In the picturesque coastal town of Seaside, a pioneering institution has been shaping the future of education since 1996. The Seaside School, comprising Seaside Neighborhood School and Seacoast Collegiate High School, stands as a testament to the power of community collaboration, forward-thinking and the relentless pursuit of academic excellence.
The Seaside School’s history is intertwined with the story of Seaside, Florida—a town conceived in 1979 by Robert and Daryl Davis, that became a symbol of community planning and design innovation. Designed on a neighborhood scale with interconnected streets, Seaside aimed to foster a sense of community. The town became famous for its design, and its idyllic setting was immortalized in the hit 1998 movie The Truman Show.
Remarkably, the movie played a pivotal role in Seaside School’s history. Robert Davis donated the land for the school, and the fees from The Truman Show funded its first building. Thus, Seaside School was born, taking the path of becoming one of Florida’s first public charter schools.
Dr. Rosemary Williams spearheaded the movement to create a tuition-free neighborhood school in Seaside to address the need for middle school education in the southern end of Walton County – emphasizing that success is achievable both academically and socially during the often-challenging middle school years. The journey began with 36 students, two faculty members, and one administrator housed in two portables on Seaside’s Lyceum Lawn. Over the years, the school has expanded its offerings, eventually establishing Seacoast Collegiate High School to expand the charter’s scope. Today, The Seaside School proudly holds the distinction of being the oldest public charter school in Florida.
A Holistic Approach to Education
The school prides itself on being a flexible and personalized learning community, providing a tuition-free experience with small class sizes and top-ranked educators – a learning experience usually associated with private education. Learning extends beyond the classroom, encompassing gardening, culinary, art, and music programs, as well as mentorship from local business leaders. The comprehensive athletics program adds another dimension to the students’ holistic development.
Additionally, Seacoast Collegiate High School has become the premiere dual enrollment program, empowering students to graduate debt-free or enter the workforce as skilled employees. This unique high school offers a collegiate model where students can earn college credits in 11th and 12th grades to ultimately earn their A.A. degree alongside their high school diploma at no cost. With a 100% graduation rate, over 6,300 college credits earned, and more than $8 million in academic and athletic scholarships, Seacoast Collegiate High School stands as a beacon of success.
The school’s strong collaboration with Northwest Florida State College is set to reach new heights with the expansion of its campus in Fall 2025. This expansion, the first of its kind in the area, will include 80,000 square feet of new educational space, dedicated buildings for classrooms and labs, and “The Accelerator” – a facility housing a workforce/business incubation center. This initiative demonstrates Seacoast’s commitment to preparing students for high-demand careers and fostering economic development in the region as well as becoming a national model for education.
Achievements Beyond the Classroom
The Seaside School stands as a beacon of academic excellence, recognized nationally and within the state of Florida for its outstanding achievements. Seaside Neighborhood School, the cornerstone of this institution, earned the prestigious National 2007 No Child Left Behind Blue Ribbon Schools award, solidifying its position among the highest-performing middle schools. The commitment to academic prowess is further exemplified by the school’s attainment of high-performing charter school status in 2011 and the esteemed title of a “pioneer charter school” in 2016, bestowed by the Florida Department of Education.
The accolades for The Seaside School paint a stunning picture of a top-rated combination charter school in Florida. Consistently ranking in the top 1% statewide for math and science, the institution proudly holds the #1 position in Walton County. Notably, it has maintained an “A” grade for over 20 consecutive years, reflecting a sustained commitment to excellence that resonates through every aspect of its educational journey.
Open Enrollment: Shaping Futures, One Student at a Time
As The Seaside School continues to make strides in education, it opens its doors for enrollment from January 5th to February 15th. Prospective students and their families are invited to join a community where innovation, excellence, and a commitment to the whole child have been the driving forces for over two decades.
Seaside School, Inc. stands not only as an educational institution but as a beacon of inspiration, illustrating what can be achieved when a community comes together to invest in the future. With eyes set on continued growth and innovation, The Seaside School, Inc. remains dedicated to nurturing minds and shaping futures for generations to come.
For more information about The Seaside School, Inc. and the enrollment process, please visit SeasideSchools.net.
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