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Moving to the Bay area - need help with public school minefield!

Moving to the Bay area - need help with public school minefield!

Old Aug 2nd 2023, 10:15 pm
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Default Moving to the Bay area - need help with public school minefield!

My husband has just had his visa approved for us to move to SF. We have 8 and 10 year old boys who both have ADHD. They are currently at a prep school in the UK but we can't afford SF private school prices. My husband will need to travel to Burlingame most days for work. Unfortunately he will not get any help with relocation fees etc so we need to do it all on our own. I have had a look on the Great Schools website but it is just a mine field and l am becoming very overwhelmed! My 10 year old is bright and does well at school. My 8 year old needs lots of help - often he has someone sitting with him for maths and english to help him focus, hates writing etc. He is a year or two behind where he needs to be. Ideally l would like a school that is K-8 as l think it will help if they are together. Also we will likely move in October time and so my eldest won't even get a year at Elementary and l feel it will be very hard for him to settle and will then have to move again. I figure once l have found a school we look at rentals which is my next battle! Any advice would be most appreciated
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Old Aug 3rd 2023, 12:29 am
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Default Re: Moving to the Bay area - need help with public school minefield!

Originally Posted by Bellybratz
My husband has just had his visa approved for us to move to SF. We have 8 and 10 year old boys who both have ADHD. They are currently at a prep school in the UK but we can't afford SF private school prices. My husband will need to travel to Burlingame most days for work. Unfortunately he will not get any help with relocation fees etc so we need to do it all on our own. I have had a look on the Great Schools website but it is just a mine field and l am becoming very overwhelmed! My 10 year old is bright and does well at school. My 8 year old needs lots of help - often he has someone sitting with him for maths and english to help him focus, hates writing etc. He is a year or two behind where he needs to be. Ideally l would like a school that is K-8 as l think it will help if they are together. Also we will likely move in October time and so my eldest won't even get a year at Elementary and l feel it will be very hard for him to settle and will then have to move again. I figure once l have found a school we look at rentals which is my next battle! Any advice would be most appreciated
This is a worry. Some relocation assistance would be the bare minimum you should expect for an international move. Are they upping your husbands salary to reflect the move?
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Old Aug 3rd 2023, 12:58 am
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Default Re: Moving to the Bay area - need help with public school minefield!

There a lot of threads on this type of move/worries. Let me reiterate that I hope the salary is significant for SF and relocation assistance is provided. Is it?
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Old Aug 3rd 2023, 3:54 am
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Default Re: Moving to the Bay area - need help with public school minefield!

Originally Posted by Bellybratz
My husband has just had his visa approved for us to move to SF. We have 8 and 10 year old boys who both have ADHD. They are currently at a prep school in the UK but we can't afford SF private school prices. My husband will need to travel to Burlingame most days for work. Unfortunately he will not get any help with relocation fees etc so we need to do it all on our own. I have had a look on the Great Schools website but it is just a mine field and l am becoming very overwhelmed! My 10 year old is bright and does well at school. My 8 year old needs lots of help - often he has someone sitting with him for maths and english to help him focus, hates writing etc. He is a year or two behind where he needs to be. Ideally l would like a school that is K-8 as l think it will help if they are together. Also we will likely move in October time and so my eldest won't even get a year at Elementary and l feel it will be very hard for him to settle and will then have to move again. I figure once l have found a school we look at rentals which is my next battle! Any advice would be most appreciated
If it’s anything like CT in CA which school your children go to will depend on where you live (rent/buy), here it’s mostly funded by town property tax. I know they have support like you describe above at the schools in our town, but a less well funded town/school district may not have services that are as well funded. So you are on the right track to find the school you need and work back to a rental…. Your landlord will pay the property tax on the house, but it will be passed through to you in the rent… and it can vary greatly, in our town it can go from $6k a year for a condo to $40k a year for a bigger house on a few acres…

There lots not threads on here you should read. Moving without family support (in the area) or company support financially does not sound ideal… at a minimum I would insist on them to pay for repatriation if the job gets terminated by them. Many states are employment at will so you could move and be terminated with no notice leaving you to pay the balance of a rental/car lease and leave the US within a matter of weeks. Hopefully it never happens but it’s important to understand the risks.

Also if you are budgeting on your working as well make sure the visa you will get supports that… an L2S does, an H4 won’t etc…
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Old Aug 3rd 2023, 4:54 am
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Default Re: Moving to the Bay area - need help with public school minefield!

SF is insanely expensive in every facet. First thing I would do is evaluate whether the move is really worth it. Having no relo compensation is going to set you back from Day 1.
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Old Aug 3rd 2023, 6:58 am
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Default Re: Moving to the Bay area - need help with public school minefield!

Originally Posted by neill
SF is insanely expensive in every facet. First thing I would do is evaluate whether the move is really worth it. Having no relo compensation is going to set you back from Day 1.
Yes, I would suggest that the OP firstly evaluates whether a move is even viable on acceptable terms for the family. It may be that the monthly income may be insufficient to rent a home in an area with good schools.

Personally, I am sceptical that there is a good balance of housing, schools, and commute time* to be found unless the gross household income is at least $400k, which will give net income of around $19½k/ mth, of which half could easily go on rent. So I would say, alongside researching schools, look at zillow.com and see if there are homes to rent in the areas you're looking at to see if there are apartments available at a price you can afford.

* Rush hour congestion is notoriously horrific in thr SF metro area, so that is a factor that must be taken into account to avoid multi-hour commute times.

Last edited by Pulaski; Aug 3rd 2023 at 8:34 am.
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Old Aug 3rd 2023, 8:05 am
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Default Re: Moving to the Bay area - need help with public school minefield!

Originally Posted by Pulaski
Yes, I would suggest that the OP firstly evaluates whether a move is even viable on acceptable terms for the family. It may be that the monthly income may be insufficient to rent a home in an area with good schools.

Personally, I am sceptical that there is a good balance of housing, schools, and commute time* to be found unless the gross household income is at least $400k, which will give net income of around $19½k/ mth, of which half could easily go on rent. So I would say. alongside researching schools, look at zillow.com and see if there are homes to rent in the areas you're looking at to see if there are apartments available at a price you can afford.

* Rush hour congestion is notoriously horrific in thr SF metro area, so that is a factor that must be taken into account to avoid multi-hour commute times.
I was trying to come up with a number that would lead to a modest lifestyle based on OP post, and was trying to make that number start with a 2. Unfortunately on reflection, a 4 is probably more suitable.
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Old Aug 3rd 2023, 8:40 am
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Default Re: Moving to the Bay area - need help with public school minefield!

Originally Posted by PetrifiedExPat
I was trying to come up with a number that would lead to a modest lifestyle based on OP post, and was trying to make that number start with a 2. Unfortunately on reflection, a 4 is probably more suitable.
I wouldn't consider moving to NY metro as a couple, without gross income at a minimum, in the high $200'ks, and SF metro is significantly more expensive, plus adding 2 kids, is going to take most people upto the $400k+ range, and for me to give up what I have in NC, to move to SF, would take at least $600k-$700k before I'd seriously consider a move there.
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Old Aug 3rd 2023, 8:45 am
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Default Re: Moving to the Bay area - need help with public school minefield!

Originally Posted by Pulaski
I wouldn't consider moving to NY metro as a couple, without gross income at a minimum, in the high $200'ks, and SF metro is significantly more expensive, plus adding 2 kids, is going to take most people upto the $400k+ range, and for me to give up what I have in NC, to move to SF, would take at least $600k-$700k before I'd seriously consider a move there.
CA for us has a bar of 500k, but again, on reflection and time has moved on since we (me and wife, not you Pulsaki ROFL) last discussed it (~6 years ago), 6-700 again probably more reasonable (for what I would want out of the move). Shockingly high amounts considering most of it will go out of the door every first of the month
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Old Aug 3rd 2023, 8:52 am
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Default Re: Moving to the Bay area - need help with public school minefield!

I just checked Zillow, forget that, we are talking 7 figures annual income plus, otherwise its Oakland plus traffic (ewwwww)
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Old Aug 3rd 2023, 10:42 am
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Default Re: Moving to the Bay area - need help with public school minefield!

Originally Posted by PetrifiedExPat
I just checked Zillow, forget that, we are talking 7 figures annual income plus, ....
I'm not surprised. I worked with a woman who lived alone in a one-bed apartment and was paying $5,000/mth in rent, and that was 11 years ago. So $100,000 of her gross annual income was going in rent.
.....
otherwise its Oakland plus traffic (ewwwww)
I knew some people who worked in Oakland, and from everything I have heard, its a dump, and that is bring charitable.
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Old Aug 3rd 2023, 10:46 am
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Default Re: Moving to the Bay area - need help with public school minefield!

Originally Posted by Pulaski
Yes, I would suggest that the OP firstly evaluates whether a move is even viable on acceptable terms for the family. It may be that the monthly income may be insufficient to rent a home in an area with good schools.

Personally, I am sceptical that there is a good balance of housing, schools, and commute time* to be found unless the gross household income is at least $400k, which will give net income of around $19½k/ mth, of which half could easily go on rent. So I would say, alongside researching schools, look at zillow.com and see if there are homes to rent in the areas you're looking at to see if there are apartments available at a price you can afford.

* Rush hour congestion is notoriously horrific in thr SF metro area, so that is a factor that must be taken into account to avoid multi-hour commute times.
Burlingame is on the Caltrain line from SF to SJ. So it's possible that the job is commutable without driving. And, unless the OP is set on SF itself, there's the option of living nearer to the job than SF.

Having said that, I would also be extremely leery of moving to anywhere in the Bay Area without a significant relocation package in place, especially as there are going to be children in tow.
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Old Aug 3rd 2023, 11:31 am
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Default Re: Moving to the Bay area - need help with public school minefield!

To the OP look at: https://www.greatschools.org/california/burlingame/

I think K-5 then middle school and then Highschool is more usual.

Out of interest I looked up our school district, the annual budget is $210m and we have around 9,500 students total… that means the average spend per is over $22k per student a year….

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Old Aug 3rd 2023, 9:30 pm
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Default Re: Moving to the Bay area - need help with public school minefield!

He wasn't asked to move to SF, it was our decision. He will get a bump in salary but we are not expecting anything else. We have known this all along though
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Old Aug 3rd 2023, 9:39 pm
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Default Re: Moving to the Bay area - need help with public school minefield!

Thanks everyone. Realised l put SF and wasn't more specific. We don't want to live in SF itself, we are looking at the south bay area. I was thinking Santa Clara, Palo Alto or San Mateo could work? Unfortunately I won't be able to work on his visa. We know moving will be a financial hit. Are those areas reasonable places to look for decent elementary schools and property? You seem to be able to get a half decent 3 bed house for $6000/month which ideally is our max budget for somewhere
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