What are the Best High Schools in Northern Virginia?

December 12, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

boy writingSeveral of Northern Virginia’s High Schools were recently named to US News & World Report’s “Gold Medal List” of Best High Schools in the nation!

Alexandria’s own Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology, with its application/merit-based admissions, was named #1!  Serving grades 9-12, it has 1805 students and scored a perfect 100 on US News’ “College Readiness Index.”
Coming in at #47 is McLean’s Langley High School, with a College Readiness Index of 77.6.  It’s an open enrollment school in Fairfax County, serving grades 9-12.

Of course US News is the only report out there.  Newsweek’s 2009 Top Public High School rankings included many area schools as well: Arlington’s H-B Woodlawn came in at #37, Rockville MD’s Wooten at #59,  Arlington’s Washington-Lee at #68, Fairfax County’s W.T. Woodson at #72, and Potomac MD’s Winston Churchill at #95, and Arlington’s Yorktown at #100.

Not to be outdone, Business Week also puts out its own list.

Northern Virginia Magazine also reports on the local schools, and named Thomas Jefferson, Langley, McLean, George Mason, and W.T. Woodson as the top 5 high school picks back in 2006, and has this helpful public-vs-private article with some key stats by school.

How can you evaluate the quality of a school district?  There are so many factors to consider; you must decide what’s important to you and your child.  Is it curriculum?  Test scores?  Diversity of student body?  There are many sources of information online, like greatschools.org, schoolmatters.com, and the National Center for Education Statistics.  And, of course, you should visit the school if possible.

When researching school districts for your move, be warned: Fair Housing laws make it very difficult for real estate agents to answer your questions because we cannot be perceived as ‘steering’ buyers towards or away from a particular neighborhood in a discriminatory matter.  (Same goes for crime stats, as discussed in this article.)  So it’s imperative that you do your own  “homework” on school districts.

For links to local school districts, see the right hand sidebar.


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