Updated: May 29, 2019
Is your kid already in the middle of his/her school year?. Are you searching for the right middle school for him or her? Wow, time flies. Qué locura! Ya tan rápido? You have been through an admission process previously so why is it that you start fretting over it again now? The process of searching for the right school for your not so little one can be intimidating-often filled with anxiety and confusing information. Plus, middle school looks a little more scary because the social scene and the academics tend to be more complicated at this stage.
There are certain considerations to have in mind and I have outlined a few (researched and that I thought were important to me) for you to take into account yourself. They can help you ask those questions while touring the schools:
The student-teacher ratio is low enough that my child will get the attention he/she needs
I know and agree with the school’s policy on handling disruptive behavior incidents.
The school actively prevents and deals with bullying.
The school is safe and clean.
School officials actively work to prevent students from being suspended or expelled.
Afterschool sports, clubs and activities are available and encouraged.
The school has a buddy system to help children get comfortable in the new setting.
There is a psychologist, speech therapist, occupational therapist and case worker to support my child.
Teachers and specialists are trained to recognize and work well with children who have learning and attention issues.
They know how to deal with discipline and behavior issues and have a written policy.
Teachers seem knowledgeable and are qualified to teach their subjects.
My child likes the school and thinks he/she would fit in.
My child can handle moving between classes and learning from several teachers.
The school is supportive and has the proper resources for my child.
The teaching methods at the school support my child’s learning needs.
General education and special education teachers work together.
The school is near my home or convenient for my child to get to.
I like the policy for keeping track of my child’s progress and keeping me informed.
There are parent-teacher conferences as needed.
There’s a reasonable amount of homework.
My child likes the focus or academic concentration of the school.Instruction is differentiated to meet each child’s needs.
The school offers electives, hands-on, music, art, robotics, etc.
Remember, these are all essential but when it comes down to the decision we should prioritize what’s most important to our child and our family. How does my child feel about the school, does it work for us as a family? After touring the school do I get a good feeling about the school climate and staff?
Taking into consideration academics, special education, sports, arts, and other extracurricular activities but also practicalities like tuition, transportation, and aftercare. Also, consider if you prefer a public or private option at this stage. There are different little tips when it comes to middle schools in Miami. There are a few traditional/neighborhood schools with no admission requirements other than residency (Coral Way K-8, Key Biscayne, etc).
Also, are you interested in solely a middle school or looking into upper school (middle+high school)? So, look into those preferences first. Most Catholic Schools in Miami go up to 8th grade except for Carrolton and Belen Jesuit.
Remember there is not a best school, there is a best school for your child. So, please make sure to tour many schools and bring your child with you – middle school is all about them. Unlike preschool and elementary school years, they should be active participants in touring and choosing their schools.
Having said that, I am including a list of 40 Public and Private Middle School options available in Miami. Most of them have open house during December and January. And remember if you are looking into applying into any Magnet Schools (Specialized education public schools) admission applications are due before January 15, 2019. Admission processes differ from private to public schools and within public schools (charter schools admission processes are different from traditional and magnet school options) so make sure to check and re-check all admission requirements for the school of your interest. I hope I have helped you somehow, finally and most important, my recommendation to you as a mom would be to trust your instincts as well as your child’s interests! Suerte!