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Top education towns 2011: Median home prices $600,000-$799,999

Location, location, location: Homes in these cities aren't cheap, but they offer a wonderful lifestyle and top-flight schools.

By GreatSchools Staff

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Potomac, MD

Educational quality score: 89.60
Median home value: $749,630
Population: 44,924

Living here is a "capitol" idea for brainy bureaucrats, with the D.C. area just 17 miles away. Selected by Forbes as the 7th best-educated small town in the U.S., the apples here don't fall far from the trees. Winston Churchill High School is a Blue Ribbon School, one of the nation's Top 100 (US News & World Report), with mind-boggling stats: 98.4 percent graduation rate, and 96.0 percent attendance rate. But academic statistics don’t tell the whole story. The performing arts program is considered exceptional. And the golf, ice hockey, and girls' swimming and diving teams have all competed in state championships.

Cold Spring Elementary has been #1 in Maryland for eight consecutive years in achieving advanced proficiency score, undoubtedly aided by its center for highly-gifted children. Cabin John Middle School, located in a new LEED-certified geothermal building, offers its students Mandarin as well as extra-curriculars like hip-hop, cartooning, and fashion design. And when you need a break from managing the nation, you can horse around with equestrian activities, enjoy water-sports in the Potomac (President John Quincy Adams skinny-dipped here), and nightlife in Washington D.C.

Learn more about schools in Potomac, MD.

Photo credit: afagen