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Thread: suggestions for where to live? (bike commuting to the hill and family friendly area)

  1. #21
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    If you want to be in the city in a nice neighborhood with a good school then I would suggest Shepherd Park. Once you master the charter process, then it will open the floodgates to live elsewhere. I wouldn't stay in SP once your kids are out of ES though because the MS and HS aren't all that great--not horrible, but nothing as nice as their ES is.

    You'll good schools in Montgomery, Arlington and most of FFX. Alexandria is hit or miss.

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  3. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Terpfan View Post
    If you want to be in the city in a nice neighborhood with a good school then I would suggest Shepherd Park. Once you master the charter process, then it will open the floodgates to live elsewhere. I wouldn't stay in SP once your kids are out of ES though because the MS and HS aren't all that great--not horrible, but nothing as nice as their ES is.

    You'll good schools in Montgomery, Arlington and most of FFX. Alexandria is hit or miss.
    I always find it maddening and frustrating that there is so much disparity in the quality of schools and that it drives so many people to move just for the schools and then commute long distances for that "luxury". I see my sister about to do it in Hampton Roads... looking to move in order to get my niece out of the "bad" school district. I don't know where to break the cycle, but one of the reasons that "bad" system is "bad" is because all the people with means and smart kids move away like she wants to, thus starving the system of he very kids who are likely to raise average test scores and make TAG-type programs more viable and give the whole system that "quality" education luster. The problem AND the solution are not simple, but the abundance of people chasing "good" schools with housing choices certainly doesn't help. But I digress...

  4. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by dasgeh View Post
    South Arlington tends to be cheaper than North. I think Penrose is undervalued -- especially if you bike, as you can bike through Fort Myer/ANC, which forum regulars know is the best commute in the area ;-)
    Agreed. I live in Penrose and ride in daily, most of the time through Fort Myer and the Cemetary. It's a good commute, ~25 minutes to Federal Triangle, going to union station would make it 30 minutes or so I think. Freinds of mine whoes kids are in Patrick Henry like it, but I can't personnaly opine so take hearsay for what it's worth. Penrose also has the advantage of having a lot of walkable amenaties and rents are generally lower than in N. Arlington.

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  6. #24
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    Reading this insufficiently I will of course chime in.

    The answer to this question is always Arlington. You might consider south Arlington near Shirlington if you want more affordable housing that is on an excellent bike path and has excellent bus public transportation.

    This is the point I want to make. We are just leaving the Arlington Public School system. APS is simply the best and ranks on top of the charts, all schools throughout the county.

    BUT. But the developer part of Arlington did not talk to the school planning part of Arlington. We are facing MASSIVE and all but unsolvable overcrowding. We are a victim of our own success. We are very glad that are children are leaving the system when they are leaving. APS is a great great school system. But if you are interested in Arlington - read about and watch the over crowding issue. I will just say, I think Arlington is a long way from a solution.

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  8. #25
    mstone is offline I really need to log off the internet and go for a ride.
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    Fairfax has already solved this problem by adding trailers and having lunch run from 10-2.

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    Oh we are way past trailers and silly lunch hours. We need new facilities and there is no where to put them. This is again one of those "Arlington is an Urban-Village" where we are more urban than village. Our schools are going to have to look a lot more urban - multiple floors - packed in - early hours - late hours. The low hanging fruit solutions have been HUGE battles. And we got 5k more students this school year, I think? Much more than the increase that we had anticipated.

    APS has been wonderful. But...

  10. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyclingfool View Post
    I always find it maddening and frustrating that there is so much disparity in the quality of schools and that it drives so many people to move just for the schools and then commute long distances for that "luxury". I see my sister about to do it in Hampton Roads... looking to move in order to get my niece out of the "bad" school district. I don't know where to break the cycle, but one of the reasons that "bad" system is "bad" is because all the people with means and smart kids move away like she wants to, thus starving the system of he very kids who are likely to raise average test scores and make TAG-type programs more viable and give the whole system that "quality" education luster. The problem AND the solution are not simple, but the abundance of people chasing "good" schools with housing choices certainly doesn't help. But I digress...


    As a new citizen of the City of Alexandria, I am pleased to focus my civic involvement on bike advocacy, and other aspects of transportation and planning, and leave the improvement of ACPS to others Though count me in as a non-parent/emptynester who would love to see the City schools improve for all kids.

  11. #28
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    Gee... Maybe if they had class sizes the same as when we were kids, we wouldn't have these problems. (Test scores were higher back then, weren't they?)

    When APS was bigger in the past, they gave closing schools to the county to become community centers. Now vocal groups object when APS tries to take land back from the county. They scream that APS investment plans take away green space. Of course, the only way to appease the different interest groups will be for the county government to own a larger share of the land in the smallest, already urban, county in the country.

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    Since you have kids, I'll chime in and push West McLean. Great schools, great activities for kids, budding infrastructure. Easy 10-15 mile bike commute with many options - Chain Bridge, Key Bridge, 14th Street Bridge. Plus being inside the beltway is a nice warm bubble.

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  14. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyclingfool View Post
    I always find it maddening and frustrating that there is so much disparity in the quality of schools and that it drives so many people to move just for the schools and then commute long distances for that "luxury". I see my sister about to do it in Hampton Roads... looking to move in order to get my niece out of the "bad" school district. I don't know where to break the cycle, but one of the reasons that "bad" system is "bad" is because all the people with means and smart kids move away like she wants to, thus starving the system of he very kids who are likely to raise average test scores and make TAG-type programs more viable and give the whole system that "quality" education luster. The problem AND the solution are not simple, but the abundance of people chasing "good" schools with housing choices certainly doesn't help. But I digress...
    I wouldn't disagree, just offering a candid assessment of the various districts. It's funny as a colleague and I were just discussing the whole education issue and the very same subject came up. Good schools because of good funding, well-educated/high-earner parents, or innovative/good teachers? The answer was a mix, but we did notice that the correlation between good districts with the ratio of parents higher education as quite high. So causal or not was sort of the point.

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