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Old 08-30-2006, 12:49 PM
1 posts, read 3,887 times
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HI, we are moving from Ne. to Annandale. Any helpful information on the area would be wonderful. Have no idea what to expect. I have 2 teenage girls. Information on schools would be wonderful. They come from a very small school. Info on schools, job market, crime would be great.


Last edited by Nebraskagirl; 08-30-2006 at 01:07 PM..
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Old 08-30-2006, 03:59 PM
Location: In exile, plotting my coup
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Annandale is an older suburb around 12 miles outside of DC with a population of around 50,000 people. Like most of suburban Virginia, there really isn't much of a centralized town (tiny strip on Little River Turnpike) and the area is largely sprawly in nature. The housing stock here is older than further out in Virginia made up of single family homes which consists largely of tiny one-story brick bungalows or split-level rambler homes, townhomes built in the 1970s, and quite a few garden-style apartments, which are largely three-story brick structures that appear to be somewhat in disrepair. Annandale is known as the informal center of Korean life in the DC area even though the actual concentration of Koreans who live there is only slightly above other parts of Northern Virginia (as of the 2000 census, Annandale is roughly 7% Korean), but there is a high concentration of Korean businesses in the area. You can drive past large strip malls where 75% of the stores have Korean lettering outside. It has a large number of immigrants from all over the world, not just Korea but also Latin America, Southeast Asia (Vietnam in particular), the Middle East, Africa and South Asia. Annandale is actually very safe, although within Fairfax County, it's thought about as a little rough, that's mainly because it's not sparkling new. There is a lot of press coverage given to gang violence recently in the DC area, and while no doubt there is a presence in Annandale (as there is really everywhere in the DC area now), the problem is blown a bit out of proportion in the media. Of course you have to take precautions as you would in any major metro area, but as a whole, Annandale is a pretty safe area and much of the crime that there is is petty crime (vandalism and the like). Annandale's location is a bit inconvenient. It sort of lies in the middle of a large gulf between the Blue and Orange Line's Metro coverage, and most trips out of Annandale will require a trip on the Beltway (the infamous I-495 loop that circles the DC area).

While the school boundaries in Fairfax County are pretty illogical, I'm going to assume that you're children will be going to Annandale High School. AHS has a bit of rougher reputation compared to other schools in Northern Virginia but it's all relative. Schools in Fairfax County are renowned as some of the best in the country so the schools that are considered "bad" here are generally considered average or even above average elsewhere. Annandale, like most schools in Fairfax County is a large overcrowded school with some 2,400 students. It has an International Baccalaureate program that is highly-regarded. The average SAT score is 1046, a bit above the national average although below the Fairfax County average. Appoximately 40% of the school qualifies for free or reduced lunches and around 25% of the school has limited English ability. The school is extremely diverse and generally well-integrated and tolerant, although there were several incidences years ago of fights between blacks and Latinos. A lot of the information regarding test scores, demographics and the like is available on the Fairfax County Public Schools website under School Profiles.

Last edited by dullnboring; 08-30-2006 at 04:18 PM..
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Old 09-07-2006, 12:47 PM
Location: Hardy, VA
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Hi Nebraska Girl. That is good info from dullnboring. Just wanted to say, feel free to ask any other questions. I am 27 now, and lived in Annandale for most of those 27 years. I graduated from Annandale High School and went on to get a Bachelor's degree and a Master's Degree. My parents still live in Annandale...I just spent the last week there visiting. Lots of my friends that grew up there have stayed in the area and love it.
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Old 12-01-2007, 08:29 AM
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Annandale is a great place to live and raise your children. The only bad thing about it is the traffic, it's always rush hour. The schools are great. Annandale high school has a population of about 2500 student. The school is extremely diverse and it offers IB and AP classes. There's not really much to do in the city itself but DC is only about 10 minutes away so you'll have plenty of things to do there.
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Old 12-03-2007, 08:11 AM
Location: Manassas, VA
352 posts, read 1,440,286 times
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Originally Posted by Nebraskagirl View Post
HI, we are moving from Ne. to Annandale. Any helpful information on the area would be wonderful. Have no idea what to expect. I have 2 teenage girls. Information on schools would be wonderful. They come from a very small school. Info on schools, job market, crime would be great.

I second what dullnboring said, with a few additions. Background: I went to the feeder schools for Annandale HS (Poe MS and Wakefield Forest ES) and would have gone to Annandale HS if my dad had not been promoted and we left the DC Metro area at that time. My dad grew up in Omaha NE, and almost all of my relatives on my dad's side still reside in either Lincoln or Omaha. Finally, my sister-in-law taught at Annandale HS until a couple years ago.

With that out of the way, unless you come from Omaha proper (and likely even then), your kids are likely to be in for the culture shock of their lives when they go to Annandale HS, due to its extreme multiculturalism. It just isn't like anything they've seen in Nebraska before. That said, that will be a wonderful learning experience about America's diversity, and I'll bet Annandale has equal or higher test scores than most schools in Lincoln or Omaha. So it's not something to worry about - but please, please, talk to your kids. Make sure they get prepped for seeing a lot of people that may not look like them or have their customs, palate, faith, or primary language spoken at home. Make sure they see it as a challenge, a thrill, something outside what they would have been likely able to experience in Nebraska, as a learning experience about other people, and not something to avoid or dread.

One last note...Annandale zip code 22003 actually feeds into two high school systems, Annandale HS and W.T. Woodson HS. Woodson is generally considered the better of the two school systems. If you still haven't picked out a house, do consider that in your decision. If you have already, don't fret - Annandale will be just fine as long as you prep your kids as I described.

Welcome to Northern Virginia!
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