Quality of Life in Belfast>Question Details

Tammy, Both Buyer and Seller in 02176

Looking to relocate to Belfast area. Have 5 children. What cities have better schools?

Asked by Tammy, 02176 Thu Feb 21, 2008

My husband is relocating due to work. Company opening in Belfast. We have 5 children from one to twelve. I am looking to keep a shorter commute and need opinions on the schools. 6th grader is special education. Are there neighborhoods to look to get into or to stay out of.

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For 23 years I have been a real estate broker in the greater Belfast area. I am the product of the Belfast school system myself and a former guidance counselor at the Belfast Middle School. When I was a child there were neighborhood elementary schools and consolidation began at grade 7 through high school.

Now, Belfast has a beautiful new consolidated elementary school for all neighborhoods on the Belfast harbor side of town and a separate elementary school on the East Side, across the bridge in East Belfast. The middle school is consolidated from all neighborhoods in Belfast and the other seven district towns, grades 6 through 8 and is also a relatively new facility with a fantastic gardening program for the students http://(www.schoolgardenproject.com).

A busy mom with children involved in after school and weekend activities would probably prefer to be located in Belfast itself where car-pooling will ease the transportation burden, although raising children in the other towns of the school district could be the best choice for your children.

I suggest you arrange for visits and tours of a couple of the elementary schools. It will be evident to you which schools share your education goals.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Mar 31, 2011
Hi! Tammy both Belfast and Camden school districts have their negatives and pluses as any other school districts and as an outsider so to speak as I have had no experience with any of the schools but I do know the neighborhoods and the people which are effected by them.
These school districts are away ahead of any school districts outside of Maine because of the communities in which they serve. The people are great, very little crime, lot's to do and lots of giving.
So you may get an honest prejudices view of the schools from people who are participating in or that where active in the school districts one time or another.
As a Northport resident since 1994 and living in between Camden and Belfast by choice because I didn't want to live in a town or city atmosphere and that's the key. It will be your choice and the only way to find out is by driving around, talk to the residents and you'll be surprised at your findings because ultimately it will be your choice. Welcome to the neighborhood. We all love it here either it be Camden, Belfast, Northport, Lincolnville and surrounding area. Welcome to you and your family. Charlie
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Mar 10, 2011
I live in Searsmont and I highly recommend the Elementary schools for excellent education. It is a smaller school, which was a different experience when we first moved here from NH. My daughter loved the experience and adapted quickly and thrived with the teachers, the kids, and the entire experience. She also has done very well in the Middle School - which is in Belfast and encompasses several other towns beginning in the sixth grade,. My other daughter, who required special education services, entered her freshman year at the high school in Belfast when we moved here. I found that the high school was very helpful and she successfully graduated with a good educational experience. My extended family is from the Camden area and I am very familiar with the Camden school district. I find that the school district has many difficulties that my children did not encounter in Belfast. In fact, regardless of the fact that my entire extended family is in Camden.....I made the decision to purchase my home outside of the Camden school district because I did not feel that the Camden district would be beneficial for my older daughter's educational benefit. I feel that it was my wisest decision for her benefit and I do not regret it in any way!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jun 29, 2010
Hi tammy- Check out this website- it may help you with the schooling questions...
http://www.greatschools.org/school/research.page

Good luck, and if I can be of any help, please let me know. Thanks,

Ken L.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed May 19, 2010
I raised two kids that went through the Belfast school system. The first had trouble. He was very bright but made poor choices. We tried private schools and other alternatives, but he was determined that he would buck the system. The second child was the opposite. He graduated with a stellar education. His AP credits got him out of many preliminary college classes. He found college easy, thanks in part, to the preparation he recieved in Belfast. -- So the point is that education depends more on the social success of the child than on which school system they attend.
Belfast has it's issues and challenges. So does Camden. The affluence of the Camden schools bring another set of challenges to the kids. Neither one is a panacea.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri May 14, 2010
The Belfast school district has had some problems in the recent past, mostly with their budgeting. I would recommend looking into Appleton, Lincolnville or Hope. All three are in the Camden School district, the best in the state. These areas will also afford you more "bang for your buck" with housing. Of the three I would recommend Appleton. Lots of individual attention for the students.. All the advantages of the Camden School district, without the Camden taxes!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jun 2, 2008
Camden schools are excellent. The high school encompases five towns: Appleton Linconville, Camden, Rockport, & Hope. The elementary & MS are in one or two town district. My 10yrold is in Camden Rockport middle school and he loves his teachers and going to school. I have been impressed with the quality of his education so far (we moved here 3 years ago.)
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Feb 22, 2008
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