H.E. asks from Hampton, VA on March 27, 2008
Schools in the Rockville Area
Hello, I'm relocating to the Montgomery County area and I really like the Rockville area. I have a high school, middle school and elementary school aged children. I've heard of the Richard Montgomery High school and the Rockville High school. Can anyone suggest an area with great academic college preparatorial schools in the Rockville area.
T.K. answers from Washington DC on March 28, 2008
The RM cluster is a good one. If you happen to be looking at the King Farm area in Rockville, be careful of school boundaries. Part of that area goes to the RM cluster, part to the Gaithersburg HS cluster. The boundaries weave in and out of the neighborhood. Not a clean split.
Good luck to you and your family!
J.B. answers from Washington DC on March 28, 2008
I can speak a little to the Montgomery County schools. My family has been in the area for many years (my grandparents moved here in the '50s when my grandfather became the City Manager of Rockville); my parents and two of my father's sibs went to Richard Montgomery, my aunt and uncle to Whitman (in Bethesda), my other uncle to Bethesda-Chevy Chase HS, and my father's youngest sister to Rockville. I graduated from Rockville in '89, and my step-son is there now. (Heh, I feel like I just gave my Montgomery County High Schools resume!)
Anyway, if you're looking at the Rockville area, you're looking at Rockville, RM and Wootton. Wootton is over toward the Bethesda border of Rockville, so is a more expensive area to live but a good school from what I hear. Rockville is a smaller school but still good. They are starting next year with a baccalaureate program for the first time. Richard Montgomery has always been an excellent school and has a good reputation academically. They've been on Newsweek's 100 best schools for years, and have had the baccalaureate program for a while.
We recently moved to Gaithersburg from Rockville and left the Richard Montgomery HS district. It was the biggest reason I was sorry to leave that house. FYI, that house is for rent if you're looking for a place to live.
Montgomery County high schools have an incredible array of programs for kids to choose from. There are several magnet programs out there with specializations in the arts, communication, different sciences, ecology, music, math...you name is. There are at least 12 high schools in the county, with demographics all over the map. You also have the option, if you're going to look at a magnet program, to go out of district, but that's a process that you'll want to find out about soon if you're going to go that route. Many of these programs are enrolled by lottery and have registration deadlines; others are application-based.
If you want to talk more about any of this, feel free to email me privately. I'm also happy to talk on the phone with you if you want. Good luck!
E.G. answers from Washington DC on March 28, 2008
Welcome to the area. I currently live in Kensington, which is a small area between Rockville and Silver Spring, and I currently teach in an MCPS high school in SS. Both of those schools are good and probably RM has a better reputation. But one thing you may want to look at are the signature programs offered at the schools. Different schools offer different things like IB, etc. Depending on what your child wants, that may make the decision easier. Just make sure you know which school you will be going to when you look at property because some Rockville areas flow into some of the not-so-great schools in Montgomery county. Please let me know if you have any further questions. Good luck!!
J.C. answers from Washington DC on March 28, 2008
College Gardens has a new and highly regarded Elementary School. Google College Gardens ES and look at their info. They are in the Richard Montgomery cluster, and the neighborhood and surrounding neighborhoods are full of nice people, many of whom grew up there. As a bonus it is close to the new downtown Rockville.
A.V. answers from Washington DC on March 28, 2008
We are in the Wheaton area so I can't really speak to the elementary and middle school level in Rockville. I do know that there are special programs for middle schoolers, if your child wants to attend them/qualifies. I think Julius West is one of those middle schools. I can say that the kids both did very well in their early years without being at a magnet school.
As for the high school level, check out the Consortium information on http://www.montgomeryschoolsmd.org/schools/. My stepson attended two schools in his Consortium, and his sister is likely to attend a third. The Consortium is also explained to middle school students and parents before the children finish 8th grade and need to choose a high school.
Opportunities for HS students include AP classes, magnet programs, Honors and specialized academies. We feel that our college-bound senior is well prepared for his next big adventure.
N.K. answers from Washington DC on March 28, 2008
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