Thinking of moving to Minneapolis area - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 5 Old 08-05-2010, 01:35 AM - Thread Starter
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Hi all,
I live in Arizona with my almost 5 year old child. My husband was laid off from his job here last summer and was unable to find another one locally. So for the past year he's been commuting to Minneapolis and only home in Arizona on the weekends. We are considering moving up to Minneapolis, as this job seems very stable and potentially long term.

I think Minneapolis has the same kindergarden cutoff as here, which is has to be 5 by end of August. So she misses kindergarden this year because she has a September birthday.

So my daughter and I are going to be heading up to Minneapolis for a week or so to potentially do some house hunting with my husband and see what the area has to offer. I'm interested in finding out where the "good" schools are so that we know where to focus our search.

We are NOT interested in Waldorf (can't get over the founding philosophy) and NOT interested in Montessori (my daughter does not have a personality that allows her to do her own work quietly for hours on end). I don't care about scores on standardized testing. But we are interested in schools that would still treat the kids respectfully and honor their individual personalities. Whether that be a school that is public, charter, or private. We also are not looking for a religious based school.

We also would like to be within a 30 minute commute to my husband's job in Burnsville. We are crunchy in the sense that we don't eat processed foods, purchase most of our produce, eggs, etc at local farmer's markets, those of us who drink milk drink raw milk, don't vaccinate, etc. However we are looking for a newer house (or new home community). And while some land would be nice, we aren't interested in owning chickens or other animals. And if we did do a food garden, it would just be a small one.

Any ideas on where to start looking?
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#2 of 5 Old 08-05-2010, 04:13 PM
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We live in Lakeville which is right next to Burnsville and love the area. I have heard only negative about BV high school which is why if we move (which seems to be inevitable at this point since I don't have a job), DH does not want a house in BV.

Most houses in this area are 1960's and newer. I think there are pro's and con's to living out here, I do end up driving more (family in Mpls, other activities), and there things I miss about living in the city, but there are definitely things I don't miss about it. If you get a house out here, you will get more house and more elbow room for your $$ than if you buy in Mpls/St. Paul.

I am probably just about the most crunchy person in Lakeville, and don't have any problems with shopping for food or finding other alternative things that I need although I do need to go to the city for some things, but not often. There is an awesome natural food store in Burnsville and the bigger grocery chains also sell a small amount of organic. There is a great API community (although meetings and playgroups are in the city, so I don't usually get to those).

You are unlikely though, to find a neighborhood with other families with the same NFL values. Just about everyone around here is mainstream and they spray their perfect lawns with chemicals, etc. Doesn't mean they aren't nice or great neighbors, it's just what it is.

I like this site for house hunting, I think it's supposed to list all that are in the MLS system:

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#3 of 5 Old 08-05-2010, 08:02 PM
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I grew up in Apple Valley (which is right next to Burnsville) and lived there until 3 years ago. I think there are little pockets of crunchiness all over, but it might not be the norm. When we lived in Apple Valley, we had neighbors who used chem-lawn and fed their kids Mt. Dew and granola bars all day long. I also had neighbors who used an organic lawn service, breastfed their kids into toddlerhood and line-dried their cloth diapers. Both kind of families were considered acceptable. I also had a lot of similar-minded friends, many of whom I met through the Apple Valley LLL group.

As for schools, the Rosemount/Apple Valley/Eagan school district is generally considered to be excellent. Lakeville schools also have a good reputation. Burnsville schools don't have as good of a reputation, but they don't have a horrible reputation either. I know a ton of people who graduated from Burnsville High School who were happy with their experiences there and who have gone on to do fabulous things in life.

If you are looking for a brand new home, you may have better luck looking in the suburbs that are further out. Although there are a few new developments in Apple Valley, most of the new construction is going to be in places like Lakeville, Farmington, Rosemount, Savage and Shakopee (these citiesare all within 30 minutes of Burnsville). Regardless of where you live, you're going to be pretty close to farmer's markets. Most suburbs have at least weekly farmer's markets during the growing season. As was mentioned before, there is a nice natural foods store in Burnsville. There are also Whole Foods and Trader Joes in the metro area, but are further north. There are also a ton of independent natural food stores sprinkled throughout the metro.

New signature, same old me: Ann- mama of 2 boys and 2 girls, partnered to a fabulous man.
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#4 of 5 Old 08-06-2010, 10:22 AM
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I live in W St Paul, which is about 20 minutes more toward St Paul from Burnsville. We love it here. There is Dodge Nature Center preschool and Garlough Enviromental Magnet School after that. They are outside every day and it is public and small. Surrounded by 330 acres of land, organic apple orchards, tapping maple trees and making maple syrup. Planting gardens, and feeding chickens. Learning through nature.

We love it. It only goes to 4th grade, but hopefully they are turning a middle school into a magnet soon!!

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#5 of 5 Old 08-08-2010, 12:12 AM
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I live in Apple Valley, office in Burnsville... Burnsville schools aren't as good as Apple Valley but its a nice place. My boys go to Diamond Path which is a International Magnet school... public but with a focus on international and they either get to learn Chinese or Spanish. I have to say I love our school. I had a rough time raising my oldest in Minneapolis and have a ton of school experience all over the Twin Cities and just love our district... our school is the best.

I am not super crunchy but I am big on respect for my kids. We don't use punishment and was super worried about them fitting in but it has been great. We have a good natural food coop, good doctors, farmers markets. The down side is there are almost nothing but big box stores and chain restaurants but it is a super easy shot into the city for culture and diversity and a decent meal.

Welcome and let us all know if you need anything!

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