Welcome to IDEA Tampa Bay

Nationally ranked, tuition-free public schools coming to Tampa Bay in 2021

Our Impact

IDEA Tampa Bay is actively engaging with the local community, recruiting students for our launching 2021 schools, developing school sites, and recruiting top-notch principals, educators, and operations team members for future schools. Cultivating communication partnerships, champions, and advocates that will enable IDEA Tampa Bay to most effectively provide a high-quality education to students as they progress along the road to and through college is a top priority in our new region.

You Are Invited!

We are hosting our second virtual town hall on Thursday, October 15 and you are invited!
Join us and learn more about the IDEA Tampa Bay culture and hear from current IDEA families.
The event will begin at 6:30 EST and will be led by our IDEA Tampa Bay Leaders. These sessions are open to all families, job seekers, and interested community members. 

Be sure to click the button below to RSVP and hold your seat. We can’t wait to meet you.


The next step in joining IDEA is completing a paper application or submitting it online via STREAM. You may choose to apply to multiple IDEA Tampa Bay schools and submit one application per child. At IDEA, we host lottery events to randomly select students to fill spots for the school year. During the lottery, applicants in each grade level offered will be selected at random and placed on a lottery – ordered applicant roster. 

Based on where our founding schools are located, students that attend or families who currently live in neighborhoods that are zoned to the following Persistently Low Performing (PLP) schools will receive priority in our lottery:

  • Oak Park Elementary School 
  • Robles Elementary School
  • Kimbell Elementary School 
  • Forest Hills Elementary School
  • Sulphur Springs K-8 Community School
  • Folsom Elementary School 
  • James Elementary School 
  • Sheehy Elementary School

After the completion of each lottery round, families will be notified of the outcome via email and phone
. For the 2021-22 school year, we will have three lottery rounds beginning November 14, 2020. The application is now open. 

Ready to apply? Click the button below to get started.

IDEA's two founding locations in Tampa Bay are official! Take a look:

IDEA Tampa Bay Campus Locations



In 2021, IDEA Tampa Bay will be home to four schools.



By 2022, IDEA will operate 173 schools in ten regions educating 100,000 students on their road to and through college. Specific student numbers for Tampa will be added to this page in the future.



Since IDEA’s first graduating class in 2007, 100% of our seniors have been accepted to colleges and universities nationwide.


Through small learning groups and daily access to technology, every student learns at the level and speed just right for them. 

Expert Teachers

Our teachers bring subject matter expertise and an unwavering commitment to set each student on a path to success.


Our school is family. Parents, teachers, and administrators work as a team to help each student reach their full potential. 

IDEA believes a quality K – 12 public education is the key to success in college and life and is committed to helping every student achieve their own success. Personalized learning, critical thinking skills, mastery of core subjects and continued support through college is IDEA’s recipe for success.

Work at IDEA

We are a looking for hard-working, talented individuals to help make college a reality for all children in the Tampa Bay region. From the classroom to transportation and everything in between – your work will directly deliver on IDEA’s mission.

IDEA Florida Board of Directors

IDEA Florida’s first Board of Directors meeting will be on May 3, 2019: Board Meeting Agenda – Meeting Minutes 

Board of Directors Meeting- October 7, 2019: Notice of Meeting

Board of Directors Meeting- October 7, 2019: Meeting Agenda – Meeting Minutes

Board of Directors Meeting – December 19, 2019: Notice of Meeting

Board of Directors Meeting – December 19, 2019: Meeting Agenda Meeting Minutes

Board of Directors Meeting- February 26, 2020: Notice of Meeting

Board of Directors Meeting – February 26, 2020: Agenda

Board of Directors Meeting – June 9, 2020: Notice of Meeting

Board of Directors Meeting – June 9, 2020: Agenda

Board of Directors Meeting – August 7, 2020: Notice of Meeting

Board of Directors Meeting – August 7, 2020: Agenda

Regional Leadership

Sylvia HAll Sanders

Vice President of Schools,
Tampa Bay

Christa Thomas

Regional Director of Staffing, Tampa Bay

Jen Griffiths_U

Jennifer Griffiths

Executive Assistant, Tampa Bay

Christopher Warren

Regional Director of Advancement, Tampa Bay

Melissa Huffman

Regional Director of Operations, Tampa Bay

Janet Crenshaw_U


Regional Director of Leadership Development, Tampa Bay

Darlene Hernandez

Regional Director of Instructional Coaching, Tampa Bay