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1+ hrs from NYC, good school?

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
We want to move out of NYC, somewhere 45 min to 1 hr 15 min on train to nyc as dp will need to commute, probably at least 3 days per week. We've seen some areas we like: Beacon and around Cold Spring/Garrison, northern Rockland Cty/Orange, although some areas don't have train service.

Haven't looked yet in NJ, but open to it.

We're looking for something rural at the edge of a small town (not a suburb). Beacon is small enough, but smaller would also be ok. We also value diversity (I realize that can mean a lot of things), proximity to arts and and cultural events, farmer's markets.

I'd like to narrow the search by learning about schools. Anyone live in an area on a train line from nyc that has alternative schools (whether public or private)? Is there a good sight for finding out more about schools. I'm thinking something different than just the sights that give schools a grade and look at scores. My son will start K next fall and I'd like a more alternative approach. He's currently in Montessori, but I haven't found an elementary age Montessori outiside of the city.

TIA
post #2 of 23
Thread Starter 
subbing
post #3 of 23
I love the Warwick NY area, and I know Chestnut Ridge has a Waldorf school --- I don't know if these are helpful, but the area's are lovely and have a sense of community and the arts too.
post #4 of 23
Have you looked into CT at all? It can be an easier (and shorter) commute than from parts of NY and most of NJ. Good schools....The Friend's school is about a mile away from my house and we are less than an hour to the city by train.
post #5 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fyrestorm View Post
Have you looked into CT at all? It can be an easier (and shorter) commute than from parts of NY and most of NJ. Good schools....The Friend's school is about a mile away from my house and we are less than an hour to the city by train.
Where in CT are you?
post #6 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fyrestorm View Post
Have you looked into CT at all? It can be an easier (and shorter) commute than from parts of NY and most of NJ. Good schools....The Friend's school is about a mile away from my house and we are less than an hour to the city by train.
Where in CT are you?
We are also thinking of making a move and need a decent commute to grand central.
Is it a like minded community? Here where I am in jersey, I feel suffocated and have not much in common with people in the area.
post #7 of 23
I'm in Norwalk...Crunchy is hard to find anywhere on the east coast...but it's not so bad here. We even have a holistic moms group
post #8 of 23
not sure how i happened on this post, But I am from Northern Rockland and living in Clarkstown now. I usually pot in the fertility section.
I dont know much about schools and such, but I have heard that the Green Meadow is great in chestnut ridge there is also a co-op there and some great holistic communities.
I suggest picking up "The Rockland Parent Paper" They usually showcase all the schools in their summer issues and also the there is a holistic paper magazine you can grab almost anywhere in Rockland deff in Nyack.
There are some great areas of Dutchess and CT. My husband Gram lives in Kent in a fantastic Farm house on 60 acres. the town is quaint and there are priv. schools a plenty.
Good Luck, feel free to hit me up as I am a pt Realtor in Rockland and would be happy to help you answer any questions I can
post #9 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fyrestorm View Post
I'm in Norwalk... We even have a holistic moms group
Ooooh, I am over the border in NY (through new canaan) but close enough to Norwalk to make a mom's group!!! I joined the ny & ct chapters but didn't know there were meetings that close to me... Cool!!!


BTW: A friend is crunchy & lives in Newtown CT - close to Danbury. I think the train line is still a bit away, but it is lovely there and more rural minded than some other towns.
post #10 of 23
What about public schools in the area? Are they okay? I do not have a budget for 4 private school fees.
post #11 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by ears73 View Post
Ooooh, I am over the border in NY (through new canaan) but close enough to Norwalk to make a mom's group!!! I joined the ny & ct chapters but didn't know there were meetings that close to me... Cool!!!
If you're interested I can forward you the latest annoucement with all the info from the Norwalk Holistic mom's group. Just PM me your e-mail addy.

I work just over the border through New canaan! (just 2 days per week though) It's beautiful up there!


[/QUOTE]

Quote:
Originally Posted by wbg View Post
What about public schools in the area? Are they okay? I do not have a budget for 4 private school fees.
Was this question for me?

If so, the public schools are actually pretty good here. DD just started Kindy, but I made it though our system many...many...many years ago!
post #12 of 23
Thanks Fyrestorm. My question was for you! Very helpful. I am going to try plan a daytrip up your way soon. I subscribed to this thread but am not receiving alerts when someone posts. Anyone know what I am doing wrong?
post #13 of 23
I'm set for auto alerts...but if you click on thread tools above, you can manually subscribe to the thread.
post #14 of 23
New York State mamas and CT momas, please please please keep posting about public schools!!! I am in very crowded Essex County, NJ, but very very attached to the Montclair public schools......and am lured by the water and mountains of other areas but need arts education etc as a given in public education like we do here...one of my sons will be attending the public Montessori in September....it is still a public school, but has montesorri influences (the reason we know where he will go is bc of an IEP)
Please keep sharing info!
post #15 of 23
You might consider Princeton NJ.
  1. express train to Penn Station takes 1 hour
  2. public schools are extremely well regarded
  3. lots of private schools, including Montessori elementary and Waldorf
  4. LOTS of culture and diversity
  5. lots of very rural areas around Princeton
  6. lots of green spaces, parks, and playgrounds
  7. Whole Foods, Trader Joe's, Whole Earth independent health food store
  8. Plenty of CSAs and farmers' markets
  9. cost of living is not cheap but OTOH i think you get more house for your money than many places closer to the city
  10. more LLL groups than you can shake a stick at, a very active Holistic Moms Network group, and even a babywearing group!

We've been here for 3 years and I really love it. My dh commutes to the city every day -- and it's definitely hard to have him gone all day, leaving before the kids get up and not getting home until dinner time -- but if you or your dh only had to do that several times a week it wouldn't be bad at all.
post #16 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quirky View Post
You might consider Princeton NJ.
  1. express train to Penn Station takes 1 hour
  2. public schools are extremely well regarded
  3. lots of private schools, including Montessori elementary and Waldorf
  4. LOTS of culture and diversity
  5. lots of very rural areas around Princeton
  6. lots of green spaces, parks, and playgrounds
  7. Whole Foods, Trader Joe's, Whole Earth independent health food store
  8. Plenty of CSAs and farmers' markets
  9. cost of living is not cheap but OTOH i think you get more house for your money than many places closer to the city
  10. more LLL groups than you can shake a stick at, a very active Holistic Moms Network group, and even a babywearing group!

We've been here for 3 years and I really love it. My dh commutes to the city every day -- and it's definitely hard to have him gone all day, leaving before the kids get up and not getting home until dinner time -- but if you or your dh only had to do that several times a week it wouldn't be bad at all.
Do you mind sharing more info? My partner wks in the city near grand central. Has a colleague who says the commute is more like and hour and a half? Are the property taxes very high? We can not afford private school. Are the public schools good? Any info would be awesome and thx for taking the time to post. Oh...I am also looking at going back to school to study nursing. Any affordable, decent community colleges? Also, when looking at real estate, what are good neighbourhoods to look at,. If possible we would like to continue being a 1 car family, so walking distance to trains/ vllage life would be cool, but this is something we would be happy to compromise on. Oh and my kids ages range between 1 and 9!
Thx
L
post #17 of 23
It depends on which train you catch, and how far your commute is once you reach the city. My dh works 2 minutes from Penn Station, so for him he has no commute once he reaches the city. If you look at the NJ Transit website you can see all the train times for the various options.

The public schools are very, very good -- some of the best in NJ. The property taxes are also quite high but I don't know that you can live in NJ without really high property taxes -- it's just the way it is. We consider it our private school tuition since we have 3 kids and can't afford private school without making a whole lot of sacrifices we're not willing to make.

If you want to look at Princeton proper then the properties within the school districts of Community Park and Riverside elementary schools would be your best bet for walking distance to downtown. Princeton Borough is the downtown area and Princeton Township surrounds it but it's all the same Princeton schools -- in the Township you're more likely to need 2 cars (unless you're willing to drive your dh to the train station). There's a Dinky train from downtown Princeton to the Princeton Junction train station; if you lived within biking distance of the Dinky then your dh could bike there and leave you the car.

There seem to be a fair number of state and community colleges around here (Rider, Rutgers) but I don't know much about them in terms of expense or quality.
post #18 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quirky View Post
It depends on which train you catch, and how far your commute is once you reach the city. My dh works 2 minutes from Penn Station, so for him he has no commute once he reaches the city. If you look at the NJ Transit website you can see all the train times for the various options.

The public schools are very, very good -- some of the best in NJ. The property taxes are also quite high but I don't know that you can live in NJ without really high property taxes -- it's just the way it is. We consider it our private school tuition since we have 3 kids and can't afford private school without making a whole lot of sacrifices we're not willing to make.

If you want to look at Princeton proper then the properties within the school districts of Community Park and Riverside elementary schools would be your best bet for walking distance to downtown. Princeton Borough is the downtown area and Princeton Township surrounds it but it's all the same Princeton schools -- in the Township you're more likely to need 2 cars (unless you're willing to drive your dh to the train station). There's a Dinky train from downtown Princeton to the Princeton Junction train station; if you lived within biking distance of the Dinky then your dh could bike there and leave you the car.

There seem to be a fair number of state and community colleges around here (Rider, Rutgers) but I don't know much about them in terms of expense or quality.
THANK YOU SO MUCH! I will continue my research.
post #19 of 23
We are in a Westchester suburb now, but I grew up in Warwick (Orange Co) and absoultely loved it. If dh didn't have to commute daily we'd probably be settled there. Something about having a fantastic school system, apple orchards in your yard, but still having the cultural influx from NYC was great. However, the commute is pretty rough (no train nearby). Taxes are pretty hefty as well.

Is Croton too "suburban"?
post #20 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by wbg View Post
What about public schools in the area? Are they okay? I do not have a budget for 4 private school fees.
My boss lives in Warwick, NY and they have good schools. We will be moving to NJ in the next couple of months (live in MA) and I have been checking out greatschools.net. I like seeing the ratings, stats and more importantly the parent feedback. Good luck in your search, I'm right there with you!
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