The middle school years are a tough time for most kids. Their bodies are changing, and they're suddenly too old for toys but too young to fit in with the teens and adults. Because this is a time when moral character tends to go downhill, it's important to enroll children in a place with people who will look out for them. When you're looking for a Christian upper school in Tampa, FL, that does things a little differently, you’ve found the right place.
Here at Tampa Bay Christian Academy, we've reimagined the idea of middle school by moving 6th graders to our lower school program where they can mature and learn to lead. We also move 7th- and 8th-grade students to our Upper/High School, where they can be mentored by high school leaders, challenged by high school courses, and encouraged by loving staff. We ensure that your child will learn in a caring environment that promotes kindness, and they will always have someone to turn to during this challenging time.
Our Private School Goes Beyond the Classroom
There's so much more to the way we do the typical private middle school years . We've eliminated middle school. We're here to help students grow and develop their Christian faith, as well as their minds. In order to do so, we offer the chance to participate in overnight retreats, community service, weekly chapels, and other special activities that build character through Christ. Starting in our private 6th grade, students can join various honor societies and participate in other extracurricular activities. These range from FHSAA and intramurals athletics like volleyball, cheerleading, and basketball to student government, Praise Team, and yearbook. With programs like these, students receive all of the social, learning, and spiritual opportunities they need for their life after school.
Our curriculum follows a college prep sequence and integrates Bible studies into every subject. Students develop knowledge, memorization, understanding, and real-life application of Scripture in a manner suitable for their age groups. Because of our elimination of middle school, our 7th and 8th graders take advanced courses with their 9th, 10th, 11th, and 12th grade classmates, earning credits toward graduation earlier and preparing them to excel academically. Students excel into our college prep program, where 95% of attendees move on to college after graduation. Many of the students who attend our college prep program receive scholarships, as well.
We are Committed to Sharing the Love of Christ with Our Students
Part of being a successful Christian school is making every student feel at home. We do this by ensuring that all students have what they need for success by providing a variety of academic programs for students in K-12 to take advantage of during their time at TBCA. These include extra teachers for students who need more help, an honors program for gifted children, and dual enrollment at the high school level. Everything from ESE to Gifted is accommodated.
We even have bilingual teachers on staff for students who don’t speak English as a first language. Our international students on I-20 visas add to the racial and socioeconomic diversity of our campus, which is fairly evenly spread with the population composed of 30% African American students, 30% Hispanic students, 30% Caucasian students, and 10% of students coming from other nationalities. Students from lower-income families are also an important part of our school, which is why we have several scholarships and financial aid opportunities to help them attend classes.
Our Private Upper (High) School Gets Students Ready for the Real World
Since upper school is the last stop before the "real world," it's imperative to choose the right one. Tampa Bay Christian Academy is perfect for families who are looking for a private high school where their children will be college-ready with Biblical and Christian worldviews. Our upper school offers programs for college prep, gifted students, students with learning disabilities, and dual enrollment, all of which lead to full diplomas. We encourage our students to learn at their own unique paces and earn college credits, sometimes without leaving campus. Upper school students even have the added benefit of events to socialize with their fellow students, like our senior trip and annual junior-senior banquet.
Our school has a small student-to-teacher ratio, and we provide programs to meet every need, ranging from ESE to Gifted and everything in between. Many of our teachers are bilingual, allowing us to assist students who speak languages other than English, and we're happy to provide an I-20 to students holding an F1 visa. Students from low-income families can apply for scholarships and other financial aid opportunities, and students with IEPs and learning challenges thrive in our Success Program. Many are eligible for the McKay or Gardiner Scholarships, so they’ll have access to the financial resources they need to attend college.
Preparing Students for the Future at Our Christian Upper School
We believe that a relationship with Christ is an essential part of a child's education, and we reinforce this belief using several different methods. All of our students are required to study the Bible as a core subject, and it is integrated into our other classes, as well. Community service, daily devotions, overnight retreats, and weekly chapels combine to enhance the academic curriculum and Christian faith. Unlike some other private high schools, we practice the Christian tenet of welcoming as many families as we can from every part of the world, regardless of their beliefs, religion, or economic status. Our school is accredited by the CSF and SACS to cover everything that our public school counterparts do (and more).
In addition to the core subjects, our Christian high school credit classes involve the Bible, the arts, foreign language, and some electives. We offer everything students need to gain admission to college, receive scholarships, and further explore their interests. Our classes are supplemented by a number of activities and organizations, like our various honor societies and afterschool clubs. The dual enrollment courses we offer are a chance for students and their parents to save money while getting a head start on their college education. Students earn college credit while still in upper school without having to pay tuition, so they’ll have smaller course loads in college, leading to less stress and lower costs. These courses are held at or by USF and St. Pete College, with some being held online and others at their respective campuses.