So DS will be Kindergarten age-ready (Students entering kindergarten must be 5 years old on or before September 1) Sept 2014. Everyone keeps warning me about the competition for South Miami elementary schools. Time to start researching I say to myself.
While we’ve narrowed down our list…(Private school rant will get a future post.)…DH and I figured we should strongly consider our nearest public Miami elementary school – Sunset Elementary. “It’s amazing!” “The Language Program!”
Fine. So I start on the Miami-Dade website and get a little overwhelmed. First off, I confirm that we’re in Sunset’s boundary lines:
Miami-Dade Elementary School Boundaries Map – CLICK HERE
And I find out Sunset is indeed our closest school- BUT…it’s part of “Controlled Choice” Schools which include:
Coral Gables Preparatory
George Washington Carver Elementary
So I have to basically apply for this lottery. When I apply, I have to rank the schools in the order that I would want. So I call the district then I call the school directly. I ask, “This is my closest school. Doesn’t that help my chances?”And I’m told, “There’s kids that live across the street and they don’t get in.”
Living near to the school helps. But it doesn’t guarantee.
Now, everyone has told me that “Sunset Language Program” is “What you want.” So, since this is “What I want” I ask the district and the lady at Sunset to give me info on the program.
Guess what? Even if we get the magic lottery ticket and are accepted to the school we still have to apply in October of his Kindergarten year for the Magnet program. The application is open to anyone. Not just anyone currently at Sunset. Anyone in the district. Even anyone NOT in the district. Contrary to those Damn South Miami Mommy Rumors- Your child DOES NOT have to have a dual citizenship passport to get into the program. (There are some instances where having such a passport would help- I’m not going into that since it doesn’t affect us. )
Again, living near to the school helps, so does being already a student. But it doesn’t guarantee.
The lady on the phone then tells me, “Honestly, the only difference between the kids in the language program and the kids not in the program is the kids in the program get one additional hour of language every day. They have the same teachers, the same curriculum, it’s just the language class after school.”
Honestly, that makes me feel a little bit better. I guess. I’m still annoyed that I thought Sunset Elementary would be an easy choice for us.
Oh yeah. Then there’s the Gifted program. Post on that later.
I need a glass of wine.
Link for “Controlled Choice” on the Miami-Dade site:
Eligibility: Students must reside within the designated controlled choice boundary of school selected. Applications are accepted between grades K-5. Proof of address is required at the time of application. All applicants are subject to verification of address for eligibility purposes.
Timelines: Application period begins March 15th, annually. Contact appropriate Region or school for specific dates.
Process: Applications are available at each controlled choice school. Applications are completed and submitted at the schools. At this time, parents are advised whether additional documentation is needed.
Student assignment is determined by computerized random selection twice yearly, in May and July, based on seat availability per school and grade level. Additionally, the following weighted factors are considered:
• siblings (living together) with proximity to school;
• siblings with no proximity;
• proximity with no siblings; or
• no siblings or proximity.
All students that apply through this process will receive a school assignment. Parents will receive a letter, via U.S. mail, notifying them of their child(ren)’s school assignment.
Link for Magnet Schools
Magnet Application period:
Oct 1 –Jan 15
Random Selection process Feb 28
Notification Period Mar 15
Response to Notification Due Mar 29
You may also be interested in this: Everything You Need To Know About Miami Magnet Schools