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Choosing a School for Your Child in Florida

We want to talk a little bit about children schooling? Both of you brought your kids to Florida, can you talk share with everybody who's watching a little bit about what that was like?

So when I came in, my son was in grade 11, he completed grade 11 already, and he joined as a grade 12 student here, we were very worried thinking it's a pandemic situation, how it is going to be, it's very different because he is used to the Indian syllabus only. This is a US syllabus, which is going to be, but we got a very good support system, starting with the principal, the vice principal, the school counselor, they were a big support to us. And I think, every three months or so, we had an opportunity to have one to one chat with the counselor, just to see how his progress where where he's lacking what he needs to do and everything.

Well, it might be different in different parts of the world school education system. In the US till grade 12, you have to learn all of the subjects, I mean, science, the history, the geography, English, Math, all the subjects you have to learn till you are in grade 12. When children they are in grade 11 and 12, they start applying to different colleges. And then they start earning extra credits, like from voluntary work and stuff like that, to gain admission to good universities and colleges

The place where I live in, we have a lot of community colleges and some very good ones as well. So my son completed grade 12, and is joined to one of the community colleges for his prerequisites now. So we have a good very good system, two years, he will be in the community college here and after the two years is automatically going to be transferred to one of the best universities in Florida, which is University of Central Florida. So that's very good. They have periodic assignments, period, periodic assessments, a lot of paperwork to be done. So that was kind of challenging for him. But he got through it. The support system was very good.

Well, that's great advice because I know as a mother, I came here with two children, my children were eight and four at the time but I can imagine coming with a child that is older, it can be a big worry for parents, because you never know what it's going to be like and how they're going to adapt.

Is it all public school or is there private schools too?

There are private schools, but there are fees, but public schools till grade 12 you don't pay a thing. Private schools if you have to send them to, but I think they are costly.

Grace, what do you wish you had known before you came to the US about the US school system?

Actually, somebody who had moved here prior - one of my friends, she had told us to get a transcript of whatever my son learned to write well, so we were able to get a very descriptive transcript as to which subject, how many hours he is covered, and what is grade for that and everything. So they were able to transfer some of the credits here. So they considered those credits, and they were able to transfer some of it.

Bong, share with us your experience of bringing kids to the US and what the schooling and the education was like?

When we arrived here, our daughter was 13 at that time, going to first year high school. My son was eight at that time it's there's a big support actually from all over the schools, from the principals, from the counselors, and they were able to adapt very quickly. They were enjoying the first week we thought that, you know, there's gonna be like, no one want to go to school, something like that. But they love it! They wanted to meet new friends straight away when they went to schools, and they've been telling us what their experience are every time they come home. Now my daughter will be graduating high school. She'll be going college next year. She just applied for the bright future scholarship here in Florida, so you have to have a certain GPA and community hours, like you can do like 100 or 50 hours. And if you are an in state student, you can get like a lot of discounts as well in school or like the FAFSA you can apply for that. If you think that you need some assistance with the, with the tuition fees and everything that they use in school. One thing like right now, free lunch for all the schools, so you don't have to worry about packing the lunches for your kids.

The school system here is brilliant. They're very supportive. It's something like zoning as well so if you if you happen to be in a school in a zone that it's not covered by the school that you like, there's something that they call a magnet school, that if that's the school that you like, and you're not in the zone, you can apply to that. Some schools, they offer a different curriculum as well. So you can apply for that but the only thing is, they don't cover the school bus. So you have to take your child to school.

So that's a lot of good information, especially about zoning.

Can you talk a little bit about those two things zoning and high school?

You have to look at the rating of the school, which is very important. So you can choose school district where I'm at. Regarding the school zone, you have to be living in that particular locality or within that school district to be admitted to that particular scope. Like to simplify it, you can't be living like 50 miles away and say that I want an admission at this particular school. I'm going to drop my kids to the school and off from school. You can't be saying that so you have to be living in that particular school district. So look out for the school rating when you're choosing to live in a particular destination. Of course it has to be closer to your work.