New Christian academy scheduled to open in fall 2018

The North Tampa Christian Academy, now under construction, is scheduled to open in the fall of 2018.

School officials expect it to open with 250 students in kindergarten through 12th grade, said Dawn McLendon, marketing and enrollment director. It also expects between 50 and 60 in its early childhood program, which will serve students beginning at age 2.

The school, being built at 5619 E. County Line Road in Wesley Chapel, is a private Christian school, sponsored by the Florida Conference of Seventh-day Adventists.

This is what the campus of the North Tampa Christian Academy is expected to look like when it opens for the 2018-2019 school year next fall. (Courtesy of North Tampa Christian Academy)

The denomination has sponsored schools throughout the United States and across the globe.

“We’re one of the largest denominationally sponsored school systems,” McLendon said.

The conference has 30 schools in Florida, including one in Zephyrhills and one in Tampa.

“We don’t have a traditional setup, where you think of rows of desks and 25 kids, 30 kids, 40 kids,” McLendon added.

While it isn’t the same, its setup is similar to the private model of a lower school, middle school and upper school, McLendon said. “It’s divided by buildings (which serve specific age groups), more than grade structure,” she explained.

The North Tampa Christian Academy emphasizes the “whole person” approach to education, by promoting a balanced development of the whole person – spiritually, physically, intellectually, socially and emotionally, background materials say.

Its design — both programmatically and physically — seeks to create an environment that fosters collaborative, project-based learning, with focus on service to others and real-world experience, according to information supplied by McLendon.

Construction is underway at North Tampa Christian Academy, a new private school that is scheduled to open in Wesley Chapel in the fall of 2018.

The learning environment is designed to encourage an appreciation of beauty and the natural environment, and will incorporate strong connections between indoor and outdoor areas – including learning terraces, gardens, shaded reading areas, nature trails and playfields.

“The design is very intentional,” McLendon said, with the goal of providing students with the individual attention they need to reach their potential, while also promoting group learning.

Even the furniture is designed to honor learning styles and learning preferences of students, she said.

Planning for the school began in 2012, when the Florida Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, in collaboration with Adventist Health Systems and the Florida Hospital West Florida Region, began to envision the school.

A 43-acre site for the school was purchased on Aug. 17, 2015.

Prakash Nair of Fielding Nair International, a global leader in innovative school design, is the school’s designer, and Wannemacher Jensen Architects is the project architect.

A ground-breaking ceremony was held Nov. 4, 2016.

Sandra Doran is head of school, Stephen Herr is associate head of school, and McLendon is marketing and enrollment director.

The school is now accepting applications for the 2018-2019 school year, which begins in fall of 2018.

North Tampa Christian Academy
North Tampa Christian Academy, now under construction at 5619 E. County Line Road in Wesley Chapel, is scheduled to open in fall 2018.

Here are some facts about the school:

  • It will serve children from age 2 through grade 12.
  • Its curriculum is based on the North American Division of Seventh-day Adventist Educational Standards, the Common Core Curriculum, and the Next Generation Science. There is an emphasis on project-based learning, competency-based grading and real-world teaching.
  • Students do not need to be of the Seventh-Day Adventist denomination to attend the school.
  • Tuition ranges from $11,900 to $15,900 per year, based on the student’s grade level. Scholarships may be available through the Step-Up Scholarship and the McKay Scholarship programs, and families can work with the school leadership team to assess the family’s financial scholarship needs.

For information, visit the school’s website,, attend an upcoming information session, contact the school through email , or call (813) 591-0309.

Published December 6, 2017

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