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.


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. Any family can submit an application at any time.

At IDEA Tampa Bay, we will host three 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. 

The Dates of the Tampa Bay Lottery are:
1. November 14, 2020 (Focus: Lottery priorities 1 – 4)
2. January 16, 2021 (Focus: Lottery Priorities 1 – 6)
3. February 27, 2021 (Focus: Lottery Priorities 1 – 7)

Lottery priorities are listed below, (click priorities 4 – 6 to learn more about the schools/zones that fall under these categories).

  • 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 
  • Palm River Elementary School
  • Sheehy Elementary School
  • Broward Elementary School
  • Bryan Elementary School
  • Burney Elementary School 
  • Clair-Mel Elementary School 
  • Cleveland Elementary School
  • Dover Elementary School 
  • Edison Elementary School
  • Foster Elementary School
  • Gibsonton Elementary  School 
  • Graham Elementary School 
  • Stonewall Jackson Elementary School
  • Jennings Middle School 
  • Kenly Elementary School
  • Lockhart Elementary Magnet School 
  • Mango Elementary School
  • Mc Donald Elementary School
  • Memorial Middle School
  • Frank D. Miles Elementary School 
  • Mort Elementary School 
  • Pizzo K – 8 School 
  • Potter Elementary School 
  • Reddick Elementary School 
  • Shaw Elementary School 
  • Beth Shields Middle School
  • Sligh Middle Magnet School 
  • Temple Terrace Elementary School 
  • Thompson Elementary School 
  • Thonotosassa Elementary School 
  • B.T. Washington Elementary School 
  • Carter G Woodson K-8

Not sure if you live in an opportunity zone? Click here to check your status with your home address. 

Families can find their attendance zones by entering their address at this link: School Attendance Zone Locator.

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.



In 2021, we will serve a total of 960 students between our academy and college prep campuses. We will open with grades K-2 & 6, and will grow to serve grades K-12 when fully scaled.



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 Budget (2021-2022) – Download

IDEA Florida Board Meetings and agendas

Regional Leadership

Christa Thomas

Vice President of Schools,
Tampa Bay

Christopher Warren

Regional Director of Advancement, Tampa Bay

Janet Crenshaw_U


Regional Director of Leadership Development, Tampa Bay

Michele Mitchell

Michele Mitchell

Regional Director of Staffing,
Tampa Bay

Darlene Hernandez (002)_U

Darlene hernandez

Regional Director of Instructional Coaching, Tampa Bay

Melissa vidal

Executive Assistant,
Tampa Bay


IDEA's 2022-23 Student Application is now live!

We are excited to announce we are accepting applications for schools across Texas, Louisiana, Florida and Cincinnati. Follow the button below to get the latest and greatest information about our application process, grade levels and how to find a campus near you.