Evaluating Schools When Buying A Home

Evaluating Schools When Buying A Home

I sell real estate, which means I know about the local economy, housing types, inspection repairs, and financing options. It doesn’t make me qualified to on evaluating schools when buying a home though. So when people ask me about local public schools, I can say what I know about them – Barcroft is a year round school, Yorktown has a good softball team (I used to be an assistant coach a few years ago), W&L has a turf soccer field, and the boundary for each school by neighborhood – but I can’t speak to the quality of education, test scores, student to teacher ratio, etc. That said, luckily I married a high school teacher to help with that! Schools have reputations which may or may not still be accurate today. I asked Mitch, my husband, where and how to evaluate your options.

He did a comparison of McLean and Langley for The McLean Ear (now the McLean Patch) 2 years ago, so here is an excerpt from that post:

“McLean ranked 102, Langley ranked 118…After examining both schools, there really aren’t a lot of differences in the scores and numbers.  What I would do is visit the schools and try to meet with the principal to get a feel for the management style.  Another option would be to attend an event at the school.  A play, a sporting event or a fundraiser are all great ways to meet school staff, fellow parents and students.”

How do you evaluate the schools in Arlington?

There are only 3 high schools in Arlington – Yorktown, Washington & Lee, and Wakefield. There are 5 middle schools in Arlington – Gunston, Kenmore, Jefferson, Swanson, and Williamsburg. There’s even more elementary schools (click here for the Arlington Public School website).

There’s an online website that has report cards from each school that will help you sort through statistics, test scores, safety, demographics, etc.

Visit the Virginia Department of Education Report Card

Search the Arlington Boundary Locator to find the schools associated with your address