Top 5 Middle Schools St Petersburg:
St. Petersburg, located on Florida’s Gulf Coast, is home to some of the state’s top-ranked middle schools. With a vibrant arts scene, access to beautiful beaches, and a warm climate, St. Petersburg offers an appealing backdrop for students’ formative middle school years. This blog post will count down the top 5 middle schools in St. Petersburg based on metrics such as test scores, student-teacher ratios, and extracurricular activities offered. Furthermore, it will provide an overview of each school as well as pros and cons for prospective students and parents to consider.
Top 5 Middle Schools St Petersburg: #1. Azalea Middle School
Azalea Middle School is ranked as the best middle school in St. Petersburg proper. This public school serves grades 6-8 and has an enrollment of around 1,100 students. Azalea Middle School boasts strong academics, an experienced teaching staff, and a wide variety of electives and afterschool activities for students.
Azalea Middle School offers a comprehensive core curriculum for students in English language arts, mathematics, science, and social studies. Teachers use innovative instructional approaches such as project-based learning to engage students. Azalea’s teachers are highly qualified, with over 60% holding advanced degrees. The student-teacher ratio is just 15:1, allowing for meaningful individualized instruction.
Azalea Middle School is a consistent “A” rated school according to the Florida State Department of Education. In 2022, nearly 80% of Azalea’s 8th grade students passed the state standardized tests in English language arts, math, science, and social studies. This pass rate is nearly 20 percentage points higher than the state average for middle schools.
In addition to rigorous academics, Azalea Middle School enables students to explore interests and develop talents through diverse elective course offerings and extracurricular activities. Electives range from band, orchestra, theater, and visual arts programs to computer science, debate, journalism, and TV production. Azalea also has over 15 sports teams across sports like flag football, basketball, soccer, volleyball that students can join.
With these enriching opportunities combined with strong academics, it is no surprise Azalea Middle School graduated 94% of their 8th graders in 2022, with over 75% continuing to advanced academic programs in high schools.
Top 5 Middle Schools St Petersburg: Pros
– Strong core academics and test scores
– Many electives and extracurricular options
– Low student-teacher ratio
– Highly qualified teachers
Top 5 Middle Schools St Petersburg: Cons
– As a larger school, some classes can be bigger in size
– High demand, so there is a competitive application process
Top 5 Middle Schools St Petersburg: #2. Tyrone Middle School
Tyrone Middle School is a sought-after public school located in St. Petersburg, catering to grades 6-8. It has a enrollment of around 900 students. Tyrone has a track record of high student achievement as a result of challenging academics, quality teachers, and diverse electives offered.
Tyrone Middle School adheres to the Pinellas County academic standards, providing advanced coursework in core subjects as well as interesting electives. Over a dozen accelerated/honors level classes are available to qualified students in fields like math, science, English, and social studies. Tyrone students consistently score above average on key statewide assessments, including the Florida Standard Assessments (FSA).
In 2022, Tyrone had exceptional pass rates on FSA exams with over 85% proficiency in English language arts, mathematics, science, and social studies for 8th graders. Compare this to statewide averages hovering in the 50-60% range. Tyrone 8th graders also earned nearly 1,000 high school credit certifications in 2022 through completing advanced classes.
Tyrone Middle School delivers strong academics while also allowing students to pursue individual passions. Over a dozen sports programs give students an outlet for athletics. More than 10 student clubs and organizations span interests like community service, arts, culture, and the environment. Tyrone also has band, chorus, theater, and visual arts electives. With this well-rounded environment, 94% of Tyrone 8th graders continue onto accelerated high school coursework after graduation.
– High test scores and course offerings
– Array of electives and extracurricular activities
– Qualified teachers and supportive environment
– Large class sizes in some subjects
– Competitive magnet program application
Top 5 Middle Schools St Petersburg: #3. Admiral Farragut Academy
Alternatively, parents looking for a private middle school option for grades 6-8 near St. Petersburg should consider the highly respected Admiral Farragut Academy. This college preparatory school offers a holistic education with rigorous academics, athletics, leadership training, and more across its 30 acre campus.
Admiral Farragut Academy provides a robust liberal arts curriculum designed to challenge students and foster critical thinking skills. There is focus on STEAM education with required courses in science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics. The average class size is just 12 students, enabling very customized learning plans. Over 30% of teachers hold advanced degrees. Admiral Farragut’s 8th graders consistently gain acceptance into top high school programs due to this strong academic preparation.
In addition to academics, Admiral Farragut has over 15 athletic teams, 30 different student organizations, and an abundance of performing arts opportunities through partnerships with facilities like the Mahaffey Theatre. A unique “Leadership Training Program” takes students through leadership courses and allows them to obtain ranks based on communication abilities, integrity, and teamwork skills developed. This coupled with required community service hours produces responsible, well-rounded graduates.
– Low student-teacher ratios and rigorous academics
– Focus on leadership training and student responsibility
– Array of athletics, arts, and extracurricular clubs
– Premium tuition around $21,000 per year
– Competitive selective acceptance rate
Top 5 Middle Schools St Petersburg: #4. Community Christian School of Five Oaks
The Community Christian School of Five Oaks is a private, nonsectarian day school located in Seminole but drawing from across Pinellas County. Its middle school division accommodates grades 6-8 with around 200 total students. This intimate environment allows for academic excellence and character development.
As an “A” rated state school, Five Oaks delivers stimulating, advanced coursework helping students cultivate critical thinking abilities. The curriculum emphasizes STEAM fields with three years of required science classes. Teachers often employ engaging project-based learning activities in this intimate classroom setting. Average middle school class sizes fall between 12-16 students. Eighty percent of teachers hold advanced degrees.
This rigorous curriculum has led to outstanding testing outcomes. In 2021-2022, 100% of 8th graders passed the Civics EOC with 53% earning “Exemplary.” Similarly, 98% of students scored proficient in math and 92% made proficiency in English Language Arts. Notably, 100% of 8th grade students went on to attend top public and private high schools in the area.
A distinguishing aspect of Five Oaks apart from its strong academics is the focus on character development and leadership skill building. Students are guided toward self-discovery of their talents and passions through school community involvement. A variety of interscholastic sports teams are also offered.
– Challenging, discussion-based curriculum with excellent test results
– Combination of small class sizes and excellent teachers
– Leadership development and community engagement
– Fairly limited offerings in sports, clubs, and the arts
– Middle school tuition of $20,000
Top 5 Middle Schools St Petersburg: #5. St Jude Cathedral School
Rounding out the list is St Jude Cathedral School, a private Catholic school serving grades PK3-8 in St. Petersburg proper. The middle school grades of 6-8 have around 200 total students. St Jude delivers a well-rounded, faith-based education focused on the whole child.
St Jude provides a challenging liberal arts curriculum designed to develop students into ethical, independent thinkers. Students take courses spanning theology, math, language arts, social studies, science, World Language, art, music, PE, and more. Teachers often develop integrated, cross-disciplinary lessons between subjects to bolster comprehension. St Jude’s middle schoolers score above average on key standardized tests. Class sizes range 12-18 students depending on the subject and grade.
St Jude offers a breadth of performing arts and athletic opportunities for a relatively small school. Over 20 competitive sports teams across sports like soccer, flag football, basketball, swimming, track, and golf facilitate physical activity. Likewise, choir, band, theater, visual art classes enable artistic endeavor. Students can also join the Yearbook Committee, Environmental Club, Student Ambassadors, and National Junior Honor Society. With this diversity of offerings paired with a nurturing community, 97% of 8th graders continue onto private and public magnet high school programs after St Jude.
– Emphasis on moral development and community
– Array of arts/athletics and engaging academics
– Small class sizes and accessible teachers
– Tuition around $12,000 per middle school year
– Limited STEAM/technology offerings
Top 5 Middle Schools St Petersburg: Conclusion
St. Petersburg offers several exceptional middle school options ranging from the highly-rated Azalea Middle School to private institutions like Admiral Farragut Academy. Parents must weigh factors like testing results, extracurricular activities, school culture, class size, tuition rates, and curriculum focus during their selection process. While Azalea Middle School takes the top spot regarding overall academics and student outcomes, parents may also wish to consider smaller private schools like Five Oaks or St Jude for a more nurturing, intimate environment. St. Petersburg provides appealing middle school choices to match an array of preferences.:
Top 5 Middle Schools St Petersburg: The Case for Homeschooling
While this blog post has highlighted several excellent institutional options for middle school students in the St. Petersburg area, homeschooling also merits consideration given its unique benefits for children in grades 6-8.
Homeschooling allows for completely customized learning approaching tailored to a child’s specific interests, abilities, strengths, and weaknesses. The flexible schedule enables students to truly delve into subjects that fascinate them or spend more time improving in areas of difficulty. Homeschooling also facilitates bonding between parents and children during the transitional middle school period.
Structured for the Student’s Strengths
Importantly, homeschooling enables preservation of parents’ rights to guide their child’s educational trajectory as they best see fit. The choice of homeschooling should remain in parents’ purview given they understand their children deeply and want what is best for their development into ethical, thoughtful adults. Homeschooling can nurture self-driven learning habits to a greater degree than schools dictating rigid standardized curriculums aimed at the “average” student. Students can also absorb moral lessons in alignment with family values more seamlessly.
Top 5 Middle Schools St Petersburg: Conclusion
While homeschooling does demand great commitment of time and energy from parents, the payoffs for customized learning and family integrity can make homeschooling the right middle school alternative for some families. Policymakers must uphold parental choice in schooling, be it private, public or homeschooling, as a fundamental right. St. Petersburg provides an array of middle school options, but parents should feel empowered to homeschool if that is where their child will thrive most fully during the pivotal middle grades.
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