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Old 03-09-2011, 10:09 AM
 
43 posts, read 67,189 times
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Default Fairfax school boundries changing?

Hi,

I am new to the site and will be moving to the NOVA area in a few months, with plans of staying until my kids are out of high school (10+ years).
Schools are a key factor in deciding where to live, so I am interested in if there are planned changes in the school borders (specifically: Langley, McLean, Woodson, and Oakton pyramids).

Also, how are border changes enacted in Fairfax county?
Are existing homes grandfathered, new homes placed in new schools, etc.

Thanks for the help.
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Old 03-09-2011, 10:32 AM
 
4,455 posts, read 4,889,497 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ecnorton View Post
Hi,

I am new to the site and will be moving to the NOVA area in a few months, with plans of staying until my kids are out of high school (10+ years).
Schools are a key factor in deciding where to live, so I am interested in if there are planned changes in the school borders (specifically: Langley, McLean, Woodson, and Oakton pyramids).

Also, how are border changes enacted in Fairfax county?
Are existing homes grandfathered, new homes placed in new schools, etc.

Thanks for the help.
There are no planned changes at present to the boundaries for the schools in the Langley or McLean pyramids. You have no way of knowing whether that could change over the next 10 years or so.

There is an ongoing "Annandale Regional Planning Study" that includes within its current scope Jackson MS (which is one of the feeders to Oakton HS), Frost MS (which feeds to Woodson HS) and Woodson HS. Too early to know whether these boundaries will change or, if so, how. Since the overall purpose of the study is to relieve overcrowding at Annandale HS, it seems more likely that Woodson would gain students than that Woodson students would be sent to other schools, but one can't be certain.

Border changes are enacted in Fairfax with a lot of angst. It does not bring out the best in people. There is typically advance notice and a chance for the public to comment on various redistricting options developed by FCPS staff, accompanied by a sense of distrust and suspicion that the decisions have already been made by School Board members behind closed doors.

Existing homes are not grandfathered when there are boundary changes, but changes may be phased in over time, with students themselves grandfathered. So, for example, if part of Woodson HS was reassigned to Falls Church HS, a 9th grader already at Woodson would typically stay there for grades 10-12, but a current 8th grader would start at Falls Church the following year. New homes are generally assigned to the schools within the current boundaries, with trailers added if a school becomes over-crowded. The fact that siblings may end up in different pyramids generally does not matter to FCPS.

I hope that addresses your questions. I would add that, while there are exceptions, people who are familiar with FCPS tend to roll their eyes at newcomers who imply that they would only be satisfied with a handful of the county's 25 high schools, which generally are very strong.

Last edited by JEB77; 03-09-2011 at 12:01 PM..
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Old 03-09-2011, 01:09 PM
 
43 posts, read 67,189 times
Reputation: 21
Thanks for the info.
I realize there is always risk on boundary changes, but it looks like price of the house is tied to the perceived quality of the school to a certain extent, so I would not want to pay Langley prices today to not have my kids go to Langley HS 5 yrs down the road.

Are boundary changes a common occurrence in FCPS?

We are moving from CA, with the military, and are considering Fairfax county because of the good schools.

Last edited by ecnorton; 03-09-2011 at 01:21 PM.. Reason: typo
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Old 03-09-2011, 01:22 PM
 
4,455 posts, read 4,889,497 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ecnorton View Post
Thanks for the info.
I realize there is always risk on boundary changes, but it looks like price of the house is tied to the perceived quality of the school, so I would not want to pay Langley prices today to not have my kids go to Langley HS 5 yrs down the road.

Are boundary changes a common occurrence in FCPS?
There aren't any guarantees. Obviously, if you're talking about the Langley HS district, the further east you are (near the school itself), the lower the chance that you might be redistricted than if you're looking out in Great Falls near the Loudoun border, where there are a bunch of neighborhoods that are assigned to Langley even though they are closer to Herndon and South Lakes HS.

Boundary studies and redistrictings are common in FCPS, but typically only involve a limited number of schools at a time. The most recent study involving about two dozen elementary school in the southwestern part of the county was one of the larger redistrictings in recent memory.
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Old 03-09-2011, 01:27 PM
 
Location: Fairfax, VA
1,421 posts, read 1,439,296 times
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don't know about common occurence, but there are always studies underway, it seems.

A couple years ago, there was a HS boundary change that affected Langley. I doubt there will be another one anytime soon.

There is a large boundary change coming this coming year for elementary schools, but that is in Fairfax/Clifton/Chantilly/Centreville area. Nothing near where you are looking.

There is another study underway in the Annandale area, but those won't happen for a couple more years at least.

My friend who teaches in FCPS says small shifts happen fairly frquently - I'm talking about large scale changes above. The smaller changes are more likely to affect elementary schools.
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Old 03-09-2011, 02:02 PM
 
4,455 posts, read 4,889,497 times
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Originally Posted by hilsmom View Post
A couple years ago, there was a HS boundary change that affected Langley. I doubt there will be another one anytime soon.
Not sure that's right. There was a boundary change in 2008 that affected the boundaries for South Lakes, Westfield, Oakton, Chantilly and Madison HS, but not Langley. The fact that Langley wasn't included in the scope of the boundary study was what got some people mad, since some Langley kids live closer to South Lakes than to Langley.

Did you have something else in mind?

Last edited by JEB77; 03-09-2011 at 02:10 PM..
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Old 03-09-2011, 02:12 PM
 
Location: Fairfax, VA
1,421 posts, read 1,439,296 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JEB77 View Post
Not sure that's right. There was a boundary change in 2008 that affected the boundaries for South Lakes, Westfield, Oakton, Chantilly and Madison HS, but not Langley. The fact that Langley wasn't included in the scope of the boundary study was what got some people mad, since some Langley kids live closer to South Lakes than to Langley.
OH, I might have read a prior comment here and thought it HAD included Langley. I was barely paying attention to schools at that point, as my child was 2. I did know that there was an uproar over the change to South Lakes HS as we are just north of there. We're zoned to Herndon.
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