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Old 08-08-2011, 09:21 AM
249 posts, read 693,080 times
Reputation: 99


Hi everyone,

I searched the board before posting this thread, but did not see too much information that was helpful for my particular question. A bit of a backstory first. Currently in the process of selling house in NC(have a buyer). Have been staying with in laws for 5 months in Sterling off Algonkian(1 mile from R7 and Fairfax County pkwy). We are now ready to buy. Price limit is about 450k and prefer SFH. Want to stay within 10 minutes of in-laws. After driving around all weekend, it seems we have narrowed it down to Countryside in Sterling and the Hiddenbrook area off Dranesville Rd in Herndon.

We have found a house we like in Crestbrook, which is off Dranesville Road between R7 and Wiehle Ave. It seems like a nice neighborhood. Only driven through once so far and it was at 10am on Sunday morning so obviously going to be quiet then. We are a relatively young couple around 30 years old with a 2 year old son. So schools are obviously important. How is Dranesville Elementary school? Greatschools.org only gives it a 4/10. Of course they pretty much seem to give every school in the areas we are looking a 4 or 5 except for Lowes Island which is a 9. So not sure if we should take those ratings with a grain of salt.

Over the last few years, we have become pretty familiar with Sterling and the area along Algonkian parkway. But Herndon is new to us. Everything seems pretty nice and our realtor lived here for 25+ years so I feel pretty comfortable with the area. Oh and I work in Herndon near WorldGate so that is a bonus for living in Herndon.

Thanks for any feedback you can give us.
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Old 08-08-2011, 09:37 AM
2,189 posts, read 3,323,730 times
Reputation: 1637
I think you'll find the school system here to be much better than NC. Herndon schools aren't considered among the best, but it is relative as I'm sure they'd be considered pretty good in other states' school systems. Also I think some Herndon schools are better than others, but I'm not that familiar with which ones are considered good & bad. I would look at all the greatschools data, not just rating. Like test scores, demographics, free lunch %, teacher:student ratio, etc. I'm not sure how their rating is calculated but I think it's heavily weighted on test score.
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Old 08-08-2011, 03:52 PM
121 posts, read 470,309 times
Reputation: 37
kind of six-or-half-dozen. i also live in countryside and work @ worldgate.

I am partial to countryside as a residence. lots of walkable trails, plygrounds, tennis/pools and a private trail to the potomac river (horse pen run trail) and easy access to shopping/restaurants.

Also lots of housing in your range and nice yards.

Btw; two kids and both went to the countryside schools. one will be graduating next year and from our experience, very good schools here in 20165.
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Old 08-08-2011, 07:27 PM
Location: Herndon
139 posts, read 315,312 times
Reputation: 45
When we were planning our move to FFX co a few months back, I kept referring back to Greatschools.org and I found it to be contradictory to lists on U.S. News and Newsweek (I think) and then the Washington post came out with it's list too...you can search for lists of top schools on google. Anyway, I could have chosen to send my son to Langley High School or McLean or any of those higher ranked schools but I chose Herndon because we love the area and didn't want to be close to DC, even though my husband does commute every day, plus we wanted a little more diversity and not just the predominately white rich kid schools. Langley and McLean and other high schools do rank rather well but Herndon is not bad at all. I am calling it from memory but I think it's still somewhere around 160 in the nation and that's nothing to be ashamed of at all...that's very good in my book. That still ranks higher than any school he would have attended or did attend in the other states we have lived in. I am a teacher, so a good education is important to me. Unfortunately, I don't know much about the elementary schools. You can go to www.fcps.edu and click on "schools and centers", then type in either the city or the school and go to the demographics page to see information about each school. I used that to cinch the deal. You can see the diversity or lack thereof, test scores, number of kids in gifted program, free/reduced lunch, etc. Hope this helps! Wish I could help more.
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