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Old 02-22-2010, 01:50 PM
 
8 posts, read 28,190 times
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Ok, so with the move in four months, I have been checking into the magnet schools in Seminole county. I get all excited about the elementary performing arts magnet as well as the science and technology magnet for my other kid. Both are located in Sanford. My husband says someone told him Sanford is a ghetto and that the kids in the area get first dibs on these schools. My question in, if the schools are open to the whole county, why are the neighborhood kids given fortst priority. Political correctness not withstanding, the rest of the county gets the left over spaces????? Does anyone here know how it works? And what is the difference between a cluster school and a magnet school?
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Old 02-22-2010, 02:15 PM
 
Location: Florida
4,187 posts, read 9,545,663 times
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Orange county has more magnet programs in more schools in good areas too.
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Old 02-22-2010, 04:27 PM
 
8 posts, read 28,190 times
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Thanks but the hubby and I are def staying in Seminole county. I just want to wunderstand the difference between them all and which is most ideal for a five and twelve yr old!
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Old 02-26-2010, 10:48 AM
 
237 posts, read 863,387 times
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From what I understand, the magnet schools in Seminole County are all in areas that most people would not choose to send their children. They are trying to attract kids, usually in higher social economic areas to come to the rough areas so that the school's demographics are a little more diverse.

The way it is now, many parents rather send their kids to their local school because the neighborhoods that these magnet schools are in, are pretty rough. Yes, these magnet schools are by lottery for kids who are outside of the zone, but from what I hear, they are not that hard to get into. If you don't make it in the first time around, then you can go on a wait list. Many people decline even though they've been accepted. The only thing is that if you are a late applicant, than you might have to wait a bit longer or even until the next year because the spots have been taken.

I was chatting with a neighborhood girl who goes to Millennium instead of the local MS. She plays the violin and is in the pre-IB program. She says anyone can sign up for the IB classes, but you have to maintain at least a B average to stay in the program. She likes the school because they have newer computers and the more recent technological gadgets.

The County definitely pumps more money into the magnet schools, but it's a tough choice to decide between a school that is just down the road versus one that's many miles away, depending how far you live. From my house, the bus ride to Millennium is 1 1/2 hrs, even though it's actually about 25 minutes by car. But, since it's a magnet school, the bus has a bigger area to travel to fill the bus. Most of the kids in my neighborhood go to the local MS.

I've considered the Charter school called Choices in Learning, in Longwood. It has a very long waiting list to get in. Some moms that I've talked to said they either didn't make it in, or that they were put on the waiting list when she took the tour in February. The kindergarten class was already full for August, but they're looking to possibly add another kindergarten class. I imagine it's difficult to get in at other grades because you would have to wait for a student to leave before a spot becomes available.

I just ended up putting my kids in the local elementary school(Keeth in Winter Springs). So far, I'm quite happy with the administrators and teachers. The curriculum is very FCAT/test focus, but that's the way it is these days. Only way to really avoid that is to go private. So for me, I rather forgo the magnet schools just to have my kids close to home. I'll revisit that when it comes time to consider middle school. Maybe it's worth it. But I've never heard of anyone who turned in their application on time and didn't get in to one of the magnet schools. That's just me though. I've been here less than a year, so take it for what it's worth.

Good luck on your move. Just try to be open minded about the schools or get ready to pay a lot of money for private school.
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Old 02-28-2010, 06:22 AM
 
Location: Oviedo, Fl formerly from the Philly Burbs!
1,012 posts, read 2,268,619 times
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I would also, carefully examine and compare all the scores and relationships in the categories you are looking at. Is a slightly elevated score in a specialized area for your child worth losing alot of ground in a different category? Example...if your child excels in science...look at the science FCATS in your local school compared to the magnet school...then also compare all the other scores...reading, math, etc...you may find they lose alot of ground in the other fundamentals. Just a thought....

You may just find that adding an extra curricular science or performing arts may be better than the hassle of a magnet school. Also, you want to consider who your child will be growing up with, associating with, and making long lasting friendships with. These will affect him/her much more than any class will...long term.

You can also look into the Florida Virtual school...you can add those as an adjunct to any school curriculum...you have to pay for it (and I have not looked at the pricing) but for science and technology it may be prefereable for your one child. There are alot of things to consider besides the drive...

I am not saying the magnet school is NOT the way to go, we looked into it for our daughter, and after considering these factors, relative to the school we are zoned for...we opted to stay with our local school and have been very pleased, and she is actually being very challenged in her strongest subject with the advanced placement program.
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