I am a former student having graduated in 2005. I can honestly say that this school prepared me for the rigors of collegiate and adult life more than I could have gotten anywhere else. This is without a doubt one of the top high schools in the country.
I'm currently a junior at Suncoast and although it may seem as an extremely challenging school, it's not. During middle school I was challenged because I had not yet mastered the English language and for that reason my grades were not straight A's, however, with hard work I managed to get into Suncoast and I would have to say it was the best choice I've made. I've seen top students change schools because they didn't get straight A's as expected and all I have to say to that is that they are missing out. The teachers may not all be the best but there are some great ones and with effort any student no matter what social class or race can achieve all they want. I must warn you however that there are nights were we don't sleep at all and others that we barely close our eyes due to the amount of homework. I've had a hard time making friends in this school but it's Suncoast, not a school were you go to socialize , it's a school were you go to get the best education possible. If your child wasn't able to get those perfect grades in this school it's not the staffs fault, it's theirs. If they can't take the heat then what happens in college and after that. Suncoast is what you make it.
Saw a post about parents not understanding the rigors of the AP courses. Not true. Parents and students know what's involved. They are just really hard. However, there are limited courses to choose from in your specialty. You are on a path and have to take the next class on the path. Right now, I'm taking three AP courses that were next on the schedule to take. I'm not looking to be valedictorian and am not trying to stock up on AP classes. I have no choice. Yes, it hard, not looking forward to the AP course exams. This will only get harder with each year.
As a parent, I love this school! The principal explained in orientation, "you may have been the top student at your school, but everyone sitting around you was also that top student." These kids are smart, and I would rate the teachers good-to-Great! It is a tough school, but they offer a lot of help to students. There is tutoring available during lunch and after school. There are mentoring programs available. My daughter is mse/ib and plays on the Suncoast tennis team, even freshman year. It is not the right school for a lot of students, I definitely won't try to send my youngest here.
If you are thinking to send your child to this high school to prepare them for college, you are wrong! Don't fall for their trap as being the #2 best and challenging school in the state. My son used to be an excellent student before he came to Suncoast, he used to get straight A's in 8th grade while taking all honor and high school credit classes like Pre-Med, however when we sent him to Suncoast, his grades have dropped to C's and D's due to the teacher's attitude. If your child misses a day of school, they will be lost, and the teachers won't even care to explain the material, instead you will end up paying a tutor for your child to succeed. I agree that this is a challenging school, but the teachers and the staff are terrible and they are there for the paycheck. There are a lot of sexual conversations between boys and girls especially during the freshman year. My husband and I tried talking to the principal however there was no point. We ended up switching to Boca Raton Community High School and my son loves it! The teachers, students and the sports department is amazing. As a parent, I suggest that you think twice before sending your child to this school. ~Good luck
Suncoast is a terrific school that continually challenges students. My daughter is getting a top-notch education thanks to the high-level administrators, teachers and curriculum. The school will most definitely prepare them for college. Isn't that the point? To those whining parents -- wait until you see some of the "loser" teachers at the university level with class sizes 100-200+ students. Students are on their own. Be thankful for Suncoast! The diversity in the school is vital in order for our children to be prepared to be responsible adults and productive citizens in the "real world."
Don't believe the hype about this school! It was a great school in the past! Now its all about ratings on US News and never about the kids. Its a great school if you take the IB program! The administration puts students down all the time. I think its time for new administrators that believe in all students, just not a selected few! If you are wealthy and can donate big bucks to this school , then your student has it made!
As you reach the end of the second quarter of eighth grade, I think you should definitely apply to SHS. There are some requirements, however, and attributes you should have if you want to be successful at this school. You must be willing to work. You probably got all A's in middle school without even trying. Let me tell you, you will have to try in high school, but it is very possible to get all A's and B's with a little effort. You must be okay with getting B's. You will NOT get all A's in all four years at SHS. Even the best and the brightest have gotten B's in the rigorous classes. If you can't deal with that, then don't bother applying. Suncoast is a smaller high school, which I personally love. By senior year, every one is friends with one another. It's the best, in my opinion, as far as size goes. Deciding which program to apply for can be tricky. Be sure to read up about everything about each program! I heard they just added an IB/IIT program for tenth graders. Might want to look into it if you want a partial IB diploma with less work. The best thing about Suncoast is that you're surrounded by students who have the same passions as you and encourage you in them. Good luck!
My daughter was a student at Suncoast from 2010-2013. My daughter entered Suncoast a National Honor roll student. In two years her grades dropped dramatically . Suncoast caters to a 10. % population of students that will always due well and the rest of the students become statistics. It took two months at one point to see the principal and the teachers are never wrong only the students. The attitude is keep up or drop out. The athletic dept. is terrible and you put you life in your hands driving in and out of the crime ridden neighborhood. I have transferred my daughter to a new school where she is back on track of scoring all A's! Plus the athletic dept. is awesome. I recommend Suncoast to students who study 7 days a week and enjoy the pressure of not so nice teachers. After all Suncoast sells themselves on a rating for their government funding. School is over rated don't bother.
Parents of incoming freshman beware. U.S. News's Best High Schools rankings. Suncoast ranking falls from 28th to 88th. Suncoast high school ranking fell because of the bad teachers like Daniel Zaitz. Zaitz is there for the paycheck not to teach. His teaching method is to give student 50 to 100 homework problems. If the student and the parents come across a math problem that they don t understand, the student is directed to see the special math tutor. Guess who the tutor is. Everybody at Suncoast knows he is bad but nothing is done. The student and parent complaints fall on deaf ear. They dump him on incoming freshmen because they know 2,3 and 4 year students avoid him like the plague if they can. The students and the parents are the strength of the school not the administration.