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Please W67th save the sarcasm on me today. I'm looking from honest advice from parents in my situation. We desperately do not want to move and could afford a decent renovation for our family. I have three kids. Private school is really what is making us decide to move even though we don't want to. I am not worried about elementary. I think I have that covered. For those of you who did not test into Hunter or the G&T programs what are my true options for middle and high school either public or something I'm not thinking about. We are in Lincoln Square area. Thank you for any helpful advice you can give. Regards, Leslie
Assuming you are in district 3, then you have some good middle schools (thought nothing like district 2, where there are several great ones). A good place to see reviews and comments on middle schools in your district is:
High schools are not zoned, and there are lots of great ones if your kids are good students.
Thank you all helpful comments are deeply appreciated. Regards, Leslie
And yes, I'm in district 3.
Leslie: it is a moving target. The first year up have a huge demographic impact is next year's fifth graders. I would sit tight and wait 2 years. Go to some CEC 3 meetings.
do not look at inside schools. it is purely based on parent reviews. i've seen numerous schools that were put on "In Need of Improvement" list by DOE that had fantastic reviews. schooldigger.com is much better in taking the numbers, not the feelings, and giving you the low down.
Oh Lord..what are CEC 3 meetings? Help so much appreciated. I can't bear moving to the suburbs. We've been here since 1993.
The issue is this: there are 3 or 4 schools in D3 which has an incoming student intake that score at or above grade level. These schools screen their student intake. Under current DOE policies, this is no longer allowed for any newly created school. As of this year, and definitely next (2002 babies) there will no longer be enough spots at these handful of schools. As a community, we have input to the DOE through Community Educational Councils. My advice and also what I do myself is to write, call and ask for the creation of middle and high schools that give D3 kids priority and are set up to succeed, i.e. while not excluding kids based on scores alone, recognizing that there needs to be some screening.
Why do you have to move out?
1) your eldest is in K, no? See how the situation plays out for the beginning of the baby bubble. Www.cec3.org
2) there is always the fallback of moving crosstown and uptown. The default middle school for much of the UES is Wagner, which many acceptable. The UES also has Elro which gives priority to D2 kids.
3). Move to catchment areas with new zoned K to 8 schools, in
The answer is you don't have to leave Manhattan. Maybe the UWS.
I would take anything nyc10023 says about schools as gospel. She is a tremendous font of knowledge in the area gathered through research, personal experience and it seems like a lot of blood, sweat and tears. Since schools are are an integral part of the RE decision for many people she is an invaluable contributor to SE (along with the fact that she knows a boatload about other relevant topics including restoration, renovation, the UWS, brownstones, etc etc etc).
We have no mortgage anymore on our UWS apartments..with the economy people aren't just asking for 20 or 30% below 2007/8 prices we're back to basically what we paid for these apartments in 2001. I rented before that until I could save up for our down payment. It's cheaper to renovate to get more space and try for public if they are just as good as private..which I'm starting to feel is true. I worry that I won't have a decent option for middle school or high school..at the same time by then we may be able to afford it. There's almost no incentive to sell to move to a smaller location (which is what we'd be able to afford at current selling price points) and give up what really is an amazing space if I can do the next combination of apartments updating the kitchen and baths adding on a bedroom that kind of thing. Obviously, we are lucky and worked extremely hard for this dream but, I want to have enough money for college, retirement..etc...we aren't spring chickens anymore but we have tiny kids. I adore the city as does my husband and if there's a chance we could stay I'd like to do that. Especially not commuting to the city would be a dream. The only reason to move is to have that security of a great public school system through high school. Thank you for you honest and helpful opinions.
Consider getting involved in local politics. Or at least complaining. We do not get what we don't ask for. The baby boom didn't come at the right time for the West Side. 20 years ago, when the schools were under local control, we could have gotten more schools established.
"we're back to basically what we paid for these apartments in 2001"..
Are you sure, I really have not seen any 2br+ apartments back to 2001 prices unless you crazy overpaid.
Can you provide any other similar apartments with such pricing, maybe you are reading the market wrong.
don't know what your criteria is, leslie, but i disagree completely that public is just as good as private
of course parents are very blinded by their own choices for their children--it's very tough for a parent to admit they made a mistake, and negatively impacted their children--and where people truly can't afford private, they are reticente to concede that private is better
a metric that can be argued about would be college placement--but data for college placement from private schools is accessible. take a look:
people want badly to believe in their choices for their children, so anecdotal info is largely useless
Wbottom: it's pointless to make private over public or public over private argument unless you are in the situation where you can i) afford it and ii) your child gets admitted to your private of choice.
This is a situation that precious few people find themselves in. I will admit without shame that our zoned public is not the best place for my children, but it could be very well the best option that they have (very fine distinction) while maximizing family time.
Bugelrex: could be a situation where smaller apartments are more valuable than bigger ones.
It doesn't matter what we paid. What matters is what is being offered by the buyers. Since it's a buyers market that's what I have to go by. And no we didn't grossly overpay it's the building, the location, basically what you dream about before you have kids. Then you have kids and realize you don't have enough space...I never said I had a two bedroom either so that's not part of the question. The question is I'm very happy with our public school for elementary what do people do for middle and high school unless private really is that much better as Wbottom seems to think. I am thinking more along the lines of nyc10023 of family time being important too, quality of life of having more time with both parents. We can afford private but not without cutting into unknown future earnings. I'm simply trying to find out from other parents that have gone through the public school process if they find or know of places to find out about good public schools for middle and high school or if there just are none does everyone with more than one kid or however many they have choose the suburbs in order to have a quality education? It's a tough choice and I'm trying to make it. Helpful comments like nyc10023 and ab-1128 are being helpful. Forget the question, think I got my answer not interested in jabs back and forth.
Leslie: what we face (those of us with kids in elementary) on the Upper West Side is different from the families just a few years ahead of us. Therefore, it isn't that instructive to talk get advice from them. Just 7 years ago, there were three classes of K at our school. In 2009, there were 8. It isn't a question of just the economy driving people to public, the number of applicants per spot at the top privates have gone up. A dear old gentleman who went to Trinity in the 40s think that he can "get" our kids in by having us wave his alumni news circular at the school. Didn't have the heart to tell him that we probably wouldn't rate an interview.
The people with kids just a few years ahead of us had just enough seats at our district's selective schools, or were able to manage private. 3 of the candidates who are running to replace our city council person have older kids who are or were privately educated.
If you are comfortable with the idea, send me an email at nyc10023a at yahoo dot com. I spend a lot of time thinking and talking about schools.
stay put, renovate, get involved ala the 10023 advice. ya'll pay alot of taxes if you don't want to leave why should you but you are underserved today and will be massively underserved in your hood down the very near road. flip side work gal pal moved ues coop to chappy, they love it, child loves the middle school, kiddoe was in private here.
nyc10023 I sent you a private message...did you happen to get it? Regards, Leslie
nyc10023..just writing you helped me to chill out a bit and start calling around and talking to a lot of people. I think we are going to stay and renovate.. That's what I say now..but, hubby and I think it's our home and where we want to be. I guess our idea of home doesn't have to be a big house with a backyard. Everyone is different. If you do read the message at least know I've moved forward a bit, done more research and feel more comfortable staying in the city. Thanks for that and all of you that did respond in a constructive form. Regards, Leslie
"I'm simply trying to find out from other parents that have gone through the public school process if they find or know of places to find out about good public schools for middle and high school or if there just are none does everyone with more than one kid or however many they have choose the suburbs in order to have a quality education"
Parent here, who went through it, first with one kid, then twins. Close to 25 years ago, but I'll say the more things change, the more they stay the same.
We were determined to stay in Manhattan. We looked, looked, and looked more. Did our homework. Husband extremely handy, and didn't even care if apartment had more than running water. Couldn't get it at any price, sorry to say. Gave up a lot on our "must have" list. Increased our budget. Still couldn't get it.
In the end, after much hand wringing, we cried "UNCLE". We moved to Connecticut, where we got everything (except Manhattan). Big house, big rooms, reasonable prices, awesome schools, big backyard. And a great place to raise our kids.
No regrets, but the first thing we did after kids went off to college was to buy an apartment and move back to Manhattan.
It sounds like you made your decision to stay in Manhattan, and I say more power to ya. It takes a special kind of family to make it work, and it sounds like that's you.
>In the end, after much hand wringing, we cried "UNCLE". We moved to Connecticut, where we got everything (except Manhattan). Big house, big rooms, reasonable prices, awesome schools, big backyard. And a great place to raise our kids.
No regrets, but the first thing we did after kids went off to college was to buy an apartment and move back to Manhattan.
Left friends behind?
^ Sadly, yes. But still no regrets when looking at the big picture.
Isle of Lucy thanks..been talking a lot off line to another poster and it does seem (at least for now who really knows ) we will stay. I think if we were a bit younger and had the opportunity to really just put everything into saving we'd probably move and make schooling easier. However, we were on that "work 70 or 80 hour week trend" woke up close to 40 hubby 50 and sort of made what we made and still making money but it's more leveling off. Hey maybe we'll get lucky..but if we moved now (this is what I'm really struggling with) is that by the time we'd move back after their senior year we'd be so much older we'd probably prefer to live in a condo in the sun somewhere :) So, through some great advice I think my "plan" if you can call it that is to start a savings plan for middle/high school..pray they get in somewhere or then suck it up and move to burbs. But, next move is the last one before retirement..for us that's closer to the 70's range in age. I think a simple condo with good weather is what we'd look for or settle with what we have down in Fl. Just can't get over how much we both love this city and still might be willing to pay for private..we have to talk of course...day by day things change. Thanks for the nice post.
Your oldest kid is in kindergarten and you're worrying about high school?
Lots of kids, lots of adults too, end up serving my family McD at the drive thru... why not your kid?
School=> rarely equals success.
Parents who have kids and then bitch about the expenses and the sacrifices they have to make => should've double bagged it.
OH shit... I didn't read the first line... MY bad... off the greener pastures.
Thanks w67th.....nicest thing you've said all year. West 34th..already decided to chill on middle and high school thanks to the good words from some on this thread..people still worry so at least I'm thinking about it and trying to make a decent decision. Nothing in life is certain..got that...also got that no matter what my kids could still be serving McD but, at least they'd have a job..better than being a crack head or having a needle sticking out of their arm on Ave. C...I'd take them at McD's any day over that.
change is certain. you can always count on change (if you're "lucky"). i vote for a mild to moderate amount of concern at this point.
Leslie, you sound like a reasonable and thoughtful person who's trying to balance the decision with lots of good information. I admire you for that. As I very much understand the struggle, I know you cannot go wrong, whatever your ultimate decision. Good luck to you!
Hi uwsmom, Isle_of_Lucy,romary and especially nyc10023...officially taking apartment off market. Really appreciated the advice and comments. Bottom line we do love it here. It's actually our home no matter what others might think. Not a place to try to get out of and make a buck...a place to grow memories. Hubby and I decided this is where our memories started and we're sticking with them. W67th knock your socks of telling me what a stupid "squatter" is what I think you said with all the renovation comments because I don't care anymore. We actually did get our asking price by the way and decided it's just not worth it. I went to our kids school and they worked with us when and if it doesn't work anymore I got myself in touch with those I need to at our local and I took some great advice and figured out a private school fund. Hey if it all doesn't work out and if W67th is still craving those McD's I promise I'll teach my kids it's not nice to spit in other people's food or maybe better yet by that time he'll have gone on a diet and realize fast food isn't all that good for you. Anway, we are so happy and realized there's nothing like Manhattan for us. Thanks for letting me talk this one out with some strangers that actually gave some really great advice and helped me come to a decision with my husband that's best for our family. Not everyone's family but, for us...yes..it's NYC still after all these years. Regards..from a happy Leslie4269 with DOB permits, board approval and hopefully kids that might aim a little higher than serving fries but, as long as they pay their taxes, are good citizens, and don't hurt themselves or anyone else I'll take happy and healthy any day of the week. I think kids that grow up in the suburbs (I didn't so partial to cities as might be obvious) have some problems too..it's more than the schools..it's the parents. Hope we don't louse it up..all we can do is try and that's the plan work hard and keep trying. I have faith in this city and if all goes to sh-t then people that just like to dish out sarcasm (thinking it's funny) can laugh themselves all the way to their graves at our expense. Have fun..ha,ha...signed happy homeowner in Manhattan!