A few weeks ago, we identified the Top High Schools in Fairfax County VA based on US News’s State rankings.
This week, we’ve been inspired by Northern Virginia Magazine, with their Best Elementary Schools article. Their article covers several Counties, and here, we are focusing on the best elementary schools in Fairfax County.
In Northern Virginia magazine’s article, their staff poured through the School Report cards available on the Virginia Department of Education to extract the following four elements to determine their “Best Elementary Schools” list:
Best Elementary Schools* Methodology
- The 2010-2011 average SOL (Standards of Learning) tests pass rate – This is the same calculation we use to help you compare schools.
- The Percentage of students who performed above average on the 2010-2011 SOLs (shows average of advanced proficiency)
- The 3 year 2008-2011 average SOL pass rate (shows long-term academic performance)
- Free/Reduced Lunch (shows the socio-economic breakdown of the school)
The Top 25% Elementary Schools
The result of the Northern Virginia magazine article is a list of 35 elementary schools (which is the top 25% of a total of 139 elementary schools). The list is chock-full of great info, however, three downsides of the alphabetically-ordered list are:
- It’s hard to compare the schools side by side
- It’s hard to get perspective as to how these schools fit into the bigger schema
- Because it’s an alphabetical list, it’s hard to picture where they are in the County
1. It’s hard to compare the schools side-by-side
Because the schools are displayed on a long list, instead of using a table, it’s difficult to see how one school compares to another. To be fair, it would be a veeeery long table and it would be difficult to digest. To make the information easier to understand at a glance, the info must be broken down further – like, for example grouping the elementary schools which feed into the same high school.
This takes us onto the second downside of the list…
2. It’s hard to figure out where they fit within the bigger schema
With a list of 35 schools it’s hard to get the bigger picture as to how good their corresponding middle and high schools are.
This is where we got the idea of mixing and matching rankings.
So we mixed and matched rankings
The first thing we did was to take the US News Top High Schools list and grouped the Best Elementary Schools* by high school. This way, we re-organized the once alphabetically-ordered list onto groups under each of the Top High Schools in Fairfax County.
The second thing we did was to add the 2010-2011 average SOL to the table so that it’s easier to compare the schools side-by-side.
Here is the result of our mix and match
The US News rankings for each of the corresponding 15 High Schools with Elementary Schools in Fairfax County listed as “Best” according to Northern Virginia Magazine:
US News Top High Schools & NoVa Magazine’s Best Elementary Schools
|# 3||Marshall High||96|
|# 4||Mclean High||98|
|Kent Gardens Elementary||95|
|# 5||Robinson High||96|
|# 6||Langley High||98|
|Churchill Rd Elementary||97|
|Colvin Run Elementary||98|
|Great Falls Elementary||98|
|Spring Hill Elementary||97|
|# 7||Woodson High||97|
|Canterbury Woods Elem||96|
|# 8||Madison High||97|
|# 9||Oakton High||98|
|Fox Mill Elementary||98|
|Mosby Woods Elementary||95|
|# 11||Lake Braddock High||95|
|White Oaks Elementary||94|
|# 12||West Springfield High||96|
|Hunt Valley Elementary||97|
|Keene Mill Elementary||94|
|West Springfield Elementary||94|
|# 13||Fairfax High||95|
|Fairfax Villa Elementary||97|
|Willow Springs Elementary||98|
|# 15||Chantilly High||96|
|Greenbriar West Elementary||98|
|Lee’s Corner Elementary||95|
|Oak Hill Elementary||97|
|# 16||Westfield High||94|
|Virginia Run Elementary||95|
|Unranked||South Lakes High||90|
|Hunter Woods Elementary||96|
|Springfield Estates Elementary||95|
|Unranked||West Potomac High||87|
|Stratford Landing Elementary||96|
This table gives you good information as to how each of these Best Elementary Schools in Fairfax County* fit within the bigger schema of their High School pyramids (i.e. which High School does each Elementary School feed into).
But, if you are not very familiar with Fairfax County, picturing where each of these schools is will be your next challenge.
3. It’s hard to picture where the best elementary schools in Fairfax County are located
To get a better idea as to where these schools are within the County (are they in the Northern end, or in the Eastern side near DC, or further West, near Dulles Airport?), we mapped each of the Fairfax County High School boundaries and highlighted the ones mentioned on the table above on our Fairfax County School Boundaries map:
With this map, you can get an idea as to where each Fairfax County High School boundary is, and if it meets your criteria of where to live based on your desired commute or other location preferences (e.g. near water, near the airport, etc.).
Your Next Step
Now that you know where the Top High Schools and the Best Elementary Schools in Fairfax County* are, you will want to find out more about your favorite area to learn about transportation options, average home prices, and homes for sale.
An easy way to do this is to log into the Fairfax County School Boundaries Map, and select the boundary that interests you.
And don’t worry, if you need any help to refine your search, we’d be delighted to give you a hand. Simply contact us via phone or email.
* Best Elementary Schools in Fairfax County refers to the schools selected within Northern Virginia Magazine’s article.
Map data (c) Google
This is nice of you to write up – but I want to point out one very important part of this information. Most of these elementary schools listed above are Advanced Placement (AP) centers – meaning that they have the most brightest youngsters go there starting in 3rd grade as they are transferred from their base school to attend the AP centers. This, of course, would skew the SOL score that is listed above! Of course these schools should have the highest SOL scores – we have sent all the smart kids to hang out together
You are absolutely correct. Many of these Top Elementary Schools are AP centers as well, but not all of them.
For example, the top two on the list: Westbriar and Westgate. Westbriar is only the Level IV AP center for grades 3-4 (but not 5-6), so there are AP kids raising the test scores for the overall school.
On the other hand, Westgate is not an AP center and it had the same pass rate (98) as Westbriar.
Your thoughtful comment gives me an idea: when I update the post, I’ll note which schools are AP centers as well.
Thanks so much for your note,