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SARASOTA COUNTY has some of the best schools in Florida, with higher-than-average teacher pay and a community that continues to vote for an additional tax to support quality education. 

The Venice area is the county’s bedrock of innovation with the all-gifted Pine View School, rated as one of the top public schools in the country by U.S. News and World Report; a Venice Middle School with the nation’s first Young Marines program; and a SKY YMCA Academy, a health-focused charter middle school on the campus of the local YMCA. 

Venice High School, the area’s only traditional public high school, dates to the 1920s and boasts a tradition of academic and athletic excellence, with an International Baccalaureate program, extensive advanced placement courses, and state championships in baseball, volleyball and other sports. 

Students are assigned a district school, but school choice allows you to pick another public or charter school or take online classes through Sarasota Virtual School. For developmentally disabled students, there’s the Oak Park School in Sarasota for students from pre-kindergarten up to age 22. The State College of Florida, Sarasota County Technical Institute, University of South Florida, New College of Florida and the Ringling College of Art and Design have nearby campuses, but there’s no limit to your options through the Florida Virtual Campus, a central site connecting you with about 40 public colleges and universities offering a range of online classes, degrees and certifications. 

To register for public school, students need a birth certificate, Florida Certificate of Immunization (blue card), a school physical examination form signed by a physician, and proof of address/guardianship. To be kindergarten eligible, students must be at least 5 years old before the Sept. 1 cutoff. Most elementary schools also offer a pre-kindergarten program. 

Public Schools

Sarasota County Schools, (941) 927-9000; for hearing impaired, (941) 927-4039. 

Elementary Schools 

Garden Elementary, 700 Center Road, Venice, (941) 486-2110. sarasotacountyschools.net/schools/garden/ 

Taylor Ranch Elementary, 2500 Taylor Ranch Trail, (941) 486-2000. sarasotacountyschools.net/schools/taylorranch/ 

 Venice Elementary, 150 Miami Ave. E., Venice, (941) 486-2111. sarasotacountyschools.net/schools/veniceelementary/ 

Englewood Elementary, 150 N. McCall Road, Englewood, (941) 474-3247. sarasotacountyschools.net/schools/englewood/ 

Laurel Nokomis (K-8), 1900 Laurel Road E., Nokomis, (941) 486-2171. sarasotacountyschools.net/schools/laurelnokomis/ 

Pine View School (2-12) 1 Python Path, Osprey, (941) 486-2001. sarasotacountyschools.net/schools/pineview/ 

Island Village Montessori School (Charter, K-12), 2001 Pinebrook Road, Venice, (941) 484-4999. islandvillage.org/ 

Middle Schools 

Venice Middle School, 1900 Center Road, Venice, (941) 486-2100. sarasotacountyschools.net/schools/venicemiddle/ 

Pine View School (2-12) 1 Python Path, Osprey, (941) 486-2001. sarasotacountyschools.net/schools/pineview/ 

Laurel Nokomis (K-8), 1900 Laurel Road E., Nokomis, (941) 486-2171. sarasotacountyschools.net/schools/laurelnokomis/ 

Student Leadership Academy (Charter), 200 Field Ave. E., Venice, (941) 485-5551. studentleadershipacademyvenice.org/ 

SKY Academy (Charter), 701 Center Road, Venice, (941) 492-9622. swflymca.org/locations/sky-academy/sky-academy-where-success-has-no-boundaries-a-tuition-free-public-charter-school/ 

Island Village Montessori School (Charter, K-12), 2001 Pinebrook Road, Venice, (941) 484-4999. islandvillage.org/ 

Oak Park South Middle School (PreK- Age 22) 7285 Proctor Road, Sarasota, sarasotacountyschools.net/schools/oakpark/ 

High Schools 

Venice High School, 1 Indian Ave., Venice, (941) 488-6726. sarasotacountyschools.net/schools/venicehigh/ 

Pine View School (2-12), 1 Python Path, Osprey, (941) 486-2001. sarasotacountyschools.net/schools/pineview/ 

Island Village Montessori School (Charter, K-12), 2001 Pinebrook Road, Venice, (941) 484-4999. islandvillage.org/ 

Private 

Elementary Schools 

European Academy of Early Education, (PreK-2). 239 Albee Road, (941) 412-0088. europeanacademy.net/ 

Epiphany Cathedral School, (K-8). 350 Tampa Ave. W., Venice, (941) 488-2215. ecstigers.com/school 

Venice Christian School, (K-12). 1200 Center Road, Venice, (941) 496-4411. venicechristianschool.org/ 

Middle Schools 

Epiphany Cathedral School, (K-8), 350 Tampa Ave. W., Venice, (941) 488-2215. ecstigers.com/school 

Venice Christian School, (K-12), 1200 Center Road, Venice, (941) 496-4411. venicechristianschool.org/ 

High Schools 

Venice Christian School, (K-12), 1200 Center Road, Venice, (941) 496-4411. venicechristianschool.org/ 

Post-secondary Education 

Suncoast Technical College, Venice, 409 Bahama St., Venice, (941) 486-2164. suncoast.edu/ 

State College of Florida, 8000 S. Tamiami Trail, (941) 408-1300. scf.edu/ 

Florida Virtual Campus, flvc.org

Florida has about 40 public colleges and universities that offer a range of online classes, degrees and certifications.

Young Marines at Venice Middle School 

Dressed in khakis and red polo shirts with a U.S. Marine insignia, about 100 students in grades 6-8 participate in “left, left, left, right, left” marching drills as part of their Venice Middle School education. 

And that’s just the beginning of the discipline and leadership they learn participating in the Young Marines. Launched five years ago in conjunction with the U.S. Marines, the pilot program—the first of its kind in the country—has become a model for middle schools all over the country. Until then, military programs, such as the Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps program, had been focused on high school. 

Teachers approached the Marines with the idea after scheduling problems made it difficult to have an after-school club. The program has evolved from students taking some classes with the rest of the school to a school-within-a-school, with its own team of five military-trained instructors. Students learn English and math and skills such as how to navigate in the woods.

The Young Marines say the program “promotes the mental, moral, and physical development of its members” and focuses on character, leadership and living a drug-free life.

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