Where there is a will, there is a way!

It’s official! After living here for almost 7 years, we decided to take the step forward to re-locate closer to Ashish’s work and the boys school. Our house went on the market for rent or sale as of March 1st! See the video clip here by clicking this link! It was taken off the market as of March 7th! We had three potential “sale” showings and 6 rental showings– all of which applied to rent except for one.

Don’t get me wrong, we L-O-V-E our house, the layout, the yard (even a our special neighbors we are blessed to call friends)…but we are currently spending $600-800/month on gas. We also really like the boys school. Nishad has been attending this same private school since he was 2 1/2 years old. Tiger has been going since he was 22 months old. Both, attending in holistic tradition of 3 hours a day, 5 days a week. Our boys each will have had around 40K of tuition spent on them before they enter first grade. We don’t think of it as an investment in the school, but rather as an investment in our boys. Next year we will have two separate pick up times because of Nishad’s K year. There is no way I can keep a sane household with 2 pick-ups, each 30 miles away. Something had to happen…

The boys education/school and family time is something that Ashish and I will not compromise on. We feel very strongly about education and refuse to subject them to anything less than an exceptional experience. Of course, on one income (being that I don’t “work” outside the home– though I am more busy now than I ever was “working”) we have made a lot of sacrifices– ALL worth it in the name of our boys education. I’d do everything again in a heartbeat. Our decision has less to do about what others think and everything to do about what is the right decision for our family. So, with that in mind we are in a unique position that we feel blessed to be in. We decided to pin-point the exact school we would like our boys to go to, and then zero in on purchasing a 2nd home in that location. Our other option would be to continue private school until we moved into the identified boundary of the school. Luckily, after an over-whelming response in rent applications, we were able to screen, and hand select what we feel is to be a wonderful family to lease our home. Everything has come together so very quickly!

We started touring schools and interviewing principals at potential schools in the Wayzata District and Edina School District about 2 weeks ago. It was my understanding that even in the ‘best’ school districts, not all schools are created equally. This held to be very true with Wayzata– However, it was not the case with Edina.

Ashish and I visited every school together. I viewed these schools as someone who has an education background, potential community member and most importantly…a parent. It took me 15 tours to find the right pre-school, why should elementary school be any less? If you’re a parent that is starting your search for your child’s school, or you simply want to see how your school rates, click here.

EDINDA. “A Community Commitment to public education can make anything possible.” There is not a school that you can go wrong with in Edina. They seriously are on par with many schools in the private sector- if not surpass them. This of course is why you can buy a shoebox size house with two bedrooms between 275K-480K (even in todays market!). Their schools are top notch and as our agent validated, it is simply what justifies and maintains the home prices. Another BIG plus is that they don’t bus their kids to other neighborhood schools. In addition, ONLY Edina residents can attend their schools. They truly are the last of the small community/neighborhood schools.

Again, you can’t go wrong with any of the Edina schools. However, if I had to pick a favorite it would have to be Highlands! The great small community feel upon pulling up to the school, warmed my heart. Classrooms are free of clutter and there are huge windows that allow for lots of natural light into the classrooms. They have an edible garden that kids tend to year round (even during the summer). They harvest veggies and fruit and bring them into the school to eat. They start everything from seedlings and maintain it. They were also awarded a huge grant to develop an outdoor science learning lab/environment. Spanish begins at 3rd grade, with the option to begin at 1st in a enrichment program. Highlands is a K-5 school with 550 students. They have a Continuous Progress Program (CP) and Discovery Program. The CP program is a looping program with multi-aged classrooms. The discovery program is where children have the same teacher for 1-2 grade, 3-4 grades, and 5th. They are big on cooperative learning, choice theory and conflict resolution. The school is an IT Directors (a-hem) dream. Yet they balance all the gadgets and gizmo’s with the arts. They have the vision and led by example. With some of the most AMAZING principals I’ve ever encountered, and a staff that is a breath of fresh air and a strong parent base, we can actually envision Nishad walking through the front door NOW. We loved that Highlands was so confident with their school and students that we had a student led tour piror to meeting with the principal. It definitely added to our visit to listen to the perspective of an actual student. When Edina states, “Defining Excellence,” they mean it.

WAYZATA. After touring virtually all the schools in this district (which Wayzata, Medina, Medicine Lake, Corcoran, Plymouth, Maple Grove, Minnetonka and Orono all filter into this district), we feel that there is one stand out school: Greenwood Elementary! While this district is really starting to feel the affects of a population explosion (many places are only accepting open enrollment on a very limited means– open enrollment is part of the reason why this district became a strong district), Greenwood is holding strong. The school is open with lots of natural light, clean, free of distracting clutter in classrooms with a phenomenal staff (one REALLY, REALLY phenomenal one that I’m lucky to call my friend) and great principal. Another school with a lot of parent involvement (we ran into a fellow Montessori Parent that open enrolled their 1st grader here- small world!). They have the most impressive computer labs, and up to date teaching tools… Lots of interaction and laughter…and such a laid back atmosphere! You get the impression that everyone loves to hang out here– parents, staff and students alike. While other school boundaries in Plymouth have began busing neighborhood kids to different schools due to space restraints, Greenwood hasn’t. In fact, there are builders that are putting up houses directly in Greenwood’s boundary because the school is an obvious and unique prize. Homes are a lot more affordable in the Wayzata district, which is attractive to many people. We would easily be able to purchase a house similar to ours in this boundary. That alone is motivation, right?

DECISIONS. We’re lucky though. We’re lucky to be blessed to be able to make such decisions. A lot of changes are headed our way. We’ll probably rent until we find “the house.” We’re okay with that too. We’re excited to test out a new neighborhood and see if it’s a fit. Or, at least be closer to the boys school for the year before we move into a house. I can’t help but feel that someone “up there” has had a special hand in watching out for us and helping things happen. What a ride it will be! T-minus 6 weeks!!