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Old 02-01-2008, 10:43 AM
91 posts, read 310,830 times
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moving to the area and wondering about the schools...

how hard is it to open enroll to one of the better elementary schools?
can you try for more than 1?

what if you are moving from out of state? will that put you at a disadvantage?

any comments and input you have will be greatly appreciated.
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Old 02-01-2008, 12:22 PM
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Not sure what you mean by "open enrollment." Most schools in Arlington County are neighborhood schools, where attendance is determined by your address. There are several county-wide options, such as a science focus school and a "traditional school." Here's a website with more information:

Arlington Public Schools | School Options (http://www.apsva.us/154010811517240/blank/browse.asp?a=383&BMDRN=2000&BCOB=0&c=54218 - broken link)
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Old 02-01-2008, 03:16 PM
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I'll start by assuming that you've read all the official information provided in claremarie's excellent link above. My information is based solely on parent gossip and what I remember from the Kindergarten Information Night last year.
Obviously, you are automatically assigned to your neighborhood school. Transferring to one of the area/cluster schools (Arlington Traditional, Science Focus, Campbell) is lottery. You must be a resident of the county before the April 15 deadline to apply for a transfer--I think if you move into the area after that date, you would be put at the end of any waiting list. Most of my friends who wanted an alternate program eventually got in before the start of the school year, but I don't know actual numbers. You can try for more than one, but you do have to jump through a few hoops for each (visit your home school, visit each of the schools that you want to transfer to and fill out a separate form for each).
Generally, North Arlington schools are considered better than South, but I would argue that the quality is high throughout most of the county. However, many of the North Arlington schools are overcrowded and the county is in the middle of a massive and controversial boundary restructuring. As a result, I doubt that many of the North Arlington schools will be taking transfers from other neighborhood schools in the coming school year. I certainly wouldn't count on it.
Finally, this year there were 4 schools that missed No Child Left Behind targets. This means that students from these schools could transfer to a couple of designated schools elsewhere in the county without worrying about the lottery etc.
In short, as long as you didn't have your heart set on one particular school, you could probably transfer successfully if you're living in the county before April 15. After that, it may be more difficult.
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