My husband just got a job in Squirrel Hill neighborhood. We're looking for a family-friendly town/area with great schools.

Asked by Vern001, Boston, MA Tue May 22, 2012

I should add that we have three kids, ages 10-14, and a son with Down syndrome. We're looking for excellent schools in general and especially very inclusive schools for children with special needs. Also, not too long a commute (less than 30-45 minutes). We'd appreciate any advice anyone could give us. We know nothing about PIttsburgh!

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Ccassino, Both Buyer And Seller, Pittsburgh, PA
Thu Jun 7, 2012
Squirrel hill is a great place to live and the public schools in the area (Colfax and Minadeo) are very good with special needs children. Pittsburgh Greenway, the school for gifted children, is wonderful too.

One thing to keep in mind with Pittsburgh - it is very hilly! So if you or your kids have issues with stairs you need to be careful when looking at houses to buy. Don't rely on what you see in pictures. See the place in person.
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Jan Schoeneb…, Agent, Pittsburgh, PA
Wed May 23, 2012
Here is a nice relocation guide for you
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Jan Schoeneb…, Agent, Pittsburgh, PA
Wed May 23, 2012

Welcome to Pittsburgh, a bit early, but I hope that you find this city a great place to call home, just as I have for many years. Pittsburgh is a great small town feel city with big city benefits; professional sports teams, great museums and theater productions, and profitable corporations. I would be happy to help you sort through the various neighborhoods and school districts that we have to offer. I manage an office just across the Allegheny River from the Squirrel Hill area, about a 15 minute commute, which has a very desirable school district, as well as communities and homes. I have agents in my office that service the Squirrel Hill and surrounding areas that would be happy to assist you in your search. Please let me know if we can be of any assistance and again welcome!
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Patty Allen, , Clemson, SC
Tue May 22, 2012
Although you won't have an ocean close by, Pittsburgh, PA has been voted many times as the best city or friendliest city or cleanest city many years by major magazines. My family and I grew up there and still have a home in Allegheny County. When it comes beach time, the best area that's 200 miles is the New Jersey Shore. North Wildwood, NJ your children would LOVE; it's QUIET for parents!!! We use to go for a month renting an apartment or condo ocean view staying and visiting friends Ocean City, Maryland up to New York City. Taking the Cape May Ferry at Cape May, NJ crossing over at the bay to Lewes, Delaware with our car 3 stories below was a wonderful highlight to Ocean City, MD. We're LOVERS of boardwalks and amusement rides on VERY long boardwalks (3-5 miles long) and many piers with rides. That would be a fun long summer weekend adventure!.

Pittsburgh people ARE BIG Pittsburgh Steeler fans when it comes to football sometimes taking a ferry or Gateway Clipper to a game, a city with great transportation with interstates, subway, and buses. Most people commute to the city. Many health cures from devastating diseases and heart problems were discovered here from the greatest health center found in MANY, MANY miles. Their health care is named UPMC and has a medical school. They are HUGE employers.

I would recommend Squirrel Hill to live in. As one who had to move to new places, to make sure they were ones I'd want to stay for a while, I'd rent first to get to know my likes and wants. Other great places are taking your children to the Pittsburgh Zoo and the Carnegie Science Center. As for water and amusement activities, you'd find the place that people come home to years after they left to meet up on certain days every summer is Kennywood Amusement Park. Just a few blocks down the road is Sandcastle Water Park with a great wave pool (the owner hopes one day to enclose it for winter fun). They've websites with notifications they still send me. I enjoy watching the water bucket with water that splashes down every minute on my PC!

More malls and shopping are within driving distance of the area mentioned to look into. People enjoy taking their boats out on the 3 rivers (2 join at the Pointe to form 1) ; that river is the ONLY one in the country that flows NORTH! At Pointe State Park is a battle museum with walkways by the rivers. If you travel for the day going North 50 - 60 miles or maybe 75, you'll find many treasures in river raNecessity, and other battle ground areas for historical buffs in the family. For the enthusiasts of the theatre and ballet, you'll find those in downtown Pittsburgh.

Food in the culinary sense is downtown with 2 -3 culinary schools. Pittsburgh restaurants are fantastic. One place to shop for the unusual, common fruits, vegetables, and other items is called, "The Strip District," downtown near the Greyhound bus terminal. Don't worry there are NO strip clubs there!!! What I always did when having to move to new areas was to send for information from the Visitors Bureau, Chamber of Commerce, and to websites these days to get sent to me further information to place in my hand and start to get to know my new home area! I'd spend a nice evening going over brochures and also searching for other leads. Today's market, all you have to do is Google a place and do a street or place look - see to become even more familiar with your area. I don't know if they still have street cars or not, but when they did, as a child and teen and young adult, I loved riding them to go Christmas shopping at the big department stores and looking at the skyscrapers.

The school district would be Allegheny County Schools. There would be NO problem having a challenging child receive the best education there! Your other children would find their education advanced and what they are use to being in an area of great well known colleges. Look up the schools listed on the internet to see what area serves Squirrel Hill. Go to their websites to see their ranking and what the statistics are within their school and system. There use to be school report cards for schools that I see where I live. If you're a professional family, the realtors are going to lead you to the proper locations and schools. The 3 most important things in real estate is : LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION!

Hope this helps you to get a new start on your new home where one of the MOST friendliest and helpful cities in the North is Pittsburgh, PA. You'll love their "language" in how they have their own meaning for things as I did moving to different places! Once I told a friend of mine sharing her place in Tulsa was I was going "to read up her home." She said she didn't want it painted or couldn't because she didn't own it. I said that means I'm going to clean it! Instead of the word "YOU," it can be said as "YOUNS." LOL!!!
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x, , Pittsburgh, PA
Tue May 22, 2012

Welcome to you and your family to Pittsburgh. I'm a lifelong area resident, and I hope you'll love it.

The commute time shouldn't be a problem with most neighborhoods in Allegheny County to Squirrel Hill. I've linked a Google map to Forbes and Murray Avenues, which is the heart of Squirrel Hill. I hope that helps you navigate your way around.

According to School Digger, there are a number of highly rated school districts in the area:
South Fayette
Upper St Clair
Mt. Lebanon
North Allegheny

There's a local support group for Down Syndrome parents at They may be able to offer some feedback on their experiences with the local schools.

Hope this information helps you out.
Web Reference:
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Janice Caputo, Agent, Pittsburgh, PA
Tue May 22, 2012
Have you looked in Mt. Lebanon or Upper St. Clair? I'm not exactly sure what price range you are in but Mt. Lebanon is where I live and prices range from $99,000 - $795,000 with average sales price @ $244,000 last 12 months.
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Doug Rees, Agent, Moon Township, PA
Tue May 22, 2012
Dear Vern, there are alot of good neighborhoods in the vicinity of Squirrel Hill. I would be happy to discuss further with you if you would like to contact me.
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