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Old 12-09-2019, 04:20 PM
 
2 posts, read 1,866 times
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My wife and currently reside in a suburb of Wilmington, Delaware near the Pennsylvania state line with our two children, aged 5 and 7. I recently have accepted a job offer in Northern Virginia and I am looking for a great area to raise a family in. We like where we live now and the fact that Downtown Philadelphia is less than an hour from our house. My wife and I both grew up near Annapolis, Maryland and lack knowledge on the Virginia part of the DC area. My new job is located in Oakton at the Flint Hill office park near I-66.

Since I already have one child in the school system and another about to be next year, I'm looking for safe neighborhood with good schools nearby, parks, and a strong sense of community. We plan on settling down here for 10+ years. I am well aware that Fairfax County has a great public school reputation, and that even the "bad" schools are still much better than schools considered "good" in other parts of the country.

Our budget is $750k for a relatively updated home with 4 bedrooms and at least 2 bathrooms in a nice, well-kept community. We would be willing to stretch our budget up to 800k if a perfect opportunity presented itself (turnkey-home, walking distance to good schools, etc.)

Can anyone tell me what high school pyramids I should completely avoid? And any neighborhoods that might check of all the boxes for us? Thanks in advance.
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Old 12-09-2019, 04:59 PM
 
1,122 posts, read 1,469,877 times
Reputation: 1707
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cardinal19 View Post
My wife and currently reside in a suburb of Wilmington, Delaware near the Pennsylvania state line with our two children, aged 5 and 7. I recently have accepted a job offer in Northern Virginia and I am looking for a great area to raise a family in. We like where we live now and the fact that Downtown Philadelphia is less than an hour from our house. My wife and I both grew up near Annapolis, Maryland and lack knowledge on the Virginia part of the DC area. My new job is located in Oakton at the Flint Hill office park near I-66.

Since I already have one child in the school system and another about to be next year, I'm looking for safe neighborhood with good schools nearby, parks, and a strong sense of community. We plan on settling down here for 10+ years. I am well aware that Fairfax County has a great public school reputation, and that even the "bad" schools are still much better than schools considered "good" in other parts of the country.

Our budget is $750k for a relatively updated home with 4 bedrooms and at least 2 bathrooms in a nice, well-kept community. We would be willing to stretch our budget up to 800k if a perfect opportunity presented itself (turnkey-home, walking distance to good schools, etc.)

Can anyone tell me what high school pyramids I should completely avoid? And any neighborhoods that might check of all the boxes for us? Thanks in advance.
Avoid Mt Vernon School pyramid.

Fort Belvoir Primary School
Fort Belvoir Upper School
Mount Vernon High School
Mount Vernon Woods Elementary School
Riverside Elementary School
Washington Mill Elementary School
Whitman Middle School
Woodlawn Elementary School
Woodley Hills Elementary School

But otherwise, with your budget you should be fine, though you will miss the top McLean area.

https://www.fcps.edu/resources/maps
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Old 12-09-2019, 05:00 PM
 
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I would avoid the following high schools in FCPS: Annandale HS, Lee HS, Justice HS, Edison HS, and Falls Church HS.

These high schools aren't as bad as the ones listed above, but still have a lesser reputation than other ones in FCPS: Hayfield HS, Herndon HS, West Potomac HS, and South Lakes HS.

These are considered to be good schools in FCPS: Centreville HS, Chantilly HS, Fairfax HS, Lake Braddock HS, Madison HS, Marshall HS, Oakton HS, Robinson HS, South County HS, West Springfield HS, Westfield HS, and Woodson HS.

The best high schools in both the state and arguably the nation (due to high population of DC wealth concentrated in these districts) in FCPS: Langley HS, McLean HS, and Jefferson HS (magnet school).

It will be harder to get what you want in the Langley/McLean zones due to how expensive the housing is in those areas. Since you're working in the part of Oakton off I-66, how have a lot of options.

Oakton HS and Fairfax HS cover the area closest to where you are working and both were recently ranked within the top 10 high schools in the state (not an easy feat! VA has good schools overall). You honestly could not go wrong with either of those pyramids. Oakton HS is currently undergoing a massive renovation that will modernize and make the school much more physically attractive, Fairfax HS was completely remodeled about 10 years ago and still looks to be in mint condition.

In terms of neighborhood recommendations, here are some nice ones with homes in your price range in the 2 HS zones I just mentioned (Oakton & Fairfax):

Oakton neighborhoods
-Miller Heights
-Penderbrook
-Oakton Estates
-Fair Oaks Estates
-Alder Woods
-Century Oak

Fairfax neighborhoods
-Brentwood Farm
-Farrcroft
-Chancery Park
-Hampton Forest
-Fair Lakes Glen
-Hayden Village
-Buckley's Reserve
-Fair Chase

These are just some of the many great neighborhoods Fairfax County offers, both Woodson HS and Madison HS also have neighborhoods close to the Flint Hill part of Oakton. Best of luck!
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Old 12-09-2019, 05:42 PM
 
1,130 posts, read 918,409 times
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I agree that both Woodson and Robinson would get you good house for the money. Fairfax High School would as well. We love Fairfax City. It has a lot of community feel, much more so than when we were in Oakton.
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Old 12-09-2019, 08:28 PM
 
3,115 posts, read 1,896,109 times
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The Commander, US Army Europe went to Lee, so did the principal at Langley. But, Lee has become ghetto, their football team was winless, and they don't even field a JV. It used to be Lee was a step ahead of Hayfield and much better than West Potomac...not anymore. A 20% premium gets you in the West Springfield zone, but there are many free lunch recipients in that pyramid, too. You would still be pretty close to Jefferson..good luck getting in.
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Old 12-09-2019, 09:12 PM
 
Location: Virginia
8,544 posts, read 13,414,070 times
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Your job would be where in Northern VA?
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Old 12-09-2019, 11:56 PM
 
2 posts, read 1,866 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KatieMc76 View Post
I would avoid the following high schools in FCPS: Annandale HS, Lee HS, Justice HS, Edison HS, and Falls Church HS.

These high schools aren't as bad as the ones listed above, but still have a lesser reputation than other ones in FCPS: Hayfield HS, Herndon HS, West Potomac HS, and South Lakes HS.

These are considered to be good schools in FCPS: Centreville HS, Chantilly HS, Fairfax HS, Lake Braddock HS, Madison HS, Marshall HS, Oakton HS, Robinson HS, South County HS, West Springfield HS, Westfield HS, and Woodson HS.

The best high schools in both the state and arguably the nation (due to high population of DC wealth concentrated in these districts) in FCPS: Langley HS, McLean HS, and Jefferson HS (magnet school).

It will be harder to get what you want in the Langley/McLean zones due to how expensive the housing is in those areas. Since you're working in the part of Oakton off I-66, how have a lot of options.

Oakton HS and Fairfax HS cover the area closest to where you are working and both were recently ranked within the top 10 high schools in the state (not an easy feat! VA has good schools overall). You honestly could not go wrong with either of those pyramids. Oakton HS is currently undergoing a massive renovation that will modernize and make the school much more physically attractive, Fairfax HS was completely remodeled about 10 years ago and still looks to be in mint condition.

In terms of neighborhood recommendations, here are some nice ones with homes in your price range in the 2 HS zones I just mentioned (Oakton & Fairfax):

Oakton neighborhoods
-Miller Heights
-Penderbrook
-Oakton Estates
-Fair Oaks Estates
-Alder Woods
-Century Oak

Fairfax neighborhoods
-Brentwood Farm
-Farrcroft
-Chancery Park
-Hampton Forest
-Fair Lakes Glen
-Hayden Village
-Buckley's Reserve
-Fair Chase

These are just some of the many great neighborhoods Fairfax County offers, both Woodson HS and Madison HS also have neighborhoods close to the Flint Hill part of Oakton. Best of luck!
Thanks for the advice, we have heard good things about Fairfax City as well. We checked out Miller Heights and really like how it seems to be surrounded by woods and trails. Century Oak seems right up our alley, love that it has a community pool and neighborhood amenities.

I'm assuming that since both Fairfax and Oakton High are good schools, that the feeder elementary schools are all good too? The neighborhoods we like are zoned to either Providence ES, Daniels Run ES, Waples Mill ES, or Navy ES. Are any of these schools "bad" schools?
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Old 12-10-2019, 05:28 AM
 
1,130 posts, read 918,409 times
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Providence ES and Daniel’s Run are both Fairfax City schools. They have much the same mix of kids but DR does have more ESL kids which messes with its “score”. It’s a well-loved neighborhood school.

Walked Mill ES is more competitive from what I’ve heard from teachers. It has mostly Oakton kids who skew wealthier. I don’t know much about Navy ES.
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Old 12-10-2019, 06:43 AM
 
Location: Northern Virginia
5,780 posts, read 6,218,890 times
Reputation: 15151
Quote:
Originally Posted by tgbwc View Post
Your job would be where in Northern VA?
According to OP: Oakton at the Flint Hill office park near I-66.
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Old 12-10-2019, 07:46 AM
 
5,103 posts, read 9,020,624 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ffxdata View Post
Providence ES and Daniel’s Run are both Fairfax City schools. They have much the same mix of kids but DR does have more ESL kids which messes with its “score”. It’s a well-loved neighborhood school.

Walked Mill ES is more competitive from what I’ve heard from teachers. It has mostly Oakton kids who skew wealthier. I don’t know much about Navy ES.
Fairfax City owns four schools but contracts with Fairfax County Public Schools to operate them: Daniel's Run ES, Providence ES, Lanier MS, and Fairfax HS. Not sure about the two elementary schools, but Lanier and Fairfax both have kids from both Fairfax City and Fairfax County.

This is a difference arrangement than in Falls Church City. Falls Church City operates its own schools that only students who live within Falls Church City attend.

And to further confuse OP, there are also parts of Fairfax County with Falls Church mailing addresses, and students who live in those areas attend FCPS schools, including Falls Church HS, Justice HS, Marshall HS, and McLean HS.

Agree that areas zoned for Fairfax and Oakton HS seem like good choices. Oakton areas will be pricier. Areas zoned for Chantilly HS, also near Oakton, might be worth considering as well.
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