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Old 10-25-2008, 05:24 PM
Location: Tampa
1,236 posts, read 4,193,107 times
Reputation: 944


My daughter really wants to go to Blake Magnet School in downtown Tampa. It seems like a really cool place to go to school, but I am little nervous about who she would be going to school with. The neighborhood leaves much to be desired. Anyone know anything about the school? Any problems? What are their positives. She is zoned for Freedom High School in New Tampa. Is that a better choice?
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Old 03-05-2009, 06:06 PM
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I have worked in a bookstore near the school for over 10 years. Many of the studens from Blake visit the store, and they are such a wonderful group of kids! When I was a teenager, the only magnet school for the arts at the time was Gibbs in St. Petersburg. I was accepted to the school, but my parents would not let me attend because they felt the school was in a dangerous area. Both my parents and I really regret that decision. If your daughter has been accepted to Blake, I would encourage her to go to school there. The arts are so terribly neglected in public schools, and an opportunity to go to a school like Blake should not be passed up. If your daughter is excited about the school, that alone should help you in your decision. I am well aware that the school sits right next to a housing project, but I live just a few miles away from the school in a very nice middle class neighborhood and have never had any problems with crime. I think going to Blake would be an invaluable step in her educational experience, and if she is interested in pursuing the arts in college, Blake would really prepare her for a more successful college career. I say go for it!
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Old 03-06-2009, 02:14 PM
Location: Tampa
2,602 posts, read 7,445,043 times
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True, it is in a rather dumpy neighborhood, but it really seems to have a good magnet program. Being an arts school, there'll naturally be a large amount of artsy/theater-type kids. There will also be some ghettofabulous kids from the neighborhoods, but everything should balance out. Let her go. I'm sure she'll enjoy it.
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Old 03-06-2009, 06:03 PM
102 posts, read 386,121 times
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I knew kids who went there for the arts program and they had no problem whatsoever.
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Old 03-07-2009, 06:38 PM
Location: Castle Rock, Co
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Reputation: 960
from what I remember, a few years ago we used to play them in football and there stands were always full of quite a few ghetto people, good luck
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Old 03-07-2009, 08:24 PM
Location: Houston, TX
4,678 posts, read 8,828,026 times
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" ghetto people "

I went to Blake High School for a year in 1999.

Blake High School has a great magnet program but it also serves the community as the neighborhood high school. I lived in Clair-Mel when I went to Blake. It was an okay school but having went there after moving from Durant High School in Plant City it was a bit of an adjustment.

My guess is that if you're cool with a multi-cultural environment then you'll be cool with Blake. If you want your daughter in a lilly white school, You'll want to look into Eastern Hillsborough area.
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Old 03-08-2009, 08:12 AM
Location: Tampa
1,236 posts, read 4,193,107 times
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Thanks for all the replies. I am cool with her being in a multi-cultural environment. I grew up in NYC and was exposed to all kinds of people. People are people, no matter your skin color, religion or cultural traditions.

She is zoned for Freedom High school and I suppose it would be mostly white middle class kids. My experience is those are the most unfriendly people. The only racially diversity is from the kids that are bused in. Parents seem to look down there noses at them.

After hearing what it would take (commute wise) and what negative things she has heard from our neighbors about Blake, she has decided not to go. I think my daughter is talented artist, but is not sure if she wants to focus her education on that. She is an "A" student and I have heard that she could easily get into the AP classes and would not be mixing in with the local kids so much. One neighbor has told me she knew someone who went there, but withdrew from the school because they were afraid. They felt it was a really scary place. Maybe they were prejudice against the ghetto style. I'm not sure. We still have some time to think about it. She has to finish her 7th grade and decide next year. It would make life easier for me if she went to Freedom High School, but if she really wanted to go, I would do it for her.
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Old 04-15-2009, 09:48 AM
1 posts, read 4,224 times
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man blake is lame this bytches name Syrterrek && Timothy go 2gether will thats wat tim says
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Old 04-16-2009, 03:56 AM
Location: Tampa (by way of Omaha)
14,120 posts, read 20,063,122 times
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Generally speaking, the magnet schools are safe bets. Freedom High is a really good school though, from what I hear.
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Old 02-21-2010, 06:23 AM
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Default Results are What Counts

As the parent of 2 kids that have just gone through Blake I can tell you that it is not all wonderful. Administration, Guidance, and Math especially. But that said, this years (2010) graduating class has compiled a excellent academic and artistic record and has been accepted into some of the elite colleges in the country. A special note, Blake kids do get into the top art, theater, music dance, etc. schools too. Admittedly, we are taking about the top 100 kids in a class of 400, but thats true of any school. Here is a partial list of the colleges my daughters friends, from this year and last, have gotten into, some with full or nearly full ride scholarships!

Columbia University
Reed College
Sarah Lawrence College
New College
Oberlin College
Hampshire College
Elon College
Davidson College
Clark University
Boston University
Clark University
Berklee Conservatory of Music
Northeastern University
Eckerd College
RISD, SCAD, MICA, etc for Art
lots of UF both academically and for acting/dance
lots of FSU both academically and music
lots of USF, for every subject (they have a real up and coming theater dept.)

And thats just the ones I've heard about. I notice a real diversity of location and type of schools with large national Uni's like NYU, and Columbia, a lot of elite small liberal arts schools like Sarah Lawrence, Oberlin, Hampshire, Davidson, as well as Conservatory schools (for music,art acting, dance) like RISD, Berklee, Julliard, etc.

So, if your child goes, here's what you can expect:

You will have to be more involved than at a suburban high school, esp in guidance related areas, the squeaking wheel get the grease! Do not accept what you don't want, demand what you do.

A great (excepting perhaps, math) education. Math may require some extra effort to get good teachers, or good teaching from not so good teachers. Excellent Arts instruction, competitive or even advanced compared with ANYWHERE. But again, your involvement is key. Be prepared to spend a LOT of time at school for various performances, rehearsals, games, competitions, etc. Some weeks your kid will seem to live at school.

A real education in what goes on in the world, unavailable in a comfortable suburban school. My oldest who attends one of those elite small schools, is surrounded by rich kids who don't know anything about living in the real world, and are amazed at her skills in dealing with it.

Good Luck!
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