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Old 09-22-2018, 09:28 AM
39 posts, read 69,860 times
Reputation: 18


Hello, my husband was recently asked to relocate to Charlottesville for work. We will be moving before the new year, most likely in November or December of 2018. I would appreciate (more than I can possibly express) any advice one can offer regarding schools and neighborhoods. First let me give a little background info

For the last 7 years we haved lived in a suburb 20 minutes outside of Indianapolis. We have a senior in highschool that commutes to the city to attend a small liberal arts charter school (800 students mixed student body 50% minorities). My other son is a freshman and attends a public high school in the suburbs near our house (student population 3,000 90% white). We are happy with both schools. Probably the most stressful thing about this relocation is figuring out the right high school for them to transition into.

Once we relocate my eldest son will only have a semester left of school and should graduate in 2019. I'm currently looking into options to see if he can finish his remaining required credits online/virtually with his current school. I don't know if they will allow us to do that. So it is possible he will have to attend 1 semester of High school in Charlottesville.

My youngest will be the one attending long term. He is friendly and well liked in his current school. He likes sports, but isn't amazing at them. The school he attends now is so big making it is extremely competitive to participate in sports. If you are average, you will not find a place on the team. He likes basketball, but plays in a rec league rather than for the school. He has also done some mentoring with disabled students and has a job at the boys and girls club. He likes to be busy and is an As / Bs student. He has variety of different types of friends.

My husband will be working at the State Farm Operations center, which appears to be close to the Sentara Martha Jefferson Hospital off of Peter Jefferson Pkwy.

We have never been to Charlottesville and have lived the midwest our wholes lives (Michigan & Indiana). we are open minded, try to live green and health conscious. We like the idea of hiking and doing outdoor activities. Would love to be close to restaurants, stores etc. especially if we could walk to them (although that may not be possible in our price range).

Charlottesville homes are much more expensive than central Indiana. As of now, I don't think we could afford anything above 500,00000.00 (that would be stretching to the max). We would be most comfortable financially if we could buy something under 475,000.00. We have a daughter that is in college but lives with us during the summers and during schools holiday breaks and also hope family will visit us. So we would like an extra bedroom (4 bedrooms total) or or 3 bedrooms with something like a finished basement or loft. We don't need a big backyard etc. We are open to a town home or Condo but have never lived in one. We would want to live someplace welcoming and where there will be other teenagers for our boys to interact with. I don't want to move into a community where they will feel isolated because there is no one their age.

Given this info, does anyone have advice regarding high schools and possible neighborhoods? Are there schools to avoid because of low performance etc? It seems like housing outside of Charlottesville may be more affordable but I don't know what traffic is like etc. for my husbands commute. Currently, he works from home but will have to go into the office daily when we move. We are completely unfamiliar with the area. This all feels very overwhelming right now.

Also, this is an untimely move for my oldest. He is an average student in his senior year, and about to go through a tough transition. I suspect he will attend community college his first year out of high school. Is the community college in the area decent?

I have been a stay home mom for the last decade and a half. I'm pretty sure I will need to obtain at least part time employment. I am definitely open to any suggestions on that front as well, lol. Don't really have a spectacular resume with a ton of work experience other than "Mom".

Thank you for taking the time to read this lengthy post. Hoping for some helpful responses. If I have left anything out that could be useful please let me know. Again thank you for any advice you can provide. Excited for this next phase in our life, but also a little scared of the unknown
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Old 09-23-2018, 04:15 PM
346 posts, read 696,448 times
Reputation: 255
My son works in Charlottesville High School and lives in Barbourseville, about 20 minutes drive to work. I have looked at moving to the area myself, as of right now we are on hold....but still may decide to do it in the future. What I have found is this, if you don't need to be physically near a hospital (I do unfortunately)...then I would suggest looking North of Charlottesville a bit. Barbourseville is nice, but can be quite rural in parts....but definitely cheaper than C'Ville.....and the best schools which would be Albermarle District which covers some of Barboursville as well as some of C'Ville. The C'Ville district itself, is OK, but niot to the same standards as Abermarle in my opinion.The North parts of C'Ville along Rt. 29 would be a good spot also, meaning from Walmart and North (if you look at a map)....there is a lot of housing a mile or less off the main road there, and you'd be close to everything if that's what you like. North on Rt. 20 from Martha Jefferson is also very nice, more rural than the rt. 29 side....but nice homes along the road along the way, not sure of prices in that area. I am not a big fan of C'Ville as far as the City itself, but the area around it is certainly beautiful. My son, while a HS teacher....has dogs, pigs, chickens and bees on his two acres, along with a large garden where they grow their own vegetables. It's a nice life, and they love it. Good luck!
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Old 09-25-2018, 06:44 AM
39 posts, read 69,860 times
Reputation: 18
Thank you for your input jtees4, I really appreciate it. It looks like there are two Abermarle high schools. Do you know if there are big differences between the two?
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Old 09-25-2018, 09:08 PM
35 posts, read 73,248 times
Reputation: 37
Default Sooner than you think

A few quick thoughts and recommendations:

Senior son: Piedmont Virginia Community College (PVCC) = Excellent! Look into the PVCC Dual Enrollment program "which allows eligible high school students to earn college and high school credit simultaneously" also the "system-wide agreements, students who graduate from one of Virginia's 23 community colleges with an associate's degree and a minimum grade point average may obtain GUARANTEED admission to more than 30 of the commonwealth's colleges and universities." VCCS Transfer

Freshman son: Albemarle High School. look at Soccer Organization Charlottesville Area (SOCA), CARS is a volunteer rescue squad, maybe they need volunteers with Charlottesville Cardinals "a nationally ranked wheelchair basketball team based in Virginia", Fairview Swim & Tennis Club at 707 Belvedere Boulevard.

Housing: Cascadia Subdivision is near State Farm Operations center “The Farm”. Another suggestion would be Belvedere subdivision off RIO Road (near where The Center which will be under construction soon and the Fairview swim club – nice kids, they were all out installing the winter season bubble over the pool a few days ago, look for house plans with separate garage apartment for boys and then use it for rental income when they are out of the nest, which will be sooner than you think. (recommend Southern Dev. Homes as builder) housing is tight, so you may have to rent while your house is being built (apartments just down the street).

Part-time job for You: Unemployment rate here is like 2.5%. Wide open - they will find you!
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Old 09-26-2018, 05:57 AM
346 posts, read 696,448 times
Reputation: 255
Originally Posted by ln.warner View Post
Thank you for your input jtees4, I really appreciate it. It looks like there are two Abermarle high schools. Do you know if there are big differences between the two?
I do not, sorry. I just always hear about the district being the best (including from teachers in the area), but I do not know the individual schools.
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Old 09-28-2018, 12:25 PM
39 posts, read 69,860 times
Reputation: 18
Thanks TinaTurnstone! Appreciate all the advice. Happy to hear about PVCC.
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Old 10-13-2018, 03:46 PM
Location: Charlottesville VA
25 posts, read 7,208 times
Reputation: 63
Schools: See my other posts as a former school board member about our local schools.

PVCC is definitely a worthwhile stepping stone. The k-12 public schools are pretty bad despite the spin from the locals.

Check out schooldigger.com to see verified US Dept of Education stats about the schools.

Western Albemarle HS - Excellent but tends to the snotty WASP types
Albemarle - Very Good - does not have the academic prowess of WAHS but is more integrated. Of course along with it's urban location there is a fairly substantial drug and alcohol problem
Monticello HS - The newest high school, the most diverse, the worst academically , the highest drug and teen pregnancy rates
Charlottesville HS - Spends the most money but is still the least safe and the worst academically. Drug problems not that bad but that is due to lack of money among the students to buy drugs. Also the only school with a serious gang problem.

Housing: Again also see my other posts.

We live in a community called Bundoran Farms. What others say is true, the price of a house is in direct relation to it's proximity to the University. But there are many communities in your price range.

Look at Mosby Mountain, Whittington subdivisions just south of town. Or Southern Hills if you are willing to drive ten minutes further out.

If you want to be in the one decent school area look at Old Trail but most likely you would need to buy an older non-subdivision home to be near WAHS
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Old 10-24-2018, 03:34 PM
39 posts, read 69,860 times
Reputation: 18
An Old Tavernkeeper - I did read through some of your older posts about the schools.To be honest they kind of stressed me out a bit... But, I do want people to give me their straight opinions, so I appreciate your bluntness. We will basically have 5 days with a realtor in November to figure out where we want to live. I am trying to do as much research before hand as a possibly can. I know it might make more sense to rent, get to know the area and then buy - but we receive the most assistance from my husbands employment if we buy right away.

How prevalent is the gang activity at Charlottesville High? Two of our children have attended an inner city high school and we had a good experience and learned a lot socially through the diverse student body make up. Gang activity wasn't an issue so that would definitely be something new to navigate.

Academically you listed both Monticello and Charlottesville High as the worst. Do you feel one or both have the potential for growth in this area? Are they trending up in the last couple of years or down? Those two districts seem the closest to my husbands work and we are hoping to find something that isn't to far of hike from downtown - we like spending time in the city. But, if the schools are that bad he would be willing make the commute.

Albemarle seems like it might be the best fit for us. It's closer to my husbands employment than WAHS and we are looking for a down to earth community. Can you think of any neighborhoods in that school district with houses 500,000.00 or below?
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