We had a bad experience at this school. The principal was extremely difficult and rude once we decided to pull our child and put him in the school he was zoned for. I had to go to the school board over it. In the end, we did take him out. The arts programs there are good, however it just wasn't for us. The pickup line also was ridiculously long, and there seemed to be no structure to dismissal. It just wasn't worth all the hassle. But if your kid is way into the arts it would be a good school to go to. Just get ready to commit to a long pickup and drive there is you don't live close!
Great teachers, great programs, best decision we evere made was to put our daughter in this magnet school.
We are a military family, so have moved from the Jacksonville area, however every school my children have attended since Pine Forest has left them wishing to be back at Pine Forest. The teachers were awesome. The front office always made me feel welcome and they were always helpful. My kids loved going to school there and still miss it.
This is a great school for the artistically inclined. The teachers and staff have a wonderful way of getting along and getting things done. And, another plus? No pressure on the FCAT!!
Pine Forest is a school of the arts where children receive the best of bot h worlds, the arts and academics in a public school setting.
This my childrens' second year at pine forest and they have loved it since day 1. over the summer they were counting the days until they were able to go back to school. they enjoy learning new subjects and the arts. the arts program encourages the kids to be themselves without pressure. I love the activities, field trips, programs, etc that help mold a well rounded child. it is not all about the books. my children are more open and increased their confidence when speaking in front of a group. my oldest child has expressed interest in becoming an actor due to the opportunities in the drama program. we love this school, faculty, staff, and children here.
My daughter just started Kindergarten at Pine Forest this year. We are very pleased with our decision to attend on the magnet program. The teachers seem wonderfull and my daughter loves it each and everyday. I do have one problem though, the lack of organization. This is my oldest child so this is all new to me. We attended the orientation prior to school starting and I found it very confusing. There was no one to help guide you and explain what to do and where to go. I felt very fustrated as a new parent. I found this to be true on the recent open house night. It was unclear as to what time the open house was and when the PTA meeting was, even her teacher was confused. I love this school, faculty, and academic programs offered, however I am very disapointed in the lack of organization so far.
My daughter attended Kindergarten last year at Pine Forest. As most new Kindergarten parents, I was extremely nervous. I waited with anticipation to find out how my baby's first day went. When I picked her up from school she said that Kindergarten was awesome. She had that same comment for the entire school year. I was amazed that we received weekly news letters, parents were encouraged to be active in their child's school, and that so many outside companies donated time and items to the school. My daughter ran for mayor of Box City, which was a project funded by a local architect firm, that allowed the children to build a relica of our city. The children were even invited to City Hall to be honored for their efforts. My daughter is now in the first grade and she started this year exactly like the last, I had an awesome day.
My daughter has been in attendance to this school for three years now. The teachers work hard and the principal is the best. They show that they care and it is all about the kids.
I brought my children to Pine Forest in 2003 and I fell in love with this school , so much so that I have encouraged many friends and family to bring their children to our wonderful little school, and they have, with appreciation. While I still love the school, I hardly recognize it now. With changes in teachers and administration the atmosphere has become far more corporate and less about the children and continuing the great family many dedicated teachers and parents have passionately created. Pine Forest was a neighborhood school no one wanted but the neighborhood. However when the magnet program began about fifteen years ago. Parents, community leaders, and the principal himself, swore that the neighborhood kids would not lose their school. This created a relationship with the community that has become somehing amazing and rare. I pray it survives its success and new leadership.
Pine Forest is the best! Great small school with the family feel and love all our kids need!
Pine Forest is the best! My older daughter went there from K thru 5, and my younger daughter has been there since Kindergarten(now in 3rd grade). They have both had excellent success on the FCAT (evidence of great teaching) and have done very well in the Arts. I challenge anyone to attend a performance (in which drama, dance and chorus students all perform) and still feel that you have attended an elementary school play - you will believe that you have watched a bunch of really small professionals. At Strings on the River, we forgot that these were elementary children just learning a stringed instrument! They held their own with the middle and high schoolers (and were much more impressive than the other elementary school that performed). Students are also taught to be respectful of other performers. Academics, Arts and Character Building - You get it all at Pine Forest!
I moved my daughters from private school to Pine Forest, and they have flourished in kindergarten and third grade. The classes are smaller than what they were in, and there is a small-school family feeling here. They are both doing a lot more independent reading, writing, and hands-on learning and fewer workbooks. Best of all is the student diversity. We like the families we've met, and respect and tolerance are school-wide values.
This is a great school for children who have no challenges with learning. We have been disappointed with the resources available to assist our child. The school was responsive to our child's struggle but they had no solution to offer other than maybe we should hire a private tutor. Scary that once we hired a private tutor our child's 'learning' issue improved dramatically! The small classes and art exposure is positive. We have been disappointed in the lack of parental involvement. The principal is very forward thinking and very impressive with her goals and direction for the school. We hope she gets the support that she needs to meet these goals. We will put our child in private school next year.
Pine Forest has been the best decision we have made for our children. They wake up wanting to go to school. Kids get to do some kind of arts (be it visual, or dance, or music, or drama which all students can take). The advanced classes are Drama, Strings Orchestra, Art, Choir. The teachers want kids to learn, and academics are as important as arts programs. Advanced classes require good grades in academics. Fifth grade is harder, but that is because the teachers want the kids to be prepared for Middle School. I like the idea that my child will not be lost when he goes from two teachers to eight next year.
Just like any school, there are some awesome teachers and some that should probably not work with children. The academics really depended on which kind of teacher my child had. I liked all of the electives available: art, dance, music, etc. I expected more performance opportunities, though. It seems that my child did more performing in regular public school. Still, this school feeds into Lavilla and eventually Douglas Anderson, and students from Pine Forest get some priority in the admissions process to these schools. It may well be worth it!
With less than 500 students, this small arts magnet school is a caring, personal environment. My daughter is in kindergarten and she is doing extremely well and loves her teacher. I am able to walk in and talk to the teacher whenever I feel I need to. The office staff is personable and helpful. The school offers weekly dance and visual art class for all the students, and options to participate in violin and dance troupe in the older grades. So far, we have been very pleased with Pine Forest.
My daughter went to elemetary school there and enjoyed it up to 5th grade. My daughter has learning disabilities and I had trouble with the 5th grade teachers (they began rotating students between three 5th grade teachers for different subjects that year) following her IEP, assisting her with her needs and communticating with me. Previous years were great with some great teachers. Pine Forest is an arts school with some incredible introduction to visual arts, dance, music such as singing and strings (Mrs. Morse is great for introducing kids to violin, viola and the cello), and drama (they put on a couple of plays each year).
I moved my daughter to Pine Forest and it was a great decision. She gets individualized attention from her teachers, the classrooms are a good size, she is motivated with the arts classes, and where the other schools made her anxious and worried about going to school, Pine Forest has helped her to grow a hundred fold. The office staff, custodians and teachers are all very friendly and know my daughter. She has all the help she needs in academics with the teachers staying late if needed. I have to drive her to school everyday as it is out of my neighborhood. I recommend Pine Forest highly.
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The Community Rating is the school’s average rating from its community members (e.g., parents, students, and school staff). The highest possible rating is five stars; the lowest is one star.
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