Choosing the Best School, Senior Housing — and Chocolate (Editor’s Letter)

A word from Hudson Valley Editor in Chief, Olivia J. Abel

From the recent emphasis on school safety following last year’s tragic shootings in nearby Newtown, to “teaching to the test,” to the ever-present problem of bullying, education is a topic that never goes out of style.

As the parent of a toddler, the discussions and debates have already started: a private nanny or day care? A big day-care facility, or an in-home operation? Then, day care or the local Montessori? There is also a new game in town: The Goddard School, a national preschool program that sells franchises, recently moved into our area. Even if you are not a parent of school-age children, these are issues that in many ways affect all of us.

In this month’s cover story, we tackle the age-old dilemma of finding the best high school for your child. College is more competitive (and more expensive) than ever, and helping your teen both academically and socially can be the key to future success. Here in the Valley, we are lucky to have many excellent public schools. (In last year’s U.S. News & World Report’s Best High Schools ranking, several Westchester and Rockland county schools scored in the top 100; Red Hook High School, at number 221 nationally, was the highest-ranking mid-Valley school.)

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Of course there are also dozens of top-notch private institutions close to home. From military to prep to Catholic and other religious schools, there are many different styles and settings to choose from. In this issue, we give you the lowdown on 28 private schools — tuition, AP classes offered, special programs, and more. You may be surprised at what’s going on at some of these local facilities.

Also in these pages, we take a look at the new options in retirement living. It is projected that the number of Americans who will be 65 or older in 2050 will be double the 65-plus population of 2010. With the populace aging so rapidly, some interesting communities are popping up throughout the Valley. From stylish and affordable housing units to out-and-out luxury digs to CCRC living (which guarantees care for the rest of your life), it’s no wonder that so many seniors are eschewing Florida in order to stay closer to home.

And it’s Valentine’s Day this month. What better way to celebrate than with chocolate — really good chocolate. A slew of regional artisanal chocolate makers have upped the ante on these sumptuous sweets. Click here to see some of our favorite offerings this season. Life is short, eat chocolate — that’s our motto here at HV. We think you should all follow suit.

Happy February.

Olivia J. Abel
Editor In Chief

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