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Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Glastonbury Full Day Kindergarten...Worth the Wait!

Glastonbury Full Day Kindergarten….Worth the Wait.
After much research and input from both the parents and education council, Glastonbury has decided to offer full day K for all students.  This is effective for the 2012 school year.  Parents are shouting from the rooftops, “It’s about time”!  Our schools have come such a long way in regards to technology; why not adapt a program more conducive to our children learning more?  I don’t see how our K students in Glastonbury can learn all that much in two hours.  It puts unnecessary time constraints on our teachers.  Once everyone gets settled, has reading time and some social play, it’s back on the school bus for them.  A full day enriches their learning and allows them to get a jump start on reading skills. 
Currently, 56% of Connecticut school systems offer full day kindergarten to students.  The overall budgeted costs to add the full day option is $490,000.  Ouch!  That’s going to hurt us in our taxpaying wallets.  Apparently the costs will be offset by some moving and shifting of teachers due to a reduced elementary enrollment in recent years.  Class sizes will remain the same and each school does have enough room to justify additional classrooms.
Glastonbury has 6 Elementary schools: Hebron Avenue, Eastbury, Hopewell, Naubuc, Buttonball and the newest addition: Nayaug.  The fact that the schools are considered some of the best in Hartford County doesn’t hurt.  There is a real sense of community here; somewhere that you want to move and never leave.  Even though my youngest will be moving on to first grade this year and it won’t affect us, I’m happy for all the families out there that it will help.  Think of the many that pay for full time daycare.  Instantly, they’ll save thousands.  In this day and age of intense school competition, it helps to know your child will most likely leave with a positive experience and a level 2 reading book in their backpack. 

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

The Glastonbury HouseHunter: Glastonbury Homes:  Less is MoreIn Glastonbury, le...

The Glastonbury HouseHunter: Glastonbury Homes: Less is MoreIn Glastonbury, le...: Glastonbury Homes: Less is More In Glastonbury, less is more. You may be buying for the first time, downsizing or simply looking for ...
Glastonbury Homes:  Less is More
In Glastonbury, less is more.  You may be buying for the first time, downsizing or simply looking for a reasonably priced home in a great neighborhood.  What you will get in Glastonbury for the money may surprise you.  Maybe not.  The average price per square foot is around $159.  What you WILL get is loads of amenities for your dollar.   Glastonbury boasts great parks, beautiful orchards, horse farms and golf country clubs.  All of this does come at a price:  Expect to pay higher taxes as the mill rate is 29.65 %.  Meaning, if you love a home that’s priced at $350k, your taxes will be about $6,500. 
Believe it or not, you can live a happy life in a 2,000 square foot house.  I’m living proof.  We utilize every room, have less clutter and can maintain it ourselves.  No landscapers, no maid service equals even more money saved.   I enjoy hearing my children playing in the next room.  I like hearing my son practice piano while I make dinner.  It works for us. 
Small house?  No problem.  The most charming home I’ve ever visited in town was the home of a friend and was about 1200 sq. ft. but filled with warmth & style.  When I take buyers out, especially first time buyers, I try and remind them to focus on the mechanicals and big ticket items that affect a home’s efficiency.  Does the house have an updated furnace, newer central air, has the roof been replaced and most of all, are there quality replacement windows?  All of these factors are important to your bottom line….your wallet.
The McMansion has been shrinking since the peak in 2006 when the median plan for a new home was 2,259 square feet.  By 2009, it decreased again to 2,103 square feet.  People often get caught up in the glitz and glamour of a large show home but don’t utilize the space.  Do you really want to shell out big money every month just to heat your home? 
 In this time of energy efficiency and the green movement, let’s focus on living in a home that matches that mantra.  Energy efficiency is a hot trend that I hope continues, both here in Glastonbury and across the nation. 
People are coming to realize, not soon enough, let’s buy just what we need. 
Check out the book, “The Not So Big House” by Sarah Susanka to learn more about enjoying a smaller, more manageable home. 
For this and other helpful real estate information, please visit my website at