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Old 03-06-2014, 09:10 PM
 
Location: Viera, Florida
65 posts, read 245,780 times
Reputation: 47

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Just wondering if anyone else is having a hard time with the way the school zones work in Viera, Rockledge area.

I can't quite get my head around that my son who is 11..could start 6th grade at Manatee Elementary which is 3 blocks away from a possible house I'm thinking of renting, then go over to Satellite Beach (Delaura Middle School) which is then 6 miles away, and then eventually wind up at Veira High School which is 2 miles away. It boggles the mind.

Another concern is the high school since Viera is so overcrowded? I can't imagine 3,000 students in one school and the powers that be saying well it's cheaper for us to overcrowd and pay a $500,000 fine than to build another school. I, myself, have attended an overcrowded school where you had to sit in the hallways to have your lunch...it isn't fun for sure and the classes were so crowded you couldn't get any individual attention.

I am quite concerned FL not having enough money to keep the schools open and build more schools if needed (yet they can spend 1 million on advertising to get more tourists?).

I was really looking forward to moving to this area until I encountered this school mess.

I homeschool now and was looking forward to putting my child in a good school so that I can start back to work but not at the expense of him having to fight for space in school...or being transferred to another one due to school closings and overcrowding.

FL needs to get its act together in regard to how children are being educated. Educating our children should be of upmost importance and providing good schools for them even more so. If we would have to pay a bit more in tax for that to happen....as a parent I would be happy too. If I was single and no kids...probably not of course.

Regardless, I guess it is a crapshoot where my son will end up in his education. It is stressful enough moving from Australia to Florida, finding a good rental home in a safe area, a dependable car to buy ect....now I have to worry about whether his school will get closed also. It sure is making it hard to be happy about moving to this Viera area which is a shame because I love the look of the Avenues shopping and being able to go to the baseball games with the stadium so near, being near the cruise lines and also Disney and of course the beach.

I'm sure I'm not the only parent worried about the situation...has anyone heard any good news in regard to new schools possibly being built as a way to ease the overcrowding or the schools getting more money so that programs won't be cut? I think it would be a shame that if you couldn't afford a private school....you can forget about a good education for your child.

My son also has some special education needs.....sensitivity to loud noise and may need a teacher's assist as he gets easily distracted ....I'm hoping that Manatee Elementary and DeLaura Middle will be able to accommodate his needs. Has anyone had any luck with special education in these schools?

Last edited by Bellainoz67; 03-06-2014 at 09:42 PM..
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Old 03-07-2014, 07:10 AM
 
24 posts, read 50,216 times
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Unfortunately, I don't have an answer for you, but I share your concerns. We're considering a move to Florida and the Viera/Rockledge area is one that we're considering. Like you, we currently home school (well, cyber school more accurately, but the same idea) and have thought that if the schools are good in the area we move to, we may consider sending our kids there so my wife could go back to work. I'd really like to hear more about the school system in this area, specifically the elementary school situation.
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Old 03-07-2014, 08:37 PM
 
Location: Viera, Florida
65 posts, read 245,780 times
Reputation: 47
I rang Manatee Elementary last night (their morning) and spoke to a lady named Susan who reassured me that the school is an "A" school and they don't have much problems with bullying ect and that there are special ed services available if needed. (my son is high functioning Autistic) She sounded nice and said she would put us on the list for this coming school year. She said it was a mostly upper middle class neighborhood surrounding the school (she said some parents take their kids to school in a golf cart which I found funny). My only concern is that the middle school for the area is John F Kennedy which I have heard from people on this forum and on school rating forums is a very old school and run down. To be honest when I googled it.....it does look that way and that worries me as of course we want only the best for our kids. We had contemplated St Johns Florida (either Durbin Crossing or Nocatee as the amenities are fabulous)...but there is not much available there for rent and what is...is at a very high rent. I think it is these ratings on the schools that are driving me crazy. One parent says that the school is great the next that its terrible....you don't know which way to turn. And the schools on Merritt Island look good...but then people say the housing on Merritt Island is run down and old. And the middle school on Satellite Beach is supposed to be good....but again the housing is run down in regard to rentals. It seems most all the schools are focusing on the test scoring instead of letting each child excel in whatever subject they are good at. School shouldn't be just about test scores...but getting kids used to the environment, making friends, and enjoying and exploring...especially at 6th grade. Seriously, when I was in 6th grade there was no FCAT scoring...and I turned out fine. Let me know if you hear anything to the positive will you?

Last edited by Bellainoz67; 03-07-2014 at 08:47 PM..
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Old 03-08-2014, 07:23 AM
 
24 posts, read 50,216 times
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I will. We have a realtor friend in the area that we're hoping to talk about this with. We wouldn't necessarily mind using Florida Virtual School, but it's powered by Connections Academy. Connections is available here and was our second choice due to the curriculum. It'd be nice to at least have public education at least be a viable option and will probably play a role in deciding where in Florida we eventually end up. One of our kids is in the public school here, mainly to improve her social skills, and we can't wait for the school year to be done with. And she's only in kindergarten! I agree about the testing as well. The PSATs and SATs were all I had to worry about, and I think I've done just fine.

Viera is a great looking area, but Melbourne may end up being more in our price range, so who knows?
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Old 03-08-2014, 09:09 AM
 
153 posts, read 338,997 times
Reputation: 317
We currently have a house being built in Viera and cant talk it up enough. We have many highly rated, new schools within walking distance (less than 1/10th of a mile), 6' sidewalks to and from every school and neighborhood and parents everywhere. None of the issues described have been an issue for us.

Viera consists of mostly young, professional families with lots of children. Yes, its a middle to upper middle class area and the main form of transportation to the Viera school system is golf carts and bikes. People who live in Viera can sometimes be considered slightly snobby, but its because we all work hard to be here and enjoy all that the the area has to offer. To some that comes off as being snobby - I call it being focused on providing the best environment for your family with no exceptions.

Is the area perfect? No, but as a package (cost of living, proximity to the beach, Disney and everything in Florida, new construction, good schools, new shopping and restaurants, access to highways, low congestion, low crime ....) the area can not be beat.

With that being said, we are extremely pleased living here. The Dudas have started the West Viera expansion and have plans for more schools to come. It all takes time and patience, but the plans for the expansion have already taken place and people are buying up homes here as soon as they hit the market.

People who have been hit with the hard winter up north are looking towards the south for primary and secondary homes more now than ever, making the local real estate market hotter than its ever been. Our neighborhood sold its last six new construction homes in just one weekend. Its a good position to be in living here and the area is prospering more now than ever.

In addition, there are many established housing options to choose from outside of the newer section of Viera, all within a 5 mile radius. (Viera East, Suntree, Rockledge, North Melbourne, beachside). These areas have a lot of good options for schooling (Manatee, Quest, Ralph Williams, Suntree, Longleaf, Kennedy, McNair, DeLaura, Viera Charter, Viera High, Rockledge High, Satellite High, Holy Trinity ... I'm sure I am missing a few). It all depends on where you end up residing at in the area, but all are good options with some pros and cons with each.

I cant stress enough of visiting an area before making a decision. The issues described (bullying, overcrowding, run down this and that) can be found everywhere and being concerned is a natural thing, but being overly concerned about an area and its entire school system due to online research without actually visiting the area is not.

We could psyche ourselves out about everything by focusing on the doom and gloom of some online rants and research. My advise would be in order to calm your fears, plan a trip and visit a few areas on your "to see" list. Find one that best meets all of your expectations and make a move from there.

Hope that helps....

Last edited by in_newengland; 10-28-2014 at 09:15 PM.. Reason: advertising/spam
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Old 03-08-2014, 06:12 PM
 
Location: Melbourne area
593 posts, read 1,269,307 times
Reputation: 548
Is the "3,000 students at Viera High" thing real? I've heard that said too, but I can't find any corroboration for it. Well, there's an uncited Wikipedia reference, but that doesn't count. All the official stats from a year or two ago had it more like 2200, which is still large but not that much bigger than the other high schools in Brevard.
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Old 03-13-2014, 07:24 PM
 
10 posts, read 27,178 times
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To the OP.... We recently moved to Viera and my son is your kid's age and has some special needs as well and this area has not served our needs at all. I would say stay away from Viera Charter School. I haven't heard much from Manatee, but schools in the area seem very average, even though locals tend to raise their reputation high. You will find a decent school with a one-size-fits-all approach just like many other schools in FL, but just in a newer area, nothing special. The high school does seems overcrowded and there seems to be no plans for an additional HS. I think the area desperately needs a middle school as well.

Viera is a nice place if you can get used to how flat it is. Coming from CO, we sacrificed the beautiful scenery to come here. It's a newer area and you have the shopping close by. This is the only advantage I see for Viera, since many other close areas seem so run down. I personally would rather live in the Satellite Beach/Indian Harbour areas, but again some of these areas look very run down, but are closer to the beach. Another thing about Viera is the traffic congestion on one of the only intersections with I-95 on Wickham Road. There is a turnabout (or whatever it's called) close by and during peak times, drivers simple fully block it by moving into the circle instead of waiting their turn. It becomes a nightmare to get in or out, and I can only imagine it getting worse with shoppers coming in to the Avenues, and residents trying to go or come from work,with all the new construction going on.

I had to move here for personal reasons to be closed to family and will be moving out soon. I can settle with the many deficiencies of the area, except for my kid's well-being, and with the schools not providing the support they need, there's really nothing appealing in this area. So, please check the area carefully first, especially how they will handle your son's needs if you do decide on enrolling him in public school here. I wish you all success!
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Old 03-13-2014, 08:20 PM
 
153 posts, read 338,997 times
Reputation: 317
Quote:
Originally Posted by AnonymousUserName View Post
To the OP.... We recently moved to Viera and my son is your kid's age and has some special needs as well and this area has not served our needs at all. I would say stay away from Viera Charter School. I haven't heard much from Manatee, but schools in the area seem very average, even though locals tend to raise their reputation high. You will find a decent school with a one-size-fits-all approach just like many other schools in FL, but just in a newer area, nothing special. The high school does seems overcrowded and there seems to be no plans for an additional HS. I think the area desperately needs a middle school as well.

Viera is a nice place if you can get used to how flat it is. Coming from CO, we sacrificed the beautiful scenery to come here. It's a newer area and you have the shopping close by. This is the only advantage I see for Viera, since many other close areas seem so run down. I personally would rather live in the Satellite Beach/Indian Harbour areas, but again some of these areas look very run down, but are closer to the beach. Another thing about Viera is the traffic congestion on one of the only intersections with I-95 on Wickham Road. There is a turnabout (or whatever it's called) close by and during peak times, drivers simple fully block it by moving into the circle instead of waiting their turn. It becomes a nightmare to get in or out, and I can only imagine it getting worse with shoppers coming in to the Avenues, and residents trying to go or come from work,with all the new construction going on.

I had to move here for personal reasons to be closed to family and will be moving out soon. I can settle with the many deficiencies of the area, except for my kid's well-being, and with the schools not providing the support they need, there's really nothing appealing in this area. So, please check the area carefully first, especially how they will handle your son's needs if you do decide on enrolling him in public school here. I wish you all success!
Anonymous, I hope you end up finding what you are looking for. Viera (and Florida in general) is not for everyone. One reason we came here was because it wasn't like where we came from (Maryland) and nor did we want it to be. To us thats the adventure in life - breaking away from your comfort zone, experiencing other areas and changing the scenery until you find your perfect place.

I agree with you in regards to the area needing a middle school, but not the schools here in general. We have three children (11, 9 and 4) and have never had any major issues. We do stay very active with them and their grades, hence why they're honor roll, advanced students. IMHO I think that the schools here are as competent as any school up north (my hometown in Maryland had VERY good schools, cant vouch for Colorado).

There have been plans on the board for a new middle school for a few years now with the land already dedicated for it (north of Viera High across from the stadium). Plans were put on hold a few years ago due to the economy, hopefully that will change soon. Theres also I believe 2 - 3 schools planned with the West Viera expansion but that will most likely be a few years away. Patience has definitely been needed during this time but good things are around the corner.

Keep in mind that the focus of any school is to teach your children - not to discipline, feed, babysit or raise them while chasing down irresponsible parents, which sadly happens everyday. Teachers have a lot on their plates nowadays and parent involvement can make the difference between a good or bad experience. This is why we praise the schools here. We let the schools and teachers do their job (teaching) while we do our jobs (everything else). In the end it comes down to taking responsibility for your family's actions and having respect for those in your community. We take pride in ours and I guess we also tend to look at things being half full vs being half empty.

I still don't get it in regards to how people complain about the traffic here. I guess coming from the Baltimore / DC area and seeing REAL traffic issues on I95 and 495, the little traffic circle in Viera seems tame. I have never sat in traffic here for more than 5 - 10 minutes and thats usually around the time the Nationals are here and the games are letting out.

Anyway, good luck with your future and wherever you may end up at.

Last edited by in_newengland; 10-28-2014 at 09:13 PM.. Reason: advertising/spam
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Old 03-14-2014, 05:02 PM
 
10 posts, read 27,178 times
Reputation: 12
Well many thanks for your good wishes Florida Vince. I only speak the truth as I see it and I have no vested interest as some of this forums might have. As a family that relocated to this area not too long ago and use this forum for research as many other families do, I want to make sure the OP considers all options available and gets as much point of view as possible. Like you suggested, the best way is to come and visit!

Both my kids are also A students and gifted by the way. What's an A without much effort though. I instead take pride on their effort, their creativity, and their individual success in life! And yes I am a very involved parent! I'm sure you were not assuming I was not an involved parent based on an honest negative review of the area. Opinions are opinions, and yes although there are many parents that expect schools to babysit their child, there are also many parents with kids that don't fit "the mold" lets say and expect their kids to be educated by the school just like any other child. I am glad that this place seems to be "perfect" for you. I came here with my glass half full as well, unfortunately, that changed. I guess you can cover the sun with one hand, but the sun it's still behind!

Last edited by AnonymousUserName; 03-14-2014 at 05:35 PM..
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Old 03-18-2014, 04:26 AM
 
Location: Viera, Florida
65 posts, read 245,780 times
Reputation: 47
Wow…thanks for all the responses everyone. After reading my original post….I do sound like a worry wort. Sorry about that but with the husband being busy with work…its all on my plate to find a place to rent, a car ect when we arrive. Being Australian, he is unfamiliar with how things work in the USA. After having one child go through "hell" through middle and high school (bullying mostly being the problem)….I'm particularly (maybe obsessively) overly concerned with my son Nic who was bullied here at the schools in Australia so had to resort to homeschooling. He is bored with his mum though and needs friends his own age to pal around with….so off to Manatee Elementary he goes this August. I have bitten the bullet, bought our plane tickets to Florida and found a rental house luckily 6 blocks from Manatee Elementary School. Indigo Crossing seems like a very nice area with basketball courts, tennis courts and a community pool. Unfortunately for us there was no visiting beforehand possible but I think I made the best choice for us. Thanks again for all the input….I didn't mean to stir up any "trouble" on the forums. Vince, I hope they do build a middle school and additional high school….that would be great! :-)
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