I was a former student at Langley for Freshman to sophmore years, but I am now at O'Connell High this year. The reason why I switched is because of two reasons: The social life and the faculty. Once you see beyond the good teachers and high SAT scores you see these two objects stick out like a sore thumb. The social life is horrendus, very rough and very diverse with many cultures. It can be rough on a kid, such as me who was bullied heavily sophmore year. The faculty takes more focus to see the problem to it. When I was bullied, the assitant principle sort of made my situation worse when I was bullied and the principle didn't do either, he was just all talk. If you want to go to better school, consider private school.
I m a sophomore at Langley and have a different opinion than the parents and teachers. Many of the students live close to forty minutes away and have to get up at five to make it to school on time. This wouldn t be a problem if it was possible to get to bed at around seven at night but that is near impossible. Each teacher seems to think their class is the most important and so they assign a large sum of homework every night this makes it hard to finish all that as well as other commitments and get to bed at a decent time. Another misconception people have is that the teachers are better than most. Just because the students have high test scores doesn t mean the school is good. Most won t get lower than a B+ because they fear their parents.I could go on but I'm out of words.
Both my children graduated from Langley. Academically they did very well and were very prepared their first year at college. As a parent I refused to pay for the extra tutoring and SAT prep classes many of the other students sought - mine did well academically on their own initiative. Socially - they were not in the 'in' crowd, but both found their own group of friends and were quite happy. Only negative is that during their time in high school, they considered themselves from a 'poor' family, even though our family income was over $150K. They quickly got over that when they went to college and saw that the real world was not at all like Langley High School and they realized how fortunate they were. As a a parent it was real piece of mind for my children to go to a public school that was had a safe environment.
My son recently graduated from LHS - I agree with some of the comments here. LHS is only as good as it is reputed to be because of the types of families that live in this area. Parents are very invovled, competitive, and have money to spend on extra tutoring, etc. The teachers are no better than other Fairfax Co. schools. In fact, my son had his share of mediocre teachers. Current principal is a nice guy, but in the few situations I needed addressed, he was totally ineffectual. I'm glad by son has moved on - it was not the best experience!
I am a current LHS student who just finished 11th grade. I dont wear designer clothes, do drugs or drink and thus I am not popular...not that this is any different at any other school, but I have my friends. My favorite quality is that there are no gangs and virtually no fights at LHS. Teachers are of excellant quality and strive for every student to succeed. the theater program is exclusive & tiny but the music and language programs are awsome. (I highly suggest Russian, its easy and fun!). LHS is a great school.
Langley is the best of the best, theres no comparing it. Newsweek's March 2000 ranking of the best high schools in the nation gave LHS the hot spot of 25. LHS was one of the best experiences of my life and I miss it dearly!
Langley is a top notch public school, no question about it. In response to the parents concerned with their child's self-esteem since he or she is not part of the 'in crowd', true, many Langley students concerned with material success. Yet these infatuations with brand names and status come not from the vanity of the students, but from the superficiality of their yuppie parents. To be fair, many students at Langley care little for Prada or Tiffany & Co., and the majority of parents are not superficial. Yet these cliques are just noise-makers. They are not attending governor's school, they are not competing for the PSAT-NMSQ awards--they are attending parties, they are competing for popularity. Let those who wish to learn, learn, and those who wish to be spoon fed, be spoon fed. Langley is a great learning experience, both in terms of character development and intellectual stimulation.
Classes are enormous and teachers are over worked. No coordination between Departments to ensure that students are not overwhelmed with homework. Teachers are often difficult to reach because of the large student load. Very hard to break into extra curricular activities (sports and drama). Sports teams are all pros, making it impossible for those who are not really good to participate. Drama productions are generally small with parts given to an elite group. Very little emphasis on writing since teachers simply don't have the time to correct written work. Parents who think they are sending their kids to a top notch private school are kidding themselves. We have one child at Langley and one in a private school and believe me, there is no comparison.
I have one kid attending Langley High School and one that will next year. It's simple, the real estate property values that feed into this school are extremely high and will remain high. This fact alone will always support the higher educational caliber of the students. I moved into the Langley High School district so I didn't have to send my kids to a private school. The Principal and Teachers are better than average Fairfax County schools - and also want to be here because the students are easier to school in general. Langley is the equivalent of a private school education; and you make your payments via high property taxes.
I am a former student at Langley and am surprised by some of the comments I read. Like every high school, there's going to be the 'in-crowd'. Always has, always will. I found that everybody found their 'clique' and seemed happy with their own group. Judging from my experience at Langely, I think the parents of the students have more of an issue with the cliques than the students do. What really matters is the quality of the education. The teachers I had were amazing and the school prepared me well for higher education.
My daughter graduated from Langley and I have a son in 11th grade. The school has been very cooperative with our unusual demands, both of my children had to withdraw to move overseas and then came back. I think Langley is a slice of the real world in D.C. It is multiethnic, fast-paced and socially demanding. It's a great school in a great city if you can handle it.
My daughter is a graduate of Langley and my son is currently a junior there. Both children had wonderful experiences at the school, both academically and socially. They were encouraged to take advanced courses (both Honors & AP) but were not forced to do so. Thus, they took advanced courses in their areas of interest and excelled. Socially, both were able to find many friends with similar interests even though neither are/were considered in the 'popular' crowd and neither participated in school sports. The one incident of bullying/teasing that my son experienced was addressed immediately by both staff and principal - of course my child did report the incident to the teacher of the class. An ethics program is being expanded this year to address this and other issues of adolescence. One of the great strengths of Langley is its Humanities program, both History and English, at all grade levels. The depth and quality of the instruction is outstanding! Parental involvement is both encouraged and appreciated at the school level. I just had to say 'yes' to volunteering and I haven't lacked for opportunities.
This school has been a wonderful experience for me! Although some people are cliquey, many of the people are not. The students and faculty are extremely friendly and focused on making the school the best it can be. The teachers make an effort to help the students grow and give them the confidence they need to do whatever they want for example, running for Student Government. I do not think that I could be more happy anywhere else. Langley was also ranked #13 in Newsweek's article about the top high schools in America!
Langley has a false sense about it. Childen are very clickish. If you are not one of the pretty people whos parents have paved your way in life... count on your children being treated very poorly. Activities are reserved for the popular people and your kids will be excluded even if they try. The school brags about the high test scores... The real reason scores are so high is due to the upper class families who move into the district rather then the staff itself. Do yourself a huge favor and move your children into an institution where kindness & integrity reign over power and cruelty. Try Loudoun County. Great schools, all new, good staff, co-operative attitude. I moved out of the area to protect my children.
Langley High School was wonderful in preparing my daughter for college. She has done extremely well in her first semester and much of that is due to the excellent education she received at Langley. The honors and AP classes are well taught and plentiful. It is a large school, so getting involved in extra curricular activities is helpful. Also being in band, orchestra, sports, etc. will help form lasting friendships and a sense of belonging.
I moved to this area so my daughters could attend Langley. My only other choice would have been a private school - Langley is that good. I don't regret my decision at all. I have seen no evidence of 'maliciousness' in any student I have met (certainly no more than a normal teenager) and the opportunities provided by the school academically and in extracurricular activities are impressive. Parental involvement is extensive.
This is one of the best schools in the country, let alone the state. The teachers are very good, and this school offers an exceptional amount of AP and honors (GT) classes. About 98% of the students go to college after graduation, and the school is very safe and has made many efforts to keep it that way. The bar is raised at this school and it does an excellent job preparing your child for college. Langley is one of the elite public schools, and as long as your child is emotionally and socially comfortable, they will be well prepared for a bright future!
I feel that my child, (11th grade this upcoming year) has not been happy. She does not have problems making friends, or that sort of thing, however, Langley has proven to be a very snobbish school in the fact that it concentrates more on the style of clothes, makeup, relationships, and out of school activities, including drinking and drugs, than actual school work. This means if the school has high rating, that is only based on parents expenses out of school on private tutoring and nothing else. This school which seems to have the most income through the students and parents, does not spend the money on improving its educational system, and that's a shame. Other schools, in much less 'wealthy' areas, have much more to offer the students than Langley. Do not send your child to this school just because it has 'high ratings'.
Langley is a school that rates above and beyond any other school in its area. There is no comparison. Perhaps, to some, the student population and social aspects are a potential downside, however, finding your place and learning to escape the shelter of your principal, teachers and parents is all a part of growing up and high school in general. Students have to learn to be independent and establish who they are and will become as individuals. Langley is the perfect environment in which to abet this process.
I have to admit, the teachers here were wonderful and very thorough, except for a few bad apples.
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