The Aurora Highlands neighborhood is a close-knit, highly sought-after area in Arlington, VA, adjacent to Crystal City and Pentagon City, and now part of the larger area known as National Landing, the future home of Amazon HQ2. The neighborhood offers excellent school choices, plentiful shops (Crystal City Shops and Fashion Centre at Pentagon City), family-owned restaurants, easy commuting from two nearby metro stations (Pentagon City Metro and Crystal City Metro), and proximity to downtown DC and Reagan National Airport. Nearby parks (Virginia Highlands Park) and trails (Four Mile Run and Mount Vernon Trail) offer abundant green spaces to enjoy nature and exercise.
A diverse neighborhood, Aurora Highlands might best be described as small town calm meets big city chic, offering the best of both worlds. Addison Heights is a subsection of Aurora Highlands and is zoned primarily for single family homes. So you will commonly find parents chatting on sidewalks while their children ride bikes through the tree-lined sidewalks. For young ones, Aurora Hills Branch Library offers activities for children as well as a great place to read books.
The neighborhood schools for Aurora Highlands include:
Oakridge Elementary – Oakridge is an internationally diverse school with students representing more than fifty countries. Oakridge’s exemplary project – Mosaic – encourages diversity and utilizes global literature to introduce students to cultures around the world while building on strategies to elevate the students’ learning and exploration.
Gunston Middle School – Gunston is home to three distinct but interconnected programs, a partial Spanish-Immersion Program, a Montessori Middle Years Program, and a Traditional Middle School Program. Additionally, there are more than 50 different countries represented in its very diverse student body.
Wakefield High School – Housed in a state-of-the-art building, Wakefield boasts many exciting academic challenges for its students including their Advanced Placement Network and AP Summer Bridge programs. Ninety-two percent of graduates continue to college, and in 2017 graduates earned over $7 million in scholarship and grant money.
While every student is guaranteed a spot at their neighborhood school in Arlington, one can also apply to attend one of the various option schools/programs that provide specialized instruction. Visit Arlington Elementary School Options to help determine whether an option school might be a good fit for your child and to learn more about the application process. For your benefit we have highlighted the elementary option schools below:
Arlington Traditional School – ATS adheres to a traditional approach to education relying on the ABC’s of success – Academics, Behavior and Character. The ATS community strongly believes success for a student is based on dedication to learning and character development provided in an engaging and structured environment.
Campbell Elementary School – Campbell is an Expeditionary Learning (EL) School, where students learn through authentic hands on experiences and through nature. Developmental appropriateness is emphasized at Campbell, allowing students to learn and develop at their own pace.
Claremont Immersion Elementary School – Claremont is one of two English/Spanish Immersion schools. Two-way Spanish immersion program includes half-day content instruction in English and Spanish in developing communication skills of listening, speaking, etc. The program is also offered at Key Immersion School.
Key Immersion School – Key is one of two English/Spanish immersion schools and serves students from the following elementary school attendance areas: Arlington Science Focus/Key, Barrett, Discovery, Glebe, Henry, Jamestown, Long Branch, and Taylor. The program is also offered at Claremont. Every student participates fully in this internationally-recognized program designed to teach children a world language in a natural way.
The Montessori Public School of Arlington – The Montessori Program is currently co-located with Drew Model School and is the only APS elementary school that offers Montessori through fifth grade. The Montessori program is based on the philosophy that children are natural learners, and emphasizes spontaneous, cooperative inquiry in a supportive environment. The instruction utilizes team teaching and multiage grouping of students at different grade levels.
APS offers many opportunities for parents to learn more about the schools. Kindergarten Information Night will guide you on the registration process as well as the neighborhood and option schools. APS also offers the option to watch it live! Elementary School Information Sessions are provided for all elementary schools in Arlington and are scheduled from February through April this year. The information sessions allow for everyone to tour schools, meet the principals and see the teachers “in action.” There is also a wealth of information on the APS website.
For additional information about Arlington Public Schools, and how they compare to other school districts, consider checking out the sources below:
Aurora Highlands, Arlington, VA offers many programs and activities for people of all ages. For seniors, Aurora Highlands has its own Age In Place initiative called 22202 Neighbors United. For more information about the Age In Place, 22202 Neighbors United, contact me and I will provide a POC. The Aurora Hills Community & Senior Center also sponsors activities for Arlington’s 55+ program on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.
For the younger crowd, the Aurora Highlands Civic Association, a volunteer based group, plans themed activities such as the annual Boo Ha Ha event (Halloween festival), Tween Night and Passport to Summer. Other fun activities include children’s programs at the Aurora Hills Branch Library, winter ice skating at Pentagon Row, and 5K Fridays in April and May on Crystal Drive. Young or old, people find Aurora Highlands, Arlington, VA a highly desirable place to live with opportunities to engage, have fun and explore.