Residing in Sarasota County has a number of well-known perks.
We have all of that history and art pouring out of Ringling and our Downtown areas, and we may have some well-known sand under our toes on Siesta Key. Our boutique hotels and fine-dining options are plentiful, and the shopping is to die for at upscale boutiques flanking Palm Avenue and, of course, The Mall at University Town Center. But for parents, and potential home buyers, the quality of the schools in Sarasota County is the key reason they call Sarasota County home. With a number of highly rated public, charter, and private school choices you really cannot go wrong. But along with some simply amazing primary and secondary schools in Sarasota County exists the top high school in Florida, Pine View School.
Since 1969 Pine View School has been serving Sarasota County students in grades 2 through 12 as their only full-time gifted public school. The process for admission is multi-stepped, but generally students may be referred to Pine View’s full-time gifted program based on initial recommendations from a teacher, administrator or parent. At least one of the student’s current teachers must complete a rating scale of gifted characteristics. An evaluation by a licensed psychologist determining IQ and academic achievement test scores, along with a full year of report cards, must be submitted along with proof of residency for Sarasota County. Unlike other gifted programs throughout the area, students may only enroll at Pine View at the beginning of each academic year and there are deadlines to meet beforehand. Each school has a liaison in place to make the process easier, and there is also support for students transitioning from private or home-school situations.
As a parent of a couple of Pine View Pythons for the past several years, I can say it has been one whirlwind of a ride, and mostly positive. As Pine View serves kids from grades 2-12, we have now experienced the elementary, middle and high school. The expansive campus does a great job at segregating the different age groups which was a concern of ours in the beginning. The teachers have been mostly easy to deal with and understanding that the parents are not always as intellectually gifted as their children. The curriculum, though rigorous, is doable even if your kid is not a literal genius. From second grade on they instill the need for organization and planning so that as subject matters intensify, the student already has a solid study plan in place.
I have always found my kids’ school friends and families to be like-minded, though as they age through Pine View the financial status of some definitely comes into play. Being an affluent area already, Sarasota County specifically draws in families who move here so their children may attend Pine View School. The thought for many is you are essentially getting a private education for your kid without having to pay squat, so why not move to Sarasota? We like to tell our kids they are dealing with likely the top 5% wealthiest families of ALL the area schools and if they want to hang out with kids whose economic status more mirrors their own, they might have to attend school closer to home. So far, they would not trade Pine View for anything.
While I certainly feel Pine View is one of the best schools in the nation, statistics back that up as well. Over the years they have consistently rated as one of the top schools in the state and nation. Most recently, US News and World Report rated Pine View School as the best public high school in Florida, and the 15th top school in the country in April of 2019. Their graduates go on to attend some of the most prestigious universities around the globe. An abundance of alumni return to Sarasota County so their children may also have the Pine View experience which allows for robust support of parent-teacher groups and school initiatives. For more information on the best school in the state of Florida, please visit Pine View School.
Photos from Pine View School Facebook page.