The Keys are made up of small towns and communities. However, due to the strong economy of our tourist base, the Arts are a primary part of our culture. Most weekends bring festivals and street parties throughout the Keys and especially in Key West. Photography of wildlife here is also great. Check out www.dhphotoart.comThe Florida Keys Council of the Arts does a great job in supporting Art in the Keys

Also, see the Key West Arts and historical society
• The Keys Community Concert Band. Susan Bazin 451-4530.
• Keys Chamber Orchestra. Call Inga-Lisa Wright, at 305-744-0508
• The Key West Pops, Inc. - 305 293-7658, P.O. Box 6206

• Note to musicians-There are about a zillion Tiki bars etc, that have live music. The times range from the afternoon through the evening. The pay is generally better than you'll find working in a regular club in the rest of the country. In addition to that most outdoor venues shut their music down about 11-so the hours 
are shorter.

Museums and Culture
• Ernest Hemingway Home & Museum - 305 294-1136, 907 Whitehead St., Key West FL
• Flagler's Station Historeum®-901 Caroline St., 1-305-295-3562.
• Key West East Martello Museum - 305 296-3913, 3501 S. Roosevelt Blvd.
• Key West Lighthouse Museum - 305 294-0012, 938 Whitehead Street
• Key West Museum of Art & History - 305 295-6616
• Key West Shipwreck Historeum - 305 292-8990, 1 Whitehead Street
• Little White House Museum - 305 294-9911
• Lofton B. Sands African Bahamian Museum - 305 293-9692,
• Wrecker's Museum - 322 Duval St., 294-9502.Theater/dance
• Middle Florida Keys
• Marathon Community Theatre, 5101 O/S Hwy.....305 743-0994
• Key West Theatre
• Island Opera Theatre.....305 296-1520
• Red Barn Theatre, 319 Duval St (Rear).....305 296-9911
• Waterfront Playhouse, Mallory Square.....305 294-5015Art Galleries/ Visual Arts
• Over 90 galleries throughout the Keys 
• Note to Artists; regardless of the medium, there is a place for you in the Keys. The Keys strongly support resident artists. Writer's groups in all genres (from screenwriting to novels) are spread throughout the Keys.

There is definitely a reason so many world-class writers and Play-rights have made and do make the Keys their home. Especially Key West. (“Ernest Hemingway” )

The musician and actor community here is strong. In conclusion, the arts community in the Keys is strong and will even grow stronger. If you like the arts and a small community with lots of outdoor opportunities, The Florida Keys could be just your place. Wouldn’t it be nice to vacation here and not have to leave? 

Key West Art Galleries
Alan S. Maltz Gallery
Archeo Gallery
Black Pearl Fine Art
Charest-Weinberg Gallery
Cuba Cuba Gallery
Gallery Key West
Gatoville Gallery
Gingerbread Square Gallery
Glass Reunions
Island Arts Co-Op
Joy Gallery
Kent Gallery
Key West Folk Art
Lucky Street Gallery
Monkey Apple Art Factory
SoDu Gallery
South Pointe Gallery
Wild Side Gallery
Zbyszek Gallery

Art @ 830
Audubon House Gallery
Boy & His Dog Gallery
Foot's Artworks
The Gallery on Greene
Gallery Uno
Guild Hall Gallery
Haitian Art Company
Helio Gallery
Island Style Gallery
Key West Art Center & Gallery
Kate's Gallery
Kennedy Studios Gallery
KW Light Gallery
90 Miles to Cuba
Mary O'Shea's Glass Garden
Red Door Gallery
Roy John-Karl Gallery
Sign of Sandford Gallery
Seven Artists
Stone Soup Gallery
Harrison Gallery

Writer's groups in all genres (from screenwriting to novels) are spread throughout the Keys. There is definitely a reason so many world-class writers and Play-rights have made and do make the Keys their home. Especially Key West. (“Ernest Hemingway” ) The musician and actor community here is strong.

In conclusion, the arts community in the Keys is strong and will even grow stronger. If you like the arts and a small community with lots of outdoor opportunities, The Florida Keys could be just your place.

Wouldn’t it be nice to vacation here and not have to leave?


The cost of living index is based on the composite price of groceries, housing, utilities, transportation, health care, clothing, and entertainment.
Cost of living indexes will generally be higher in areas that offer access to beaches, culture, arts, and recreation. In addition, areas that offer a wider variety of services such as health and education will run higher due to higher wages, and increased quality of living.

Cost of living indexing explanation
A figure of 100 points is used as an average both for the USA and Florida. For example:
* New York, NY -169.0
* Long Beach, CA -141.0
* Palo Alto, CA -310.0
* Boston, MA -149.0
* Malibu, CA -331.0
• Statewide, Florida cities come in from a low of 88 and up.

One way to compare Florida areas to salary requirements:

For example if you were relocating from Portland Oregon (whose rate is 116.0) to Orlando, and you currently make $50,000 per year, the formula is as follows 
• Take the destination index, in this case Orlando-91.0 and divide by Portland’s index-116, then multiply by a salary of $50,000. This will give you a figure of $39,224.00, which you would be required to make in Orlando and have the same quality of life.

The Keys and Monroe County top out the state at an average Cost of Living of 140 plus. This is mostly due to the cost of housing, whether you’re buying or renting. We only have so much land and the building permits in the Keys are heavily regulated. IT’S A GREAT TIME TO BUY IN PARADISE! We’re currently experiencing a buyers’ market, prices are down and there are many excellent opportunities to buy before the market takes off again.

Compared to other areas nationally and given the amenities of the Keys, the Florida Keys are a wonderful place to live, work and play.
(Population Weighted-State Average=100

2011-2012 stats Source

Boca Raton-111.0
Cape Coral-Ft Myers-93.0
Ft Lauderdale-108.0
Jacksonville metro-88.0
Big Pine Key fl-123.0
Key Largo-143.0
Key West-141.00
Marathon fl-130.0
Miami metro-108.0
Naples Fl-161.0
Orlando metro-91
Palm Bay-86
Palm Coast-Flagler-91.0
Panama City-89.0
Pensacola metro-90.0
Tampa 88.0 
St Pete-Clearwater-87
Vero-Beach Indian River-94.0
West Palm Beach metro-95.0
(Population Weighted-State Average=100
See national comparisons
Cost of living (100 = nationwide average)

* New York, NY -169.0
* Long Beach, CA -141.0
* Palo Alto, CA -310.0
* Boston, MA -149.0
* Malibu, CA -331.0
* San Francisco, -199.0
* Chicago, IL -105.0
* Dallas Tx -88.0
* Atlanta Ga -94.0

For more information about the cost of living go to
Sperlings best Places

For Utility charges
• The Florida Keys Aqueduct Authority provides water for the entire Keys: 
• Tavernier.....305 852-8068 
• Marathon.....305 743-5409 
• Lower Keys.....305 296-2454

For Electric
• The Florida Keys Electric Cooperative 
• provides power for the upper Keys: 
• Tavernier.....305 852-2431 
• Marathon, 3421 O/S Hwy.....305 743-5344 
• Key West City Electric 
• provides power for the Lower Keys 
• 1001 James St, Key West.....305 294-5272

Propane is available from local dealers                       

Telephone Companies:
• Bell South 
• Residential Services.....305 780-2500    
• Business Services.....305 780-2800


The Florida Keys demand good healthcare facilities. Although the total population is less than 90,000, due to the influx of tourists,
good healthcare has to be available. In addition, Miami and its world-class Baptist hospital and all the other facilities are just hours away.
Healthcare Facilities in the Keys:

Monroe County Physicians Directory

Nursing Homes

Plantation Key Nursing Center
Telephone: 888-959-5948 x58523
Address: 48 High Point Rd Tavernier, FL 33070
Services: , Nursing Home

Key West Health And Rehabilitation Center
Telephone: 888-959-5948 x52962
Address: 5860 W Junior College Rd Key West, FL 33040
Services: , Nursing Home

* Hospitals, 3
* Assisted living, 1 SEE-CLICK HERE
* Skilled Nursing facility, 2

Key West - Health Care Clinics

FMC Dialysis Svc of Key West(305) 294-8453 - 1122 Key Plz, Key West, FL
Care Center For Mental Health(305) 292-6843 - 1205 4th St, Key West, FL
All Keyes Complete Wellness(305) 296-7533 - 619 Eaton St, Ste 2, Key West, FL
Kessinger Charles W(305) 296-7533 - 524 Eaton St, Key West, FL
Keys Medical Ctr(305) 294-1706 - 3426 N Roosevelt Blvd, Key West, FL
Fl Keys Intensive Outpatient(305) 396-7275 - 1205 4th St, Key West, FL
New Beginnings Clinic(305) 292-4670 - 724 Truman Ave, Key West, FL
Walker Richard C MD(305) 294-1068 - 2407 N Roosevelt Blvd, Key West, FL
Counseling Center of Key West(305) 294-8777 - 1111 12th St, Ste 206, Key West, FL
Surgery Center of Key West LLC(305) 293-1801 - 931 Toppino Dr, Key West, FL

Key Largo - Health Care Clinics

A1 Urgent Care(305) 453-3006 - 101451 Overseas Hwy, Key Largo, FL
VA Key Largo Clinic(305) 451-0164 - 105662 Overseas Hwy, Key Largo, FL
Coastal Counseling Svc(305) 453-0602 - 99696 Overseas Hwy, Ste 4, Key Largo, FL
Keys Counseling(305) 453-9522 - 99551 Overseas Hwy, Ste 205, Key Largo, FL
Key Largo Health Ctr(305) 451-0440 - 102900 Overseas Hwy, Ste 8, Key Largo, FL

Marathon - Health Care Clinics

Children Clinic(305) 743-4321 - 9499 Overseas Hwy, Marathon, FL
Rural Health Network(305) 289-8915 - 2901 Overseas Hwy, Marathon, FL
O'Connor John P MD(305) 743-9436 - 13365 Overseas Hwy, Ste 102, Marathon, FL

Islamorada - Health Care Clinics

The essence of the Phoenix(305) 664-2490 - 81990 Overseas Hwy, Islamorada, FL
Islamorada Chiropractic(305) 664-4240 - 81905 Overseas Hwy, Islamorada, FL

Guidance Clinics of the Florida Keys:
GCC - Marathon
3000 41st Street - Ocean,
Marathon, FL 33050
(305) 434-7660 • Fax: (305) 434-9040
Hours of Operation: M-F (8 am-5 pm)

GCC - Key West
1205 Fourth Street,
Key West, FL 33040
(305) 434-7660 • Fax: (305) 292-6723
Hours of Operation: M-F (8 am-5 pm)

GCC - Key Largo
99198 Overseas Hwy., Suite 5,
Key Largo, FL 33037
(305) 434-7660 • Fax: (305) 451-8019
Hours of Operation: M-F (8 am–5 pm)

WomenKind in Key West

Alternative Medicine

Key West Urgent Care


* MARATHON, FL 33050 
* TELEPHONE#:305 743-5533

* KEY WEST, FL 33041-9107
TELEPHONE#:305 294-5531
Owned by Health Management Associates

* TAVERNIER, FL 33070 TELEPHONE#:305 434-1582 

Monroe County Health Department

Lower Keys / Key West
(305) 293-7500

Middle Keys / Marathon
(305) 289-2708

Upper Keys / Tavernier
(305) 853-3240

Hours: Lower Keys Office
8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Monday thru Friday
Upper Keys Office
M, Tu, W, and Fri (call for appts. 853-3240) 

Lower Keys Office (Main Office)
1100 Simonton Street
The E. H. Gato Building
Key West, FL 33040 

Middle Keys Office
Ruth Ivins Center
3333 Overseas Highway
Marathon, FL 33050
Fax: (305) 289-2479

Upper Keys Office
The Roth Building
50 High Point Road
Tavernier, FL 33070
Fax: (305) 853-3242

For names and numbers of physicians in the Keys go to
In addition to local facilities, the world-class health facilities of Miami are 3 hours away from Key West.


 Miles of oceanfront and Gulf front access await you in the Keys.
Recreational opportunities in the outdoors are the most important assets of the Keys.
The fishing and boating here are incredible-both in the Ocean and the backcountry (the Gulf). There is something 
to catch year-round and our weather lets you do it. If you like the water, this is the place
Recreational Opportunities:
•  47 Marinas 
•  13 Parks, 
•  3 Golf Courses 
•  10 Campgrounds and recreational vehicle parks 
• 13 public Tennis Courts 
• 18 Boat Ramps 
• To see a complete list of parks and recreational opportunities see 
• the sites below

Things to do outdoors: 
• Fishing-saltwater, freshwater-Ocean, lakes, and the Everglades 
• Boating-Ocean, Gulf, or Bay 
• Diving 
• Hiking 
• Tennis 
• Bike riding 
• Birding 
• Photography and Wildlife watching 
• Kayaking—canoes-there are good rental locations and lots of places to launch. 
• Air boating into the Everglades 
• Windsurfing the flats

Other places to visit.
• Audubon House- original Audubon engravings (not Audubon's residence) 
• Conch Tour Train- 
• Curry Mansion Inn - 305 294-5349 511 Caroline Street, Key West FL 33040 
• Ernest Hemingway Home & Museum - 305 294-1136, 907 Whitehead St., Key West FL 
• Flagler's Station Historeum®-901 Caroline St., 1-305-295-3562. 
• Haitian Art Co. - 305 296-8932, 600 Francis St., Key West FL 33040 
• Heritage House Museum - 305 296-3573, 410 Caroline Street, Key West FL 33040 
• Historic Seaport at Key West Bight. 
• Key West Aquarium - 1 Whitehead St., Mallory Market 
• Key West East Martello Museum - 305 296-3913, 3501 S. Roosevelt Blvd. 
• Key West Lighthouse Museum - 305 294-0012, 938 Whitehead Street 
• Key West Museum of Art & History - 305 295-6616 
• Custom House - 281 Front Street, Key West FL 33040 
• Key West Shipwreck Historeum - 305 292-8990, 1 Whitehead Street 
• Little White House Museum - 305 294-9911 
• Wrecker's Museum - 322 Duval St., 294-9502. Built-in 1829. This is Key West's oldest house.

State Parks in the Florida Keys
Key West's Ft. Zach beach and park-Ft. Zachary Taylor State Park, Key West.

Florida's true wealth is based on its abundance of wildlife, diverse natural communities, and unique cultural heritage. The State Parks in the Florida Keys are each unique in their character and beauty.

Bahia Honda State Park - Big Pine Key, mile marker 36.

Bahia Honda has a natural environment found nowhere else in the continental United States. In the park, you will find several biological communities: beach dune, coastal berm, mangrove forest, tropical hardwood hammock, and submerged marine habitats. These communities host many plant and animal species of the Caribbean including several rare and unusual plants. The bird life of Bahia Honda includes herons, roseate spoonbills, egrets, ospreys, pelicans, and terns. Unlike most of the Florida Keys, Bahia Honda has a beautiful sandy beach along both the Atlantic Ocean and Florida Bay. Snorkeling, swimming, fishing, camping (80 sites), six bayside cabins, and access to two boat ramps, make Bahia an outstanding recreational opportunity.

Dagny Johnson Key Largo Hammock Botanical State Park - Key Largo, located on C.R. 905 (1/4 mile north of Overseas Hwy).

This park, at 2,304 acres, is one of the largest hardwood hammocks in the United States. It is home to 84 protected species of plants and animals, including the American crocodile. Nature lovers, bird watchers, and photographers can explore over 6 miles of trails, most of which are paved and accessible to both bicycles and wheelchairs.

Fort Zachary Taylor Historic State Park - Key West, end of Southard Street, in Truman Annex.

"Fort Zach", as the locals call it, was once surrounded by water and crucial to the defenses of the early United States. Today, historians, nature-buffs, and beach-goers visit Key West's hometown state park. With its pleasant manmade beach for swimming and snorkeling and shady picnic areas, Fort Taylor continues to be a favorite.

Indian Key State Historic Site - off Islamorada, mile marker 78.5, accessible only by private boat or charter boats available at nearby marinas.

This island was inhabited by Indians for several thousand years prior to the arrival of the Spanish. The wrecking and salvaging "industry" of the 1700s brought change and war to the mostly peaceful Indians. Jacob Housman bought the island in 1831, and built a town, only to have it burned down in 1840 by the Seminoles during the Second Seminal War. A fascinating part of Florida's history and worth a visit if you have access to a boat.

John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park - Key Largo, mile marker 102.5.

The first underwater state park in the United States, Pennekamp covers 70 nautical miles of coral reefs (a small portion of America's only living coral reef), seagrass beds, and mangrove swamps. The park offers swimming, snorkeling, picnicking, camping, fishing, and boat ramp access. Concessions at the park offer glass bottom boat tours, a snorkeling tour, scuba lessons and tours, canoeing, motorboat, and sailboat rental.

Lignumvitae Key State Botanical Site - off Islamorada, mile marker 78.5, accessible only by private boat or charter boats available at nearby marinas. This 280-acre island supports many trees native to tropical forests such as mastic, gumbo limbo, Jamaica dogwood, poisonwood, and lignum vitae. 1-hour guided walks are given at 10:30 a.m., 1 p.m., and 2:30 p.m., Thursday through Monday. The park is closed on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Long Key State Recreational Area - Long Key, mile marker 67.5

Abundant in marine life and bird life, as well as tropical hammock trees Long Key visitors enjoy the area's sun-drenched, subtropical waters, and two nature trails available.

San Pedro Underwater Archeological Preserve - Long Key.

The San Pedro was a 287-ton ship, part of the fleet of New Spain in 1733. Her remains were discovered in 1960 under 18 feet of water in Hawk Channel near Indian Key. The underwater site has been enhanced with seven replica cannons, an anchor, and an information plaque. To prevent anchor damage, tie up to mooring buoys located at the site.

Pro Sports
• A 2-3 hour drive to Miami: 
• Florida Marlins 
• 2269 Dan Marino Blvd, Pro Player Stadium, Miami Gardens, FL 33056 · 305-626-7400 
• Miami Dolphins 
• 2269 Dan Marino Blvd, Pro Player Stadium, Miami Gardens, FL 33056 · 305-620-2578 
• Miami Heat 
• 601 Biscayne Blvd, American Airlines Arena, Miami, FL 33132-1801 · 786-777-432

Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Many visitors rent a bicycle and explore the history and architecture of Old Town Key West. Walking tours, including a tour of the unusual Key West Cemetery, are available. The Sunset Celebration at Mallory Square is a daily spectacle for visitors and residents. Boat excursions and tours provide a great way to view Key West from the water.
The Duval Street bar and restaurant district includes many different entertainment options, all within walking distance of each other.
The Studios of Key West, founded in 2006 and based at the island's historic Armory building, was established as a new model for an artist community. It comprises a dozen working studio spaces, a main exhibition hall, a sculpture garden, and several adjoining residencies and cottages. Its programming continues to grow and includes an extensive series of creative workshops, free humanities lectures, cultural partnerships, and innovative ideas for artists and audiences.
The Florida Keys Council of the Arts serves as the primary cultural umbrella for Monroe County, from Key Largo to Key West. A non-profit local arts agency, it makes grants, operates the Monroe County Art in Public Places program, sponsors seminars, and manages the online cultural calendar for the region. It also manages the County's Tourism Development Council arts marketing grants and serves as a leading advocate for cultural tourism in lower Florida.
The Tennessee Williams Theatre is a performing arts center, a civic center, and a community center. It is based at the Florida Keys Community College.
The Key West Literary Seminar, a celebration of writers and writing held each January, attracts an international audience to hear such writers as Ian McEwan, Margaret Atwood, Billy Collins, and Joyce Carol Oates.
The Key West Botanical Forest and Garden is an excellent, frost-free arboretum and botanical garden containing a number of "champion tree" specimens.
Nancy Forrester's Secret Garden is a one-acre (4,000 m²) garden resembling a lush, predominantly green, rainforest. It is an exhibit of wild nature’s artistry in a woodland garden.
The Key West Butterfly & Nature Conservatory features a 5,000-square-foot (460 m²) glass-domed tropical butterfly habitat.
A permanent AIDS Memorial is at the White Street Pier.
The Mel Fisher Maritime Museum showcases gold, silver, and treasure recovered from shipwrecks around the world.
Some tourists mingle with the locals, shop, and dine at the Key West Historic Seaport at the Key West Bight.
The Key West Lighthouse and Keeper's Quarters Museum preserves the history of the Key West Lighthouse built in 1847.
Nobel Prize-winning author Ernest Hemingway's former home is now open to the public as a museum, populated by as many as sixty descendants of his famous polydactyl cats. [11]
PrideFest is seven days of events, presented by the Gay and Lesbian Community Center of Key West the first week in June. The schedule includes the Pride Follies talent extravaganza; contests to select a Mr., Ms., and Miss PrideFest; parties, a tea dance; and the PrideFest Parade down Duval Street.
In 1979 the Key West Tourist Development Association, Inc. started Fantasy Fest to attract tourists at the traditionally slow time at Halloween, which is at the end of the hurricane season. Fantasy Fest regularly attracts approximately 80,000 people to the island and has become a huge success.
In June 2006 the Key West Gay & Lesbian Museum & Archive opened at the Gay and Lesbian Community Center at 513 Truman St. Featured exhibits include a Tennessee Williams typewriter as well as an extensive collection of memorabilia and papers of Richard A. Heyman who was one of the first openly gay mayors before dying in 1994 of AIDS.
[edit]Popular annual events
Key West Race Week - international sailing event – January
Key West Literary Seminar – January
Conch Republic Independence Celebration – April 23
Taste of Key West - April
Red Ribbon Bed Race – April
Survivors Party – May
Queen Mother Pageant – May
PrideFest – June
Cuban-American Heritage Festival – June
Hemingway Days Festival – July
WomenFest – September
Fantasy Fest – October
Goombay Celebration – October
Robert the Enchanted Doll Day – October 24th
Parrot Heads in Paradise Convention (aka Meeting of the Minds) – November
Boat and Holiday Parade – December 


Complete Details for 2008-2009 Fl Keys Elementary Schools

See the article at the bottom showing Monroe was at the top of the list with a 3.92 GPA; the second-highest, Brevard County, had a 3.87 GPA.

Monroe County is totally dedicated to good education. The school district offers a first-class educational system to all its residents. With over 1500 employees
To see the Monroe County mission statement and for more particulars go to
Schools listing
• ASD 275828-Public Big Pine Key Neighborhood School Big Pine Key Monroe 33043 
• ASD 9902- Public Coral Shores High School Tavernier Monroe 3307o 
• ASD 144250 Public Gerald Adams Elementary School Key West Monroe 33040 
• ASD 144249 Public Glynn Archer Elementary School Key West Monroe 33040 
• ASD 123786 Private Grace Lutheran School Key West Monroe 33040 
• ASD 39184 Public Horace O'Bryant Middle School Key West Monroe 33040 
• ASD 123787 Private Island Christian School Islamorada Monroe 33036 
• ASD 9972 Public Key Largo School Key Largo Monroe 33037 
• ASD 9981 Public Key West High School Key West Monroe 33040 
• ASD 123788 Private Little Lambs Preschool & Childcare Key West Monroe 33040 
• ASD 44232 Public Marathon Junior Senior High School Marathon Monroe 33050 
• ASD 9983 Catholic Mary Immaculate Star Of The Sea School Key West Monroe 33040 
• ASD 144254 Public Plantation Key School Tavernier Monroe 33070 
• ASD 9982 Public Poinciana Elementary School Key West Monroe 33040 
• ASD 140995 Public Sigsbee Elementary School Key West Monroe 
• 33040 144253 Public Stanley Switlick Elementary School Marathon Monroe 33050 
• ASD 144251 Public Sugarloaf Elementary Middle School Summerland Key Monroe 33042

Private schools
• ACADEMY AT OCEAN REEF, 2 Dockside Lane N, Key Largo, 305-367-2409 
• ISLAND CHRISTIAN SCHOOL, MM 83.2, Islamorada, 305-664-2781 
• ISLAND CHRISTIAN SCHOOL-SOUTH, 14 125th St., Gulf, Marathon, 305-743-2200 
• MARATHON LUTHERAN SCHOOL, 325 122nd St., Gulf, Marathon, 305-289-0700 
• MARY IMMACULATE STAR OF THE SEA SCHOOL, 700 Truman, Key West, 305-294-1031 Pre-schools and kindergarten
• ABC DAY SCHOOL, 6630 65th St. Ocean, Marathon, 305-743-3521 
• COMMUNITY COOPERATIVE PRESCHOOL, 550 122nd St., Marathon, 303-743-3517 
• EASTER SEALS FLORIDA, 5220 W. Junior College Rd., Key West, 305-294-1089 
• FREDERICK DOUGLASS CHILD CARE CENTER, 103 Olivia, Key West, 305-294-3934 
• GRACE LUTHERAN SCHOOL, 2713 Flagler Ave., Key West, 305-296-6262 
• GROUPER LANE PRESCHOOL, 735 Grouper Lane, Key Largo, 305-852-9520 
• HAPPY APPLE PRESCHOOL, 12350 O/S Hwy., Marathon, 305-743-9020 
• ISLAND CHRISTIAN SCHOOL-SOUTH, 14 125th St., Gulf, Marathon, 305-743-2200 
• ISLAND PRE-SCHOOL, 5 Transylvania Ave., Key Largo, 305-451-1181 
• KEYS ACADEMY AT ST. JUSTIN, MM 105.5, Key Largo, 305-451-6415 
• KEY WEST PRESCHOOL CO-OP, 2610 Flagler Ave., Key West, 305-296-4749 
• KREATIVE KIDS CHRISTIAN ACADEMY, 4711 O/S Hwy., Marathon, 305-743-7165 
• LIGHTHOUSE CHRISTIAN ACADEMY, 5580 MacDonald Ave., Key West, 305-292-5582 
• LITTLE BEARS PRE-SCHOOL & DAYCARE, MM.100.4, Key Largo, 305-451-0755 
• LITTLE SEAHORSE ACADEMY, MM.104.9, Key Largo, 305-451-6045 
• MONROE COUNTY SCHOOL DISTRICT, 241 Trumbo Rd., Key West, 305-293-1400 
• MONTESSORI IN KEY LARGO, MM. 99.5, Key Largo, 305-453-3939 
• MONTESSORI ISLAND SCHOOL, MM 92.3 Oceanside, Tavernier, 305-852-3438 
• ST JAMES CHILDREN'S CENTER, MM 87.5, Plantation Key, 305-852-2161 
• TEMPLE CHRISTIAN PRE-SCHOOL, 5727 2nd Ave., Stock Island, Key West, 305-294-2775 
• VINEYARD EARLY CHILDHOOD LEARNING CENTER, County Rd., Big Pine Key, 305-872-3404 
• WESLEY HOUSE CHILD CARE CENTER, 1100 Varela, Key West, 305-296-5231 Universities and colleges
• FLORIDA KEYS COMMUNITY COLLEGE, Upper Keys, Tavernier, 305-852-8007 
• FLORIDA KEYS COMMUNITY COLLEGE, Middle Keys, Marathon, 305-743-2133 
• FLORIDA KEYS COMMUNITY COLLEGE, Main Office, Key West, 305-296-9081 
• NATIONAL UNDERSEA RESEARCH CENTER, 515 Caribbean Dr, Key Largo, 305-451-0233 
• SAINT LEO UNIVERSITY, 718 Boca Chica Naval Air Station, Key West, 305-293-284 Junior/Community Colleges:
• Florida Keys Community College and Adult education

Monroe tops in its class
Board: Schools should exceed state standards
BY JOHN L. GUERRA Citizen Staff

Monroe County schools this year collectively earned the highest grade point average in the state, besting more than 65 other school districts, Schools Superintendent Randy Acevedo said. Educators, however, think it's time to compare county student achievement with other scores nationally.

Monroe was at the top of the list with a 3.92 GPA; the second-highest, Brevard County, had a 3.87 GPA.
Monroe's score shows that of the 13 schools rated, 12 received an "A" rating. Key West High School received a "B." Three schools — Coral Shores High School, Horace O'Bryant Middle School, and Marathon High School — improved one letter grade.

"When you look at the grades in a GPA format, we had the best performance statewide this past year," Acevedo said. "I am very proud of our staff, students, parents, and community — it takes a team and a village."

It's the latest indication that county schoolchildren are performing well on standardized tests and improving scores; recent Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test (FCAT) results reflected higher scores in reading, writing, math, and science. Third-graders, for instance, showed increases as high as 32 points at some schools in reading and math; 81 percent of the county's third-graders were reading at or above grade level. Upper grades also showed increases in test scores, with some schools showing more improvement than others.

The high scores have renewed calls by School Board members to take students to the next step by comparing Monroe County scores nationally, not just in-state.

"We have had discussions at the board table that these Florida standards are not stringent enough," member Debra Walker said, "and that we should compare our progress to national and international standards. Now we are free to set new goals based on even tougher criteria."

The scores in the Florida school report card program and FCAT results often clash with the federal government's annual yearly progress measurement under No Child Left Behind. That is the level of improvement each schoolchild is expected to reach year to year in reading, math, and other subjects.

Though Florida may rate schools as "A" performers, the federal Education Department designates those same schools as "F" performers for failing to reach annual yearly progress under No Child Left Behind. In 2006, 712 schools that Florida considered "A" performers were listed as "F" schools.

Though Standard & Poor's education analysts rate Monroe students' reading proficiency in 2008 at 62.5 percent and writing proficiency at 67.7 percent, the county still isn't meeting annual yearly progress targets under federal No Child Left Behind requirements, S&P reports.

As in other states, Florida has a student testing regime — FCAT — that's similar to the one mandated by No Child Left Behind. Under the federal program, "F"-rated schools that don't improve over several years can be closed or turned into charter schools or put under a state's direct control.

The FCAT testing regime launched under former Gov. Jeb Bush in 2002 in effect puts Florida schools out of the federal government's reach. FCAT also is a better measure of Florida student success, the former governor has said.

Still, Monroe's "A" school ratings are nothing to sneeze at, said School Board member John Dick.

"It is great news for our schools and district," Dick said. "It is a job well done by all the personnel involved, and of course, our students."

Being at the top of the state school GPA scorecard gives the county some financial rewards, Dick said.

"The state has what is called school recognition funds, and "A"-rated schools receive $85 per student as a bonus," he said. "Schools have discretion with how they use the money, but [most schools] use it to give staff members a bonus."


The Keys' sub-tropical climate offers year-round sports and recreational opportunities. Winter, spring, and fall are filled with lots of sunshine.
The hottest month is August with an average high of 89 F and an average low of 78 F. In January the average high temperature is 74 F and the average low is 65 F. 
There have never been frost or freezing conditions in Key West. 
Normal annual precipitation is 39 plus inches, with the largest monthly totals accumulating from July through September.

Subtropics are marked by two distinct seasons
Weather is what brings a lot of people to Southern Florida - particularly during the dry, mild winter. 
It's also what drives a lot of people away - particularly during the hot, rainy, sweaty, sticky summer.
Welcome to the subtropics, an area just outside the tropics, which lie between the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn. 
When lightning flashes, count the number of seconds before thunder is heard. Divide the number by five. The answer is the approximate distance in miles from the lightning. 
Never seek refuge from a storm under a tree 
Make sure you are not the highest object around you 
Avoid open fields, open water, beaches 
If you are on the road, stay in your car 
Avoid heavy exertion during the hottest part of the day - noon to 3 p.m. 
Drink plenty of fluids, especially water. Remember, alcohol and caffeine increase dehydration. Wear a hat and sunscreen 
Our subtropical weather is marked by two distinct seasons - the rainy season, part of which is hurricane season, and the dry season, part of which is the windsurfing season. 
During the rainy season, from May 15 to Oct. 15, Southern Florida receives 42 of its annual 53 inches of rain. 
Rainy season temperatures average highs in the high 80s and low 90s and lows in the 70s. 
A typical rainy-season day in Southern Florida starts with a hot, humid morning, followed by a hotter afternoon, clouds moving in from the east, and sometimes violent thunderstorms. 
The frequency of summer thunderstorms has made Southern Florida the lightning capital of the world, so it's a good idea to seek shelter as the clouds roll in. 
Hurricane season runs from June 1 to Nov. 30 
Emergency managers suggest that residents educate themselves about hurricanes and be prepared, just in case. 
In contrast to Southern Florida's rainy season, the dry season is, well, dry. 
Eleven inches of rain spread over six months doesn't exactly put us in the same arid league with the Sahara, but the countryside can get pretty parched. 
In one of those curious hydrological coincidences, the dry season also happens to be tourist season, so we have all those extra people using up the available water that isn't replenished because it's the dry season. 
So water levels in aquifers can drop, and the South Florida Water Management District can impose water-use restrictions. 
All this dryness can lead to serious wildfires, and residents are urged to clear vegetation around their homes. 
People should never throw cigarette butts from car windows - that practice is bad for the environment at any time - but during the dry season, it can easily and quickly spark a major fire. 
Dry season temperatures average highs in the 70s and lows in the 50s. 
But things can get chilly around here. 
The big factors are cold fronts that occasionally blast through Southern Florida, bringing nasty cold rain and leaving behind unsubtropical, cold air. 
You can usually tell when a cold front is coming without even looking at a weather map. 
Southern Florida's prevailing winter winds are light and easterly, but a couple of days before a front hits, winds pick up and clock around to the south - the winds are warm and the days sunny. 
This is when area windsurfers load up their gear and head to their favorite sailing sites. 
As the front approaches, winds shift to the Southern, then west - winds still warm, days still sunny. 
Eventually, the front appears on the horizon like a long, gray wall; when it hits, the wind jerks abruptly around to the north, and the air behind the front feels as if somebody up north left the door open on a giant freezer. 
Fortunately, cold temperatures following a front usually don't last long. 
Within a few days, skies clear, temperatures warm, and once again, Southern Florida shows off the weather that attracts all those winter visitors. 
Then, within a few weeks, the overall dry, mild dry season gives way to the rainy, sweaty rainy season that drives them all away.

The above article was written by By KEVIN LOLLAR, Published by on November 3, 2003.
His emphasis was on the southwest area of Florida just above the Everglades, however, the article primarily relates to the Keys as well.

The Keys Temperature Annual high average
Month Air 
January 7 4 
February 75 
March 78 
April 81 
May 85 
June 87 
July 89 
August 89 
September 88 
October 84 
November 80 
December 76

Water temperatures go from 69 in January to 87 in July and August.

Other Keys Weather Indicators
Average Wind Speed 10.9 
Clear Days 104 
Partly Cloudy Days 155 
Cloudy Days 107 
Avg. Relative Humidity 74.5. To see stats by the month, go to

Although it looks like we have lots of cloudy days, the sun is out almost year-round.

Also, although we do get rain here-it is tropical rain and comes and goes quickly, generally acts as a refresher to the hot days.

To see average January temperatures across the United States go to
Compare where you live or want to live in Florida. For more specific info, look at the area you are interested in and go to the weather page.

So what about Hurricanes, the rainy season, and humidity?
We are a tropical climate, so our rainy season comes in the summer. Generally, it will rain hard for a half hour then subside. It does get humid then. Although not as bad as you would think. Our water breezes really help cool us off.
Despite four devastating hurricanes in 2004, the number of Florida visitors rose 7% to an all-time high of 79.8 million last year and is on target to hit 80 million this year.
To think on:
If you live on the coast you stand the greatest chance of having one affect you. Some areas of Florida have gone fifty years plus without one but you never know.
In my opinion, the best thing you can do is buy a home that was built after Andrew-August 92 that was built to stricter building codes. Have window protection and a backup generator and make sure your insurance is up to date. If they ask you to leave, do it!

Realize-If you live in an older home that was not built up to the stricter building codes (After Hurricane Andrew-August 1992) or you live in a mobile home you stand the best chance of having major structural damage.

Living on the beach in a mobile home is asking for it. Although you may never have a problem, you are still definitely taking your chances. Barrier islands and open-water Oceans or Gulf front are the most prone to damage. 
For current information about hurricanes go to 
For current weather forecasts by cities go to

Living in a waterfront home typically means that you will pay a higher Insurance premium. The insurance is higher due to flood and wind concerns.
Part of this is also because the pricing on these homes is higher so there is more value to insure against.

Having said all this, I can’t imagine living elsewhere. It is really great to wake up and it’s sunny out.
We spend over half our lives indoors…so when you do go outside, it would be nice if it was warm