Rachel Cooper
D.C. teacher with school district students

The D.C. metropolitan area is ranked as one of the most educated regions in the U.S. and has some of the nation’s best schools. Apartments within the five best D.C. area school districts are a graet move for your family.  These five districts are ranked below by niche.com, and based on data from the U.S. Department of Education. Ranking factors include test scores, college readiness, graduation rates, SAT/ACT scores, teacher quality, and more. Learn about D.C. area school districts and find your next apartment in one of the region’s best neighborhoods for families.

Arlington Public Schools

Located just over the Potomac River from D.C., Arlington is the smallest county in Virginia and prides itself on its diversity with students from 127 countries, speaking 105 different languages. The school district is the recipient of the prestigious Medallion of Excellence Award and ranked in the top 3% of U.S. schools by the Washington Post.

Neighborhoods: Crystal City, Ballston, Rosslyn, Ashton Heights, Cherry Dale, East Falls Church and more


Falls Church City Public Schools

The City of Falls Church is an independent jurisdiction, located in Northern Virginia west of Arlington, that has a reputation for excellence and standing as the premier small school system in the nation. The school system serves approximately 2,600 students who attend five schools: one high school, one middle school, two elementary schools and a preschool program. There is a 97 percent graduation rate.

Neighborhood: City of Falls Church

Loudoun County Public Schools

Loudoun County has a highly educated, high-earning population and was named by Smart Asset.com as the happiest county in America in regard to physical health, family stability and economic security.  The Virginia school district’s test scores are higher than the nation’s average, and 97.5% of graduates go on to attend colleges.

Neighborhoods: Leesburg, Ashburn, Sterling, Lovettsville, Round Hill, Aldie and more

best D.C. school districts apartments
Apartments in the best D.C. school districts are in high demand with families – Photo by Army Medicine (Creative Commons)

Montgomery County Public Schools

Montgomery County is the largest and most diverse school district in Maryland with students from more than 157 countries speaking 138 languages. The county school system has five of the nation’s top 200 high schools, as ranked by the Washington Post. The demographics, test scores and graduation rates of each school are variable depending upon the location.

Neighborhoods: Bethesda, Potomac, Silver Spring, Rockville, Takoma Park, Gaithersburg, Germantown, Damascus, and more.  

Fairfax County Public Schools

As the 10th largest school division in the U.S., Fairfax County Public Schools serves a diverse student population. Nearly 93 percent of its students graduate on time and more than 93 percent plan to pursue post-secondary education. The county high schools are recognized annually by the Washington Post as being among the most challenging high schools in the U.S.

Neighborhoods: City of Fairfax, Tysons, Herndon, Vienna, Reston, Centreville, Burke, Chantilly, Annandale, Springfield and more.

So How Do D.C. Public Schools Rank?

As in many cities, D.C.’s inner city schools vary in quality. In addition to 115 traditional schools, D.C. has 118 charter schools, independently-operated public schools that are open to city residents. Students can attend schools that specialize on specific interests such as math, science and technology; the arts; public policy; language immersion; etc. Many of the charter schools have excellent reputations and rank higher than traditional schools in terms of test scores and graduation rates.

SEE ALSO:  Apartments, Commuting & Traffic in D.C.




About The Author

Rachel Cooper is a freelance writer and author with more than a decade of online journalism and content creation experience. She has written for About.com, Washingtonian, Federal City Council, Montgomery Parks, Destination Maryland, Conde Nast Traveler, Payscale, Valpak, Grandparents.com, Washington Parent and more. Her books include Quiet Water: Mid-Atlantic, AMC’s Canoe and Kayak Guide to the Best Ponds, Lakes and Easy Rivers; 60 Hikes Within 60 Miles: Washington, D.C. and Images of Rail: Union Station in Washington, D.C.