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Can Private High Schools Give Athletic Scholarships?

September 20, 2023
By Bayshore Christian School

High schools in Florida, including private schools such as Bayshore schools, cannot give out athletic scholarships. According to the Florida High School Athletic Association (FHSAA), scholarships cannot be awarded to students based on “a student’s athletic interest, potential, or performance.” However, student athletes can receive other scholarships, as well as financial aid.


Though private high schools in Tampa cannot offer students athletic scholarships, there are other scholarships available. These scholarships include merit scholarships, disability scholarships, and even scholarships for children who have been bullied. According to the Florida Department of Education, these are some K-12 scholarships that schools may accept: 

  1. Family Empowerment Scholarship. This is a scholarship based on a family’s income that gives K-12 children the opportunity to attend a private school instead of the public school they are zoned for. There is also a Family Empowerment Scholarship for Students with Unique Abilities.
  2. Florida Tax Credit Scholarship. This scholarship is for students from low-income households. Nonprofit scholarship funding organizations (SFOs) are given money from the state that is used to award students with these scholarships. 
  3. McKay Scholarship. This scholarship is for students with disabilities. Starting July 1, 2022, it will fall under the Family Empowerment Scholarship in its Scholarship for Unique Abilities. 
  4. The Hope Scholarship. This scholarship is for students who have been bullied in the public school they are zoned for. It gives them the ability to transfer to a private school or to another public school that is not in their area.

Each private school has the ability to choose what scholarships they will accept for tuition payment. Therefore, it is recommended that you inquire about which scholarships a school takes before enrolling your child.

Financial aid

Within the budget of many private schools, there is money set aside for financial aid every year. Financial aid offered by schools is typically offered in the form of grants, which means you are not expected to pay this money back. Financial aid is need based and is usually dependent on the family’s income. However, a family does not have to be “poor” to receive financial aid. The students that are given financial assistance, as well as the amount they are given, is decided based on need and how much money the school has within the budget.

Private high schools Tampa

Looking for a private high school in Tampa? Bayshore Christian School might be the right fit! Bayshore schools offer financial aid each year, as well as accept a number of scholarships awarded to students.

Contact us, today, if you have any questions about the scholarships we accept or if you would like to learn more about our financial aid opportunities.    

Is Private School Tuition Tax Deductible?

September 06, 2023
By Bayshore Christian School

One of the most asked questions by private school families has to do with taxes relating to tuition and fees. Questions such as “Is private school tuition deductible?”, “Can you deduct private school tuition?” and “Does private school count as childcare for taxes?” are very familiar questions that we receive. The basic answer to all of these questions is no. Private school tuition is not tax deductible. If you are looking for or are sending your child to a private school, such as a Christian school in Tampa FL, you cannot claim this on your taxes. However, there are other forms of childcare that are tax deductible.

Private school tuition and fees

Private school tuition and fees are not tax deductible, excluding preschool. This is because you are choosing to send your child to private school instead of public school. Unlike things such as daycare and out-of-school childcare, paying for K-12 tuition is optional because free public school is available for students.

Dependent care

Though you cannot claim private school tuition and fees on your taxes, there are other types of care that qualify. According to the IRS, you can claim dependent care reimbursement expenses. This includes:

  1. Before-school and after-school care for children who are under the age of 13 
  2. Babysitting and nanny expenses 
  3. Daycare and nursery schools
  4. Summer day camps
  5. Care for a spouse who is not physically or mentally able to care for themselves
  6. Care for an adult in your home who is not physically or mentally able to care for themselves

Preschool (VPK) is the only type of school that qualifies as dependent care and is tax deductible. This is because preschools in Florida typically require tuition payments and there is not a public school equivalent available for most families. Therefore, if you are interested in Christian schools in Tampa FL that are preschools, you should be able to make a claim for tuition and fees.

South Tampa middle schools

Are you looking for a private South Tampa middle school for your student? We may be the right place for your family! Bayshore Christian School is a private school in Tampa that offers preschool, as well as K-12 programs. We are devoted to educating school children of all ages while integrating Christian teaching into the classroom.

If you have any additional questions about tax deductible care, or about our programs, contact us today! 

Do Private Schools Provide Special Education or Classes for Children with Special Needs?

August 16, 2023
By Bayshore Christian School
private high schools Tampa

In order to thrive in an educational setting, some students need to attend a special education program or receive accommodations from the school. Public schools have Exceptional Student Education (ESE) programs that help students excel in general education classrooms. These programs may also pull students into special education classrooms throughout the day depending on the needs of the student. They provide accommodations needed based on the student’s Individual Education Plan (IEP) or 504 document, which legally requires the school to provide what the student needs to learn. Though public schools offer these programs, many private schools do not have the resources and training to do so. Therefore, some private schools in Tampa, Florida have special education programs or classes, but many do not.

What private schools provide special education or classes for children with special needs?

Whether or not a private school has the ability to provide special education accommodations depends on a few factors.

Cost of resources. Many smaller private schools cannot afford the resources that are required to offer these programs. These resources may be additional teachers, classroom supplies, ESE curriculum, or space for more classrooms.

Training. In order to provide the best education for students with disabilities, teachers need to go through additional training. Most private school teachers are only trained to teach in general education classrooms.

Do private schools still accept students with disabilities if they do not offer special education classes?

Even if a school does not offer ESE programs or special education classes, they may be able to accommodate some students with disabilities. For example, Bayshore Christian schools in Tampa, FL do not provide special education classes. However, we still have students with disabilities that attend. Bayshore has students with autism or students with IEPs and 504 documents that attend. However, these students are able to thrive in the environment of our classrooms. There are students who do need to attend a special education program or special classes in order to excel in school.

Unfortunately, some private schools need to turn away students who have IEPs or 504 documents. This is not because the schools don’t want to help, but because they don’t have the resources or training to accommodate the students correctly and fully. Accepting the student into the school despite the lack of resources would not help the student but hinder their education.

Will attending a smaller school help my student with a disability?

Many people think that if they send their child to a smaller school, their learning or intellectual disability will improve. Even though smaller private schools have the ability to get to know the students on a more personal level than public schools, they are not able to pull out students for individual or small group instruction and learning like they can in ESE programs, unless they specifically offer those services. Though smaller class sizes may help some students, it generally does not work for the student in the same way that special education programs do. If your child needs personalized, one-on-one instruction, it would be more beneficial to find a school that offers special education programs and classes.

Private high schools in Tampa

Bayshore Christian School is a private high school in Tampa. We also offer schooling for pre-K through eighth grade students.

Contact us, today, for more information on accommodations in private schools, or to see if our school may be the right fit for your student.  

Are Private Christian Schools Only for Christians?

August 02, 2023
By Bayshore Christian School

Private Christian schools provide an education for students with a faith-centered approach. Many of these schools offer or even require students to take biblical study classes, as well as have chapel during the school week. Whether or not students need to be Christians to attend is specific to each school. For example, some Christian private high schools in Tampa FL require students to be Christians, or even a part of the church that the school associates with, whereas other schools are open to all students.

Covenant schools

Covenant schools are private Christian schools that require students and their family to be Christians. Some of these schools require that their families be of the same denomination as the school, or to be members of the church that the school affiliates in order to enroll.

Non-covenant schools

Other private Christian schools do not require their students to be Christians. We do not require this at Bayshore. Though a majority of our student body is Christian, we also have Catholic families, Islamic families, and Buddhist families at our school.

Most Christian schools have their statement of faith posted on their website for potential families to review. A statement of faith is a written description of what a church or school believes, values, and teaches within the school. At Bayshore, we have a statement of faith we require our teachers, faculty, and staff to agree to and believe in. Though our students and their families do not have to believe in our statement of faith, we do ask that they support our mission and to allow their child to receive an education based on our faith and beliefs if they wish to enroll.

Despite allowing non-Christian students to attend our programs, we do require our teachers and staff to be Christians. This is typical of most Christian schools.

Why would non-Christians choose a Christian private school?

Many families choose a private school based on their religion and how that compares to what the school teaches, which is why a majority of private Christian school students are Christians. However, some families pick private schools based on the moral code that the school teaches and follows. Some families may also pick a private school that teaches a religion different than their own because of accessibility due to location or because of the quality of education at that school. If you are looking for private high schools in Tampa FL, you might find that a Christian private school may be the best option based on these factors, regardless of if your family are Christians.

South Tampa FL Christian schools

Are you looking for a South Tampa FL Christian school for your child? We may be the school for you! Bayshore Christian school is a pre-K through 12 school that provides students with a great quality Christian education. We pride ourselves on our friendly staff and close-knit student body.  Contact us, today, if you would like more information on our programs. We are happy to help!

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