One of the fundamental instincts parents have is to find the best education they can afford for their children. However, most of the fresh parents don’t even know where and how to look for it. Especially people who haven’t lived in Miami for too long, they have no idea how to find the right Miami school.
Only the native residents of Miami might have such knowledge since they could hear information about the right Miami school from their friends and relatives. As far as new residents go, making such an important step in the life of their little ones might pose a bigger challenge. So, if you are moving to South Florida to live in Miami, you will need as much help as you can get.
This guide will not tell you which school is the best, nor will it suggest which school you should select. It is no advertisement for private schools. We will just try to make your search easier and answer the most frequently asked questions. And all of this is just a preparation for selecting the top Colleges for Florida newcomers.
Magnet, Public and Private Schools – Difference?
Tip number one: Most schools in Miami will be needing an application in January. When you find the school you like make sure to ask for the application date.
The first question many parents will have will be about the difference between magnet, public and private schools. Picking the right Miami school will first force you to know the difference between the three.
The first thing on the menu is the magnet schools and programs. These schools are free public elementary and secondary schools usually ran by the school districts. The main characteristic of these magnet schools is the fact that they have focused themes and curricula revolving around science and engineering. They nurture the hands-on mentality and have an approach to learning that forces students to be evaluated based on their performance.
This approach to learning is one that I deem the most effective one. Given the technologies available today, there is no room for the old-school academic approach. The hands-on approach will have the students more interested and engaged, and that way, if they are interested in pursuing science, they will be able to remember and cover much more of the curricula.
Understanding the Levels of Studies and Grades
There is a number of people that fail to grasp the US school system of grades and levels of studies. Before we continue to analyze how you should pick the right Miami school, we need to understand the basics.
Preschool / Kindergarten
The first step is finding the preschool, or kindergarten, program. This program is consisted of:
- Voluntary Preschool (private only)
These usually start at the age of 18 months and end at the age of 6.
The next step after preschool is the elementary school. The elementary school principal is very simple and straightforward, just as the middle school and high school. The grades start at grade 1 and end in grade 12.
Elementary School owns the grades 1 to 5. The middle school is responsible for grades 6 through 8. And finally, the high school is covering the grades 9 through 12.
Steps to Take When Looking for a School
Even though we will continue talking about Miami schools, there are some universal steps that need to be taken regardless of where you are.
“Listen” to your Child
You need to develop an understanding of your child. Based on how well you understand your child you will be able to find a better match, school wise. There are a few easy question you need to ask yourself:
- Is your child a listener or does he/she learn better through touch?
- Is he/she self-motivated or does he/she need stimulation?
- Does he/she lean towards being a solo player or a team player?
Talk to the School
If you narrow down your choice to a couple of schools, make sure you make the time to interview these schools. Finding the right Miami school, just like any other school, will inquire some level of interrogation. The answers you need to reach are for the following questions:
- How big is the school?
- How many kids per class?
- What level have the teachers achieved in their training?
- How flexible are the teachings?
- How big of a role do parents play in all that?
Participate in / Ask for an Open House Tour
It is imperative that you have a walk around the school, seeing the classrooms, hallways, gyms and everything else that will be every day for your child. During this walk the school will be on the best behavior, so make sure you keep that in mind.
The very best schools will allow you to sit in on some classes and listen. This will be your chance to speak to teachers and just get a good feel for the entire building and its staff.
Observe the Students
The children already attending the school will be the best ambassadors for what the school is like. These kids will be your child’s peers and will have a large influence on your child’s life. Observe how the kids behave between classes and what they do on their downtime.
The Right Miami School – Miami Beach
To crown this short guide we will recommend an area with all of its schools. The area we have chosen as a recommendation, and an example will be North Miami Beach. If you decide to choose North Miami Beach as your new home you will love the schools offered in here (remember to find appropriate North Miami Beach movers for this, don’t be a hero). The best thing an area can offer is a choice, and this is what Miami Beach has. The more choice you have the more freedom you will have in selecting the school for your child. If you follow the above-mentioned tips, combined with more than 5 schools to chose from you will end up with a happy choice.
The private schools to chose from are:
- Rasg Hebrew Academy
- Yeshiva Elementary School
- St Patrick Elementary School
- Lehrman Community Day School
- St. Joseph School
- Montessori Academy
- Mechina of South Florida
- Stone Coast Academy
The public schools you can choose from:
- North Beach Elementary School
- Fienberg / Fisher k-8 Center
- Biscayne Elementary School
- South Pointe Elementary School
- Nautilus Middle School
- River Cities Community Charter School
- Miami Beach Senior High School