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Old 04-21-2015, 10:10 PM
15 posts, read 15,030 times
Reputation: 35


Hi all--we are house hunting in Leesburg and want to live in an older home that is not part of a planned community. It seems like everything we look at is zoned to different schools. I've definitely combed through all the school rating sites and have been disappointed at how consistently low the ratings/feedback has been for Tuscarora. I'm not trying to be a school snob or obsessed with ratings, because they only get you so far...I just had heard great things about Loudoun County schools, but on closer look it doesn't seem like everyone is happy with this school? Are the ratings sites just not telling the whole story? Are there any locals out there who have had good experiences with Leesburg public schools? The homes we liked most are zoned Catoctin/Smart's Mill/Tuscarora or Leesburg Elem/SM/Tuscarora. (We are looking in the old part of Leesburg, downtown.)Thanks so much. I know this can be a touchy subject and I know I sound like a helicopter parent. One of my children is autistic and has an IEP, the others are mainstream, and I'm just hoping to make a good, informed choice for all. I'd love to ask people I know but have not found anyone with personal experience in Leesburg, and our realtor of course can only steer me to the school and county websites. Thanks again.
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Old 04-22-2015, 07:58 AM
Location: among the clustered spires
2,380 posts, read 3,876,107 times
Reputation: 869
We liked Leesburg ES just fine. Smart's Mill seemed to get positive reviews, but yes, Tuscarora HS got mixed reviews -- I certainly wouldn't put it in the same category as Park View (Sterling), but it's probably the worst of the remaining schools. With that said, I will make this statement:

No schools in Leesburg are so terrible as to prevent a child/parent team who wants to learn and excel from doing so. In fact, I'll spread it out to nearly all of Northern Virginia, with the possible exceptions of Park View HS/Freedom-Woodbridge HS, and some of the elementary schools where non-FARMS/non-ESOL students are under 30%.

With that said, the Ida Lee pool always seemed like it was maxed out during the summer (the indoor pool is nice though), and as time went on, it became apparent that there didn't seem to be that much for 5-13 y/o kids (or at least my daughter) to do in downtown Leesburg, as opposed to empty-nesters/DINKs. (The museum's always closed, there's tons of live music but after 8pm (I know Shoe's has some Sunday afternoon acts, but nothing really for kids), the Tally Ho has little or nothing for kids anymore, and most of the restaurants are either closed at 2-4pm or are $$$.)

My wife essentially wanted the HOA/suburban/Ashburn life, but Frederick is cheaper than Ashburn, and I like Merland.

If you've got access to cheap/plentiful babysitters, downtown Leesburg would work very well for you, the schools are the last thing I'd really worry about.
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