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Are All Private Schools Christian or Religious?

July 06, 2022
By Bayshore Christian School


When most people think of private schools in the U.S., they often think of religious schools, specifically Christian or Catholic. Although there are many private schools that are Christian or religious, there are also secular private schools. Whether you are looking for Christian schools in Tampa, or you would like to send your child to a nonreligious private school, there are many independent schools to choose from.

Religious private schools

Many independent schools are religious. However, “religious” does not just refer to Christian schools. There are many different types of private schools for other religions, such as Judaism, Islam, and Catholicism.

There are also different types of Christian private schools based on denomination. Some Christian schools may be nondenominational, while others are a specific denomination such as Baptist, Presbyterian, or Lutheran.

Why do families choose religious private schools?

Many families choose a private school based on their religion and how that compares to what the school teaches. However, some families pick private schools based on the moral code that the school follows. Some families may also pick a private school that teaches a religion different from their own because of accessibility due to location or because of the quality of education at that school.

Do you have to be a Christian to attend a Christian private school?

At Bayshore, a Christian school in Tampa, we do not require our students and their families to be Christian. Though a majority of our student body is Christian, we also have Catholic families, Islamic families, and Buddhist families at our school. We have a statement of faith that is on our website that we require our teachers, faculty, and staff to agree to. Though we do not require all of our students to be Christians, we do require that of all our staff.

Additionally, the families need to support our mission. They need to agree that it is okay for their child to receive teachings based on our faith and beliefs, even if they do not match up with their own beliefs. However, there are other Christian schools that require the student and their family to be of the same religion or even denomination as they in order to enroll. These are called covenant schools. In some cases with covenant schools, you have to read the statement of faith and agree to the statement of faith. In other cases, the school is connected to a church, and you have to be a parishioner of that church in order to enroll.

Secular private schools

Just like with religious independent schools, there are a variety of different types of secular private schools.

Academically advanced or gifted schools. Many secular private schools are for families who are looking for an academically advanced education for their child. These schools often have children work grade levels ahead, at a faster pace, or include more in-depth teaching for certain classes or subjects. They usually have more work outside of school and focus more on academic values, rather than other potential priorities such as family time and extracurricular activities. These schools are a good fit for families with education advancement as a top priority.  

Private schools for the arts, sciences, or sports. Other secular private schools focus on skills a student may have or wish to excel in. While getting a regular education that helps them complete milestones for high school graduation, these schools allow for students to receive further training in their skills such as art, dance, music, and sporting activities.

Boarding schools. Boarding schools are institutions where the students live on campus throughout the duration of the school year. Most of these schools operate August through May, however some schools are year-round. Some boarding schools may also be shorter in duration and may not match up with the typical school schedule, such as a 20-week therapy program. Some examples of boarding schools include:

  1. Therapy schools for students who struggle with mental illness, behavioral problems, and psychiatric disorders
  2. Schools for students with eating disorders
  3. Schools for students who struggle with drug and alcohol abuse
  4. Military schools for students with behavioral problems

Private middle schools in Tampa, FL

Bayshore Christian School is a nondenominational Christian school that unapologetically teaches our students using a faith-based curriculum. We are a private Christian middle school in Tampa, FL, as well as offer preschool, elementary and high school education.

Contact us, today, to inquire more about our school and our statement of faith to see if our school is the right fit for your family. 

Do Private Christian Schools Receive Federal Funding?

June 15, 2022
By Bayshore Christian School

private high schools Tampa

Public schools receive money from state government aid, as well as local contributions (primarily property taxes). Private schools can also receive federal and state funding. Private schools in Tampa FL primarily receive funding through state scholarships awarded to students that enroll in their programs. Schools have to do things such as report student test scores to the state in order to receive money from the scholarships they decide to accept.

Can every private school receive funding?

All private schools have the ability to receive federal or state funding. What money they receive depends on if the school wants to receive funding or not. Funding primarily comes from state scholarships tied to students that enroll into their programs. Families can apply for scholarships that are the best fit for them and their child. If they are given the scholarship (they can only receive one), they will be given an official award letter, which can be taken to any school that accepts funds from that scholarship.

Some common scholarships that private schools receive funding from include:

  1. The Federal Tax Credit Scholarship: Companies in Florida can donate money to nonprofit Scholarship-Funding Organizations (SFOs). These companies get a tax write-off, and the donations give low-income families access to financial assistance if they would like their child to attend a school other than a public school.
  2. The Hope Scholarship: Students that have been bullied, harassed, or victims of other violent acts in public school are eligible for this scholarship so that they can transfer to another public school, or enroll in private school.
  3. Disability scholarships: Students with special needs, as well as siblings of students with special needs, are eligible for these types of scholarships.
  4. Scholarships for reading programs
  5. Scholarships for transportation
  6. Scholarships for military families

Each private school determines what scholarships they will take and what scholarships they will not accept, as well as decide which students they will admit into their program that have those scholarships. Different schools in Tampa FL take different scholarships, so it is important to research which schools accept the scholarship your child has been awarded before applying for enrollment.

What do schools have to do to get funding?

Receiving state or federal funds typically comes with “red tape.” There may be reporting or testing that has to be done by the schools in order to receive funds. For example, within the Florida Administrative Code, it is required from schools to provide student standardized testing information in order to receive funds from state scholarships. Once a year, Bayshore Christian School is required to send test scores for grades 3 to 10 as a marker of their performance. This shows the state that the students are getting a legitimate education from their funds. 

Does receiving state and federal funds prohibit schools from teaching certain topics? 

As of right now, receiving funds from these scholarships does not affect what can and cannot be taught at private schools. If this were to change, independent schools, especially Christian and other religious schools, would not take the scholarships that affect what could be taught.

Private High Schools in Tampa

Bayshore Christian school is a Pre-K through 12 school that accepts certain scholarships from our students. If you are looking for a private high school in Tampa, we may be the school for you!

Contact us, today, if you have any additional questions about state or federal funding, or if you would like information on the scholarships that we accept. 


What Should I Look for in a Private School?

June 01, 2022
By Bayshore Christian School

Tampa FL Christian schools

Finding the right school for your child is important. It is helpful to know what you should look for and ask when looking for a private school, especially when searching for a Christian education for your student. Here are some things that we recommend you look for and consider when you are searching for private Christian schools in Tampa FL.

True Christian Education

Christian schools come in many different forms. Just because they are a Christian school does not mean they are going to line up with your specific views and beliefs. Therefore, it is important to consider:

  1. If they are a specific denomination
  2. How they implement Christianity into the curriculum and the classroom
  3. If the teachers and staff are Christians

It is also wise to determine if they are actually a Christian school. Some private schools may claim to provide a “Christian education” but are just loosely affiliated with Christianity.


We cannot specify the exact amount or range of what you should look for in terms of tuition costs. What we recommend is that you find a school that has a tuition structure that works for your family. Every situation is different. Some families are able to pay more upfront or more overall. There is no “wrong” answer if it works with your family’s financial situation. Additionally, it is good to inquire about scholarships and financial aid to see if your child or family may qualify for additional funding or assistance.

Curriculum and Academic Rigor

When looking for private Christian schools in Tampa FL, it is also helpful to be informed on the curriculum the school uses. It’s also important to understand how rigorous the classes are that the school has to offer, especially at a high school level. These are some questions that you can ask:

  1. Are students of all grades succeeding in the classroom?
  2. Are there classes available for high school students that will prepare them for college?
  3. What is the graduation and college acceptance rate?


Class size

The size of a class can also be a deciding factor when choosing a school that is right for your student. Most private schools have smaller classes that allow for students to receive a more personalized education. Assess whether the class sizes are manageable and appropriate for the age group. Also consider what your preferences are for your child. You may want a smaller or larger class size than what some schools provide.

Extracurricular activities

Extracurricular activities are a large part of a student’s experience in school. Look to see if they have activities or clubs available for all ages. Some programs that may be offered include:

  1. Honors societies (these can help prepare students for further education and look great on college resumes)
  2. Art and theater programs
  3. Chorus and band
  4. Sports

How important the inclusion of these activities is largely depends on what your child’s interests are. It may also depend on whether or not they want to go to college. 

Service hours

As Christians, we should be encouraging our children to serve. Many schools require students to complete a certain number of service hours. If a school does not require this, it might do a disservice to your child and their development in their faith.


It’s important to be exposed to other people who are different from you. Choosing a school with a diverse student body and staff helps teach children to be kind and loving towards others, even if they look or act differently than you do. This includes ethnic, cultural, racial, and political differences.

Working and interacting with diverse peers is a life skill. Your child will experience diversity in college, the workplace and life in general, so learning in school how to respectfully interact with people who are different is helpful for success later in life. 

Campus Safety

In the world we live in today, it is important to make sure your child attends a safe and secure school. Make sure the school has plans in place for emergencies, and that students and teachers are required to regularly practice drills so that they can be prepared if real danger occurs on campus.

What is Expected of Parents

Most private schools require volunteer hours and fundraising from student parents. Be sure that you as a parent are able to commit to these requirements. If not, that school may not be the right fit for your family.


There are accredited Christian schools and non accredited Christian schools. Accreditation shows that a school is committed to looking at its processes and making them better. It shows that they are committed to improvement.

Tampa FL Christian Schools

Bayshore Christian School is an accredited Tampa FL Christian school that offers education for grades pre-K through 12th grade. We are accredited by The Florida Council of Independent Schools and are also seeking accreditation from the Association for Christian Schools International (ACSI).

Contact us, today, if you have any additional questions about what to look for in a private Christian school, or if you would like to inquire about enrollment at Bayshore Christian School.

Do Private Schools Get Better Results?

May 19, 2022
By Bayshore Christian School

Bayshore schools with better results Please note that they

Yes, private schools do get better results. At Bayshore schools, when we think of results, we think of the end game. If a student is able to graduate, is prepared to go to the college of their choice, and has developed strong relationships along the way, we consider their time at our school successful. Additionally, we also define success based on if students are able to leave high school with a strong base for their faith in God that will help them navigate college and beyond. We have found that private schools are more successful in these areas than public schools.

Graduation and college preparation


Many private schools, specifically high schools, are college preparatory schools. This means that the school is focused on making sure that their students are academically prepared to apply for and attend the college of their choice. These private schools often offer more rigorous classes than public schools, as well as give students the opportunity to receive college credit through AP and Dual Enrollment courses.

These elements, in a private education, increase the rate of graduation and college acceptance among students. At Bayshore schools, we have a 100% graduation rate and a 100% college acceptance rate. These high rates are typically of private schools because of their focus on the success of each student. Most public schools, if any, do not have these graduation and acceptance rates.


Character building


Private schools focus heavily on fostering student relationships and building good character from a young age. Character education is worked into the curriculum at private schools to help students develop good morals and core ethical values.

Additionally, because private schools are typically smaller than public schools, students have the opportunity to form strong relationships with their peers and teachers while receiving an education. If a child starts attending private school at an elementary age, they will likely be in classes with the same students until they graduate from that school. This is not an experience that public schools can provide because public school class sizes are a lot larger.


A foundation in their faith


Christian schools in Tampa FL also consider a student’s experience in their school as successful when they are able to leave the school with a strong foundation in the Christian faith that is rooted in the Bible. Christian private schools are able to teach Christianity in their lessons, which teachers are not able to do in public schools. Additionally, Christian private schools often have Chapel services a few times a week, as well as classes specifically for teaching from the Bible. All of these aspects help students grow in their faith and prepare them for adulthood.


Christian schools in Tampa FL


Bayshore Schools are Christian schools in Tampa FL that provide explementary education for students in grades pre-K through high school. We focus on college preparation, character-building and instilling a foundation for students to have a faith of their own. We may be the school for your child and your family!

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