There’s a lot to consider when you’re moving to a new place, and if you have kids (or plan to have them) schools top the list. If you’re planning on a public school education, you want your new neighborhood to have great schools. If you’re going private or are considering a charter or magnet school, or have a kid with special needs, you’ll want to explore your options and any requirements such as waiting lists, testing and application deadlines. 

If you’re moving to St. Petersburg, Florida, you’re in luck; you’ll find plenty of good schools and family-friendly neighborhoods plus all the amenities of a lively, livable metropolis with an easy, tropical lifestyle. Nicknamed “Sunshine City” St. Petersburg boasts an average of 361 sunny days a year. It’s surrounded by 244 miles of shoreline along Tampa Bay, Boca Ciega Bay, the Gulf of Mexico, and the intracoastal waterways and is known for its beautiful beaches as well as its thriving arts and culture scene.

Want to learn more about St. Petersburg and its surrounding environs? Check out our other guide below:

Up & Coming Neighborhoods in St. Petersburg

Best Neighborhoods in St. Petersburg

Best Schools in Tampa

Best Suburbs in Tampa

St. Petersburg’s Best Schools

St. Petersburg is located in Pinellas County and is served by the Pinellas County Schools district, the eighth largest school district in Florida and 26th largest in the nation. There are roughly 101,000 students at 132 traditional public schools, charter schools, and magnet schools.

Averaged out over the last three years (2019-2022) roughly 91% of students in the Pinellas School district graduate high school, according to data from the county’s Department of Assessment, Accountability & Research. The average rate for the entire state, for the same time period, is 88.3%.

We’ll delve into the neighborhoods known for top schools in a moment, but based on GreatSchools ratings;

The most highly rated public elementary schools in St. Petersburg, Florida are:

Azalea Elementary School

Lakeview Fundamental Elementary School

Northeast High Fundamental School

Plumb Elementary School

Shore Acres Elementary School

The most highly rated public middle schools in St. Petersburg, Florida are:

Azalea Middle School

John Hopkins Middle School

Meadowlawn Middle School

Thurgood Marshall Fundamental Middle School

Tyrone Middle School

And the most highly rated public high schools in St. Petersburg, Florida, are:

Dixie Hollins High School

Gibbs High School

Lakewood High School

Northeast High School

St. Petersburg High School

Best Charter Schools in St. Petersburg

In addition to traditional public schools, St. Petersburg also has a number of charter schools, which are public schools that operate independently from the district. These schools offer unique educational programs and approaches, and are designed to provide students with alternative educational options. The most highly rated charter schools in St. Petersburg, Florida, based on the GreatSchools ratings, are:

Canterbury School of Florida

Fundamentals Academy

Imagine School at St. Petersburg

Imagine South Shore

James B. Sanderlin PK-8 IB World School

Best Private Schools in St. Petersburg

Private schools are another option. The most highly rated ones are:

Canterbury School of Florida

Northside Christian School

Shorecrest Preparatory School

St. Petersburg Catholic High School

The Montessori Children’s House

Going to college in St Petersburg

Perhaps you’re considering St. Petersburg for your own educational needs, or you’re thinking about local options for your future college students. Here are some of St. Petersburg’s institutes of higher education:

Eckerd College is a private liberal arts college located on a waterfront campus in St. Petersburg. It offers a range of undergraduate programs in the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences, as well as a variety of experiential learning opportunities, including internships, research, and study abroad programs.

Pinellas Technical College is a public technical college that offers vocational training and certification programs in a variety of fields, including healthcare, construction, and technology. The college has several campuses throughout the Pinellas County area, including one in St. Petersburg.

St. Petersburg College offers a variety of degree and certificate programs, including associate degrees, bachelor’s degrees, and workforce training programs. This public college has several campuses throughout the St. Petersburg area, including a downtown campus and a campus in Clearwater.

University of South Florida St. Petersburg is a public university that is part of the University of South Florida system. It offers a range of undergraduate and graduate programs, with a focus on interdisciplinary studies, environmental science, and business.

A view of downtown St Petersburg

St. Petersburg Neighborhoods With Highly Ranked Schools

Here are some neighborhoods in St. Petersburg, Florida that are known for their safety, good schools, and amenities. Note that excellent private schools such as Shorecrest Preparatory School and Canterbury School of Florida can be attended by qualified students throughout St. Petersburgh, to avoid repetition we’ve listed them only in their closest neighborhoods.

Allendale

Allendale is a family-friendly, residential neighborhood known for its tree-lined streets, spacious lots, and well-maintained homes, many of which were built in the 1940s and 1950s. You’ll find a peaceful atmosphere and sense of community here, with many residents actively involved in neighborhood associations and events. One of the main attractions in Allendale is Crescent Lake Park, which offers a large lake, jogging trails, a playground, and a dog park. The neighborhood is also close to downtown St. Petersburg and the city’s many cultural attractions, including museums (besides the Dali and the Museum of Fine Art, check out The James Museum of Western and Wildlife Art ),unique local shops and great restaurants (we love Bella Brava and Noble Crust for Italian, gourmet food hall Locale Market and  Doc Ford’s Rum Bar & Grille – are just minutes away. 

Highly-ranked schools in Allendale include:

Allendale Elementary School is a public elementary school that serves students from pre-kindergarten through fifth grade. It has a strong focus on academics and also offers a variety of extracurricular activities.

Canterbury School of Florida is a private school that serves students from pre-kindergarten through 12th grade. It offers a challenging academic program and a wide variety of extracurricular activities.

Lakewood High School serves students in grades 9-12. It offers a range of academic programs and extracurricular activities, including sports, music, and theater.

St. Paul Catholic School serves students from pre-kindergarten through eighth grade. It offers a rigorous academic program and a strong focus on character development.

Jungle Terrace

Jungle Terrace is a quiet neighborhood with a mix of older single-family homes, and new townhouses and condominiums. The neighborhood, home to a diverse mix of residents. is situated between Tyrone Square Mall to the north and the Gulf of Mexico to the west, with Boca Ciega Bay and the Intracoastal Waterway to the east. Your family will enjoy Walter Fuller Park, which features a playground, baseball fields, a swimming pool, and a recreational center. Jungle Terrace is also within close proximity to Gulf beaches, with Madeira Beach and Treasure Island just a short drive away.

Highly ranked schools here include: 

Admiral Farragut Academy is a private school that serves students from pre-kindergarten through 12th grade. It offers a challenging academic program and a variety of extracurricular activities, including sports, music, and theater.

Azalea Elementary School is a public elementary school that serves students from pre-kindergarten through fifth grade. The school has a focus on STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math) education.

Azalea Middle School is a public middle school that serves students in grades six through eight. The school offers a range of academic programs and extracurricular activities.

Boca Ciega High School is a public high school that serves students in grades nine through twelve. The school offers a wide range of academic programs and extracurricular activities.

Old Northeast

Old Northeast is very close to downtown St. Petersburg, and boasts more than 3,000 historic buildings within its boundaries.  Mediterranean and bungalow style homes line the brick streets, nestled in lush greenery and flowers. Your family can swim, bike, walk and enjoy the play spaces in North Shore Park and explore its white sand beach. Looking for more green? Head to the Gizella Kopsick Palm Arboretum.  For live performances, you’ll find an electric selection at the Palladium Theater. 

Highly ranked schools in Old Northeast neighborhood include:

North Shore Elementary School – This is a public elementary school that serves students from pre-kindergarten through fifth grade. The school has a focus on academic excellence and offers a variety of extracurricular activities, including music, art, and physical education.

Shorecrest Preparatory School is a private school that serves students from pre-kindergarten through 12th grade. It offers a challenging academic program and signature programs like the Center for Medical Sciences, the Global Scholars Initiative, and the STEAM Certificate Program, giving 9th-12th grade students the ability to tailor their learning to their interests. Shorecrest is home to a nationally-recognized performing and visual arts program, competitive athletics and opportunities for engaged service learning.

 St. Petersburg High School is a public high school that serves students in grades 9-12. It offers a range of academic programs and extracurricular activities, including sports, music, and theater.

Snell Isle

Snell Isle is a highly sought-after neighborhood in St. Petersburg, known for its waterfront properties, tree-lined streets, and historic architecture. It was developed in the 1920s by a wealthy businessman named C. Perry Snell, who envisioned an upscale community with large homes and lush landscaping. Today, many of the original Mediterranean Revival and Art Deco-style homes still stand, and the neighborhood has been designated as a historic district. You’ll find several parks here, including the popular Coffee Pot Bayou Park, which offers manatee viewing, waterfront views and recreational activities such as fishing, kayaking, and paddleboarding. The neighborhood is also within close proximity to downtown St. Petersburg, with its many restaurants, shops, and cultural attractions.

Highly-ranked schools here include:

North Shore Elementary School, as noted above in the Old Northeast section, is a public elementary school that serves students from pre-kindergarten through fifth grade. The school has a focus on academic excellence and offers a variety of extracurricular activities.

St. Raphael Catholic School is a private Catholic school that serves students from pre-kindergarten through eighth grade. The school offers a rigorous academic program and a strong focus on character development.

Tierra Verde is an island located on the southern tip of Pinellas County, which is connected to the mainland by a series of bridges. Tierra Verde is known for its natural beauty, with many homes situated on waterfront lots with views of the Gulf of Mexico and Tampa Bay.

Some of the neighborhood’s highly-ranked schools include:

Bay Point Elementary School is a public elementary school that serves students from pre-kindergarten through fifth grade. The school has a focus on academic excellence and offers a variety of extracurricular activities.

Gulfport Montessori Elementary School is a public elementary school that serves students from pre-kindergarten through fifth grade. The school follows the Montessori method of education, which emphasizes hands-on learning and individualized instruction.

Lakewood High School serves students in grades 9-12. It offers a range of academic programs and extracurricular activities, including sports, music, and theater.

Getting Your Child Into The School Of Your Choice

Already found your new home in St. Petersburg? You can check what schools are in your neighborhood with this locator tool from the Pinellas School District. If the public school you want your child to attend is out of your zone, you may be able to enroll your child via a District Application Program (DAP) or a Special Attendance Request (SAR). The application periods are typically open in spring, for placement in the next school year. Check your desired school’s website, or call the school, to see if these programs are available. 

Moving to St. Petersburg, Florida

Find out more about Sunshine City in our guide to St. Petersburg’s five best neighborhoods. And if you decide that St. Petersburgh is where you want to be, we’d be happy to help you make it happen. At Bellhop, our mission is to make moving as easy as possible. We coordinate local moves and long-distance moves to St Petersburg, so whether you’re moving across town or across the country – we’re here for you! 

Tyler Brown
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