Hi, I'm in London but from New York City (and worked in the schools). Usually, each house/neighborhood is assigned a local school and children who live in the zone have the right to attend that school. So when you are looking at houses you have to know which school the house is zoned for and make sure you are OK with it. Unfortunately I don't know how to assess PA schools but most state departments of education have a good website with published test scores etc.
I'm British but moved to California last year. My kids go to a Montessori though, so not sure about school. Meetup.com is really good for finding people in your area who share your interests. Nice to meet you!