Fairfax County Virginia, Primary and Secondary Education

The Fairfax County Public School System has Foreign Language Immersion programs in select schoolsFairfax County offers its residents an excellent environment in which to raise and educate children. The area has a diverse population, as well as a remarkable wealth of cultural and recreational resources that provide abundant opportunities for children to learn and grow. The Fairfax County Public Schools System (FCPS; www.fcps.edu) is one of the highest-rated school systems in America, and the area's numerous private schools offer parents additional education options.

Fairfax County Public Schools

The Fairfax County Public School System is nationally recognized for its academic excellence. With a $2.6 billion budget, the school system offers a full range of secondary school options, including the internationally known Thomas Jefferson School for Science and Technology. It is the 10th largest school system in the nation with an enrollment of more than 188,000 students.

educations stats

Student Success

  • Fairfax County Public Schools have an on-time graduation rate of 93 percent with 68 percent of those graduates earning advanced high school diplomas.

  • Seventy-four percent of FCPS graduates continue their education by attending colleges, universities or other post-secondary institutions.

  • In 2016, 237 FCPS students were named National Merit Scholarship semifinalists.

Average SAT I Scores (2015)

Fairfax County 1,669
Virginia 1,533
U.S. 1,490


Challenging Opportunities

Fairfax County Public Schools offer a variety of challenging courses and advanced academic programs to prepare students to compete in the global economy.

  • Six specialized high school academies offer programs in technology, health and human services, international studies, business, communications or fine/performing arts.

  • Honors courses designed to develop creative and critical thinking and prepare students for additional advanced course work are available in all high schools. Young Scholars, a K-8 initiative, is designed to nurture gifted potential in students and increase the proportion of students in FCPA gifted programs.

  • Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology, the nation's top-ranked STEM high school, offers qualifying students a comprehensive college preparatory program emphasizing science, mathematics and technology.

  • The International Baccalaureate (IB) Program (www.ibo.org) is a rigorous pre-university course of study, is offered in eight FCPS high schools and multiple middle schools. The IB diploma program is currently offered in more than 150 countries and students can transfer from one IB diploma school to another.

  • The Advanced Placement (AP) Program (www.collegeboard.com) gives students the opportunity to study college-level material in high school with the potential to earn credit at many U.S. colleges. AP courses are available at high schools throughout Fairfax County.

  • Dual enrollment programs are offered at select schools. College-level courses include English, government, multivariable calculus and matrix algebra.

For more details about advanced academic programs in Fairfax County Public Schools, visit www.fcps.edu/is/aap/index.shtml or call 571-423-4740; TTY: 711.

Fairfax County Public Schools by the numbers
Elementary Schools (grades k-6) 139
Middle Schools (grades 6-8) 23
Secondary Schools (grades 7-12) 3
High Schools (grades 9-12) 22
Special Education Schools/Centers 7
Alternative High Schools, programs and learning centers 2
Total Schools  196
Enrollment (2015-2016) 188,545
Average expenditure per pupil (2015-2016 estimate) $13,718


Diversity and Language Studies

Fairfax County students come from all over the United States and the world, bringing with them a wide range of backgrounds, experiences and knowledge. FCPS are welcoming to students who speak 160 languages and come from more than 200 countries.

  • English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) provides learning assistance to students whose first language is not English (www.fcps.edu/is/esol/index.shtml). 

  • Standard foreign language course offerings at most middle and high schools include French, German, Spanish and Latin. Select schools offer language training in: American Sign Language, Arabic, Chinese, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Russian, Vietnamese.

  • The Foreign Language Partial Immersion Program is available at select elementary and middle schools with programs in French, German, Japanese and Spanish. For more information, see www.fcps.eud/is/worldlanguages.

Private/Parochial Schools

In addition to Fairfax County’s excellent public school system, a number of private institutions, including four international schools, provide parents a full range of education choices. A list of private schools in Fairfax County and the Washington, D.C., region is available from the U.S. Department of Education's private school locator Web site at www.nces.ed.gov/surveys/pss/privateschoolsearch.

Select International Schools in the Region

Business and Community Partnerships

Fairfax County Public Schools encourages community collaboration to enhance educational opportunities for all students. In addition to financial support, more than 380 business and community partners serve FCPS in the following structures:

  • Mentoring
  • Partnering with a School
  • Partnering system-wide
  • Supporting an existing program
  • Education initiative development or advancement assistance

For more information on business partnerships, visit the FCPA Office of Business and Community Partnerships Web site at www.fcps.edu/cco/bcp.