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Top education towns 2011: Median home prices $400,000-$599,999

From southeast Florida to northwest Washington (with a few stops in between), these U.S. cities offer upscale homes, plenty of green space, and top-of-the-line schools.

By GreatSchools Staff

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Syosset, NY

Educational quality score: 89.14
Median home price: $542,220
Population: 17,987

Neither town nor city, Syosset is an official hamlet. Sitting on Long Island's north shore, this small, wealthy enclave in Nassau County has a thriving retail, restaurant, and business district. Town residents have vigorously fought to retain its homey, small-town feel, successfully fending off the construction of an upscale mall.

Along with its charm, Syosset’s top-ranked school system proves a primary draw for young families. From elementary through high school, the schools consistently win national awards, and not just because of standardized test scores. The district boasts a 130-page course catalog, listing a robust selection of unique classes for kids from kindergarten on. World languages are a top priority, and even the youngest students get to sample different tongues to see which they want to pursue: Kindergartners take Russian; first graders are introduced to Chinese; and second, third, and fourth graders can choose from Spanish, French, and Italian. Latin begins in fifth grade, and high schoolers can study any of those languages as well as Japanese and American Sign Language.

The school's arts program is unrivaled. The district has set up extensive partnerships with New York City museums and art organizations. Aspiring Syosset singers get one-on-one vocal lessons at the Metropolitan Opera and teachers get training at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Museum of Natural History. The district is also listed in the country's top 100 schools for its music program. The results of all this training aren't surprising, but still impressive: 99 percent of graduates continue on to college, many heading to the Ivies and other top-ranking schools.

Learn more about schools in Syosset, NY