Polk Moms

Connecting moms in Polk County, Fla.

Hello Moms! My name is Michelle and I am brand new to this site.

I would really like to get some insight on some great kid/family friendly neighborhoods in Lakeland. Currently my family and I live Orlando, but my husband got a job in Duette. We are looking for a nice community with lots to do, that wouldnt be too far of a commute to my husbands job as well as the Orlando area(as I would like to stay in contact with my close friends here)

I know I am looking for alot but I only want the best for my children (as we all do). I have 3 children a 7 year old and 3 yr old twins. I would love to have a home in a safe, friendly, neighborhood. I would like to be near shopping(publix, walmart, etc). School zones that are rated A are a big thing for me.

Any help would be so welcomed!

 

Thank you all and I look forward to getting to know you all =)

Michelle

Views: 439

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

Welcome! I'm not sure where Duette is, but South Lakeland can be a bit out of the way. We're not that close to I4 or Polk Parkway. That is the only gripe I have about living on the south side. 

Nice community with lots to do...you may have to drive a bit to do stuff. It's not like bigger cities in FL where the gated communities have clubhouses and playgrounds, parks, schools, walking trails, gyms, security and lots of ammenities. It's pretty low key here. 

I would maybe rent an apartment or home for a while until you get to know the area and traffic patterns, etc. Your kids may get into a charter or magnet school that is not that close to your home and you may find it easier to live off of a road with easier access to the area of the school.

We stayed in The Village at Lake Highlands for a year and it was decent. There are also some apartments that look pretty safe off Harden near Target, but I checked FDLE sex offender list and there was an offender living in there at one point. 

As far as school ratings, you can go to the school board website and look at the accountability reports for the schools. When we were buying a home, Scott Lake Elementary was the best non-charter/non-magnet as far as the reports. Not sure if that is still the case.

Public middle schools don't have a good reputation in Polk County, except for some of the charter/magnets. The area of south side I live in is zoned for Lakeland Highlands Middle. I met some teachers from there at a barbecue and they told me they wouldn't send their own kids there. The accountability report for LHMS was better than the other public middle schools though.

Jmarr could not have given you a more accurate description! When I moved from Miami, I too stayed at Village at Lakealand highlands for a year and stuck to the south side.   I don't care for the North side (i'm sorry don't mean to offend anyone, just my personal opinion) and found that Scott Lake and Valley View were the best elementary schools.  For middle schools and high schools NONE are good! Best way to go is charter/magnet but the best of all evils is Lakeland Highlands middle and George Jenkins. Good thing is, there are quite a few magnet/charter schools, just not that easy to get into. When looking at homes on south side and the area being referred to is in 33813.  I now live on 33811 zip as we bought off of Ewell which have some more land. My Kids go to South Mckeel (Charter) so school district isn't a concern.

Depending on where Duette is, other's might chime in and give you some recommendations as well. Good luck and I hope you like Lakeland. We have loved it and we did the move 8 years ago.

The south side does have a lot to offer. And having lived here for some time, I prefer southside but more southeast so closer to I-4.  I have heard great things about Carillon Lakes, a gated community that is quite kid friendly and has easy access to Polk Parkway and I-4.  The community has a lot to offer like tennis courts, swimming pool, clubhouse, nature trails, etc. There is a HOA just so you know.  The drawback is the public school districted for this neighborhood is not ideal.  It would mean applying for a district transfer or trying to get into a charter/magnet, which I know most of the residents in this neighborhood apply for.  Wish you luck on your move... I know it is intimidating!

We looked in Carillon and passed due to the schools. I later learned that you can apply for a transfer (met a guy who did that for his daughter...lied and said she had an interest in art or something so she could attend a school that focused on art). Doesn't seem right to me, to lie for your kid to go to a better school...know what I mean? I would rather do it the right way and get into the school I want first, then move to the neighborhood I want. If you get into a magnet or charter, then you can live pretty much wherever you want, within certain areas of Lakeland...I would agree that Carillon is convenient as it is on top of Polk Pkwy and minutes from I4.

Lynn T said:

The south side does have a lot to offer. And having lived here for some time, I prefer southside but more southeast so closer to I-4.  I have heard great things about Carillon Lakes, a gated community that is quite kid friendly and has easy access to Polk Parkway and I-4.  The community has a lot to offer like tennis courts, swimming pool, clubhouse, nature trails, etc. There is a HOA just so you know.  The drawback is the public school districted for this neighborhood is not ideal.  It would mean applying for a district transfer or trying to get into a charter/magnet, which I know most of the residents in this neighborhood apply for.  Wish you luck on your move... I know it is intimidating!

There is an option to request reassignment if your zoned for a low graded school and are willing to provide the transportation and yearly reapplication, know several in the neighborhood did it for that reason without falsifying any information. Not sure if that policy is still in place or not but it was a process/option....

Hi, Michelle, Welcome to PolkMoms.com!  

I am familiar with Duette, I sometimes drive through there as a "back way" when heading to the beach.  I'm not sure if you are familiar with how far Duette is to South Lakeland.  

Here is a google map link that I made showing a best case scenario of what could be considered South Lakeland which is where 540A and 37meet (I used Home Depot's Address).  Drive time is a little over 30 minutes. 

If you are use to living in Orlando you could be in for a shock but I really like Lakeland, the downtown area has such a cultural vibe yet with a small time feel.   Some of the neighborhoods south of downtown, historic areas are beautiful!   I couldn't tell you much more about neighborhoods there, I live in Bartow.  :) 

Like said, I would register for magnet programs as soon as possible- click here for that info.  I believe open enrollment is going on right now.  Here is the Polk County School Board website that could be helpful to you too. 

Reply to Discussion

RSS

© 2014   Created by Ledger Media.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service