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Discussion Starter #1
If you live in South Philly/Center City/Bella Vista/Headhouse Square, where are you sending your 3-4-5-yr-olds to school and why? We have a 3yo dd (turning 4 in Aug) and need info on schools in the area (tuition? public vs. private? charter schools? waiting lists? etc, etc.) Please tell us your experiences -- We need the low down, please.<br>
Are there any/many homeschooling communities in this area?<br>
Thanks!!
 

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My son will be going to a special program for ASD kids, so I'm not much help on the school front.<br><br>
There is a big homeschooling community in that area - here's their basic info site:<br><a href="http://www.geocities.com/centralphiladelphiahomeschoolers/" target="_blank">http://www.geocities.com/centralphil...homeschoolers/</a><br><br>
Good luck with getting more info!
 

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Might want to try here -- its where Local city parents discuss schools for the under 5 kids. <a href="http://www.phillyblog.com/philly/showthread.php?t=4980&page=18" target="_blank">http://www.phillyblog.com/philly/sho...t=4980&page=18</a><br><br>
If you are North of Washington Ave, you are in the center city catchment zone, which means you have choice in terms of public schools. I dont know much about private, and I have a 3 month old so we aren't there yet, but we are looking into Montessori and I think there is a good one in Queen Village, but you have to apply and its hard to get into, and, I would bet, expensive.<br><br>
Lots of homeschoolers in West Philly, but I dont know about South Philly...most of the people I know aren't doing school yet.<br>
Let us know what you learn!
 

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The montessori school in question is Green Towne; they accept pre-schoolers through kindergarten; and, yes, we have checked them out and they are prohibitively expensive. My husband and I also did not feel they were a good match for our more free-spirited 3-yr-old. On the other end of the spectrum is Moon Stone, which is a moon stone's throw away from our home; however, we felt they were too free-spirited. We just weren't comfortable while at either school. We have also looked into Beginnings (but you must commit to a mandatory 5-day per week attendance) and The Philadelphia School, which goes through 8th grade. Though we absolutely adored TPS, we simply cannot afford the annual tuition at this time. As for public schools, we are in Meredith's catchment, but we've received mixed reviews that don't have us feeling too confident (granted - we have yet to visit the school). Beyond that, there are the charter schools, of which we know nothing about. I'm just wondering what other people in this area do.
 

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Funny, Jomama, I'm in Queen Village zoned for Nebinger, and I'm envious of my across-the-street neighbors who're zoned for Meredith. Meredith has a great rep - active HSA, etc - the only downside I've heard is that they don't offer languages.<br><br>
if you want just a link to the charter school directory, here it is "<a href="http://www.phila.k12.pa.us/charter_schools/" target="_blank">http://www.phila.k12.pa.us/charter_schools/</a><br><br>
As for Preschool, we're sending our 2 year old to Kesher Isreal synagogue. It's not a perfect fit (we're atheist) but the women who run it seem very caring and on top of things. They have their own play yard, which I like a lot. Other schools I liked in the area were Soc Hill Synagogue, YCCA at Old Swede's and Old Pine Comm Center.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thank you mweb. We are definitely going to check Meredith out for kindergarten. People I know in the immediate area - whose children actually attend Meredith - seem very pleased with the curriculum and have really given it a thumbs up. Admittedly, the negative comments I've heard have come from people primarily outside the catchment (center city and Rittenhouse Sq.) and they seemed to thumb their noses at all public schools (it should be noted their children are all attending very expensive private elementary and preschools and I seriously doubt they did any research into public schooling at all -- there definitely seemed to be an (unfair) bias towards public schooling among these groups -- unless they were talking about Masterman).<br>
Just curious, where is Kesh Israel?
 

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Kesher Israel (aka the Schwartz Preschool at KI) is on the 400 block of Lombard. We decided to go with it because they had the least time requirement - our guy will go three mornings/week for 3 hours each session. In fall o8 he may go to YCCA, or I might try to enroll him in the city's free Bright Futures program, which has a preschool at Nebinger. A friend is trying that this fall, so I'm curious to see what she thinks. Greene Towne was absurdly expensive, or I would've considered it.<br><br>
For elementary, we'll play the charter or public school lottery game. It's crazy, though.<br><br>
There's a homeschooling group that meets in Weccacoe park every Monday, for pretty much all day. I've chatted with a few members - they're from all over the city, one from NJ - and they're very friendly.
 
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