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Old 08-19-2007, 10:59 PM
5 posts, read 20,261 times
Reputation: 13


I currently live in southern CA, and is looking to move to south florida.
Just wondering if the public schools in FL still offers Art and Music classes as a part of their regular cirrculum? Here in Southern Cal, those programs have all been cut from schools due to lack of funding, so parents have to pay for them as after school activities on their own now.
Also, I heard preschool for 4 year olds are free/public education now in FL, is it true?
Any information on these would be appreciated.
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Old 08-20-2007, 05:19 AM
Location: HP/Eagle Rock
330 posts, read 1,160,295 times
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It depends on the district. My district, Charlotte, offers art, music, PE, media (library) and science lab as SPECIALS. They have a 5 day rotation. So each day they have specials for 35 minutes but they will only go to art, music, etc., one day a week.

Many districts are cutting art/music positions due to budgeting here too.

As far as pre-k, yes, pre-k is offered here in Florida, BUT I know in my county, to qualify for pre-k at the local public school, you have to meet INCOME standards (very low) and the spaces are limited. You sign up through the Head Start program.

If you take them to an authorized pre-school (your county will have a list of the private pre-schools) then the State will pay that school for 540 hours of pre-k instruction. My dd's pre-k class runs August - December 2007, 9a-4p Monday - Friday, so it is full-time. Others run August-May and it is only 3 hours a day (9-12). The other option is full-time summer which is run by the public school district and it is only the summer before they go into Kindergarden.

You can only do ONE of those options.

For more information, Voluntary Pre-K (http://www.floridajobs.org/VPK/index.html - broken link)
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Old 08-20-2007, 08:36 AM
Location: Heartland Florida
9,324 posts, read 22,744,246 times
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This is so funny! When I was in school everyone had art/music. Seems like the more money you give the schools the less value you get!
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Old 08-20-2007, 09:05 AM
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Our area school district proposed budget cuts this year, due to declining enrollment and lowered enrollment projections, that included getting rid of art/music teachers. The community protested the elimination of art and music teachers so much, that they decided to keep them. I doubt they will be hiring more art and music teachers though.
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Old 08-20-2007, 09:13 AM
Location: Florida
1,738 posts, read 7,220,653 times
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they have music cat schools in Tampa
They have some art and music classes, but orchestra instruments are cut(except at the cat school).
They do have a music conservatory in Tarpon Springs
And the pinellas youth orchestra and patel conservatory(art,drama, music, etc) in Tampa
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Old 08-20-2007, 10:27 AM
269 posts, read 1,359,634 times
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What the schools offer changes from county to county. My county has PE, music, and art in the elementary schools but not in middle or high schools. Florida schools statewide have been dealing with declining enrollment due to so many families fleeing the state. Because of the declines and changes in state taxes, schools are facing budget cuts and art and music are considered luxuries.

As for pre-k, Florida has Voluntary Pre-K (VPK). In my district pre-k is offered at the public schools however it has nothing to do with income. It is for children who require speech, physical, or occupational therapies or children who have developmental delays or disorders. For children who do not need these services, you may choose a private pre-k provider from a list approved by the state. You enroll your child with the provider of your choice and the state reimburses the provider. It is only for 4 year-olds and it is not mandatory. You would be surprised at how many people choose not to participate.
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Old 08-20-2007, 10:40 AM
Location: NE Florida
9,361 posts, read 21,915,459 times
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It's so sad. After three years of public school in Duval, I put my kids in private school this year, but last year their public school had PE two days a week, art and music was on a cart- the teachers had a small two shelf cart and pushed the stuff into the classrooms. The music room was turned into a classroom with 44 kids and two teachers. They called it team teaching, but any time I went, one teacher was at a desk grading papers and the other teaching the class.

And I made a presentation at a middle school that had 88 kids in the PE class!
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Old 08-20-2007, 12:14 PM
5 posts, read 20,261 times
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Default What about Palm Beach County?

Thanks for all your information. Does anyone live in Palm Beach County or Martin County who can give me info. on the music/art situation at these counties? I am looking at Wellington, Boca Raton or Jupiter area.
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Old 08-22-2007, 09:51 AM
9 posts, read 51,130 times
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If you are looking into the 3 hour free Pre-K programs at private daycares, check the state ratings guide. Believe me, all are NOT created equal. Insist on visiting a classroom for an entire morning before enrolling children in any Florida preschool.

Head Start is a pretty good bet, although it is on income guidelines. Even there it really depends on the teacher if the quality meets Head Start standards or not.

I have spent the last 15 years as a professional consultant in Florida pre-schools and ESE classrooms. There are always some very bad apples even in public schhools, and unless you keep up on it and visit unannounced, you have no idea what happens with your child once the door closes.
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