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Old 10-09-2012, 08:57 PM   #31
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Hey OP, we're almost neighbors! We're just a bit south of Davenport. DH and I are hoping to get out of Polk county as soon as we finish school, but we bought a house a couple years ago and prooooobably shouldn't have! We've only been here for three years ourselves and I feel your pain. We don't have kids yet but I can't imagine dealing with the school system down here! I wish you the best of luck!
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Old 10-09-2012, 09:12 PM   #32
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Originally Posted by klmall View Post
I may get flamed for some of what I say but I base it on 35+ years of working in one of the top 20 most highly regarded school systems in the country. I taught in the middle and high schools and worked in the central offices and my son went through the schools as well.

Problems with getting a teacher assigned, classes changed, schedules arranged/changed etc. are administrative and due to inefficiency and/or central office rules. The examples I read posted here would be unheard of in the large, 200+ schools system I am familiar with! Parents would be up in arms and newspaper reporters at the principal's door the next day! No kidding!

I hate to say it but in the 5 different secondary schools I worked in during 22 years we almost always privately "sighed deeply" when we got a Florida student transfer into our classes. The poor kid was almost always behind academically. What they labeled as gifted program didn't match our honors and so on. I never could quite figure out what the problem was but the Florida school transfers seemed behind compared to say those from North Carolina or New York.
You'll get no argument from me. When we moved to Orlando from Missouri, DD was way ahead academically to the school here. She attended public school here for her junior year. For a number of reason, this included, I moved her to a private school for her senior year. She still found school to be so much easier than she was used to based on her school in Missouri, but I liked the private school much better.
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Old 10-09-2012, 11:14 PM   #33
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Interesting thread.
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Old 10-10-2012, 12:18 AM   #34
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Originally Posted by sweetdana
I think this is true about ever move. Florida/Orlando area being no different than any where else.
That should be he takeaway from this thread. If you are thinking about moving and have kids in school, of corse you should be looking into the schools n the area just as you should be concerned about crime and everything else. Certainly, the are many great places to live in central Florida. I wen t grad school in Winter Park and would certainly consider. Moving back the if the opportunity presented.
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Old 10-10-2012, 07:16 AM   #35
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We love living in Lake County, Clermont area. Not the Clermont area near Four Corners, actual Clermont up past Lake Louisa State park. Look in zip codes 34711 or 34715.

They just built a brand new high school in Minneola(34715) which will actually come up Clermont on Real estate listings. It's awesome, state of the art, best teachers & the kids are given ipads instead of textbooks.

Also if you decide to go the private school route, we have Real Life Christian Academy in town and its much more affordable then the other privates and a fantastic school.

Love the area, great friendly people, lots of community activities and everything you need right here in town. Come up and take a look one day and explore on your own.

Seriously, wouldn't wanna live anywhere else in Florida.
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Old 10-10-2012, 07:40 AM   #36
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Thank you everyone for your input. Clearly I'm not alone in our struggles! Hoepfully anyone moving into the area will really look into things before the move.
No matter where you move, you should check schools (public and private) first - online ratings, visits, any and all ways to research a school before deciding on where to buy/rent. Schools usually are tied to the real estate values. A good school district generally will have the more expensive homes as so many want to be in that district, it naturally keeps the values of housing higher. There is a reason for the phrase "location, location, location." Don't sell out on the school quality. Ever.
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Old 10-10-2012, 09:34 AM   #37
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My 4 year old son is in a private in home daycare, so I can't speak about Orange county schools for him quite yet.

My 11 year old daughter is in 6th grade this year, and we're not extremely thrilled with the school at the moment. We moved at the beginning of this year from Winter Garden to Windermere, so I was highly disappointed that she wouldn't be in middle school at the brand new school that was opening this year in the Winter Garden area. That particular school has been raved about since school started.

The teachers in her current school seem to be okay, but the staff (outside of teachers) is severely lacking in common sense. I wish we had not moved at this point, purely from a school standpoint, and we have been discussing possibly going the private school route soon - especially when our youngest starts school next year.
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Old 10-10-2012, 06:31 PM   #38
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I see a lot of threads that pop up all the time where someone wants to move to Orlando. I just wanted to share my experiences with it and put out a warning to be careful if you have kids.

I have spent most of my life on the east coast in Brevard county and then lived in another state for a while before moving back here.

For the most part, I love Orlando. My DH has a great job, we have APs to all of the parks and spend most of our weekends there. I've never gotten sick of it and love it! It's definitely my dream place to be.

But the school system here is nuts! We moved to Davenport and are in nice little area that is safe. Thank goodness that we rent instead of buy though! Polk county schools are a complete joke. And unlike every other place I have lived, if you don't like the school, you can't just put them somewhere else. I had to start out this year homeschooling my child because I didn't feel he was safe in the school he went to last year. Especially after the bus dropped my kindergartner off in another neighborhood and left him on his first day of school. We were waiting at the bus stop and the bus just went on by. There was about an hour period where we had no idea where our child was. I can't even describe that feeling. Another mother found him and called the school. I was completely frantic! The what-if's still haunt me. There were some other issues too and I finally had just had enough.

There is a lack of good schools and hardly any daycare at all (so finding after school care is not easy). The few good schools are all full and there is no way to get into them unless you live in the district. I finally got my son into a nice charter school this week but it took a lot of waiting and constant calling to get in. When our lease is up, we will be moving based on school district.

So I just wanted to warn you that if you move here, REALLY look hard at the schools your child will be attending and make sure you are zoned for it. You'd think since Orlando is such a large area, this wouldn't be a problem.

Like I said, I'm happy we are here but parts of it has been very rough. We pay a fairly high rent now and the place we are moving too is crazy high. So when looking around at jobs, homes, and cost of living...make sure to check the schools too. Living in the district of a high rated school is really pricey.

I've heard North East Orlando near Altamonte might be better. Unfortunately my DH works just south of Disney so we have to stay here to avoid an hour long commute on I-4.

Just wanted to put that all out there. That is all.
I have never heard of a place that would let you put your child in any school that you are not zoned for. Well, that is, unless you agree to pay tuition! At least that is how it works here in Oregon.

We are moving to the Orlando area sometime next year. I've spent that past 6 months doing research on Orlando area schools. We are renting for the first year to make sure we like the schools before we buy.

So far we are thinking Lake Mary, Winter Springs or Oviedo. Dh is going to move down there with the job he has now (he works from home), but hopes to get a local job a few years after we get there. He says he'll commute an hour back and forth rather than have the kids in bad schools.
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Old 10-10-2012, 06:40 PM   #39
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My 2 oldest children went thru the gifted and the IB programs in Volusia County schools. I just wanted to comment that, their education waaaay surpassed the education I got growing up on LI, NY and taking honors classes, its like there is no comparison. I know times have probably changed up there, but I just wanted to put out there that there are some outstanding programs in Florida public schools, it's not all doom and gloom.
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Old 10-10-2012, 06:55 PM   #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ORMom2Four View Post
I have never heard of a place that would let you put your child in any school that you are not zoned for. Well, that is, unless you agree to pay tuition! At least that is how it works here in Oregon.
I think they are referring to open enrollment. In my state I believe you have the month of February to sign your child up for any district/school you choose, however, it is not guaranteed they will get into that school. The only real guaranty is to live in the zoned area.
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Old 10-10-2012, 07:16 PM   #41
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Originally Posted by ORMom2Four View Post
I have never heard of a place that would let you put your child in any school that you are not zoned for. Well, that is, unless you agree to pay tuition! At least that is how it works here in Oregon.

We are moving to the Orlando area sometime next year. I've spent that past 6 months doing research on Orlando area schools. We are renting for the first year to make sure we like the schools before we buy.

So far we are thinking Lake Mary, Winter Springs or Oviedo. Dh is going to move down there with the job he has now (he works from home), but hopes to get a local job a few years after we get there. He says he'll commute an hour back and forth rather than have the kids in bad schools.
I've never had a problem with it in Brevard or in Idaho. Sometimes schools are full and you have to have a good reason for them to approve it. But this time, even with what happened on the bus, they didn't care.

I think you will be okay with the areas you are looking at. Obviously check it out to be sure. I'm almost an hour from there so I have no experience with it. Seems like everyone from the boards likes that area though.
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Old 10-10-2012, 07:56 PM   #42
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It really was a shock. Brevard County is only an hour and a half away, and even they aren't known for being all that great. But compared to this, Brevard is amazing. It just shocks me because I would have expected Orlando to be better.

Oh well, we have made it work and will be moving and paying the higher fees. But I'd sure feel bad for anyone who just moved and bought without renting first. I thought we had found a nice area. And really, our little housing district is nice. Just hadn't taken into account the schools.
This isn't an issue isolated to Orlando. Everywhere you go you'll hit great districts right next door to horrible ones. It really pays to do your homework. It's also smart to do what you did & rent 1st. Hopefully you can move into a good district without making your dh's commute too long.
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Old 10-10-2012, 08:04 PM   #43
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Old 10-10-2012, 08:08 PM   #44
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I grew up in Osceola county and graduated high school there. The high school I went to was not the best in the county, it was very poor and the majority of students didn't care about schooling. That being said I had some fantastic teachers and I managed to learn. I did well and scored above average on all of the standardized tests.

There is an IB program at one high school and all high schools (including mine) had AP classes taught by community college professors.
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Old 10-14-2012, 08:18 PM   #45
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We have been researching the schools in the Davenport/Clermont area recently because we have been tossing around the idea of movie back down to Orlando. We had been living there when I got pregnant with our first daughter and moved back up to WI because I didn't want to raise kids down there. Now we are thinking about going back. My DH is a southern boy at heart and is really struggling with the winters and we both miss being CMs.

I was checking out Saw Grass Elementary, it seems ok on the Great Schools site. If anyone has input or advice and wants to send me a PM, I would love to chat about this further!!
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