Manatee–Sarasota Schools Reaffirm Academic Excellence


Well-guided are those home buyers who put Manatee and Sarasota high on their search list due the high standard of education available in the two counties. Both again showed stellar rankings in 2013–2014 district grades which the Florida Department of Education released in July.

Sarasota emerged tops among eight similar-sized Florida districts in the ranking which utilized the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test or FCAT. Overall, the Sarasota district garnered 23 As, six Bs and 11 Cs, with no Ds or Fs. In 2013, the district’s tally was: 21 As, 14 Bs and four Cs.

Manatee district leapfrogs

Manatee–Sarasota Schools Reaffirm Academic Excellence

A pronounced improvement was likewise achieved by the Manatee school district which moved up one rung higher to rank third among similar-sized districts. It performed next only to high-achieving Sarasota and the second placer Collier. In the state-wide overall ranking, Manatee leapfrogged by three places to rank 37th among the 67 state districts.

In the 2013–2014 FCAT, the Manatee district earned high marks with 15As received, up from the nine schools in the previous ranking. Schools which got Fs were also trimmed down to five compared to eight previously. All told, the Manatee district’s recent score card showed 15 As, seven Bs, 18 Cs, six Ds and five Fs.

Plenty of perks await those schools which excel in each district. Excellent grades—an A grade or an improvement by at least a grade higher— can give schools $100 extra per student, an amount which is often shared with the teachers as a bonus. A high ranking can also help draw attention of parents choosing the right school for their children.

The top local schools listed

In Sarasota, the schools which got A marks included Garden Elementary School and those similar schools at Alta Vista, Englewood, Fruitville, Philippi Shores, Southside, Tuttle, Venice, Ashton, Tatum Ridge, Taylor Ranch, Gulf Gate, Lakeview and Cranberry. FCAT A ratings also went to the Sarasota Middle School, Sarasota School of Arts/Sciences, the Imagine Schools at North Port and Palmer Ranch, Venice Middle School, Laurel Nokomis School, Island Village Montessori, Student Leadership Academy and Bay Haven School of Basics Plus.

Samplings of A-rating schools in Manatee include Anna Maria Elementary, Ida M. Stewart Elementary, Braden River Elementary and Middle Schools, Tara Elementary, Louise R. Johnson Middle, Gene Witt Elementary, Carlos E. Haile and R. Dan Nolan Middle Schools, Freedom Elementary, Gilbert W. McNeal Elementary, Robert Willis Elementary, Anny Lucy Williams Elementary and Palmetto Charter Schools.

Choices from among Manatee charter schools, meanwhile, may be further broadened starting August 2015, with five groups vying to become new charter schools in the county. The quintet includes the YMCA which seeks to reopen the Manatee Y Technological School for students from grades 7 to 12. The other applicants include: Cortez High for high school students; Oneco International School of Excellence for kindergarten students up to fifth grade; Plato Academy for kindergarten students up to eighth grade; and the Team Success Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics Charter School, which would likewise serve students from kindergarten up to the eighth grade.