U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Happy Independence Day!
Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > Maryland > Washington, DC suburbs in Maryland
 [Register]
Washington, DC suburbs in Maryland Calvert County, Charles County, Montgomery County, and Prince George's County
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 06-02-2011, 08:10 AM
 
Location: Bay Area
281 posts, read 764,777 times
Reputation: 237

Advertisements

I have a final interview next Friday for my dream job

Given that it is time to really narrow down the area my daughter and I want to live in. The job will be within walking distance of Largo Town Center Metro Station.

My daughter is in a gifted program here and getting solid B grades - a few A's mixed in. I do not think I would press for her to be in any form of gifted education if we move - the overwhelming stress to me is just not worth it in many aspects. Personal choice for us only (so YMMV). I would like a solid high school with diversity where she can fit in. We live in SoCal and we find the high schools incredibly clique driven - but then again it's high school. My daughter loves art, manga, Japanese anything, field hockey, english and literature, and theater (she is starring in the school play tonite!). Her vocabulary is more like a 30 something college graduate than a high schooler. She's not sure what she wants to do but she is very confident and will use reasoning skills in dealing with other people. What she is not is focused on boys, talking like, oh my GOD he's so cute like wow, texting all the time, mall hanger outer, etc.

You get my worry here - in her school at least 95% of all the girls are not like her. I would LOVE to find a place where the chance for a percentage more like her is at least 10-20%. Where the focus on academic achievement is emphasized but not to the exclusion of life. Where she could find a place likely in with other artsy kids who share some of her passions.

Ideally the high school would offer Japanese or Arabic language (MoCo does this and is the only one I know of other than Roosevelt in PG that offers Japanese). I would like it if some AP classes were offered although she would likely only take English/Lit/History/Social Science AP based on her strengths.

What we are seeking is a 2 bdr 1 ba minimum (though 1 bdr + loft is fine as well) condo/apartment/townhouse. I'd rather have no yard upkeep. We have a cat. I'd love washer/dryer in the place but I can deal with laundry room. Air conditioning/central air is required. Other than that - not too picky.

We are looking at Silver Spring, Wheaton/Glenmont, Alexandria, Crofton, Columbia, and Greenbelt.

I value the potential for Metro to work (esp. since my job is close to Metro!) but recognize we may have to sacrifice that for a safer area/better schools. My daughter would like a little more rural feel but that may need to be traded if we go to MoCo for schools due to the language issue.

My budget is up to $2200 including utilities...though I'd like to find something closer to under $2K with utilities. So given what I want, my budget -- where am I going to find the best high school for her needs. I understand it does not need to be the "best" overall - but one that will have the most chance to be what will work for her. I know, for example, Alexandria will be tight for our budget but some areas have really good schools and a bit more rural or suburban feel than, say, downtown Silver Spring.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 06-02-2011, 08:58 AM
 
Location: DMV
10,136 posts, read 13,052,483 times
Reputation: 3196
Quote:
Originally Posted by JosephineBeth View Post
I have a final interview next Friday for my dream job

Given that it is time to really narrow down the area my daughter and I want to live in. The job will be within walking distance of Largo Town Center Metro Station.

My daughter is in a gifted program here and getting solid B grades - a few A's mixed in. I do not think I would press for her to be in any form of gifted education if we move - the overwhelming stress to me is just not worth it in many aspects. Personal choice for us only (so YMMV). I would like a solid high school with diversity where she can fit in. We live in SoCal and we find the high schools incredibly clique driven - but then again it's high school. My daughter loves art, manga, Japanese anything, field hockey, english and literature, and theater (she is starring in the school play tonite!). Her vocabulary is more like a 30 something college graduate than a high schooler. She's not sure what she wants to do but she is very confident and will use reasoning skills in dealing with other people. What she is not is focused on boys, talking like, oh my GOD he's so cute like wow, texting all the time, mall hanger outer, etc.

You get my worry here - in her school at least 95% of all the girls are not like her. I would LOVE to find a place where the chance for a percentage more like her is at least 10-20%. Where the focus on academic achievement is emphasized but not to the exclusion of life. Where she could find a place likely in with other artsy kids who share some of her passions.

Ideally the high school would offer Japanese or Arabic language (MoCo does this and is the only one I know of other than Roosevelt in PG that offers Japanese). I would like it if some AP classes were offered although she would likely only take English/Lit/History/Social Science AP based on her strengths.

What we are seeking is a 2 bdr 1 ba minimum (though 1 bdr + loft is fine as well) condo/apartment/townhouse. I'd rather have no yard upkeep. We have a cat. I'd love washer/dryer in the place but I can deal with laundry room. Air conditioning/central air is required. Other than that - not too picky.

We are looking at Silver Spring, Wheaton/Glenmont, Alexandria, Crofton, Columbia, and Greenbelt.

I value the potential for Metro to work (esp. since my job is close to Metro!) but recognize we may have to sacrifice that for a safer area/better schools. My daughter would like a little more rural feel but that may need to be traded if we go to MoCo for schools due to the language issue.

My budget is up to $2200 including utilities...though I'd like to find something closer to under $2K with utilities. So given what I want, my budget -- where am I going to find the best high school for her needs. I understand it does not need to be the "best" overall - but one that will have the most chance to be what will work for her. I know, for example, Alexandria will be tight for our budget but some areas have really good schools and a bit more rural or suburban feel than, say, downtown Silver Spring.
If you're looking for more of a rural type setting then I think you should eliminate Silver Spring and most of Wheaton (which isn't the safest place by the way). Columbia is somewhat built up but no where near the level of those other two places. I think Columbia, Crofton, or Greenbelt should be your top options. Let's break this down

Columbia:
Pros: Good schools, nice neighborhoods, very diverse, Safe
Cons: Long distance, No Realistic Public Transportation Option to Largo, Doesn't Offer Japanese

Crofton:
Pros: Near Major Highway, Very Suburban, Near Annapolis, Close to Baltimore and DC, Great Schools, Safe
Cons: No Realistic Public Transportation Option to Largo, Only has one school that offers Arabic (Meade High School on Ft. Meade base)

Greenbelt:
Pros: Has Roosevelt which is one of the best schools in the DC region, Close to Major Highways (95, B/W Pkwy, MD-193, MD-201), Has some nice quiet parts, Still Developing, Affordable, Closest to Job and only a short drive away, has Japanese in curriculum at Roosevelt, Roosevelt is diverse
Cons: Has some shady parts, not all of Greenbelt would guarantee your daughter to go to Roosevelt (DuVal High School is close as well and not as good)


In my opinion I think Greenbelt would honestly be the best selection of the three, given some of the things you described about your daughter. You could get a really nice place in Greenbelt and live comfortably, your commute would be short and you would still be close to highways if you would like to go out of town or go shopping.

Last edited by justtitans; 06-02-2011 at 09:43 AM..
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-02-2011, 09:22 AM
 
Location: City of Hyattsville, MD
195 posts, read 447,965 times
Reputation: 72
I'd agree with Meatkins about looking closely at Greenbelt. One caveat is that you might find transit to be a less-than-best option for your commute to Largo. It'd be about an hour on Metrorail from the end of the Green line, into D.C., and then back out to the end of the Blue line. Bus options look even worse on Metro's trip planner -- Metro - Home page . Good luck with the interview!
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-02-2011, 01:48 PM
 
Location: Bay Area
281 posts, read 764,777 times
Reputation: 237
Thank you!

I think if it was Greenbelt we chose I'd just drive which would not be a major thing. I agree that the green to blue line option seems inefficient. It is very close to Largo.

I had been leaning that way already - with the feeling my daughter would not like SS as much as I would (I am a city person all the way) given its high rises and very urban feel.

I think Greenbelt also may offer opportunity for me to buy a home when I am ready in 2 years or so. It looks like it would be more affordable than VA overall - and about par with Columbia. Crofton is the cheapest option but again the commute (which admittedly doesn't seem that bad) and no public transportation coupled with the fact they don't have languages and her bus ride could be 6 miles - means Greenbelt is more appealing.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-02-2011, 02:18 PM
 
789 posts, read 2,444,624 times
Reputation: 129
Default Some info...

MD Public Schools MD Public Schools

MD Private Schools Private/Independent Schools

Everything Schools Schools General Discussion
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-02-2011, 08:11 PM
 
4,249 posts, read 6,301,237 times
Reputation: 4822
And http://www.greatschools.org
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-02-2011, 09:14 PM
 
789 posts, read 2,444,624 times
Reputation: 129
Quote:
Originally Posted by slowlane3 View Post
^ that site is a bit outdated. There's no way Watkins Mill could be a 4 out of a 5, and one of the elementary schools listed, Ets Chaiyim School, has been closed going on 4 years. Try SchoolDigger.com - School Rankings, Reviews and More - Public and Private Elementary, Middle, High Schools , more accurate.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-02-2011, 10:40 PM
 
Location: Bay Area
281 posts, read 764,777 times
Reputation: 237
Thanks!

I am surprised by what I found on the School Digger website!

The two Crofton schools in Anne Arundel District rate the highest of all the schools we are looking at! They rate higher than the MoCo schools and Roosevelt. Although South River which is the higher rated of the 2 is not very diverse. That's a bummer. Arundel High looks more diverse.

WOW! I think I need to at least check Crofton out at this point and see how the commute would be even with the lack of language. I found a 2 bdr/2ba there today with everything we want except a washer/dryer in the apartment for $1325 including all utilities but electric so the price is amazing! And it got over 70% recommended on apartment ratings as well. I think it needs to at least be considered.

Roosevelt is the only PG school I can find that I'd consider - though I'd consider several PG areas if it wasn't for schools. I did find a couple of rentals there.

I think VA is out - realistically that commute would be awful.

I'll still look at MoCo and Columbia but I think it's probably between Greenbelt and Crofton right now - Greenbelt a bit more expensive but much closer to work as well.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-03-2011, 11:06 AM
 
Location: It's in the name!
6,843 posts, read 8,585,649 times
Reputation: 3607
Quote:
Originally Posted by JosephineBeth View Post

Roosevelt is the only PG school I can find that I'd consider - though I'd consider several PG areas if it wasn't for schools. I did find a couple of rentals there.

Visit the schools in those areas and talk to the principle and staff. See why the schools may not score so high. Remember, those scores are averages of all the students. Just because a school may rank 70 out of 100 for math doesn't mean that your child will rank 70 out of a 100. Every child is different, every class is different, every teacher is different. There's more to a school than numbers. So how the kids behave in the schools. How much does the teacher have to slow down for the kids who may not learn at a standard level? Will that hinder your child from moving on to more challenging things? How much time will you invest in your child's education compared to the parents that don't and will that have an impact? Would you be able to ask the teacher to supply your child with supplemental work because they are on a higher level? Or willthe teacher refuse? Stuff like that is important. You may be able to get a good deal on a home in an area where the school doesn't rank so high, but through a little more work, provide your child with just as good an education if they went to a higher performing school.

I've mentioned this countless times in other threads, but I think we sometimes make huge decisions based on only a glance at numbers. But what's behind the numbers? I think we spend more time and research searching for the right home and then when it comes to schools, we hit a website with a rating system and move on if the numbers aren't so high.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-03-2011, 02:13 PM
 
Location: Bay Area
281 posts, read 764,777 times
Reputation: 237
Thanks AdelphiSky

I would love to be able to do something like that but I'm moving from out of state and honestly I don't have the time to sit with each potential high school at this point - that would take considerable time and even if I lived there I still will be working 8-5 so this seems tough to accomplish reasonably. Your ideas are good - and I think if we end up with a bad fit that this would be a great avenue to pursue for the future.

I am sure there are some good schools in PG - just like I am sure there are some not so good ones in MoCo and other areas where many are considered good. But I'm realistic enough to know that the best I can do given it's a cross country move is to make the best selection I have with the data I can gather. But that's why I pointed out that I don't need her to go to the BEST school - I want a good school that will meet her needs specifically - not only academically but socially.

I had a very bad experience several years ago that plays into my decision making. When my daughter was in 2nd grade we went to a "marginal" school based on where we lived- I had homeschooled prior to that. It ended up my daughter learned hardly anything that year except how to tutor other kids because that is what the teacher had her doing as she was about 2 grade levels ahead of the rest of the kids. She literally spent the year tutoring 2 kids who had just come from Mexico who spoke no english whatsoever. The only good thing was she made 2 great friends and learned some Spanish. Academically there was almost zero learning happening for her.

I am very leery of this (where somehow the kid ends up as tutor or maybe gets ignored because they are not the problem). When you mention that the teachers might have to slow down I worry about just those things you say - what about my daughter? Would we be contually required to seek out higher level because all the focus with NCLB is on bringing those with poor test scores up? Will anyone push her academically to what she is capable of if they are focused on so many at the other end? Just how involved am I going to have to be to get her a good education? Am I going to have to monitor nightly homework, assess her learning, and provide a ton of enrichment for her? These are all things I had to do for second grade for her - and I happily did so.

I want to be involved but at her age there is a certain level of responsiblity that rests on her. I do not believe I need to ride herd on her to do her homework - after all in a few short years she is in college and I won't do that for her. I want to be a part of her education - shared with the school, teachers, and even her peers (yes they educate her - sometimes in not so good ways). But I do not want to ever again feel like I am doing the job that someone else is getting paid for - Help absolutely yes no doubt. But take it over? I cannot - I'm a single mom and will be working to pay for her needs.

I am very grateful for all the responses I got - that give me ideas and advice - and I'm using this all as part of the decision making
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:


Settings
X
Data:
Loading data...
Based on 2000-2020 data
Loading data...

123
Hide US histogram

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > Maryland > Washington, DC suburbs in Maryland
Similar Threads

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 05:51 PM.

¬© 2005-2022, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Contact Us - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37 - Top