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Hi there Moms, My family is moving to Gainesville shortly as my husband just accepted a job. I would like input on schools. I am homeschooling my 10 yr old, my 14 yr is doing virtual school, and my 8 yr old goes to a charter school. I would like to put the two younger in a K-8 smaller school next

year. My 14 yr old is slightly freaking out moving to a new town and starting high school. Any thoughts are appreciated! Thank you!

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First of all, welcome to Gatorville. I am a high school teacher in Gainesville with a child at Hidden Oak Elementary and Fort Clark Middle School.  I strongly suggest that you check out the Alachua County Public School website at www.sbac.edu.  We have an excellent school system that offers a wealth of magnet programs depending on the interest of your children and their academic history.  Each of our high schools offer specialized magnet programs.  Most of our middle schools offer excellent magnet programs as well which might give your middle child the feeling of attending a smaller school. We have two where I teach, Gainesville High School. The Academy of Health Professions (AHP) offers students a curriculum focused on health care. The expectations are very high for our AHP students. They have the opportunity to gain college credit for some of their courses and the potential to finish an AA degree while completing their high school diploma. We offer an intensive accelerated academic magnet called Cambridge which is similar to the IB program. Students also have the opportunity to gain college credit with the upper level courses if they achieve a passing score on the exams offered at the end of the school year.  You really need to check out each of these magnet programs immediately. As in, go to the website after reading this and check each of the programs out. Students must apply to the magnet programs. I believe the deadline is Feb. 8. While it is possible to enter a program in August, there is no guarantee since space is limited. As a parent, I highly recommend both Hidden Oak Elementary and Ft. Clarke Middle School. We have had fairly positive experiences at Hidden Oak. Ft. Clarke offers a great band program under the direction of Mr. McConn. Our middle schools offer a limited sports program after school. I believe Ft. Clarke offers basketball, soccer, and volleyball opportunities. I know that they have a lacrosse team as well. Your post does not say where you are moving from, but lacrosse is a growing sport in Gainesville.

I know this is a great deal information so I hope you find it useful.  Good luck and feel free to contact me if you need some help.

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