In Pinellas, about 16,000 students choose private schools

Many schools base their programs on religion; some are independent and secular, with various themes.
Calvary Christian High School students cheer at the opening kickoff of a football game against Zephyrhills Christian Academy. Calvary Christian is one of 116 private schools in Pinellas County.
Calvary Christian High School students cheer at the opening kickoff of a football game against Zephyrhills Christian Academy. Calvary Christian is one of 116 private schools in Pinellas County. [ MARTHA ASENCIO RHINE | Tampa Bay Times ]
Published Oct. 31, 2019

Private school enrollment in Florida has generally been on the rise for the last decade — from 313,291 students in 2009 to more than 380,295 last school year.

But Pinellas — the state’s most densely populated county, hemmed in by water — has seen no such growth. Enrollment has hovered around 16,000 students for years in the county’s private schools, much like the public school system, which has seen similar stagnation.

Still, the choices are many. They include religious schools, independent and secular schools, and schools for students with disabilities or special needs in every grade level. Some are a combination of all of the above.

In the coming weeks and months, many private schools in the county will hold open houses to welcome potential students for the 2020-21 academic year, just as public schools will be doing. For a full list, visit the Florida Department of Education website,

The state’s private school directory lists 116 private schools in Pinellas. Many of them are listed here:

Academy Prep Center of St. Petersburg

"A nationally accredited nonprofit middle school that empowers students qualifying for need-based scholarships to become future community leaders through a rigorous academic program coupled with ongoing graduate support."

2301 22nd Ave. S, St. Petersburg; 5-8;; (727) 322-0800.

Admiral Farragut Academy

"A college preparatory environment that promotes academic excellence, leadership skills, and social development within a diverse community of young men and women."

501 Park St. N, St. Petersburg; preK-12;; (727) 384-5500.

Calvary Christian High School

"The Calvary learning environment is designed to be an exciting, imaginative, and disciplined laboratory which nurtures creativity, high standards of scholarship, spiritual development, and a biblical philosophy for living."

110 N McMullen-Booth Road, Clearwater; 9-12;; (727) 449-2247.

Canterbury School of Florida

"We foster a love of learning by discovering and celebrating individual talents and skills through engagement with exemplary teachers in distinctive academic, artistic, athletic, and extra-curricular activities."

Hough Campus (preK3-grade 4), 1200 Snell Isle Blvd. NE, St. Petersburg; and Knowlton Campus (grades 5-12), 990 62nd Ave. NE, St. Petersburg;; (727) 525-1419.

Center Academy

"A specialized, full-day school for students who were falling through the cracks in traditional schools."

Palm Harbor location, (4-12), 34054 U.S. 19 N, Palm Harbor; (727) 781-2986

Pinellas Park location, (5-12), 6710 86th Ave. N, Pinellas Park; (727) 541-5716.

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Classical Christian School for the Arts

"A unique, affordable, character-based creative model of educational excellence in both classical academics and the arts. The arts conservatory program includes multiple forms of artistic instruction in visual arts, music, and dance."

4981 78th Ave N, Pinellas Park; K-12;; (727) 547-6820.

Clearwater Academy International

Part of an international network of schools licensed by Applied Scholastics International that use "study technology" developed by author and Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard.

801 Drew St., Clearwater; preK-12;; (727) 446-1722.

Cornerstone Christian School

"Our job is to help students discover their potential through academic, physical, social and spiritual development."

317 Milwaukee Ave., Dunedin; preK-8;; (727) 733-1438.

Countryside Christian Academy

"Using innovative teaching methods and an assortment of activities we strive to engage students in the development of their God-given potential."

1850 McMullen-Booth Road, Clearwater; preK-8;; (727) 437-0090.

Delphi Academy of Florida

"An independent, co-educational, nonsectarian day school offering a preschool through high school program." Uses "study technology" developed by author and Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard.

1831 Drew St., Clearwater; preK-12;; (727) 447-6385.

First Lutheran School

"Our mission is to provide a high-quality education while teaching students strong Christian values and about God's love and grace."

1644 Nursery Road, Clearwater; preK-8;; (727) 462-8000.

Grace Lutheran School

"Our school promotes a collaborative approach to education that connects the home, church and school together in unity."

4301 16th St. N, St. Petersburg; preK-8;; (727) 527-6213.

Indian Rocks Christian School

"Indian Rocks Christian School exists to lead every student to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ while providing a quality, Christian education in an environment of genuine care and concern for each student and parent."

12685 Ulmerton Road, Largo; preK-12;; (727) 596-4342.

Keswick Christian School

"Keswick's goal for students is to understand, believe, know, and act in accordance with truth (knowledge); and to apply knowledge, understanding, skills, wisdom, and virtues to take dominion over creation to the glory of God and for the good of their neighbors."

10101 54th Ave. N, St. Petersburg; preK-12;; (727) 393-9100.

Lakeside Christian School

"Lakeside Christian exists to prosper students academically and spiritually in grades K to 12 in Clearwater and surrounding communities. We believe our academic program will provide your child the foundation for success needed to compete in the 21st century."

1897 Sunset Point Road, Clearwater; K-12;; (727) 239-7808.

LiFT Academy

"The mission of LiFT is to provide challenging academics while building character and confidence, in an accepting and inclusive environment, so traditional students and those with neurodiversities can develop to their fullest potential."

13400 Park Blvd., Seminole; K-12;; (727) 258-7659

Lutheran Church of the Cross Day School

"A partnership of school, church and families, inspiring superior academic performance while instilling leadership, responsibility, and values in a nurturing environment."

4400 Chancellor St. NE, St. Petersburg; preK-8;; (727) 522-8331.

New Horizons Country Day School

"A warm, safe and familiar environment which promotes risk taking, exploration and experimentation. ... We use a balanced literature-based interdisciplinary program where learning is kept whole, purposeful, social and meaningful."

2060 Nebraska Ave., Palm Harbor; preK-5;; (727) 785-8591.

Northside Christian School

"Characterized by college preparatory curricula, Northside has the ministry of equipping students with the necessary skills and content to help him/her realize their full God-given potential."

7777 62nd Ave. N, St. Petersburg; preK-12;; (727) 541-7593.

Oldsmar Christian School

“Our committed staff and Christian curriculum offer the spiritual and educational support that is needed in a child’s life to help him develop academically, spiritually, physically, and morally.”

650 Burbank Road, Oldsmar; K-12;; (813) 855-5746.

Our Savior Lutheran School

"We dedicate ourselves to providing a quality Christian education which is academically challenging."

301 58th St. S, St. Petersburg; preK-8;; (727) 344-1026.

Palm Harbor Montessori Academy

"Children leave our school with skills that allow them to speak confidently, master time management, and make positive choices in their lives."

2355 Nebraska Ave., Palm Harbor; age 1 to 8th grade;; (727) 786-1854.

Safety Harbor Montessori Academy

"A community of teachers and learners whose goal is to inspire passionate scholarship and compassionate citizenship, guided by a deep sense of integrity, responsibility, and determination to achieve one's personal best."

2669 McMullen-Booth Road, Clearwater; pre-primary to age 14;; (727) 724-1767.

Saint Paul’s School

"We cultivate our students' talents for lives of opportunity. We create unique learning environments, honor our students' passions and develop enduring connections."

1600 St. Paul’s Drive, Clearwater; infants through grade 8;; (727) 536-2756.

St. Petersburg Christian School

"On leaving our school, our students are confident, well-rounded individuals who are well prepared for the next stage of their education and their role in a challenging, demanding and rapidly changing world."

2021 62nd Ave. N; K-8;; (727) 522-3000.

Shorecrest Preparatory School

"Through the academic demands of the curriculum, to the physical demands of the athletic programs, from the theatre stage to charitable organizations throughout the community, Shorecrest students find balance in an increasingly complex world."

5101 First St. NE, St. Petersburg; preK3-12;; (727) 522-2111.

Skycrest Christian School

"Our commitment is to partner with Christian families to pursue and nurture excellence in the spiritual, academic, artistic, physical, and social growth of our students."

129 N Belcher Road, Clearwater; preK-8;; (727) 797-1186.

Suncoast Waldorf School

"Our goal is to educate the whole child to meet the world with grace, integrity and initiative through a balanced and comprehensive academic, artistic and practical curriculum."

1857 Curlew Road, Palm Harbor; preK-6;; (727) 786-8311.

Sunflower Private School

"A small, non-graded elementary school that ... offers a rich academic environment where students are actively involved in their learning and therefore love to learn."

5313 27th Ave. S, Gulfport; nongraded (K-5) elementary;; (727) 321-7657.

Westlake Christian School

"We guide and inspire students to develop their God-given potential while fostering a lifelong love of learning in a nurturing Christ-centered environment."

1551 Belcher Road, Palm Harbor; K-8;; (727) 781-3808.