Enrollment is up in Pasco charter schools

The trend mirrors what’s happening statewide.
Students make their way into Athenian Academy, one of 10 charter schools in Pasco County.
Students make their way into Athenian Academy, one of 10 charter schools in Pasco County. [ Times (2006) ]
Published Oct. 31, 2019

Publicly funded but privately managed, charter schools have been around in Florida since 1996.

Often controversial, but undeniably growing, they were created to give families an alternative to traditional public schools, with the goal of offering a more innovative curriculum. Enrollment in charters grew to 313,586 last school year across 658 schools in 47 Florida counties. That’s a 37 percent jump from five years earlier.

Pasco has seen growth as well, with charter enrollment reaching more than 5,100 students last school year, up from about 4,400 the previous year. Here’s a look at the charters currently operating in the county:

Academy at the Farm

“We believe in educating the ‘whole’ child. One of the ways we do this is by emphasizing six quality character traits: responsibility, fairness, respect, honesty, citizenship and caring.”

9500 Alex Lange Way, Dade City; K-8;; (352) 588-9737

Athenian Academy of Technology and the Arts

"As a direct result of infusing Kagan Cooperative Learning into our students' daily learning experiences, their social skills and character virtues improve, thus decreasing discipline issues school-wide. With behavior distractions kept to a minimum, our teachers are able to focus more time on instruction and learning."

3118 Seven Springs Blvd., New Port Richey; K-8;; (727) 372-0200

Classical Preparatory Charter

“A classical/liberal arts education is the educational gold standard for creating innovators, thinkers, and leaders in any field. Its sole purpose is to train students how to think for themselves. On any list of the 100 most influential people in history, the vast majority received a liberal arts education.”

16500 Lyceum Way, Spring Hill; K-12;; (813) 803-7903

Countryside Montessori Charter School

"Our primary focus is to offer a challenging, world-class Montessori curriculum that engages and prepares children for life-long learning in a safe and diverse collaborative community."

5852 Ehren Cutoff, Land O’Lakes; grades 1-8;; (813) 996-0991

Dayspring Academy - Elementary campus

"Dayspring is committed to content-driven teaching. We know that if you are teaching content and how to think critically while exploring this content, test scores will reflect learning."

8911 Timber Oaks Ave., Port Richey; K-5;; (727) 862-8600

Dayspring Academy - Secondary campus

"Our learners want to have the ability to create not consume. At Dayspring, we continue to move forward with our integration of arts and technology to provide an enriched curriculum that promotes creativity and requires the application of higher level critical thinking skills."

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9509 Palm Ave., Port Richey; grades 6-12;; (727) 847-9003

NOTE: Dayspring Academy has plans to open a 200-student precollegiate high school program in 2020. It is slated to operate at one of the school’s newly acquired properties.

Imagine Charter School of Land O' Lakes

Certified as a STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics) school. A national runnerup School of Character focusing on the six pillars of character - trusthworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring and citizenship.

2940 Sunlake Blvd., Land O’ Lakes; K-8;; (813) 428-7444

Learning Lodge Academy

“A diverse and engaging curriculum that allows students to develop a well-rounded skill set. From language arts to social studies, the sciences and math, our school allows students to explore their talents, recognize strengths, and diversify their capabilities.”

5844 Pine Hill Road, Port Richey; K-5;; (727) 389-0067

Pepin Academies - Pasco

"We educate students in third through 12th grade, and also offer a transitional, job training program for students 18 to 22 years-old. Pepin Academies are considered ESE Center schools. We feature a nurturing environment that focuses on improving the academic and social success of students. ... Our goal is to make sure no child falls through the cracks."

9804 Little Road, New Port Richey; 3-12;; (727) 233-2961

Plato Academy Trinity Charter School

"An environment in which students can learn and teachers can teach. The academic focus is on reading, math and Greek as a second language. All students also receive instruction in science, physical education, the humanities, music, drama, and art" using the Socratic method.

8812 Old County Road 54, New Port Richey; K-4;; (727) 877-2437

Union Park Charter Academy

"All rooms are housed in a grade-level 'community.' Union Park Charter Academy has reimagined the learning space to promote collaboration among the teachers and learners in each grade level. All teachers within a grade level will share a common learning space that they will use to provide differentiated and personalized instruction to all students within that grade level."

32775 Oldwoods Ave., Wesley Chapel; K-6;; (813) 358-7306