Best schools in the Tampa Bay area

One of the most important decisions you have when buying a home is the zoned schools. Even if you don’t have kids though, school boundaries are important for resale value.

The Tampa Bay area is comprised of 4 school districts, each divided by county. Each district offers elementary (generally K-5), middle (6-8) and high (9-12).

Hillsborough County School District the largest in the area with more than 200,000 students in 250 schools

Pasco has 84 schools

Pinellas has 140 school

Hernando has 28 schools


All the Tampa Bay area school districts also have charter schools, which are public schools that operate under a performance contract which frees them from many regulations created for traditional public schools while holding them accountable for academic and financial results. These charter schools are not included in this information nor are private schools.


The state of Florida grades public schools based on how students perform on statewide assessments. There were no school grades given in 2020.


A rated schools can also be distinguished as a School of Excellence (in 80th percentile for 2 of the last 3 years while meeting qualifying criteria). This is the criteria we used to determine some of top areas to look at schools.


Top areas for families with top-rated schools


SW Hillsborough (South Tampa area)

This is a popular area close to Tampa Bay and north of MacDill Air Force Base


Elementary: Mabry, Grady, Mitchell, Gorrie

Middle: Coleman

High: Plant, one of the premiere high schools in the state and consistently ranked as the top high school in the Tampa Bay area


NW Hillsborough (Odessa/Lutz)

Lakes, horse farms and golf courses are spread throughout this area


Elementary: Hammond, Schwartzkopf and McKitrick

Middle: Martinez and Walker Magnet

High: Steinbrenner



Community in west central Hillsborough County that is popular with families and downtown commuters.


Elementary: Westchase, Deer Park and Bryant

Middle: Farnell and Davidsen (which is B rated)

High: Sickles and Alonso High (which is B rated)


Eastern Hillsborough (Lithia)

Growing are with easy access to downtown Tampa


Elementary: Fishhawk Creek, Bevis, Lithia Springs

Middle: Barrington and Randall

High: Newsome High




Land O Lakes

Elementary: Bexley, Oakstead, Sanders Memorial, Lake Myrtle

Middle: Rushe

High: Land O Lakes (IB), Sunlake


Wesley Chapel

Elementary: Sand Pine, Seven Oaks, Wiregrass

Middle: John Long, Weightman

High: Wiregrass Ranch


Western Pasco (Trinity, Holiday, New Port Richey)

Elementary: Longleaf, Odessa, Trinity, Trinity Oaks

Middle: Seven Springs

High: Mitchell




St. Pete

Elementary: Bay Vista Fundamental, Gulf Beaches Magnet

Middle: Thurgood Marshall Fundamental

High: St. Petersburg Collegiate



Elementary: Davis

Middle: Clearwater Fundamental

High: No A-rated high schools. Clearwater and Countryside are both B-rated


Tarpon Springs

Elementary: Brooker Creek

Middle: East Lake

High: East Lake


Palm Harbor

Elementary: Cypress Woods, Ozona, Sutherland,

Middle: Carwise, Palm Harbor

High: Palm Harbor University



Spring Hill

Elementary: Chocachatti, Gulf Coast Elementary

Middle: Gulf Coast Academy, Powell

High: Springstead is B-rated



Elementary: Brooksville Elementary is B-rated

Middle: Parrott Middle is C-rated

High: Hernando High is B-rated



Hillsborough County Schools of Excellence

Elementary: Alafia, Apollo Beach, Bevis, Bryant, Chiles, Clark, Deer Park, Fishhawk Creek, Gorrie, Grady, Hammond, Lithia Springs, Mabry, Macfarlane Park Magnet, Maniscalco, McKitrick, Mitchell, Northwest, Pride, Roosevelt, Schwartzkopf, Stowers, Westchase

Middle: Barrington, Benito, Burns, Coleman, Farnell, Martinez, Randall, Walker Magnet, Williams Magnet, Wilson

High: Newsome, Plant, Sickles, Steinbrenner


Hillsborough A-rated schools

Elementary: Alafia, Alexander, Anderson, Ballast Point, Bryant, Chiles, Cimino, Clark, Deer Park, Fishhawk Creek, Gorrie, Grady, Hammond, Lithia Springs, Mabry, MacFarlane Park Magnet, McKitrick, Mitchell, Muller Magnet, Northwest, Pride, Roosevelt, Schwartzkopf, Stowers, Tampa Palms, Valrico, Westchase

K-8: Rampello K-8 Magnet, Roland Park K-8 Magnet, Tinker K-

Middle: Barrington, Benito, Bevis, Burns, Coleman, Farnell, Hill, Liberty, Ferrell Magnet, Martinez, Progress Village Magnet, Randall, Walker Middle, Williams Magnet, Wilson

High: Newsome, Plant, Sickles, Steinbrenner, Strawberry Crest, Tampa Bay Tech


Pasco Schools of Excellence

Elementary: Trinity, Oakstead, Veterans, Odessa, Sanders Memorial, Sand Pine, Longleaf

Middle: Seven Springs, Dr. John Long

High: Land O Lakes


Pasco A-rated schools

Elementary: Bexley, Lake Myrtle, Longleaf, Oakstead, Odessa, Sanders Memorial, Sand Pine, Seven Oaks, Trinity, Trinity Oaks, Wiregrass

Middle: John Long, Rushe, Seven Springs, Weightman

High: Land O Lakes, Mitchell, Sunlake, Wiregrass Ranch, Wendell Krinn Tech


Pinellas Schools of Excellence

Elementary: Anona, Bauder, Bay Vista, Brooker Creek, Perkins, Oldsmar, Curtis Fundamental, Pasadena Fundamental, Sunset Hills, Tarpon Springs Fundamental, Cypress Woods, Sutherland

Middle: Clearwater Fundamental, Thurgood Marshall Fundamental, East Lake

High: Osceola Fundamental, Palm Harbor University, East Lake, St. Petersburg Collegiate


Pinellas A-rated schools

Elementary: Anona, Bauder, Bay Vista Fundamental, Bauder, Brooker Creek, Curlew Creek, Curtis Fundamental, Cypress Woods, Davis, Garrison-Jones, Gulf Beaches Magnet, Oakhurst, Oldsmar, Orange Grove, Ozona, Pasadena Fundamental, Perkins, Safety Harbor, Shore Acres, Sunset Hills, Sutherland, Tarpon Springs Fundamental,

K-8: Madiera Beach Fundamental, Sanderlin

Middle: Carwise, Clearwater Fundamental, East Lake, Palm Harbor, Thurgood Marshall Fundamental

High: East Lake, Osceola Fundamental, Palm Harbor University, St. Petersburg Collegiate


Hernando Schools of Excellence

Elementary: Chocachatti

Middle: Gulf Coast Academy

High: None


Hernando A-rated schools

Elementary: Chocachatti, Gulf Coast Elementary Academy

K-8: Challenger K-8

Middle: Gulf Coast Middle Academy, Powell

High: None





#1 By strand shs at 8/17/2021 10:49 PM

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