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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…

Fairfax County Elementary Schools: Changing Education Through the Arts (CETA)

When you were a kid in school, do you remember acting out the Thanksgiving story?  Or building a “real” volcano?

CETA - Changing Education Through the Arts

The CETA – Changing Education Through the Arts program enhances children’s education.

Of course you remember, because you had a chance to live them, rather than simply read (or be told) about them.  That’s the power of multi-sensorial learning strategies.

Thankfully, the well-known Kennedy Center, based in Washington, D.C., offers an in-depth program to incorporate multi-sensorial learning strategies into schools.  Their program is called Changing Education Through the Arts (CETA)

What is Changing Education Through the Arts – CETA?

You can best see CETA in action in this very cool video, shot at Abingdon Elementary School in Arlington County (Arlington is adjacent to Fairfax County): Continue Reading…

The Top 3 Middle Schools for getting into Thomas Jefferson HS (TJHSST)

Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technhology (TJHSST) is currently ranked as the # 1 High School in Virginia and the #2 High School in the Nation.

Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology (TJHSST)

How to have the best chance to get into Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology (TJHSST)

Amy worked hard in school

A few years ago, I remember my young neighbor Amy coming back from middle school later than most middle school kids in the neighborhood.  I asked her if she was in after-school programs and she said that she came home later because she attended Carson MS instead of our neighborhood-assigned middle school.

A few years later, she had to get up even earlier and come home even later than her High School friends in the neighborhood because she was attending Thomas Jefferson High School.   Now I realize that she was following in her brother’s footsteps and pursuing a Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) path toward college.

What is TJHSST? 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…

Fairfax County High School Rankings: IB vs AP

When choosing a high school, either for a current high-schooler or for the future, there are several considerations.  One consideration which is in almost every parent’s mind is: How good is the school?

And, well, “good” is quite a subjective measure

But when they say “good”, most parents are referring to how much their children will be challenged to reach their highest potential.

Children love to be challenged (IB vs AP)

Children love to be challenged

One way to ensure that children have the opportunity to be challenged is by attending a high school offering a high-level program of courses.  Two of those programs are the Advanced Placement program (AP), and the International Baccalaureate (IB).  Continue Reading…

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