Probably the most asked question by parents considering a move to the Orlando area is regarding schools in Central Florida. It’s no secret that Florida doesn’t have the best reputation when it comes to its public school system, but much has (and is) changing to improve.
There are several resources you can leverage when doing your research. I’ve listed a few of them below. If you know of other resources that could be of help to parents, please share them in the comments below.
Florida Department of Education
The Florida Department of Education publishes full reports on every school in the state in its accountability report. For some mind-numbing reason, many of these reports are in the form of an Excel spreadsheet that needs to be downloaded. The reports show the results for ALL schools in the state, grouped by county. The greater Orlando area falls within Orange County, while areas like Kissimmee and Celebration are in Osceola County.
Orange County Public School Report Cards
Orange County Public Schools also posts the grades for all schools in the county on their website. Information here includes the school’s overall grade, as well as the size of the student body, racial diversity, and ratings by students, parents, and teachers.
GreatSchools.org is a non-profit organization that aims to help parents make informed decisions about their child’s education. They compile information from various sources to form their ratings. Their mission policy states that they aim to provide transparency for parents looking to make educational decisions on behalf of their children.
For many parents, homeschooling their children is the preferred alternative. The Florida Dept of Education maintains information for parents who choose to homeschool. A fantastic resource for homeschool parents is the Florida Homeschooling website. This is an independently maintained web site that provides fantastic information for parents. This includes links to support groups in various counties around Florida, as well as information on evaluators/tutors, ideas for field trips, and much more.
While not a tool for researching schools per se, the HomeSnap app will allow you to filter homes for sale by the school district. If you’re trying to match your home search to your choice of preferred school districts, this is a great (and easy) way to do it.