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Top education towns 2011: Median home prices $400,000-$599,999

From southeast Florida to northwest Washington (with a few stops in between), these U.S. cities offer upscale homes, plenty of green space, and top-of-the-line schools.

By GreatSchools Staff

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Belmont, MA

Educational quality score: 90.90
Median home value: $551,920
Population: 23,217

This bucolic Boston suburb's streets are lined with stately mansions — thus its nickname, “the town of homes." Belmont has no end of verdant open space, and its schools offer a wealth of academic advantages.

Of all Belmont's schools — there are four elementary, one middle, and one high — Belmont High School is the district’s all-star, winning the 2009 gold medal from U.S.News & World Report, which also named it the country’s 100th-best non-private high school and Massachusetts’s second best. Belmont High, which provides a stunning 17 Advanced Placement courses, outstanding athletic departments, and a nationally recognized music program, was rated among the top 100 for public schools.

In Belmont, high expectations begin early. From elementary school on, students receive stellar test scores and high marks. These expectations include a tradition of community service for even the youngest residents: Kindergartens through 12th-grade students are expected to participate regularly in volunteer activities, from working in food banks to hosting relief fundraisers. Belmont adults set a good example: Parents and town organizations have a record of contributing money and time to improve local schools, although recently, hard times have fallen on this upscale town, with less support than usual from taxpayers.

Learn more about schools in Belmont, MA.

Photo credit: Briles Takes Pictures

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