The Sarasota County School District is designated as an “A” district by the Florida Department of Education. It is ranked fourth highest in scores in Florida’s standardized tests among the state’s 67 school districts. Sixty-five percent of the county’s public school teachers hold a master’s degree or higher, compared to a 41 percent state average.

The 55 public schools in Sarasota County serve all educational needs and support lifelong learning from pre-kindergarten to adult enrichment. Schools include traditional K-12 schools, charter schools, two schools for students with special needs, a school for intellectually gifted students, an academy for struggling students in grades 8-10, a technical high school and an institute that offers career training for high school students and adults. Pine View School, which serves intellectually gifted students from throughout the county in grades two-12, consistently ranks among the nation’s best high schools on lists compiled by U.S. News & World Report, Newsweek and other publications.

 Specialized programs include International Baccalaureate (Riverview High, Brookside Middle and Phillippi Shores Elementary), Advanced International Certificate of Education (Sarasota High), Visual and Performing Arts programs (Booker Middle and High) and the Young Marines (Venice Middle School), the nation’s first all-day middle school program sanctioned by the U.S. Marine Corps. High schools feature learning communities that focus on specific career areas such as Business Management, Marketing & Hospitality (North Port High), and the Venice Medical Academy (Venice High School), to name a few.


Sampling of Private Schools

Bishop Nevins Academy – The academy is home to St. Martha Catholic School and the Dreams Are Free Institute, an outreach program for children with special learning difficulties in grades one through eight.

Cardinal Mooney High School – A four-year co-educational institution reflecting the high academic standards and performance levels of Catholic schools nationwide.

Goldie Feldman Academy – This academy at Temple Beth Sholom is a Jewish private school. It provides a full-time secular education program incorporating Jewish education from kindergarten through eighth grade.

Julie Rohr Academy – More than 25 years old, this co-educational school for preschool

through eighth grade places an emphasis on the arts.

New Gate School – This independent not-for-profit institution for pre-school through ninth grade students was selected by the Montessori Foundation to be a national laboratory school.

The Out-of-Door Academy – ODA has two campuses – one on Siesta Key serving pre-school through sixth grade students and another in Lakewood Ranch serving middle and high school students.

Prew Academy – This academy offers an individual course of study and competitive sports for grades 6 through 12, with a 8-to-1 student-teacher ratio.

Sarasota Christian School – This interdenominational school for grades K -12 offers a complete academic and athletic program.


Higher Education

Argosy University – A private institution that provides professional educational programs at doctoral, master’s, bachelor’s and associate’s degree levels, as well as continuing education for professionals. It emphasizes programs in the behavioral sciences, business, education and the health care professions. 

Eckerd College – Offering bachelor’s degrees for adults in an accelerated format in a Sarasota-Manatee center. More than 15 majors are available, including several related to business management, leadership and organization. Credit may be awarded for prior learning. 

Everglades University - Everglades University is a private, regionally accredited, not-for-profit university offering Bachelor of Science Degrees in alternative medicine, alternative and renewable energy management, construction management, crisis and disaster management, business administration, applied management, aviation technology, and aviation management; and Master’s Degrees in business administration, aviation science, and entrepreneurship at its Sarasota County campus in Lakewood Ranch. Everglades University is approved for veterans training. 

Florida State University - Regional Medical School Campus – The Sarasota regional campus of Florida State University College of Medicine provides medical students third- and fourth-year clinical training with local physicians, ambulatory care facilities and hospitals. 

Florida State University Asolo Conservatory for Actor Training – A three-year training program for graduate students preparing for professional acting careers. 

Keiser University – Keiser University, regionally accredited since 1991, provides master’s, bachelor’s and associate’s degrees in high-demand, career-focused fields. A leader in workforce education, Keiser University offers courses in allied health, business, computer technology, criminal justice, culinary arts, education, hospitality and legal disciplines. 

Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine - The Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine (LECOM) Bradenton campus is part of the largest medical school in the country. LECOM Bradenton at Lakewood Ranch offers doctoral degrees in osteopathic medicine, pharmacy and dental medicine. 

New College of Florida – The honors college of Florida, where students earn bachelor’s degrees in the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences, plus individually arranged multidisciplinary, interdisciplinary and special topic majors. New College consistently ranks among the highest per capita number of Fulbright scholars among U.S. colleges. 

Ringling College of Art and Design – Offering bachelor’s degrees in 14 disciplines including advertising design, business of art & design, computer animation, digital filmmaking, fine arts, game art & design, graphic & interactive communication, illustration, interior design, motion design, and photography & digital imaging. The college consistently ranks among the country’s top visual art and design schools. Aside from degree programs, Ringling offers a number of exceptional opportunities for the community. 

State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota – SCF is a dynamic college dedicated to meeting the educational and workforce training needs of citizens and businesses in the region. SCF’s expanded mission includes workforce baccalaureate degrees with a continuing core focus on highly respected associate degrees that prepare graduates for university transfer and professional careers. In addition, SCF’s vibrant Corporate & Community Development division works hand in hand with business partners to close the skills gap by providing customized contract and worker training. Campuses are located in Bradenton, Lakewood Ranch, Venice and online.

University of South Florida-Sarasota/Manatee – USF Sarasota-Manatee is a comprehensive university for those interested in pursuing a baccalaureate or master’s degree, professional certification, or continuing education credit.  USFSM offers the prestige of a nationally ranked research university with the convenience of a hometown university, including classes in south Sarasota County. 

Webster University – Offering master’s degree programs in counseling, human resources, management and leadership, and business administration for students who hold a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university. 

Career and Vocational Education

Suncoast Technical College – Offering technical training and continuing education to people who need to upgrade or learn new skills for today’s workplace. STC strives to meet the demands of the local workforce through active participation with business, industry and health employers. 

Going Granular