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Program Profiles: Tampa Bay Education Guide Special Feature

From state-of-the-art technology to old-fashioned Socratic sessions by a lakeside, there’s a school, a method and an academic home for your children in Tampa Bay. Check out some of these exciting and enriching programs from local schools.

Academy at the Lakes

Academy at the Lakes’ culture and curriculum center around core strengths that prepare our students for success in college and beyond. Our unique approach places importance on high standards and balance while offering limitless opportunities in a setting that is nurturing, flexible and inspiring. The school’s beautiful lakefront campus offers a scenic backdrop while allowing PreK through 12th graders to have abundant time outdoors.

Our 7-to-1 student-to-teacher ratio allows for personal and focused education. A balanced experience for all students offers opportunities that include the ability to understand and communicate with others and work independently and responsibly. Students can participate in public speaking, AP Capstone, medical programs, environmental science, STEM, Amazon Adventure and Internship, Student Travel & Retreats and a house system. More than 80% of students in grades 5-12 participate in school-sponsored athletics. For the artistically inclined, our performing arts program is exceptionally strong and offers outstanding opportunities.

The College Counseling Program begins preparing students for college before their freshman year with emphasis on college visits, applications, essay writing, resume preparation and summer opportunities. Our college acceptance record rivals any high school in the Tampa Bay area. Over the last nine years, more than 16% of Academy’s senior student-athletes have received financial packages to participate in collegiate athletics, compared to the national average of 2%.

Academy’s students become inspiring leaders who embrace opportunities and challenges with poise and self-confidence. They think critically and creatively, balancing passion and responsibility to achieve individual growth and success while creating and nurturing meaningful relationships with respect, empathy and joy.

Berkeley Preparatory School

Berkeley is nationally recognized as an independent school leader with an innovative curriculum that inspires intellectual curiosity, empathy, resilience and wonder in its students.

An exceptional and diverse community of learners follow personalized paths to success through a broad curricular and extracurricular program. One hundred percent of Berkeley graduates go to college. The Class of 2020 was accepted to a combined total of 186 colleges and universities, and 15% percent were recognized as National Merit honorees. Students can choose from more than 60 AP©, Honors and Advanced Topics courses in the Upper Division. More than 80% of students participate in the athletic program that offers 16 sports.

Berkeley is mission-driven to provide the best possible environment for the intellectual, emotional, spiritual and physical development of each student, and to instill in them a strong sense of morality, ethics and social responsibility. The curriculum considers a broad range of perspectives, and age-appropriate programming challenges assumptions, guiding flexible, open and growth-minded thinking.

We inspire all of our students to be responsible global citizens who have excelled in the lessons of character and learned the values of discipline, diligence and integrity. They leave Berkeley with open minds to find the future awaits them with open doors.

We develop and expect strong character, promote innovation and growth and desire excellence in all that we do. Simply put, the educational journey at Berkeley is truly extraordinary.

Corbett Preparatory School of IDS

Since 1968, Corbett Prep has taught generations of children in a uniquely child-centered culture and community. At the heart of the Corbett Prep experience are the positive, supportive relationships between students and teachers. Located on a beautiful 15-acre lakeside campus, Corbett Prep offers the International Baccalaureate programme for all PreK3-8th grade students. Teachers use research-based strategies to engage students in hands-on learning opportunities. In this extraordinary learning environment, a social-emotional curriculum provides the framework for student mindfulness and wellbeing with opportunities to discover and develop individual areas of giftedness for all students academics with joy and challenge; robust visual and performance arts classes; a dedicated Application Lab for experiential learning in science, engineering, the art of design and mathematics; a competitive middle school athletics program and strong physical education curriculum; and emphasis on leadership and international-mindedness.

Through a diverse, multicultural student body as well as partnerships with schools around the world, Corbett Prep students grow in intercultural appreciation and understanding. Corbett Prep parents enjoy strong, often lifelong, connections with teachers, staff, and other families. The Parent-Faculty Association and the Dads’ Club provide opportunities for involvement and social activities open to the school community.

Graduates often say that at Corbett Prep, they learned and practiced the life skills they needed for success beyond 8th grade: the choreography of working respectfully and productively with those from different backgrounds and cultures, a growth mindset to approach and solve problems, and the confidence, poise, and presence to serve as leaders in their community.

Dr. Kiran C. Patel Elementary School

Patel Elementary School is a Hillsborough County Public Charter School of Choice. The school’s educational Program is a combination of rigorous academic content, Project Based Learning and Social Emotional Learning that focuses on Whole Child Development. With the motto “Healthy Hearts and Minds,” Patel Elementary’s emphasis on hands-on learning supports a high degree of student engagement with a primary focus on the overall wellness of students from the inside out.

Even from their earliest years of elementary school, students here will be introduced to Project Based Learning. This method of learning fosters a deeper understanding of academic content and builds a stronger motivation to learn rather than traditional textbook-driven instruction. With student-centered adults who support student success through the rigorous curriculum, the school offers a nurturing environment where children can learn and grow within a safe, positive school climate. Families can expect two-way communication, collaborating on what’s best for each student, and cultivating positive relationships between teachers and parents.

Patel Elementary School is currently accepting applications at The school will open in August 2022 with kindergarten, first grade and second grade classes. They will add a grade level each year until they meet capacity with 652 students in kindergarten through fifth grade. The lottery will be held on Tuesday, Feb. 1.

Shorecrest Preparatory School

Founded in 1923, Shorecrest is a PK3 through 12th grade coed, nonsectarian independent school located in St. Petersburg, Florida. Shorecrest’s four schools are connected by an overarching mission, vision and core values on one beautiful campus. The Experiential School serves the youngest learners with an inquiry-based, joyful Reggio Emilia-inspired model. Project-based learning is the foundation of the K-4 Lower School program, and the Middle School (which includes fifth grade in its program) prepares students to excel in the ninth to 12th-grade Upper School.

Known for its student-centered approach to teaching and learning, Shorecrest is continually on the leading edge of innovation in education. In 2016 the school opened the Center for Medical Sciences applied-science track for high school students, won a grant from Steelcase Education for its interdisciplinary work in middle school, and became an Apple Distinguished School. Other signature programs include the Global Scholars Initiative for students interested in international studies and the STEAM Signature Program which allows students to earn a certificate in computer science, engineering or entrepreneurship and design. Shorecrest is ranked the #1 STEM High School in Pinellas County according to

Shorecrest offers its students a nationally recognized performing and visual arts program, competitive athletics, opportunities for engaged service learning and the best-fit college placement in the region.

St. John’s Episcopal Parish Day School

Located in the heart of Tampa, St. John’s Episcopal School delivers an unparalleled, values-driven, progressive education for children in pre-kindergarten through eighth grade. Populated by a rich variety of individuals from increasingly diverse religious, cultural and economic backgrounds, St. John’s is the region’s oldest Episcopal school. Distinguished by 70 years of demonstrated success, we prepare children for lives of learning and service. We hold an uncompromising belief in the potential of children and the sanctity of childhood.

We believe that education has a higher purpose, one our faculty and staff are compelled to serve. Our curriculum is focused on the development of the whole child through an interdisciplinary program that honors tradition and fosters innovation. Creative field trips, cutting-edge technology, thoughtful divinity lessons, and quality visiting authors and artists enhance the traditional curriculum during the school day. Winning athletics and extra-curricular activities reinforce the School’s values after the school day ends. Combined, they create a well-rounded St. John’s student, ready to take on a world of limitless possibilities.

Hard work, faith, respect, honesty and a commitment to excellence allow our graduates to thrive in high school, college and beyond. St. John’s families become part of a community in which the school-parent partnership is encouraged in raising their children. Parent-led associations such as The Parents’ Club and Dads’ Club support the mission and strategic goals of the school, encouraging parent involvement by promoting community among SJE families. A feeling of positive energy, inclusiveness, optimism, respect and kindness permeates the school. Without exception, St. John’s students are Empowered to Lead, Inspired to Serve.

Westlake Christian School

For over 25 years, Westlake Christian School has developed and maintained a unique blend of faith, academics and community. The school is based in the belief of a well-rounded school experience with faith formation, academics, fine arts, athletics, technology and leadership development as the primary areas.

Westlake is especially proud of using best practices throughout the school and in all areas. The whole school is a best practices environment. Families can expect a community-minded school dedicated to serving each child and family individually.

Westlake graduates are well-rounded and the best thinkers and problem-solvers in this locale. The school is also proud to be the only Christian school to hold accreditation by the Florida Kindergarten Council, the Florida Council of Independent Schools and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools/AdvancED.

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