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Old 12-12-2009, 01:26 PM
 
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My wife just gave birth and I'm trying to think ahead about when its time to put our child in school.

Currently I own a house in East Yonkers (nice quiet area) by Kimball and Midland Ave. It's considered Yonkers but with a Bronxville P.O.

Unfortunately, my child's school zone is Yonkers, not Bronxville. From what I heard the Yonkers school system really sucks.

Any recommendations as to what neighboring school district is better or any local good private schools near by?
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Old 12-12-2009, 02:19 PM
 
Location: Washington, DC & New York
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If you have a gifted child, Yonkers is just fine, provided they can get into Pearls Hawthorne (via entrance examination), and then Yonkers High (IB curriculum exclusively). Those schools operate differently from the rest of the Yonkers City system, and are equal to the best schools in Westchester.

For a good district in the same general area, I'd look to Tuckahoe or Eastchester. Bronxville is good, but can be competitive, though perhaps not as much pressure in the academic environment as Scarsdale, but it's close.

In Yonkers, St. Marks (Lutheran) is a well-respected school, and I think it's not far from the description of the area where you currently reside. Also The Chapel School in Bronxville (Lutheran) is good. St. Joseph's (Catholic) in Bronxville is another good school. In New Rochelle, The Hallen School (no religious affiliation), and Iona Grammar School (Catholic) are also good schools.

Sarah Lawrence has a preschool that has a great reputation, which might fit into your overall academic plans in the next few years.
__________________
All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players: they have their exits and their entrances; and one man in his time plays many parts, his acts being seven ages.
~William Shakespeare
(As You Like It Act II, Scene VII)

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Old 12-13-2009, 08:04 AM
 
461 posts, read 1,881,661 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bmwguydc View Post
If you have a gifted child, Yonkers is just fine, provided they can get into Pearls Hawthorne (via entrance examination), and then Yonkers High (IB curriculum exclusively). Those schools operate differently from the rest of the Yonkers City system, and are equal to the best schools in Westchester.

For a good district in the same general area, I'd look to Tuckahoe or Eastchester. Bronxville is good, but can be competitive, though perhaps not as much pressure in the academic environment as Scarsdale, but it's close.

In Yonkers, St. Marks (Lutheran) is a well-respected school, and I think it's not far from the description of the area where you currently reside. Also The Chapel School in Bronxville (Lutheran) is good. St. Joseph's (Catholic) in Bronxville is another good school. In New Rochelle, The Hallen School (no religious affiliation), and Iona Grammar School (Catholic) are also good schools.

Sarah Lawrence has a preschool that has a great reputation, which might fit into your overall academic plans in the next few years.

Thank you BmwGuyDC. That was very helpful information. I'll def check it out.

Do you thing the public school system (elementary thru high school) in Scarsdale is a better place to have a child in? What I mean is, is it worth to buy a house in scarsdale and pay the high property taxes in exchange for a good public school system?
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Old 12-13-2009, 08:05 PM
 
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Originally Posted by victorfox View Post
Thank you BmwGuyDC. That was very helpful information. I'll def check it out.

Do you thing the public school system (elementary thru high school) in Scarsdale is a better place to have a child in? What I mean is, is it worth to buy a house in scarsdale and pay the high property taxes in exchange for a good public school system?
Scarsdale, like most wealthy school districts (Chappaqua, Bronxville, Byram Hills, etc.), is very overrated. When you have a district where 100% of the parents are college graduates, a huge percentage have post-graduate degrees, and most are obsessed with getting their children into an Ivy league school and will gladly fork over thousands of dollars for SAT tutors and college admissions "counselors," of course you are going to have very high test scores and a disproportionate number of kids getting into those Ivy's (and other top schools).

With the exception of a few school districts, if your kids are very bright and very motivated, it doesn't really make that much of a difference what school district you are in. And if you want economic diversity, you're not going to get it in Scarsdale.

PS - Taxes in Scarsdale are really not that much higher than most other communities; it's the house prices that are much higher.
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Old 12-13-2009, 08:56 PM
 
Location: Washington, DC & New York
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Scarsdale is a very high pressure environment, so I agree with rubygreta that it may not be the best fit for every student. It might not be worth the premium, unless you want to move, or want a more diverse environment than some private schools can offer. If you have a house/neighborhood that you like, and are moving solely for the school district, not to a larger house, I don't know that I would make the move, since you can always go the private school route and come out ahead financially, factoring tuition against the higher cost house and taxes on a higher assessment in Scarsdale or Bronxville.

For a better public school system, there are many areas nearby to consider, some of which may have less of a price premium on the houses, and are not as high pressure environments. Ardsley, Dobbs Ferry, Hastings, Eastchester, Larchmont/Mamaroneck, Pelham, Tuckahoe, Harrison, and Pleasantville are a few to consider. Rye has good schools too, but depending upon which Rye district, the prices/assessments can be equivalent to a Bronxville/Scarsdale.
__________________
All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players: they have their exits and their entrances; and one man in his time plays many parts, his acts being seven ages.
~William Shakespeare
(As You Like It Act II, Scene VII)

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Old 12-14-2009, 06:41 AM
 
Location: Westchester County, NY
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rubygreta View Post
Scarsdale, like most wealthy school districts (Chappaqua, Bronxville, Byram Hills, etc.), is very overrated. When you have a district where 100% of the parents are college graduates, a huge percentage have post-graduate degrees, and most are obsessed with getting their children into an Ivy league school and will gladly fork over thousands of dollars for SAT tutors and college admissions "counselors," of course you are going to have very high test scores and a disproportionate number of kids getting into those Ivy's (and other top schools).

With the exception of a few school districts, if your kids are very bright and very motivated, it doesn't really make that much of a difference what school district you are in. And if you want economic diversity, you're not going to get it in Scarsdale.

PS - Taxes in Scarsdale are really not that much higher than most other communities; it's the house prices that are much higher.
As I've said in many other threads on this, for the most part the "worst" schools in Westchester would be "mediocre" in most other places, we really have it good when it comes to schools. The only ones I really consider "bad" (and this mostly at the middle and high school level) are Yonkers (though this does NOT count the valid exceptions bwidcguy mentioned, I find it interesting that Yonkers High is the only HS in Westchester with an IB program, also I believe they do have a public Montessori school) and Mt. Vernon (again, elementary schools, especially those near Bronxville, are fine, my kids go to one of them......in fact when I was growing up in Mt. Vernon in the 70s and 80s, they had something called "Humanities" which on the MS and HS level was somewhat like an IB program and the "smart" kids were kept in a separate part of the building.....in the mid-late 90s they did away with it saying it was "segregation" which I found laughable because even when I went the program was majority-minority (maybe 60-70% black and hispanic.....a shame they did away with it, I think it was good for bright Mt. Vernon students of all creeds).
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Old 12-16-2009, 08:33 AM
 
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I like Great Schools at this address:

GreatSchools - Public and Private School Ratings, Reviews and Parent Community
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Old 12-16-2009, 10:50 AM
 
Location: Yorktown Heights NY
1,316 posts, read 4,770,634 times
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Originally Posted by Dockside View Post
Of all the rating sites out there, I agree that this is definitely the best I've seen. The ratings seem to take into account most of the critical factors that have an impact on the students' experience and the teachers' ability to teach. When I look at the ratings of those schools that I know well, the ratings seem pretty much on-target.

I personally think the school comparison obsession is largely a sham that is created and maintained by real estate agents and residents of certain districts who want to keep property prices up. With few exceptions, almost every school in Westchester is "excellent" in some ways and not in others. The "best" school for one child will not be the best one for another. I was talking recently to someone who teaches in Chappaqua and lives in the Yorktown district. He has two kids and he decided to send his daughter to Chappaqua since he thought she would be happier there but he is sending his son to Yorktown because he thinks the schools would meet his needs better. You really need to visit the schools and think about your child and where you think he/she will thrive.
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