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Port St. Lucie - Sebastian - Vero Beach St. Lucie, Martin, and Indian River counties (Treasure Coast)
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Old 01-07-2015, 09:08 PM
 
Location: SW Michigan
278 posts, read 932,082 times
Reputation: 99

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We are relocating to PSL this summer. We are coming down in 2 weeks to check out the schools.

I have done the research online about the schools but I want to hear some personal experience with PSL schools.

Our background- 2 boys (4th and 8th grades). One has learning disabilities. So I need info on what the schools offer as far as that is involved.

How does the boundry map work? Online they listed one but the site link never worked so I dont know where they are

Safety of the schools? Do kids walk/ride their bike? How safe is it? Busing?

After school programs available? Is it like just babysitting or is it actual tutoring/education help?

Dress Code?

How friendly are the schools? Is it going to be easy for my kids to make friends or is everyone in a tight group already?

Magnet Schools? This interests me a lot! One of my kids is really good at Math and would love to get him in a math magnet school. Is there one?

I know every school is different and things will take time to adjust... but I'd love to hear some actual opinions of the schools. There is only so much I can find on the www and I will only be in town 3 days at the end of the month.. So personal experience would be VERY helpful!

Thanks!!!
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Old 01-08-2015, 06:03 PM
 
228 posts, read 317,120 times
Reputation: 89
Hi

When you fill out the school application, you choose 4 (5?) schools and the computer picks it out for you.

My boys are 12 and 14 and they were placed in the same school together. The 12 year old and I have ridden out bikes to school down Savona, but being that there are no sidewalks yet (until you hit the north side of Gatlin), I definitely wouldn't recommend, esp when it rains!. But we did ok. I do not put my boys on the bus....period, but everybody's different.

Because of personal reasons, I am now homeschooling my 12 yr old. My 14 ( high school freshman) told me today that he got the highest score in his class on the math midterm. Guess what his score was.......


Wait for it.........



Wait for it..........


His score was 60! (Remember his was the HIGHEST in the class) and then the teacher curved it 40 points to bring it to a 100.

I'm not sure what to think about that yet.


In any case, good luck in your search!
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Old 01-11-2015, 12:06 AM
 
4 posts, read 3,937 times
Reputation: 11
My ex handled getting the kids registered, and my girlfriend handled her kids so I am not sure about the way that it all works with that. Fancy4 seemed to have covered that though. Having lived in Georgia for years, it was a drastic change when the ex and kids moved to Port Saint Lucie and they started school. The kids found the pace slow, and just not as good as Georgia schools. That also has to do with the Florida curriculum. I see that you are moving from Michigan (my girlfriend moved last year from Bay City to PSL) so here is how the school's are graded. For elementary and middle schools (k-8) the schools are given a letter grade A - F just like classroom grades. You would think that this grade would include all matter of things such as passing grades, teachers, and the like, but it is not. In Florida there is a statewide standardized test called the FCAT. The grades for schools k-8 are solely based on FCAT scores. As a result, the majority of emphasis of class time is devoted to teaching students how to take and pass the FCAT. It is not the teachers fault, as many have admitted that it is what they have to do, but a lot gets missed. As for high school (9-12), the school's grade is 50% FCAT, and the other half is split among graduation rate, college level courses (AP and Honors credits) and the college credits earned while in high school. The dress code for elementary school (k-5), something that my girlfriends kids from Michigan complain about a lot, is uniform style dress, clothes that you can get from Walmart. Solid, collar shirts and solid pants/shorts/skirts. Middle and high school are a bit more laxed, but all shirts must be tucked in, a belt worn, and along those lines.

Depending on the distance from your home, buses are available. A lot of students do ride bikes and some walk. I am not sure about the distances and bus routes however. My kids live in Fort Pierce and my oldest's school is right next door and my daughter's is just down the street, so neither ride a bus. As for the friendliness, it depends. My oldest is an introvert and finds it difficult to make new friends. My other 2 (my middle child is attending online school at the moment due to health reasons) have no problem making friends. My daughter started middle school this year and was accepted into MOA (Marine Oceanographic Academy) Prep at Forrest Grove. She is a self proclaimed geek who watched Star Trek and Dr. Who and has found a group of like mined kids there. So, as I said, it depends, but students seem to be open.

Here is the last thing that I would advise. In Georgia, the teaches often sent notes and updated on the students progress. Not so in Florida. My oldest was having issues and we didn't know because we would talk to him and he said everything was fine. When his progress report came home though, it was clear that everything was NOT fine. His mother and I got involved quickly with parent teacher conferences. It was very clear that the teachers would go out of their way to help, when asked or approached. So my advice is to stay active in your kids schooling. There is an online tool for parents called Skyward where you can see the students grades as they are entered. It is basically an electronic grade book that you can view at all times and I believe communicate with teachers as well. It is an amazing tool. I know that this is long winded but I hope that I answered some of your questions.

Jeff
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Old 01-11-2015, 03:06 AM
 
228 posts, read 317,120 times
Reputation: 89
As far as the buses go, you have to live at least 2 miles from the school, for them to be able to pick/up drop off your child.
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Old 01-16-2015, 10:02 PM
 
Location: SW Michigan
278 posts, read 932,082 times
Reputation: 99
Awesome! THANKS for the responces so far!

Fancy- I kinda got the lottery thing from the website. Ummm.. Yeah. That curve and score is crazy! My oldest (13) is Dyslexic and ADD and school is very hard for him. Honestly he is a C/D student but extremely hard worker. So I really worry about the schools. He has a 504 plan (Needs special accomodations, almost like special ed but not quite as bad) so I wonder how it will be like for him in a new state?!

Jeff- This is exactly the type of info I was looking for! THANK YOU!! Teaching just for the standard test is total BS if you ask me! My oldest needs hands on learning. He does not do well with book/ditto/black board type of work... but give him a tool or some parts and he can figure it out. Thats one of the reasons I was trying to find some info on Magnet schools there. I am very involved with the school. used to volunteer once a week when they were little... Now I'm emailing the teachers every couple days. We have a similar web grade system... which is awesome! It sends me text messages every monday with scores of each assignment, lunch room fees, and absences. I knew about the dress code (Sucks, but we'll make it). My oldest is into video gaming on a serious level.. and also into fly fishing and animals of all kinds. My youngest is my adrenaline junkie.. So I'm sure they'll find some kids to fit in with somewhere..lol

I did really wonder why the schools are rated so differently. I know typically the poorer area schools get worse ratings (Usually) but they do vary a lot in the greater PSL area. Seem like the only high rated schools are in PSL West... Like West Gate and PSL West K-8.. but mine will be in 4th and 8th.. so high school is right around the corner for us... and I'm not sure we will be able to afford to live in PSL West area... So does that mean if we dont live in PSLW that we cant go to their schools?

Thank you all so much for your honest opinion! I'd love to hear more!
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Old 01-17-2015, 01:50 AM
 
228 posts, read 317,120 times
Reputation: 89
I think you have to live on the north side of California rd to be able to attend those schools, but don't quote me. There are some older neighborhoods up that way with really nice houses. Don't give up just yet!

Google earth is your friend
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Old 01-17-2015, 10:51 PM
 
Location: SW Michigan
278 posts, read 932,082 times
Reputation: 99
Fancy4- Doesnt California run N and S? You mean North of PSLW Blvd?
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Old 01-18-2015, 07:23 AM
 
Location: Venice, FL
1,687 posts, read 2,380,432 times
Reputation: 717
There are also a few charter schools you could look into. Renaissance Charter School at St Lucie, and RCS at Tradition are options. I know RCS@SL does have busing, but RCS@T does not. My children attend the latter and we are very happy after a miserable year at a SLC elementary school.
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Old 01-18-2015, 09:40 AM
 
35 posts, read 49,001 times
Reputation: 33
I am not sure where you are in Michigan or your current school situation but be prepared for very low performing schools. St. Lucie is ranked as the worst district in the state and even the schools you have mentioned in St. Lucie West have declined in recent years. That being said if you have the option to create a path for your kids you would likely want to complete lottery for fourth grader at Palm Pointe with either West Gate or St. Lucie West as backup until eight grade. Unfortunately, the High school situation is even worse. Centennial would be the best choice for SW PSL as it includes families from higher income areas north of Crosstown and Tradition. TCHS is dangerous!! I have close ties to the school and my own children did not attend and went to private High school. The socioeconomics of the area it serves are rapidly declining and the school barely graduates 70% of students in four years (well below national average). Centennial does not perform much better on paper but I will tell you that it is a much better school if private or MARTIN COUNTY are not an option.

Forgot to add: use the 504 plan with older one. Contact district as you will likely be able to select the best fit school for specific situation. My sisters children have EIP and are able to avoid Treasure Coast High by attending PSL High School IB.

Last edited by soflek; 01-18-2015 at 09:44 AM.. Reason: 504 Plan
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Old 01-18-2015, 10:13 AM
 
Location: Port St. Lucie, Florida
4,509 posts, read 7,738,958 times
Reputation: 1969
Quote:
Originally Posted by needing more View Post
Fancy4- Doesnt California run N and S? You mean North of PSLW Blvd?
No.. California runs east and west and then turn North to hit Crosstown
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