U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Covid-19 Information Page
Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > Florida > Tampa Bay
 [Register]
Tampa Bay Tampa - St. Petersburg - Clearwater
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 03-14-2010, 12:21 PM
 
10 posts, read 32,114 times
Reputation: 24

Advertisements

I work for GEICO, which is in Lakeland. My daughter goes to Mulberry Middle, and I'm not liking the things I'm hearing from her (and from other parents and kids as well) about the school, and the high school isn't sounding much better. Apparently there's already gang-related activity at the middle school, and kids aren't feeling particularly safe, there's a lot of bullying going on, her school bus has pulled over twice for the sheriff to come and take fighting kids off the bus - I want my child to feel safe in school!

We're currently living in an apartment complex on the Mulberry/Lakeland line; I really like the apartment complex, and wouldn't have had an issue staying there if not for the issues I'm seeing with the Mulberry schools. The elementary school she went to was fine, and my original plan was to look for a house within 20-25 miles when she was closer to getting into high school, but due to my unease with the middle school, I'm starting to look NOW, to try to get into a new place before the next semester starts.

I should be staying with GEICO (which is easily accessed off I-4 at County Line Rd) for the forseeable future, and I'm looking for a place with a normal commute of less then 45 minutes (I'm well aware sometimes things happen to change your commute; when I first moved to FL from NY in 2002, I lived in St Cloud and commuted to Lakeland for about 6 months ). The Auburndale area is off-limits for personal reasons. Depending on the commute, I'd also look a little further than 25 miles out in the northwest area, near I-75, like Wesley Chapel, Land O Lakes - I just don't know how quickly you can get to GEICO from there on a regular basis.

I would need a 3 bedroom house (it's myself, my daughter, and my 74-year-old mom). I don't want a HO association if I can avoid it, I should be able to afford something between 135k and 150k. I'd prefer a little space between houses; I've lived in apartments most of my life and don't want to live right on top of my neighbors when I finally get a house! If I have to drive to Publix, that's fine, I'd rather be in a wide-open space than an enclosed one, and like a small-town feeling rather than city. If I want the city I can go to Tampa - and then come home. I wouldn't mind staying in Lakeland, but it's getting so built-up, it's negating some of the reasons I moved here from Long Island. And it's tough finding a good public upper grade school in Lakeland - George Jenkins has historically gotten good grades (although they're a C now), but I've heard that B/C kids don't get as much attention as the A kids do (my daughter's grades are A, B, and C, depending on the subject!), and also that since many of the kids have money, they can just get better drugs - don't hate, that's just what I've heard! Lakeland Senior is the only other one I'd consider, and that also gets mixed reviews; the school's grades have ranged between D and B, and that inconsistency gets me nervous.

In doing some research on GreatSchools, the high schools that seem to fit most of my requirements include Bartow Senior, Durant, Newsome, Riverview, and WireGrass. It seemed to make the most sense to find the high school, and work back to the middle school that 'feeds' the senior school.

When coming here to try to narrow my options down a little, there were so many conflicting opinions, and so many new options that opened up, I decided it would be better to just put all my needs in one topic, and ask for suggestions. Any assistance would be greatly appreciated.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 03-14-2010, 06:05 PM
 
10 posts, read 32,114 times
Reputation: 24
Wow, I'm kind of surprised that I got absolutely no replies in six hours. Not even a pity-reply.

Too much info? Too little? No one has any answers? Even just input about those high schools I mentioned would help me make some choices; obviously, I'm going to have to check out all these places myself, but getting input from someone who has been-there-done-that is what this message board is all about, right? So, again, anyone?
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 03-14-2010, 06:41 PM
 
15,794 posts, read 33,001,000 times
Reputation: 19908
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolitaryPhoenix View Post
Wow, I'm kind of surprised that I got absolutely no replies in six hours. Not even a pity-reply.

Too much info? Too little? No one has any answers? Even just input about those high schools I mentioned would help me make some choices; obviously, I'm going to have to check out all these places myself, but getting input from someone who has been-there-done-that is what this message board is all about, right? So, again, anyone?
I'm sorry, I think there aren't many if any posters here who have info on those schools. Perhaps a realtor from the area could help you?
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 03-14-2010, 07:39 PM
 
10 posts, read 32,114 times
Reputation: 24
Thank you for replying. I thought this was going to be one of those really sad topics you come across, where I plead for responses for a day or so, but no one does, and then two years from now, it pops up on a search...and that's about it.

Oh, well, if anyone can throw any info my way I'd appreciate it, but if not, thanks again, gypsychic, for a response.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 03-15-2010, 05:43 AM
 
Location: Beautiful Pinellas County
1,443 posts, read 2,647,593 times
Reputation: 1031
Maybe you could look SE tampa, off I-75, brandon, bloomingdale or N tampa off I-75 , you'd have to negotiate traffic around I-275/4/75 daily but I'd say that's worth it to have peace of mind for your child in school and a nicer environment to live. My husband commutes to Lakeland every day and we live in Seminole with great schools, but housing is probably more than you want to pay and the drive is only for the calm - its a trade off, nice location/schools/beach proximity vs drive and sanity I hope you find the right place good luck
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 03-15-2010, 11:42 AM
 
Location: Atlanta/Tallahassee/Chicago/Lakeland
480 posts, read 944,269 times
Reputation: 322
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolitaryPhoenix View Post
Wow, I'm kind of surprised that I got absolutely no replies in six hours. Not even a pity-reply.

Too much info? Too little? No one has any answers? Even just input about those high schools I mentioned would help me make some choices; obviously, I'm going to have to check out all these places myself, but getting input from someone who has been-there-done-that is what this message board is all about, right? So, again, anyone?
The mention of Lakeland or Polk County is like Kryptonite to some. I graduated from Lakeland Senior in 1994 and I have life long friends that graduated from Lake Gibson, Kathleen and George Jenkins (the first class in 94). Here's some advice: Your child will excel or fail anywhere. Don't let the grade of a school determine your child's chances of success. If you're seriously looking for a good school, have your child apply to IB in Bartow. My little sis graduated from there in 2000 with 2 high school degrees and 42 collegiate credit hours under her belt.

I apologize if my experience is a little outdated. I would love to come back home one day but IT jobs are few and far between.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 03-15-2010, 01:36 PM
 
30 posts, read 95,731 times
Reputation: 24
I feel your pain and opened this hoping you had some suggestions. I'm in the process of searching out areas to move to from Lakeland.

We moved here from PA and I didn't do my due diligence in looking for schools first. We were stuck with North Lakeland and I took my daughters out the day I visited the school and have homeschooled them this year.

I'm looking for a house to rent or an apartment. Right now my husband works in Orlando, Melbourne, and New Port Richey. He does a lot of driving, so the commute isn't my first priority, schools are. He will be doing a project in Tampa for a year so I think we may move to the area this summer. I have info on apartments that I have gathered and schools in those areas.

My method is, find a place that I like by searching REALTOR .com or through apartment ads, then I google the address, search schools nearby and pick the closest elementary/middle and then do a search on greatschools and schooldigger to get a sense of how the schools are. Usually you can compare them in the same area. If all are in the 8,9,10 range you know you are in a pretty good area.

I am finding Westchase, Wesley Chapel, Fishawk Ranch/Lithia, and Tampa Palms to have very good schools. I have just started my search so I am most likely missing a few areas.

Good luck to you!
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 03-15-2010, 08:24 PM
 
10 posts, read 32,114 times
Reputation: 24
Thanks all, good suggestions that I'm going to check into, and Elysium, good luck to you as well in your search.

Heartofflorida: if you read this, could you tell me what IB of Bartow is? Thanks.

Isn't it the strangest thing about Lakeland? It seems like such a nice place, and I actually really like it. You'd really think the schools would be a little higher up on the food chain...it doesn't make sense to me. If I could figure out the school thing, I'd stay there happily. It's not just the school's grades; I can deal with mediocrity and make up for it myself with my daughter - the problem is safety, and the feeling that she's safe in school. I know there's no such place as a school where there are no fights, but I'd like a place where there's no gangs, where the kids don't cause the bus to turn around or pull over every once in awhile to for a couple of deputies to yank a kid or two off, and where the admins actually care and actively try to end bullying in the school. That's the place I'm trying to find...maybe it has to do with going from elementary to middle school.

Ah, well, thank you all again; if anyone else has any thoughts, I'd love to hear them.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 03-15-2010, 08:34 PM
 
10 posts, read 32,114 times
Reputation: 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolitaryPhoenix View Post
Heartofflorida: if you read this, could you tell me what IB of Bartow is? Thanks.
Actually, I did a little research on the middle and high schools in Bartow, and I think I answered my own question; IB is the International Baccalaureate school at Bartow High School, right? Bartow High School is one of the ones on my list, and there seem to be a couple of good middle schools there as well.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 03-17-2010, 05:18 AM
 
Location: Polk County
53 posts, read 86,608 times
Reputation: 23
"The mention of Lakeland or Polk County is like Kryptonite to some."

Yes, I've noticed this too. Well, I just signed a 13 month lease. I figure that will give me time to get settled, secure my own automobile and to prepare for possibly moving to Kissimmee or Orlando which is where I wanted to be but have been discouraged because I do not have an auto.

SolitaryPhoenix, welcome to Bartow and best on your location of a good school for your DD.

LL
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:


Settings
X
Data:
Loading data...
Based on 2000-2020 data
Loading data...

123
Hide US histogram

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > Florida > Tampa Bay
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 11:32 PM.

© 2005-2020, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Contact Us - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37 - Top