min. with me (with her out in the waiting area by herself with her ds lite) telling me why he thought she had autism. He almost had me convinced, but the private speech pathologist that tested her, as well as her occupational therapist, her psychotherapist, and a young man I met who does drama therapy (mostly with autistic kids) all said NO WAY.

I like Hastings. I was worried that the school system was too small to have much for special needs kids, and maybe overall not diverse enough. but if your friend is happy there and they do well with an autistic child, they will probably have what my daughter needs for her mood disorder. I might be able to buy a condo walking distance to the hastings train station, although they all seem pretty small, pre-war type things.

I hadn't thought of actually finding a job in White Plains, and living there, but I do not want to get too far way from my friend - the whole point is so he can have a pretty regular role in our lives.

we're going to drive around on Memorial Day weekend when we come up, so I'll get a lay of the land, and he especially wants to take me over to White Plains - I think he does alot of his shopping there.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-03-2008, 03:32 PM
 
139 posts, read 618,041 times
Reputation: 43
HI, Yonkers has a bad reputation and gets a bad rap for a lot of different reasons--mostly from people who no longer live there--but they are working hard to improve the city--all cities have crime rates and Yonkers is one of the largest cities in Westchester county. I am a real estate agent and I am all over the county, and it is hard to hear when people who are not from the area say I heard to stay away from Yonkers. You need to go to the area you want to live in at different times of the day, night and weekend. Knock on a few doors near your daughters' godfather's home. I lived in Yonkers for 16 years and loved the ease of getting into NYC and the diversity. I moved further north and now love the small towns. I have friends that teach in Yonkers and ones that teach in White Plains, both have mentioned the special ed programs are better in White Plains (this is coming from teachers I know--I do not have children in the school system). I hope you will give different areas of Westchester county a chance. I also suggest you visit the schools and ask them what they can offer your special needs child. Job search should be easy for you with your experience, if you have any trouble let me know, I can ask some of my attorney friends that work in NYC, and I know a few in Yonkers. You never know what you will find if you do not ask. Best of luck to you on your search.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:



Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > New York > Westchester County
Similar Threads

All times are GMT -6.

© 2005-2024, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Contact Us - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37 - Top