Home Buying in Somerville>Question Details

Njshe, Home Buyer in Somerville, MA

I'm moving to Boston for a new job. Considering both Cambridge and Somerville. Have a child so schools are an issue. Which schools are best and

Asked by Njshe, Somerville, MA Sun Apr 1, 2012

why? How successful are people in choosing a school with either the lottery or controlled choice enrollment programs?

Help the community by answering this question:


Boston magazine just had a list of top 50 schools in the Boston area. Somerville nor Medford made the Top 50. Its cheaper to buy or rent here but more expensive to send your children to school. Good luck.

Depending on age, try Newton
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Sep 10, 2012
In MA, you have a few choices for schools. The Latin schools in Boston. Newton North High in Newton.

The rest?

Free fire fights with subsidized lunch programs.

Good luck.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 22, 2012
The answer may depend on the age of your child as well as how long you intend to live in either city. Cambridge (home to Havard and MIT) has a significant tax base generated from both commercial businesses and property taxes. Consequently, Cambridge benefits from one of the lowest property taxes in the greater Boston area ( $8.48 per $1000 of assessed value as well as residential exemption on the first $198k) vs. $13.09 per $1000 in Somerville. So while Somerville homes are generally more affordable, depending on your price bracket the tax rate may significantly offset these savings. The tax base disparity is further evident in the per pupil expenditure in Cambridge ($26K) vs Somerville ($16K) vs State Avg ($13K) in 2010.

As the others have noted, success in choosing a school would be a great conversation to have with both Somerville/Cambridge parents as well as administrators from schools to help guide your expectations.

Personally, I feel that the best gauge of a child's success in school is largely determined by parental guidance and support. From that perspective, regardless of the school system, your child is already at an advantage since you've made the determination that education is an important criteria in your home search.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 1, 2012
Not every child learns the same and every school is different. Take a tour and see which one best fits your child. Don't judge a school just by an online number/stat.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Apr 4, 2012
May factors contribute to determining the best school for your child. This decision will vary from family to family, with the parents being the best judge. Of course research and talking with parents at different schools will help shape your decision.

Many people will look at school ranking, MCAS scores, etc. in choosing a school. While those indicators are important and may weigh heavily in one's decision, Cambridge and Somerville are both unique cities and judging the schools based on these metrics alone is not sufficient to make a educated decision. With both Somerville and Cambridge offering parents the option to choose the school they would like their child to attend, visiting the schools is essential in making an informed decision. Both Somerville and Cambridge public school administrations strive to match every child with their top choice, and tend to be quite successful in that.

I have children who have attending Somerville schools. I was overall pleased with my experience and met many great families and teachers there. Somerville has investing much in their schools, with many newer school buildings in more recent years, including the Capuano Early Childhood Center which focuses on the youngest of children, Pre-school and Kindergarten.

Cambridge Public Schools

Somerville Public Schools

As an alternative to public school, Cambridge and Somerville residents can consider enrolling their children in charter school at Prospect Hill Academy.


If you would like to discuss schools in more detail, please feel free to contact me.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Apr 3, 2012
Asking about school systems is a loaded question. First they are two totally different communities. The median sale price was 516k in Somerville in the past 6 months for a single family home vs 1.16k in Cambridge. A huge difference in affordability.

According to the Boston.com school ranking report Cambridge ranked 25th and Somerville 118th out of 135. Criteria was based on some stats such as classroom size and student expenditure as well as achievement ranking.


While stats and ranking can give you a good indication, nothing beats visiting the schools and seeing what you are comfortable with. Also it talking to educators over the years, it is important to be in a school system where your child fits in. If yo buy the cheapest house in Cambridge just to be in the school system your child will suffer from a social standpoint making it far mor difficult to thrive.

There are many factors and of course some of it can be personal. Great schools.net is a good resource.

0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Apr 2, 2012
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