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Old 06-28-2008, 04:18 PM
 
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Dear all, i have trawled through the numerous threads and they have all been so useful. i do have some specific questions, if any expert can assit?

We are relocating from the UK and will be commuitng to Miami for work. Is weston a good option?
  1. From threads it seems that FL schools are so-so. I will prob go down the private route anyway. what do you suggest?
  2. i have read threads on univeristy, pinecrest. my son will be 11(not sure what grade that is) and my daughter 5. any good private catholic schools that anyone can recommend?
  3. what commuinties would be good for a budget of 400K. we would like land i think if not a least my own section of the back yard. nice family communities
  4. i have read a lot about the snobbiness in weston but having visited, like the feel of the area. we are a black family and would like an area that is diverse and w/o any race issue. we have lived all over the world and quite enjoy a mix of diversity. Thanks in advance
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Old 06-30-2008, 07:22 PM
 
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Is Weston a good option?- Yes.

1. It is probably not worth it for elementary school. I do not hear great things about Gator Run Elementary despite it being the test score leader. The rest of them are fine but some of them are overcrowded. Middle school is a different story not so much because of the education but because of the kind of crowd in any public middle school...
2. Unfortunately, I'm not sure about K-5. For middle school there is St. Bonaventure and St. Marks relatively close by.
3. Savanna, The Meadows, Country Isles, San Remo, and many others, doesn't it all sound so cliche?...there is not a single bad community but those are some of the bigger ones. They also all sound the same...
4. Black is no issue. The black population is relatively small but there is a good mix of people, however if you don't like people who speak Spanish publicly but are fully bilingual and capable of communicating with you in English (and will), don't move here. Very few people have any race/ethnic issue but there seems to be a few people that post on this forum who do with Hispanics in particular.

One thing to keep in mind is the commute. There is a section of west Miramar that is VERY diverse that has an excellent public elementary school, and it would put you a tad closer to Miami. I would suggest you move further south if your price range is higher, but 400k will stretch much farther out here. Just keep in mind that the commute will be an hour at best and at worst up to two hours. If you are going to go the private school route for your 11 year old, it's something to consider as your dollar may stretch further and the commute would be a little less, but you are still in a newer well maintained area where you should feel comfortable.
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Old 06-30-2008, 08:09 PM
 
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Thank you compelled for the comprehensive reply and information. i think we have definately decided to go or the private school route for my oldest and will see if we can do a good elementary for my youngest. west miramar you say? i dont know much about this area so i will do search. if it is closer to miami then this may be a better option. is this a safe middle class area would you say?. i could be flexible with house prices if need be.
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Old 06-30-2008, 08:20 PM
 
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Yes, safe middle class area. Sunset Lakes Elementary, live within that zone. It also extends a little bit into Pembroke Pines.

http://www.broward.k12.fl.us/schoolboundaries/SchoolMaps/SunsetLakesElem.pdf (broken link)
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Old 07-01-2008, 08:23 PM
 
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how much closer a commute would you say it was compared to weston? also how far is mirimar from the airport? are there are any good private schools nearby?
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Old 07-01-2008, 08:30 PM
 
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I would say that the commute is about 15 minutes better. The commute advantage is only slight, it's just that you could get more home for your money versus Weston but it's also a very nice, sparkling new, very diverse area.

As far as the airport, it depends on which one. The commute to FLL wouldn't be bad. You could get on the turnpike extension, then take the mainline turnpike to I-595 (which you will have avoided most of the traffic) and be there in about 20-25 minutes. MIA would be the same route that you would take to get to downtown Miami, except you get off a little earlier. I missed major flights sitting in the traffic to get to MIA. Plan about an hour and a half at worst and 45 minutes at best at rush hour.

For private schools, unfortunately, I do not know of any on that side of town.
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Old 07-01-2008, 08:58 PM
 
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Thanks for your help. i had kinda forgot about the commute and gas prices so it really make more sense to be closer to miami. When i think about it i do not want to have too long a commute everyday. esp on top of school feess.. i will check out come of the communites and go form there
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Old 07-01-2008, 09:01 PM
 
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You really could get away with public elementary very easily. In fact most of the public elementary schools are fine even in some of the "bad" areas. You might also be able to get away with the public middle school in both of these areas (Weston and the area that I showed you) if your child is taking gifted or advanced classes. However, the middle schools in Weston are better. There is also an excellent middle school in Pembroke Pines called Silver Trail.
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Old 07-01-2008, 10:50 PM
 
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I think the private route may be better for your kids - visit both public and private *before* deciding where to live, or else you'll never get out of your car. Sagemont in Weston is an incredible private school at the elementary level, and it's right in Weston, so no commute first to school, and then work, that there would be in Miramar. We used to commute to Sagemont in Weston from Pembroke Pines (near Miramar) just because the schools in Miramar and Pines were bursting at the seams. The ride got old fast, and I only had to drive back to the Pines after I dropped them off, not all the way to Miami. I would also recommend American Heritage in Plantation - my kids go there now - they also have a lot for older kids in sports and the arts - so it's a place where your kids could stay for many years.

I am not familiar with the Catholic schools, but have heard good things about Chaminade Madonna in Hollywood and Archbishop McCarthy (only high school).
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Old 07-01-2008, 11:15 PM
 
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The schools in Weston haven't been relieved. They actually built new schools out in Pines/Miramar to ease the crowding, and West Broward High is going to finish it off. Weston schools are bursting at the seams and even with the new high school there will still be 4200 students at Cypress Bay with no relief in sight for the middle schools. They just completed Glades Middle (which used to be a pile of portables) and Silver Trail is not crowded.

Yes, Sagemont seems excellent and is also very pricey. Then again, all of the schools are pricey...also, Heritage provides transportation from what I know (for a fee I'm sure), considering I have seen their buses in Miami Lakes before. Not sure about Sagemont.
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