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Hi - my family and I are moving to MD (or possibly NOVA) for husband's new DC job, in late May. My 7 year old has been enrolled in a Reggio-Emilia inspired charter school here in western Massachusetts, which has been WONDERFUL, and I'm heartsick to leave it, but DH wants this job.

We are house-hunting in a broad geographical area (from NOVA to Silver Spring, out as far as Annapolis) and are looking for an elementary that values achievement but more importantly, the "whole" child, and will not be a total shock to our systems after two years at our tiny (125 kids), mixed-age, very communal-feeling, artsy, crunchy little charter. Oh yeah, it's a co-operative, too (made some great friends there)- so we want as much of an open door feeling as we can get. So many schools seem to not want you to even walk in the door unless you have an appointment scheduled!

I'm leaning toward Silver Spring/Takoma Park but again, am really open as long as DH can get to the Metro by bike, bus, walk, or brief drive. He could even do a commuter bus. 

Any one have any tips?