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wheretonow?

Jacksonville schools and neighborhoods

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:wacko:

While I realize this will all be a matter of opinion, I am, as any parent would be seeking as much info as they can. We are contemplating a move to Jax with 2 kids, 5th grade and 9th grade. I have read sooo much about schools I've made myself silly!! I can only go by what I find in the school guides (test scores), but would love some opinions from Jacksonvillers... High Schools and Middle Schools

The best ones in your opinion pleas, perhaps incuding Nease,(st Johns) Mandarin, Fletcher. Fernandina Beach. I don't want to be in the boonies, and my husband will work on the north side near the zoo. HELP please!!!

Thanks so much for any advise!

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You are sure to get a LOT of diverse feedback on this subject. I think we have alums/parents from about half the high schools in the metro posting on these forums...

If you want your kids to get into an elite top-50 college (aside from UF) Bolles, Episcopal, and Stanton are your best bets (Paxson is always spoken highly of, but I've never heard of any admission figures). They send by far the largest number of kids to the top colleges.

But if you just want your kids to get into a good state school like UF, FSU, UNF, UCF, FAMU, etc, I don't think there's a huge difference between the local schools you listed. Mandarin, Nease, all the Christian schools ... they'll all get the job done.

Personally, I think it heavily depends on your goals for your children. How smart are they? Where do you think they will want to go to college? Will their college admission be primarily based on their academic skills or athletic performance? I couldn't really comment more specifically on Jax schools until I knew more ...

Best of luck with your move.

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Welcome to Jacksonville!! My fellow Jacksonvillians ;) do definitely have much to share when it comes to local schools.

My experience is that as far as public schools are concerned Stanton & Paxon are the premier. They are college prep schools and offer a great curriculum. For the artist I would suggest Douglas Anderson School of the arts. The negative is that there is limited acceptance so they would have to apply.

The good private schools are Bolles (VERY pricy but is consistantly top 5 in nation), and just about any of the larger christian acedemies (Trinity, Episcopal, etc.)

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(Hope I'm doing this right)

Yes I indeed saw the scores for Stanton and Paxon as well. My son is and always has been an excellent student, hoping to go to a top school and become a doctor.. He is very bright. Unfortunately, I am afraid that geting in to either of these schools would be unlikely, the school year having already begun, and so few openings even if we were there to start. (I think I will call the schoool district to see what they say). He has never been challenged, glides through.

Athletics here consist of ice hockey, and will not be a factor in college admissions.

I saw a liitle info on Bolles... looks to be about $14k/yr (sound right?) WOW!!

If there wasn't any really really good public I would think it over. I really don't want a religious based school.

Any additional advise would be totally appreciated. This is so important and very scary!!

THANK YOU!!!!

You are sure to get a LOT of diverse feedback on this subject. I think we have alums/parents from about half the high schools in the metro posting on these forums...

If you want your kids to get into an elite top-50 college (aside from UF) Bolles, Episcopal, and Stanton are your best bets (Paxson is always spoken highly of, but I've never heard of any admission figures). They send by far the largest number of kids to the top colleges.

But if you just want your kids to get into a good state school like UF, FSU, UNF, UCF, FAMU, etc, I don't think there's a huge difference between the local schools you listed. Mandarin, Nease, all the Christian schools ... they'll all get the job done.

Personally, I think it heavily depends on your goals for your children. How smart are they? Where do you think they will want to go to college? Will their college admission be primarily based on their academic skills or athletic performance? I couldn't really comment more specifically on Jax schools until I knew more ...

Best of luck with your move.

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Welcome to Jacksonville, first of all.

As far as the schoo, choice, let me tell you first that I am Nease graduate (2000). Nease was a very good school academically, however I personally felt like it was a little out of touch with reality (I didn't realize this at the time). Let me explain:

After I graduated from Nease, I attended Jacksonville University, and got my BS in Computer Science. I don't know how much you know about JU, but it is in the hood. To be honest, it was a little eye opening; it gave me some insight on the "real world" (just to set your mind at rest, in case down the road he wants to go there, the campus is VERY secure, it's just the outside neighborhood).

Stanton, however, is where my lovely lady graduated in 1998. It had an arguably better academic reputation, and to be honest, the neighborhood keep the "reality" in check. Plus, it's like 15 minutes from the Zoo

Just my thoughts, but the Jacksonville area has some excellent high schools, and you really can't go wrong with a lot of them.

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Thanks for the reply. I understand exactly what you are saying. Now that our move is definite I will get on the phone and see what the potential is! Thanks !

Welcome to Jacksonville, first of all.

As far as the schoo, choice, let me tell you first that I am Nease graduate (2000).  Nease was a very good school academically, however I personally felt like it was a little out of touch with reality (I didn't realize this at the time). Let me explain:

After I graduated from Nease, I attended Jacksonville University, and got my BS in Computer Science.  I don't know how much you know about JU, but it is in the hood.  To be honest, it was a little eye opening; it gave me some insight on the "real world" (just to set your mind at rest, in case down the road he wants to go there, the campus is VERY secure, it's just the outside neighborhood).

Stanton, however, is where my lovely lady graduated in 1998.  It had an arguably better academic reputation, and to be honest, the neighborhood keep the "reality" in check.  Plus, it's like 15 minutes from the Zoo

Just my thoughts, but the Jacksonville area has some excellent high schools, and you really can't go wrong with a lot of them.

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There are some scholarships available for Bolles.  You may want to check into this.

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Thanks, I definitely will!!

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I don't know how much you know about JU, but it is in the hood.

That part of Arlington isnt much of a "hood" if by that you mean a dangerous, crime ridden ghetto. I find it to be a lot less dangerous and less run down than MANY other parts of town. It isnt the best part of town to be sure, but it is a long way from being the worst. You must not have driven around Jax much, Scongro. :lol:

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^ No, I do agree - I have been around the Moncrief/Myrtle/Division area, and I agree it is much worse. While the area is not the greatest, it seemed a lot worse to me in 2000 coming from Ponte Vedra Beach. At that point, I really didn't know much about Jacksonville, short of Atlantic, Southside, and Butler Blvd.

Five years later, I've spent time on about every area of town (except for the far northwest area, around Pritchard Road).

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Compared to PVB, most everything else is ghetto, hehe.

JU is in an OK area. I'd consider it middle of the road.

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Being fresh out of Highschool (Episcopal c/o 2005), i believe i can offer some pretty good insight. The three best schools in the city are Episcopal, Stanton, and Bolles (in that order, imo). Bishop Kenny and Paxon are about even, and slightly behind the top three. Episcopal and BK are strongly religious, BK being Catholic and Episcopal being Episcopalian (trust me, it's not as obvious as you might think to some people). The Bolles School supports no specific religion, but houses many Christians, Jews, and Muslims.

Episcopal costs just barely more than Bolles, and BK is about half of that. Stanton and Paxon of course, are public.

Nease and Mandarin are both very good schools, with mandarin continually improving. The only downside to these two schools is that they are 30 min + from the north side.

Fletcher is a lesser school and out at the Beach. FDB (Fernandina Beach) is way north, but i know very little about it.

Episcopal, Paxon, BK and Stanton are all located around the downtown area. So close to eachother, in fact, that Stanton and Paxon teams sometimes practice at BK, and BK swims in Episcopal's pool. Bolles is a short drive from the northside. Driving from the northside to Bolles in the morning would be against traffic, making it not bad at all.

As far as athletics go, Bolles is very solid all around; with exceptional football, swimming, and weightlifting. Episcopal has a couple national caliber teams (track and cross country, of which i was a part), and some not so good; football, basketball. Bolles, Stanton, & Episcopal also have lacrosse teams, which might appeal to a hockey player.

That's a pretty brief runthrough of the good schools in Jax. I can tell you anything else if you have specific questions.

BTW, is there an area of town you are considering for your home?

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Urbanjacksonville and I graduated from Stanton in 1995. I think we received a top-notch education, especially for a public school. Recruiters from all Ivy League schools and other prestigious universities scoped out the brightest in our class.

Paxon was converted into a second magnet a few years ago to satisfy the demand for a college preparatory public school. Their academic indicators (e.g., standardized test scores, college admission and matriculation rates and even truancy) are inching closer to Stanton's each year.

The environments at Stanton and Paxon are quite different. Where you live will determine which school would accept your son. Stanton is strict and somewhat rigid, whereas Paxon has developed more of a laid-back atmosphere. I have cousins who attended Stanton and then transferred to Paxon (when it was still allowed) and they favored Paxon.

At any rate, welcome home!

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Hi, and thanks so much for your reply. We have not made any decisions at all on places to live, as we are planning to decide based on school choice, and proximity to my husbands job, which is on the north side I bellieve near the zoo. Its just off I 95 at exit 358, (hecksher). I've only been there for a weekend so I have no idea. We definitely don't want him to have to drive over 30 minutes, so we need to figure out just where we can go to get a great school, a great home in a neighborhood with lots of kids (we also have a 10 yr old in 5th grade), and a 30 minute or less drive. HELP!!!

Thanks again, and any furthur advise is always welcome (please )

Being fresh out of Highschool (Episcopal c/o 2005), i believe i can offer some pretty good insight.  The three best schools in the city are Episcopal, Stanton, and Bolles (in that order, imo).  Bishop Kenny and Paxon are about even, and slightly behind the top three.  Episcopal and BK are strongly religious, BK being Catholic and Episcopal being Episcopalian (trust me, it's not as obvious as you might think to some people).  The Bolles School supports no specific religion, but houses many Christians, Jews, and Muslims.

Episcopal costs just barely more than Bolles, and BK is about half of that.  Stanton and Paxon of course, are public.

Nease and Mandarin are both very good schools, with mandarin continually improving.  The only downside to these two schools is that they are 30 min + from the north side. 

Fletcher is a lesser school and out at the Beach. FDB (Fernandina Beach) is way north, but i know very little about it.

Episcopal, Paxon, BK and Stanton are all located around the downtown area.  So close to eachother, in fact, that Stanton and Paxon teams sometimes practice at BK, and BK swims in Episcopal's pool.  Bolles is a short drive from the northside.  Driving from the northside to Bolles in the morning would be against traffic, making it not bad at all. 

As far as athletics go, Bolles is very solid all around; with exceptional football, swimming, and weightlifting.  Episcopal has a couple national caliber teams (track and cross country, of which i was a part), and some not so good; football, basketball.  Bolles, Stanton, & Episcopal also have lacrosse teams, which might appeal to a hockey player.

That's a pretty brief runthrough of the good schools in Jax.  I can tell you anything else if you have specific questions.

BTW, is there an area of town you are considering for your home?

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Thank you for your reply. It is my goal this week to contact both schools, but my concern is whether they will have any openings, and hoew they fill them. Also, can you explain what you meant about where you live and which accepts a studednt. In Pinellas County (where I am now), magnets are applied to anywhere in the county. Do particular parts of town go to one or the other? I love the sound of the private schools, but not the tuition, and we will not qualify for aid. Thanks again, and if you like or hate any particular public please let me know so I can look furthur. Oh the stress!!

Urbanjacksonville and I graduated from Stanton in 1995.  I think we received a top-notch education, especially for a public school.  Recruiters from all Ivy League schools and other prestigious universities scoped out the brightest in our class. 

Paxon was converted into a second magnet a few years ago to satisfy the demand for a  college preparatory public school.  Their academic indicators (e.g., standardized test scores, college admission and matriculation rates and even truancy) are inching closer to Stanton's each year.

The environments at Stanton and Paxon are quite different.  Where you live will determine which school would accept your son.  Stanton is strict and somewhat rigid, whereas Paxon has developed more of a laid-back atmosphere.  I have cousins who attended Stanton and then transferred to Paxon (when it was still allowed) and they favored Paxon. 

At any rate, welcome home!

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Have I been away from the forum so long I missed a face-lift? I like it.

Stanton used to be the sole academic magnet school. It discouraged homogeneity as an added benefit, because I had classmates from Ponte Vedra, the Northside, various country clubs and even from Clay County. With Paxon as Stanton's sister school, certain parts of the area are zoned for only one school. Before implementation, students north and west of the river were zoned for Paxon and south and east were assigned to Stanton. I graduated 10 years ago, so that may be different.

Stanton is closer to the zoo than Paxon. Commute time from Stanton to the zoo during rush hour (last bell at Stanton was like 3:08) is probably an easy 15 minutes. My commute during rush hour was about 45 minutes when I lived on the Westside. Paxon would probably add another 10 minutes. If he is admitted to either school, I think the trade-off from not attending a neighborhood school will largely be outweighed by the education he receives. Of course, he could attend a neighborhood school and make the most of the opportunites there. Stanton and Paxon offer the most AP courses, have a high success rate in the AP program and both offer IB (International Baccalaureate) programs.

If your plans are to send him to a private university, imagine being able to skip freshman year and graduate in three years or complete a master's in the time it takes some students to earn a bachelor's. Think of the money you would save. Cost of attendance at BU in 1995 was $30k. I was taking junior-level calculus classes when I entered as a freshman and I was ready to take organic chemistry (ugh) as a freshman, too.

An added benefit of being in the IB program is that students sit for both AP and IB tests. Since most universities cap credits at 30, the IB program is another way for your son to be exempt from lower-level courses. For example, if your son didn't score high enough on AP Lit, but did well on his IB Higher Language exam, then he'd receive credit for freshman writing classes.

I could go on, but I'd hate to be verbose. Oops. Too late.

Thank you for your reply. It is my goal this week to contact both schools, but my concern is whether they will have any openings, and hoew they fill them. Also, can you explain what you meant about where you live and which accepts a studednt. In Pinellas County (where I am now), magnets are applied to anywhere in the county. Do particular parts of town go to one or the other? I love the sound of the private schools, but not the tuition, and we will not qualify for aid. Thanks again, and if you like or hate any particular public please let me know so I can look furthur. Oh the stress!!

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Well! Boy am I disappointed . Not unexpectedly, I was told that both Paxon and Stanton had waiting list of 200 for this freshman class. Go ahead and apply , they said, but don't expect to get in. The thing I find sad is they do NOT base admissions on school performance. As a public school they say the cannot. THis doesn't make sense to me, but odds are, we could get in next year. I would just hate to do that to my son, 5 months where he is now, 5 months at a school in Jax and then a move again in the fall IF he even gets in then. It makes me sad.

Either way I have to decide on Duval or St Johns schools now, so any additional advise greatly appreciated. We would be concentrating on areas surrounding Nease (well, as far north in St Johns) Bartram, Mandarin and perhaps Fletcher. HELP!!!

Thanks! Cindy

Have I been away from the forum so long I missed a face-lift? I like it.

Stanton used to be the sole academic magnet school. It discouraged homogeneity as an added benefit, because I had classmates from Ponte Vedra, the Northside, various country clubs and even from Clay County. With Paxon as Stanton's sister school, certain parts of the area are zoned for only one school. Before implementation, students north and west of the river were zoned for Paxon and south and east were assigned to Stanton. I graduated 10 years ago, so that may be different.

Stanton is closer to the zoo than Paxon. Commute time from Stanton to the zoo during rush hour (last bell at Stanton was like 3:08) is probably an easy 15 minutes. My commute during rush hour was about 45 minutes when I lived on the Westside. Paxon would probably add another 10 minutes. If he is admitted to either school, I think the trade-off from not attending a neighborhood school will largely be outweighed by the education he receives. Of course, he could attend a neighborhood school and make the most of the opportunites there. Stanton and Paxon offer the most AP courses, have a high success rate in the AP program and both offer IB (International Baccalaureate) programs.

If your plans are to send him to a private university, imagine being able to skip freshman year and graduate in three years or complete a master's in the time it takes some students to earn a bachelor's. Think of the money you would save. Cost of attendance at BU in 1995 was $30k. I was taking junior-level calculus classes when I entered as a freshman and I was ready to take organic chemistry (ugh) as a freshman, too.

An added benefit of being in the IB program is that students sit for both AP and IB tests. Since most universities cap credits at 30, the IB program is another way for your son to be exempt from lower-level courses. For example, if your son didn't score high enough on AP Lit, but did well on his IB Higher Language exam, then he'd receive credit for freshman writing classes.

I could go on, but I'd hate to be verbose. Oops. Too late.

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