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Old 11-25-2007, 08:32 AM
 
141 posts, read 437,308 times
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My husband and I are looking to relocate to a warmer climate. We lived in Orlando for a couple years (10 years ago) and I miss the weather. But now we have two small kids and have heard that the public schools in Florida are awful. Are there any cities that have decent school systems? What about private schools? I didn't particularly like Orlando (traffic, not too attractive) but I love Florida in general. Thanks for any input!
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Old 11-25-2007, 08:47 AM
 
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Originally Posted by ang08 View Post
My husband and I are looking to relocate to a warmer climate. We lived in Orlando for a couple years (10 years ago) and I miss the weather. But now we have two small kids and have heard that the public schools in Florida are awful. Are there any cities that have decent school systems? What about private schools? I didn't particularly like Orlando (traffic, not too attractive) but I love Florida in general. Thanks for any input!
Florida schools are now ranked 29th out of 50 in the U.S (as of 2006-2007), so "good" is pretty much relative not only in Florida but around the nation. Florida's traditional and current weak spot is secondary education. We have one of the lowest first time passing rate of standardized reading exams required for high school graduation in the country. Even the "good" schools rarely exceed 50%. That being said, the FCAT reading is taken in 10th grade, students from seemingly all walks of life fail the exam (anywhere from straight A affluent students to migrant students), but on the bright side, the second time passing rate of the exam is quite high and graduation rates in our high schools have been on an upswing, although still among the lowest in the country.

Throughout the state, you will actually find decent public primary education. The elementary schools are ranked 19th out of 50. The main issue in the elementary schools is the overcrowding. Here in Weston, we even have an elementary school that received the nationally-renowned "blue ribbon" rating, not an easy feat to achieve.

As far as areas with a good all-around system, k through 12, you might want to look into parts of the Panhandle (like Santa Rosa and Okaloosa County I have heard great things about, ask Sunrico for advice), which provides a more peaceful, simpler lifestyle than Orlando. I'm not an Orlando fan either. In fact I moved down SOUTH and I have been pretty happy with it versus O-Town. It seems a lot cleaner, a little bit safer, very green and lush in appearance, has MUCH less traffic. The cost of living, however, is excessively high relative to our job market, and for that reason I feel hesitation to recommend this area to many. However, down south, the cities of Weston , Cooper City, Wellington, Jupiter, unincorporated western Boynton Beach, Boca Raton,Davie and most of Martin County, maintain a decent all around school system.

Also, without leaving Central Florida, Brevard County offers some of the best schools in the state, as does Indian River County (Vero Beach). Even Seminole County runs a pretty tight ship. In areas like Lake Mary, Oviedo, and Winter Springs, the schools are pretty favorably rated and well run. In north Florida, St. Johns county also runs a very tight ship, in areas like Ponte Verda Beach.
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Old 11-25-2007, 01:01 PM
 
141 posts, read 437,308 times
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Thank you so much for the information. I will look into some of those areas!
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Old 11-25-2007, 01:12 PM
 
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You are going to have to roll up your sleeves, do some research and compare schools within districts. Saying that "Florida schools are bad" is not totally accurate. In most districts there is a least one or two high schools that produce numbers similar to schools in the northeast. Also, even schools that have a "C" grade may have magnet programs within them that produce good results. I would pick your area first and then compare schools. And even then, find out which schools have special programs.
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Old 11-25-2007, 01:20 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Muggy View Post
You are going to have to roll up your sleeves, do some research and compare schools within districts. Saying that "Florida schools are bad" is not totally accurate. In most districts there is a least one or two high schools that produce numbers similar to schools in the northeast. Also, even schools that have a "C" grade may have magnet programs within them that produce good results. I would pick your area first and then compare schools. And even then, find out which schools have special programs.
One of the things about the high schools is that although in my local district only around 50% are passing the 10th grade reading exam, it still managed to graduate 87% of it's seniors on time last year, and virtually all of those students went on to college, which can put it on par with an "Average" northeastern school. Still, the general teaching methods are superior in most Northeastern states (think Regents exam vs FCAT), although facilities wise most FL schools are actually very well equipped with textbooks/technology etc, at least in this area.
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Old 11-26-2007, 04:56 AM
 
Location: Florida/Tennessee
2,218 posts, read 4,267,940 times
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Default Martin County

All schools in Martin County are "A" rated schools.

Here is the link for the School board Web site:
School Board of Martin County (http://www.sbmc.org/ - broken link)
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Old 11-26-2007, 09:22 AM
 
Location: Vermont, trying to escape
43 posts, read 167,122 times
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Winter Park High School is really good and the area surrounding it. Can't speak much of the Elementary or Middle schools, but my cousin was going to be placed in Evans and opted for Winter Park (school board granted him and a few kids a bus) and he loved it.
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Old 11-26-2007, 09:38 AM
 
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Both Wellington (Palm Beach County) and Coral Springs (Broward) have excellent schools.

If you end up in Wellington, stay as far west in the village as you can. The schools don't change as much there.

Good luck!
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Old 11-26-2007, 12:45 PM
 
8,376 posts, read 27,722,000 times
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Originally Posted by Rismiller View Post
Coral Springs (Broward) have excellent schools.

!
This has actually changed as of late , the high schools in particular. It seems like Davie is becoming the next Coral Springs for the schools. On the elementary and middle levels, Coral Springs schools are still pretty good.
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Old 11-26-2007, 03:01 PM
 
Location: Living in Paradise
5,702 posts, read 22,222,267 times
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Try the Santa Rosa County and the Okalossa County.. Both counties are ranked in the top 10...

Last edited by sunrico90; 11-26-2007 at 05:10 PM.. Reason: typo
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