All children learn differently. Some like highly structured environments and some want to figure things out on their own! Finding the best educational resources for your child to thrive can be an overwhelming task. Here is some basic information to help guide you in reviewing the many district programs available to children in Pinellas County.

What are District Application Programs?

Pinellas County has almost 80, and they include magnet, fundamental and career academies. How are these school different from traditional public schools?

Magnet schools: “Magnet schools are highly specialized and emphasize an area of study or a method of teaching. Some magnet schools are geared towards math and science, whereas others have a focus in performing arts. The idea is to draw students who excel in these subjects to a school that will foster their particular interest and encourage achievement.”

Fundamental Schools: A “back to the basics” approach to schooling that includes:

  • Mandatory parent meetings each month
  • Regular communication with teachers
  • A homework heavy curriculum
  • A system of demerits that requires students to stay on task
  • A stricter dress code than other high schools
  • High expectations for student behavior and cooperation

Career academies: “Career Academies were first developed some 35 years ago with the aim of restructuring large high schools into small learning communities and creating better pathways from high school to further education and the workplace.”

In Pinellas County at the elementary level, you can apply for schools that focus on the performing arts, dual language immersion, gifted studies and STEM (science, technology, engineering and math), among others. At the high school level, students can apply for performing and culinary arts academies, construction, business, and journalism focused schools, and even medicine, public safety, and law focused schools.

With so many choices, applications can be confusing! Fortunately, PCS is holding discovery nights until December 18th, where families can explore individual programs, set up school tours, and arrange shadowing opportunities for high school students.

District Application Programs for Pinellas County Schools (2020-2021 school year) will be open from Jan. 8-17, 2020. More information on the process can be found here.