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Virginia Beach School Ratings are Wrong

27 May 2016 by

Every school has its pros and cons and students, especially military kids, thrive in different environments. The key is to find an environment that fits your child’s needs, but how do you do this when you are stationed miles away and you have to research online?

Stationed at NAS Oceana or Norfolk Naval Station

If you are stationed at NAS Oceana, I think you should consider sending your child to a Virginia Beach school rather than living farther away in Chesapeake or Norfolk. If you are stationed at Norfolk Naval Base, you have much more options due to its more central location. Many military kids whose parents are stationed at Norfolk Naval Station go to Chesapeake, Norfolk, North Suffolk, or Virginia Beach Schools.

Utilize School Sites such as:

GreatSchools.org, (MilitaryTownAdvisor.com utilizes GreatSchool Ratings so you can search for school ratings here on this site), SchoolDigger.com, and SchoolQuest.com



Virginia Beach School ratings




In Virginia Beach, High Schools have Academies within the walls of to their HS. These academies help raise the test scores for these schools. Below is an explanation of each academy and school:

Students must test to get into these academies:

  • OCEAN LAKES HS- Math Science Advanced Academy
  • PRINCESS ANNE HS- International Baccalaureate (IB) Advanced Academy

Students are accepted by application to these academies:

  • FIRST COLONIAL HS- Legal Studies Academy
  • BAYSIDE HS- Health Science Academy
  • SALEM HS- Performing Arts Academy
  • TALLWOOD HS- Global Studies Academy
  • LANDSTOWN HS- Technology Academy

Schools without Academies are:

  • COX HS

Disclaimer: Below are my opinions on some of the High Schools in Virginia Beach.

High Schools in Virgina Beach

  • Cox HS is a very desired school in the Virginia Beach area. It pulls from the most affluent areas of Great Neck Road, Shore Drive, and the North End of the Oceanfront.  Cox doesn’t have an academy and that might be why GreatSchools has such a low rating of a 6 for this school.

Pros: Parental Involvement, Affluent, Great Sports

Cons: Social Clicks (might be tough for military kids), Affluent

  • Kellam HS is a great school that doesn’t have an academy. It definitely should have a higher rating then a GreatSchools 6, but that low score might be because they don’t have an academy to help raise scores.
  • Kempsville HS is a great school with a small knit community feel. It pulls from good, middle class neighborhoods of Virginia Beach and it doesn’t have an academy to inflate its test scores.  I definitely do not agree with GreatSchools Rating of a 4.

Pros: Small town feel, tight knit, most kids grew up together (4 elementary schools, 1 middle, 1 high school), tons of school spirit

  • First Colonial HS is one of the top schools in Virginia Beach. It pulls from the second most affluent areas of Virginia Beach. It’s a very desired school to attend.
  • Ocean Lakes HS is an average school with a very tough Math and Science Academy attached to it. The academy definitely helps boost the test scores. This school pulls from a variety of high-end neighborhoods to lower middle class neighborhoods. This school is also very large with a lot of students.


Middle Schools in Virginia Beach

Middle Schools: Some great Virginia Beach Middle Schools are Great Neck Middle, Virginia Beach Middle, and Salem Middle School, however I feel most of the middle school ratings are pretty accurate.

Elementary Schools in Virginia Beach

Elementary Schools: Most of GreatSchools ratings for Virginia Beach Elementary Schools are pretty accurate and you can choose any that are 6/7 and above.  Remember a school, especially an elementary school, is as good as their teachers and the faculty.  Follow our Tips For Researching Schools Online when picking an elementary school.



From the Washington Posts Most Challenging High Schools in the Nation

The Washington Post released its annual list of top public high schools in the country, and Virginia Beach City Public Schools (VBCPS) is the only division in the Hampton Roads region to have all its high schools named among the nation's best. All 11 of the division's high schools rank among the top 9 percent in the nation, according to the High School Challenge index.

Only two other high schools from the Hampton Roads region made the list of top 1,900 high schools. http://www.vbschools.com/press_releases/prfy13/087.html


High School


Princess Anne


Frank W. Cox


Ocean Lakes


Floyd E. Kellam


First Colonial












Green Run




**As ALWAYS find a school that fits your child’s needs and learning style**



Chesapeake Schools are great schools and most of their rankings are pretty accurate, but hopefully I have opened your eyes to Virginia Beach schools as well. I just want you to make well informed decision. :)

Chesapeake School Ratings


Norfolk Schools are much better in the elementary levels. Once your kids are older the Norfolk Schools Systems can be more diverse pulling from different neighborhood of Norfolk. However, many military kids do great in these environments, it’s what fits your child’s needs and learning style that is important.

Norfolk School Ratings

House Hunting? Here are instructions on how to find School Boundaries.  Enter an address and find what school is aligned to that address. Read tips for searching for online schools ratings.

Disclaimer: The above comments are my personal opinions and not the comments of Military Town Advisor.


Additional Resources:

Are you PCSing soon? Download our PCS Guide to Hampton Roads (Norfolk/Virginia Beach Area

About the Author

Cameron A.

Cameron A.

Cameron is the founder of MilitaryTownAdvisor.com. She realized after a tough PCS there needed to be a place where military families can leave insider information for other military families. That's when she created the site: a place for military families to leave reviews about neighborhoods, areas of town, recommend real estate agents, things to do, local businesses and more. Follow her on Facebook or Tweet her @MilTownAdvisor

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