So Cal move: schools etc? HELP!

Old Jul 23rd, 2002, 03:46 AM
  #1  
Moi
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So Cal move: schools etc? HELP!

We are thinking of moving from NYC to SO CAl for career and weather reasons. We have 2 young preschoolers, we are asian-american and are attracted to artsy communities (live in Soho). What are the housing opportunites like, ie, $, safety, and schools, public and private. Are there any middle class communities with excellent public schools? Thanks so much.
 
Old Jul 23rd, 2002, 05:27 AM
  #2  
Californian
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Moi,

Southern California is a BIG area. You should try to be a little more specific as to areas within So. Ca.

A very great part of So. Ca. is not very good. You have to be very, very careful. Believe it or not, So. Ca. is not all palm trees and endless beaches.

Californian
 
Old Jul 23rd, 2002, 05:49 AM
  #3  
Janette
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Palos Verdes (LA County) has very good schools, also quite expensive area to live in but beautiful! Orange County also has some great schools, as does La Jolla in San Diego County. If you give us an idea of your price range for housing, it would be helpful. There are many Asian Americans in Southern California and you will feel very welcome. I find the people here very friendly. Janette (former teacher now home raising 2 kids)
 
Old Jul 23rd, 2002, 05:59 AM
  #4  
joe
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Am I the only one who is amazed that supposedly educated people consider this forum a reliable source of information for such an important decision?
You should be doing objective research about the schools in So Cal vs. NYC -- not relying on subjective opinions. See how the student test scores compare. There are several books with statistics about not only schools but also the cost of living, crime, etc.
To show you, how useless personal opinions can be, having lived in DC and now in So Cal, my opinion is that the schools must never be in session and/or the kids just don't go, because they are always at the mall or the movies -- morning and afternoon. But I'm sure the native Southern Californians will disagree. That's why I say, check the test scores!!!
 
Old Jul 23rd, 2002, 06:50 AM
  #5  
moi
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Thanks for the quick replies.
I agree with the poster who suggests I look at test scores. Frankly, I have just begun the process and had a hard time finding a good web site. Would spend about 2500 month for housing (rent first) need 2 -3 bedrm; also, depends on how expensive a babysitter would be. Very high here in MYC. Thanks.
 
Old Jul 23rd, 2002, 06:58 AM
  #6  
Barbara
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Take a look at Poway Unified School District. www.powayusd.sdcoe.k12.ca.us.
 
Old Jul 23rd, 2002, 07:13 AM
  #7  
lisa
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Please don't use this board for research on where to move. I'm not complaining about you doing so, I just don't think it is even close to good resource for you. Their are relocation guides available, school test scores, area newspapers, web sites etc. for you to choose. You need solid information from a variety of sources. If you do this research and then ask this board to choose between a couple of places you have identified as good you would be in much better shape.

Good luck with your research and move.
 
Old Jul 23rd, 2002, 10:18 AM
  #8  
kam
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San Marino has a large Asian American population and excellent schools/high school. Do please check to see scores, but I do know their reputation because of my job. It's not middle class however--quite upscale.There are other artsy communities such as Santa Monica, Venice but their schools are a mess. However, there is an abundance of private schools in LA because of the poor quality of public schools. Only one place I can think of right away that would fit all your criteria is little South Pasadena---close to artsy Pasadena, good schools and affordable housing. Very small though and not much on the market at any given time. You don't say where you will be working---that makes another difference.
 
Old Jul 23rd, 2002, 11:38 AM
  #9  
stats
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When checking test scores remember these facts: most california test scores/rankings are among California, so don't forget the offset. Basically, an 85%-ile CA school is barely 50%-ile nation-wide. Also, my daughter's school district (allegedly blue ribbon, blah, blah, blah) spends about 18 days per year prepping the kids for taking tests just to pump the numbers, so be aware that these test scores have a marginal correlation to your child's learning. Finally, expect to supplement during the year and most defintely during the summer to keep your child on a level (and national) playing field.

Weather and jobs are great though! Prices are high. In San Diego, most new home developments start from the 500's unless you live near San Ysidro.
 
Old Jul 23rd, 2002, 01:48 PM
  #10  
Kay
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And, stats, do you have the stats to prove that load of ****?
 
Old Jul 23rd, 2002, 03:33 PM
  #11  
stats
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1) I did my research 4 years ago when deciding where to buy a home. The highest ranked (not always best) San Diego schools, all ranked 85%-ile and up from elementary through junior high when compared within California. Yet compared against national scores ranked 50-60%-ile. Try Google.
2) The 18 days are based on my experience with my daughters, their teachers, and complaining to the district about excessive testing, C-Best, SAT-9, etc.. Even some of their homework is "fill in the circle". It is a sad, sad, fact. They are doing it for the money.
3) We simply supplement using books from local educational book stores. We know many parents who enroll their kids in Kumon and Sylvan. Does it help? Is it worth it? I am not willing to wait and find out.

FWIW, I have lived in 3 different states.
 
Old Jul 23rd, 2002, 03:42 PM
  #12  
mambi
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Why in the world would you send your kids to a public school? Anywhere, for that matter, THEY'RE ALL LOUSY.

Thinking back 35 years ago, the junior high and high schools I went to, in one of the most-affluent counties in the United States (no, not in Calif.), they WERE LOUSY THEN.

Why don't you all stop coding everything: public schools equals blacks and hispanics equals NOTHING BUT TROUBLE for your kids.
 
Old Jul 23rd, 2002, 03:54 PM
  #13  
bj
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What trolls. You get racists like mambi and idiots who don't know what travel forums arelike moi.

Just dial 1-800-THIS-IS-NO-FREAKING-RELO-FORUM.

Just move to some place where they don't have internet access so we don't have to listen to these trolls any more.
 
Old Jul 23rd, 2002, 04:53 PM
  #14  
Renee
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S Cal is too huge to help without more information about where you want to be (ie where is the job?). Throwing out names of cities and communities are pointless since they can be many, many miles apart and nowhere near where you need to be.
 
Old Jul 23rd, 2002, 05:12 PM
  #15  
Wendy
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Moi,
I'm Asian American and grew up in Hollywood, went to high school in the Valley, college in the Inland Empire, have family down in the South Bay (Palos Verdes area) and San Gabriel Valley, and am now living in West LA. Have lived here all my life so I know LA well. That said, here's some info I can give:

Public school is pretty bad in most areas unless you head towards the suburbs. There's a tremendous teacher shortage, overcrowding, and just recently, a billion dollar school fund deficit. But LA has many excellent private schools which you may want to look into, especially as the kids gets older. (Caveat: The public schools in my area were really atrocious, so I'm a product of private schools.)

The only place that comes to mind with *excellent* public schools is Palos Verdes. This is a beautiful town south of LA proper, on a peninsula over looking the Pacific. As you can imagine, with such good schools and nice views, housing is ridiculously expensive.

Other good public school areas to look into are:

* Studio City/Sherman Oaks. Conveniently to freeways, but not overly trafficked, and lots of little nice neighborhood pockets. Not sure about the elementary schools, but North Hollywood High has one of the best magnet programs in the city. The more south into the hills you go, the housing prices climb (but of course safety increases). Housing generally though, will be affordable, say starting at $1800 for a 3bdrm townhome. Downside is that it's in the dreaded "Valley," and gets plenty hot in the summertime.

* San Marino/Pasadena. Good schools and quite a few Asian folks living here as it's very close to Monterey Park/Alhambra (ie, the mecca of Chinese food in So Cal). The housing market is tight from what I recall. Nearby San Gabriel (I'm thinking right at the border of San Marino) might have better housing opps and is just as safe, though the houses are a bit smaller.

* I'll also throw in Hancock Park/Mid-Wilshire. I don't know about schooling, but this is a great area for young families starting out. Fits the artsy criteria with Larchmont, Museum Row, and Melrose nearby. Housing is in your price range (was hunting there myself and found several 3 bdrms duplexes, 1600+ sq ft for $2200-$2400). Downside is that it's not convenient to a freeway so you'll be stuck driving streets most of the time.

Hope some of this helps.
 
Old Jul 23rd, 2002, 05:16 PM
  #16  
XX
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Unfortunately the Asians have taken over Diamond Bar and Walnut!
 
Old Jul 23rd, 2002, 06:59 PM
  #17  
moi
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Thanks! In NYC the private schools are extremely expensive...around 20, 000 for elementary and more for HS. Also, very hard to get into. Is the situation similiar? Would want a diverse,non-sectarian school.
 
Old Jul 24th, 2002, 08:50 AM
  #18  
xxx
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A friend of mine lives in Hollywood Hills and pays $40,000 a year for private school for her two boys and another $30,000 for summer camp. Crazy if you ask me!
 
Old Jul 24th, 2002, 12:25 PM
  #19  
Martha
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I'd look into the Orange County schools if you're considering Public with still 1/2 way affordable housing (still outrageous even there), unless your job dictates a different area. You need to live close enough to your work so you're not commuting long distances. If the schools aren't good where you decide to live, go with the private school option. Although Orange County schools are better for the most part than LA county schools, it can still be hit or miss. I really don't much credence in the test scores though...they really do prep the kids to do well. Good Luck to you.
 
Old Jul 24th, 2002, 02:01 PM
  #20  
wendy
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Schools ARE expensive, and I wouldn't be surprised if it's up to $20,000 a year now for some of those top private high schools (when I went 10 years ago it was a bit more than half that). But, don't forget that many of these places *do* give scholarships or need-based grants, much like private colleges do. Elementary and parochial schools will definitely be cheaper ($5000/yr is my guess).
 

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