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Old 10-09-2015, 11:41 AM
 
16 posts, read 17,242 times
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Hi, new to the forum, read everything that I needed but now want to post about my situation and get some opinions. Trust me, I know how odd it is to compare Woodbridge to McLean lol but please bear with me. We currently live in Woodbridge but can afford to live in McLean, my husband has been wanting to move for years but I have not because my parents and all my siblings live within minutes of us. We are very involved in each others lives, my parents need me close to them for various health issues as much as I need them for how much they help me with my three kids. My husband has a lot going on with work (multiple businesses) and is barely home, I depend on my parents and sisters and brothers A LOT. So far we have dealt with the school issue by having my oldest in private school but that's not an option anymore because the higher grades in his school were not good. He's now in fourth grade in our local public school and my second is in kindergarten. My oldest is in the gifted program and my kindergartener is already bored in class. The schools around us are not rated very highly and my husband thinks it's finally time to move to McLean. We reluctantly put an offer on a rental in the spring hill, cooper, Langley district. The plan is to see how we like it and then buy after we sell our house here in Woodbridge. I'm very sad about leaving my family behind. I know it's only 45 minutes or so, but it'll be nothing like how things used to be. I was thinking that moving by the better schools in Woodbridge (Marshall elementary, Benton middle) could give our kids as good enough of an education as the ones in McLean as long as they have our guidance and support. My husband thinks Woodbridge is Woodbridge and there's no comparison. Thoughts??
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Old 10-09-2015, 11:59 AM
 
519 posts, read 698,176 times
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Is there a reason that Woodbridge and McLean are your only two choices? There are some very good schools in the southern part of Fairfax County that would be a lot closer to Woodbridge (West Springfield and Lake Braddock are top notch, Hayfield and South County, while not quite as highly ranked, still outscore Woodbridge schools). You could cut your distance from your family by quite a bit if you didn't go all the way to McLean.
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Old 10-09-2015, 12:10 PM
 
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Well for my husband his reasoning is that if we're going to go into fairfax county we might as well go to the absolute best schools the county has to offer. I did look around fairfax station to be a little closer to Woodbridge but couldn't find any homes we liked.
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Old 10-09-2015, 12:52 PM
 
5,071 posts, read 8,616,501 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vectorhead View Post
Is there a reason that Woodbridge and McLean are your only two choices? There are some very good schools in the southern part of Fairfax County that would be a lot closer to Woodbridge (West Springfield and Lake Braddock are top notch, Hayfield and South County, while not quite as highly ranked, still outscore Woodbridge schools). You could cut your distance from your family by quite a bit if you didn't go all the way to McLean.
This is very good advice. You can live in other parts of Fairfax that will put you closer to your family and still provide you with access to good, challenging schools.

Last edited by JD984; 10-09-2015 at 01:55 PM..
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Old 10-09-2015, 12:56 PM
 
Location: The South
3,879 posts, read 5,334,090 times
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Just playing Devil's Advocate here and not really looking for you to answer.

You've stated you can afford a house in McLean but what about the "lifestyle". There'll be a lot of peer pressure on your children and you for the "right" cars, vacations, second homes, European vacations , camps, travel sports leagues, clothes, country clubs and on and on. We grew up and later lived as parents in very posh parts of Montgomery County and it is very hard not to get caught up because you want your children to have the best and "fit in".

One other thing to weigh -- you've stated the children are very bright. In Woodbridge, would they rise to the top of the class? Be in leadership rolls? That may weigh heavier in college applications than being in the middle of the pack at Langley.

Those areas are extremely competitive (truly cut-throat) in all aspects of life. Giving your children a close family nearby could be the ultimate luxury.

Just to ponder. Best of luck!

Last edited by LynchburgLover; 10-09-2015 at 01:21 PM..
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Old 10-09-2015, 01:32 PM
 
1,688 posts, read 1,345,049 times
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The frustrating part about Woodbridge is that there are good schools but unlike most places in NoVa (McLean, Chantilly, Ashburn, etc) it's extremely spread out. Lake Ridge (22192) has good schools but they also have bad. Dale City (22193) has some good schools but they also have bad as well. Or someone's neighborhood is zoned for a good elementary school but the middle schools and high schools aren't good. I think that's Woodbridge's biggest problem, it's a huge area where the schools are too mixed of a bag.

Will you be able to handle everything without having your family so close? Although a huge portion of my friends live in Reston, Tysons etc and on the weekends it's a 40 min drive at most so it's not that far but if you can afford McLean I'd say go for it. But I would also possibly consider moving in a zone in Woodbridge where there are better schools that way you can still be close to your family.
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Old 10-09-2015, 02:04 PM
 
16 posts, read 17,242 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NOVA_guy View Post
The frustrating part about Woodbridge is that there are good schools but unlike most places in NoVa (McLean, Chantilly, Ashburn, etc) it's extremely spread out. Lake Ridge (22192) has good schools but they also have bad. Dale City (22193) has some good schools but they also have bad as well. Or someone's neighborhood is zoned for a good elementary school but the middle schools and high schools aren't good. I think that's Woodbridge's biggest problem, it's a huge area where the schools are too mixed of a bag.

Will you be able to handle everything without having your family so close? Although a huge portion of my friends live in Reston, Tysons etc and on the weekends it's a 40 min drive at most so it's not that far but if you can afford McLean I'd say go for it. But I would also possibly consider moving in a zone in Woodbridge where there are better schools that way you can still be close to your family.
You hit the nail on the head about schools in woodbridge! Its hard if not impossible to find a house with all good elementary, middle or high schools. Yes I will be ABLE to handle everything without them, it'll be harder but manageable. Its the unforeseen circumstances and unplanned random quality time that I will miss. My husband seems to think its no big deal he thinks McLean is "so close", but with this areas traffic and being tied down with three little kids its not as easy as he thinks...
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Old 10-09-2015, 02:56 PM
 
10,596 posts, read 12,088,527 times
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Just a datapoint here. One of my doctors has two kids that were the same age as my own kids. We often talked about it. His kids started out in Langley High and he hated it there. He said the parents rule the school and it was ridiculous how much they ran over the administration (he used private for elementary/middle). He actually moved his kids to one of the Woodbridge High Schools because he worked close to them (I can't remember which one it was) and I guess he paid for that. Very odd, I know.

But don't think McLean is the be all to end all. I also agree with another poster in that you can do VERY well in, say, Springfield and other areas of Fairfax.

To some degree, I don't care for many of the Woodbridge schools, but you can put yourself in a better pyramid. Many successful students do very well in Woodbridge and go on to wonderful colleges.
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Old 10-09-2015, 03:37 PM
 
16 posts, read 17,242 times
Reputation: 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by LynchburgLover View Post
Just playing Devil's Advocate here and not really looking for you to answer.

You've stated you can afford a house in McLean but what about the "lifestyle". There'll be a lot of peer pressure on your children and you for the "right" cars, vacations, second homes, European vacations , camps, travel sports leagues, clothes, country clubs and on and on. We grew up and later lived as parents in very posh parts of Montgomery County and it is very hard not to get caught up because you want your children to have the best and "fit in".

One other thing to weigh -- you've stated the children are very bright. In Woodbridge, would they rise to the top of the class? Be in leadership rolls? That may weigh heavier in college applications than being in the middle of the pack at Langley.

Those areas are extremely competitive (truly cut-throat) in all aspects of life. Giving your children a close family nearby could be the ultimate luxury.

Just to ponder. Best of luck!
I know you weren't looking for an answer but I'm going to provide one anyway, lol, just because I have thought about those things you've mentioned. Without going into too much detail, yes we can afford somewhat of that "lifestyle", not to the extent of the high rollers but definitely not at the bottom, somewhere along the middle. With that said...its partly why my husband thinks we should rent there for a couple years and see how it really is firsthand.

What you said about being at the top of the class in a woodbridge school is my argument to my husband about why we should stay in woodbridge but he thinks I'm crazy to not want to put my kids in one of "the best districts in the country"when we have the opportunity.
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Old 10-09-2015, 03:54 PM
 
Location: Virginia
8,106 posts, read 12,646,226 times
Reputation: 3760
Quote:
Originally Posted by Novamom3 View Post
Well for my husband his reasoning is that if we're going to go into fairfax county we might as well go to the absolute best schools the county has to offer. I did look around fairfax station to be a little closer to Woodbridge but couldn't find any homes we liked.
What are your criteria that makes a school a "good school", or a district "one of the best districts"? I know you mentioned that your current schools aren't rated very high. Which rating are you referencing?

What are you looking for in a school? Is it something your current schools can't provide?
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