Homebuyer needs and wants aren’t universal, but those with children share at least one of the same demands: good schools.
Niche.com provides thousands of reviews, polls and data on schools throughout the nation, which are then used to rank the top Washington D.C.-area public school districts, basing it on student and parent reviews, state test scores, college readiness, graduation rates, SAT/ACT scores and teacher quality.
The preeminent school zones near the nation’s capital technically fall in Virginia, Maryland and Pennsylvania.
Arlington County Public Schools
At no. 1 in both Virginia and the D.C. metro, Arlington County Public Schools includes 37 separate institutions for 23,449 students. It scored an A+ in all seven categories except sports and fitness, for which it received and A-.
Falls Church City Public Schools
In Virginia, Falls Church City Public Schools – ranked no. 2 in the state and the D.C. metro – has four schools and 2,426 students. It received at least an A in all categories besides student culture and diversity, for which it scored a B.
Montgomery County Public Schools
Montgomery County Public Schools in Potomac, Maryland, holds 207 schools and 151,295 students, ages pre-k through 12th grade. It ranks no. 2 in Maryland and third among D.C. metro school districts, receiving a combined rating of 3.8/5 among parents and students.
Loudoun County Public Schools
Another Virginia district, Loudoun County Public Schools in Ashburn has 86 schools and over 70,000 students. Loudoun County Public Schools stands at no. 4 in the metro, scoring at least an A in all seven categories.
Fairfax County Public Schools
With 218 schools and 183,417 students, Fairfax County Public Schools in Great Falls, Virginia, ranks fourth in the state and fifth in the metro. The district scored an A+ in both academics and student culture and diversity.
Alexandria City Public Schools
Alexandria City Public Schools has 19 schools and over 13,000 students. The district is no. 6 in the metro and seventh in Virginia, receiving at least an A in every category except health and safety, for which it scored a B+.
Frederick County Public Schools
As the third best district in Maryland and eighth best in the D.C. area, Frederick County Public Schools holds 67 schools and over 40,000 students. The district scored a combined 4/5 rating from parents and students.
Calvert County Public Schools
Calvert County in Huntingtown, Maryland, contains 26 schools and over 16,000 students. It’s rated no. 8 in the D.C. metro and no. 4 in Maryland, receiving at least a B in all categories except health and safety, for which it scored a C+.
Gettysburg Area School District
The only Pennsylvania district in the top 10 list is Gettysburg Area School District, which includes five schools and over 3,000 students. Gettysburg in Franklin Township is 80th in the state of Pennsylvania, receiving a combined score of 4/5 from parents and students.
Prince William County Public Schools
Last but not least, Prince William County Public Schools in Buckhall, Virginia, ranks 10th best in the metro and 16th in Virginia. The district contains 89 schools and over 85,000 students, scoring highest in academics (A-) and student culture and diversity (A+).