Arlington -- What's the Real Scoop?

  1. You have chosen to ignore posts from jj24. Show jj24's posts

    Arlington -- What's the Real Scoop?

    Hi Everyone:

    I'm looking for some advice again and hoping that that you will share your wisdom :-)  What is the real scoop with Arlington, particularly the schools? 

    We are a family with 2 young elementary aged girls (kids will be going into 1st & 4th grade when we move next summer).  We're relocating for a job that will be in Kendall Sq.  I'm very concerned about the horrendous commutes that I know can be common in the Boston area (particularly since neither my DH nor I have ever had a commute much longer than 15 - 20 minutes).  I thought that Arlington might be a reasonably good option for us because of location, schools, a setting that isn't too urban, and a "down-to-earth" (e.g. non-snobby) vibe in the town.  However, I've since seen a few comments in different places that have me wondering if we are going to be happy with the schools.  

    We're looking for good schools, and want to be in a place where parents are involved in the schools and care about their children's education. Our kids enjoy school and like to be challenged.  We're looking for the "sweet spot" where they'll have the opportunities to stretch their thinking & learning without developing ulcers by middle school in a hyper competitive environment.   We'd like the schools are strong across the entire town (e.g. not just that one or two schools are good while the others are lacking).  We also want to be in a place where the favorite town pastimes don't involve conspicuous consumption and social climbing (we will not fit in at all if we have to have the "right" jeans or handbag!)  

    So, what is the real deal with the schools in Arlington?  Are people happy with the education or do I need to look elsewhere?  Also, have I sized up the town "vibe" correctly?  Any other places we should definitely consider (or avoid)?

    Thank you all very much for your advice.


     
  2. You have chosen to ignore posts from nincyhh. Show nincyhh's posts

    Re: Arlington -- What's the Real Scoop?

    There's a great and active Arlington Moms email list I would suggest you subscribe to, even if for a short time. You can ask your questions there to the 200+ active subscribers.
    The link to join is:
    http://lists.arlparents.org/listinfo.cgi/parents-arlparents.org

    I'm a member (though am a Boston mom of teens) because my business (Isis Parenting) has an Arlington location and there are many topics relating to infants and toddlers I assist with on that list.
    Hope this helps. I've always found Arlington to be a great community, still has that "close, small town" community feel, and there are great restaurants!
    Nancy
    Nancy Holtzman RN BSN IBCLC
    VP, Isis Parenting
     
  3. You have chosen to ignore posts from jj24. Show jj24's posts

    Re: Arlington -- What's the Real Scoop?

    Nancy -- That is a great suggestion.  I've sent in a request to join the list.

    As an aside, although my kids are beyond the baby/toddler stage, I've seen nothing but wonderful comments about your store on various online boards (i.e. Boston Mamas, etc.)  Kudos to you and the store!

     
  4. You have chosen to ignore posts from nincyhh. Show nincyhh's posts

    Re: Arlington -- What's the Real Scoop?

    Awww. Thank you.
    So nice to hear!
    I saw your intro on the ARL list. Hope you're getting some private replies. I do think families seem happy with the public schools there and it has the comfortable, "normal folks" feel around town. I think it would be a great community to settle down with kids.
     
  5. You have chosen to ignore posts from poppy609. Show poppy609's posts

    Re: Arlington -- What's the Real Scoop?

    jj - not sure if you want this much detail/data, but all of the Arlington public schools data that the state collects is available here http://profiles.doe.mass.edu/search/search.aspx?leftNavId=11241.  I know this is just one way to look at schools, but you might find it interesting/helpful.  Good luck!


     
  6. You have chosen to ignore posts from jj24. Show jj24's posts

    Re: Arlington -- What's the Real Scoop?

    Poppy -- Thanks for the link to the data.  I've looked at some of the breakdowns on greatschools.org, but this looks much more comprehensive. 
     
  7. You have chosen to ignore posts from cnanavati. Show cnanavati's posts

    Re: Arlington -- What's the Real Scoop?

    I know several teachers who left recently...there *is* a lot of drama happening.  Arlington is gentrifying and feeling the strain--lots of pto fights over new curriculum/instruction methods between blue collar parents and white collar parents.  Another friend was warned off applying there when looking by a former teacher.

    Personally I'd look at Belmont over Arlington.

     
  8. You have chosen to ignore posts from cnanavati. Show cnanavati's posts

    Re: Arlington -- What's the Real Scoop?

    BPS is worth considering...there are some great elementary schools like Young Achievers in JP/Roslindale, and once kids are in 4th, if admitted to the AWC (advanced work class) program, they're on a pipeline to Boston Latin which is still a top high school nationwide.

    I'm a former AWC teacher, for full disclosure's sake, and I did teach regular ed 3rd grade in Boston as a student teacher.  I wouldn't do BPS before 4th grade because I loathe their learning to read program (zero emphasis on phonics) and I don't know if they've changed over their math program (or to what--the former program TERC, was a disaster).
     
  9. You have chosen to ignore posts from SalsaBostonPromo. Show SalsaBostonPromo's posts

    Re: Arlington -- What's the Real Scoop?

    Hey there! Waltham (close to rt. 2.. Lexington side) has two wonderful elementary schools: Northeast and MacArthur. And it's an easy ride to Kendall Square.
     

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