When making the decision to move or relocate, there are many factors to take into account. And if you have children, one of the main areas of concern are schools. Those choices can get even trickier if you are unfamiliar with the area, making the situation more challenging.
Fortunately, your real estate agent is much more than the person who will sell you a home. Realtors, like Anat Eisenberg, are also trusted advisors and experts on the areas in which they sell. Your agent will be able to tell you about the area public and private schools, the dividing lines, and what (if any) other factors contribute to the school’s admissions process.
In Bergen County there are several esteemed schools. The Bergen County School System is known nationwide for their excellence. Within Bergen County, the Tenafly School District is home to the county’s highest ranking elementary school, as well as one of the finest high schools in New Jersey.
Tenafly Public Schools serve the largest number of students among the Bergen County boroughs, with just under 3,600 students enrolled. With students spread across 6 schools (4 elementary, 1 middle, and 1 high school), the program is seen as exemplary not just for its high graduation and college acceptance rates, but also for the advanced/honor courses, humanities courses, and their esteemed music program that runs kindergarten through graduation. Currently over 95% of high school graduates continue on to college.
Tenafly also offers several private schools that too boast great educations and graduation rates. The various private schools concentrate on the different religious, cultural and experiential educational styles. These private institutions also often offer smaller class sizes with specialized academic curriculum. It is important to note that not all of the private institutions go through high school age, so that will be an additional consideration.
Two important things to note about the Tenafly Public School admissions process are that for elementary it is no longer based solely on geography. The board changed that in 2009, saying that elementary assignment was based on capacity fulfillment of the schools to keep the numbers at each school more even. Secondly, when registering your new student, your residency must be verified through the Superintendent’s office. The required documentation can be found here.
Although Tenafly is one of the largest boroughs in Bergen County, there are several other towns that offer an exemplary public and private school education. Many of the public schools in these additional areas also require address verification for your students. As well, the smaller public programs participate in a partnership, allowing them to feed their middle school students into the Tenafly (or other neighboring) High School program. An example of this is the community of Alpine, New Jersey. They have an elementary and middle school, but those students will then go to Tenafly High School for grades 9-12.
In addition, there are also several great online resources to tell you more about a prospective school or district, and again, based on where you are looking specifically for homes, your agent will be able to tell you what you have available. Once you have narrowed your home search, and therefore your school search, take to the internet to continue your research. Look at the district’s website, the individual school’s websites, and national sites. GreatSchools is a non-profit site that gives you a lot of information about the school, the academic performance of the students, test scores, parental involvement and leadership information.
Another, more hands-on, approach is to take the time to visit the schools in person. This is a great idea when moving to an area you are less familiar with, or out-of-state. When you plan your trip to look at homes, it is just as important to take the time to visit the schools, speak with the administrators, observe a classroom, and talk to parents on the playground after school.
Anat and her team know how important your family is, and how an education shapes a child’s future, so there are no silly questions when it comes to your move and the schools within that area. We are happy to talk about Bergen County’s wonderful schools and the variety of options based on where you are looking to buy. Take a look at our listings based on location.