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Old 01-21-2011, 02:08 PM
 
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My impression is that people who want to transfer usually find a way to transfer and that people transfer for different reasons. In a lot of cases around here, kids really transfer in order to play on a high school sports team, and the purported desire to take a particular course or follow a particular academic program is the accepted pretext.

In addition, while people in NoVa tend to value good schools over diversity per se, I don't think most people here equate diversity with bad schools, as do some posters. The public schools are part of a single county-wide school system and, with perhaps a small number of exceptions, I think motivated students with parental support can do fine at any of them. For the most part, they all have different strenghts and weaknesses, and parents and students hopefully learn how to navigate their way around them.

As to AP vs. IB, we know some conservative folks in the military whose kid is getting an IB diploma, so I'm not sure that one has to be a flaming liberal to see the program's strengths. Maybe they are spies and this is part of their cover to blend into American (or European) society. Conversely, one could be quite liberal and prefer AP courses if, for example, one had no burning desire as a 17-year-old to immerse oneself in a "Theory of Knowledge" course, but was excited by the syllabus for AP History or AP Biology.

Getting back to the OP's inquiry, it sounded as if the OP's daughter was amenable to a move, but preferred to go to Edison rather than Lee if a move to NoVa was in the cards. I would agree that, other things being equal, it would probably be easier on the daughter if she was able to finish her senior year in Maryland at her current school. If she is closely tied to a set of friends in Gaithersburg, the OP may find that they have a shorter commute to work, but that their daughter (or they) is driving back and forth to Maryland every weekend. But, at the same time, some kids are mature enough to go along with things that they themselves recognize may be in the family's best interests.

Good luck to our OP, with whatever they decide.

Last edited by JD984; 01-21-2011 at 02:48 PM..
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Old 01-21-2011, 02:11 PM
 
617 posts, read 1,152,702 times
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Originally Posted by Denton56 View Post
No, there are fees for attending FCPS schools if you live in the county, but the child will not get bus service. Parents must provide transportation.
Okay, I may have been confused. Maybe the thread I was thinking of was concerning cross county school attendance; someone in PW who had a child attending in Fairfax.
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Old 01-21-2011, 04:04 PM
 
Location: Metro Washington DC
13,031 posts, read 19,863,429 times
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Originally Posted by Denton56 View Post
Stay in Maryland one more year, if at all possible. I wouldn't make my child move for her senior year and I wouldn't send my child to either Edison or Lee. They aren't good schools. Is your daughter in the IB program? Both are IB schools. Stay in Maryland if she's in a decent school and you can stand one more year of commuting.
Well. She wants to move even more than we do. We're also thinking of in-state college tuition, but in Virginia you have to live there for a year first. I think MoCo schools are different, but she currently has many AP courses. Would be great if we could live in Va and she could commute back to MoCo for her final year, but I dont know if it is possible. I haven't yet found the info on their website. I have 2 other kids that would be going into 7th and 9th grades, so moving thisi summer is good for them. We're just trying to decide what to about the oldest if we do that.

In reading all of the responses, I'm getting the feeling that those two schools aren't that good. Where she is now (Quince Orchard) is not among the top schools of MoCo, but it is still a very good school. We're looking for equal or better than that school.
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Old 01-21-2011, 04:16 PM
 
Location: Everywhere and Nowhere
14,131 posts, read 27,025,871 times
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As a parent of a child who has done just this, let me set the record straight. There are no fees for doing it and all you need to do is fill out a form. Edison is an older school in an older area so is likely underenrolled as are our high schools in Mount Vernon (West Potomac and Mount Vernon). There really is no issue with transferring kids into such schools. You will need to provide transportation. The kids around here move pretty freely between the two high schools based on their preference for AP (West Potomac) or IB (Mount Vernon). Some even start at one and switch to the other one. But why live in ignorance? Just go to either Lee or Edison, pick up a form and ask. I'm pretty sure they'll tell you what I just did.
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Old 01-21-2011, 05:26 PM
 
Location: Metro Washington DC
13,031 posts, read 19,863,429 times
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Originally Posted by JEB77 View Post
Equal or better? That can be an objective or subjective assessment.

If you want to know about neighborhood high schools in Arlington County, Falls Church City, or Fairfax County with higher SAT scores in 2010 than Quince Orchard, which is one possible way to judge, though obviously not the only way, here's a list (and it doesn't include Edison or Lee):

Langley 1812 X
George Mason 1795 X
McLean 1778 X
Yorktown 1741 X
Woodson 1738 X
Madison 1734 X
Oakton 1729 X
Marshall 1690 X
Washingon-Lee 1670
Robinson 1665 X
Chantilly 1663 X
West Springfield 1644 X
Herndon 1642
Lake Braddock 1639 X
Fairfax 1635
Westfield 1625 X
[Quince Orchard - 1601]

If you think schools with lower percentages of lower-income students than Quince Orchard are likely to be better, you can look at the schools above with an "X" next to the SAT scores, and also include South County in Fairfax County.

Others, however, could surely attest to their kids having done well at schools that had lower SATs and more lower-income students that QO, but if you view those schools as a "step down," you may just view that as mere anecdote to be dismissed. At the end of the day, it's going to be your child, not your chid's school, that takes tests and grows up.
I agree with you and your last sentence. Other posts, though, were leaving me with a bad impression about Lee and Edison. I evaluate the schools on more than the SAT scores, but thanks for posting that list (which has some names I am very familiar with on it). I would be glad if someone who posted it can clarify why Lee or Edison would not be good schools for my kids.
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Old 01-21-2011, 07:08 PM
 
Location: Everywhere and Nowhere
14,131 posts, read 27,025,871 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dkf747 View Post
I agree with you and your last sentence. Other posts, though, were leaving me with a bad impression about Lee and Edison. I evaluate the schools on more than the SAT scores, but thanks for posting that list (which has some names I am very familiar with on it). I would be glad if someone who posted it can clarify why Lee or Edison would not be good schools for my kids.
Well the honest answer that people dance around and won't tell you straight out is the "better" schools in their minds are generally the ones with higher proportions of whites and Asian relative to other ethnic groups. They'll give you more politically correct rationalizations but that's really what it boils down to.
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Old 01-22-2011, 09:01 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dkf747 View Post
I agree with you and your last sentence. Other posts, though, were leaving me with a bad impression about Lee and Edison. I evaluate the schools on more than the SAT scores, but thanks for posting that list (which has some names I am very familiar with on it). I would be glad if someone who posted it can clarify why Lee or Edison would not be good schools for my kids.
Unfortunately, while the NoVa sub-forum is an active one, I don't recall seeing posters in the past with direct experience with either Edison or Lee. Unless some new posters weigh in, I think you'll pretty much be left to sort through variations of the following:

1. They are good, because all FCPS schools are good, and a committed student with parental support can get a fine education at any FCPS school. In fact, anyone who tells you otherwise is prejudiced against non-Whites/Asians, even if they won't come out and say so.

2. They are bad, because they are IB schools, and IB is liberal European nonsense that FCPS stuck in schools with lots of lower-income kids where the parents weren't organized enough to object. Even if you found someone with kids at Edison or Lee who had a great experience there and went on to get a Ph.D in Astrophysics from MIT, you shouldn't believe them, because they have to defend their decision to send their children to a bad school.

3. Raw statistics such as test scores, demographics, percentages of students in ESOL programs and/or receiving lunch subsidies, and student transfers (as to the latter, in recent years, Edison seems to be a school that gets a lot of out-of-boundary students transferring into, whereas the situation is reversed at Lee).

By the objective measures that people typically use to assess schools, both Edison and Lee would be considered a "step down" from Quince Orchard. The test scores are lower and there are higher (particularly at Lee) percentages of students from economically challenged backgrounds. It's somewhat difficult to find a high school in NoVa that closely resembles QO in terms of both test scores and demographics - probably the closest schools not too far from Alexandria would be Lake Braddock, West Springfield and South County.

Last edited by JD984; 01-22-2011 at 09:14 AM..
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Old 01-22-2011, 08:14 PM
 
Location: Arlington, VA and Washington, DC
23,578 posts, read 33,312,074 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Denton56 View Post
Stay in Maryland one more year, if at all possible. I wouldn't make my child move for her senior year and I wouldn't send my child to either Edison or Lee. They aren't good schools. Is your daughter in the IB program? Both are IB schools. Stay in Maryland if she's in a decent school and you can stand one more year of commuting.
I'm just about sick of people trashing certain high schools because they can afford better when others can't.

Before I go off into war mode, OP stay in Maryland. Moving during the senior year is the last thing you wanna do.

Okay back to you know who. Just because you have more of a choice in selecting a school zone does NOT give you a right to trash other high schools just because you think it's your duty. You know how many parents in the South would kill to send their kids to schools like Edison or Lee? Stop giving the task of raising kids to schools that is a PARENT's job.
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Old 01-22-2011, 08:53 PM
 
3,164 posts, read 6,120,324 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dkf747 View Post
Well. She wants to move even more than we do. We're also thinking of in-state college tuition, but in Virginia you have to live there for a year first. I think MoCo schools are different, but she currently has many AP courses. Would be great if we could live in Va and she could commute back to MoCo for her final year, but I dont know if it is possible. I haven't yet found the info on their website. I have 2 other kids that would be going into 7th and 9th grades, so moving thisi summer is good for them. We're just trying to decide what to about the oldest if we do that.

In reading all of the responses, I'm getting the feeling that those two schools aren't that good. Where she is now (Quince Orchard) is not among the top schools of MoCo, but it is still a very good school. We're looking for equal or better than that school.
Your daughter doesn't want to remain her school for her senior year? That's unusual.

Montgomery County also has IB and AP programs. Richard Montgomery is an IB school in MC. Your daughter will not have AP courses available to her at the two schools you mentioned and she can't enter the IB program as a senior since nearly all of the courses are two year courses. So she would have a senior year where she takes no AP classes. That's not a good thing for college applications. The two schools you are looking at are among the bottom schools in FC. I'll see if I can find a ranking of schools. But I know that both are in the bottom 8 of 25 high schools. But a bigger problem is the AP/IB programs. It's really not a good idea to place a student into an IB program for her senior year. She will largely be in classes that are filled with students who will not attend college since college bound students will be in the IB program classes. At a minimum, you need to move to an area with an AP high school. A large majority of FC schools (17 out of 25) are AP so it shouldn't be difficult to find a home in one of those areas.

When I was growing up my family had friends who had to move when their oldest child was about to begin his senior year of high school. He lived with us from Sunday night to Friday night and went home each weekend, and all the school holidays. Maybe your daughter could do something like that.
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Old 01-22-2011, 08:57 PM
 
3,164 posts, read 6,120,324 times
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>>>I'm just about sick of people trashing certain high schools because they can afford better when others can't.<<<

HUH? who said anything like that? Some schools are better than others. It's not a secret. It's all over the internet. The OP wants a good school. There are good schools with houses at all price points. There are bad schools that draw from all price points. Not sure why you think otherwise. Perhaps it's your lack of any experience with Fairfax county schools and their boundaries? Just a guess........I could be wrong.
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