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Old 03-04-2013, 08:53 AM
 
425 posts, read 1,090,663 times
Reputation: 253

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We were wait-listed #10 at our first choice school, and after the acceptance period we are still #10. I was hoping we would have at least moved up.

While we can afford private school for next year, and probably the year after, I don't think ultimately we can afford to put two kids though private school for the duration. It is mind-numbingly frustrating to get a huge property tax bill every year and to know that we're zoned for terrible schools. We hoped to get into a fundamental school since we personally feel that parental involvement is important and we'd like to be a good school where this is the norm (in fact, the requirement), and not just the token exception.

I was born and raised in FL and don't have any real interest in leaving but I am now officially open to adjacent counties While I really like most aspects of St. Pete (or at least the part we live in), it is hard to ignore that Pinellas Co. is 49 out of 67 in school district rankings. I also wouldn't mind a little less crime; sadly even the nicest parts of St. Pete seem to have an above average share of things like thefts, burglaries, etc. However being walking distance to waterfront parks, biking distance to downtown, etc., a "smaller town" feel, etc. are all things that we like.

I noticed Sarasota County was number 4 in the school district rankings. While I've been to Sarasota many times, I'm not familiar with the broader layout and neighborhoods, etc. Can any local experts throw out a few areas that might be worth driving though? Some considerations:

1) preferably to avoid suburban subdivisions/HOA/etc. Prefer non-HOA, established neighborhoods.
2) ideally in proximity to something of interest. e.g. bike ride to a nice park, walk to local shops, etc.
3) low crime. e.g. maybe a place where an unattended bike in your lawn will survive an hour or two rather than 5 minutes.
4) solid schools, where elementary, middle and high are consistently decent. Consistency is key here. I'm sure any given school can have a good year, but is it historically good and does it feed into other good schools, etc.

Many thanks!
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Old 03-04-2013, 11:23 AM
 
Location: Jacksonville, FL
131 posts, read 271,733 times
Reputation: 127
Is homeschooling an option? I know my wife and I will result to homeschooling if we have to (we are relocating to Wesley Chapel) in the future. We are both not a fan of the public school system and standardized testing so for us we will be looking either at some kind of private school or montessori (spelling?) school, and if we have to, homeschooling as my wife is working on her bachelors degree in early childhood education.
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Old 03-04-2013, 11:32 AM
 
425 posts, read 1,090,663 times
Reputation: 253
Quote:
Originally Posted by JoJoCal19 View Post
Is homeschooling an option? I know my wife and I will result to homeschooling if we have to (we are relocating to Wesley Chapel) in the future. We are both not a fan of the public school system and standardized testing so for us we will be looking either at some kind of private school or montessori (spelling?) school, and if we have to, homeschooling as my wife is working on her bachelors degree in early childhood education.
Thanks and good question. I'll start by saying that I have more respect than anyone will ever know for parents who home school. I think it is a great option and we've considered it before. I'm not sure we've come to a complete conclusion on it, but based on many factors, I am not sure if it is for us.

I worry most about the social aspects, because I am not sure we are likely enough to get him out of the house to interact with other kids on a regular enough basis. e.g. I know many kids are into different sports, activities, etc. My son is more into playing baseball with me in the park, learning about gardening in the back yard, etc. This is great for now because he gets to interact with other kids in VPK- but we would obviously need to get him involved in many external activities if he were home schooled. Just throwing out one example of a concern, because I didn't want to just leave it as "it isn't for us"... which I think often comes across sounding really bad like "we're too good for that" or when in reality my concern is almost the opposite.
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Old 03-04-2013, 02:55 PM
 
Location: tampa bay
6,587 posts, read 6,824,609 times
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Even though you didn't move up on the "list"...I think Florida in general is very transient and as the summer break comes to an end some spots will open up...but 10...I'm not sure! I'm not a fan of home schooling...I do see a difference social wise... home schoolers seem to be more awkward around their peers..,you are in a tough spot!Hope something opens up for you!!!
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Old 03-04-2013, 05:40 PM
 
Location: Beautiful Pinellas County
1,407 posts, read 2,507,854 times
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Dont panic, this happens often. Lots of private school kids hold on to places til last minute then just go private anyway.
My neighbor was 16th for an IB program and she got in well before school started. Clearly you have to make provisions though, but Irishiis49 is right about the whole transient thing. Call the school and talk it over with them and see what they think, just approach them like you are asking advice, not asking them to bump you up the line.
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Old 03-05-2013, 03:32 AM
 
1,422 posts, read 1,491,782 times
Reputation: 553
Quote:
Originally Posted by lavender View Post
Dont panic, this happens often. Lots of private school kids hold on to places til last minute then just go private anyway.
My neighbor was 16th for an IB program and she got in well before school started. Clearly you have to make provisions though, but Irishiis49 is right about the whole transient thing. Call the school and talk it over with them and see what they think, just approach them like you are asking advice, not asking them to bump you up the line.

Lots of private school kids hold on to places til last minute then just go private anyway.

???
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Old 03-05-2013, 04:00 AM
 
Location: tampa bay
6,587 posts, read 6,824,609 times
Reputation: 9856
Quote:
Originally Posted by 071402 View Post
Lots of private school kids hold on to places til last minute then just go private anyway.

???
Parents like to hedge their bets...so to speak...every year in my kids private school you have parents that get pi$$ed at the administration,or want their kid in a better sports program,or little Johnny doesn't have any friends...etc...then in the end they get scared to pull the trigger and don't make the move!
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Old 03-06-2013, 02:58 PM
 
Location: Beautiful Pinellas County
1,407 posts, read 2,507,854 times
Reputation: 985
Quote:
Originally Posted by 071402 View Post
Lots of private school kids hold on to places til last minute then just go private anyway.

???
sorry bad English
I meant lots of kids who are probably going on to a private high school, just apply in any case, then they go on to the private school. Its like just to see if they can get on the program!
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Old 03-09-2013, 09:55 AM
 
Location: South Tampa
1,160 posts, read 1,738,648 times
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The high school I graduated from was very small, very rural, and nearly nowhere the best in one of the continuously worst-ranked states in America (South Carolina) for education. However, I listened in class, did my homework, scored well, hung around the right people, and also participated in many sports as well. I ended up graduating from a major university and now hold a pretty good job.

My point is: I don't see why parents get so crazy over where they school their kids at unless they repeatedly see problems directly affecting their children.

To me, it is more about what you and your child will make of it. If you are expecting the system to do it all, I think you should re-evaluate. I am also the type of person who thinks homeschooling is absolutely absurd (in words I can't explain). I also probably wouldn't send my child to a private school (although not totally against it), mainly for what I would call the "real world" education they will receive in comparison to a more sheltered private school setup.

I went to a public school and we had a private school about 15 miles away that we would interact with on the weekends or had mutual friends of each. While they were just as normal as me and getting their education, I always felt they "lacked" something about them across the board. They were surprised at a lot of things I was already exposed to and I felt more prepared for the next level (college) than they did- but not in terms of education, in terms of coping with the atmosphere.

Obviously not trying to change your mind, just wanted to offer my opinions and experiences.
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Old 03-09-2013, 07:30 PM
 
Location: tampa bay
6,587 posts, read 6,824,609 times
Reputation: 9856
Quote:
Originally Posted by SeaSpur View Post
The high school I graduated from was very small, very rural, and nearly nowhere the best in one of the continuously worst-ranked states in America (South Carolina) for education. However, I listened in class, did my homework, scored well, hung around the right people, and also participated in many sports as well. I ended up graduating from a major university and now hold a pretty good job.

My point is: I don't see why parents get so crazy over where they school their kids at unless they repeatedly see problems directly affecting their children.

To me, it is more about what you and your child will make of it. If you are expecting the system to do it all, I think you should re-evaluate. I am also the type of person who thinks homeschooling is absolutely absurd (in words I can't explain). I also probably wouldn't send my child to a private school (although not totally against it), mainly for what I would call the "real world" education they will receive in comparison to a more sheltered private school setup.

I went to a public school and we had a private school about 15 miles away that we would interact with on the weekends or had mutual friends of each. While they were just as normal as me and getting their education, I always felt they "lacked" something about them across the board. They were surprised at a lot of things I was already exposed to and I felt more prepared for the next level (college) than they did- but not in terms of education, in terms of coping with the atmosphere.

Obviously not trying to change your mind, just wanted to offer my opinions and experiences.
You are proof that cream always rises to the top! Not everyone is like you though and we as parents worry about all the things you mentioned as well as safety issues. I definately agree about sending highschool age kids to schools that best prepare them for college and not someplace that has a narrow minded view of the world! Your parents should be proud!!
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