Best Schools in the Shenandoah Valley Region

Warren County Public Schools

The Warren County Public School System has nine accredited schools and serves approximately 5,271 students in grades pre-K through 12. Per-pupil expenditure is $10,182, and the system’s student-to-teacher ratio is approximately 20-to-1.

The school system’s basic curriculum at all levels is aligned with the Virginia Department of Education’s Standards of Learning. In addition to the core curriculum, elementary students receive weekly music and physical education instruction taught by certified teachers. Art instruction is also part of the standard curriculum for students in K-5. Middle school students have opportunities to explore such subjects as visual and performing arts, computer software applications and technology education.

At the secondary level, approximately 177 required and elective courses are available. Career and technical education courses enable students to acquire industry certification in a chosen field. Students enrolled in the Early College Scholars Program are dually enrolled at Lord Fairfax Community College and can receive up to 15 college credits while they attend high school.

The school system serves diverse populations by offering special education programs, gifted education, alternative education, English as a second language, SOL remediation and classes for at-risk 4-year-olds. In addition to the wide range of academic opportunities, the school system has multiple ways in which students can participate in cocurricular and extracurricular activities.

Mountain Laurel Montessori School

Founded in 1989, Mountain Laurel is the only school in the region providing Montessori education from birth through ninth grade. Its mission is to provide ideal learning environments for each stage of a child’s development. The main campus in Front Royal is home to infant, preschool and elementary programs through sixth grade. A separate campus on a 23-acre farm is home to the seventh- to ninth-grade students. Mountain Laurel Montessori School fosters the whole child, fully prepared to meet the challenges of a college preparatory program. It is committed to an education that guides children to become joyful, life-long scholars and engaged, compassionate citizens of a diverse world community.

Mountain Vista Governor’s School

Mountain Vista Governor’s School is one of 18 regional academic-year governor’s schools in Virginia, serving 125 students in six school systems, including Culpeper, Fauquier, Frederick, Rappahannock, Warren and Winchester. Mountain Vista is designed for gifted students entering 11th or 12th grade who have the abilities and desire to accept a challenging program of studies that emphasizes science and mathematics.

Randolph-Macon Academy

Founded in 1892, Randolph-Macon Academy is America’s oldest co-ed boarding and day school with Air Force JROTC for students in grades nine through 12. Randolph-Macon Academy Middle School, for students in grades 6-8, has a separate campus uniform, but is close enough to the Upper School that advanced students are able to take Upper School courses and participate in varsity sports.

The academy helps students achieve their academic potential through small classes, tutorial sessions with teachers, mentoring groups and supervised study halls. Advanced-placement and college courses are available, along with 20 varsity sports, forensics, band, chorus and drama. Graduating classes have a 100 percent college acceptance rate, and average over $6.6 million in college scholarship offers each year. Randolph-Macon Academy is affiliated with the United Methodist Church.

Chelsea Academy

Founded 2008, Chelsea Academy is an independent school rooted in the classical liberal arts tradition and the fullness of the Catholic faith. Serving students in grades 4-12, the academy offers an inspiring academic program, an interscholastic sports program, outdoor adventure, drama, choir and other extracurricular opportunities. For more information call (540) 635-0622.

Front Royal Christian School

Front Royal Christian School offers a unique educational experience to Warren and surrounding counties. Committed to meeting the needs of all students, including gifted and special needs children, the school provides an excellent classically based preK-12th grade education, including a nursery and toddler program.

Not only does the school allow students to excel academically, but its dedication to the formation of the whole person creates an environment that fosters the virtues of service and respect for authority. Through distinctive community outreach and inclusion programs, students learn to respect the dignity of each individual.

Higher Education

Christendom College

Christendom College is a four-year Roman Catholic liberal arts college offering both undergraduate and graduate programs. The main goal at Christendom is to provide a truly Catholic education. A required 84-hour core curriculum includes three years of study in theology and philosophy; two years of study in English language and literature, classical or modern language and history; and one year in political science, economics and mathematics and natural sciences.

Lord Fairfax Community College

Founded in 1970, Lord Fairfax Community College is a comprehensive, nonresidential, two-year public institution of higher education with four locations – the Fauquier, Vint Hill, Middletown campuses and the Luray-Page County Center – and outreach sites throughout the college’s service region. The college offers more than 75 degree and certificate programs in a wide variety of disciplines, in addition to workforce preparation programs for employees and employers.

The college provides area residents with quality services and educational training at an affordable rate and prepares students for immediate entry into the workforce or for further education at four-year institutions. Classes are offered on-site, on-line or in a hybrid format of both.

The college serves eight localities in the Shenandoah Valley and Piedmont regions. The localities are the counties of Clarke, Fauquier, Frederick, Page, Rappahannock, Shenandoah and Warren and the city of Winchester. For more information, call (800) 906-5322 or visit