Polk Moms

Connecting moms in Polk County, Fla.

We are looking to move to winter haven and my daughter will start kindergarten in the fall of 2012. I am a huge planner so I am thinking ahead, and we really like the idea of Brigham academy. My husband likes that they are doing the STEM curriculum. Anyway, do all students have to apply to go there, or is it based on where you live? Are there waiting lists, and how early do you get on a waiting list if that's how it works? Is brigham a good, safe school?

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My best advice to you would be to call the school board for the individual area you live in and the school(s) you're interested in.   Every school seems to be different.  Some schools accept certain neighborhoods in their zoning and then open additional slots to children outside of their zoning.  Some do not have zoning and are lottery assigned only. 


You can find contact information for the Polk County School Board at this link.


Good for you for planning ahead.  It should make a difference.  : )

I believe Brigham is a lotter system only school.  Whether that makes it choice, magnet or charter I don't know.  I believe open enrollment was January for the lottery.  I'm zoned for a "d" school and want my son in Brigham also.  He would also be starting Kindergarten in 2012, so I already submitted him.  I don't know if he will be put on a waiting list so that maybe his name will come up when it's time for him, or if I will have to re-apply next January.  I have not heard any results from the lottery yet.  I do know that if my son does not get into Brigham, I will be sucking up the payments and put him in private school until his number is called.


It is very confusing for us new to school moms and the PCSB website is not very user friendly in its explanations and such. 

Brigham is a magnet school. So, you have to be put on a waiting list. It doesn't matter where you live.  My youngest daughter has been on the list since she was in kindergarten and she is in 3rd now. She probably won't get in for Elementary but, her number will then roll over to Jewett Academy Middle list.  She should definitely get in for 6th grade. My oldest is at Jewett now and we love it. I can also tell you that Garden Grove and Chain of Lakes are both in Winter Haven and are excellent schools. Neither of them are magnet or charter but, they are both great schools!

We just applied for Davenport school of the arts for our 3rd grader ( will be 4th next yr) i hear the waiting list for that school is pretty long as with the others...I know someone that's child was on the waiting list for Brigham for about 2 yrs.....but they waited ( in the mean time they sent him to a private ) and they are glad they waited They ( and the child) love Brigham.....

Good Luck~

Brigham is a magnet school, you have to apply the year she's going in, when open enrollment starts. My son has also been on the list since the year he started kindergarten, and is still at over 100 in line in 2nd grade. He is attending Hartridge Academy right now, which is a charter school, also with a waiting list. Hartridge is actually a higher-performing school than Brigham, and the entire K-5 school has only around 150 students.
Brigham is a magnet school that can be applied to no earlier than the January of the year the child will begin Kdg that fall. My 2 youngest children, now 23 and 25, started Brigham the year it became a Magnet (1 in Kdg and 1 Grade 2). It was a lottery that first year and still is and we were fortunate our Kdgartner was chosen which gave our Grade 2 child a place. It is an A school with a gifted program. Our children attended Jewett Middle as well and were very well prepared for middle and high school by these schools. My suggestion is to go to the School Board's web site polk-fl.net and click on the parent ribbon at the top then scroll down to the Office of Magnet, Choice and Charter link on the left hand side - you should find all the info needed or call the office if additional info is needed. Although we love Brigham there are other wonderful elementary schools in Winter Haven. There are links from the District's web site to all schools.

I got a phone call from polk county schools yesterday ( recording) informing me that My son is now on the waiting list for the school, and that all the slots that were open have been filled. 

I just thought i would get some information to what number on the waiting list he is ....

anyone else hear anything?

We got a phone call that we are in the 'pool' for Lincoln Elementary, and that there would be random drawings if someone didn't want to go that did get picked.  No number I guess for that school.  Bummer.
I got the same recording for Brigham, he's in a pool, no number given.  Bummer!  Guess I should gear up to pay for private school or move because there is no way I am sending my child to Garner. 
I just got the letter saying my 9 year old is 128 for Brigham...  she'll never get in during elementary.. i'm just praying she gets into Jewett Academy for middle school...

To say I'm seriously bummed is an understatement.

I have 5 kids and not one of them has made it into BEA for Kindergarten!!!!!!! 


My oldest went to private school until middle school, my second went to private school until middle school, Ethan did get in at BEA in 2nd grade.  Ryan did not get in to BEA (he'll be in 2nd grade next year) and now Lillian did not make it into BEA kindergarten; she's in the pool according to the automated call I received last night. 


This REALLY makes me want to pull my hair out!   Lillian is in private school now, but I would have loved for her to go to BEA.  As much as I pay in local taxes and still pay private school costs is ridiculous especially considering I'm driving my kids (gas $) as far as I am (on 540a when I live in south Bartow).   The other itch under my skin is I could walk my kids to school every morning, BEA is just blocks from my house (which would alleviate my gas expense).  Kids from Mulberry, Lake Wales, and Ft. Meade are being bused in (at county expense) to attend BEA   I think it's great those communites can utilize a magnet school, what I don't understand is why those communities can't have their own magnet programs and the people of Bartow have to compete for slots in our own town.  The price of busing these children has to be high and the poor dears!  I've heard insane stories of children waking at ridiculous times to get to Bartow on time for class.


5 kids and I can't get ONE in for Kindergarten.  I surely thought my odds would finally play out better!


Okay, off my soap box.  I have NO IDEA what I'll do with Lillian at this point for kindergarten.

i guess my son is in the "pool" too.....swimming around....lol..I suppose he will be going to NCA again next yr....Great School....but getting pricey ...he has been there since he was 3  i really hate having to move him, but i am going to have to take out a second mortgage if he goes there much longer

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