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Old 09-24-2010, 02:58 PM
 
24 posts, read 86,874 times
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I am currently living in North Reston and I like it very much. However, we are looking for a bit bigger of a yard and are also considering South Reston. We have two small children, so yard size as well as SCHOOLS and community are of great importance to us, at this time. We are also a very active family, who use the pools and jogging paths almost every day.

What are the general opinions of North and or South Reston. Would like some opinions of people who know Reston quite well.

Thanks in advance!
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Old 09-24-2010, 03:19 PM
 
Location: Marshall-Shadeland, Pittsburgh, PA
32,616 posts, read 77,591,433 times
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Well, there are many of us on this sub-forum who reside in Reston (we are DC's largest suburb outside the Beltway, after all), so you're likely to run into quite a myriad of opinions about our neutral-toned wonderland.

South Reston is larger geographically, is more densely-populated, and is more socioeconomically mixed, overall, than North Reston. In North Reston you'll see mostly Caucasian and Asian families, most of whom are upper-middle-class to affluent. I live in the Uplands neighborhood, near Lake Fairfax, and patronize shopping districts in both "halves" of Reston quite frequently. I find that the Northpoint Village Center definitely has more of a "Stepford" tilt whereas the South Lakes Shopping Center seems much more diverse and laid-back. You'll generally get more bang for your buck in South Reston than in North Reston.

As far as school quality is concerned I know much (or all) of South Reston feeds into South Lakes High School, which receives mixed reviews. A good chunk of the rest of our town...errr..."CDP/HOA"...is split between Herndon High School or even Langley High School. Generally speaking everything is a bit more expensive in North Reston for a reason, but I'm not looking to turn this thread into a flame-war on diversity.
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Old 09-24-2010, 05:23 PM
 
Location: Reston, VA
2,090 posts, read 4,245,857 times
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I put these links together for a friend the other day who was interested in Sunrise Valley Elementary - the first link will let you compare all fairfax schools.
http://www.schoolranks.com/main.asp?...nk&UniqueURL=0
http://www.greatschools.org/virginia...entary-School/
http://www.fcps.edu/SunriseValleyES/
http://www.schoolmatters.com/schools.aspx/q/page=sp/sid=49224 (broken link)

I disagree with RR86 - I think North Reston is more densly populated with more townhouses and detached homes on postage stamp sized lots. The detached houses in South Reston have bigger lot sizes. We (South Reston) also have the Walker Nature Center with 70 acrees of open space, a new Nature House, and wonderful trails!
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Old 09-24-2010, 05:32 PM
 
Location: Marshall-Shadeland, Pittsburgh, PA
32,616 posts, read 77,591,433 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JfromReston View Post
I disagree with RR86 - I think North Reston is more densly populated with more townhouses and detached homes on postage stamp sized lots. The detached houses in South Reston have bigger lot sizes. We (South Reston) also have the Walker Nature Center with 70 acrees of open space, a new Nature House, and wonderful trails!
Well, in any regard Reston is of very low density to begin with (which will hopefully improve with the impending arrival of Metrorail). I'm just thinking of the route I drive to get to Giant from my home---Becontree to North Shore to Wiehle to Center Harbor---and I see nothing but trees amongst the entire trek.
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Old 09-24-2010, 05:58 PM
 
214 posts, read 487,898 times
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Hi Brooke,
I've been browsing the Reston real estate market for awhile and one thing I've noticed is that in South Reston, nice houses in the Dogwood elementary district are consistently about 75k or more less than similar houses in other school district. So it seems like people generally avoid that school district, although I don't know anything about it personally. (It could be a good place to buy for someone who was planning on not having kids or homeschooling/private schooling.)
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Old 09-25-2010, 04:51 AM
 
Location: Reston, VA
2,090 posts, read 4,245,857 times
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Dogwood Elementary School - Reston, Virginia - VA - School overview
Dogwood Elementary School in Reston, VA | Education.com

Generally the areas that feed Dogwood Elementary are the less desireable areas of South Reston.
"In 2008, Dogwood Elementary School had 61% of students were eligible for free or reduced price lunch programs."

A big part of the issue is Dogwood's progress under the No Child Left Behind
"Dogwood Elementary School did not make AYP in 2009. Under No Child Left Behind, a school makes Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) if it achieves the minimum levels of improvement determined by the state of Virginia in terms of student performance and other accountability measures."

Here is a recent article about Reston schools and AYP under No Child Left Behind.
Dogwood Elementary Reaches Important Milestone - Reston, VA Patch
Here is an older post from last year in the Restonian
Restonian: News blog from Reston, Virginia, the mauve-colored New Town (tm): No Bratz Left Behind: Reston's Dogwood Elementary Now on Double Secret Probation
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Old 09-25-2010, 05:39 AM
 
Location: Marshall-Shadeland, Pittsburgh, PA
32,616 posts, read 77,591,433 times
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Meh. I think all this discussion about "good" vs. "bad" public schools in Fairfax County is blown out of proportion on this sub-forum. Even the worst schools here tend to outperform the average and above-average schools in many other areas of the country. I went to a supposedly "bad" school myself, and look how I turned out (okay, so maybe I'm not the best example, but anyhow...LOL!) I never understood the obsession some have about the "best pyramid". Who cares? If you and your child truly care about education, then they can succeed at (shudder) Dogwood, Forest Edge, South Lakes, Lake Anne, or any other Reston school that receives mixed reviews. Naturally the schools with the highest scores, overall, are going to be the ones with the densest concentrations of affluence. School quality tends to be more a product of a community's demographics than anything else.
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Old 09-25-2010, 07:27 AM
 
5,125 posts, read 10,087,409 times
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Here's an additional release on Dogwood. It notes that the school did make "Adequate Yearly Progress" under NCLB last year, but is still required to allow its students to transfer to neighboring schools (Sunrise Valley and/or Crossfield) because of its test results in prior years. And, according to the FAQs in the FCPS release, it appears that under NCLB, the transfer requests of the students from lower-income families are assigned priority over the requests of students from higher-income families:

http://www.fcps.edu/DogwoodES/transfer.pdf

One could imagine that the negative publicity about Dogwood ES in the past still has a negative impact on SFHs in the area, even if the school has subsequently raised its test scores.
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Old 09-25-2010, 10:40 AM
 
214 posts, read 487,898 times
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Well, if students living in that district are allowed to transfer to better schools...shouldn't that make prices go up???
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Old 09-25-2010, 10:42 AM
 
Location: among the clustered spires
2,380 posts, read 4,514,815 times
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OP, is there a reason you're only looking @ South Reston? While some elementary schools are considered OK to good, neither Hughes Middle or South Lakes score well on the SOL tests.

OTOH, if you love the Reston Association amenities, then pick a neighborhood that is OK

As for Great Schools, a GS rating of '5' is average for the whole Commonwealth by my understanding. So yes, there are some FCPS schools that are below the overall state average in SOL testing. And ... is there a reason a 60% FRL school would be preferable to a <25% FRL school? (I can understand wanting to avoid a <1% FRL school, but at some point there are so many at-risk kids that a non-at-risk kid is poorly served by a school.)
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