With enrollment rising in growing Pasco, private schools offer another option

Nearly 6,600 students attend private schools in the county. That’s double the number from a decade ago.
Seniors from Bishop McLaughlin Catholic High take a group photo before their graduation ceremony last May. Bishop McLaughlin is one of nearly 50 private schools in Pasco County.
Seniors from Bishop McLaughlin Catholic High take a group photo before their graduation ceremony last May. Bishop McLaughlin is one of nearly 50 private schools in Pasco County. [ Times (2019) ]
Published Oct. 31, 2019

In Pasco County and across the nation, the vast majority of families continue to choose traditional public schools. But private school enrollment in Florida has generally been on the rise for the last 10 years — from 313,291 students in 2009 to more than 380,295 last school year.

Pasco’s private school enrollment grew from about 3,300 students to nearly 6,600 during the same period.

The choices 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.

As the current school year progresses, many private schools in Pasco 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 of private schools, visit the Florida Department of Education website, Nearly 50 private schools are listed for Pasco County. Many of them are found here:

Academy at the Lakes

"Founded in 1992 as an independent, co-educational, non-denominational college preparatory school. ... A learning community of shared values dedicated to the success of each individual at school, in the community, and in the world. We celebrate the love of learning and the joy in the journey."

Wendlek Campus: 2220 Collier Parkway, Land O’Lakes; PreK3-grade 4; (813) 948-7600

McCormick Campus: 2331 Collier Parkway, Land O’Lakes; grades 5-12; (813) 948-7600

Bishop Larkin Catholic School

"The education our students receive here is not an end in itself, it is a means to a greater end — knowing, loving and serving God. ... Bishop Larkin Catholic School dedicates itself to the mission of educating students within a Christian framework following the guidelines of the Diocese of Saint Petersburg."

8408 Monarch Drive, Port Richey; PreK-8;; (727) 862-6981

Bishop McLaughlin Catholic High

"A Christ-centered education that nurtures the development of the whole person and prepares young men and women to meet successfully the challenges of our global society."

13651 Hays Road, Spring Hill; 9-12;; (727) 857-2600

Center Academy-Lutz

"A fully accredited, independent private school, family-operated since 1968, providing a college prep curriculum for students with learning disabilities in grades 4-12. ... Our staff and teachers are experienced with a range of learning disabilities and challenges, including dyslexia, ADHD, and autism spectrum/Asperger's."

1520 Land O’Lakes Blvd., Suite. D, Lutz; 4-12;; (813) 909-9442

East Pasco Adventist Academy

“Our academic program is enhanced by including worship, Bible study, physical education, music education with performing groups and private lessons, a computer lab, and computers and additional technology in all classrooms.”

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38434 Centennial Road, Dade City; PreK-8;; (352) 567-3646

Elfers Christian School

"Our academic programs have been developed to provide high-quality academic instruction in an environment where prayer, Bible study and Christian textbooks are the norm."

5630 Olympia St., New Port Richey; PreK-12;; (727) 845-0235

Faith Baptist Academy

"We provide an orderly, organized classroom where working hard and doing right are the accepted standard, and the teacher is the authority in the classroom. ... Your child will find it easier to concentrate on his or her work, and develop positive character traits naturally."

6300 Oakley Blvd., Wesley Chapel; 20 months - grade 6;; (813) 907-9462

Grace Christian Schools of Pasco

"Grace Christian School started in 1979, making it the oldest Christian school with traditional classes in our area. ... We have a wonderful long-standing Christ-centered academic program that keeps current with state requirements. ... A ministry of Grace Bible Church."

9403 Scot St., Hudson; K5-12;; (727) 863-1825

Heritage Academy

“A Christian school that has been in operation since 1998, and is a ministry of Oasis World Outreach. ... Your child will receive a strong foundational education, be instilled with a love of learning, and develop Christian character traits that will prepare them for a successful future.”

35636 Highway 54 W, Zephyrhills; K2-8;; (813) 782-7848

Land O' Lakes Christian School

"A ministry of First Baptist Church of Land O' Lakes, founded in 1978 to provide a high-quality education for Christian families. Our faculty and staff are all Christians and the Bible is integrated in the entire program."

5105 School Road, Land O’ Lakes; PreK-12;; (813) 995-9040

Saddlebrook Preparatory School

“Over 100 students from 20 different countries, form a multi-cultural learning environment at our Tampa preparatory school. … Students, in Saddlebrook Prep's fully accredited college-preparatory school, for grades 3 through 12 and post-graduates, benefit from a highly educated, dedicated teaching staff and a small student-to-teacher ratio of 10-to-1.”

5700 Saddlebrook Way, Wesley Chapel; 3-12;; (813) 907-4300

Saint Anthony Catholic School

"Our school mission is to build solid faith foundations and academic excellence while developing the whole child for an eternal future in God's kingdom. We believe in prayer and spirituality, community, relationships and academic achievement."

12155 Joe Herrmann Drive, San Antonio; K-8;; (352) 588-3041

World Of Knowledge - A Montessori School

"All children are treated equally, with respect and gentility. All successes, great and small, are given equal recognition. The children are encouraged to appreciate their own accomplishments, opinions, insights and feelings, rather than rely upon praise from an adult. Emphasis is placed on the process and effort."

1935 Abacus Road, Holiday; PreK-8;; (727) 934-3028

Zephyrhills Christian Academy

"Utilizes the Accelerated Christian Education Program as core curriculum (which) allows students to progress based upon their placement and their abilities. Students are able to receive one-on-one assistance when needed and are able to excel in areas of interest."

34927 Eiland Blvd., Zephyrhills; K-12;; (813) 779-1648