When it comes to finding the perfect place to live, schools are often a big factor, especially for young families. Considering a move to Bucks County? Before you decide on an area, it’s a good idea to learn more about the county’s many school districts and schools, even if you have no school-aged children. After all, good schools drive up housing demand, subsequently providing a better return on investment.
Moving from New Jersey or other neighboring states? Property tax savings aside, you will be astounded by the quality of the schools in Bucks County, PA. The county is home to some of the top schools in the state, including Central Bucks High School and Buckingham Elementary. You may even be a current Bucks County resident with aspirations to move to an area with better schools. No matter where you settle in Southeastern PA, you can rest easy knowing you and your children are in good hands.
Here are a few ways to find the best schools in Bucks County.
Visit Schools in Each District
This seems like an obvious step; however, it’s often overlooked. The best way to get the most out of your school visit is to prepare. Do your research beforehand by searching online for public forums, Facebook pages, and other online communities. This will help you get a feel for what the school has to offer directly from parents of current students. If possible, post questions on public forums asking for tips/advice/opinions that will help you along in the decision process. Also, make sure to check out any websites or articles that cover the schools you’re considering - have they won any awards or are they known for certain subjects, sports, or activities?
After conducting your general online research, it’s time to compile a list of questions to ask during your school visit. These questions can include topics like average class size, curriculum, extracurricular activities, special programs, student resources, and general strengths and weaknesses of the school.
To set up your visit, check the school’s website. Most schools conduct group tours at certain times of the year. If you don’t see a group tour that works for you, contact the administrators to set up a private tour. With your online preparation and a handy list of questions to ask, you are sure to have a productive and informative visit that will help you determine whether or not the school is the right fit for your child.
Pay Close Attention to Rankings and Reviews
There are a number of school ranking sites to consider. U.S. News is well known and respected. You can find information on college readiness, student body diversity, testing scores, and other important factors.
SchoolDigger.com is another helpful website that uses an easy, user-friendly and color-coded map to rank schools in an area. You can customize your map to include elementary, middle, or high schools, private or public schools, etc. You can also save schools that pique your interest to a list and then compare them from that list. SchoolDigger’s data comes from the National Center for Education Statistics, U.S. Department of Education, the U.S. Census Bureau and the Pennsylvania Department of Education.
There are also several other articles on local publications that rank schools based on varying factors so make sure to do a thorough search on each school and school district that you’re considering. Niche.com is another great resource for reviews, many of which are submitted by students. Central Bucks High School - East alone has over 360 reviews.
Consult with an Area Realtor
When you’re searching for answers about local schools, consider asking a local real estate agent. Russell Volk is a longtime resident of Southeastern Pennsylvania who has been working as a real estate agent in Bucks County for nearly 14 years. One of the first things people ask is “where are the best schools?” Of course, there’s no one-size-fits-all answer. The best school for your child depends on your child’s specific needs and interests. However, a seasoned professional can help point you in the right direction.
Bucks County School Districts
Many of Bucks County’s school districts are recognized on the national level. From pre-K to 12th grade, area students receive tremendous educational support and resources as they grow from ambitious children into accomplished adults.
See below for the top eight best school districts in Bucks County according to Niche.com:
Central Bucks School District is the third-largest school district in Pennsylvania. The district is located in the Doylestown borough of Bucks County. In its annual list of top schools, Niche.com named Central Bucks the top district in the county. The district’s elementary schools earned the top 7 spots in the rankings.
With a ranking of 8 of 497 when it comes to Best Teachers in Pennsylvania, the New Hope - Solebury School District promises a dedicated teaching staff. And with a student-teacher ratio of 12 to 1, your student is sure to receive the attention they deserve.
Council Rock is a top-rated school district with 11,017 students in grades k-12. Common college choices among school graduates include Penn State, Temple University, and the University of Pittsburgh.
Coming in at #4 is Pennsbury School District in Fallsington. Pennsbury is especially high rated in college prep and is ranked the #11 best school district for student athletes in Pennsylvania.
Neshaminy is also highly ranked for student athletes, coming in at #9 best school districts for student athletes in Pennsylvania. This district is especially highly rated for their teachers as well as their clubs and activities.
Pennridge is a highly rated school district serving 7,250 students in Perkasie, PA. It’s especially known for its teachers, coming in at #56 of 497 for districts with the best teachers in Pennsylvania.
Quakertown Community School District is rated in the top 25% best school districts in Pennsylvania and ranks among the best places to teach in Pennsylvania. It scored high marks when it came to academics, teachers, college prep, and health and safety.
Located in Warminster, PA, Centennial School District is rated above average and comes in at #80 of 497 most diverse school districts in Pennsylvania. They also have a low 15 to 1 student-teacher ratio.
The county employs over 29,000 elementary and middle school teachers, which all but guarantees every student will get the attention they deserve. And teachers are rewarded for their efforts, with the average teacher salary far exceeding national averages.
If you’re considering a move to Bucks County, its schools are reason enough to take the leap. To learn more about Bucks County, check out visitbuckscounty.com or reach out to Russell--he’ll tell you everything you need to know about the area.
Russell Volk is a top Realtor® with RE/MAX Elite with years of experience in the Bucks County Real Estate market. He specializes in helping buyers find the perfect home. Whether you're looking for a townhome, single family home, new construction, 55+/active adult home or a luxury property, contact Russell Volk for professional guidance and expert advice. Russell is also well equipped to handle the sale of properties, and loves helping people sell their home quickly and profitably. To contact Russell directly, call him at 267-566-0999.