Top 5 High Schools St Petersburg – Counting down St. Pete’s best secondary schools for academics, college readiness, values focus, and customized learning. St. Petersburg, Florida is home to some of the top ranking high schools in the state. From private preparatory academies to public magnet schools, St. Petersburg offers a variety of high-quality secondary education options. In this blog post, we will count down the top 5 high schools in St. Petersburg and explore what makes each one stand out from the rest. The schools were ranked based on metrics such as test scores, college readiness, graduation rates, rankings on national lists, and more.
Top 5 High Schools St Petersburg: #1. St. Petersburg Collegiate High School
Transitioning to the number one spot, St. Petersburg Collegiate High School is a public charter school focused on preparation for college. As a high performing secondary school, St. Petersburg Collegiate has built a reputation for academic excellence. Specifically, some of the stand out features of this school include:
Test Scores & Academics
For starters, St. Petersburg Collegiate High School has exceptionally high test scores compared to other schools in Florida. In reading and math assessments, students score in the top 5% statewide. Furthermore, 100% of students take advanced placement (AP) courses and dual enrollment college credits at local state colleges like St. Petersburg College. As a result, the rigorous curriculum pays off with stellar college admissions and millions earned in scholarships year after year.
Awards & Recognition
Additionally, the academic success has led to numerous awards and recognition for St. Petersburg Collegiate. For example, it has been designated a National Blue Ribbon School by the U.S. Department of Education multiple times. Also, it ranked #15 in a list of the top charter schools in America compiled by US News & World Report. Honors like these validate the top-tier education offered at St. Petersburg Collegiate High School.
Most importantly, St. Petersburg Collegiate excels at preparing students for higher education after graduation. In fact, 100% of graduates attend either a 2-year or 4-year college. Such exceptional college readiness stems from a culture focused on advanced skills and knowledge acquisition. Dual enrollment, AP courses, dedicated college counseling, and more all boost college outcomes for students. In summary, St. Petersburg Collegiate is the gold standard for secondary schools in the region.
Top 5 High Schools St Petersburg: #2. Shorecrest Preparatory School
Transitioning to the prestigious private school category, Shorecrest Preparatory School comes in at number two on our list. As a private non-sectarian school for grades PK-12, Shorecrest Preparatory focuses on the whole child with small class sizes and values-driven education. Specifically, here are some of the reasons why Shorecrest Prep stands out:
Primarily, Shorecrest emphasizes educating the whole child, not just academically but socially, emotionally, ethically, and physically as well. With an average middle and upper school class size of fewer than 15 students, teachers can nurture each child as an individual. In addition, students take art, music, world languages like Chinese, and physical education every year. As a result, Shorecrest delivers a truly holistic educational experience.
In addition, Shorecrest Prep garners recognition as a top secondary school both locally and nationally. The National Association of Independent Schools has named it one of the top schools in America. Locally, Shorecrest is a twenty-time recipient of Florida Department of Education Best Practices in Inclusive Education awards. Accolades like these demonstrate the leading-edge education happening at the school.
Most importantly, ethics and values serve as the foundation of a Shorecrest education. Students explore character education, community impact opportunities, and more ways to develop strong personal virtues. Combined with rigorous academics, this values focus molds students into ethical, kind leaders ready to make their mark on the world. In summary, Shorecrest offers the complete private school package deal for St. Petersburg families.
Top 5 High Schools St Petersburg: #3. Admiral Farragut Academy
Transitioning to yet another exceptional private school, Admiral Farragut Academy claims the number three ranking on our list. Founded in 1933, the school started as an all-boys military-style academy but has evolved into a more rounded college preparatory model open to all genders. Let’s analyze some key strengths that make Admiral Farragut Academy stand out:
First, Admiral Farragut has an impeccable track record of college acceptances, particularly to top-tier universities. In recent graduating classes, over 90% of students were accepted to their first choice college, including Ivy League universities like Harvard, Yale, MIT and more. Such successful admissions speak to the academic rigor of the school’s curriculum and quality instruction.
Location & Facilities
Additionally, the campus itself stands out as an asset of Admiral Farragut. Situated right on the waterfront in downtown St. Petersburg, the striking architecture and views create an inspiring academic environment day after day. State-of-the-art athletic facilities, technology tools, and flexible learning spaces also enrich the student experience in and out of the classroom.
Finally, a standout feature of Admiral Farragut Academy remains its focus on leadership skills development through JROTC programs, community service initiatives, and more. Students graduate not only college ready but also equipped with the character, work ethic, and principles to make an impact on the world around them for good. For all these reasons and more, it earns high marks as a private secondary school choice.
Top 5 High Schools St Petersburg: #4. St. Petersburg Catholic High School
Transitioning from private academies to faith-based schools, St. Petersburg Catholic High School comes in at number four on our list. As the only Roman Catholic high school in Pinellas County, St. Petersburg Catholic serves students of all faiths with rigorous academics paired with moral and ethical development. Let’s dig into some key advantages of choosing this school:
For one, St. Petersburg Catholic fosters an intentionally diverse and inclusive student community, sourcing enrollment from over 35 Catholic, Christian and non-sectarian private schools plus public school students. Moreover, families of all socioeconomic and cultural backgrounds come together at SPCHS united by shared values more so than demographics. Such unique diversity expands perspectives while learning relationship skills.
In addition, the school emphasizes character just as much as the curriculum. Daily religious instruction, theology coursework, community service hours, and an Honor Code system teach students to lead with ethics guided by faith. By graduation, students evolve into moral leaders ready to live their values powerfully.
At the same time, St. Petersburg Catholic delivers academic prowess on par with top local high schools. From a 100% graduation rate to over $21 million earned in annual college scholarships, outcomes prove the power of the scholastic experience at SPCHS. Additionally, signature STEM, performing arts, and athletic programs give students outlets to accelerate learning through application and experimentation with state-of-the-art tools, facilities and instruction.
In summary, the well-rounded educational foundation from St. Petersburg Catholic High School propels students successfully to college and beyond with character, skills and knowledge to make a difference in any career field.
Top 5 High Schools St Petersburg: #5. St. Petersburg High School
Last but not least, rounding out our top five St. Petersburg high schools list lands the first and only traditional public school – St. Petersburg High School. As the oldest secondary school in Pinellas County founded in 1898, St. Pete High has endured thanks to an expanding emphasis on magnet programs tailored to diverse student interests and talents. Here’s a closer review of the top magnet programs elevating this historic school:
Chiefly, St. Petersburg High School hosts the renowned International Baccalaureate Programme and is still the only public high school in the county to offer this accelerated diploma pathway. IB emphasizes critical thinking, intercultural understanding, and application of knowledge across all fields from sciences to humanities and more. Moreover, IB scores translate into college credits for accelerated degree completion.
Additionally, St. Petersburg High partners with the University of Cambridge in England to bring the elite Cambridge AICE college preparatory curriculum to students. AICE focuses on developing complex understanding, investigating and reasoning , problem-solving skills and more to ready students for competitive university admissions worldwide.
Top 5 High Schools St Petersburg: Pinellas County Center for the Arts (PCCA)
Finally, for students gifted in the visual and performing arts, Pinellas County Center for the Arts at St. Petersburg High gives artistic students an opportunity to hone their talents. From orchestra and choir to theater, dance, musical theater and all manner of visual arts, PCCA fosters creativity. Furthermore, partnerships with institutions like the Palladium Theater, Mahaffey Theater and more offer real-world arts exposure beyond the classroom walls.
In review, the magnet programs differentiate St. Petersburg High as a traditional public school able to compete with other college preparatory and private institutions through tailored curriculums. This sums up our countdown of the top five St. Petersburg high schools proving options abound for standout secondary education in the Sunshine City.
Top 5 High Schools St Petersburg: Conclusion
In conclusion, St. Petersburg families find no shortage of exceptional high schools to choose from across public, charter, private, parochial and other secondary education models. Any one of these top five schools deliver academic rigor, student support structures and developmental experiences to ready teenagers for college, career, leadership and fulfilling lives. Whether aiming to elevate test scores, expand worldviews, discover passions or all the above, one or more of these top-ranked St. Petersburg high schools likely offers the right fit. After reviewing the unique strengths of each, families can determine which aligns best to their student’s needs and aspirations.
Top 5 High Schools St Petersburg: The Case for Homeschooling
Transitioning to a different perspective, homeschooling stands out as another viable secondary education option allowing parents ultimate authority over their child’s learning. Homeschooling rates continue rising across America as more families recognize the flexibility and customization it allows compared to traditional schooling. Specifically, some benefits of homeschooling include:
Foremost, homeschooling enables parents to take full ownership over curating their child’s scholastic experiences with autonomy public and private schools do not allow. Parents can adapt topics, pace, materials and instruction models catered to their child’s unique interests, challenges, aspirations and learning profile. Such tailored curation fosters engagement and accelerated skill building.
Additionally, parents can infuse their own family values, beliefs, and worldviews directly into lessons free of external censorship or standardization requirements. Instilling moral principles and developing character can take on primary importance alongside reading, writing and arithmetic mastery.
Also, homeschooling liberates students from rigid schedules and excessive homework enabling flexible pacing suited to the child. Learning feels less rushed and stressful with room for exploration. Students progress to new levels after mastering previous concepts instead of moving lockstep with peers.
Top 5 High Schools St Petersburg: Summary
In summary, homeschooling puts parents back in the driver’s seat of their child’s education allowing total authority over when, how and what children learn. With full autonomy over curricula, priorities, principles and pace of instruction, homeschooling offers an underrated alternative for customized learning absent limits and bureaucracy. More families today recognize and leverage homeschooling as a powerful education option for tailoring a high school experience around a child’s unique needs and family values.
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