Why We Moved Here From the Valley

I wrote this in July of 2009, months before our family decided to move away from the San Fernando Valley.  This post original appeared on the now-defunct blog Being Savvy San Fernando.  Holla if you ever read it!

We live in the valley.  Obviously.  And we live in an area of the valley where our neighborhood school is one of those (gasp!) undesirables.  If I were Sandra Tsing Loh (and therefore with quicker wit and sharper pen), I would call it “Guavatorina Elementary” and shudder at the test scores and percentage of English learners.  Then I would push my sleeves up and dig my heels in and become a parent activist for bettering the school.

The days of walking your kid to school, waving goodbye, and entrusting him to the teachers and staff within without a worry are long gone.  It’s LAUSD, people.  My child will start kindergarten just over a year from now, so I’ve got to figure out what to do.  The way I see it, here are my choices:

1.  Send him to our neighborhood school, and become a parent activist.  Allow his school’s welfare to take over my life.
2.  Bend over backwards and jump through hoops to get him into a charter or magnet school through the lottery, or into a better scoring elementary school through open enrollment.
3.  Send him to private school and eat ramen noodles for the next seven years.
4.  Move to a different neighborhood or school district, spend the money that would have gone to number 3 on a higher mortgage, and eat ramen noodles for the next seven years.  Bonus, we get to write off the interest on the home loan.
5.  Home school.

We’re seriously considering numbers 2 and 4.  Number 5 is not an option.  What are your choices?  What are you doing to ensure your child has a safe and positive experience in elementary school?


  1. Amy Kramer says:

    We did #2 and are now considering #4. We love the school we got into but want to live in a better neighborhood. Such a tough choice.

  2. Kim, THANK YOU. WE live in the valley, with the not-so-desirable schools. Our son will go to kindergarten next September and I am about to embark on “The Year of Touring Schools”. I know we’ll be doing #2 and I feel we’ll end up at #4. It’s so terrifying and stress-inducing. But I know we’ll work it out. I just appreciate seeing my EXACT feelings in writing. Thank you. Oh, and I’m assuming you’re happy you moved?

    • Agoura Hills Mom says:

      @Flawless Mom: Yes, we’re definitely happy. So happy that I started a blog about our town!

  3. We actually did #2. Living expenses went up a bit BUT it’s SO worth it…

  4. I wandered here from Flawless Mom’s Twitter. The best advice a friend (who home schooled) gave me was, “You can’t really mess up kindergarten.” Just that simple sentence took a LOT off my mind! As moms, we want to always do what is absolute best, but as humans, we don’t always know what that is! Just the fact that you concerned about school puts you ahead of the game.

    My daughter (12 years old) is in a private, University Model school (class with a teacher in a classroom M/W/F and home school reinforcement on T/Th). My son (9 years old) is in public school. They are both thriving and happy. Both decisions were nerve-racking. And we tried the private school with our son for kindergarten. Nope, didn’t work for him.

    I guess I’m trying to give you some encouragement in a weird, wordy way. 😉

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