How to Choose the Best Miami Schools for Your Kids

Here at Spectrum RG, we know how difficult it can be choosing a school for your children. The age-old debate of private school vs public school continues. Having worked with families relocating to and moving around Miami-Dade County for years, we now have a solid understanding of the difficulties parents face when trying to find the perfect schools for their sons and daughters.

The complicated school options, coupled with lottery systems and the stigma of public schools in Latin America, present a challenge for Miami families.

By way of this article, we hope to dispel some of the common Miami education myths and help parents better understand the available options, decide between public, private, magnet, and charter schools, and navigate the application process, so when it comes to applying to school, or if you and your child are ready to explore different graduate school programs and resources, you’re able to take the necessary next steps.

Public Schools

Miami-Dade County is the fourth largest school district in the United States serving 356,086 students across 467 schools and nearly 40,000 employees. To say that our school system is humungous is an understatement…

For many years, Miami parents have been leery to send children to their designated “home school” (the public school assigned to the geographic area in which the family lives) for fear that the quality of the education would be sub-par. Like any large global city, Miami public schools have long grappled with low attendance, high poverty, diversity, and language barriers.

Under the leadership of Superintendent Alberto Carvalho, the quality of Miami Dade’s public education has skyrocketed — test scores are up, dropout rates have declined significantly, and graduation rates are rising rapidly.

It is now more common than ever for families to send their children to Miami public schools, especially in neighborhoods like Coconut Grove and Coral Gables.

As a starting point, we recommend checking out rankings like this to determine how your local public school stacks up:

Magnet Schools

One of the advantages of Miami-Dade County Public Schools is the diverse array of Magnet programs available. Magnet schools incorporate some of the benefits of a private education while still being under the public system umbrella.

According to the MDCPS site, Magnet schools “offer unique courses of study focusing on students’ special interests, talents, and abilities.” The six pillars include:

  • International Programs
  • Liberal Arts
  • STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, & Mathematics)
  • Virtual Offerings
  • Visual & Performing Arts

Through the Magnet program, families are able to elect out of their designated schools and apply instead to Magnet schools through a lottery system. In almost all cases, this lottery is based on chance (not merit) to preserve fairness for all.

For the 2016-2017 school year, 19.8% of all public students were enrolled in Magnet programs.

The following site is the best place to learn about MDCPS Choice programs:

Private Schools

Since a large percentage of our residents and clients are from Latin America, we understand the up-front perception of public vs. private educations. There are some of the best private school in raleigh and in Miami, we know we offer an A* education. Many of our clients would never even consider sending their children to public schools given the experience in their home countries.

Fortunately, Miami is home to nationally-recognized private institutions. Ransom Everglades, for example, is continually ranked among the best private schools in the United States.

A few other well-known programs include:

  • Gulliver Preparatory School
  • Pine Crest School
  • Carrollton School of the Sacred Heart
  • Palmer Trinity School
  • Christopher Columbus High School

For a full list, please visit the S. Florida Business Journal’s ranking:

We can’t possibly pack all of our school recommendations into one article, so we recommend reaching out to one of our expert team members with further questions. We look forward to speaking with you: or (305) 921-0972.