Living in Kensington, CA
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Living in Kensington, CA
We are trying to decide between a move to Kensington or Albany.
We are a one-child family getting ready to start elementary school. I've
heard great things about the community that surrounds Kensington Hilltop.
However, we like being able to walk to things and bike ride along flatter
streets. I'd like to hear some opinions of people who have chosen between
these two districts for their homes. Are we guaranteed a spot at Hilltop
if we are Kensington residents? How does the school selection process work
in Albany. How do the elementary schools and the communities differ? What
questions do you think we should consider when looking at these two
We appreciate hearing your experience.
obvious difference between these two areas is middle school and
high school. Yes, Hilltop is a great school, however Portola
Middle School and El Cerrito High School both have mediocre test
scores, and those would be the schools where Hilltop kids go
to. Albany Middle School and High School both have fantastic
scores straight through. Another difference with the schools is
diversity - Kensington isn't nearly as diverse as the Albany
schools. My kids will go to Hilltop, and I'm pretty happy about
that, but I would trade for Albany schools anyday.
I have been told that if you live in the zoning area for Hilltop
and register in time, you will get in.
Albany is a really great place to raise kids. You can walk
everywhere,and as the kids get older, so can they. Marin is a
great elementary school, stellar teachers and great community.
The middle school is not quite as wonderful, but as far as
middle schools go, it's pretty good-and way better than
Portola, which is where your kids would go if you live in
Kensington. Also Albany High is much better than El Cerrito
High. So, my vote is Albany.
Both Albany & Kensington are lovely places. In Albany, you have
great schools k-12. In Kensington, many people opt out of
public after elementary. We live in Albany and are thrilled
with the sense of neighborhood and community.
We're thinking of buying a house in Kensington and know almost nothing about
the community. Is it family-friendly? Do kids play together on the streets?
Are there sports? We have 3 active boys so want to be sure there is something
for them to do.
Kensington is very family friendly - the Kensington Hilltop School
organizations get a lot of the community involved: PTA, Dad's Club,
KCC...lots to do for kids and lots of playmates.
Or son is only 7 mos old so I don't know much about organized
activities. I do know there are tons of kids here. Also there is
Tilden Park with miles of trails, a farm, a carousel, and the steam
I have lived in Kensington for 5 years with two daughters, and would
say it is generally family friendly although hilly so not a lot of
bike riding and playing in the streets! Both daughters attended the
local Kensington Hilltop elementary school and took enrichment
programs at KASEP just down the hill from the school. The local
library is small but very family friendly and lots of activities
scheduled. There are no local sports programs as far as I know. My
daughters play soccer in the El Cerrito league, which is basically
the sister town for Kensington since that's where Kensington kids go
to middle school and high school. Now that my daughters are older,
they appreciate things like the Arlington shops, which they can walk
to, and the no. 7 bus which can take them to Berkeley easily.
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