Home Buying in Ardenwood>Question Details

tootse, Home Buyer in Fremont, CA

We are planning to look for a house in Ardenwood, but the overload situation at Forest Park has us really concerned? What is your opinion about this?

Asked by tootse, Fremont, CA Sun May 15, 2011

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Meena Gujral’s answer
Hi Tootse,

The situation with overload has been there for several years now. It is happening in all the good schools in Fremont.

Maybe you should consider San Ramon depending on how far you are willing to commute. I have clients in the same situation as you and they want the best schools for their kids. They don't mind the commute since they can get a newer and bigger home in San Ramon. Some of my clients are commuting to San Francisco, Redwood Shores and Sunnyvale.

Pleasanton and Castro Valley are two other areas you should consider. The schools are excellent and depending on your price range, you may be able to get a nice home with easy access to major freeways.

If I can help you in any of these cities, please call me at 925-425-9491 or go to my website at http://www.helpusellachievers.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue May 17, 2011

When communities such as Forest Park are planned, the city planners count on set percentages of demographics within the area. They count on a specific percentage of singles, young families (with young children), developed families (with children in junior and high schools) and retirees (with no children). Based on these percentages, they plan the number of seats they will need in a specific elementary school based on their demographic model and the number and types of homes they have approved to be built that will feed the school.

In the case of Forest Park, once the school was built, it quickly developed a reputation as one of Fremont’s top schools: it’s in a great area, has a wonderful facility and a superb team of teachers. As its’ reputation grew, more young families sought to get into Forest Park (a rather small geographic area) and singles and retirees moved out. As a consequence, there are now more young families in Forest Park than planned for, and the result is that not all of the children who are qualified to attend the school can actually do so. Since Forest Park is not adding additional classrooms, a lottery is the current solution.

Initially, students who could not get into Forest Park elementary were moved over to Ardenwood Elementary. As this happened, API scores for Ardenwood began to rise and Ardenwood proper also began to be a magnet for young families. The same thing happened in Ardenwood that began in Forest Park. Ardenwood Elementary reached a point where it could also no longer handle the number of students pushing to get in. At that point, students started getting moved over to Warwick, Oliveira and Parkmont. Where an interesting thing started to happen: API scores started to rise for those schools as well.

Here is an interesting thought: as both Ardenwood schools continue to send students to other schools, the other school scores will most likely continue to rise. There is also a direct correlation between school scores and the price of homes in any given area. The higher the API, the higher the home prices.
(http://news.ebpublishing.com/index.php?option=com_content&am…) I’m suggesting that you may be better off to look in peripheral neighborhoods rather than focus on Forest Park per se. You will get more home for your money and chances are, by the time your children make it to the elementary classroom, scores will have risen as well. In addition, you will find homes that typically have larger yards which are certainly more conducive to children’s safety and play habits.

Let me make another commentary: there is a misconception in the community that API scores are the benchmark that determines the future outlook of the students. In reality, this is simply not true. It is the parents and their involvement with their children in conjunction with a school that determines an individual student’s success. Ironically, a very large percentage of the key innovators who’ve fueled the computer revolution here in the Bay Area did not go to high ranking elementary schools. And many of the foreign nationals who are living here now and contributing the overall success of the Bay Area didn’t attend a school here in the USA that had an API score of any kind. And, in contrast, I can point to countless examples of students who DID go to top-notch schools who’ve washed out and have landed in the dregs of mediocrity.

Bottom line: I’m challenging parents to take a hard look at the current rush to “high-ranked” schools and consider that there may indeed be another option. In fact, when you look at the overall quality of life, it may in fact be a better option.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon May 16, 2011
Well its been a few years and the issue of overloading still exists. I think the demographic that is moving or has moved into this area between 2007 and 2012 still believe forest park is the number 1 school in Fremont. This factor is still playing a huge role in housing and home prices in the Forest Park/Ardenwood area today 2014. If you didn't get in between those time periods stated above expect to pay a premium.

To all those still sitting in the parking lots heading out to San Ramon, Dublin, Pleasanton or further realize that Fremont is the locale for getting anywhere in bay area. The BART extention to Milpitas only adds icing to an already well baked cake called Fremont ;) Happy hunting. Dev.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Sep 13, 2014
Hi Tootse,

Why just Ardenwood? Is it imperative you buy just there? Obviously you want good schools.....so why not explore other areas/neighborhoods? Depends on the few "must haves" you have on your list + commute time, neighborhood, safety etc etc.....If you would like to discuss home criterias...and get thinking of many more things, Lets Talk Real Estate. Do get in touch with me, and we can set a time to do so....
Lots of schools are impacted and with just one pocket of Fremont having the really high API schools....everyone wants to be there........there is more out there in beautiful Bay area!
Be well and safe, regards,
Nina Daruwalla
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun May 15, 2011
Hi Tootse, WOW! that's quite the waiting list. I don't understand why you can not have your child in private school while you wait?? That seems wrong for them to require that you send your child to one of the public shcools while you wait. You can always try to get a intra-district transfer to Sunol Glen Elementary in Sunol. I live in fremont and after the district redrew the school lines my children were gong to to to a middle school I did not like. I moved them to sunol in the 5th grade. Sunol is a small town of about 800 people and the school is a K-8 with approx. 250 students total. It's like a private school without the cost. The scores are currently 906. there is a bit of a drive but the gas is still less than private and maybe they woulod be ok with your children going there while you wait? Or you could look into another part of fremont for a home. I live in the south part of fremont near Irvington high school and it takes me about 12 minutes to get to school in the morning....Let me know if i can help....Dawn
Web Reference: http://DawnRivera4Homes.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun May 15, 2011
In response to Dawn, I did call the school and they said that they have a waiting list of 90 for KG and 90+14 for FG, etc. They also mentioned that they have no plans to add another class.

Also you can't send your kid to private-school if he/she wants to stay on the waiting list for the school of interest. In the case of Forest Park, they overloaded students are send to Oliviera or Brookvale, both of which have APIs in the 860s, compared to the 950s of Forest Park. To me, it makes buying a house in Ardenwood a very difficult decision, since you are subject to the lottery where your kid has less than a 50% chance of getting in due to the sibling preference and the overload situation.

I am attaching a link to the overload information. Again, we called Forest Park and the numbers they gave are exactly what is in the link below.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun May 15, 2011
Hi Tootse,

Dawn is correct, call the school district at 657-2350. They will give you additional info.

If you just want an opinion, here's mine:
Ardenwood elem. has a lesser overload than Forest Park. Depending on the age of your child, enrollment may change in a few years. Maybe in a few years it'll be okay.
Ardenwood area is great is you like the access to the bridge or north 880, nearby parks and shopping are great. Newer homes, nice people, are just a few other highlights.

0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun May 15, 2011
Tootse, I think you should call the school and talk to them. They will be best able to tell you when or if your children will be able to attend. I have heard it is a lottery but have never called the school to find out. You can ask your agent to call for you and see how ong the waiting list is....Dawn
Web Reference: http://DawnRivera4Homes.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun May 15, 2011
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