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Old 04-20-2008, 04:58 AM
 
7 posts, read 26,431 times
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Hi,

I live in CT and my husband is considering a job in Fredericksburg. How are the schools in the area? We are used to top ranked public schools in the northeast... how does the Stafford school system compare? Would anyone recommend another town? Is there alot of crime, the website of the Stafford weekly paper listed the police blotter and there are alot of crime, even "gunfire in residential areas!" Really looking for the bst schools district that is commutable from Frederickburg and in a safe community. Thanks! Teddy
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Old 04-20-2008, 06:16 AM
 
Location: Fredericksburg, VA
738 posts, read 3,568,632 times
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Why Stafford?

If he is working in Fredericksburg, then you could live in Spotsylvania... it's like Stafford, but less expansive. The schools are the same quality, crime and taxes are around the same..., and they are the same distance from Fredericksburg (Depending on exactly where you end up getting a house, and where exactly he's working.)

Fredericksburg is wedged right between Spotsylvania and Stafford... but the difference is that Stafford is on the Washington DC side... so a lot of people live there and work in northern Virginia, or at the marine base. (Quantico) You can get the same house in Spotsylvania for maybe 20% less.

What is important to you? Do you want a large lot? trees? close to schools? How big of a house? If you don't mind saying, knowing the price range helps. Would you rather a new construction house?

Answer some of those, and I could help you a lot more... but just talking about the county in general, it's good... good schools and such. This year they're in some financial trouble though, and might need to cut some services to balance the budget. that's more of a short term negative, and is happening all over the area to some degree... just Stafford is getting hurt by the economy worse than surrounding counties.
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Old 04-20-2008, 06:17 AM
 
76 posts, read 279,778 times
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You would be in one of Nova's lower cost of living areas; that's good. However, if you get away from FCPS, the schools are much more like the national average school; kind of crappy.

Last edited by FindingZen; 04-20-2008 at 08:45 PM.. Reason: prejudiced comments
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Old 04-20-2008, 09:38 AM
 
Location: Fredericksburg, VA
738 posts, read 3,568,632 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sgermanguy View Post
However, if you get away from FCPS, the schools are much more like the national average school; kind of crappy. Moderator cut: removed quoted predjudicial remarks
Sorry, but what is 'FCPS'?

And I don't think your generality is true of all the schools. Sure, the culture is different in different areas, but that's to be expected anywhere.

And you're right... Stafford's cost of living is less than areas further north, but it's still higher than points to the south. And if you're working in Fredericksburg, why live in Stafford, when you can live in Spotsy and still have good schools and a lower cost of living?

Last edited by FindingZen; 04-21-2008 at 06:21 AM..
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Old 04-20-2008, 11:21 AM
 
141 posts, read 689,631 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EricD View Post
Sorry, but what is 'FCPS'?

And I don't think your generality is true of all the schools. Sure, the culture is different in different areas, but that's to be expected anywhere.

And you're right... Stafford's cost of living is less than areas further north, but it's still higher than points to the south. And if you're working in Fredericksburg, why live in Stafford, when you can live in Spotsy and still have good schools and a lower cost of living?
FCPS is Fairfax County Public School. I moved to this area from Florida, but I am originally from Massachusetts. I found out very quickly that Prince William County Schools overall did not have the same reputation as Fairfax County Public Schools, but you are correct that sgermanguy is generalizing.

The fact is, if you look at individual school test scores in Prince William County vs. individual Fairfax County School test scores, there are many great schools in both counties. Overall, I found that there is also a high level of ESL students in both school systems.

The best way to research the schools in whatever county you are in, is to look at the overall test scores if you are interested in a particular area. www.greatschools.net...one (broken link) of the websites which were very helpful to us.
Good luck!
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Old 04-20-2008, 11:22 AM
 
141 posts, read 689,631 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EricD View Post
Sorry, but what is 'FCPS'?

And I don't think your generality is true of all the schools. Sure, the culture is different in different areas, but that's to be expected anywhere.

And you're right... Stafford's cost of living is less than areas further north, but it's still higher than points to the south. And if you're working in Fredericksburg, why live in Stafford, when you can live in Spotsy and still have good schools and a lower cost of living?
FCPS is Fairfax County Public School. I moved to this area from Florida, but I am originally from Massachusetts. I found out very quickly that Prince William County Schools overall did not have the same reputation as Fairfax County Public Schools, but you are correct that supernanny is generalizing.

The fact is, if you look at individual school test scores in Prince William County vs. individual Fairfax County School test scores, there are many great schools in both counties. Overall, I found that there is also a high level of ESL students in both school systems.

The best way to research the schools in whatever county you are in, is to look at the overall test scores if you are interested in a particular area. GreatSchools.net
Good luck!
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Old 04-20-2008, 02:27 PM
 
Location: Chesterfield, VA
1,218 posts, read 4,570,675 times
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My guess would be that "FCPS" stands for Fredericksburg City Public Schools, versus Fairfax.

Teddy, I recently moved from Spotsylvania, and I agree with Eric, if your husband will be working in Fredericksburg, live in Spotsylvania. You will want to keep any time on the road to as much of a minimum as possible (traffic north to DC was the whole reason we moved).

And Eric was right on another point, give us an idea of your ideal home and target price range and we could probably steer you in the right direction. Cost of homes has gone down considerably in the Fredericksburg area market and it is a great time to buy (if you are not home-sale contingent).

The other thing I would recommend, while doing your research on the schools, PLEASE do not choose a home based on the schools it is serviced by. Because of the growth in the county, redistricting is often an issue, and that could affect the school your child attends. I would definitely base your choice on the county as a whole, versus the individual school(s) the home is currently zoned for.

Good luck with your move and let us know if you have any more questions.
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Old 04-20-2008, 03:01 PM
 
76 posts, read 279,778 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by onevthoki View Post
My guess would be that "FCPS" stands for Fredericksburg City Public Schools, versus Fairfax.

Teddy, I recently moved from Spotsylvania, and I agree with Eric, if your husband will be working in Fredericksburg, live in Spotsylvania. You will want to keep any time on the road to as much of a minimum as possible (traffic north to DC was the whole reason we moved).

And Eric was right on another point, give us an idea of your ideal home and target price range and we could probably steer you in the right direction. Cost of homes has gone down considerably in the Fredericksburg area market and it is a great time to buy (if you are not home-sale contingent).

The other thing I would recommend, while doing your research on the schools, PLEASE do not choose a home based on the schools it is serviced by. Because of the growth in the county, redistricting is often an issue, and that could affect the school your child attends. I would definitely base your choice on the county as a whole, versus the individual school(s) the home is currently zoned for.

Good luck with your move and let us know if you have any more questions.
Sounds like this realtor is giving good advice. Moderator cut: Prejudiced remarks

BTW, I meant Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS)--sorry, but I thought acronyms were safe in Nova--lol/

Last edited by FindingZen; 04-20-2008 at 08:47 PM..
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Old 04-20-2008, 04:45 PM
 
Location: Fredericksburg, VA
738 posts, read 3,568,632 times
Reputation: 208
Quote:
Originally Posted by onevthoki View Post
The other thing I would recommend, while doing your research on the schools, PLEASE do not choose a home based on the schools it is serviced by. Because of the growth in the county, redistricting is often an issue, and that could affect the school your child attends. I would definitely base your choice on the county as a whole, versus the individual school(s) the home is currently zoned for.
Great point!

Growing up in Spotsylvania, I went to 4 different elementary schools growing up... and we never moved!

BUT, growth has slowed a LOT since those days. Up until a couple years ago they were building 1 or 2 new elementary schools per year, and a new middle and high school every 4 or 5 years.

I personally think that the school construction boom will slow the same as the housing market has slowed... but re-districting (If that's the right word) is always a factor.
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Old 04-21-2008, 05:21 AM
 
7 posts, read 26,431 times
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Thanks for the help. We are planning a trip down there in the next couple of weeks. I will defiantely check out Stafford and Spotsylvania! After our trip I will probably have more questions
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