Finding a Good School for a K and 3Rd Grade

Updated on July 23, 2013
J.P. asks from Boca Raton, FL
8 answers

We are in Plantation zoned for a good school however the owner sold his house and we have to move out within one week of school starting. I have been looking everywhere for a decent place zoned for a good elementary school but it seems pretty difficult. Additionally, we just moved last year and Im not happy about moving my third grader again as he was new at his school for second grade, now he may have to move again as there are very few homes coming available that are zoned for his current school. Does anyone have any thoughts on this? Is anyone home schooling or know of an affordable private or parochial school that could be an option? I purposely chose our current house for the school it is zoned for so this has been a huge surprise, not to mention having to move again after moving across the country just one year ago. ANY thoughts would be greatly appreciated.
Added: I have been checking out Great Schools for ratings but learned that the ratings are based solely on FCAT scores. Could a school be a good one even if the FCATs werent as good? Some really nice houses we have been finding are zoned for schools rated a 6 or so, which is not a great rating. He is currently at a 9 rated school however again, that is solely becasue of the FCAT scores. Cant a good school not be great at FCATS but have great teachers?

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answers from Boca Raton on

Where did you move to? I hold daycare in my home in East Boca. 80% of my home is designed for toddlers to enjoy, explore and learn.

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answers from Washington DC on

You can get a decent education out of any public school in the US - even those rated lower than others. Sometimes those lower rated schools are rated this way because their population is ESL and they test lower.
Go talk to the teachers your children may have and decide. Don't let standardized test scores make that decision for you. Do you want a teacher who can teach to the test or do you want a teacher who can reach and teach your child effectively?

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Wausau on

Great Schools ratings are often unreliable. My son's elementary school is excellent, and Great Schools gave it a bad score. Further digging showed that it was due to lack of data. They had nothing to evaluate, so it gets ranked low. The score is meaningless.

The best thing to do is talk to other people that have actual experience with the schools you're looking at. Scores are one thing, but the teachers, principal, programs available...those are the things that you can't learn about with a generic online search site.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Springfield on

School ratings are absolutely just part of the picture! There are great teachers (and not so great teachers) at schools with less than stellar ratings. Test scores are a good indicator that a school has many students exceeding or meeting the standards (state, federal, etc - all related to No Child Left Behind or whatever it's called these days).

But test scores do not tell the whole picture. How many students are going on to colleges and universities? How involved are the parents? How many students have parents with college degrees?

You are the parent, and you have the greatest influence on your child and his/her success in education. The school can't do it without you.

Talk to a realtor, talk to some neighbors, talk to friends and church or teachers from your child's school. There are many good schools out there. Talk to people. You'll find a good fit for your family.

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answers from Norfolk on

Check out school ratings and reviews on



answers from Detroit on

I do not put much credit on Great school scores. I do not put a lot of credit on standardized test scores.

I am more about how the school works and feels. The number one factor in a childs success in school is parents that care about education. so the parent looks at the homework.. volunteers in the classroom. reads to the child.

the childs teacher is very important.. but you can have a super teacher in a marginal school and a terrible teacher in a top rated school.

So... yes.. a school can be fabulous and have a terrible rating on some rating and rankins system.

I have noticed that if your child is above grade level. the schools do not do anything to help them. the talented kids spend a lot of time being bored. whiel the teacher helps the kids who are struggling.



answers from Miami on


I am in Ft. Lauderdale, grew up in Plantation. Rather than the "great schools ratings" which I find to be rather unreliable, look at the FCAT information and the other data published on the Broward County Schools website:

First, when is your lease up? Legally, your lease must be honored by whomever is the owner of the house. So if your lease isn't up in mid-August than you don't have to move. If your new owner wishes to offer you an incentive to leave the house - (CASH) than it is up to you to decide whether you wish to take it or not. The usual "incentive" to move is 3 or 4 months times your rent.

Go and visit the schools. They opened for registration today! There are people there to give you a tour and answer your questions. Generally speaking in Plantation, the better elementary schools are: Central Park and Tropical. While Plantation Park is a "b" school this year, they had been an "a" for many years so I would definately consider them as well.

Are you tied to Plantation? Both Cooper City Elementary and Embassy Creek Elementary in Cooper City are "a" schools. They both have very good reputations.

Davie is more iffy - look here for the school grades:

I just went through this and looked in Cooper City, Davie, Plantation and Ft. Lauderdale when my son was entering kindergarten - he is a rising 2nd grader. Would be happy to share school names and info if you wish. Just message me directly.

Good luck! C.



answers from Honolulu on

What are, the Demographics/the population make up, of the area you will be living in?
Often, this can indirectly determine, "how" a school is. ie: its student population, the Teachers who work there, the way it is run, and the other stats of the school.

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