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Old 10-15-2014, 12:08 PM
 
9 posts, read 25,868 times
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Hi All,

Hubby and I currently live in Alexandria (22312), which is in the Edison school district, the elementary school in our neighborhood is not so great (Bren Mar Park Elementary). We have a 1 year old who will not be entering school for a few years. So we are probably moving next year and were really considering Burke or W. Springfield- but the more I think about it, it's silly for us to move further into the suburbs if we both work downtown- So I am keeping Alexandria in mind. Here is the problem:

The schools in Alexandria appear to be awful, well at least on paper! I have no interest in the route 1 corridor, but I am interested in 22315 & 22310- I guess that would be Kingstowne and Franconia??? Does any one have any thoughts or ideas on Edison HS, Hayfield SS or any of the elementary schools in these areas? Also, since the schools appear not to be above standards are people who live in Alexandria (FFX county)putting their kids in private schools? If so are there any private schools that have affordable tuition (below 20k a year) or should we just suck it up and move to Burke/Springfield were the houses or relatively less expensive and all the schools appear to be excellent.

Thanks
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Old 10-15-2014, 04:01 PM
 
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Didn't you start a similar thread last month?

//www.city-data.com/forum/north...l#post36684651
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Old 10-15-2014, 05:32 PM
 
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It should not be necessary for parents in Fairfax County to put their kids in private schools unless one feels the children would benefit from special academic or religious focus.

Anecdotally speaking, I believe that Hayfield HS and Edison HS are considered "okay" if not towards the top of the list in terms of test scores etc. (As you might imagine the "best" high school pyramids are essentially in the most affluent areas.) If you are comfortable with the school quality in Burke and West Springfield, I would recommend considering those communities. Compared to those who commute into the city from Loudoun and Prince William Counties (and further), your commute would be "easy" by local standards.

Last edited by FindingZen; 10-16-2014 at 02:51 PM..
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Old 10-15-2014, 06:19 PM
 
Location: Virginia
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I teach at one of those "excellent" elementary schools in West Springfield. While I take pride in my work and that of my students, I would not compare the building in which I work to those where you are and say that those schools are substandard. The demographics are completely different. You can compare them on paper as you say, but I bet those teachers are working their butts off and your child will succeed no matter where he/she goes to school.
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Old 10-15-2014, 06:27 PM
 
Location: West Hollywood, CA from Arlington, VA
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My sister went to Hayfield. It's a good school like almost every other school in Fairfax County.

Kingstowne really sucks to commute into DC as much as Burke/West Springfield though. Burke/West Springfield has express buses into DC unlike Kingstowne/Franconia.
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Old 10-16-2014, 05:52 AM
 
1,386 posts, read 2,889,906 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gomason View Post
My sister went to Hayfield. It's a good school like almost every other school in Fairfax County.

Kingstowne really sucks to commute into DC as much as Burke/West Springfield though. Burke/West Springfield has express buses into DC unlike Kingstowne/Franconia.
Lane Elementary is a great school.

I'm not sure how 5-10 minute access to the metro, HOV lanes, I495 and I395 would suck.
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Old 10-16-2014, 07:21 AM
 
Location: Chester County, PA
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OP, I would just keep in mind that the ratings of schools that I'm guessing you're looking at are merely averages of student performance on state tests. For example, Bren Mar Park Elementary looks like it currently has a 5 rating on greatschools, which, as I understand it, means that the performance of students at that school is roughly in the 50th percentile statewide, i.e., half of the elementary schools in the state have student populations that, on average, are performing better, and half of the elementary schools in the state have student populations that, on average, are performing worse. So, one, the peformance of students at that school, on average, are actually just about average for the state. But, the more important thing to note in my opinion is that it is just an average - there may well be (and probably are) significant numbers of students at that school who are doing incredibly well academically and are receiving a great education. I think this is particularly true in a place like Fairfax County where even the "poor" areas of the county have many people living there (if not the majority) who are middle class or even upper middle class. In some parts of the country, a low rating means the school is located in an area where 90% of the population is impoverished and, as such, the schools aren't really going to have many opportunities for students that don't have such challenges. I don't think there are many areas of Fairfax County like that.

For some people, that's not enough. They feel that, in order to give their child the best opportunity possible to succeed, they need to put their child in a school where they will be surrounded by as many other high achieiving students as possible. And, to some extent, you can probably find statistics to back that up. But, for others, they make peace with the fact that all of the schools in Fairfax County are part of the same school district and all have similar opportunities for students who want to excel academically and for those who don't. You just have to decide what you're comfortable with.

On the private school front, I do know neighbors of mine who send their children to St. Bernadette's in West Springfield and to Immanuel Christian School in North Springfield on account of the schools in my pyramid (Lee HS pyramid) not being very well regarded. I don't know much more about those schools beyond that, but I do believe they cost less than $10k per year. Of course, I also know neighbors who are fine with our elementary school (despite it only have a 3 rating on greatschools), and feel like private school would be a waste of money.

Last edited by airjay75; 10-16-2014 at 07:39 AM..
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Old 10-16-2014, 07:26 AM
 
Location: Chester County, PA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gomason View Post
Kingstowne really sucks to commute into DC as much as Burke/West Springfield though. Burke/West Springfield has express buses into DC unlike Kingstowne/Franconia.
Personally, I prefer Metro to the Pentagon Express buses, primarily because you have a lot more flexibility with your schedule than with buses. With buses, your life is much more dictated by the bus schedule. With Metro, it runs all the time. I could catch a Pentagon Express bus a half block from my house, but, instead, I drive to Metro because I prefer the convenience it affords. In that sense, I think the Kingstowne/Franconia area offers a better commute than Burke or West Springfield, but to each their own, I suppose.
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Old 10-19-2014, 02:42 PM
 
9 posts, read 25,868 times
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I did, but I guess I did not get the answer I was looking for
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Old 10-19-2014, 07:12 PM
 
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Thanks this is actually very helpful. I sort of feel the same way! I graduated from Falls Church hs, which is not considered a great school, but I did well and went on to get a B.S and a MSW. I kids will do well if the parents stress academics no matter what the school.
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