In Hillsborough County and across the nation, most families continue to choose traditional public schools. Private school enrollment has declined nationally — from 6.3 million students in 2002, to 5.4 million in 2014, to 4.9 million the following year, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
Still, they provide a key option for many families. 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 2017-18 school year progresses, many private schools in Hillsborough County will hold open houses to welcome potential students for next year, just as public schools will be doing. Many of them are listed here. Catholic schools are listed separately.
For a full list of private schools in the county, visit the Florida Department of Education website, fldoe.org/schools/school-choice/private-schools
Academy Prep Center Of Tampa Inc.
1407 E. Columbus Drive, Tampa
"Our mission is to inspire and empower students qualifying for need-based scholarships to become future community leaders through a rigorous middle school program coupled with ongoing graduate support."
American Youth Academy Inc.
5905 East 130th Ave., Tampa
"AYA's mission is to provide a safe, nurturing and stimulating Islamic environment to produce future leaders, who will have achieved academic excellence, are morally and socially responsible citizens, and are well-equipped to interact with the community around them and the world at large."
Bayshore Christian School
3909 S. Macdill Ave., Tampa
"An educational climate that is academically excellent and unashamedly Christian. Our faculty and staff guide students through a methodical process of learning that focuses on core knowledge enriched with the arts, technology, foreign language, and athletics."
Bell Shoals Baptist Academy
2102 Bell Shoals Road, Brandon
"We provide quality Christian education, small classes and caring faculty, and have expanded to two campuses to serve Hillsborough County."
Berkeley Preparatory School
4811 Kelly Road, Tampa
"Berkeley educates the whole child by nurturing students' intellectual, emotional, spiritual and physical development so they may attain their highest potential. Our philosophy encompasses a balanced curriculum of academics and arts, clubs and activities, competitive sports and community service."
801 Limona Road, Brandon
"Brandon Academy was officially named an International Baccalaureate World School in April 2017. … Brandon Academy is the only private school in eastern Hillsborough county to offer this program."
Cambridge Christian School
6101 N. Habana Ave., Tampa
"While many schools claim to offer a college preparatory education, we feel it is important to provide students with a 'life preparatory' experience. Life preparation speaks of a strong foundation for students to flourish, where a biblical world view cannot be undervalued."
Carrollwood Day School
1515 West Bearss Ave., Tampa
"The mission of Carrollwood Day School is to create entrepreneurial thinkers for a global society. We provide strong character-based education emphasizing problem-solving skills and philanthropic understanding."
10518 Riverview Drive, Riverview
"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."
Central Baptist Christian School
402 E. Windhorst Road, Brandon
"The goal of this school is to not only help the students make a living one day, but also make a life; to be able to make informed decisions based not only on academic knowledge but also a biblical world view."
Citrus Park Christian School
7705 Gunn Highway, Tampa
"Our entire academic program is college prep, offering honors and AP classes. We strive every day to love each student as Jesus does and to help prepare them for the road to success."
Community Montessori School
4930-4932 Webb Road, Tampa
"A prepared environment that responds to the developmental needs of the age group and cultivates each child's unique human potential by adhering to Montessori's principles."
Corbett Preparatory School Of IDS
12015 Orange Grove Dr., Tampa
"Corbett Prep weaves together multiple best practices in education: research-based knowledge about multiple intelligences and how the brain learns; intellectual, emotional, social, and physical development; the power of active learning; and a gifted framework that appreciates the uniqueness of each student."
Faith Christian Academy
905 W. Terrace Drive, Plant City
"Faith Christian Academy will deliver education with high moral standards, passion in education and through a demonstration of understanding biblical principles."
First Baptist Ruskin Christian School
820 College Ave., W, Ruskin
"The close personal instruction with a family atmosphere attracts parents who are seeking an accepting and friendly environment for their children."
Grace Christian School
1425 N Valrico Road, Valrico
"The mission of Grace Christian School is to provide the highest quality of education based upon biblical principles."
Hebrew Academy Of Tampa
14908 Pennington Road, Tampa
"We see each child as a unique and precious gift entrusted into our care. … Emphasis is placed on the individual child and encouraging each child's innate thirst for knowledge."
Hillsdale Christian Academy
6201 Ehrlich Road, Tampa
"HCA seeks out rigorous, dynamic curriculum in all subject areas, giving each student a solid foundation to build on. Certified teachers challenge, inspire, and mentor each student."
Immanuel Lutheran School
2913 John Moore Road, Brandon
"Highlights include: Dual accreditation by the Florida Department of Education and by the National Lutheran School Accreditation, preschool for 3- and 4-year-olds … full curriculum including computer instruction, P.E., Spanish, music and middle school electives."
Saint Johns Episcopal Parish Day School
240 S Plant Ave., Tampa
"The oldest Episcopal school in West Central Florida, with a history of excellence in education that results in stellar students. … Our students grow into caring and successful adults who are equipped for our ever-changing world."
Tampa Preparatory School
727 W. Cass St., Tampa
"Internationally recognized by Apple Inc. as one of the most innovative schools in the world … An environment of innovation and creativity that in the end places the school on the cutting edge of the use of technology as a tool for learning."