School places in New Jersey?

(13 Posts)
Mummysaysno Sun 16-Jun-13 11:54:46

Officially we have 12 months left on our current posting, and starting to plan what/where next.
We've previously lived in NYC so I'd be happy to end up there, but that was when our children were too little for school..this time we would need to find three school places for 'primary school' aged children.
This is the main thing putting me off...have no clue about the school system in New Jersey...for public schools how does applying work? What about private schools? Where could I find out more?

Thanks!!

Mummysaysno Sun 16-Jun-13 11:57:55

Ps the move could be done as a local contract with the aim of settling permanently. We may be able to negotiate a school consultant, but no guarantee!

Sasso Sun 16-Jun-13 19:44:57

The set-up in most NJ towns is that the house you buy or rent will be in the catchment area of a particular elementary, middle and high school. So if, for example, you live in the town of Summit, NJ, your house will have an assigned school which must offer your kids a place, whether or not they have space (and believe me, they often don't but are still obliged to squash them in).

Montclair has a magnet school system where you can choose the school with the speciality that best suits your child and there is at least an element of choice. However, if you join late you will be assigned the school with space which could be the other side of town although they will bus them.

All the schools in the affluent NJ commuter belt offer pretty much the same high education standards and most people are happy with them, meaning private schools are very much for the minority and can be fiercely elitist and bogglingly expensive.

Sasso Sun 16-Jun-13 19:48:18

On another thread Flipfantasia recommended www.schooldigger.com for more info on schools

Mummysaysno Mon 17-Jun-13 00:47:41

Great...super helpful and reassuring!

Want2bSupermum Wed 19-Jun-13 16:26:59

School wise be careful if you child is gifted or has other SEN. Union county (Summit, Westfield and Cranford are popular commuter towns) have a good G&T program. Essex county is a mixed bag, South Orange/Maplewood is not great for G&T while Millburn and Livingston are regarded as better. Madison, New Providence and Morristown area is well regarded too but the commute is a schlep and a half to NYC. The towns that deal well with G&T children tend to also handle dyslexia well according to the three teachers I have spoken with (teach in Summit, Millburn and South Orange).

For private schools you have a couple of good ones in Hoboken and Jersey City and schools like Far Brook in Short Hills, and Oak Knoll in Summit (coed K-6 and girls only 7-12). The irony is that in the better towns you have access to great public schools so don't really need to go private to get a good education.

Want2bSupermum Wed 19-Jun-13 16:29:10

BTW - Short Hills is part of Millburn but way more expensive for housing compared to Millburn.

Bergen county has some excellent schools. Saddle River and the surrounding areas have great school systems. The commute just doesn't work for us so I have not researched this area in as much depth.

Mummysaysno Thu 20-Jun-13 00:32:04

Thank you...great detail!

CoolStoryBro Thu 20-Jun-13 00:37:10

Saddle River, Ramsay and Mahwah have great schools too. In fact, Bergen County has loads of great schools and has the benefit of not being quite so filled with British expats as Summit, Short Hills, etc. I personally prefer that, but its all down to individual choice.

Want2bSupermum Thu 20-Jun-13 01:49:50

The only problem with Bergen county is the commute to Manhattan. I also strongly prefer the train and living in a town with good walkability. However taking the bus is starting to grow on me as NJ Transit keeps reducing the trains stopping in South Orange. I think I am one of the very few who would pick Millburn over Short Hills. I hate having to always get into the car. That is probably why there are many more Europeans in Summit, Morristown, SoMa and Millburn.

Mummysaysno Thu 20-Jun-13 04:40:53

Really appreciate the replies...will be discussing with DH!!

Kungfutea Tue 25-Jun-13 03:21:44

West Windsor is supposed to have one of the best school districts and has express trains to NYC (from Princeton Junction).

Kungfutea Tue 25-Jun-13 03:23:41

Is there a reason why NJ? And do you know where? It's not such a small state! Do you need to commute to Philly or NYC or somewhere in NJ itself?

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