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Old 03-02-2010, 03:11 PM
 
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My husband is being relocated to work in Manhattan and we've focused in on these two towns (because of the schools) but know little about them. What would the commute really be like for my husband? Do the towns have a defined downtown area? My son is into soccer...is one of these towns more family and/or kids sports oriented than the other? Thanks in advance for the info.
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Old 03-02-2010, 04:14 PM
 
Location: East Millcreek
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joshkathy View Post
My husband is being relocated to work in Manhattan and we've focused in on these two towns (because of the schools) but know little about them. What would the commute really be like for my husband? Do the towns have a defined downtown area? My son is into soccer...is one of these towns more family and/or kids sports oriented than the other? Thanks in advance for the info.
The short answers, in order:
1. Doable. Many people have longer comutes, other shorter. What's tolerable varies from person to person.
2. Yes, though downtowns are quite small.
3. Both are family/sports oriented, no significant difference.

Beyond that - Enormous amounts have been posted here on both towns, far too much to repeat. I respectfully suggest searching old posts and then coming back with some specific questions. People will be happy to help.
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Old 03-03-2010, 03:56 PM
 
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Thanks...I have actually. I guess I should focus on more specific questions...like...I read in a different thread something referring to both the Chappaqua and Armonk high schools with the phrase "don't even get me started." I am definitely NOT looking for a pressure cooker environment for my seven year old. Whereas I know both schools have excellent reputations and I have no issues with high standards, I'm not looking for a stressed out, highly competitive environment for my son. Any thoughts?

Last edited by joshkathy; 03-03-2010 at 04:24 PM..
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Old 03-03-2010, 04:34 PM
 
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Then rule out Chappaqua and Scarsdale if you don't want any pressure.
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Old 03-04-2010, 07:55 AM
 
Location: NJ/NY
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Bryam Hills (Armonk) is pretty high pressure as well, but I'd say not as bad as Greeley (Chappaqua). The towns are pretty similar otherwise. You'll have access to Mt. Kisco easily from both, where you can do a lot of shopping and Mt. Kisco has a built up downtown area. I'd say if you're in Armonk, you could commute via train from the North White Plains train station and will have a shorter train commute, plus more express trains.

The commute will also depend on where in the city your husband is working. 10-15 min to NWP train station from Armonk. If you grab the right train from there, you can be at Grand Central in 34 minutes. Figure an hour for getting to train/train ride in, then however long it takes to get to your husbands office from GCT.
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Old 03-04-2010, 09:22 AM
 
Location: Yorktown Heights NY
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joshkathy View Post
Thanks...I have actually. I guess I should focus on more specific questions...like...I read in a different thread something referring to both the Chappaqua and Armonk high schools with the phrase "don't even get me started." I am definitely NOT looking for a pressure cooker environment for my seven year old. Whereas I know both schools have excellent reputations and I have no issues with high standards, I'm not looking for a stressed out, highly competitive environment for my son. Any thoughts?
Here’s my story about “pressure” in Chappaqua vs. other local schools in the elementary level. In December at a party I was comparing notes with friends whose kids are in third grade at Chappaqua and Croton (mine is in third grade at Yorktown central). Both the Chappaqua parent and the Croton parent said that the teachers had been talking to the kids about the 3rd grade State tests since 2nd grade and had been spending a lot of class time teaching them the test formats and reviewing how to take the tests. Both the Chappaqua and Croton parents said that their kids were worried about the tests. The Croton parent said that in second grade her child had gotten points off his math homework because he had not written down the numbers he was carrying in multiplication as required by the state test—the teacher had told her child that if he didn’t write the numbers down he would fail the third grade test, and her child had become very upset. Now back in December my son’s teacher had not even mentioned the third grade test. But in October I had downloaded last year’s tests and compared them to my son’s homework and had found that some of the homework each week used the exact wording and format as the tests. So test prep has been going on all year, but the kids don’t know it. About a month ago the class was told about the tests and was told not to worry too much about them. I would say that my son has a great deal of pressure at school to do well and to push himself to do his best—but there is almost no pressure in relation to the state tests. So it comes down to what kind of “pressure” you want your kids to feel. Personally I want my son to judge himself based on how hard he tries and how much he pressures himself to do his best—not on how he performs on tests.
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Old 03-04-2010, 12:49 PM
 
Location: East Millcreek
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Originally Posted by joshkathy View Post
.....I'm not looking for a stressed out, highly competitive environment for my son. Any thoughts?
When miving into the area my wife and I specifically avoided Chappaqua because of HS pressure. A secondary factor was lack of diversity. We ended up in the Bedford district and were very happy for it.
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Old 03-04-2010, 04:08 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joshkathy View Post
Thanks...I have actually. I guess I should focus on more specific questions...like...I read in a different thread something referring to both the Chappaqua and Armonk high schools with the phrase "don't even get me started." I am definitely NOT looking for a pressure cooker environment for my seven year old. Whereas I know both schools have excellent reputations and I have no issues with high standards, I'm not looking for a stressed out, highly competitive environment for my son. Any thoughts?
Forget Armonk and especially Chappaqua. The prior poster suggested Bedford. You should also consider Pleasantville.
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Old 03-04-2010, 07:08 PM
 
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What about Rye? Anyone have any experience with pressure there? I hear it's an excellent high school.
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Old 03-05-2010, 06:04 AM
 
Location: East Millcreek
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joshkathy View Post
What about Rye? Anyone have any experience with pressure there? I hear it's an excellent high school.
In my mind the issue is not school "excellence" per se. All the schools under discussion are "excellent" by almost any standard. The most substantive difference is income distribution, diversity in district and the impact these has on test scores and college admission. For some, these seem to be to be the primary or only measure of excellence.

"Pressure" comes not from the academics or the school itself, even if standards are very high. It comes from the other students, from the parents and from the prevailing social expectations. It's a shared community and social value set. Neither Horace Greeley nor Scardale HS send all their kids to the Ivy league. Far from it. But there is enormous social and peer pressure placed on the kids to do all the stuff perceived as increasing the odds at getting into the most selective schools. That stuff includes a full schedule of AP courses, SAT tutoring, community service trips to Nicaragua, etc etc. Parents in these communities seek status from their kid's accomplishments and push them even harder. Kids in these schools that can't afford that stuff are dismissed as losers. Parents who are confident that their kids would do great better at SUNY New Paltz or UVM, and that they have zero shot at Weslyan, are disdained.

At the time we were househunting Horace Greeley apparently had the highest HS suicide rate in the country (early '90s). Yet the AP courses therearen't any harder or better than those in Ardsley HS or Fox Lane. All these places regularly send kids to the ivies and most selective schools every year. That cannot be said about most high schools in the country. At many "excellent" schools sending a single kid to Yale is a really big deal. In a way that's all you need to know about a school system. The rest is all about the kind of community you want to live in.
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