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?
I live in NY but am moving to London. You might want want to consider Westchester. A town like Harrison Has good public schools with lots of expats, the IB program (one of the few public schools with IB which should make a move back easier) and a really short commute to midtown NYC. You also get a lot more for your money than other areas so close to Manhattan.
There is a useful article about schools in New York here:
Items - I've just read your thread from June and wondered how you were getting on! My husband is currently working out in NY and is due to get an offer imminently. Not sure what it is going to include rent and school fees wise but with an 8, 4 year old and 9 month old living in SW London, I'm faced with a very similar dilemma to you. Where to live and how to get into a good school.
My main concern is my 8 year old who is doing really well in private school here and what happens if he moves to an American school in NY and goes back a year. The older ones are both October birthdays so with the cutoff of December I wondered which year they would go into.
Thanks May09. Leman Manhattan was the last 2 of selection (the other being Avenues). We decided to go with Avenues but by a mere cm in the decision.
You will love BCP - lots to do. Check out http://www.manhattanyouth.org/ , they are 5 minutes away from BCP, lots of classes / playgroups / swimming and sports for a range of ages.
My son is starting at http://www.lemanmanhattan.org/ - maybe another school to look at.
Have fun settling in!
I've heard great things about bpc - I think you'll like it.
The schools you've mentioned are all very very different. Trevor is very progressive for example. Did you try world class learning academy? They are not too far and may also have places.
We are flying out tomorrow permanently. We decided to live in Battery Park city which is fabulous. Lots of green parks, kids playgrounds, sports facilities yet in Manhattan and close to work.
I moved from Tribeca to Battersea two and a half years ago and this thread is very interesting to me as we are going to be moving back either next fall or the year after. My husband has a standing offer in Stamford, CT but having grown up in Long Island, I am wary of the isolation of the suburbs. I loved living in Tribeca with kids as while it was cramped compared to London, the schools are good for NY and people are very warm and helpful. It was very easy to get help from local mothers on anything. London is definitely much more challenging. Does anyone have experience of CT? I thought the comments about private vs. public schools was helpful. I agree that UK schools are ahead (at least a year if not more) at the early stages and my daughter wows people in the US when we are back for the summer. That said, because of the different cut off dates, she will have to go ahead by a year when we are back in the US.
Are there mums with experience living in CT who could comment on that?
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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