How to Apply to Advanced Academic Programs

My friends, Brit and Larry, have four lovely kids.   The second child, Haley, when she was moving up to third grade, got referred to a Level IV advanced academic program by her teacher.

All three sisters got into the Level IV Advanced Academic Program

All three sisters got into the Level IV Advanced Academic Program

Brit and Larry had heard of advanced programs, but never really focused on them.  So when Haley got referred to the program, they wondered why their other two girls*, who were also in elementary school, hadn’t been referred as well.

Teachers refer students to the program

Well, it turns out that teachers may refer a student.  But often, teachers are busy and don’t get to referring academically-inclined children to an Advanced Academic Program. Or perhaps they don’t think it’s their place to do so.

Parents may refer students to the program as well Continue Reading…

Working in Fairfax: Where to Live?

A few months ago, Bernard and Rachel moved to Fairfax County because Bernard got a new job and he would be working in Fairfax County.

Tysons Corner skyline

Tysons Corner skyline

Bernard’s new office would be located in Tysons Corner (within Fairfax County), so they set out to look for a nice home, conveniently located so that he would have a reasonable commute.

In addition to the commute consideration, Rachel and Bernard wanted to made sure that their new home was also in the right school boundary for their kids. Continue Reading…

The Inside Scoop about Today’s Real Estate Market – Jan 2014

You know what’s interesting?

I find the latest statistics published about our Real Estate Market interesting.  I find them interesting, but in a confusing kind of way.

Thanksgiving was 2 months ago...

Thanksgiving was 2 months ago…

Not only are those statistics for LAST MONTH (remember, when we were busy celebrating Christmas?), but those statistics reflect the homes that SOLD last month.  Those homes that sold (i.e. closed) last month actually went under contract probably before or around THANKSGIVING.

So, what do the numbers from the Thanksgiving timeframe have to do with today’s market status and its future?

Well… not much… and that’s what’s confusing.

The good news is that we can see the true picture of the Real Estate Market today – although not through the statistics.  We can see the true picture right from the trenches. Continue Reading…

Fairfax County Middle School Rankings

Middle school is a very important time for many kids: it is a major change in their educational lives.

Middle School students learning science

Middle School students having fun while learning science

Suddenly, as soon as they enter middle school, they have transitioned from being young children to being “responsible” students in charge of their own lives at school (well, at least their schedule and their homework…).

In middle school, students are exposed to many more fun activities, sports, and are given plenty of opportunities to develop their own interests.

In Middle School, academics are very important

Also, in middle school, academics become even more important than in elementary school

For example, to apply for the highly-competitive Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology (TJHSST)*, one of the criteria is to have a high GPA in 7th grade (most middle schools in the Fairfax County Public Schools district only cover 7th and 8th grade).

Speaking of good academics, one way to rank the middle schools in Fairfax County is to compare their SOL passing rates**: Continue Reading…

My Predictions for 2014

Welcome to 2014!

A client of mine, Dee, asked me last week what I thought would happen this year with the real estate market in Fairfax County, VA.

My predictions in 2014

My predictions in 2014 include calling the SuperBowl champs

As I said to Dee, I wish I had a crystal ball and I knew for certain what would happen in the future because I’d be on my way to purchasing a lottery ticket with my favorite numbers.

Sadly, nobody really knows what is going to happen in the future, but we can make predictions… (that is … educated guesses).

Here are my predictions for 2014 which affect the real estate market in our area: Continue Reading…

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