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Old 10-08-2008, 05:20 AM
 
2,462 posts, read 8,047,371 times
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You will pay a premium to live in McLean because of its proxmity to DC (no Metro there), so it makes little sense to live there if you are working in Woodbridge. If you're determined to live in Fairfax County for the schools, then consider neighborhoods in the Woodson pyramid in the Annandale area, or Burke neighborhoods in the Lake Braddock pyramid. These communities put you much closer to Woodbridge via I-95 South. Yes, the test scores at Langley, McLean, and Madison are higher, but not by enough to justify a significantly longer commute. You will get a lot more house for your money in Annandale and Burke.
There is a sort-of walkable area in what is called "downtown McLean," but most people drive from one shopping center to another to run their errands. If you really want "walkability," then the City of Falls Church is probably worth a look, even though your commute will be difficult. There are two Metro stops nearby, so if you change jobs to DC you'll be set for an easy commute.

City of Falls Church residents are eligible for TJ, but the previous poster is correct in advising you not to base your housing decisions on TJ. You have no idea whether your kids would even be in the ballpark, and admission there is becoming as much as a crapshoot as getting into Harvard -- even kids with stellar scores and solid teacher recs are not offered admission.
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Old 10-08-2008, 06:00 AM
 
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In todays real estate slump you can get a mansion in Burke for $800k.
Fairfax City has a walkable town.
Schools in VA are run by county not by town - in other states every little town has their own separate school -
Not only does your kid have to be super smart to get into TJ they also have to compete for a spot - and there are tons of super smart kids in this area.
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Old 10-08-2008, 07:32 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by car54 View Post
All students in Fairfax County Public Schools are eligible to attend Thomas Jefferson. As well as students from Alexandria City and Arlington, Loudoun and Prince William Counties.
City of Alexandria students are NOT eligible for Thomas Jefferson.

The main reason is that TJ is very close to the west end of Alexandria and it is believed that most of the best students in Alexandria would take advantage of a TJ admission depriving the Alexandria school system of its best students or requiring the City to pay for the tuition (to Fairfax County) of a student who would otherwise go to a private school.

Also, I believe Arlington only has a very limited amount of slots for its residents, so you're best bet for admission would be living somewhere in Fairfax County.
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Old 10-08-2008, 05:01 PM
 
4,711 posts, read 10,873,408 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slim04 View Post
City of Alexandria students are NOT eligible for Thomas Jefferson.

The main reason is that TJ is very close to the west end of Alexandria and it is believed that most of the best students in Alexandria would take advantage of a TJ admission depriving the Alexandria school system of its best students or requiring the City to pay for the tuition (to Fairfax County) of a student who would otherwise go to a private school.

Also, I believe Arlington only has a very limited amount of slots for its residents, so you're best bet for admission would be living somewhere in Fairfax County.

I could have sworn I've seen Alex City buses at TJ....but I looked it up and you are correct.

I did however, leave Fauquier County out....they are also eligible.
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Old 10-08-2008, 08:25 PM
 
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Originally Posted by micknmay View Post
My family will be moving to Fairfax in several months. I have a job opportunity at either Carpenter Rd, Fort Myer by the Arlington cemetary or Prosperity Avenue by the Dunn Loring Metro station. My children are 1 and 3 years old. I can afford up to $800K for a house. Since I will have to choose between the two locations, I'm interested which of the two has the better elementary schools and pyramids. I'm also interested in being in a school district that would have my children be eligible for Thomas Jefferson High school if they qualify. Walkability is also very important for us. Which of the two area are more walkable with nearby stores, music schools, parks, family friendly areas. Any input would be much appreciated. Thank you.
Because your kids may not qualify for TJ, you should consider an area that has a great pyramid.

The best high schools in FFX Cty are Langley, McLean, Madison, Oakton, and Woodson in that order.

If you want walkability, that means McLean and Madison are your only bets, although Mason, Falls Church City, should be considered also.
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Old 10-08-2008, 09:05 PM
 
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To answer a little bitty question, no, Broadleaf Street, while being in quite a nice area, is not within walking distance of the Vienna Metro. Unless, of course, you are like Steven Wright and believe that everywhere is within walking distance if you have enough time. :-)

Otherwise, I'd agree that if the job is in Woodbridge, looking a little farther south would be a good idea. Hanging yourself with a difficult commute can be a lifestyle killer, particularly when you have young children in the mix.

If there were a chance that the stint in Woodbridge would be a short one and you wanted to gamble some, then Falls Church and Vienna might pop back into the picture. As actually incorporated areas, they do have more of a "town feel" than most of the rest of the region, they offer excellent schools in almost all areas, they have decent walkability and convenient access to Metro and to lots of other stuff.
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Old 10-13-2008, 01:58 AM
 
3,164 posts, read 6,123,307 times
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My son went to TJ, and yes, they are a special breed of children. They think differently than the rest of us. He's now an engineer, but also very well rounded. He's like his dad and brother, they know everything, from high level math and physics to ancient history and Latin.

Anyway, here's a great house, on a very family oriented, friendly, court, great school pyramid that includes Thoreau and Madison. It's also walking distance to Vienna metro. It might fit your bill: VIENNA VIRGINIA - VIENNA Homes and Real Estate For Sale - Listing Details
If that link doesn't work, just go to VIENNA VIRGINIA - VIENNA Homes and Real Estate For Sale - and then to her listings.
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Old 10-13-2008, 08:43 PM
 
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Default TJ is really not THAT great

I will agree that TJ is a great school and is definitely where you should send your kids if possible, but it's not like they're learning noticeably different stuff there. The only difference between TJ and most Fairfax County schools is just that there's a higher concentration of smart kids there. The teachers are not that much better and the kids are not smarter than the smart kids and other schools. If your kid is willing to learn and you are a good parent, they will get more or less the same level of education at a Fairfax County Public School as long as they challenge themselves and take higher-level courses. As far as the kids being a "different breed," it's not like TJ makes them like that; if your kid likes Latin and history then they can get just as good an education in such subjects at almost any FCPS location as at TJ. Let me remind you also that TJ is a math and science school, so it's likely that you could find a better education elsewhere in the county in other subjects. I currently go to West Potomac (supposedly one of the lower-level Fairfax schools) and I'm a National Merit Scholar and I guarantee you that I've learned more at West Potomac by applying myself and taking challenging classes than almost all of the TJ kids that I know (I know very many and they would all agree with that statement; I'm not just trying to hype myself). Please do not base your judgment on the average test score of the school because in Fairfax County you are only limited by your own willingness to achieve. Your child will learn the exact same thing in an advanced class at any Fairfax County school as they would learn at an advanced class at TJ. And also they'll learn how to live in a diverse environment (beause not everyone in the world is white or asian). It's also just as easy to get mixed up in drugs and stuff at TJ as it is anywhere else in Fairfax County. Also, as far as the ease of getting in there, it's not quite as hard as these other people would have you believe. As long as your kid isn't an idiot and is good enough at taking tests, they're in. I know some pretty average people who go there. It's not that big of a deal to get in.
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Old 10-14-2008, 06:09 AM
 
2,462 posts, read 8,047,371 times
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Not exactly. TJ admits about 17% of its applicants, and this is a largely self-selected group of excellent test-takers and non-idiots.
And I would take issue with your assertion that TJ students learn "the exact same thing" as students in other Fairfax County schools, because it's simply not true. TJ offers highly gifted (not just "smart") students the opportunity to take upper-level college math courses that are not available at other county high schools. TJ is not for everyone, but to claim that it's just the same as other area high schools is absurd.
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Old 10-15-2008, 08:55 PM
 
4,711 posts, read 10,873,408 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by claremarie View Post
Not exactly. TJ admits about 17% of its applicants, and this is a largely self-selected group of excellent test-takers and non-idiots.
And I would take issue with your assertion that TJ students learn "the exact same thing" as students in other Fairfax County schools, because it's simply not true. TJ offers highly gifted (not just "smart") students the opportunity to take upper-level college math courses that are not available at other county high schools. TJ is not for everyone, but to claim that it's just the same as other area high schools is absurd.

I'll second that!

Oh hey, I had a bit of a shock tonight though....I'm going down the road with my 50 or so TJ kids on the bus, and Sam, a senior who always sits behind me, asks me "How many feet in a mile?". I asked him, "a statute mile or a nautical mile?" He says, "a statute mile". I told him, "5280 feet".

As smart as these kids are, do they not memorize the basics anymore, like we did in the old days? Or do they just look stuff like that up on their computers as the need arises.

Anyway, I was pretty proud of myself that I could remember it at my age (55)! LOL
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