School spotlight

Unique Florida learning option offers families safety, choice, peace of mind

Like a school, but better. That’s how Ali Kaufman, founder and CEO of Space of Mind, describes a revolutionary program that engages students, families, educators and the larger community in experiential learning. Kaufman’s brainchild, launched in 2004, is not a traditional school. Nor is it a tutoring center. It’s not[Read More…]

From falling behind to college bound at ‘Home of the Rattlers’

Editor’s note: For more examples of Black-owned private schools and charter schools, check out this directory from Black Minds Matter. You can read about a Jacksonville charter school that introduces elementary students to the culture of historically Black colleges and universities here. TAMPA, Fla. – Dwayne Raiford envisioned his “HBCU[Read More…]

New South Florida school relies on the arts, confidence building to help students succeed

Peek inside a classroom at The Foundations School and you’re likely to see the following: Kids producing their own play, complete with simple costumes. Kids plunging their fingers into clay to create an object that might be mentioned in a story. Kids singing along with a professional musician strumming a[Read More…]

Innovative program charts smooth course for at-risk youth

You easily could overlook the once-abandoned, two-story building tucked away on an industrial stretch off 22nd Avenue N in St. Petersburg. Beyond the chain-link face running alongside it, motorists whoosh past on I-275, oblivious to the renovated historic, red-brick structure. Dating back nearly 100 years, it’s soon to be the[Read More…]

A new normal for South Florida private school as tumultuous year winds down

The past year has been like a wild ride through the wilderness for Abundant Life Christian Academy, a small, faith-based private school about 15 miles northwest of Fort Lauderdale. Think Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, a fast, bumpy, roller coaster-type ride aboard a speeding train through a haunted goldmine in the[Read More…]

Shakespeare, small engine repair and a ‘melting pot that works’

Editor’s note: Step Up For Students, which hosts this blog, administers five state education choice programs, including three used by students who attend The Pioneer School. ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. – As the sun rises and smoke wisps from a diffuser, 16 students sit cross-legged in a century-old house with a[Read More…]

Academy Prep posts strong finish to school year despite pandemic’s challenges

Academy Prep Center started the 2020-21 academic year with a unique perspective. Understanding that education is hardly a one-size-fits-all proposition, even in the best of times, school officials allowed the trio of private schools to tailor their reopening plans to parents’ needs, with a different look and feel at each[Read More…]

Community leaders join to fund, build private elementary school for low-income families

It began as a day care center for Rosie the Riveter. As World War II began and the men went off to fight, Jack and Jill Nursery opened in 1942 to watch over the children of the women who headed to work in the shipyards, welding shops and military bases.[Read More…]