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Relocating with young Family to LA - Schools, Houses and Areas!

Relocating with young Family to LA - Schools, Houses and Areas!

Old Jul 27th 2016, 4:55 pm
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Default Relocating with young Family to LA - Schools, Houses and Areas!

OK - would appreciate any help at all on this. We are considering relocating to LA with my wife's work and want to get an idea if anyone has done anything similar.

Our children are 8,7 and 2 and the key focus is on finding good schools for the,. We have just come back and have been shown a number of areas by the Relocation team and liked Westlake/Agoura Hills/Calabasas areas and La Canada Flintridge/Pasadena areas. I appreciate both are different, but does anyone have experience of Elementary Schools in these areas and also whether there are likely to be similar expat families living here?

Many thanks in advance.
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Old Jul 27th 2016, 8:34 pm
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Default Re: Relocating with young Family to LA - Schools, Houses and Areas!

I can't help, but have you tried city-data.com? There's a LOT of useful information on that site.
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Old Jul 27th 2016, 10:56 pm
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Default Re: Relocating with young Family to LA - Schools, Houses and Areas!

Yes, I used to live in Calabasas and my kids went to local schools. Ask away.
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Old Jul 28th 2016, 12:00 am
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Default Re: Relocating with young Family to LA - Schools, Houses and Areas!

Originally Posted by Sally Redux View Post
Yes, I used to live in Calabasas and my kids went to local schools. Ask away.
Hello!

I was about to suggest the OP contact you.
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Old Jul 28th 2016, 6:06 am
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Default Re: Relocating with young Family to LA - Schools, Houses and Areas!

Originally Posted by Jerseygirl View Post
Hello!

I was about to suggest the OP contact you.
Hello!
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Old Jul 28th 2016, 9:13 am
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Default Re: Relocating with young Family to LA - Schools, Houses and Areas!

Sally - thanks for posting. I had seen you on various threads before, so was hoping you might come in on this....!

We really like the Calabasas/Westlake/Agoura areas, but had a couple of concerns over how international the community was there and whether it was easy to integrate as a Brit? Also - one of the reasons to choose this area was the schools - they all have very good ratings - do you have any experience of the public schools? We have looked at Private, but they are probably out of our price range at the moment.

Do you have any tips for an arriving family?

Thanks again!

Ed
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Old Jul 28th 2016, 9:30 am
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Default Re: Relocating with young Family to LA - Schools, Houses and Areas!

Originally Posted by eg76 View Post
Sally - thanks for posting. I had seen you on various threads before, so was hoping you might come in on this....!

We really like the Calabasas/Westlake/Agoura areas, but had a couple of concerns over how international the community was there and whether it was easy to integrate as a Brit? Also - one of the reasons to choose this area was the schools - they all have very good ratings - do you have any experience of the public schools? We have looked at Private, but they are probably out of our price range at the moment.

Do you have any tips for an arriving family?

Thanks again!

Ed
Hi. Where is your wife going to be working?

Calabasas is VERY suburban and affluent. Not getting a high-end car on their 16th birthday makes them feel disadvantaged. We moved to Las Virgenes district for schools but you have to weigh that factor in (living in a 'bubble'). My kids went to Lupin Hill, AC Stelle/AE Wright, and Calabasas High. They are under-resourced by British standards but do the job.

Personally I found it hard to integrate. There are some Brits in Thousand Oaks/Newbury Park due to Pharma companies there.

Give me a little more info on your situation and I can tailor the tips.
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Old Jul 28th 2016, 9:38 am
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Default Re: Relocating with young Family to LA - Schools, Houses and Areas!

I can't comment on the schools but we have an office in Pasadena and it's lovely there. A lot of the staff live in Pasadena too and are always saying how nice it is. It's certainly very expensive though!
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Old Jul 28th 2016, 12:01 pm
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Default Re: Relocating with young Family to LA - Schools, Houses and Areas!

Originally Posted by Sally Redux View Post
Hi. Where is your wife going to be working?

Calabasas is VERY suburban and affluent. Not getting a high-end car on their 16th birthday makes them feel disadvantaged. We moved to Las Virgenes district for schools but you have to weigh that factor in (living in a 'bubble'). My kids went to Lupin Hill, AC Stelle/AE Wright, and Calabasas High. They are under-resourced by British standards but do the job.

Personally I found it hard to integrate. There are some Brits in Thousand Oaks/Newbury Park due to Pharma companies there.

Give me a little more info on your situation and I can tailor the tips.
She is going to be working in Burbank. We are aware that the commute isn't ideal from Calabasas area, hence also looking at La Canada/Flintridge area. We have been shown properties in South Pasadena, Studio City and Burbank, but the first two were our preference based on community and cost of houses etc.

When you say under-resourced - how much of an issue is that? Were you happy with the education - were the kids happy? Do you have any experience of the Catholic Private Schools - seem to be cheaper than the larger Private Schools.....

Also - what do you mean by 'living in a bubble'?

Thanks!
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Old Jul 28th 2016, 3:21 pm
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Default Re: Relocating with young Family to LA - Schools, Houses and Areas!

Originally Posted by eg76 View Post
She is going to be working in Burbank. We are aware that the commute isn't ideal from Calabasas area, hence also looking at La Canada/Flintridge area. We have been shown properties in South Pasadena, Studio City and Burbank, but the first two were our preference based on community and cost of houses etc.

When you say under-resourced - how much of an issue is that? Were you happy with the education - were the kids happy? Do you have any experience of the Catholic Private Schools - seem to be cheaper than the larger Private Schools.....

Also - what do you mean by 'living in a bubble'?

Thanks!
You are welcome.

I will ask my husband more about those commutes when he gets in. But I would recommend trying to make the commute as easy as possible because it gets stressful. I think Burbank has its own school district outside LA Unified, which has a poor reputation (not necessarily deserved).

Do you mean ethnicity by community? That gets kind of complicated in the US. Or community spirit?

School resources are an issue I'd say. Constant fund raisers and 'pink slipping' teachers - ie giving them notice to quit just in case the budget doesn't stretch. Very limited 'extras' especially in elementary/middle school - things like music, art, languages. Rigid teaching to test, can be dull. I don't think it's ideal but my kids got an education, my son went on to a good state university and has a job he likes as a graphic designer and my daughter is at university in the UK. High school has the social groups like 'popular' 'nerds' etc which is a little strange to us. There is a lot of emphasis on appearance, although that's probably truer in UK now too. My kids were happy overall. The Calabasas 'bubble' is they are very protected, are driven around, not streetwise, don't see any of the tough side of life, can lack empathy.

My neighbour's kids went to Chaminade. I think it is quite heavy-duty religious or that may have been the family influence. There's also a girl's school called Louisville. What I found was my kids' friends seemed to try private school for a bit and then often move around again. Sorry I don't really know much more about the private schools. Some are definitely not that great, don't teach to the California standards and don't have high requirements for teacher qualifications. There is a chain called Pinecrest which is quite popular but is definitely nothing special apart from being smaller.

Hope I haven't sounded too negative, best to go in with eyes open. Is your wife looking at an ex pat position of a certain duration or open-ended?
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Old Jul 28th 2016, 7:08 pm
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Default Re: Relocating with young Family to LA - Schools, Houses and Areas!

OK he thinks the commute Calabasas to Burbank will be about an hour each way.

We think Pasadena is worth another look as it's a more interesting place. Some Brits at Cal Tech.

Another possibility is Los Feliz.
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Old Jul 29th 2016, 11:25 am
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Default Re: Relocating with young Family to LA - Schools, Houses and Areas!

Perfect - thank you. I think we are probably going to relook at Pasadena. Los Feliz was lovely, just a little out of our price range. We liked La Canada Flintridge area which is just North of Pasadena.

Her position is an open ended one with one of the Studios, so they are pushing hard at the moment. It has a full relocation package, so is quite appealing. Although, there would be the option of coming back in 3-5 years.
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Old Jul 29th 2016, 12:29 pm
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Default Re: Relocating with young Family to LA - Schools, Houses and Areas!

Originally Posted by eg76 View Post
Perfect - thank you. I think we are probably going to relook at Pasadena. Los Feliz was lovely, just a little out of our price range. We liked La Canada Flintridge area which is just North of Pasadena.

Her position is an open ended one with one of the Studios, so they are pushing hard at the moment. It has a full relocation package, so is quite appealing. Although, there would be the option of coming back in 3-5 years.
I don't know La Canada at all I'm afraid.

From what I saw, the people who come on a 3-5 year relocation have the best time, they can enjoy it knowing it doesn't have to be forever.

Best of luck.
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Old Jul 29th 2016, 12:56 pm
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Default Re: Relocating with young Family to LA - Schools, Houses and Areas!

Thank you very much. In your opinion - do you think the commute from Calabasas to Burbank is doable on a long term basis, or just too stressful?
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Old Jul 29th 2016, 2:02 pm
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Default Re: Relocating with young Family to LA - Schools, Houses and Areas!

Originally Posted by eg76 View Post
Thank you very much. In your opinion - do you think the commute from Calabasas to Burbank is doable on a long term basis, or just too stressful?
Oh yes it's doable.
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