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Old 03-28-2012, 07:43 PM
 
1 posts, read 1,112 times
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Hi everyone,

This is my first post on City-Data, but I have been lurking for a few months now. I've enjoyed learning from all of the NOVA experts. Thanks for all of the advice so far!

My husband has a new job in Arlington, and his commute from Annapolis has been brutal. We have been looking at relocating to Fairfax. Since we have 3 young boys (one in kindergarten, twins who are 3) and I stay home with them, we are looking for family-friendly areas. We are concentrating our search around Burke and West Springfield, as these seem to fit the bill for family friendliness, (relative) affordability, and (relatively) reasonable commute times. Do you agree with this assessment? Any place else you think that we should look? (We are looking at keeping purchase price below $550k.) I would love to live in an area where there are other stay-at-home parents and we can develop a new set of friends relatively easily. Maybe that is a pipe dream in NOVA with so many dual-income families...

The main school pyramids we have been looking at are Lake Braddock Secondary, Robinson Secondary, and West Springfield High. I'm not familiar with the secondary school concept in Fairfax County. I am wondering how the secondary schools are set up. Are the middle and high school campuses mixed, or do the kids go to different sections of the building or even different buildings? Do the middle and high school students share the same start and end times, and therefore share buses? I guess what I would really like to know is how much interaction the middle school and high school students have, particularly unstructured time such as in hallways or on buses. This information is not very easily gleaned from the schools' websites.

Thanks so much for your responses!
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Old 03-28-2012, 08:10 PM
 
Location: Northern Virginia
4,489 posts, read 9,538,285 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by angelf View Post
The main school pyramids we have been looking at are Lake Braddock Secondary, Robinson Secondary, and West Springfield High. I'm not familiar with the secondary school concept in Fairfax County. I am wondering how the secondary schools are set up. Are the middle and high school campuses mixed, or do the kids go to different sections of the building or even different buildings? Do the middle and high school students share the same start and end times, and therefore share buses? I guess what I would really like to know is how much interaction the middle school and high school students have, particularly unstructured time such as in hallways or on buses. This information is not very easily gleaned from the schools' websites.
They do a lot to try to keep the different grade levels separate. The middle school classes and lockers are all at one end of the school, the high school areas are the other side. They eat in separate cafeterias or have separate lunch times, separate gyms, etc.

That's not to say they don't cross paths occasionally. I lead a Bible study for a bunch of girls from Robinson, and tonight they were giggling about how one of them made a fool of herself in front of a bunch of high school girls and she's "soooooo embarrassed". From the way they talk though, they don't really mix too often.

I'm not sure about buses--that's a good question. I can ask the girls when I see them next if you don't get an answer before then.
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Old 03-28-2012, 08:51 PM
 
Location: Orange Hunt Estates, W. Springfield
628 posts, read 1,721,063 times
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We have lived in WS/Burke for 25 years and like it very much. Lake Braddock and South County are the two secondary schools in the general area. Our kids went to W. Springfield High, which is one of the older schools in the area and scheduled for renovation. Those three schools would be at the top of the pyramids depending where specifically in the area you bought. Your quoted price point is very doable in the area, except in newer developments where the home sizes are much larger than normal. Otherwise, your assessment of this area being family friendly is spot on. My community (Orange Hunt) has many stay-at-home parents. All you have to do is watch the walkers from the elementary schools at the end of the school day to see the many parents escorting their kids home.
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