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Hi Cocobella, and welcome to the GreatSchools parent community.
You might want to check out the Los Angeles community located here: http://www.greatschools.org/california/los-angeles/community.gs?content=1967 While I'm in L.A., I'm a bit north, and other parents closer to you can give you excellent local advice.
When it comes to moving to an area like Manhattan Beach and Santa Monica, definitely consult a real estate professional. They are most definitely well versed in the popular neighborhoods due to the amenities, quality schools (they advertise homes as being in a particular school's boundaries) and likely commute times.
Talk too to the HR department where you'll be working. They can match you up with the employees in your area with kids similar ages as your children.
If you haven't started looking yet, use the School Finder feature here:
Santa Monica schools are highly regarded. And the Westside of Los Angeles including Manhattan Beach is nothing to shake a stick at either. Manhattan Beach Middle School is listed here http://www.greatschools.org/california/manhattan-beach/2650-Manhattan-Beach-Middle-School/
Thank you for your advice, I forgot to say we are relocating from the UK so we hope we have chosen the right areas ? I will take a look at manhattan beach middle school, seems expensive to rent there !
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