How to choose your top 2 Fairfax school pyramids

Choose your top 2 school pyramidsWhen Kathy’s husband was transferred back to the DC area after an assignment abroad, their kids were in elementary school and middle school. Since the children were fluent in French, she was hoping to continue their bilingual education through a special program throughout their K-12 years.


Fairfax County Public Schools are organized into pyramids

School pyramids are simply a way to organize schools. The top of the pyramid is the high school, then one or two middle schools; and the base of the pyramid is made up of several “feeder” elementary schools.

Why would you want to choose your Top 2 Fairfax school pyramids?

In Fairfax County, where you live determines which school pyramid your kids can attend.

Just as you research the best homes you’d like to live in, you can also choose the schools that you’d like your kids to attend.


Where do you start looking for the right pyramids?

You can focus on rankings, special programs, and/or recommendations:

Focus on school rankings: Fairfax County doesn’t rank its schools, but it does provide several types of scores with which to compare schools.

Focus on special programs: FCPS offers a variety of special programs which might be of interest to you and your children. Whether it is advanced academics, language immersion, arts and sciences partnerships, special education, or many other special programs – Fairfax County has a wide variety from where to choose from. Once you determine a program that you want to focus on, you will want to make a note of the school(s) that offer it.

Focus on recommendations: Regardless of each school’s scores and special programs offered, a school is only as good as the people who participate in it.   If you have a trusted source who recommends a school because of the warmth and dedication of its administrators, teachers, and volunteers, be sure to keep an eye on it.


Most Fairfax County schools are highly ranked – why choose?

Each school is different.  If you are not focusing on comparing ratings, it’s still a good idea to look at the special programs offered and at the school’s reputation.  It’s best to be well informed to avoid surprises.  After all, once you move into your new house and your kids are assigned to their school pyramid, there isn’t much chance to switch schools.

Let’s see how Kathy selected her top pyramids –


Kathy’s quest

Kathy first researched schools which offered a French immersion program and selected her Top 2. She then compared their rankings and asked for recommendations to make her final school pyramid decision.  In the end, she was very happy with her research as it has helped shape her children’s future the way her family envisioned it.



  • Fairfax County Public Schools are organized into pyramids
  • Where you live determines your assigned school
  • It’s important to research the schools that you want your kids to attend
  • You can focus on rankings, special programs and/or recommendations to find the right school

If you’re focused on school ratings follow on to: The 3 most common school-ranking systems


Your turn, what do you think?

Please leave a comment!

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