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Moving from Minnesota to Washington D.C (or NOVA or MD)?

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Hi all,
We are exploring the possibility of relocating from the suburbs of the Twin Cities, MN out to the DC area. The job itself is in DC, however, we are looking for housing and school recommendations within the MD or VA areas (not in DC proper). We would move as soon as school ends in June.

Academics - HIGH Importance:
We have two very bright kids who are in the gifted and talented programs here in MN. Our schools are typically ranked very high in the education system, and it is important for us to find public (private is not affordable to us) schools with high academics that are safe and within a reasonable area of our jobs. I've read enough to know we wouldn't have our kids attend school in DC.

Kids are 11 and 9 - our 11 year old is going into 6th grade but has just completed a full year of enriched 5th grade which essentially taught him 6th grade academics and some 7th grade math. His goal is to attend MIT. Our 9 year old will be in fourth grade but can already perform reading and math at that level and also participates in G&T pull-out groups. So, schools are a huge consideration for us, given the academic options we have where we are now.

Transit:
We would need to learn about the transit system - we don't have metros here so we all drive everywhere. Would prefer not to drive if it saves time and $ there.

Budget - Rental short-term / Affordable 3 BR / dog-friendly:
Not knowing what to expect for budget and cola, we aren't sure what options are available. We prefer the least expensive options and 3 bedrooms ideally for a rental to start. Must be dog-friendly (one big dog and one small dog) and would like an area that has housing options for a MIL apartment or for my mother to live nearby (she will move with us).

Thanks in advance for ideas and suggestions!

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