U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > Virginia > Northern Virginia
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 01-02-2009, 11:56 AM
 
9 posts, read 50,526 times
Reputation: 12

Advertisements

Hello,

I am looking for good private schools in Fairfax and Loudoun counties for my DS.

I would greatly appreciate your opinions on good schools that offer excellent education and are truly worth the money spent.
I have already looked up a lot of internet sources (including greatschools.net) and have gathered some information from them, but I found many to be outdated.

Also- Does anyone have statistics (or know) about middle schools where most incoming TJ students are from?

Any opinions about Nysmith school in Herndon?

Thanks so much for any info you have to offer!
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 01-02-2009, 03:27 PM
 
5,071 posts, read 8,635,379 times
Reputation: 2722
Re TJ - not sure that this information is published; however, about 80% of TJ's students come from Fairfax County; about 88% are White or Asian; and very few TJ admittees receive federally subsidized lunches. As a result, I suspect that the primary TJ feeder schools are Carson, Cooper, Franklin, Frost, Kilmer, Longfellow, Rocky Run and Thoreau.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-02-2009, 05:01 PM
 
2,462 posts, read 8,053,303 times
Reputation: 995
Longfellow Middle School, which serves the McLean area, has traditionally been the top feeder school for TJ. In recent years, TJ has been under serious pressure to admit more minority students, and I believe that Longfellow was ousted from its perch during the last admissions cycle. Cooper is not a top feeder, because so many TJ students come from the GT centers, and GT students for whom Cooper is their "home" school are assigned to Longfellow. If you research TJ admissions, you'll find that the top Fairfax middle school feeders all house GT centers.
As for good private schools, there is no one-size-fits-all answer. It all depends upon the characteristics of the individual student, and what sort of setting you're seeking. (And how much $$ you can spend.) There aren't any all-boys schools in Virginia (but several within easy commuting distance in DC and MD), but you will find schools that run the gamut from relentlessly secular to intensely religious, artsy to athletic to seriously academic, and tiny to quite large.
All I know about Nysmith is that it is aimed at gifted students; however, students who qualify for the Fairfax GT centers for grades 3-8 generally get a very high-quality education with no tuition.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-03-2009, 01:08 AM
 
3,164 posts, read 6,128,518 times
Reputation: 1264
Nysmith sends more students to TJ every year. It's very good. Potomac is also a good school. Some Longfellow students turn down TJ to attend Potomac. Flint Hill is also good.

Yes, the majority of TJ students come from middle schools with GT centers, Longfellow, Kilmer, Carson, and Frost are the top. I think Nysmith is the top private school. This year's class is 45% Asian. TJ admission stats for this school year can be found here:
FCPS - News Releases

More information on TJ
FCAG - TJ Info

You can ask more questions at the website associated with FCAG - Home , many TJ parents post there and private school parents too. The owner of that site has two kids at TJ, and one who graduated from there and is now at Cal Tech on full scholarship. She knows EVERYTHING about every school that feeds to TJ, including the private schools. Post your question on her forum: FCAG : Fairfax County Association of the Gifted
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-03-2009, 11:32 AM
 
9 posts, read 50,526 times
Reputation: 12
Thanks so much for all this VERY helpful information!
So, although students in good middle schools such as Cooper and Thoreau are eligible to participate in GT programs, they are assigned to a different school that has a GT center? Did I understand this correctly?
Also - I've tried so hard to understand the Cluster/Pyramid concept and how the ES-MS-HS combination is assigned to a particular address. Can someone explain this to me please?
Are these assigned boundaries set permanently (In other words, if we were to uproot our lives to move to a house for the benefit of a particular school, would that be a wise move to make?)


Do What do GT students in good middle schools like Cooper and Thoreau
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-03-2009, 11:42 AM
 
9 posts, read 50,526 times
Reputation: 12
Sorry, I also wanted to ask about the case of students in elementary schools without a GT center (like Chesterbrook). Are they eligible and assigned to a GT center OR are they made to participate in some form of a school-based (enrichment like) GT program ?
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-03-2009, 12:24 PM
 
2,462 posts, read 8,053,303 times
Reputation: 995
You can get detailed information from the FCPS website, but basically it works like this. All students are screened in 2nd grade for GT services. Some students are found eligible for school-based enrichment programs (in our experience, a complete waste of time). The highest scoring students are offered admission to a GT center. GT centers are housed in selected elementary schools, usually those serving the lower-income parts of a particular community -- everything FCPS does with these things is very strategic. Students at Chesterbrook, for example, are assigned to Haycock Elementary, and then Longfellow Middle School. Longfellow also happens to be the middle school in the Chesterbrook pyramid. After middle school, students attend the high school in their pyramid (unless they are attending TJ or one of the IB high schools) -- there are no "GT center" high schools.

You can also read about the pyramids on the website. You can type in any address into the search engine to find the schools serving that address. The pyramids are organized by the name of the high school in that pyramid (Chesterbrook, for example, is in the McLean HS pyramid), with one middle schools and multiple elementary schools. The boundaries for school assignment are always subject to change, but schools such as Chesterbrook, which are located in areas with little land left for new housing developments, are generally safe from re-districting. So, while there is always some risk in moving in order to attend a particular school, there are some moves that are considerably more risky than others.
Hope this helps.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-03-2009, 01:02 PM
 
5,071 posts, read 8,635,379 times
Reputation: 2722
Each address in Fairfax has an assigned base elementary, middle and high school. You can find the assigned schools by following the link below and entering an address:

Fairfax County Public Schools Boundary Information

One of the characteristics of the current system is that there are a large number of "split feeders." For example, students at a given elementary school may go on to attend the same middle school, but then attend different high schools. FCPS may refer to schools in "clusters" and "pyramids," but this is primarily for administrative convenience and is a bit misleading. For example, there are students who attend elementary schools that form part of the Marshall High "cluster" (such as Westbriar and Freedom Hill), but who actually are assigned to Madison High.

At the elementary and middle school levels, there are designated GT centers at select schools. Not all schools have these programs, so a GT elementary school student who otherwise would be assigned to, say, Chesterbrook in McLean will go to Haycock, and a middle school student who otherwise would be assigned to, say, Thoreau in Vienna, will go to Kilmer or Jackson. See below. [As Denton noted in another post, Longfellow places more students at TJ than Cooper because Longfellow has a designated GT center, while Cooper does not.]

Gifted and Talented Programs, Instructional Services Department

The School Board does periodically adjust school boundaries, and it is often a very contentious process. If the adjustments result because a new school has been built to relieve overcrowding, and all the schools involved are viewed as comparable in quality, it is not a huge deal. If the schools involved are viewed as not comparable in quality, it is a very bitter process. This was exemplified by a redistricting that occurred last year that resulted in the reassignment of students to Reston-area schools (Sunrise Valley Elementary, Hughes Middle and South Lakes High) that were not viewed as positively by many parents as the other schools involved in Oakton, Vienna and Chantilly.

The School Board has made noises suggesting that, in response to unexpected increases in the number of Fairfax students, it may undertake a major redistricting effort in the next few years, following a series of meetings later this year to solicit the views of the public. This process may give the School Board "cover," but it will not change the outcry that will result if parents are unhappy with the proposed boundary changes.

IMHO, the School Board has shot itself in the foot by allowing (or, more accurately, causing) the boundaries to take on the attributes of "gerry-mandered" Congressional districts over the past 20-25 years. The current boundaries already reflect a large number of favors that School Board members have done over the years for their friends, neighbors and political supporters, so any changes that are now proposed are presumed to reflect more of the same. In addition, the rationale that School Board members have provided to justify redistrictings often doesn't hold up under scrutiny. For example, the School Board will assert that a redistricting is needed to provide students at a smaller school with course selections comparable to those available at a larger school, but then do nothing to increase the enrollment at other smaller schools. Or, alternatively, the School Board will assert that a redistricting is needed to relieve overcrowding at larger school, but then release a new study after the redistricting that concludes that the larger school was never overcrowded.

Obviously, if one wants to mitigate the chances of being redistricted, it helps to live close to a particular school; however, under the current boundaries, there are many students who attend schools that are further away from their houses than other schools. There are, however, probably some areas that are immune from a redistricting, at least at the high school level. In particular, students living in the Town of Vienna (as opposed to portions of Fairfax County with a Vienna mailing address) probably will always go to Madison High and students living in the City of Fairfax (as opposed to portions of Fairfax County with a Fairfax mailing address) presumably will always go to Fairfax High. Many also believe that students who live in the affluent neighborhoods that feed into Langley High will never be assigned to another school.

Don't get me wrong - I think the Fairfax schools, overall, remain excellent and compare favorably with the other DC-area public schools. However, it is a very large, and very political, system.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-03-2009, 01:12 PM
 
5,071 posts, read 8,635,379 times
Reputation: 2722
Quote:
Originally Posted by claremarie View Post
You can get detailed information from the FCPS website, but basically it works like this. All students are screened in 2nd grade for GT services. Some students are found eligible for school-based enrichment programs (in our experience, a complete waste of time). The highest scoring students are offered admission to a GT center. GT centers are housed in selected elementary schools, usually those serving the lower-income parts of a particular community -- everything FCPS does with these things is very strategic. Students at Chesterbrook, for example, are assigned to Haycock Elementary, and then Longfellow Middle School. Longfellow also happens to be the middle school in the Chesterbrook pyramid. After middle school, students attend the high school in their pyramid (unless they are attending TJ or one of the IB high schools) -- there are no "GT center" high schools.

You can also read about the pyramids on the website. You can type in any address into the search engine to find the schools serving that address. The pyramids are organized by the name of the high school in that pyramid (Chesterbrook, for example, is in the McLean HS pyramid), with one middle schools and multiple elementary schools. The boundaries for school assignment are always subject to change, but schools such as Chesterbrook, which are located in areas with little land left for new housing developments, are generally safe from re-districting. So, while there is always some risk in moving in order to attend a particular school, there are some moves that are considerably more risky than others.
Hope this helps.
I think you're right with respect to the stability of Chesterbrook's enrollment. On the other hand, Longfellow (into which Chesterbrook feeds) is one of the most overcrowded middle schools in the county. Over time, it seems like the county will either need to move some GT students out of Longfellow (are there already plans to do so?), redistrict, or add to Longfellow's capacity.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-03-2009, 01:19 PM
 
595 posts, read 2,099,417 times
Reputation: 179
FCPS uses quotas for TJ admissions. These are based on race and school.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:


Options
X
Data:
Loading data...
Based on 2000-2016 data
Loading data...

123
Hide US histogram

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > Virginia > Northern Virginia
Similar Threads
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

2005-2019, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top