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Fairfax County Schools (FCPS) Boundary Study 2014 – Update March 2013

You may recall our post from January of this year Fairfax County Schools FCPS Boundary Study Changes 2014 bringing this boundary study to your attention.

And, as the famous Greek philosopher, Heraclitus, said: “Nothing is permanent except change.”

So, as we move forward into this boundary study, we don’t have any definite answers yet, but we do have a little bit more information.

Now, a little over a month later, we have more information about the 2014 boundary study

But first, let’s recap.

This boundary study primarily affects Fairfax High School as well as Lanier Middle School.

The reason for the study is to alleviate future overcrowding of these two schools which belong to The City of Fairfax (and currently also accept students from the adjacent area in Fairfax County).

To remedy the situation, the Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) board initiated a boundary study involving the following adjacent High Schools to Fairfax HS:

FCPS 2014 boundary study

FCPS boundary study of Fairfax HS & surrounding schools

Note that the following adjacent (and close-by) schools are NOT affected by this boundary study: Continue Reading…

Fairfax County Schools (FCPS) Boundary Changes in 2014


The Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) board recently voted to initiate a boundary study to relieve the future overcrowding of Fairfax High School (and Lanier Middle School), at the request of The City of Fairfax School Board.

First, a little background –

Fairfax HS

Fairfax High School serves students from FCPS as well as students from the City of Fairfax

Something that most people don’t know is that The City of Fairfax, as an incorporated city, has its own School Board.

However, the schools that belong to the City (Such as Fairfax HS and Lanier MS), are administered by Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS).

In exchange for this, Fairfax County gets to send some of its residents to these schools.

The partnership benefits both parties

The City of Fairfax benefits from having County students helping support athletics and academic programs; and Fairfax County benefits from having more space for its students.

But Fairfax High School is overcrowded

However, when The City of Fairfax realized that Fairfax HS and Lanier MS would be overcrowded in the next 3-5 years, they sent a request to FCPS, asking to take action to relieve the situation.

FCPS responded with a boundary study

The FCPS board then decided to initiate a boundary study to better distribute the student population.

The FCPS board, in their January 25th meeting, decided to include several adjoining high school boundaries the study: Continue Reading…

5 Mistakes to Avoid When Choosing a Home

Choosing a home is like baking a cake – it really is only a matter of following the recipe.  That is, if you actually know the recipe!

Choosing a home is like baking a cake; they both require a recipe

There’s an easy recipe for choosing a home

When you have the recipe, you measure, you mix, you bake, and voilá!  Out comes a yummy cake.

If only recipes pointed out the most common mistakes…

But even with a recipe, sometimes what we need is a bit of experience on how to get some of the steps done.  And, inevitably, at the end of the process we realize that there were a few things that we could improve next time.  If  only recipes pointed out the most common mistakes, then you could have an easier time baking the cake on your first try.

When choosing a home, it’s best to avoid mistakes on the first try

Choosing a home (with schools in mind) is also a matter of following a recipe.  But you might not have a chance to try it again for another few years, so it’s best to avoid any mistakes on your first try.

Here are 5 mistakes to avoid when choosing a home (with schools in mind): Continue Reading…

How to Choose the Right School in Fairfax County

When Andy & Paula got married, they bought themselves a place in a lovely area where it was easy to walk out the door and get something to eat.  Andy & Paula also really loved the pool and the gym that were part of their community.

But, one day, they found out that there were no longer only two members of their little family, but that in a short 9 months, they’d be three.

Their cozy place was great for three, although the gym was not being used as much as it once was…

A couple of years went by and very soon they were four

And then there were four

Moving to a bigger place

That’s when they decided that they could probably use a bit more space, and perhaps even a little yard. Since they were moving, they decided to consider their school options as part of their home search… but where to start?

Start by choosing the right school

In Fairfax County, it’s best to start by choosing a school because the attendance areas are very strict.  So it’s easier to choose a school first, and then find a home that belongs to that school’s boundary.

If you are like Andy & Paula, and don’t know exactly where to start choosing a school in Fairfax County, here are some tips: First, you get the overall picture of how the Fairfax County Public Schools district is organized (by school pyramids). Continue Reading…

Best Fairfax County High Schools – Ultimate Ranking (2011-2012)

Finding The Best Schools among Fairfax County High Schools is tough. Should you use SAT scores? Or SOLs? How about using The Ultimate Ranking?

Choosing The Best Schools is a very personal thing – like choosing a running shoe

Do you like your running shoes cushioned, or minimalistic?  Or do you choose by them by color? Most people, before they choose their running shoes, they research ratings to help them get a more objective point of view on which the best ones might be.

Choosing a school is like choosing a running shoe

Choosing among Fairfax County High Schools is a matter of personal preference (like choosing shoes)

Like when choosing a shoe, choosing the best school requires research

Are you partial to large schools with lots of resources, or are you more comfortable with small, community-fostering schools?   Or perhaps there is a sport program that is of the utmost importance to your selection. Or a foreign language.

Regardless of personal preference, most people research to find the best schools first and then narrow down their choice based on their special program requirements.

And what they mean by best schools is, generally, using some kind of rating or score to compare the schools using an objective measure.

Choosing the best school using scores can be helpful… sometimes

Choosing one score to use to find “the best school” can be tricky, especially when comparing Fairfax County high schools.  Should you use the average SAT scores by school?  Or perhaps the Standards of Learning (SOLs)?  Or, maybe The Washington Post’s Challenge Index®?

In the past several weeks, we have published Fairfax County high schools rankings using these scoring methods.

And the feedback has been quite positive – except that, when faced with more than one ranking, it’s difficult again to compare them all and come up with the simple answer to:  “What are theBest Fairfax County High Schools?” Continue Reading…

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