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Old 10-05-2009, 01:43 PM
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my wife and I are thinking about moving to Ossining and are wondering if anyone can let us know how the schools REALLY are. Having a 2 year old, we are more interested in the elementary and middle schools. We would be on the "good" side (from what I've heard) between Rt 9 and Rt 9A. We'd like to hear the good AND the bad. I've read old threads on the site but nothing has been posted in the past year and a half. Any updated thoughts, experiences would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 10-06-2009, 09:55 AM
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I cannot speak on a personal level about the schools as I have yet to relocate to Westchester. However, a tool I have used in the past while planning cross country moves is greatschools.net. You can see test scores and read reviews from parents and students.

(I hope it's okay to mention the site name!)
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Old 10-23-2009, 12:48 PM
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I live in Ossining right now. I live in the 'nice' part of town that you mentioned. The northern part of town is nicer in general. I've mentioned on here before, I think it's pretty easy to tell in Ossining whether you're in a nice part of town or not. The houses in my neighborhood aren't huge, but they are all well-maintained and there are kids on their bikes and it just 'feels' good.

Let me tell you about me - I'm white and my husband is Puerto Rican. So a racially diverse area was important to us. Ossining is definitely that. I have a great palyground in my neighborhood and you'll see lots of races there and I think it's great. But I'm not oblivious and I know some people are freaked out by not living around mostly white people. There is a large immigrant population in Ossining. And the parents speak Spanish to their kids. So if the thought of hearing another language a lot kills you, don't move here. My own husband's parents only spoke to him in Spanish and he ended up an Ivy-Leage educated executive in NYC - clearly all Spanish speaking brown people aren't bringing the world down. Sorry, I just get such a bad vibe on this site of people and their "too many illegals!" in various places. I'm sure a bunch of people see my husband and think he's 'another illegal' and he is probably better educated than they are!

SO! On to the schools. Yes, their test scores are lower than many towns. We aren't test score sticklers in our family, so we didn't worry about that when we moved here. Any town that has a large immigrant population is going to have lower scores b/c many of the children are taking tests in their second language. We have a 2 year old and one on the way, so I haven't had hands on experience in the schools, but people I know with kids there are very happy. And while you said you weren't as concerned with the high school, I think it's indicitve of how well the kids were prepared in the lower grades. Ossining always has kids going to the Ivies. They always have Intel scholars and Merit Scholars. They have an amazing sciene program that teams kids with professional scientists in the field to do major research projects. They have great sports teams and lots of opportunities for extra curriculars. But it's a big, economically diverse system. So there are probably more chances to get caught up in the wrong crowd. I'm hoping I'll raise my kids well and be involved enough in their life that the wrong crowd won't be a draw to them.

And, if you want to talk scores, Ossining's SATs were on par with Eastchester's - which is a predominantly white town that gets touted as a great place with good schools on this site all the time. So that leads me to believe that, once again, a lot of people are basing a town/school rep on the amount of non-whites in the area.

Last edited by KathyNY76; 10-23-2009 at 01:08 PM..
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Old 11-13-2009, 07:18 PM
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KathyNY76 is pretty much on target, I think. I grew up in Ossining, in my late 30s now, and still have family there. The only "problem", to the extent this is one, is that in Ossining High School the kids headed to the Ivies are a little self-segregated... by that I mean they go from Advanced Placement This to Advanced That, in a little group of 30-40 white children of white collar professionals. Its the same group of kids going from class to class together, and they dont really interact with the kids in other classes except for gym, sports, theater, etc.

This was my experience 20 odd years ago, and its probably true today. And its probably true of any large school district where a significant percentage of students are not college-bound.
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Old 11-24-2009, 03:32 PM
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I live in Ossining and have for over 20 years. Both of my sons went through Ossining Schools. On the plus side, the schools are large enough that your children will find a peer group and will not be ostracized because they dont fit in (for whatever the reason). The music program in Ossining is top notch and the high school does offer many, many advanced placement courses. My older son went to Geneseo (very tough to get into for the SUNY system) and was accepted at many really good liberal arts colleges. My younger son got a practically free ride to a small private college ranked in the top 50. Ossining is a diverse district ethnically and socioeconomically. I liked that because my children were and are comfortable with all sorts of people. On the down side some teachers (at least when my kids were in school) needed to retire. Many resources are diverted to those in need (and there are many) and the district was totally committed to heterogeneous groupings which I always thought brought down the brighter kids and was stupid! But in any district there will be things you dont like. Pick your poison wisely!
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Old 03-15-2010, 03:49 PM
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Hi All,

This is very interesting indeed. KathyNY76 - thanks for your detailed and fair post! My daughter is half Costa Rican, half British and we want her to be exposed to different groups of people so she grows up well-rounded and not afraid of 'immigrants' - that would include my husband and I - like some people seem to be on this site! We are looking around Tarrytown and Ossining, but our research on the latter has been purely online. We're going to check it out this week. Any thoughts on major pros/cons between these two towns? Ossining has more homes for sale and of course you get a lot more for your money. It's a longer commute to NYC and NJ where we work, however the homes we've seen online are beautiful and include much more property than you would get for the same money in Tarrytown/surrounding areas. As for the schools, they are important but our daughter is very young so it's not as big of a concern as long as they are improving. We are a young family and would hope to make friends locally and be able to go to dinner in town, etc. Any inside information about Ossining would be much appreciated!

Thanks a mill!
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Old 04-23-2010, 02:00 PM
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Hello! CuriousByNature -- I hope you are still considering Ossining. My husband & I moved here from Hastings-on-Hudson 2 1/2 years ago, & I am from Tarrytown. We have a 10 1/2 month old baby boy now & are really happy here. All of the river towns are great spots to live, however I do find that people in Ossining are less pretentious & more real. I used to commute to the city for work from Hastings & Ossining -- I found my fellow commuters from Ossining much more friendly & warm. Perhaps it's the proximity to the city, as well as the diversity found in Ossining that make the difference. Now that we have a baby, our social outings are more close to home than in the city. We are looking for other young families to go out with. There's the Wobble Cafe that is a very family friendly place with very good food. Anyways, good luck on your search!
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Old 04-25-2010, 07:54 AM
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We're looking to move to Ossining, too, and found a cute apartment on Dale Ave, a few blocks north of the C-town supermarket. Looks like a decent enough family neighborhood. I've been told it's a historic area - all the houses look to be about 100 years old. Anyone know the area or can give me feedback? TIA.
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Old 07-29-2010, 07:33 AM
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I moved here a few months ago and I love it. I live off of Narragansett ave in the Homecrest Park area. It's well maintained and safe. The neighbors are wonderful and it gives you a real neighborhood/community feeling. There are always kids playing outside and people walking their dogs who always say hello when they walk by. Plus Ossining also offers wonderful recreational activities-Shows by the water, festivals, street fairs, farmers markets, etc. Great restaurants have also opened up after we moved here-Okinawa, Capri, and Karma Lounge.....The only negative part is I might start gaining weight soon with all the great food......
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Old 05-07-2015, 09:32 AM
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Default Move to Ossining

This is a strong community where a sizable cohort of students end up in the Ivies and other similar schools. Admissions officers who are plowing through cookie-cutter apps from kids who've attended white bread suburban schools seem to be relieved to meet kids who can connect with all kinds of people, have a strong sense of community, and who have enjoyed the benefits of AP courses, outstanding science, and excellent music and art.

Long before college application time, though, a child in this district is supported by the whole community. Ossining Matters is the very successful education foundation that funds enrichment programs and supplies for students at every level. Their fundraisers -- a 5k run every fall, a nationally known concert performer every spring -- have strong support in the community. children of all backgrounds and levels who are willing to work are encouraged to participate in the Science Research Program, which is without a doubt one of the very top in the United States. Just google "Ossining Science Research" to see the national recognitions for the students and the program, including Intel School of Distinction.

Particularly for families who have outgrown city apartments and are worried about what Moving to the Suburbs will mean, Ossining offers children an experience of growing up with many different groups of people who are committed and happy to live in a beautiful, diverse community. You get gorgeous architecture and beautiful neighborhoods in many different parts of town, as well as the breathtaking beauty of the Hudson River, and parents who care.

My own kids came through the system and, having later experienced some of the most prestigious universities in the world, say that growing up in Ossining was great and happy preparation for life in the global community. Prices are still below Tarrytown and Sleepy Hollow. The only reason I can think of for this is that the downtown Ossining shopping district is so much less nice than the lovely neighborhoods most people actually live in, either east along 133 abutting Millwood/Chappaqua, south in the Scarborough area, or north off 134. The downtown will continue to improve as residents are eager to walk places; the farmers' market there is super popular. Checking out Ossining is clearly a smart choice.
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