Education: A Community of Learning
County Public Schools
full scope of education is available in Alachua County.
With more than 60 percent of the instructional staff
holding advanced degrees, the visionary leadership and
innovative educational programs and services of the
Alachua County School District maintain the status of
the school district as one of the most highly regarded
public school systems in Florida. The strength of
Gainesville’s higher-education community tends to carry over to the elementary and secondary education,
resulting in some of the best public and private schools
in the state.
The Alachua County public school system
includes 25 elementary schools (including 10 centers),
nine middle schools, nine high schools, 14 Charter
schools and an alternative middle/high school center.
More than 30,000 students are enrolled. In addition,
there are 14 private schools in the county: nine
elementary, four K through 12 and one high school.
the last several years, the district has received the
“What Parents Want” Award from SchoolMatch, the nation’s
largest school selection consulting firm. Alachua County
can also boast that three schools have met the rigorous
criteria to be designated a “Five Star School.” These
schools are recognized for having exemplary programs
that produce higher achievement through the integration
Business Partnerships, family involvement, Volunteers,
Student Community Services and School Advisory Councils.
Scores The Gainesville area boasts the highest
percentage of gifted students in Florida. Standardized
test scores show that student achievement is above
national and state standards in all subject areas.
Local scores on the Florida Comprehensive Assessment
Test (FCAT) are above state averages and continue
to show improvement at all grade levels. The state
grades its public schools, and for the current school
year, Alachua County boast 24 schools that scored an “A”
or “B” and zero low performance or failing scores.
Eighty percent of high school graduates go on to some
form of higher education.
Programs The school
system gives full vent to their energies through a
variety of programs for the academically talented.
Innovative enrichment and magnet programs are available
at the elementary and middle school levels for both
gifted and talented students. High School magnet
programs provide real-world experience in a variety of
careers such as health, business, culinary arts,
technology and criminal justice. Career-oriented high
school students can take advantage of dual enrollment
programs offered by Santa Fe Community College.
Career and Technical Education programs have been
recognized as one of the top Tech Prep programs in the
nation. This program is a cooperative effort of the
School Board, Santa Fe Community College and the
Gainesville Area Chamber of Commerce and integrates
academic and technical curricula, to enable students to
meet graduation requirements while gaining technical
skills in a career field of their choice.
County school district leads the way in preparing
students for a high-tech future. The nation’s first
mobile technology lab was developed in Alachua County.
The school district has earned international recognition
for its use of technology in the classroom. In addition,
Alachua County’s early education program is recognized
as a national model. Each elementary school offers an
extensive preschool program.
are interested in school information to select the best
education for your children or because good schools can
affect the sale price of a new home...
children for school, call the School Board of Alachua
County Zoning Office to identify the school, and then
schedule an appointment. Proof of residency is needed,
such as sales, rental or lease agreement, utility bill
or a property tax bill. In addition, the child's birth
certificate and health and school records are required.
Where to Call:
School Board of Alachua County - (352) 955-7300
Zoning Office - (352) 955-7700
Martha Manson Academy - (352) 332-1452
Oak Hall - (352) 332-3609
Universities & Colleges
University of Florida
has been one of the chief businesses in Gainesville
since the Buckman Act of 1905 created the University of
Florida in Gainesville. The University of Florida traces
its origin to 1853, when the state-funded East Florida
Seminary acquired the Kingbury Academy in Ocala. Today,
UF is a major public, comprehensive, land-grant,
research university. On its Gainesville campus are more
than 47,000 students, approximately 4,000 faculty and
18,000 staff. UF is the state’s oldest and largest
university and is a member of the Association of
American Universities, the prestigious higher education
organization comprised of the top 63 public and private
institutions in North America. A land-grant university
with a distinguished record of developing Florida
agriculture through research and extension services,
Florida is among the nation's 88 leading research
universities as categorized by the Carnegie Commission
on Higher Education. The university attracts more than
$200 million in research support each year, with the
largest portion going to UF's Health Science Center.
Florida offers more than 100 undergraduate majors and
more than 200 graduate programs and five major
professional programs. In addition to more than 100
research, service and education centers, bureaus and
institutes, the university has 21 colleges and schools.
UF is among the five largest universities in the nation.
Santa Fe Community College
is also home to Santa Fe Community College, a
student-centered college accredited by the Southern
Association of Colleges and Schools and the Florida
State Department of Education. SFCC also holds membership
in the American Association of Community Colleges and
the League for Innovation in the Community College, a
consortium of academically renowned colleges in the
United States. Economic development and career
opportunity are the central missions of Santa Fe
Community College. SFCC opened in 1965 and currently
operates six campuses across North Central Florida with
enrollment of more than 30,000 students annually at its
Santa Fe offers both credit and non-credit
programs that enable students of all ages to begin their
college educations, train for careers, upgrade job
skills or develop new hobbies.
Associate of Arts degree program prepares students for
transfer to four-year colleges or universities. More
than 60 Technology and Applied Sciences programs prepare
students for careers. The Community Education Program
offers classes in subjects as diverse as art, business,
building construction, graphic design, health sciences,
zoo animal technology, computers, natural history and
sports. Santa Fe works closely with area businesses to
design specialized employee training and work force
development programs. More than 90 percent of graduates
from these programs find employment in the field of
their choice or continue their educations.
the college are the annual SFCC Spring Arts Festival,
the largest arts event in North Central Florida and the SFCC Teaching Zoo, the only one of its kind at a
Santa Fe's theater, dance and music
students perform regularly. The Santa Fe Gallery
provides educational programs and a showcase for area
Santa Fe's athletic programs include men's
and women's basketball, men's baseball, women's
fast-pitch softball and a variety of intramural sports.
College, a private ,non-profit junior college is located
in Gainesville. The college has campuses located in Ft.
Lauderdale, Miami and Orlando. The college has
experienced steady growth, not only in the area of
traditional education, but also in customized training
programs for business and government. City College’s
primary specializations are in the medical, business and
legal fields. Each area has various concentrations that
lead to an associate of science degree in the respective
discipline. City College offers various programs such as
the “Corporate Partnership Program” and “Information
Technology Program,” through which business people,
government workers and the general public can access a
number of services, including seminars, workshops and
computer training. City College offers 5 Associate
Degree programs and 4 Diploma programs in Business, Law
and Medical Studies, along with Contract Training
programs for the private Business sectors as well as
government agencies. The College offers small class
sizes, day and evening classes and quality instruction
for the college-bound student.
Webster University is an independent, accredited,
non-profit university offering graduate programs in
business administration, management and leadership,
human resources, counseling, and several online
programs. In partnership with Santa Fe Community
College’s University Center, Webster University offers
the Master of Arts in Counseling at SFCC Main Campus.
The University plans to further expand its programs to
other sites in the Gainesville area over the next year.
Founded in St. Louis, Mo. in 1915, the University is
dedicated to academic excellence and innovation to meet
the needs of students, businesses, and working adults.
Webster University currently serves more than 22,000
students through a network of more than 100 campuses
worldwide and online. Webster University is accredited
by The Higher Learning Commission and is a member of the
North Central Association.