The Sarasota County School District is one of only five of the state’s 67 school districts graded as an A district in 2013 by the Florida Department of Education. The district is ranked third in the state in student achievement; 90 percent of its elementary and middle schools are A or B schools.
A 2012 independent study by MGT of America concluded that the district is one of the best-run school systems the company has reviewed, citing high performance and innovative practices.
The district is home to 52 schools, including 41 traditional public schools, 10 charter schools and 1 alternative school. Approximately 41,000 students attend Sarasota County schools. Standardized test scores consistently exceed state and national averages.
The district offers school choice and magnet programs, including International Baccalaureate, Advanced International Certificate of Education, and Visual and Performing Arts programs.
Career and Technical Education classes prepare students for higher education and the 21st century workforce. High school students can earn college credit, industry certification and the Florida Ready to Work credential.
Full-time programs for intellectually gifted and advanced students are offered throughout the district and at Pine View, a special school for gifted students in grades two through 12. In 2013 Pine View was ranked the sixth best high school in the nation by U.S. News & World Report.
The district has been recognized for outstanding arts education by the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and the National School Boards Association. Sarasota is the sixth school district in the U.S. to partner with the Kennedy Center on Any Given Child, a program that works with schools to create a long-range arts education plan for all students.
Twenty district schools have received the state Five Star Award for exemplary community involvement. More than 10,000 students, parents, community members and business leaders participate in the district’s volunteer program. Team Up!, a web-based resource at TeamUpSCS.org, makes it easy for individuals and businesses to partner with schools.
The Education Foundation of Sarasota County and other local foundations fund award-winning district initiatives. Residents have supported excellence in public education through additional voted school funding since 2002.