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Old 01-24-2008, 07:12 PM
 
5 posts, read 23,872 times
Reputation: 10

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Here's our current situation:
- we rent an apt. in Bethesda
- I work in north Bethesda, wife works in Laurel
- I currently bicycle 3 miles to work and my wife drives via the beltway
- our daughter is in 6th grade at North Bethesda Middle School

We are interested in buying a single family home in the $400-450 range. Big priorities for us are relatively short commutes (bike or public transportation preferred) and reasonable good public schools.

We moved here in August from a small city in Midwest where the schools were consistently good. The school situation in Montgomery County perplexes me. Some people have told us that the only good schools are in Bethesda and parts of Rockville. Even with the recent housing market changes it seems we are priced out of these areas. So we are looking at the Wood Middle School/Rockville Highschool area of Rockville along Rock Creek Park or the Takoma Middle School/Blair Highschool parts of Takoma Park. I know from the websites that these schools do not rate as well in terms of test scores as those in Bethesda and other parts of Rockville.

Does anyone have any first-hand experience with the quality of these schools? I should say that I'm not one of those people who thinks that their kid has to go to the school with absolute best scores in order to succeed in life (but I don't want to go too far in other direction either). Secondly, are their any other neighborhoods that we should be considering?

Thanks!
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Old 01-24-2008, 08:53 PM
 
Location: Rockville, Maryland
3 posts, read 12,056 times
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Default Stay at East Rockville!

If you do not have to sent your kids to the best scored school, you can get a house in Twinbrook or east of Rockville(good growth expected in housing) and go to Julius West middle school and Richmond Montgomery High. RM was ranked pretty high last year and have had IB program for the past 20 years. That is its flagship program. Julius West had implement IB in the last 5 years and have special ties with RM IB program. My daughter is in JW and going to RM next year.

There are still some homes in the east side of Rockville you can afford and be able to go to a good school. Rockville town center has made a boost in the home price in east rockville. But currently I know you could find good homes in a reasonable price. I closed a deal in December in East Rockville in low $400k. You can take the metro to N. Bethesda and you wife can take the back route to Laurel.
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Old 01-24-2008, 09:33 PM
 
5 posts, read 23,872 times
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Thanks for the advice, Ying. Actually, the school districts you mentioned (West and RM High) were areas that I am interested in. However, I thought we could not afford these areas based on the internet searches I had done so far. I'll have to go back and look more closely. I know it is a touchy subject but do you have an opinion of how Wood Middle School and Rockville HS compare to West and RM Highschool?
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Old 01-25-2008, 07:19 PM
 
222 posts, read 961,360 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Midwest_Fred View Post
- our daughter is in 6th grade at North Bethesda Middle School
Sorry, but I just had to comment because I worked at North Bethesda MS until last year, but I moved to Baltimore. I love that school. Have you checked out Woodmoor in Silver Spring(20901)? It is a great neighborhood and some nice houses are in your price range. It is right off the Beltway. I grew up there and my Mom still lives there. It is about ~20 min on the Beltway to Bethesda at 7 am. HTH!
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Old 01-26-2008, 08:58 PM
 
5 posts, read 23,872 times
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Thanks for the advice, Koofie. I'll look into the area you mentioned. However, this brings up another issue related to schools in Mont. Co. that you might be able to enlighten me on. If a student attends a school and then moves out of the district is it possible that the student could continue to attend the school if their parents drive them? I'm sure this happens, I guess the question is whether it is legal. I have got contradictory opinions on this from people I have talked to. I would love to hear your opinion.
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Old 01-26-2008, 10:05 PM
 
1,389 posts, read 5,677,922 times
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No if your child moves out of the district, your child have to attend the school that is in your child district unless you know of a family friend or one of your child school mates might allow them to use their address. Once the school finds out your child does not live in the school district they can remove your child out of the school.
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Old 01-26-2008, 10:06 PM
 
Location: Metro Washington DC
12,569 posts, read 18,975,866 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Midwest_Fred View Post
The school situation in Montgomery County perplexes me. Some people have told us that the only good schools are in Bethesda and parts of Rockville.
Why would you believe such obviously bad info.?
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Old 01-27-2008, 07:54 AM
 
Location: Glen Burnie, Maryland
1,246 posts, read 3,338,866 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Midwest_Fred View Post
Thanks for the advice, Koofie. I'll look into the area you mentioned. However, this brings up another issue related to schools in Mont. Co. that you might be able to enlighten me on. If a student attends a school and then moves out of the district is it possible that the student could continue to attend the school if their parents drive them? I'm sure this happens, I guess the question is whether it is legal. I have got contradictory opinions on this from people I have talked to. I would love to hear your opinion.
Maryland counties are getting very strict on students trying to attend schools in different counties/districts. My son had an issue with his high school and the administration was indifferent and unwilling to help save this kid from quitting. He actually wanted to finish high school but not in the situation he was in. His aunt and uncle lived in Montgomery County and said we could use their address. I looked into it and discovered its not so easy. They then offered to let him stay with them. Still not so easy. It looked like I would have to give up custody to get him in a school there. Eventually, he ended up moving to Carroll County with his father (which was the last thing I wanted) and finished school with flying colors.
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Old 01-27-2008, 09:18 AM
 
5 posts, read 23,872 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dkf747 View Post
Why would you believe such obviously bad info.?
I'm new to the area and I respected the person who told me this so I felt like I had to take it seriously even while being skeptical myself. I think this reflects the fact that different people have different values and comfort levels when it comes to schools. I happen to think some of the obsession about the quality of schools (at least in terms of test scores) is misguided. Some of this is cultural...and that's a whole other topic.
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Old 01-27-2008, 01:06 PM
 
222 posts, read 961,360 times
Reputation: 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by Midwest_Fred View Post
Thanks for the advice, Koofie. I'll look into the area you mentioned. However, this brings up another issue related to schools in Mont. Co. that you might be able to enlighten me on. If a student attends a school and then moves out of the district is it possible that the student could continue to attend the school if their parents drive them? I'm sure this happens, I guess the question is whether it is legal. I have got contradictory opinions on this from people I have talked to. I would love to hear your opinion.
Sometimes you will be allowed to finish out the school year and then change schools, but it is not the norm. It will not happen if you move out of county, just out of the district. If you move out of the county, they will require you to pay tuition (it does happen - there was a student who lived in DC and attended North Bethesda MS for 7th and 8th grade because he and his mother were so happy with the school. You may be able to get some sort of waiver for your daughter to stay at North Bethesda, but you would need to speak to administration. you cn also "forget" to tell them that you move, but as soon as they find out (ie returned mail or similar) they will investigate. The usual way people beat the system is if you use somebody's address and send them there after school, like a grandparent. For kids, I think it is easiest for them to go to the new school and make friends that live nearby.

Good Luck! I went to the downcounty schools in Silver Spring and was happy with them.
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