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Old 02-21-2010, 09:39 AM
 
2 posts, read 3,792 times
Reputation: 10

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I've been visiting these areas several times a year for the past five years and would really like to make a move finally happen soon. I've been having the hardest time trying to understand how the school system works, especially in light of so many of the Pinellas County schools seeming to have such low ratings. I'm partial to the Seminole area (because of school ratings) but would love to live in the Gulfport area or even South Pasadena, maybe St. Pete Bch area... Does living in the immediate "zone" of a building guarantee admission of your children? Is it possible to gain admission to a particular school building if you aren't in the immediate "zoned" area?

Can anyone on the board help me get a better handle on how the school system works in Pinellas?

I was originally looking to buy, but after being quoted insane down payment and reserve requirements (despite separating from my husband, I'm told I have to do it as a second home loan even though I plan permanent primary residence?!), so with that in mind, I'm now looking for annual rentals that would accommodate 3 kids, a small dog and possibly a cat. Any suggestions on sites to regularly watch for listings?

Thanks!
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Old 02-21-2010, 07:14 PM
 
Location: Eastern time zone
4,469 posts, read 6,332,898 times
Reputation: 3488
Do yourself and your kids a huge favor: start researching private schools. Even people who've lived here for decades are confused by the Pinellas Couthy school system-- and those who aren't are horrified by it.

Seminole schools are pretty stable, which is about as close as I can come to high praise in a deeply flawed school system.
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Old 02-23-2010, 04:28 PM
 
Location: Lincoln County Road or Armageddon
4,229 posts, read 5,693,734 times
Reputation: 5779
Ye, the system is mind boggling-one year there's "school choice"the next year there's not. I think the latest craze is neighborhood schools. Maybe get an idea where you want to live and visit the school board's website and see where your kids would be zoned for. I know beach kids seem to get bussed all over the area. Go to the Pinellas County Chamber of Commerce web site-there's probably links to local Realtors.
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Old 02-23-2010, 05:21 PM
 
Location: Beautiful Pinellas County
1,407 posts, read 2,506,999 times
Reputation: 985
Every child is entitled to a bus if they are 2.2 miles from the school or at least it was 2.2 miles. So kids will appear to be bussed all over. Also if htey are in a magnet they can be bussed along way, but thats a choice - my child was in school 17 miles from home but it was a choice to drive not go on bus as it took so long If you are in a zone, look at the website, that is most likely the school you will go to unless youelect fora magnet program. Seminole is good, Palm harbor/EAstlake area is good too for public. Everywhere else, you need magnet/fundamental or private. Many students do very well out of the public schools, just too many parents expect the school to do it all and then they wonder when it doesn't work out. Its a diff world today and knowing where your child is, what they are doing and with whom is a must. As a parent who has successfully guided two children through two different high schools and middle/elem schools after coming from another country, I feel it's not perfect but then nothing is buthe more you put into your children, the more they will benefit. The system has changed a couple of times, but not annually right now the zoned schools are back in favour and to me that makes sense. Beach families are zoned, many of the mid county beaches fall into Seminole but make sure you are where you want to be before you commit to housing.
You dont need arealtor to find a school and when you find the location youwant, then you can decideif renting or buying is what you want to do.
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Old 02-24-2010, 05:56 PM
 
23 posts, read 49,038 times
Reputation: 16
according to www.publicschoolreview.com , seminole schools had the best score, with palm harbor and east lake a close second. go to there the money lives. they always have the best schools. i live in seminole and have now for most of my adult life, but i live in the "poor" section of seminole... if you can afford it, the areas right by the high school/middle school is ideal. all 3 schools are right next to each other. your kids would never have to take a bus.. but the houses there are pricier. id stay WELL CLEAR of pasedena or gulfport. i work there and have for many years. dont go ANYWHERE in this county that has the word "SOUTH" attached to it.

just my 2 cents. email me if you want more info. glad to help.
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Old 02-24-2010, 06:18 PM
 
Location: Tampa
2,602 posts, read 7,200,552 times
Reputation: 1535
Pasadena and Gulfport are fine. South is fine if it's west of 49th Street South or down in Pinellas Point.
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Old 02-25-2010, 01:59 AM
 
792 posts, read 2,018,539 times
Reputation: 803
I would also like to add that it is fairly common knowledge here that magnate schools are ALL built in the worst areas for a reason.

Don't believe the hype that all normal public schools are bad or not as good as magnate schools. That's just pure b.s. Location is still more important that anything else.

A smart kid will be a smart kid anywhere and likewise for a not so smart kid.
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Old 02-25-2010, 08:40 AM
 
Location: Beautiful Pinellas County
1,407 posts, read 2,506,999 times
Reputation: 985
hear hear
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Old 02-25-2010, 02:55 PM
 
Location: Myrtle Beach
3,378 posts, read 7,891,706 times
Reputation: 2928
Everyone understands why the schools in the nicer neighborhoods have higher test scores, right? I think its pretty dang obvious. I keep typing and deleting because it starts getting just too long trying to avoid getting blasted. But you know what, I am going to get blasted anyhow so I will just bullet my points.

Nicer areas with better schools have the following:

  • Higher ratio of married parents vs. single parents
  • Better educated
  • Parents are able to spend time with their children on homework
  • Kids are not left to do what they want until 6pm - 7pm. Either they are in an activity after school or someone is home when they get out.
  • Higher percentage of kids participate in extracurricular activities

BTW - I am in no way saying being a single parent is bad. Stuff happens and that is the way it works out sometimes. But you do have to agree that a higher percentage of single parents have to work 2 jobs or longer hours to put food on the table and that takes time away from helping their children with school. Not to mention single parents who fall into this category have to work on weekends, inservice days, some banker holidays, etc.


Great..... now look what I started. I am saying this is the majority..NOT THE RULE.
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Old 02-25-2010, 08:19 PM
 
Location: Watkinsville, GA
381 posts, read 930,777 times
Reputation: 430
Quote:
Originally Posted by AlaskaKash View Post
Everyone understands why the schools in the nicer neighborhoods have higher test scores, right? I think its pretty dang obvious. I keep typing and deleting because it starts getting just too long trying to avoid getting blasted. But you know what, I am going to get blasted anyhow so I will just bullet my points.

Nicer areas with better schools have the following:

  • Higher ratio of married parents vs. single parents
  • Better educated
  • Parents are able to spend time with their children on homework
  • Kids are not left to do what they want until 6pm - 7pm. Either they are in an activity after school or someone is home when they get out.
  • Higher percentage of kids participate in extracurricular activities
BTW - I am in no way saying being a single parent is bad. Stuff happens and that is the way it works out sometimes. But you do have to agree that a higher percentage of single parents have to work 2 jobs or longer hours to put food on the table and that takes time away from helping their children with school. Not to mention single parents who fall into this category have to work on weekends, inservice days, some banker holidays, etc.


Great..... now look what I started. I am saying this is the majority..NOT THE RULE.
I was raised by a single parent and it was true in my case.
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