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Old 12-31-2009, 09:56 PM
 
6 posts, read 33,707 times
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I'm looking for some help finding a good Westchester town to raise children in. I'm specifically looking for a great school district, down-to-earth and friendly people, with a cute downtown (walkable), good community feel and relatively easy commute to Manhattan (by train). We're probably able to spend about 1.5 (if we can sell our house). I grew up in the Midwest, but currently live in the Boston suburbs with my 2 kids (4 and 6). I find the Boston people difficult to get to know and a bit snooty. I'd prefer to live in a place where people are a little more open minded and friendly. My husband is taking a job in Manhattan in the next few months and I'd love to hear some advice on where we should live. I recognize that nothing is quite like visiting yourself, but I'd appreciate any suggestions on where we should start driving around. Thanks in advance for your help!!!
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Old 01-01-2010, 10:01 AM
 
Location: Harrison
835 posts, read 2,219,160 times
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I just want to throw this out there: People are going to tell you that the River Towns are more laid-back than some of the other towns in Westchester, and that people are more snooty in towns like Scarsdale and Bronxville, but in my experience this is all baloney. There are all sorts of people in every town and it's just going to depend on the specific individuals that you meet or that end up being your neighbors. Your best bet is to determine how long of a commute is acceptable, and then drive around a whole lot of towns. Don't write off ANY before you have been there. We recently moved and we got stuck on a few criteria and excluded some towns that I've since realized would have been just fine (although we do love where we've ended up). As for the schools, with the exception of a few areas, they are all great and it's really like comparing apples to apples. Come down and get a vibe for the different areas and go with what feels right to YOU.

Good luck!
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Old 01-01-2010, 10:47 AM
 
Location: New York
86 posts, read 259,076 times
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I agree with Streetsmart. Although my experience here is limited (we recently moved to Bronxville from Los Angeles), we had similar criteria to yours...good schools, walkable village, etc.
When initially researching where to move we looked more toward river towns based on some of the feedback on this site. However, after several visits to different villages and towns, we found Bronxville was the best fit for our family. So far all of our neighbors have been very friendly and I just haven't seen the 'snooty' factor some people have mentioned on other threads. When looking at homes, be sure to confirm which school district you will be in, as postal codes aren't the guideline for districts. For example, just because you are in a 'Bronxville' or 'Larchmont' zip doesn't mean you will get their schools (e.g. those zips may be in Yonkers or New Rochelle districts, respectively). We ended up in Bronxville but the Tuckahoe schools, as the Tuckahoe schools seemed to be the best match for us. The Greatschools website is a terrific guide for which schools meet your needs. Our commute is @25 minutes to GC. Best of luck to you!
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Old 01-01-2010, 11:04 AM
 
69,882 posts, read 96,679,457 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tammy42 View Post
I agree with Streetsmart. Although my experience here is limited (we recently moved to Bronxville from Los Angeles), we had similar criteria to yours...good schools, walkable village, etc.
When initially researching where to move we looked more toward river towns based on some of the feedback on this site. However, after several visits to different villages and towns, we found Bronxville was the best fit for our family. So far all of our neighbors have been very friendly and I just haven't seen the 'snooty' factor some people have mentioned on other threads. When looking at homes, be sure to confirm which school district you will be in, as postal codes aren't the guideline for districts. For example, just because you are in a 'Bronxville' or 'Larchmont' zip doesn't mean you will get their schools (e.g. those zips may be in Yonkers or New Rochelle districts, respectively). We ended up in Bronxville but the Tuckahoe schools, as the Tuckahoe schools seemed to be the best match for us. The Greatschools website is a terrific guide for which schools meet your needs. Our commute is @25 minutes to GC. Best of luck to you!
Wow! I didn't know you can live in Bronxville, but be in the Tuckahoe SD. That's the best of both worlds, as Bronxville is very affluent, while the Tuckahoe SD is a small but "diverse" school district of high quality.
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Old 01-01-2010, 10:18 PM
 
2,406 posts, read 5,638,361 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ckhthankgod View Post
Wow! I didn't know you can live in Bronxville, but be in the Tuckahoe SD. That's the best of both worlds, as Bronxville is very affluent, while the Tuckahoe SD is a small but "diverse" school district of high quality.
You can't. You actually live in the Town of Eastchester, the Tuckahoe School District and the Bronxville postal zone. Anyone who lives in the actual Village of Bronxville goes to the Bronxville schools.
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Old 01-02-2010, 10:24 AM
 
69,882 posts, read 96,679,457 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rubygreta View Post
You can't. You actually live in the Town of Eastchester, the Tuckahoe School District and the Bronxville postal zone. Anyone who lives in the actual Village of Bronxville goes to the Bronxville schools.
Yeah, I just found that out too. It's still good in terms of when you have to sell and having a good school district that has "diversity" as a plus.
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Old 01-02-2010, 06:13 PM
 
6 posts, read 33,707 times
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This is all very helpful... thank you. What are considered the best school districts in peoples' opinions? Without considering anything about the towns, I'd love to hear what the thoughts are. Then we can drive around those areas and see what feels right to us.
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Old 01-03-2010, 04:45 PM
 
69 posts, read 316,835 times
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SAT Scores

The SAT score is the best overall indicator to rate a school district's OVERALL strength. It tells you the full picture from education quality to parental involvement to student demographic. It is also the only way to compare two schools of different states objectively.

Platinum: Scarsdale, Edgemont, Chappaqua
Gold: Bronxville, Rye, Ardsley, Mamaroneck(Larchmont)
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Old 01-03-2010, 07:15 PM
 
Location: Yorktown Heights NY
1,316 posts, read 4,870,725 times
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I'm not going to get into another long argument about SAT scores and what they do not tell you about schools. If you want to know about a school you need to look at state test scores, class size, student/teacher ratio, amount spent per pupil, amount spent on materials, what technology and other materials are available, range of 'special' classes, range of extracurricular programs, and--most importantly--the general philosophy and 'feel' of the school.

I think that the ratings on this site are generally pretty good:
GreatSchools - Public and Private School Ratings, Reviews and Parent Community

And I'm going to quote myself from an earlier thread:

Quote:
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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Old 01-04-2010, 11:47 AM
 
69,882 posts, read 96,679,457 times
Reputation: 15371
Quote:
Originally Posted by dma1250 View Post
I'm not going to get into another long argument about SAT scores and what they do not tell you about schools. If you want to know about a school you need to look at state test scores, class size, student/teacher ratio, amount spent per pupil, amount spent on materials, what technology and other materials are available, range of 'special' classes, range of extracurricular programs, and--most importantly--the general philosophy and 'feel' of the school.

I think that the ratings on this site are generally pretty good:
GreatSchools - Public and Private School Ratings, Reviews and Parent Community

And I'm going to quote myself from an earlier thread:
Here's another very good website: https://www.nystart.gov/publicweb/County.do?year=2008&county=Westchester (broken link)
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