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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…

Fairfax County Schools: The VIP awards 2013

“I got the job, and we’re moving to Fairfax County!”, said Harry. Sally was excited to hear the news but apprehensive at the same time.  She had moved several times before and it was always so stressful… were there any good Fairfax County schools for their 4 children?

She scoured the web and found that Fairfax County had a select number of schools that were recently in the news for having won a “VIP award”.  That sounded like a great thing, but… what exactly is a VIP award?

The Virginia Index of Performance (VIP) awards

Rocky Run Middle School won the highest award

Rocky Run Middle School earned the highest VIP award

The VIP awards are earned by a few schools in Virginia who meet high standards of learning and who achieve excellence goals established by the Governor and the Board.

The awards are divided into three levels:

  1. The Governor’s Award for Educational Excellence,
  2. The Board of Education Excellence Award, and
  3. The Board of Education Distinguished Achievement Award.

The Governor’s Award for Educational Excellence

To win the Governor’s Award for Educational Excellence, a school or division must meet all State and Federal achievement benchmarks for two consecutive years and achieve all applicable excellence goals that the Board and the Governor have designated.

This year, there were only 2 schools in the entire State of Virginia who earned this award, and one of them is Rocky Run Middle School in Fairfax County.

About Rocky Run Middle School  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…

The Top 4 Readers’ Choice Articles of 2012

Well, folks, it’s the end of 2012 and we thought of doing a quick re-cap of the articles that were most interesting to you, our readers.

Here are the top 4 “most liked” articles (by number of page views).  You might want to enjoy them again, so here they are:

The Top 5 Styles of Single Family Homes

Single Family Detached Home in Fairfax County

House Prices: What $500K buys where

House Prices: What your money buys where

Best Elementary Schools

Fairfax County Schools: Best Elementary Schools

Best High Schools

Best High Schools Ranking


Best wishes for the New Year

Thank you for a great 2012 and wishing you a New Year filled with health and happiness.





P.S.  If you are planning on buying a home in 2013, please reserve your preferred timing with us so that we can be sure to be available to help you.


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