Parenting & Family

Good elementary schools in Dartmouth

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  • Feb 22nd, 2019 2:01 am
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[OP]
Sr. Member
Aug 10, 2008
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Good elementary schools in Dartmouth

We will be moving to the Dartmouth area later this year and we are looking for recommendations regarding elementary schools in that area. If you know any good websites that have reviews it would be much appreciated as well.
16 replies
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Nov 13, 2013
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I don’t think there’s a ranking site in NS. Best schools of course track income so are concentrated in Peninsular Halifax. If you are focused only on Dartmouth I know Colby Village has a good reputation.
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Aug 22, 2011
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Do you know what schools are in your zone?
[OP]
Sr. Member
Aug 10, 2008
540 posts
147 upvotes
vkizzle wrote:
Feb 4th, 2019 9:13 am
Do you know what schools are in your zone?
No we are not there yet just plan on buying house and moving there. Hence we wanted to know which is the best areas to concentrate.
[OP]
Sr. Member
Aug 10, 2008
540 posts
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fogetmylogin wrote:
Feb 3rd, 2019 8:59 am
I don’t think there’s a ranking site in NS. Best schools of course track income so are concentrated in Peninsular Halifax. If you are focused only on Dartmouth I know Colby Village has a good reputation.
Thanks it makes sense. Yes we are focusing on Dartmouth real estate only for now.
Good to know about Colby village.
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Aug 22, 2011
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Xstian wrote:
Feb 4th, 2019 1:30 pm
No we are not there yet just plan on buying house and moving there. Hence we wanted to know which is the best areas to concentrate.
We used Fraser Institute to check out school rankings.
[OP]
Sr. Member
Aug 10, 2008
540 posts
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vkizzle wrote:
Feb 4th, 2019 1:45 pm
We used Fraser Institute to check out school rankings.
Unfortunately, they are not applicable for schools in NS,NS NFLD etc.
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Xstian wrote:
Feb 4th, 2019 1:32 pm
Thanks it makes sense. Yes we are focusing on Dartmouth real estate only for now.
Good to know about Colby village.
I guess your job will be in Dartmouth. I would still consider living in Halifax and doing the reverse commute. Nothing wrong with Dartmouth but why not move to Halifax itself and if you are moving from BC/AB/ON Real Estate will seem cheap regardless. Bedford is another suburban option and an easy commute to Dartmouth.
Member
Dec 31, 2007
400 posts
102 upvotes
if you are going to live in dartmouth for a long time and your kids will go from elementary to junior high to high school, i would focus on living where the junior high and high schools are. there are 4 high schools in dartmouth, dartmouth high, prince andrew high, auburn high, and cole harbor high.

even though sidney crosby grew up in cole harbor but didn't go to cole harbor high. i wouldn't send my kids there. it's probably different now, but cole harbor high has had it's share of student tension due to the communities that feed their kids into it (eastern passage, colby village and xxxxx). those communities have different demographics and it led to some school fights in the last 10 to 30 years. i don't think much would have changed.

prince andrew is a IB school, i think and should be decent for academics and sports. prince andrew's feeder schools come from middle class older neighborhoods like westphal and woodlawn. its feeder schools include caledonia jh and ellenvale jh. both decent schools. some of the elementary schools are located within sight distance of the junior high schools which is a bonus.

dartmouth high is the oldest school and it's feeder schools come from the older parts of dartmouth and downtown. i can't recall what the feeder schools for dartmouth high are.

i would rank prince andrew and dartmouth high about equal. i'd stay away from cole harbor high. the housing in the colby village area is newer so that's about as much as i can about that. can't say much about auburn, but it looks like it's located in forest hills, which i recall is newer which is good. but for me that would be a no go due to the same reasons as cole harbor high.

dartmouth is really cheap for housing compared to halifax. you can buy a bungalow for 200k, but it'll have it share of problems. look for a renovated home which may run you 250k to 350k. decent places in halifax may run up to 300k and up. from a recent scan of older bungalows in dartmouth, not much has changed. just watch out for sewage issue due to the age of the infrastructure. the westphal and woodlawn area houses probably go back to the 50's and 60's. if you are with the armed forces, the brightwood area is close to the downtown are and just a short drive to halifax, shearwater and bedford. i personally would stay away from the waterfront area and be up in manor park or crighton park area if you want to be closer to dartmouth high. dartmouth is a pretty decent bedroom city,
[OP]
Sr. Member
Aug 10, 2008
540 posts
147 upvotes
fogetmylogin wrote:
Feb 8th, 2019 5:26 am
I guess your job will be in Dartmouth. I would still consider living in Halifax and doing the reverse commute. Nothing wrong with Dartmouth but why not move to Halifax itself and if you are moving from BC/AB/ON Real Estate will seem cheap regardless. Bedford is another suburban option and an easy commute to Dartmouth.
Yes we are moving from AB but the prices are still higher in Halifax compared to Dartmouth and also lots of time would be wasted just for commuting. So we decided that Dartmouth would be a good option.
[OP]
Sr. Member
Aug 10, 2008
540 posts
147 upvotes
gladiator1942 wrote:
Feb 8th, 2019 11:46 am
if you are going to live in dartmouth for a long time and your kids will go from elementary to junior high to high school, i would focus on living where the junior high and high schools are. there are 4 high schools in dartmouth, dartmouth high, prince andrew high, auburn high, and cole harbor high.

even though sidney crosby grew up in cole harbor but didn't go to cole harbor high. i wouldn't send my kids there. it's probably different now, but cole harbor high has had it's share of student tension due to the communities that feed their kids into it (eastern passage, colby village and xxxxx). those communities have different demographics and it led to some school fights in the last 10 to 30 years. i don't think much would have changed.

prince andrew is a IB school, i think and should be decent for academics and sports. prince andrew's feeder schools come from middle class older neighborhoods like westphal and woodlawn. its feeder schools include caledonia jh and ellenvale jh. both decent schools. some of the elementary schools are located within sight distance of the junior high schools which is a bonus.

dartmouth high is the oldest school and it's feeder schools come from the older parts of dartmouth and downtown. i can't recall what the feeder schools for dartmouth high are.

i would rank prince andrew and dartmouth high about equal. i'd stay away from cole harbor high. the housing in the colby village area is newer so that's about as much as i can about that. can't say much about auburn, but it looks like it's located in forest hills, which i recall is newer which is good. but for me that would be a no go due to the same reasons as cole harbor high.

dartmouth is really cheap for housing compared to halifax. you can buy a bungalow for 200k, but it'll have it share of problems. look for a renovated home which may run you 250k to 350k. decent places in halifax may run up to 300k and up. from a recent scan of older bungalows in dartmouth, not much has changed. just watch out for sewage issue due to the age of the infrastructure. the westphal and woodlawn area houses probably go back to the 50's and 60's. if you are with the armed forces, the brightwood area is close to the downtown are and just a short drive to halifax, shearwater and bedford. i personally would stay away from the waterfront area and be up in manor park or crighton park area if you want to be closer to dartmouth high. dartmouth is a pretty decent bedroom city,
Thanks a lot for the valuable post.You did provide us lots of information that we would not find otherwise. Yes based on your post we are looking for houses in the Portland estates area.
The fact that Dartmouth is cheaper for houses makes it worth living there and my work is in the Dartmouth area. Unfortunately not in the armed forces though.
Member
Dec 31, 2007
400 posts
102 upvotes
Xstian wrote:
Feb 10th, 2019 11:29 pm
Thanks a lot for the valuable post.You did provide us lots of information that we would not find otherwise. Yes based on your post we are looking for houses in the Portland estates area.
The fact that Dartmouth is cheaper for houses makes it worth living there and my work is in the Dartmouth area. Unfortunately not in the armed forces though.
portland estates is relatively newer, and just across the road from the woodlawn area. i'd say most of the houses were built back in the 80's and 90's. just looking at the map, i would say the high school would be prince andrew, but you should still double check. not sure of the elementary schools and junior high schools cause i left around the time portland estates was being developed. you'll find NS is fairly friendly and nice place to live.

not saying cole harbor high or auburn high is bad, but there are some communities along the 107 that will feed their kids into those schools. that part of dartmouth is perfectly fine for living, but for schooling, when they bus in kids from 3 or different communities, there will be some "issues". dartmouth high and prince andrew high doesn't really have that problems since most of the kids come from the local neighborhoods.

as for houses, a lot of the older houses still use heating oil. it appears that a lot of the newer houses uses electric heating. problems with older homes includes moldy and musty basements due to drainage issues. a lot of the home were built during the time asbestos was in wide spread use. if you renovate, factor asbestos remediation into your costs. buying a newer home will alleviate this concern since they won't have asbestos, but you'll probably have electric heating only.

also the climate is moderate, so the older homes don't have air conditioning. the newer ones should, but no guarantees. the winters are quite brutal in terms of snow. the atlantic provinces gets hit by a lot of snow. the summer isn't too hot, but quite humid, so get air conditioning if you don't like humidity. there's quite a bit of rain too. i definitely don't miss the rain and snow. after i moved from nova scotia to ontario, i found my breathing and sinuses improved overnight.
Deal Addict
Nov 13, 2013
1653 posts
670 upvotes
Ottawa
gladiator1942 wrote:
Feb 8th, 2019 11:46 am
if you are going to live in dartmouth for a long time and your kids will go from elementary to junior high to high school, i would focus on living where the junior high and high schools are. there are 4 high schools in dartmouth, dartmouth high, prince andrew high, auburn high, and cole harbor high.

even though sidney crosby grew up in cole harbor but didn't go to cole harbor high. i wouldn't send my kids there. it's probably different now, but cole harbor high has had it's share of student tension due to the communities that feed their kids into it (eastern passage, colby village and xxxxx). those communities have different demographics and it led to some school fights in the last 10 to 30 years. i don't think much would have changed.

prince andrew is a IB school, i think and should be decent for academics and sports. prince andrew's feeder schools come from middle class older neighborhoods like westphal and woodlawn. its feeder schools include caledonia jh and ellenvale jh. both decent schools. some of the elementary schools are located within sight distance of the junior high schools which is a bonus.

dartmouth high is the oldest school and it's feeder schools come from the older parts of dartmouth and downtown. i can't recall what the feeder schools for dartmouth high are.

i would rank prince andrew and dartmouth high about equal. i'd stay away from cole harbor high. the housing in the colby village area is newer so that's about as much as i can about that. can't say much about auburn, but it looks like it's located in forest hills, which i recall is newer which is good. but for me that would be a no go due to the same reasons as cole harbor high.

dartmouth is really cheap for housing compared to halifax. you can buy a bungalow for 200k, but it'll have it share of problems. look for a renovated home which may run you 250k to 350k. decent places in halifax may run up to 300k and up. from a recent scan of older bungalows in dartmouth, not much has changed. just watch out for sewage issue due to the age of the infrastructure. the westphal and woodlawn area houses probably go back to the 50's and 60's. if you are with the armed forces, the brightwood area is close to the downtown are and just a short drive to halifax, shearwater and bedford. i personally would stay away from the waterfront area and be up in manor park or crighton park area if you want to be closer to dartmouth high. dartmouth is a pretty decent bedroom city,
Depending on how long you plan to be in the area focusing on High School does make sense and there is good info in the post.
I am also not up on the latest at Cole Harbour High but I think the tension is overblown and always was. I know nearby Auburn High is ranked highly. Also they built a new school in the area that steals kids from Cole Harbour so that might also change things (not sure for the better or worse).

A good Real Estate agent should be able to give you the latest info on schools.

Commuting sucks so agree there. Keep in mind Nova Scotia is not Calgary or Edmonton and there will be a bit of culture shock that might be even greater in Dartmouth. Of course if you are coming from Red Deer you won't notice this.
Member
Dec 31, 2007
400 posts
102 upvotes
Xstian wrote:
Feb 10th, 2019 11:27 pm
Yes we are moving from AB but the prices are still higher in Halifax compared to Dartmouth and also lots of time would be wasted just for commuting. So we decided that Dartmouth would be a good option.
i see. congrats on the move. dartmouth is a decent city. i personally would not move back to nova scotia. i'm too vested in ontario now. there are more job opportunities here and the weather is better. the negative is the cost of living and the traffic jams. raising a family and kids should be great. there's less crime in nova scotia. the economy is mostly based on natural resources, government services, tourism and education. not a lot of manufacturing or high tech out there.

if i recall, dartmouth is now part of halifax along with bedford due to amalgamation. i've never been out to alberta, and would love to check it out, i've visited vancouver and there's a lot of similarities between the coastal cities. lots of rain. you can't get away from the "salt" air. the east coast gets whacked by a lot of atlantic storms and the occasional hurricane. you may suffer from weather shock if you don't like rain. as for the snow, it's the wet heavy snow that needs to be shoveled away asap since it'll ice/freeze up quickly

houses tend to have either cedar/wood or vinyl siding. in ontario is mostly brick. as i found out it's much cheaper to clad a house in wood or vinyl siding, hence the dominance of cedar and vinyl sided houses on both coasts. one vancouverite told me that they have so much wood and that's why they don't use brick.

the seafood is great if you like seafood. gas prices are higher, income taxes are higher. life is generally more laid back than the rest of canada. traffic jams are minor compared to what we have in the gta.
[OP]
Sr. Member
Aug 10, 2008
540 posts
147 upvotes
gladiator1942 wrote:
Feb 11th, 2019 2:15 am
portland estates is relatively newer, and just across the road from the woodlawn area. i'd say most of the houses were built back in the 80's and 90's. just looking at the map, i would say the high school would be prince andrew, but you should still double check. not sure of the elementary schools and junior high schools cause i left around the time portland estates was being developed. you'll find NS is fairly friendly and nice place to live.

not saying cole harbor high or auburn high is bad, but there are some communities along the 107 that will feed their kids into those schools. that part of dartmouth is perfectly fine for living, but for schooling, when they bus in kids from 3 or different communities, there will be some "issues". dartmouth high and prince andrew high doesn't really have that problems since most of the kids come from the local neighborhoods.

as for houses, a lot of the older houses still use heating oil. it appears that a lot of the newer houses uses electric heating. problems with older homes includes moldy and musty basements due to drainage issues. a lot of the home were built during the time asbestos was in wide spread use. if you renovate, factor asbestos remediation into your costs. buying a newer home will alleviate this concern since they won't have asbestos, but you'll probably have electric heating only.

also the climate is moderate, so the older homes don't have air conditioning. the newer ones should, but no guarantees. the winters are quite brutal in terms of snow. the atlantic provinces gets hit by a lot of snow. the summer isn't too hot, but quite humid, so get air conditioning if you don't like humidity. there's quite a bit of rain too. i definitely don't miss the rain and snow. after i moved from nova scotia to ontario, i found my breathing and sinuses improved overnight.
Sorry for the delayed reply. I was busy with work. I do honestly find your feedback and replies very valuable. Esp regarding the school zones and kids being bussed around etc.

Yeah I am not keen on getting older homes as I am not seeing myself having lots of time at hand for maintenance projects. Newer homes are pricier though.

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