The neighborhoods of South Miami have so much to offer, including great educational options for families of all different learning preferences and budgets. While the residential enclaves of Pinecrest and Palmetto Bay offer outstanding private academies (check out my previous posts on the Gulliver Academy and Westminster Christian), there are many respectable public and Magnet schools in the area as well, like these three highly regarded elementary schools.
David Fairchild Elementary School, located at 5757 SW 45th Street, is home to students from the surrounding South Miami, Coral Gables and Schenley Park neighborhoods. It offers half-day Pre-K, kindergarten and first-grade programs as well as full-day grades 2 through 5 and has a total enrollment of about 620 children. With cheery royal blue and yellow school colors and a warm environment, the Miami-Dade County public school’s motto is “A Nice Place to Grow.” A unique feature is the school’s Twiglet Bank, a bright-red old train caboose turned into a financial learning center. Students open accounts and make deposits as they learn about saving, while older students serve on the board and oversee its operation.
The award-winning Sunset Elementary School is a Magnet institution focused on international studies. (Magnet schools are part of the Miami-Dade County Public School System’s Choice & Parental Options program, which allows parents to elect out of an assigned boundary school and apply to a school that focuses on special interests, like math or performing arts.) Located at 5120 Southwest 72nd Court, not far from the University of Miami campus, it has programs for Pre-K through grade 5 and an enrollment of approximately 1,125 students. The international curriculum involves collaborations with foreign ministries of education in Spain, France, and Germany to help students gradually learn a second language. Parent involvement is a big facet of the learning process here, and teachers will even email homework assignments in advance for the week.
Not far from Sunset is Ludlam Elementary School, located at 6639 SW 74th Street in South Miami, which also welcomes students for half-day Pre-K, kindergarten and first grade along with full-day grades 2 through 5 and has an enrollment of about 400. The public system institution has a mandatory uniform policy and prides itself on the diversity of its student population. A highlight at Ludlam is its Infinity Program for gifted learners, starting in Kindergarten. Parents can tour the Infinity Center, where the self-contained, full-time program challenges students to develop enhanced problem-solving and shared-inquiry skills.