My wife has certainly lead the charge on school selections for our children as we have two kids in school now and one that will be starting school in a couple years. My son, Gray, is 8 years old and just completed 1st Grade(held him back 1 year based on his birthday and maturity) at Allen Park Elementary School. My daughter, Reece, just turned 11 years old and recently graduated from 5th Grade at Allen Park as well. She’ll be attending Paul Lawrence Dunbar Middle School next year. My wife and I have been very concerned about local public middle schools as this is an extremely important age for kids. Kids are just learning about themselves, going through puberty and their curiosities are peaked. We feel that this is the time when we truly have to lean in with our children and guide them very carefully through this phase in their lives.
According to Leeschools.net, there are 16 Middle Schools in Lee County, but for the sake of time here I’m going to focus on five of them. Schooldigger.com has ranked these schools based on a 5 Star system, and I’ve listed those rankings next to each school below. Leeschools.net actually lists the school’s grade for each year since 2008. I have also listed each school’s grades for the last 9 years.
Five of the Middle Schools in Lee County
Three Oaks Middle School: 4 Stars, 7 A’s, 2 B’s since 2008
Cypress Lake Middle School: 4 Stars, 9 A’s
Lexington Middle School: 4 Stars, 8 A’s, 1 B
Fort Myers Middle School: 1Stars,1 B, 5 C’s, 3 D’s
Paul Lawrence Dunbar Middle School: 2 Stars, 4 A’s, 2 B’s, 3 C’s
Based on this information, the schools would rank as follows:
- Cypress Lake Middle
- Lexington Middle
- Three Oaks Middle
- Paul Lawrence Dunbar Middle
- Fort Myers Middle
As I mentioned earlier, although it was 3rd on our requested “School Choice” list, my daughter was selected to go to Paul Lawrence Dunbar Middle School. It was concerning for us and our immediate response was to figure out how to get her transferred in to Cypress Lake Middle as soon as possible. However, after multiple conversations with friends in the community who’ve had kids at Dunbar, and visiting the school, meeting the teachers, and learning about their program, we now feel very comfortable with our daughter attending Dunbar. My wife has been very impressed with what she has learned so far about the school. So, in closing, I encourage anyone looking for middle schools to thoroughly research the school by asking friends in the community about it, visit the school, and speak with teachers. It’s also a good idea to ask the teachers at your elementary school for their opinions. You may find that there’s more to the story than basing your decision on internet rankings and grades.