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GreatSchools Rating

Arlington Science Focus School

Public | PK-5 | 575 students

Student diversity

Looks like we have no information about the race or ethnicity of the student body.

 
 

Last modified
Community Rating

4 stars

Community Rating by Year
2014:
Based on 8 ratings
2013:
Based on 2 ratings
2012:
Based on 2 ratings
2011:
Based on 3 ratings

Teacher quality

Principal leadership

Parent involvement

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26 reviews of this school


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Posted June 19, 2014

This school has a cliquey atmosphere. It's just like being in high school all over again! The parents who are well off are most involved and the parents who are either single or work, are almost made to feel uncomfortable or a "less involved" because of the others. The Principal enables them and gives them praise for all their involvment making others feel less than. I will look into transferring my daughter to another APS school as my child will happier and so will i knowing my daughter will learn that social skills are important as well as academics, and she is not just a number on a test to bring in funding for the school. Oh, and some teachers are nice and others need not be teachers.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted June 16, 2014

This school is good for people who like to brag that their kid is in a science-focused school. But we're underwhelmed by the curriculum, especially in science and math instruction. Some of the teachers are great, but there are many teachers who are just tired and bitter and take it out on the kids. The principal is very into media bits that say how awesome the school is. I've never witnessed her being interested in my child's personal academic growth in the 3 years he's been there. And really, I don't recall ever meeting a group of meaner people that some of the cliquey parents and their entitled children. The school can't help that, but they can stop enabling it. Our kid would have been happier and better educated in a different APS school.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted June 1, 2014

In theory, this school should be great. But at the end of the day, this school is just mediocre. Our kid is moving on to middle school next year and has excelled academically at ASFS ... but we feel despite the school administration and many teachers.There a couple of standout teachers, but the curriculum and administration are geared toward mediocrity. One of the biggest problems has been the out of control cliquiness of a handful of parents who suck up all the oxygen under the guise of "parental involvement" and rule that school like the worst junior high. Why does the principal pander to these people and their kids while other kids pay the price? For us, it wasn't worth a move into this district for the education our kid got. It is sufficient but not inspiring or excellent. We're not impressed and are looking forward to moving on.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted April 3, 2014

Arlington Science Focus is a wonderful School! I am so excited to have had the opportunity to afford my kids this experience. We came from Alexandria Public Schools where the standard of learning is little different and less challenging. The Principal is amazing, teachers are great! The staff has done everything in their power to assure that my children have not fallen behind they have provided excellent additional assistance and my children are performing VERY well! Thank you so much to all the Staff for making my children feel at home and welcoming them with open arms!!
—Submitted by a parent


Posted March 5, 2014

I cannot agree more with the following review posted by another parent: 'If you enjoyed the "cliquey" feel of high school, then you will love it here. If you live for "fitting in" at any cost then you will have ample opportunities to rush one of the parent cliques that snubs their noses at the rest of the parents... The staff is a hit or miss... One interesting trend is the noticeable amount of teachers who are introverted, timid, effeminate and not very warm people. This is likely due to the overwhelming aggressive and punitive style of the principal who hires more passive types of teachers she can easily control. Remember, you were warned.... " I wish I had known all of this before putting my child through 5 years of this military-style, unfair, unhappy learning experience. Talented staff runs from this school. The principal doesn't have a day's worth of classroom experience, she was just a reading specialist. She's all about politics, she doesn't care about your kids, it's all about the recognition she gets from squeezing by all possible means above average scores from exhausted teachers and students. Miserable 5 years.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted February 21, 2014

The school has a great reputation, but we have been very underwhelmed. If this is one of Arlington's finest, we are in trouble. The principal Ms. Begley runs a tight ship...too tight. I don't think her staff does ANYTHING without her permission. The teachers and staff are micromanaged to an uncomfortable degree. Her praise of the staff seems too effusive at times. This school is ALL about testing, testing, testing and statistics and not seeing the whole child. Great extended day staff though. Lots of parents attend the PTA meetings and school wide events. The PTA (also heavily controlled by the principal) raises alot of money for the school.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted February 5, 2014

ASFS has great academics, high parental involvement, and wonderful teachers. I would agree that there are parental cliques. But you have your child go here for the school, not the parental social life. It's a Type A environment. If you don't like that, then you will not like your child going here.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted February 3, 2014

My son was in Kindergarden class , they were giving us hard time, it was horrible experience, they had lots of concerns that doesn't really make sense, the principle ambushed my husband at the parking lot, telling him how my son was not following directions, we were shocked coz my son never had problems before, his actually shy boy it sounded like if they were talking about another boy, we asked them to have a meeting, after we had the meeting ,It sounded like if they had nothing "serious" to say, my son just needed a time to adjust, and the teacher was upset for no apparent reason, I had to come and stay with him to see how he was doing, he was doing good, I actually saw a lot behavioral problems with other kids, it seemed like they were not treating kids equally, I have seen a teacher on the playground yelling so laud with anger on a student, it was not a healthy environment, and one more thing, most of the kids cloths "disappear" I actually lost 3 jackets in that class, kids are taking each others jackets or when kid leave it you won't find it again.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted July 22, 2013

This is great school with an extraordinary leader and principal MS Begley. My daughter loves the school and its learning environment.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted July 19, 2013

Both my children attended this school for the last 3 years. All you need to do is attend the annual fundraiser that the PTA holds every year. The efforts that parents and staff put into the annual fundraiser is unbelievable and shows the pride and committment they have to the school. After that, go see the Science Center and Space Shuttle in the school. Then see the garden and aquarium that the children maintain year round. The principal, Ms. Begley is a no-nonsense leader who makes the education of the children her #1 priority. On the last day of school this year JUN 2013, I picked up my children from the bus stop and they were sad because it was the LAST DAY OF SCHOOL. Some children on the bus were crying because they love this school THAT MUCH and they truly enjoy going to school. Can you say that about any other school?
—Submitted by a parent


Posted August 12, 2012

This is a great school with a lot of hands on learning. The teachers are good, and the leadership is fantastic -- providing instructional and social supports for the school.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted August 12, 2012

If you enjoyed the "cliquey" feel of high school, then you will love it here. If you live for "fitting in" at any cost then you will have ample opportunities to rush one of the parent cliques that snubs their noses at the rest of the parents who are not one of "them". It's really hard to get past this social handicap at this school so when you analyze the academics ASFS is just an ok school. The staff is a hit or miss. Some teachers are caring and objective graders and others are the complete opposite in that if you bring them gifts on a regular interval your child will benefit from your deeds. One interesting trend is the noticeable amount of teachers who are introverted, timid, effeminate and not very warm people. This is likely due to the overwhelming aggressive and punitive style of the principal who hires more passive types of teachers she can easily control. Remember, you were warned....
—Submitted by a parent


Posted November 22, 2011

The principal, Ms Begley, is a humane and genuinely caring teacher. She sets high standards for our children, and fully expects that they will meet them. In addition to being a fine leader for the school, she is very caring and understanding. As an example, i got lost in DC, and was frantically trying to get to school to pick up my son from extended day by 6pm. I called the school from my car, and Ms Begley answered the phone. She calmed me down and told me she would stay with my son until i could get to school, and not to worry. Luckily, I was able to reach a friend who picked him up, but her assurance meant so much to me.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted September 25, 2011

We also choose to live in this section of the DC area to be in their school's boundaries, and we have not been disappointed. The educators and administrators are caring and go out of their way to tailor their teaching, instruction and program to the student.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted March 2, 2011

My two children are ASFS students. We, and others in the community, have been more and more upset about this school's "teach to the (standardized) test," one-size-fits-all approach in the classroom. Yes, this approach may get a school a "10" rating (based on test scores) on "greatschools," but it will positively demoralize many in classroom. Students cannot be treated as "commodities" to bring funding into the school and inflate the egos of the administration, etc. I am a PTA member, and I've been as involved at ASFS as much as possible, but the administration has not listened to me, and others, when we've expressed concerns or offered suggestions. If you want a school that will treat your children as truly important people with their own educational needs, this school is NOT for you.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted June 13, 2010

By any measure, ASFS is a first rate 21st century school that strikes a wonderful balance between heart, excitement for learning, technology, and self discipline. The dedication and professionalism of the entire staff is evident every day.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted September 16, 2009

Global competitiveness is crucial to the current and future success of our country. ASFS is exciting kids early about science, technology, math and engineering. The teachers and principal are dedicatedand amazing mentors. I'm so proud of all they do. The school has a NASA shuttle simulator and the kids assume many roles, from mission control to astronaut. Way cool!
—Submitted by a parent


Posted September 16, 2009

ASFS has caring teachers and an innovative curriculum.


Posted August 3, 2009

Exellent teachers ......Super in helpping the kid's in understanding subjects.....Great acctivities....
—Submitted by a parent


Posted March 31, 2009

The best school in VA. Great stuff and excellent curriculum. Tatiana Kolina
—Submitted by a parent


Community ratings and reviews do not represent the views of GreatSchools nor does GreatSchools check their accuracy or verify the reviewers' identities. Use your discretion when evaluating these reviews.

About these ratings

The Community Rating is the school’s average rating from its community members (e.g., parents, students, and school staff). The highest possible rating is five stars; the lowest is one star.

The test results by subgroup show how the designated group of students is performing in comparison to the general population.
English: Reading

The state average for English: Reading was 72% in 2013.

92 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
89%

2012

 
 
99%

2011

 
 
95%

2010

 
 
95%
History and Social Science

The state average for History and Social Science was 87% in 2012.

68 students were tested at this school in 2012.

2012

 
 
100%

2011

 
 
96%

2010

 
 
100%
Math

The state average for Math was 65% in 2013.

92 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
87%

2012

 
 
92%

2011

 
 
99%

2010

 
 
99%
Science

The state average for Science was 84% in 2013.

92 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
95%

2012

 
 
100%

2011

 
 
99%

2010

 
 
100%
Scale: % proficient or advanced

About the tests


In 2012-2013 Virginia used the Standards of Learning (SOL) tests to assess students in reading and math in grades 3 through 8, writing in grades 5 and 8, and science in grades in 3, 5 and 8. The SOL tests are standards-based, which means they measure how well students are mastering specific skills defined for each grade by the state of Virginia. The goal is for all students to pass the tests.

Source: Virginia Department of Education

English: Reading

The state average for English: Reading was 70% in 2013.

75 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
91%

2012

 
 
96%

2011

 
 
98%

2010

 
 
98%
History and Social Science

The state average for History and Social Science was 84% in 2012.

2012

 
 
n/a
Math

The state average for Math was 75% in 2013.

78 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
95%

2012

 
 
86%

2011

 
 
99%

2010

 
 
96%
Scale: % proficient or advanced

About the tests


In 2012-2013 Virginia used the Standards of Learning (SOL) tests to assess students in reading and math in grades 3 through 8, writing in grades 5 and 8, and science in grades in 3, 5 and 8. The SOL tests are standards-based, which means they measure how well students are mastering specific skills defined for each grade by the state of Virginia. The goal is for all students to pass the tests.

Source: Virginia Department of Education

English: Reading

The state average for English: Reading was 73% in 2013.

80 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
91%

2012

 
 
98%

2011

 
 
95%

2010

 
 
98%
English: Writing

The state average for English: Writing was 71% in 2013.

74 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
99%

2012

 
 
100%

2011

 
 
95%

2010

 
 
98%
History and Social Science

The state average for History and Social Science was 89% in 2012.

2012

 
 
n/a
Math

The state average for Math was 69% in 2013.

81 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
90%

2012

 
 
89%

2011

 
 
95%

2010

 
 
100%
Science

The state average for Science was 76% in 2013.

80 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
94%

2012

 
 
99%

2011

 
 
92%

2010

 
 
99%
Scale: % proficient or advanced

About the tests


In 2012-2013 Virginia used the Standards of Learning (SOL) tests to assess students in reading and math in grades 3 through 8, writing in grades 5 and 8, and science in grades in 3, 5 and 8. The SOL tests are standards-based, which means they measure how well students are mastering specific skills defined for each grade by the state of Virginia. The goal is for all students to pass the tests.

Source: Virginia Department of Education

English: Reading

All Students89%
Female students87%
Male students91%
Black students57%
Asian students86%
Hispanicn/a
Multiracialn/a
White students98%
Students identified as economically disadvantaged75%
Not economically disadvantaged92%
Students with disabilitiesn/a
Students without disabilities89%
Limited English proficient students79%
Proficient in English93%

Math

All Students87%
Female students85%
Male students89%
Black students50%
Asian students87%
Hispanicn/a
Multiracialn/a
White students98%
Students identified as economically disadvantaged76%
Not economically disadvantaged89%
Students with disabilitiesn/a
Students without disabilities88%
Limited English proficient students80%
Proficient in English90%

Science

All Students95%
Female students96%
Male students94%
Black students85%
Asian students87%
Hispanicn/a
Multiracialn/a
White students100%
Students identified as economically disadvantaged87%
Not economically disadvantaged96%
Students with disabilitiesn/a
Students without disabilities96%
Limited English proficient students91%
Proficient in English96%
Scale: % proficient or advanced

About the tests


In 2012-2013 Virginia used the Standards of Learning (SOL) tests to assess students in reading and math in grades 3 through 8, writing in grades 5 and 8, and science in grades in 3, 5 and 8. The SOL tests are standards-based, which means they measure how well students are mastering specific skills defined for each grade by the state of Virginia. The goal is for all students to pass the tests.

The different student groups are identified by the Virginia Department of Education. Data is not reported when there are fewer than 10 students in a particular group in a school.

Source: Virginia Department of Education

English: Reading

All Students91%
Female students100%
Male students85%
Black studentsn/a
Asian studentsn/a
Hispanic100%
Multiracialn/a
White students93%
Students identified as economically disadvantagedn/a
Not economically disadvantaged92%
Students with disabilitiesn/a
Students without disabilities91%
Limited English proficient students82%
Proficient in English92%

Math

All Students95%
Female students97%
Male students94%
Black studentsn/a
Asian students90%
Hispanic90%
Multiracialn/a
White students98%
Students identified as economically disadvantaged80%
Not economically disadvantaged97%
Students with disabilitiesn/a
Students without disabilities99%
Limited English proficient students85%
Proficient in English97%
Scale: % proficient or advanced

About the tests


In 2012-2013 Virginia used the Standards of Learning (SOL) tests to assess students in reading and math in grades 3 through 8, writing in grades 5 and 8, and science in grades in 3, 5 and 8. The SOL tests are standards-based, which means they measure how well students are mastering specific skills defined for each grade by the state of Virginia. The goal is for all students to pass the tests.

The different student groups are identified by the Virginia Department of Education. Data is not reported when there are fewer than 10 students in a particular group in a school.

Source: Virginia Department of Education

English: Reading

All Students91%
Female students86%
Male students97%
Black studentsn/a
Asian students93%
Hispanicn/a
Multiracialn/a
White students98%
Students identified as economically disadvantaged87%
Not economically disadvantaged92%
Students with disabilitiesn/a
Students without disabilities93%
Limited English proficient studentsn/a
Proficient in English93%

English: Writing

All Students99%
Female students97%
Male students100%
Black studentsn/a
Asian studentsn/a
Hispanicn/a
Multiracialn/a
White students100%
Students identified as economically disadvantaged91%
Not economically disadvantaged100%
Students with disabilitiesn/a
Students without disabilities100%
Limited English proficient studentsn/a
Proficient in English99%

Math

All Students90%
Female students86%
Male students95%
Black studentsn/a
Asian students93%
Hispanicn/a
Multiracialn/a
White students98%
Students identified as economically disadvantaged80%
Not economically disadvantaged92%
Students with disabilitiesn/a
Students without disabilities93%
Limited English proficient studentsn/a
Proficient in English90%

Science

All Students94%
Female students93%
Male students95%
Black studentsn/a
Asian students100%
Hispanicn/a
Multiracialn/a
White students98%
Students identified as economically disadvantaged87%
Not economically disadvantaged95%
Students with disabilitiesn/a
Students without disabilities96%
Limited English proficient studentsn/a
Proficient in English94%
Scale: % proficient or advanced

About the tests


In 2012-2013 Virginia used the Standards of Learning (SOL) tests to assess students in reading and math in grades 3 through 8, writing in grades 5 and 8, and science in grades in 3, 5 and 8. The SOL tests are standards-based, which means they measure how well students are mastering specific skills defined for each grade by the state of Virginia. The goal is for all students to pass the tests.

The different student groups are identified by the Virginia Department of Education. Data is not reported when there are fewer than 10 students in a particular group in a school.

Source: Virginia Department of Education

  • In 2009-2010, this school was rated "Fully Accredited".
  • In 2008-2009, this school was rated "Fully Accredited".
  • In 2007-2008, this school was rated "Fully Accredited".

About the tests


Virginia school accreditation ratings reflect student achievement on Standards of Learning (SOL) tests and other assessments in English, history/social science, math and science. The 2009-2010 ratings are based on passing rates on tests taken during the 2008-2009 school year or on overall achievement during the three most recent years. Schools are identified as either Fully Accredited, Accredited with Warning, Conditionally Accredited or Accreditation Denied.

Source: Virginia Department of Education

Breaking down the GreatSchools Rating

GreatSchools Ratings for this school are based on 2012-2013 test results. Use the breakdown ratings below to compare types of students at this school. Learn more »


Oops! We currently do not have any student information for this school. We rely on the state Department of Education, the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), and in some cases school administrators such as registrars and principals for this data.

Oops! We currently do not have any teacher information for this school. We rely on the state Department of Education, the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), and in some cases school administrators such as registrars and principals for this data.

What makes a great teacher? Study after study shows the single most important factor determining the quality of the education a child receives is the quality of his teacher. Here are some characteristics to look for »

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1501 N. Lincoln Street
Arlington, VA 22201
Website: Click here
Phone: (703) 228-7670

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