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Charlottesville: The Best Place for Families

For family-minded individuals, Charlottesville, Virginia doesn’t only derive its beauty from the nearby Blue Ridge Mountains, but from the peace of mind living in the Charlottesville-Albemarle area brings as well. Parents have enough qualms and concerns throughout the years without adding the fear of an unsafe neighborhood to the list of worries; Charlottesville is renowned as one of the safest small cities in the country, and the perfect place to raise a family. Charlottesville was ranked 7th on the Reader’s Digest Top Ten Places in the Country to Raise a Family.

Charlottesville Safety

Charlottesville boasts extremely low crime rates, far lower the national average for both violent and property crimes. Farmers Insurance named Charlottesville the 18th on its list of Safest Mid-Sized Cities in the Country. The city has an extensive sidewalk network, putting worries to rest about children walking through the neighborhood alone. The local Fire Department is an Internationally Accredited Fire Department; it received the Governor’s Award for Excellence in Fire Service Management in 2009.

Charlottesville School System

Charlottesville is a community that values education and the rich opportunities in the local school system reflect that commitment. The mission of the school system is to “provide value to the community by fostering a well-educated population that confers social, cultural, and economic benefits for all generations.” Evidence of the high quality of local schools is evident across the board:

  • 93% of students in local schools complete high school, as opposed to 70%, the national average
  • Average SAT scores surpass state and national averages by more than 60 points on each sub-scale
  • 85% of local high school graduates pursue post-secondary education
  • 85% of the 2010 AP exams taken by local students earned scores of 3 or higher

In Charlottesville High School alone, 17 students were commended by the National Merit Scholar Program in 2010, and four were National Merit Scholar Finalists. The Charlottesville School System boasts countless other advantages including:

  • 25 college-level (Advanced Placement and Dual Enrollment) courses available
  • Elementary Spanish classes taught to all K-3 students (which will soon expand to include K-4 levels)
  • Art and music classes for all elementary level students in grades K-6
  • Preschool programs for 4-year-olds at each elementary school and 3-year-old preschool classes available to eligible families
  • Approximately 40 high school clubs and activities
  • Charlottesville’s Extensive Park System

Aside from various safety features, families flock to the area because of Charlottesville’s mission “To enhance the quality of life for all through the stewardship of public land and parks and to provide quality recreational experiences.”

Charlottesville-Albemarle has an extensive system of parks and trails maintained for public use made up of 25 city parks (including the Charlottesville Skateboard Park) and three Charlottesville-Albemarle jointly-funded parks.