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Old 03-23-2008, 07:26 PM
 
4 posts, read 38,653 times
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We are relocating to Charlottesville this summer. I can't quite get a handle on wether the C-ville city schools are good or not...Looking at the individual VA "Report Cards" for Elementary schools it looks like some of them are quite good. (Venable, Greenbrier, Burnley-Moran) and others not so (Jackson-Via, Clark)

However, Greatschools.com gives the entire school system a rating of 3 out of 10 (10 highest) and Charlottesville High School a 1 (!!) Yet, I read on this forum and hear from others that the school system is great - that the professors and admin staff at UVA would demand a great public school system since many of their own kids will likely go to them. Anybody with direct experience with any of the elementary schools? Best and ones to avoid? Thanks.
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Old 03-24-2008, 05:38 PM
 
Location: Charlottesville, VA
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I worked for Charlottesville City Schools until about 3 years ago (went into Real Estate after that). Albemarle County surrounds C-ville City on all sides. Are you set on living in the city itself? From what I heard at the City Schools, Venable Elementary in particular has a lot of UVa faculty's kids. Also has a very good GT program (fantastic teacher) SO... - in a lot of cases it comes down to who the teachers are.
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Old 03-24-2008, 07:16 PM
 
4 posts, read 38,653 times
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Thanks for your reply! At this point, yes, we want to live in-town. We want that walking, biking, close to things lifestyle. There are some homes in the Venable school district we would like to check out (Robinson Woods). North Downtown is a nice neighborhood too. We're looking to spend upwards of $500k...But if it gets ridiculous - we'll shift to Ablemarle county (but still close in) and try to find something amazing on a little bit of land.
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Old 03-24-2008, 07:38 PM
 
Location: Charlotte/Mebane, NC and Suitland, MD
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I went to Alexandria City schools, which also garnered a 3 rating from Great Schools, for my last two years of HS. personally i feel that Alexandria and most VA school districts offer great academics including Charlottesville City. It depends more on the individual school. For example, Fairfax County is a very good (overrated IMO) school system but their are some schools there that can be compared to inner-city schools Mt. Vernon HS and Stuart HS for example. So i would look on a school by school basis.
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Old 03-24-2008, 09:46 PM
 
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I have spent a good part of the evening researching and reading strategic plans and various ratings for Charlottesville vs. Albemarle county schools and it really does come down to a school by school basis. I'm starting to think those "greatschool" ratings are a bit of a trap. I have a better understanding that the quality of a school cannot be determined by just a number. SOL's in general suck and don't tell the whole picture.
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Old 03-24-2008, 09:59 PM
 
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Back when I wanted to be a teacher my 4th year at UVA - how things change - I did my student teaching at Charlottesville High School. I thought it was fine, good mix of kids from all different backgrounds. Heck, we had students at UVA who graduated there so it can't be that bad. Though the honors and AP classes were always quieter and more conducive to learning, and I would highly recommend/encourage a more serious student to be in those classes. But they even have tech programs so that is pretty sweet too.

In regards to Ablemarle v. Cville schools, I heard the former is better but I have no experience and only base that comment on word of mouth.

Either way, I'd send our kids (when we have them) to any public school in Virginia...
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Old 03-24-2008, 10:00 PM
 
94 posts, read 371,930 times
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Oops sorry! You were looking at Elementary Schools! Well, I did do an internship at Walker Middle (6th grade) my third year at UVA - same opinion as the school as the high school, pretty much...
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Old 03-25-2008, 07:06 AM
 
Location: Charlottesville, VA
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North of Downtown gets my vote. I love it. Shop/Eat/Listen to Music/Ice-Skate/City Park/etc.... all within walking. UVA is a bike ride a way. Check out this map: Charlottesville City Schools | School Zoning (http://www.ccs.k12.va.us/our_schools_map.html - broken link). Burnley-Moran would be the elementary school for this area. If you want Venable and newer home, check out Madison Place. There is one home for sale there right now - would give you an idea of what's out there: You can go to our associations website: MyCAAR.com and put in MLS#449651.
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Old 03-25-2008, 02:21 PM
 
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May I add, that this "greatschools.com" thing- take it with a grain of salt. The lovely Catholic school where I taught near DC was "poorly" rated ("Kids are given too much homework!!!!) and the horrible school in Baltimore where I was had "great" ratings. Please. I'm thinking that the kids were writing the reviews.

Do NOT use that website as a measure of where you are going to send your children to be educated.
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Old 03-25-2008, 04:29 PM
 
4 posts, read 38,653 times
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Thanks to everyone who has responded - helps alot. MyCAAR.com is a very helpful site for home search too! And yes, I'm done with the greatschools site. Input on the High School is appreciated as my son will eventually be a teenager! (waah!) A friend has put me in touch with a teacher who has taught in the C-ville city schools for 12 years. After I pick her brains, I'll share any insights.
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