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Miami-Dade County School Choices

Educational Options Abound in Miami-Dade County

When choosing a home to buy, education options are an incredibly important part of that decision. Miami-Dade County residents have a variety of educational choices and schools for children of all ages, including public schools, magnet schools, charter schools, education at home options and fine private schools, both secular and parochial. With all of the options, deciding which school, and possibly neighborhood, is best for your family can be difficult. Knowing how different types of schools are defined is a great start!

Public Schools
Miami-Dade_County_Public_SchoolsMiami-Dade County Public Schools (MDCPS) operates 415 schools, serving almost 400,000 students and employing more than 23,000 teachers. It is the fourth-largest school district in the United States. Miami-Dade County Public Schools is also one of the few public school districts in the United States to offer international studies programs and bilingual education to serve our diverse population. Bilingual education is offered in Spanish, French, German, Haitian Creole and Mandarin Chinese. All MDCPS schools are rated from A through F, based on FCAT scores for the school, and are available publicly online.

Magnet Schools
MAST_AcademyIn general terms, magnet schools are created to attract students with a particular educational aptitude or talent. In Miami-Dade County Public Schools, magnet schools in Miami-Dade County provide education in an array of areas, including marine science (the nationally renowned MAST Academy), culinary arts, law enforcement and criminal justice, hospitality and tourism, international studies, finance, the arts and performance arts, IT, foreign languages and much more. Students must apply for admission to magnet schools, but if they meet the requirements, can generally attend a magnet school regardless of what part of the county they live in. Magnet schools offer a fantastic opportunity for students who are early identifiers of the direction they want to go in life; MDCPS has more than 340 magnet programs in 100 schools at all levels.

Charter Schools

Also known as public/private partnerships, charter schools receive less public funding than traditional public schools and have more flexibility in reaching the specific goals outlined in the school’s charter. Because the schools receive less money, they are available to make use of partnerships with corporations and other entities to make up funding. There are 108 charter schools, at all levels, in Miami-Dade County. A full list of them, with statistics about their enrollment and more, is available online.

Private Schools
800px-Gulliver_academyMiami-Dade County’s private schools include such illustrious institutions as Ransom Everglades School, Gulliver Preparatory, Miami Country Day School and Saint Stephen’s Episcopal Day School. There are more than 380 private schools in Miami-Dade County, serving more than 75,000 students in both church-affiliated and secular institutions. A complete list of private schools in Miami-Dade County is available online, in either alphabetical order by private school name or organized by community.

For more details about your educational options in Miami-Dade County, including application and contact information for Miami-Dade Public Schools, districting information and alternative educational options, visit the MDCPS options website