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Old 06-02-2009, 01:49 AM
 
7 posts, read 20,844 times
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Can anyone provide generalizations about quality of schools in the two counties?

Other basic factors for distinguishing areas and beginning to narrow search?

Our circumstances are that we live abroad, but considering home in Tampa area to be used as partial year residence while in US and possibly full year at a time over next decade or so (thus the concern about schools, as we have two children currently elementary age).
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Old 06-02-2009, 07:35 PM
 
Location: Tampa
2,602 posts, read 7,181,730 times
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Well, the Hillsborough district is the 8th-largest in the country, and Pinellas is not far behind, maybe 10th or 11th. Both districts, as well as the entire state, have lost a lot of funding. Pinellas is actually closing a few schools, while Hillsborough is opening at least one new (high) school.
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Old 06-03-2009, 02:47 PM
 
Location: Beautiful Pinellas County
1,402 posts, read 2,496,950 times
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If you want state schools for the children in elem, look at palm Harbor, East Lake areas, and seminole.
All are nice areas to live too. cant speak for Hillsborough
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Old 06-04-2009, 05:42 AM
 
Location: Riverview, FL
86 posts, read 210,265 times
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I'd say schools vary from exceptional to AVOID, hard to make a generalization betw Pinellas v. Hillsborough.....what else is important to your family? Chances are the schools clustered in the most affluent areas of tampa bay- East Lake, Westchase, Lutz, Tampa Palms, Hyde Pk/S. Tampa will be reasonably good. However, some Magnet schools not necessarily in good neighborhoods are exceptional.
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Old 06-04-2009, 10:48 AM
 
Location: Out of the frying pan....
151 posts, read 693,731 times
Reputation: 131
If you really look at the size of the districts, you will realize it is impossible, and not advised, to make a judgement based on that alone. It is best to figure out where in these counties you'd like to focus on living, and then asess the individual schools. Easy? Nope. I just did this and had to look at each....elementary/middle/high school.....when making my judgements because I have kids in each. Only you can decide what type of neighborhood, what size school, what kind of diversity (or lack of) that you are looking for. Long story short, IMO you can't make generalizations.
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Old 06-04-2009, 02:56 PM
 
Location: Katy, Texas (via Clearwater, Florida)
156 posts, read 412,028 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lavender View Post
If you want state schools for the children in elem, look at palm Harbor, East Lake areas, and seminole.
All are nice areas to live too. cant speak for Hillsborough
You hit the nail on the head. Good post!
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Old 06-04-2009, 04:04 PM
 
3,923 posts, read 10,290,333 times
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Palm Harbor Elementary was a good school, but it's one of the six Pinellas County Schools closing and there may be more closing by 2013. Additional details covered by local media here --> Pinellas County decision: Closing down 6 schools | 10connects.com | Tampa, St. Petersburg, Clearwater (http://www.wtsp.com/news/local/story.aspx?storyid=98030&catid=8 - broken link).
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Old 06-07-2009, 05:57 AM
 
Location: Eastern time zone
4,469 posts, read 6,318,114 times
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It depends on what your definition is of a "good" school. If you're moving here from Wayzata MN or Chapel Hill NC, you'll be disappointed, period. There are schools in the Bay Area which are markedly better than other schools in the Bay Area, but as far as really good schools? Mmmm...not so much, because no matter how affluent your PTA or how shiny new the SmartBoards are, you're still dealing with a school administration which would rather pay lawyers than classroom aides, and you still have to follow state-set currriculum standards, in which the bar is not exactly set high.

Seminole High School has had a solidly decent reputation for a long time. Were I looking in Pinellas I'd probably look there. The IB program is in Palm Harbor and St. Pete, but with dual enrollment and AP classes available, your child doesn't need IB to work ahead on college credit.

As for Hillsborough...forced to pick a high school, I'd bite the bullet and pay tuition to Tampa Prep.
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