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Re: Jersey City Heights: School Recommendations?

I live in the Heights and seem to be almost the only parent on my street sending my child to the local public school (PS #28). As the previous poster said, the teacher makes all the difference. My son is in K, his PreK teacher last year was excellent. The principal of the school is also great. His teacher in K is "meh" and she is the 3rd K teacher he has had THIS year (they decided to add another K class after the school year started, so randomly took him out of his original class, then had a temp, then had his now permanent teacher) so we are not too happy with the situation.

If you have young children, the best "Abbott" program is Concordia Learning Center on Summit Ave (at St. Joseph's school) but they are only for PreK3. Park Prep Academy on Central is a private preschool on Central Ave that a lot of parents are happy with (Montessori-ish style). If you have a child who might have behavioral issues (like say, 1/2 of all 3 year old boys) I would not recommend it, but if you have a child not likely to have behavioral problems, it is good. I also know parents who have younger children at Mustard Seed School in Hoboken, and are happy with that, and others had their children at the Jewish preschool also in Hoboken, can't remember the name (we looked into it, we are not Jewish--you can attend if you're not Jewish but they definitely are a Jewish preschool--take off/celebrate Jewish holidays, etc.--we just thought it would be too confusing for our son)

For next year I am applying (again) for the lottery for Learning Community Charter School, which is near St. Peter's College. Several children on my street go there and everyone seems to love it, but as a result it is very hard to get in (there is a simple lottery system for admission). Also, obviously you need to deal with the transportation but should be able to arrange carpool and I think there is a bus. They are PreK-8th grade. There is a lottery for PreK and K, older than that the kid will automatically be on the waiting list in some order (also figured out by lottery). We are also applying (again) for Ethical Community Charter school.

Another option is Hoboken Catholic in Hoboken. It is very close to the light rail and I know some parents in the area who send their children there. There are also some charter schools in Hoboken (Hoboken Charter, Elysian Charter) but it is almost impossible to get in as a non-resident.

I have not really heard much about Liberty Academy Charter, or St. Nicholas parochial, but those are other options.

Honestly we are thinking of moving out of the area partly because of the schools :(.

Posted on: 2011/12/9 15:38

Re: JC Elementary Schools

My son will be starting Pre-K at PS 28 (Christa McAuliffe school) in a couple of weeks, which is the school we are zoned for--I admit to being a little nervous about it, the school report card grades are quite low. When I told my neighbors he would be attending there, the reaction was kind of like uh--really? Most of the school-age children in our area that I know have gotten lucky enough to "win" the lottery for Learning Community Charter School, or they go to Hoboken Catholic, which is walking distance from me (via the light rail elevator). Honestly I am planning to enter lotteries for Learning Community and Ethical Community charters for K (those schools don't offer Pre-K) and hoping PS-28 is a 1 year thing, but who knows, maybe I'll be pleasantly surprised.

Posted on: 2010/8/26 17:58

Re: Pools in J.C.

I've just started my kids swimming at the YMCA program in Hoboken. (13th & Washington)

The cost is $90 for a 1-year membership, which allows the kid to sign up for any program there throughout the year; and then $80 for the swim class (I think there are about 8-sessions per class)

I thought this was kind of pricy given my kids' ages (mom or dad is basically carrying them around the pool at this point), but they offer swim classes for all ages, all throughout the year, at various times, and also have other activities for kids (soccer, basketball, dance, etc), so the convenience and range of activity was a draw; we live in the Heights and have a car so the location is convenientt--would be less so for downtown/JSQ etc.

Posted on: 2010/1/28 16:58

Re: Wave of gentrification that leapfrogged the Hudson has reached new heights - Jersey City Heights

I have not been on the site for awhile--but felt the need to post since the couple featured in the article are my neighbors! We both moved onto Ogden Ave about 1 month apart in 2004.

I will say I am kind of surprised to see a "gentrification" story about the heights now. I think we felt it was gentrifying 5 years ago--when we moved in--the Congress St. Light Rail station opened about the same time, and a lot of houses near me were bought by young professionals. Since then, I think progress has been slow, and I'm not sure Ogden is the appropriate street to use for a general article about the neighborhood--I think by heights standards it is regarded as one of the nicest and most stable streets, with lots of owner-occupants, and has been that way for a long time (I have several neighbors who worked as professionals in Manhattan for 20-30 years and lived in the Heights the whole time)--but I generally agree that transportation to Manhattan, while available, can be a chore, and the Heights is quiet and doesn't have a whole lot of restaurants you actually want to eat in (take-out is good, but no ambiance)--so I think that limits gentrification somewhat--we go downtown or to Hoboken (or Manhattan) if we want to go out, but since we have kids, we don't go out much anymore anyway!

I think also the Heights is feeling the real estate woes right now?houses that would have gone for much more in 2006 or so are sitting on the market for awhile?a lot of the stuff for sale needs renovation, which in a slow real estate market, buyers may feel they do not need to invest in. Most of the people I know who moved in came partly because they were priced out of Hoboken/wanted more space (lots of people with young families)--we wanted 3 bedrooms and could not afford it in Hoboken or Downtown JC. But I think now, while still expensive, the rates have not continued to climb so much in those areas, so people are staying, not moving to the Heights. A year after we bought our Ogden row house, our friend who is a realtor told me I could get $140-$150K more than what we paid for it. Now, the house has appraised (we did a re-fi) for only $40K more than what we paid 5 years ago--I suppose I should be happy the value increased at all, but part of the reason you move to an "up-and-coming" area is because you expect it to--come up! And the lack of a historic designation of some type bothers me. I don't think I can ever own a house with vinyl siding after seeing its let's say "creative" use on 100-plus year old homes here that could be so beautiful. And the few open lots on Ogden have had those awful two-families with the garage underneath built on them--Ugh! And despite the ?gentrification? I still see drug-paraphernalia garbage in Fisk park, and saw a rooster (a rooster!) walking along Frankin near Palisade. And outside of Ogden and a few other streets, the streetscapes can be really unattractive.
I will say it is a unique experience living in the Heights?I live on a cliff in a 100-year old house with a panoramic view of Manhattan, and not many people can say that. Most people come find the house very ?cool?.

Posted on: 2009/11/24 16:33

Re: Someone hit my parked car for the 2nd time in 4 years.......

Sorry, I can sympathize.

Bought new car last May (always a bad idea to buy new when you park in the street, I guess). Has been hit twice in the last year, parked on what is supposed to be a nice, residential street. First time was just significant paint scraped off the bumper, we didn't even file anything, figured we would eventually shell out the $$ to paint it if we moved somewhere where we had an actual parking space/driveway.

2nd time was discovered this morning, a big chunk of the front bumper ripped off (and it wasn't even on the ground, don't know where it went), the rest cracked and all scraped up. No note. Sigh, I'm going to have to reduce my deductible, literally thousands of $$ spent on car repairs in the past few years due to being parked in the street (Our previous car was stolen and various parts removed/got a huge dent in the door where someone hit it while it was parked (no note)/broken into and had the headlights torn out/in addition to the usual dents and dings)

Maybe I should expect the thefts but on this street, most of the people who park (looks like damage happened when someone tried to pull forward into a parallel parking spot) are either my neighbors or friends of my neigbors. C'mon, you see me and my car all the time, you can't leave a note?

Posted on: 2009/8/21 15:54

Re: Jersey City Heights - Which is a good Toddler Day Care?

I have not heard anything about the other centers but I have heard that Baby Einstein on Webster is good. I took my son there a while back(around 9 mos. old) for a couple of days of back-up care when my nanny was unexpectedly away, on the recommendation of a neighbor whose friend's child attended there full time. It was fine, the caregivers seemed very attentive and my son happy.

I see the kids from Happy Face at Fiske Park quite often, I think they go there most days. These are slightly kids though (maybe from the Abbott 3 year old program) but the teachers seem responsible, although the ratio of kids to teachers seems a little high to me.

Park Prep Academy is a preschool on Central Ave and they take children at 21/2 years of age (you can arrange to have half-day or full-day care and differing numbers of days per week). So that would be a good option in a year if you are still less than thrilled with your day care.

Posted on: 2009/7/27 18:03

Re: Why Stay in Jersey City?

For the OP,

I live in the Heights and though there isn't much going on in the evening, if you live reasonably close to the light-rail elevator you can walk into Hoboken and there are a decent # of restaurants and bars open quite late (I think last call is at 3). Or of course you can take the light-rail or a bus downtown.

As far as friendliness of neighbors, that must be different depending on where you are. My neighbor here really did bring me some homemade cookies when we moved in! I know quite a few of my neighbors and we socialize fairly frequently. Having kids does make this easier but our neighbors (and we) were quite friendly before we had kids.

Don't know Astoria well but certainly you get a lot more for your money in Heights vs. Greenpointe, plus no city tax. I second other posters' opinions that if you don't need more space for less money, which is really the advantage of the Heights, you try Downtown JC.

Posted on: 2009/7/27 17:48

Re: Play and Learn School in J. City

I am also looking for Nursery School options for my son who will be 3 in Sept. I am trying to find a decent Abbott program because the $$ for private school may be prohibitive (my neighbor by the way had her son in Garden Preschool Cooperative and highly recommends it). I live in the Heights and am looking at Parkside Preschool and St. John's Nursery School (both Abbott programs, both in Heights). If anyone has any opinions on these or any other programs (including Play and Learn School) I would really appreciate it! Thanks!

Posted on: 2009/1/12 20:24

Re: JC Heights - Safety?

I don't know too much about the quality of the public schools, but it seems like most of my neigbors (many are fairly recent transplants from Hoboken) have their kids (elementary school age) in some kind of private or charter school in Hoboken (I THINK JC kids can go to the Hoboken charter schools--someone correct me if I'm wrong). I think this is mostly a perception of the quality of the heights public schools rather than actual knowledge of how good or bad they are. By the same token, the few younger kids I know are in daycares in downtown JC or Hoboken, not the daycares in the heights, even though those may be fine for all I know.

If these families stay in the area until their kids reach high-school age, I think they are hoping for McNair, otherwise they will put the kid in a private or parochial school . . .

Posted on: 2007/2/23 15:10

Re: JC Heights - Safety?

It is block-by-block but you should be fine pretty much anywhere in the heights during the day.

I live in the heights and also have a young baby--when I was on maternity leave I walked to Central Ave. often (I live on Ogden) and never had any problems--except women would stop and ask how much my stroller cost! (It was one of the more expensive-type ones). Now I'm back at work and my nanny goes out every day around the heights.

Welcome to the neighborhood--hope you decided to uphold the contract. It is nice to hear about new moms in the heights--there are a lot of parents on my street but many of their kids are school-age.

Posted on: 2007/2/22 19:46




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