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Moving to New York from London(58 Posts)
So it's happening. After months of discussions we are moving to NY. We are yet to determine whether it will be in time for the new school year (Aug) or part way through. I was on here before asking about areas to live etc but now its a reality. Here are the thoughts (any advice appreciated)
Living - 2 sets of thoughts. Live in Conneticut to have a large house, big yard (we have 3 kids 8,5 & 6mths + 1 large dog), safe neighbourhoods. Live in Manhattan (say Upper East Side/West Side) for close to commute to work for husband, but more around place of living.
Schools - will be private given the company will pay. Will need to work out how on earth to get into them and also single sex vs co-ed.
Car - would want one for weekend trips but will need to get used to driving on the other side of road (and I guess a factor for Manhattan vs CT)
Any other thoughts i need to be thinking?
items you would be able to get a house and garden in Hoboken, if you do want to think about it. if you're coming over the look at the UWS, give yourself time to do a day looking in Hoboken. Take the ferry or the path (ferry 10 mins, path train 20) and just have a look at two houses or something. You will get a proper house and garden in Hoboken if you're willing to spend the $. If that matters to you. And your H would be a lot closer to work than, say, if he lived anywhere in brooklyn.
That said, the UWS is totally where you should be. Even though NJ is cheaper, Manhattan is ace and the UWS is aaaace. Take the school advice to heart, though - DH's school broke up yesterday and you can't move fast enough on that stuff.
On the school testing, i read up on the ERB(WPPSI/WISC) but it says the lower is for grades 4+. My oldest being 8 he will be going into grade 4 in UK in Sept which would be grade 3 in U.S. Does that mean there is no testing?
Hoboken is a great place but Kearny has a fish and chip shop
Kearny may have a fish and chip shop, but otherwise it's a dump under the Pulaski Skyway.
But it's a really good chippy...
I'm not sure items but my two are going into K and 3rd grade in September (they're currently in R and YR3) and they had to take the WPPSI and the WISC respectively.
Thanks elaine. How did the kids go? Is it hard? Is it country specific (i.e we forgot to tell the kids about pounds and pence when they were assessed in UK so for U.S do we need to teach them dollars, cents, nickels etc)?
(I don't know the answers to that elaine but I think it's a good idea. Probably inches, feet and yards too, as that was a puzzle to me when I moved here. Oh, and ounces and pounds!)
My little one did really well (proud Mummy moment - she's in the top centile) and my older one did well but probably could have done better if she'd been prepped a bit.
One of the reasons we wanted to test in the UK rather than the US was in case of culturally specific questions. I think the WPPSI and WISC have UK versions which the psychologist uses but even if not, she'd have known to explain things so that they understood. If you want some names of psychologists who administer the WPPSI and WISC, happy to send it to you.
I really think you need to phone up the schools now before they close for the summer and just enquire if they have places and if they'll accept a mid-year admission. Otherwise you might not have anyone to talk with until September! You may find that your choice of location is determined by where you can get the kids into school, if the school is the most important to you. I also suggest you speak to the DOE regarding public schools. Some of the NYC public schools are supposed to be great and you can always then move them to private for middle and high school if you stay. We decided against public because of the cut-off dates. My children are born towards end of the calendar year and the cut-off for public schools in NYC is Dec 31st. They're strict about cut-offs for K and 1st grade so my little one would be pushed up a grade and would be one of the youngest in the grade - I just think it'd be unfair on her together with a new country, new school and new home. THe privates have differing cut-offs but usually it's Sept 1st.
Hope your plans are coming together!
Items I have PMed you with nanny agency details.
Also just a thought but lots of the NY schools are breaking for Summer early as they didnt have their usual snow days during the Winter.
Elaine Fantastic! Yes please do send me the UK names for the testing as it would be far better to do it in UK for those very reasons.
As for schools, thanks for the tip. In fact we came across the cut off issue with the UK private schools as daughter is 28th Aug and the cut off is Sept 1st. SO she was very much the youngest. U.S private would be the same. Likely company will pay for school so we are lucky to have that option but the timing is really bad for contacting. We may even consider delaying the move to the first semester break because of it being so rushed.
Just sent you the list of the EPs I contacted items.
For you, public might be an option then with your daughter's cut off, especially if you do move over the summer. She'll remain in the same grade as in UK or the US privates but she won't be the very youngest any more as she'll have all the Sept-Dec children joining her. You could always enrol them for a year and then apply to the privates. When I spoke with them we were also considering a mid-year move but most weren't too encouraging about it - and in the end I ended up moving before the family who are only joining me at the end of this month
I know some of the Tribeca schools are fab and also PS6 on the UES is meant to be great (and another plug for Queens - fab public schools in some of the neighbourhoods). There's quite a few other very good ones, I'm sure some on the UWS. Try urbanbaby.com which has an NY schools board, they discuss them to death there.
If there are good local schools, why go private just because someone is paying? Private often means keeping up with those who are paying the fees personally and that can prove expensive.
Another consideration when an employer is paying is that it is not unheard of for employers to change contracts for cost-saving reasons so that they no longer have to pay school fees. What would you do if your employer suddenly does this to you? I know several families who have had this happen to them.
I think natation makes a good point. One of the reasons we were put off the fancy Manhattan schools was the type of children my kids would be hob-nobbing with. Basically, you're talking about the elite of US society who can both afford to pay nearly $40,000 per year per child and live in Manhattan. These are kids who think nothing of talking about private jets, nannies and housekeepers, designer clothes etc.
Also check carefully about the provision in the contract as natation says. How long are you covered for and for how much? My employers pays 75% of fees up to $34,000 for expat staff for example. So for the schools charging nearly $40,000, we would have to pay full whack from $34,000 as well as 75% of the first $34,000. It just wasn't economically feasible for us especially with the additional costs of Manhattan living.
There are some Manhattan schools which are a bit cheaper (eg WCLA and UNIS) but most charge extortionate fees.
Thanks for the comments. We have both of our children in private education here in UK of which we are paying for. So if any of those circumstances came true we would be ok to continue paying.
Obviously you know your finances and I'm sure you've done your homework but I know I had total sticker shock from the fees charged here for private schools. They're nearly $40,000 per child per year!!! Basically more than twice as much as the top London independent day schools.
Each to one's own. If I had a spare $120k per year I could spend on 3 children's school fees, I'm not sure how I'd feel about spending that much money when I can get a similar service for nothing, sorry liberal conscience says the world's riches are very unevenly distributed.
We're probably going private when DS is old enough - it won't cost much more than his daycare (more like $14k a year here in NJ). When faced with a choice of class size 35-40 and class size 10-14, I'm afraid it feels like no contest. Plus, DH has taught in state schools in the UK and state and private over here, and I'm afraid neither of us have a lot of confidence in the NY/NJ state school curricula.
Anyway that's not what this thread is about. As you probably already know, items, there are private schools and then there are private schools - some are like the ones from Gossip Girl - meanness and extreme wealth - and some are perfectly nice and full of perfectly nice people. I'm sure you'll find the right one for your family.
I would want to live in Manhattan or Broooklyn or possibly some parts of Queens, personally. Proper Noo Yoik, not some way out part of NJ or whatever.
Sorry but worlds riches are not unevenly distributed in this case, my husband works damn hard for what he earns and has done all his working life.
Thanks to others. We are hoping to get across to NY mid July to finally get a look at all the areas and make some decisions. The opinions above have been so helpful.
Like Blackcurrent I lived in Hoboken and loved it. I lived in Brook Green before moving to London and Hoboken was perfect for me as I wanted that village feel.
I don't know enough about private schools on the UWS. I went to school on the UES as a kid and I can tell you they make educational hothouses look like a theme park. I have done my reseach in Hoboken and a couple of the private schools are very good. I have been told that The Hudson School, Stevens Coop and Hoboken Catholic Academy are good private schools in Hoboken. I will tell you that I am wary of any Catholic school because a 'teacher' might not be qualified as such.
Thanks Want2b. Hoboken is certainly on the list to visit. We might spend the week travelling all over NY/CT to get a feel for the place!
OK we have been given names of a few schools that are willing to meet with us (most are completely full up). Dwight Mandell, St Hilda's and St hugh's, Birch Wathen Lenox and Trevor Day.
Any thoughts appreciated.
Do you mean Dwight school and Mandell School? I will ask my friend whose girls are at St Dominics. She and her DH did a lot of research.
Yes those are the ones Want2b. Cathedral as well.
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