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Old 08-24-2009, 06:19 PM
 
42 posts, read 117,849 times
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Hi-- I was just wondering if anyone could tell me.. we are looking at a house with an address in Reston that goes to Crossfields Elem. and South Lakes HS.

I am confused, I thought Crossfields was part of the Oakton HS pyramid? Can anyone tell me if this is correct?

What is South Lakes HS like, in your opinion. Please feel free to be blunt-- I do not know the area.

thanks !!
jen
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Old 08-24-2009, 06:25 PM
 
Location: Arlington, VA and Washington, DC
23,628 posts, read 33,413,509 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jenniferma View Post
Hi-- I was just wondering if anyone could tell me.. we are looking at a house with an address in Reston that goes to Crossfields Elem. and South Lakes HS.

I am confused, I thought Crossfields was part of the Oakton HS pyramid? Can anyone tell me if this is correct?

What is South Lakes HS like, in your opinion. Please feel free to be blunt-- I do not know the area.

thanks !!
jen
I dont know about Reston but i do know a recent redistricting plan from FFX Co. schools that would have reassigned students to South Lakes HS caused a lot of debate and some parents trashed South Lakes to no end.

Judge To Rule on School Redistricting by July 28 (http://www.connectionnewspapers.com/article.asp?article=317019&paper=62&cat=104 - broken link)

Quote:
"It is obvious that there was great social engineering going on," said Stone.
South Lakes has a significantly larger percentage of students who are considered poor (33 percent) and who are limited English speakers (16 percent) than the other three schools.

The lawyer pointed out that when different boundary options were being considered, demographic data including the shifts in percentages of poor and limited English speakers were always attached.
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Old 08-24-2009, 06:25 PM
 
Location: Reston, VA
2,005 posts, read 3,537,295 times
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South Lakes is number 570 on Newsweeks top public high schools in the United States.

America's Top Public High Schools | Newsweek Best High Schools | Newsweek.com
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Old 08-24-2009, 06:36 PM
 
Location: Arlington, VA and Washington, DC
23,628 posts, read 33,413,509 times
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Originally Posted by JfromReston View Post
South Lakes is number 570 on Newsweeks top public high schools in the United States.

America's Top Public High Schools | Newsweek Best High Schools | Newsweek.com
That Newsweek list is nearly useless based on their method of calculation.

On my opinion of South Lakes. Personally, I think you can get a great education at any high school in Northern VA (I went to T.C. Williams myself and got one.) The only reason, I suspect, that people dumped on this HS is because it is lower-income and more ESL than other Western Fairfax County High Schools. For those Fairfax County folks who scream about how much they love diversity this sure seems like talking out of both sides of your mouth.
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Old 08-24-2009, 07:06 PM
 
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Looks to me like there is a small part of the Crossfield attendance area in Reston east of Fox Mill Road and south of Lawyers Road that is assigned to Hughes Middle and South Lakes High.

The fact that Crossfield is identified for administrative purposes as part of the Oakton HS "pyramid" doesn't mean that some students aren't assigned to South Lakes. The school is what is referred to by FCPS as a "split feeder" (the students from the elementary school "split" and "feed" into multiple middle or high schools).

I agree with Alanboy395 that a student can get a very good education at South Lakes, although I think that the concerns with the redistricting plans from 2007-08 reflected a lot of things, and that it's not really fair to claim that all the parents that objected to the redistricting had racial or class-based biases. There was a lot more going on that Alanboy395 may not be aware of, but it's a long story.

In any event, to me, the issue with the house you're looking at isn't that it's in the Hughes/South Lakes districts per se, but rather that only a very small number of the Crossfield students go on to Hughes and South Lakes rather than to Carson and Oakton. You'll see what I mean if you look at the boundary maps for these schools on the FCPS web site. As a practical matter, your kids would be separated from most of their Crossfield classmates once they hit 7th grade, unless the boundaries change again (which is always a possibility, particularly in that part of the county).

Good luck. Hope this helps.

Last edited by JD984; 08-24-2009 at 07:15 PM..
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Old 08-24-2009, 07:10 PM
 
132 posts, read 286,836 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alanboy395 View Post
That Newsweek list is nearly useless based on their method of calculation.

On my opinion of South Lakes. Personally, I think you can get a great education at any high school in Northern VA (I went to T.C. Williams myself and got one.) The only reason, I suspect, that people dumped on this HS is because it is lower-income and more ESL than other Western Fairfax County High Schools. For those Fairfax County folks who scream about how much they love diversity this sure seems like talking out of both sides of your mouth.
Exactly. South Lakes does have a disproportionally high percentage of lower-income students. People have different opinions on diversity. I think it helps prepare you in real life. In 2007, South Lakes sent about 20 students to UVA, the same number as Langley High, but at a much higher acceptance rate, somewhere around 65%. You can get a good education at South Lakes.

The Newsweek index is too simplistic to draw any conclusion from it.

Crossfield is also a receiving school from Dogwood Elementary under NCLB. But it appears most students opted out were not from low income families.
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Old 08-24-2009, 10:42 PM
 
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Crossfield is a very good school, parents are happy with it. South Lakes, not so much. Last year the population of South Lakes had gotten so low that the school board had to redistrict and force students from other schools to go there. It got VERY ugly because NO family wanted to be redistricted and sent to South Lakes. Of course there are students at every school who excel. But everyone wants their child to feel like they fit in. The other downside to South Lakes is that it has the IB program and no AP program. If your child is a math/science kids, there isn't much of that at South Lakes, no advanced math and no AP science courses. But if your child is intending to go to college in Europe, then IB might be a good choice for her.

You can compare VA schools here:
https://p1pe.doe.virginia.gov/reportcard/

South Lakes demographics:
FCPS - School Profiles - South Lakes HS - Demographics
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Old 08-25-2009, 05:32 AM
 
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FYI - This report includes the demographics for South Lakes after the first class of students redistricted to the school began to attend in the fall of 2008. The school-specific profile that Denton56 posted from the FCPS web site hasn't been updated yet to include last year's data. Quite a few of the redistricted students pupil-placed back to Madison, Oakton and Westfield but, even so, the redistricting increased the size of the school's enrollment and started to shift the demographics in the direction intended by the School Board.

http://www.fcps.edu/Reporting/histor...thnicRpt08.pdf
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Old 08-25-2009, 08:04 AM
 
42 posts, read 117,849 times
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Thank you all of you for all the info.. it is very helpful! I just found out that the house is way over our price range (by like $125K) so we won't be looking--but I appreciate your help!
Jen
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Old 08-25-2009, 12:19 PM
 
3,164 posts, read 6,129,009 times
Reputation: 1264
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alanboy395 View Post
That Newsweek list is nearly useless based on their method of calculation.

On my opinion of South Lakes. Personally, I think you can get a great education at any high school in Northern VA (I went to T.C. Williams myself and got one.) The only reason, I suspect, that people dumped on this HS is because it is lower-income and more ESL than other Western Fairfax County High Schools. For those Fairfax County folks who scream about how much they love diversity this sure seems like talking out of both sides of your mouth.
They like to VISIT diversity which means they like to occasionally drive into ethnic neighborhoods for dinner because it's very PC to talk about diversity and how many of your friends are this or that ethnicity. But they sure don't want to live in a ''diverse'' neighborhood or send their children to a ''diverse'' high school. Listening to NPR, and going to international dance performances, also helps their liberal creds and allows them to feel ok about sending their kids to private school and not South Lakes.
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