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Top public schools: $400,000-$599,999

From Beltway burbs to lakefront towns, these top 10 cities offer families wonderful public schools and median home prices between $400K and $600K.

By GreatSchools Staff

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Acton, Mass.

Acton, Mass.

Education quality score: 97.10
Median home price: $520,570
Population: 20,753

This little town's got history with a big H. The home of Isaac Davis, the bold militiaman who headed up the first attack on the British during the Revolutionary War, Acton enjoys its fair share of downtown New England picturesque. But the leafy Boston burb is no stranger to nature either — its parks include the Acton Arboretum, with 64 acres of gardens, orchards, and woods.

Acton's schools are highly regarded, and last year Acton Boxborough Regional High was recognized as a Blue Ribbon school. The district uses open enrollment to assign students to schools. Parents rank their school preferences, then enter a lottery that determines their ultimate placement. Lottery systems are used in many districts nationwide to ensure diversity and give all parents a chance to get their children into high-performing schools. But in Acton no matter where kids end up, every school has a stellar record and unique core philosophy. At the Merriam School, for example, teachers stress project-based learning and stay with the same group of students for two years at a time.

Kids seem to agree. One happy student at the Douglas School wrote in to GreatSchools with this glowing testimonial: "I'm a kid and I think Douglas is awesome! At my old school I didn't like to learn. Here I'm getting 100s on my tests! Choose this school, you'll love it!"

Explore Acton schools

Photo credit: Muffet

Comments from readers

"We live in Sammamish and think the public schools are appalling! Unfortunately, parents don't see this until it's too late. This article is nothing more than a feel good piece of propaganda. Parents, look deeper. "
"Author needs to know that Arlington is a town, not a city. "
"Who with children who can actually afford to live in these small cities at these home prices? The prices must be held up by all the baby boomers with empty nests and fat wallets."
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