Year founded: 1968
Founders: Mr. C. Randolph Wedding, Mrs. George Moench, Mr. Harman Wheeler, Mr. Allen C. Sundberg, Reverend George LaBruce, Mr. Harry Evertz III, Dr. Albert Geiger, Dr. John B. Hedman, Mr. William R. Hough, Reverend Robert Maurais, Mr. Gene Slott, Mr. James Sterghos, Mrs. Robert Zaiser
Number of Alumni: 975
TypeCo-educational, college preparatory, independent day school located on two campuses in St. Petersburg, Florida. Serves students in Prekindergarten (starting at age 3) - Grade 12.
Student Body DemographicsTotal Enrollment: 470
0 Students of Color: 23%
Percentage of Students on Financial Aid: 22% (Canterbury participates in Step Up for Students scholarship program through the Florida Department of Education.)
Percentage of Students Accepted to College: 100%
- MYTH 1: Canterbury is a small school.
- MYTH 2: Canterbury is a religious school; they teach religion.
- MYTH 3: Canterbury is a “feel good” school; the academics aren't that hard.
There is a BIG difference between “small school” and “small student/teacher ratio.” Canterbury is the latter. With an average class size of 15 students, both parents and students will benefit from the personal attention and communication that comes with a low student/teacher ratio. On the flip side, they can also benefit from the same big experiences, opportunities, facilities, and academic and extracurricular options available at other area schools.
Canterbury’s students may choose from 34 athletic teams, more than 45 clubs and honor societies, 24 Advanced Placement courses, three theater productions each year, and more than 12 opportunities each year to travel nationally or internationally with the school. All these choices in a smaller community means that more students have the opportunity to earn leadership positions in extracurricular offerings, a great way to build a substantial, winning college resumé.
And our students take full advantage of these opportunities! You can see this when comparing apples to apples: our graduating classes earn a higher percentage of collegiate scholarship dollars and volunteer a higher percentage of community service hours than schools with graduating classes twice our size.
With roots in the Episcopal tradition, Canterbury welcomes students of all faiths and backgrounds, encouraging a diverse school community. Religion is not taught as a class at Canterbury. There is only one course in our curriculum that includes religion, an Upper School course called Ethics, Philosophy and Religion.
Students on both campuses do attend a 20-30 minute Chapel service once a week. The lower school Chapel is held at St. Thomas Church, adjacent to the Lower School. The middle and upper school Chapel is held in the Dollinger Theater. During these services, songs from all faiths are sung to complement the lesson--given by our school Guidance Counselor--and short scripture reading is delivered by a student. Our goal is to provide a setting where values and character are instilled, and where respect and concern for each other guide relationships and expectations.
There’s a difference between nurturing (which we do) and babying or enabling (which we don’t). We create a safe, yet competitive environment for students to try new endeavors to find out who they are, without fear of ridicule. Faculty and administrators get to know each student individually and work together to build confidence, sharpen skills, and demand the best of each of them, all the while maintaining a healthy balance of academic and extracurricular successes.
At Canterbury we believe that strong academics and a supportive environment are not mutually exclusive. Our students are academically, athletically, and artistically competitive, and our demanding curriculum prepares students for elite colleges and universities. Hear what two Canterbury alumni, now both graduates of Columbia University, had to say about their preparedness in college compared to that of their Columbia classmates from other private college prep schools around the nation:
Head of School InformationMac Hall, 8th Head of School
BS, Education: Valdosta State College
Ed.M.: Valdosta State College
Educational Specialist, Educational Leadership: University of Central Florida
Interactive libraries on both campuses, makerspace on both campuses, a Learning Center, a gymnasium, three playing fields, a center for the arts that includes a 375-person theater, and a 2,800 square foot marine studies facility.
Faculty & StaffNumber of Faculty: 65
Number of Staff / Administrators: 20
Student/Teacher Ratio: 15:1
Application DeadlineCanterbury runs on a rolling admission schedule, which means we accept applications year-round. There are waiting lists for specific grades, so acceptances for applications submitted in February for the fall school year will be at the top of the list.
Non-discrimination PolicyCanterbury School of Florida welcomes students of any race, religion, national and ethnic origin, sexual orientation, economic or social status.
AccreditationFlorida Council of Independent Schools (FCIS)
Florida Kindergarten Council (FKC)
- National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS)
- School and Student Services for Financial Aid
- Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE)
- Bay Area Association of Independent Schools (BAAIS)
- Educational Records Bureau (ERB)
- Secondary School Admission Test Board (SSATB)
- National Association of College Admission Counselors (NACAC)
- Southern Association of College Admissions Counselors (SACAC)
- Florida High School Athletics Association (FHSAA)
Knight DayOn Knight Day, the middle and upper school faculty surprise students on an unannounced day as the students arrive to find there are NO classes that day--just fun, relaxation, music, and community games and arts.
Senior TraditionsSenior traditions include Senior Investiture, whereby seniors step into their roles as leaders of the student body for the year and receive their “senior privileges.” The seniors have their own locker area with a lounge.
HomecomingSpirit Week is part of the Homecoming activities that take place each fall, leading up to the football game and dance. Included are:
- A pep rally
- Powder puff football game (girls, grades 9-12)
- Parade of banners (PK3 - Grade 4), wagons (Grades 5-8), and floats (Grades 9-12) on the field
- Athletic Hall of Fame ceremony, held in conjunction with the Homecoming Game crowning of the Homecoming king and queen
Traditional events that are a part of year-end activities include class parties, Beach Day, awards assemblies, Senior Dinner, and more.