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Florida best schools in St. Petersburg

Best Schools in St. Petersburg FL | 🏫Top Private Schools, High Schools, Elementary Schools

Last Updated on: 8th August 2022, 06:14 pm

There is no shortage of reasons to move to Saint Petersburg, Florida.  The weather is beautiful, the sites are breathtaking, and the city is growing rapidly.  (Over a quarter million as of the 2020 census).  With plenty of employment opportunities, “Saint Pete” is known as the tech capital of Florida.  There aren’t many people living below the poverty line and most everybody you meet will be friendly and let you know just how great it is to live there.  If Florida is the Sunshine State, Saint Pete is the Sunshine City with a Guinness book of records achievement of 768 consecutive days of sunshine!

When looking to relocate to a new city, it’s always a good idea to make sure you know about the school systems in the area and since you’re considering Saint Pete – you should know where the best neighborhoods in St. Petersburg are located.  St. Petersburg, Florida schools have a wide variety of ratings, rankings, and grades in a plethora of metrics.  It can be difficult to decide what is best for your children, especially when you consider some school systems have spectacular early childhood programs and more lackluster high schools while others have impressive late education grades and subpar early education programs.  In most scenarios, the larger the city, the more confusing your search results will be.  No school system is going to openly divulge their weak points so you really have to dig deep.  

Everyone cares about student improvement and how children will be formed and molded into the best, most intelligent critical thinker they can be, but it’s not all about test scores and individual education plans.  Special programs should be considered for those with disabilities, classroom size can dictate how much one on one time a student gets, and extracurricular programs are arguably just as important in forming a well-rounded student.  We all want the most for our kids, so we want to give them as many opportunities as possible to try different sports, arts, and organizations.  College readiness is important and so is the path to the workforce!

We’ve prepared this list of the best schools in St. Petersburg to help parents and guardians make informed decisions about the school systems they want their children to be a part of…

Best High Schools in St. Petersburg

With a slew of public schools that are administered and governed by the Pinellas County School district, four separate private school systems, and a number of unincorporated Christian schools, it can be difficult to nail down the “best” school for your children.  While we are ranking these schools, keep in mind that a lower ranked school may actually be better for your child than a higher ranked school – it will be dependent on location, curriculum, extracurriculars, and special circumstances unique to each individual.  

Remember if the school has made our list at all, that speaks volumes as it’s one of the best in the entire city area.  If a school didn’t make our list, that’s not to say it’s a “bad” option.  The schools in the St. Petersburg area are all well ahead of the state averages when it comes to test scores and graduation rates.

St. Petersburg Collegiate High School – Best School for College Preparation in St. Petersburg, Florida

  • Address6605 5th Ave North, St. Petersburg, FL 33710
  • Grades – 9 to 12 
  • Student:Teacher ratio – 47:1
  • Type – Public school that allows gifted children to earn high school diplomas and associates degrees simultaneously
  • Designated “A” School
  • Test Scores – Highest percentage of student achievement in both English Language Arts and Mathematics as compared to the other Pinellas County public high schools
  • Graduation Rate – 95% 

What Makes St. Petersburg Collegiate High School great?

  • Honor College, Model United Nations, Leadership Development
  • Service Learning Opportunities
  • Study Abroad Opportunities
  • Performing and Visual Arts programs
  • Free tutoring and access to SPC Learning Resources
  • Access to the Writing Lab and SPC Library system
  • On Campus Planetarium

St. Petersburg High School – Top Rated High School in Saint Petersburg

  • Address – 2501 5th Avenue North, St. Petersburg, FL 33713
  • Grades –  9 to 12
  • Student:Teacher ratio – 21:1
  • Type – Public
  • Test Scores – 61% scored proficient or better in reading, 67% proficient or better in science
  • Graduation Rate – 96% 

What Makes St. Petersburg High School great?


  • Allows students not zoned to join up
  • #3 best school in the entire county
  • Works with local colleges and St. Petersburg Collegiate High School to identify gifted students to provide better opportunities for them
  • Musically inclined – pride in band, providing extra music arts opportunities
  • Foreign exchange opportunities
  • Open sports tryouts
  • Drama club; Thespian opportunities
  • Extra emphasis on student safety
  • Bus transportation offered
  • Advanced Placement courses offered

Best Elementary Schools in St. Petersburg, Florida

While high schools are certainly important, there are a number of case studies that point to elementary education as being even more important.  Small group learning is unfathomably important so it’s good to not have classrooms with too many students at young ages.  While our brains are young and developing, elementary education is one of the largest influences that help us decide who we are, who we want to become, and how to socialize with other individuals and in groups.  Academia is absolutely important but so are extracurriculars.  We kept this in mind when selecting the best couple of elementary schools for those living in the St. Pete area!

Pasadena Fundamental Elementary School – Top St. Petersburg Elementary School for Learning, Growth, and Social Development

What Makes Pasadena Fundamental Elementary School great?

  • Dress code implemented
  • Bus transportation offered
  • Band, Chorus, Art are all additional focuses beyond regular education
  • All County Chorus opportunities
  • Extra emphasis on safety of staff and students coordinated with the local PD

James B. Sanderlin IB World School – Best Elementary to Middle School Transitions in St. Petersburg School Districts

  • Address – 2350 22nd Ave. South, St. Petersburg, FL 33712
  • Grades –  Pre-k to 8
  • Student:Teacher ratio – 16:1
  • Type – Public, magnet school
  • Enrollment – 560 students
  • Test Scores – 73% of students are proficient in math and 74% in reading (#81 of 1068 in all of Florida)

What Makes James B. Sanderlin IB World School great?

  • IB aim is to develop internationally minded students who, recognizing their common humanity and shared guardianship of the planet, help to create a better and more peaceful world while learning.
  • Known for smooth transitions from Pre-K to Elementary to Middle School
  • Awarded the President’s Magnet School of Merit Award of Excellence
  • Bus transportation offered
  • Diverse school race makeup
  • Active school twitter account to convey real-time information to parents
  • Emphasis on technology in teaching/learning
  • Laptops for every student

Best Private Schools in St. Petersburg

In many cities, private schools provide enhanced education opportunities to their students.  The money available for spending tends to be much greater than the public school counterparts.  Some of that money has been spent in recent years on safety measures for students that involve guards, monitors, metal detection, and even active shooter training for staff and students alike.  St. Petersburg has some of the best private school options in Florida.  

Keeping safety in mind, the following schools have direct lines to multiple large companies looking for young talent interested in joining the job market after earning their diploma as well as relationships with local colleges to help fast track those who are interested in extended education after graduation.

Shorecrest Preparatory School – 100% Graduation Rate in Saint Petersburg, FL

What Makes Shorecrest Preparatory School Great?

  • Recognized as #1 in Best Private High Schools in Pinellas County
  • 17th ranked school in all of Florida
  • Average state financial aid = ~$13,000 annually
  • Racially Diverse
  • Summer Programs offered
  • Basketball, Golf, Volleyball, Swimming, Football, Cross Country, Cheerleading, Baseball, Softball, Tennis, and Track & Field
  • Exposure to music through Choir, Band, Orchestra, and Chorus

Admiral Farragut Academy – University Prep Day School and International Boarding School in St. Petersburg

    • Address501 Park Street North, St. Petersburg, FL 33710
    • Grades – K – 12th
    • Type – Coed, independent school and boarding school
    • Student:Teacher ratio – 17:1
    • University acceptance – 100% 
    • Tuition – $14,000 to $58,000 annually depending on grade, day school, or boarding school status

What Makes Admiral Farragut Academy Great?

  • 40 acre campus located right on the water
  • Focus in regal water sports and commerce
  • Boarding complete with dorms and common rooms
  • 33 countries represented

St. Petersburg, FL Schools FAQ

Does St. Petersburg have good schools?

Ranking well above even the national averages, Saint Petersburg has some of the best schools, both public and private, to choose from in the entire state of Florida.

What is the best high school in Saint Petersburg?

The best public high school is St. Petersburg Collegiate High School because it provides ample opportunity for students to get a head start on their college education, saving thousands of dollars and a couple years of time simultaneously.

What is the best school district in St. Pete?

The best school district is definitely the Pinellas County School District but not all of the best options fall in that particular district’s umbrella.

With a large and diverse variety of school systems to choose from, we encourage you to tailor your choice based on what’s best for your family and your child’s unique situation.  No two kids are exactly the same and each family may seek different benefits from the schools.  The main takeaway is that all of the schools in the St. Petersburg city limits rank well above the majority of the state’s options and even do well compared to the national picture.  If you’re looking to relocate within the St. Petersburg metropolitan area, give us a call at 813-922-1528 for a free quote today!


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