As an investor looking to purchase real estate in Miami-Dade County and eventually move your children there, you’ll want to take time to investigate what Miami Public school system has to offer. First, Miami-Dade’s school system is the fourth largest in the United States. This means you can expect a lot of diversity both in student body and in types of education available.
In Miami, the school system doesn’t operate as part of the metropolitan government and is instead, its own independent agency. Because of this, there is an abundance of data about the makeup of the student body. To help you get started, here’s a quick fact list about the Miami-Dade school system. We’ll also discuss the documentation necessary to enroll your international student in Miami-Dade schools.
Miami-Dade Quick Facts
- The total number of students in Miami-Dade’s 467 schools is a little over 350,000 and of those 350,000, at least 58% speak another language at home.
- The largest majority ethnicity of Miami-Dade schools is Spanish. The second largest is Haitian.
- Arabic, Chinese, and Portuguese are also large ethnic groups represented in the Miami-Dade school system.
- Miami-Dade school system has many programs for gifted students including advanced placement programs, an international baccalaureate program, and a Cambridge AICE program.
- Miami-Dade is one of the pioneering school systems of the “Choice Movement,” meaning that students can be enrolled in any school that best meets their needs rather than being limited to the school district where their home is located.
- Miami-Dade is home to 7 of the top 100 schools in the nation.
Enrolling Your Student
After researching which school meets your student’s needs—some of Miami’s best being the International Preparatory Academy, in Coral Gables, Design and Architecture Senior High (DASH), in Midtown Miami, and The Archimedean Upper Conservatory Charter School, in Kendall-you’ll face the task of enrolling them. One benefit of the Miami-Dade school system is that enrolling your international student is standardized across the board. This handbook covers everything in detail, but here are some of the more important points for your student.
- Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). Most schools will want to make sure a student has some level of English skill. Accordingly, they will require TOEFL
- Placement Tests and Interviews. It will be important for a child to enroll in the right grade level. Accordingly, many schools will require a placement test and some will want to interview the student and child to determine the best grade level for the child, based on previous academic work and proficiency in various topics.
- Age and Legal Name Verification: You must provide one of the following to verify name and age, a legal birth certificate, a certificate of baptism, an insurance policy on the child’s life in force for at least two years, a bonafide religious record with a parental affidavit, a passport or certificate of arrival, a transcript of school records from at least 4 years prior stating birth, or an affidavit of age signed by parents and a certificate of age signed by a public health officer.
- Verification of Address: You must provide two of the following, a broker’s or attorney’s statement of parents’ purchase of residence, a properly executed lease agreement, a Current Homestead Exemption Card, or an electric deposit receipt or electric bill, showing name and service address.
- Health Requirements: You must provide both of these forms.
- A yellow Student Health Examination form – DH-3040 which certifies a physical examination performed one year prior to enrollment.
- A Florida Certificate of Immunization – DH-680 from a private doctor, or local health provider.
- School Records: You need to provide both of these forms.
- Verification of credits earned for grade placement
- Interpretation of foreign records at no cost available from the Federal & State Compliance Office
At Manhattan-Miami, we understand that making the decision to purchase property may only be a small part of the process of relocating internationally. This is why we’re dedicated to providing you resources to help ease your journey. We want you to have it all, a beautiful home, a new place to grow, and a great environment for your children to learn.