Located on Tampa Bay on the Gulf Coast of Florida, Tampa is one of Florida’s most exciting cities with a population of almost 400,000. While Tampa is best known for its tourist attractions and beaches, did you know Tampa is also home to one of Florida’s top-rated school districts? As you prepare for settling in the Tampa area, one of the most important things you may be looking for in your neighborhood is a great school for your children. A good way to start your search is by first selecting the best school district then narrowing down your options to the best schools and the neighborhoods they serve. There are four primary school districts in Metro Tampa, each with something different to offer.
To help you choose the right Tampa suburb or neighborhood to call home, here’s a look at the best school districts in Tampa based on independent ratings, test results, and national recognition.
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Hillsborough County Public Schools | Tampa, FL
Hillsborough County isn’t just one of the top school districts in the Tampa area; it’s one of the best in the country! Headquartered in Tampa and serving all of Hillsborough County, the district serves more than 215,000 students with over 15,000 teachers.
In 2020, seven Hillsborough County Public Schools high schools placed within the top 10 Best High Schools in Metro Tampa ranking by U.S. News & World Report. 11 of the top 20 spots were also filled by the district. Hillsborough County has earned its reputation as the best school district in Tampa thanks to its high academic performance ratings.
Plant High School was ranked as one of the best high schools in Tampa with a 65.2 College Readiness Score and a 96% graduation rate. Some other schools in the district that made the list of best schools in Tampa include Brooks Debartolo Collegiate High School (100% graduation rate) and Sickles High School (95% graduation rate).
You have your choice of many neighborhoods in Tampa that fall under the Hillsborough County Public Schools district. One of the best is Lutz, 15 miles outside Tampa. Lutz is served by Steinbrenner High School, one of the many Hillsborough County schools that made the top 10 list in Greater Tampa.
Pinellas County Schools | Largo, FL
Serving Pinellas County, this school district serves over 104,000 students in 150 schools including 15 charter schools. That makes Pinellas County Schools the 7th largest district in Florida. The district serves several of Tampa’s largest suburbs including Clearwater, St. Petersburg, Largo, and Osceola.
Pinellas County Schools has a number of highly rated schools such as Discovery Academy of Science Charter School, one of the best charter schools in Tampa with excellent reviews from parents and test scores that far exceed the Florida average. The school is located in Dunedin, one of the most affordable Tampa suburbs for families with a median home price of just $161,000. Palm Harbor University High in nearby Palm Harbor is rated as one of the best high schools in Tampa with a 99% graduation rate and a 66% Advanced Placement participation rate.
Pasco County Schools | Land O’ Lakes, FL
The Pasco County School District isn’t as large as that of Hillsborough County or Pinellas County with a total of 75,000 students, but it’s notable for its above average schools. Pasco County Schools is home to some of the best public schools in the Tampa area and it’s been named the College Board AP District of the Year for large districts for the 10th year in a row. Pasco County Schools was one of just 250 districts in the year to be honored on the AP District Honor Roll for expanding access to Advanced Placement Courses and the only school in the U.S. chosen for the large district category.
Students who participate in Advance Placement coursework offered by a school can save families a significant amount on their college education. The average student who scores at least a 3 on two AP Exams can save almost $1,800 at a four-year public college.
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Land O’ Lakes High School is the best high school in Tampa in the Pasco County Schools District. Ranked by U.S. News as one of the top 10 high schools in Tampa, 45% of students have passed at least one AP Exam with math and reading tests that exceed the state and district average. Land O’Lakes itself is a safe and family-friendly suburb with a very high homeownership rate. Thinking about settling here? Read our guide to living in Land O’ Lakes to get an idea of what you can expect.
Hernando School District | Brooksville, FL
Hernando County School District, headquartered in Brooksville, serves all of Hernando County, Florida north of Tampa. The district is quite a distance from Tampa but Hernando County is still part of Metro Tampa. There are 28 schools in the district including 10 elementary schools, 5 high schools, and 3 charter schools.
Frank W. Springstead High School in Brooksville is one of the best schools in Tampa in the Hernando School District. It’s one of the top 35 high schools in Metro Tampa with an AP coursework participation rate of 44% and reading proficiency that exceeds the Florida average.
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The city of Brooksville has a population of nearly 7,700 and sits along Florida’s Nature Coast. Brooksville has been named as the Outstanding Rural Community of the Year in Florida thanks to its outdoor recreation opportunities like kayaking, fishing, and golf. Brooksville is known for its very low cost of living with a median home price of just $56,800.
Best Private Schools in Tampa, FL
Considering private school education for your child? Some of the best schools in Tampa are private schools but don’t be intimidating; there are many options in Metro Tampa including private schools with financial aid available. There’s also a mix of secular private schools and schools with a religious affiliation.
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Shorecrest Preparatory School in St. Petersburg
Shorecrest is the best private school in the Tampa area without a religious affiliation. Founded in 1923, the school serves pre-K to 12th grade with a tuition cost ranging from $10,900 to $25,800.
Berkeley Preparatory School in Tampa
This Episcopalian private school serves pre-K through 12th grade with an enrollment of 1,380. Berkeley Preparatory School is co-ed with an annual tuition cost of $17,900 to $26,700 but financial aid is available with 25 full and partial scholarships available. 100% of students go to college after graduation.
Clearwater Central Catholic High School in Clearwater
CCC is a co-ed Roman Catholic private high school but accepts students of all faiths. Tuition is $13,100 (parish affiliated) or $15,850 (non-parish affiliated) with 554 students enrolled. About 35% of students receive financial aid. CCC offers a wide range of programs including an international baccalaureate, foreign language, and sports with 36 State Championships won.
Hillel Academy in Tampa
Hillel Academy is a Jewish private school serving grades 1 to 8. This Blue Ribbon Award School has a total enrollment of 150 students with a tuition cost of about $8,300 and financial aid available.
Tampa School Districts FAQs
What is the best high school in Tampa, Florida?
The top-rated high school in Tampa is Plant High School in Tampa’s Hillsborough County School District.
Does Tampa have good schools?
Absolutely! In fact, Tampa has some of the best high schools and elementary schools in Florida. You can choose from many highly rated public schools in Tampa or choose private schools with secular and non-secular options.
What is the best school district in Tampa?
Hillsborough County School District which serves Tampa and surrounding cities like Valrico, Lutz, and Plant City is the best school district in the Tampa area.
Have you settled on the best Tampa school district to help your children reach their potential? The next step is choosing the right suburb or neighborhood and getting a jump start on your move. As moving day approaches, trust the affordable Tampa movers at 2 College Brothers to make your relocation fast, easy, and stress-free.