Just about every online listing for real estate will include which schools that home is zoned for–and for good reason. Homebuyers with children under 18 list the quality of schools as a major influencing factor in their real estate decisions, according to the National Association of Realtors. Which begs the question: How trustworthy are the ratings found alongside those online listings and where can the best information be found?
Possibly the most prevalent rating system online is through GreatSchools.org. GreatSchools is a non-profit that works to rank schools based on several data points–test scores, student achievement, and racial and socioeconomic diversity. The benefit of this information is that it is compiled by a third party source which can offer an unbiased opinion. According to their website, “GreatSchools ratings follow a 1-10 scale, where 10 is the highest and 1 is the lowest. Ratings at the lower end of the scale (1-3) signal that the school is “below average,” 4-7 indicate “average,” and 8-10 are “above average.” This is simple and easy to understand system that can help guide prospective buyers toward useful information about the school assigned to their chosen property.
Additionally, Maryland publishes a school “report card” for each school. You can find information on Frederick County and the individual schools within here. These sites will give you information about graduation rates, assessments and specific learning programs. This information is detailed and specific to each school which can help parents determine a good fit based on their child’s individualized needs.
So, what happens when your dream home is not assigned to the perfect school? It can be a tough dilemma. However, as the conversation around school choice ramps up nationwide, it’s important to note that parents are not stuck with the standard curriculum provided by their neighborhood school as the only option. Frederick County has an elementary magnet program as well as specific academic programs for accelerated learners through middle and high school. This differentiation within the schools can mean that while the overall rating for the school may be lesser, the program your child attends could be rigorous and fulfilling. It’s important to seek out the school individually to find out what they offer.
Ultimately, Frederick County has many fantastic schools–seven out of ten high schools in the district were recognized as high performing by the U.S. News and World Report High School Rankings. Elementary and middle schools here are setting up a foundation for this success. All of this mean purchasing a home within Fredericksburg County means there’s a high likelihood that you will find a school nearby that meets your needs! Lastly, nothing replaces good old fashioned in-person testimonials. Do not hesitate to ask friends and family about their personal experience– EHG Reality can even help you coordinate tours of the schools in the neighborhoods you’re interested in!
We know that buying a home means a new beginning and that process can be scary but with the right information surrounding education and the sound knowledge Evolution Home Group has about real estate, you can feel good about the decision you are making for your family.