January 2021

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NEW YEAR NEW SPACE Tampa Moms and Design Pros Share Their Top Tips

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Kylie Ponton of Ponton Interiors and Laura Frasor of The Neat Method-Tampa.




Head to toe coverage for all Florida kids from birth through the end of age 18, even if one or both parents are working. Most families pay nothing at all, and many families pay just $15 or $20 a month. Full-pay options are also available.

Funding generously provided by the Children’s Board of Hillsborough County.

With year-round enrollment, the time to apply is always now: floridakidcare.org (813) 995-7005


TampaBayParenting.com JANUARY 2021

Helping Your Kids Stay Safe and Healthy

We’re doing the following in our clinics to help keep you safe: n Prescreening patients based on CDC guidelines n Separating patients with COVID-19 symptoms from patients without these symptoms n Minimizing and/or eliminating time spent in waiting rooms n Limiting and reorganizing the seating in waiting rooms to accommodate for social distancing

n Screening all team members and doctors daily for COVID-19-related symptoms n Cleaning lobbies/waiting rooms, exam rooms and all public spaces throughout the day with EPAapproved, medical-grade cleaning and disinfecting agents

With more than 200 pediatricians, pediatric specialists and family medicine physicians in Hillsborough, Pasco, Pinellas and Polk counties, care for your family is always nearby. n Now accepting new patients. n Most major insurance plans are accepted.

n Offering telehealth appointments when appropriate


n Requiring all doctors, team members, patients and visitors to wear masks

Find a pediatrician and make an appointment online: BMGKids.org JANUARY 2021 TampaBayParenting.com




ASSOCIATE EDITOR Anu Varma Panchal EDITORIAL ASSISTANT Sarah Rigby CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Laura Byrne Anu Varma Panchal Courtney Vermette Kylie Ponton Laura Frasor Graham Rigby, CFP® Tara Payor, PhD Julie Tingley Raffi Darrow Sue Gunther Laura Cross Jessica Salmond Chris Sturgeon Paul Benfanti, MD Kelli Biandudi Allison Messina, MD Patricia Emmanuel, MD Peter Karempelis, MD ACCOUNT EXECUTIVES Ralf Gonzalez LAYOUT & DESIGN Sarah Rigby CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS Howie Mac Photo Faithful Joy Photos Elizabeth Dugan Creative Seamus Payne Architectural Photography Bos Images BOOKKEEPING Employee of the Month, LLC TAMPA BAY PARENTING MAGAZINE 320 W. Kennedy Blvd. Ste. 220 Tampa, Florida 33606 Phone 813-949-4400 Fax 813-315-6688 info@tbparenting.com editor@tbparenting.com BECOME A FAN tampabayparentingmagazine @tampabayparenting @TBParenting

Tampa Bay Parenting is published twelve times per year and distributed throughout the Tampa Bay community. Tampa Bay Parenting is not responsible for any errors, inaccuracies, omissions or incorrect information (or the consequences related thereto) contained within the magazine or online; readers should not rely on any information contained in the magazine and they should always consult with an appropriate professional for guidance. Tampa Bay Parenting accepts no responsibility for the consequences of error or for any loss or damage suffered by users of any of the information or materials provided by Tampa Bay Parenting. Some content published by Tampa Bay Parenting is sponsored or paid for advertising content, and some individuals quoted or cited in articles have paid for advertising or sponsorships; this content or opinions do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of Tampa Bay Parenting.




9/ SWIM WITH MANATEES IN CRYSTAL RIVER: See what this unique animal encounter in Tampa Bay is like at the Adventure Center at Plantation on Crystal River


10/ WHAT’S TRENDING FOR BABY IN 2021: We’re sharing cool new gift ideas for the baby registry in the new year


11/ NEW IN TAMPA BAY: BUTTER BUG BOUTIQUE: Meet the mom and educator who launched her online baby clothing boutique during the pandemic

37/ FULL STEAM AHEAD: Get an inside look at Shorecrest Preparatory School’s Inaugural Applied STEAM program and its many benefits

13/ GET 2021 OFF TO A PAWSITIVE START: See how you and your family can volunteer this year at the Humane Society of Tampa Bay

46/ FLYING HIGH: From Ivy League university admissions and beyond, Academy at the Lakes’ worldly curriculum delivers results

14/ COVER STORY: NEW YEAR, NEW SPACE: Interior design pro Kylie Ponton and pro organizer Laura Frasor share their top tips on how to revamp your space at home

49/ SAFE IN SCHOOL: What to expect as students head back to brick and mortar classrooms in Hillsborough County 55/ THE POWER OF PLAY: The Early Learning Coalition of Hillsborough County gives parents insight on the importance of play 60/ NEW GEAR, NEW YOU: Let the local library help you learn how to use all those new tech gifts from the holidays

EVERY ISSUE: 6/ TAKE NOTE: 5 cool new things to do around town and stories to spotlight! 20/ MOMS TO KNOW: Meet Tami Fitzpatrick, local mom and human trafficking survivor who is making a difference 70/ WHAT’S TRENDING ON TAMPABAYPARENTING.COM: Check out our top stories from the web and social

16/ JANUARY FINANCIAL GOALS: Tampa-based certified financial planner Graham Rigby shares need-to-know tips as we head into 2021 18/ SUPER BOWL + SUPER DADS: Meet two dads who helped secure Tampa as the host city for the Super Bowl 63/ TODDLER TOE WALKING: WHAT’S NORMAL? WHAT’S NOT? A Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital physician shares his expertise 65/ RENEW, RECONNECT AND REBUILD AT THE YMCA: Learn how you can safely take advantage of your local YMCA’s programs 66/ COVID AND KIDS: Two local physicians answer our questions on kids, COVID-19 and how to stay safe 68/ EAR TUBES AND KIDS: A pediatric ENT explains what to expect if your child has to get ear tubes, and how they can help

ON THE COVER: Kylie Ponton of Ponton Interiors and Laura Frasor of The Neat Method-Tampa have worked together on dreamscome-true rooms for kids battling diseases like cancer through Savvy Giving By Design. The moms and friends continue their collaboration by offering their top tips to revamp your space in the new year!

READ MORE ON PAGE 14 Photo Credit: Howie Mac Photography

TampaBayParenting.com JANUARY 2021

Kylie Ponton of Ponton Interiors and Laura Frasor of The Neat Method-Tampa.

JANUARY 2021 TampaBayParenting.com




Busch Gardens is expanding its upgrade experiences with two new behind-the-scenes opportunities with the hippos and rhinos. The Hippo Insider Tour will take you and a small group on a 30-minute walking tour for an up-close look with the hippos as you learn about their diet, behavior and habitat. This tour is $29.99 for guests ages 8 and older. Members get a 20% discount. You can also book an exclusive VIP Rhino Tour for a 45-minute off-road tour, get up close with the black rhino and even hand-feed a giraffe. This tour is $299 for a group of up to four people ages 5 and older. Buschgardens.com



Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park guests can encounter a new adventure aboard Kilimanjaro Safaris on their journey through the Harambe Wildlife Reserve. The park welcomes a new species – Nigerian Dwarf Goats – to the popular open-air safari adventure at Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista. Guests can watch these miniature West African goats chasing, climbing and playing on the savanna, or get up close with the goats and other animals at the newly reopened Affection Section at Rafiki’s Planet Watch. Disneyworld.com

5 TAMPA BAY HISTORY CENTER TO UNVEIL NEW FOSSIL EXHIBIT Fossil lovers, jump for joy! “Tusks to Tails: A Fossil History of Florida” debuts Jan. 23 with a look back millions of years when saber-toothed tigers, furry mammoths and giant sloths roamed the land and giant sharks and whales swam our seas. While you’re there, check out the kid-favorite, “Treasure Seekers: Conquistadors, Pirates and Shipwrecks” on the top floor. Tampabayhistorycenter.org


TampaBayParenting.com JANUARY 2021

Tropicana Field’s lots six and seven are being transformed into a prehistoric drive-through adventure featuring all of your favorite dinosaurs. And since it’s a drive-through event, that means you stay in your car the entire time, which makes it a great option for families who are strictly social distancing. Tickets start at $49 per vehicle. Jurassicquest.com

GLAZER CHILDREN'S MUSEUM OFFERING MONTHLY MEMBERSHIPS FOR $15 If you’re not quite ready to take the plunge and get an annual membership, or if you have family visiting you for a short period of time, this is a great option! For $15 per month, you can have up to 5 people on the membership (one must be an adult). Glazermuseum.org





4 8 0 1 E A S T F O W L E R AV E • TA M P A • 8 1 3 - 9 8 7 - 6 0 0 0 • M O S I . O R G MOSI is a leader in STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math) education dedicated to making a difference in people’s lives by making science real. JANUARY 2021 TampaBayParenting.com 7


TampaBayParenting.com JANUARY 2021

Swim with Manatees in Crystal River by Laura Byrne

2020 really shifted my perspective, both as a parent and as a Floridian, giving me a whole new appreciation for this area we call home. At a time when we are all searching for adventures in the great outdoors to experience with our kids, Tampa Bay more than delivers. Recently, my oldest son (7) and I embarked on a oncein-a-lifetime outdoor adventure you can only do right here in Tampa Bay…swim with manatees.

WHAT TO KNOW BEFORE YOU GO Crystal River and Homosassa are the only areas in North America where you can legally swim with and observe manatees in their natural habitat. However, since manatees are protected by federal and state law, it’s a good idea to book a tour with a reputable company like the Adventure Center at Plantation on Crystal River because your guide and captain know the rules. They also provide you with a towel, mask, snorkel and sanitized wet suit, which you will absolutely want since their 5 mm wetsuit helps keep you warm and buoyant. Added bonus: They bring a GoPro so you don’t have to worry about snapping photos.

RULES OF MANATEE VIEWING *Do not chase or pursue a manatee

*Do not touch or dive onto a resting, feeding or nursing manatee *Do not corner or surround a manatee

*Do not ride, pinch, grab or hold a manatee *Do not poke, prod or stab a manatee with anything including your hands and feet *Do not stand or step on a manatee

*Do not feed or give a manatee water

*Do not separate a manatee from its herd or calf from its mother

SWIM WITH THE MANATEES PACKAGE: To celebrate the winter return of the manatees, Plantation on Crystal River is offering the new Swim with the Manatees package starting at just $299 for two guests. The package includes: *Overnight accommodations in a garden view room *Manatee snorkeling tour for two from the Plantation Adventure Center, with all equipment provided (mask, snorkel and wetsuit) *Breakfast for two at West 82⁰ Bar & Grill *Welcome bag with plush manatee toy, fun facts and manatee interaction guidelines


Private and semi-private tours start as early as 6 a.m. The earlier you book for and the colder it is, the better. Our tour started at 10:30 a.m., which meant there were kayakers and other tours on the water, but our guide Courtney and Captain Mike did a great job of finding us secluded spots for the magic that was about to happen. We were reminded to quietly enter the water to avoid splashing, which could scare the manatees. Our guide asked us to use our ninja skills to move through the water with our arms and hands and avoid kicking with our feet. The buoyant wet suits took the pressure off trying to stay af loat while swimming.

THE EXPERIENCE We were simply f loating in Kings Bay with our guide when we suddenly came face to face with a curious manatee! She did a little belly roll for us before she moved on about her day. You are not allowed to touch a manatee unless they initiate contact and even then, it’s with one hand only and only on their back or belly. We saw a few other manatees too near Three Sisters Springs. Following the rules, we didn’t approach them, but it was pretty neat to observe them in their natural habitat grazing on their greens. Our guide shared some fun facts like how much manatees eat—the herbivores (weighing up to 1,200 pounds) eat up to 10% of their body weight in sea grass, algae and mangrove leaves. One swam up to our pontoon boat to nibble on the algae on the side of the boat as we sipped our complimentary hot chocolate. Snack time for everyone! Friends had one question: Was it cold? Though it was in the lower 50s that morning, the natural spring water stays steady at about 72 degrees, which is why manatees love to migrate here. As many as 600 of them head toward Crystal River and Homosassa between November and March, Florida’s ‘manatee season.’ However, manatee tours are offered year-round here. Although manatees have no natural predators, humans are among their greatest threats. The manatee we saw nibbling the algae on our pontoon boat had what looked like healed boat propeller injuries on her back. It’s experiences like this that remind us we need do what we can to protect these gentle giants and the waterways they call home. Boaters should always look out for manatees, avoid shallow areas and sea grass beds and reduce speed. “One thing I think we do best is educate our future,” says Paul Cross, director of operations at Plantation on Crystal River. “We love doing school groups and family adventures. If we can teach them-- they are the next president; they are the next lawmakers, and that’s crucial to protecting what we have.” Swimming with manatees was a bucket list item for us and I’m so glad I experienced it with my son. It was truly an unforgettable experience. JANUARY 2021 TampaBayParenting.com



What's Trending for baby in 2021 Leap into the new year with these practical, yet oh-so-adorable items for the littlest ones in your life.


TINKLE CRINKLE & FRIENDS ACTIVITY GYM BY BABY GUND: Bright, soft and fun for baby, this award-winning activity gym is a breeze to set up and features GUND caterpillar Tinkle Crinkle, a tummy time cloud, a sunny mirror and more! $89 GUND.com

OLLIE SWADDLES AND DAILIES BODYSUITS: This award-winning line of swaddles is made of soft, moisture-wicking fabric to keep baby from overheating while staying comfortably snug. It’s open at the bottom for easy diaper changes too. Dailies bodysuits were recently introduced, made from the same patented moisture wicking fabrics that can withstand multiple washes. theollieworld.com

BOPPY 4 & MORE MULTI-USE COVER A staple every mom should have, this soft cover has breathable mesh on one side for easy airf low and full coverage knit on the other side for privacy. It's also great as a a cover for a shopping cart, baby carrier, restaurant high chair or even use as a stylish infinity scarf. $20 boppy.com

BOPPY® NEWBORN LOUNGER The Boppy Newborn Lounger is perfect for when you need a hands-free moment and a safe place for baby during supervised awake time. It features a lightweight design, breathable fabric, easy-to-clean material, and comes in a variety of fun patterns. $33 boppy.com


A baby carrier is a musthave, especially for parents with more than one child. We love this new carrier by Chicco because it grows with baby in three different modes, going from an ergonomic infant carrier to a hip seat carrier to a hip seat for toddlers. $99.99 chiccousa.com

BUBBLES & JOY MONTHLY SUBSCRIPTION BOX From unique toys and activities to colorful and aromatic bath bombs and bubble baths, Bubbles & Joy boxes contain a variety of kid-friendly items made from safe, BPA-free materials and/or natural ingredients. Think of them as surprise “bath time party-starters.” $39 bubblesandjoy.com

WUBBANUB: This brand has been a favorite for years, but they routinely release new pacifiers. These new additions by Jimmy Fallon complement his best-selling books “DADA Moo Cow” and “MAMA Penguin.” $19.95 wubbanub.com

For the latest baby gear like strollers, furniture, clothing and more, head to Seedlings in South Tampa. Located at 1530 S. Dale Mabry Highway. seedlings.com

TampaBayParenting.com JANUARY 2021

Butter Bug Boutique

Photos by Faithful Joy Photos

NEW to Tampa Bay: When Courtney Vermette’s infant daughter was suffering with severe eczema, Vermette struggled to find solutions that could keep her comfortable. When she discovered bamboo sleepwear and other chemical-free products that helped clear her daughter’s eczema, Vermette knew she wanted to bring these products to other families. Her quest has evolved into Butter Bug Boutique, a baby boutique featuring apparel and products that are free of chemicals and fabrics that irritated her daughter’s skin. We caught up with Vermette and asked her to share more about her inspiring journey into entrepreneurship in the middle of a pandemic.

COURTNEY VERMETTE’S BABY PICKS FOR 2021: Angel Dear Organic bamboo and muslin apparel, bibs and swaddles.

COURTNEY VERMETTE: Many times (probably 1,000) I would say to my husband, “I wish I could own my own boutique so that I can share these amazing brands with everyone.” But I doubted myself and set it aside, considering that I already was a mom and wife and had a fulltime career as school counselor and part-time photographer.

BapronBaby Apron bibs and matching wet bags

It was not until our 2020 Spring Break when my husband (also a teacher) and I realized we would not be returning to our schools due to COVID. I was devastated, and during such an uncertain time I had no creative outlet, no photography sessions to be held, no way to take our daughter to the museums that she loved and limited contact with my students other than Zoom. Soon after, I started to think about what I could do to lift my spirits while also bringing some type of joy to others. I woke up on June 12 and it became so clear. Within 24 hours, Butter Bug Boutique was born (named after my daughter who loves butterf lies, bugs and buttery soft bamboo). I worked close to 20 hours a day creating an e-commerce site, branding and applying for wholesale accounts representing our favorite brands, products and developmental toys. I decided that I wanted to be more than a boutique. I wanted to offer products that supported other small shops during a time when small businesses were struggling to stay af loat. Not only this, but I wanted to make sure that Butter Bug maintained certain values that we could stand behind and support, which is where our slogan “Buy with a Purpose” came to fruition. Less than six months after opening, I am still learning how to balance it all, while returning to the new school year during a pandemic. Often, there are days of discouragement and doubt. Can I handle all of this? Are my products going to sell? But then I see my customers and their elated spirits when receiving an order, the fellowship that has followed in our Facebook group, and most importantly, the support of my husband, parents, friends and Frank Albert Realty for providing a retail space for us. Like I teach my students every day: Succeed by doing good for others and by having a growth mindset. It’s not that you CAN’T do it, you just can’t do it YET, but you will – with dedication, passion and perseverance.

Cuddle + Kind Handcrafted dolls that give back: The purchase of one doll supplies 10 meals to children around the world. They are also ethically produced with 750+ artisans who are rural working mothers.

Bellabu Bear Bamboo apparel for babies and kids that has been awarded a Seal of Acceptance from the National Eczema Association

Itzy Ritzy Diaper Backpacks + Accessories On-trend 100% vegan leather with a rubber bottom to protect bag from wear and tear

WWW.BUTTERBUGBOUTIQUE.COM Follow @butterbugboutique for the latest on her pop up shop location. JANUARY 2021 TampaBayParenting.com


Shazia Nagamia Sparkman

Attorney concentrating in Family & Matrimonial Law

313 South Bungalow Park Avenue Tampa, Florida 33609 813.374.2000 www.sparkmanlawfirm.com 12

TampaBayParenting.com JANUARY 2021

A PAWSITIVE Start to VOLUNTEERING story and photos by Laura Byrne

Looking for a volunteering “home” for your children? The Humane Society of Tampa Bay recently moved into a gorgeous new facility which not only gives animals more space indoors and outdoors, but room for educational programs for families. Keep in mind that due to the COVID-19 pandemic, you will need to wear a face mask, so be sure to bring it with you. Also, be prepared for a temperature check at the front door and practice social distancing.


Tuesdays and Thursdays from 2:45 p.m. to 4 p.m. | Children ages 5+ This is a great volunteer opportunity for kids to not only connect with the animals, but also practice their reading! When you arrive, head to the second-f loor education area and look for the sign-up sheet, stools and small bag of dog treats. A volunteer is usually standing by to help. If your child does not bring their own book, the Paws for Literacy program has plenty of books in their library for your child to choose from. You and your child can proceed on to the kennels and make friends with the animals! The Paws for Literacy program is supervised by a Florida state-certified teacher.


A birthday party at the Humane Society of Tampa Bay will be an unforgettable experience for animal loving kids and their guests! There are two party packages: Silver Party for $300 for up to 15 kids and the Gold Party for $350 for up to 25 kids. Both packages include a private party room for two hours with a party host. The room will be decorated with balloons and table coverings. You also get a paw print cake with juice or water, animal themed tableware, two activity options, animal-themed goodie bags for guests, downloadable party invitation and a birthday shirt for the birthday child. They’ll even get to name the next adoptable pet! Keep in mind that CDC guidelines will be followed, so masks, temperature checks and social distancing will be required.


Every second Saturday of the month, 9 a.m. to noon | For families with children ages 5+ Volunteering as a family is a great way to expose children to community service at a young age. During your family volunteer shift, you will get a chance to spend time and help socialize the animals, make a craft for the shelter and the animals and make a special memento to remember the day when you go home. A small donation of $20 per family helps keep this program going.


Camp held on No School Days according to public school system Ages 6-13, $70 per day (lunch included) If your child has an upcoming no school day, consider allowing them to spend the day at the Humane Society of Tampa Bay! Kids ages 6-13 will get to play animal-themed games, make crafts and, of course, spend plenty of time with the animals. CDC guidelines are being followed, so seats are limited. Your child will also need to wear a face mask, undergo a temperature check and practice social distancing. Like Paws for Literacy, No School Days is supervised by a Florida state-certified teacher.

VOLUNTEER-IN-TRAINING For teenagers ages 12-15

This program is for older kids who are interested in learning what it takes to be a volunteer with the Humane Society of Tampa Bay. They can earn 20 hours of volunteer time for school requirements. Teens will spend their time learning about how the shelter operates, assist with the care of the animals and help with other Humane Society programs. Some educational lessons include: grooming and bathing, housing care and cleaning, animal enrichment activities and community engagement. The program consists of eight weekly meetings held on Wednesdays from 5-7 p.m. A $25 program fee is requested to help cover supplies.

You can learn more about these programs by visiting www.HumaneSocietyTampa.org/ HumaneEducation or email Giannina Varchi at gianninav@humanesocietytampa.org. JANUARY 2021 TampaBayParenting.com



New Year: New Space for You! REVAMPING YOUR SPACE FOR A FRESH START TO A NEW YEAR by Laura Frasor with Neat Method-Tampa and Kylie Ponton with Ponton Interiors

With a fresh new year come resolutions and excitement. One of the best ways to start the year is with a new or ‘feels-like-new’ space. Maybe your family room became a co-working office-meets-playroom in 2020, or your home office was transformed into a classroom. We pulled together some of our favorite ways to revamp a shared space.

Photos on this page are by Bos Images

REARRANGE THE FURNITURE Pulling furniture from a different room can update a space instantly and make a room more functional for shared activities. A small game table can become a homework station, and a comfortable chair can become a reading nook. The key to creating maintainable and organized spaces is to use storage you already have to suit your needs and lifestyle. A media cabinet can be the perfect spot for toy storage while a cocktail table with drawers works well for office supplies.

DECLUTTER AND DEEP CLEAN Beginning with a clean slate helps decrease anxiety and improve mental health. Our advice is to start small on a space that people use every day, like a drawer or a cupboard. Start by completely emptying the space to decide what you will keep and what you can let go. For drawers, we recommend measuring the space and purchasing dividers or inserts. Working in small sections decreases the risk of overwhelm and helps create focus on the task at hand. A tidy space helps with focus and clarity, and is helpful in shared spaces whether working from home or juggling homeschool with Zoom meetings.

MAXIMIZE STORAGE Individual storage spaces are the best way to help organize a multifunctional space. Storage can be hidden in built-in cabinetry, with cubbies for each family member. A caddy with handles can be helpful for keeping kids’ school or art supplies. Kids like to move around. A caddy can move with them, and compartments mean no excuses at clean up time. If your dining room is acting as a school work station, you want to be able to put everything away and enjoy your home at the end of the day.


TampaBayParenting.com JANUARY 2021

Photos by Bos Images

CREATE MINI PRIVATE SPACES Finding the perfect corner to call your own and furnishing it with your favorite things is a wonderful way to create harmony in your living space. For kids, a nook that feels like a secret hiding space is a win-win. A chaise lounge in the corner can be a relaxing space for reading. A writing desk in the corner of the room is a good spot for catching up on emails. Defining a unique space doesn’t require an entire room, but can create an area for ref lection and creativity. Photos on this page are by Seamus Payne Architectural Photography unless otherwise noted.

EXTEND LIVING SPACE OUTDOORS Extending our living space outdoors is a great way to create another room with the benefits of fresh air and wide-open spaces. Designing an outdoor family room with comfortable seating means another part of the home can be used for hanging out, eating, homework time or just relaxing. Defining larger spaces with an outdoor area rug and cozy seating arrangement encourages conversations and gathering.

ADD AN ACCENT WALL Wallpaper is a great way to add a pop of color, pattern and texture to a room. Wallcoverings add instant visual interest to a room, with a pattern, color, texture and style to suit any home. Graphic patterns are a fun statement for kids spaces and game rooms. Textures, like grass cloth or jute, can add a coastal and calming backdrop to any room. Vibrant colors and patterns are a fun and play ful touch for a powder room.

JANUARY 2021 TampaBayParenting.com



Don’t forget your financial health by Graham Rigby, CFP®, Financial Advisor



● Large amounts of high interest rate debt (credit cards, student loans, personal loans)

● Create a budget

● Cash flow negative

● Build a small emergency fund ● Aggressively pay down debt

● Minimal high interest rate debt

● Enhance your emergency fund

● Minimal savings

● Consider Investing

● Unclear goals

● Automate and increase

● Established emergency fund

● Review your financial plan

● Minimal debt

● Align your investments with your goals

● Excess cash ● Multiple investment accounts

QUICK TIPS *Living below your means is one of the greatest indicators for financial success.

PLEASE HELP If you fall into this category, you have an uphill battle ahead of you, but getting organized and getting started will lead to results sooner. First and foremost, track your spending and create a monthly budget. This will help you recognize outlier spending and find creative ways to save. Next, build an emergency fund of $1,000-$2,000 in a savings account. This will be for any unexpected expenses that life may bring. Any dollars over and above that, start to aggressively pay down your debt. Start with higher interest rates (usually credit cards) and work your way down the line. If you have the time and energy, consider a side hustle. Whether driving for a ride share company or working at your favorite ice cream shop, there are a lot of ways to earn additional income on the side to help reach your goals sooner.

STARTING FRESH With minimal high interest rate debt, you are off to a good start. Start working on building a significant emergency fund. The general rule of thumb is three months’ worth of expenses (not earnings) for a family with two working adults, or six months for a family with one working adult. Once your emergency fund is established, look to your next set of goals and consider investing to reach them. While investing does have a level of risk, historically it has allowed for higher returns than a traditional savings account. When it comes to investing, you want to consider your time horizon and your asset allocation. These two factors will help drive your success. Once you have determined how much you plan to save, automate it. Having monthly automated transfers gives you a better shot at sticking to your plan. As you receive raises or situations change, consider increasing the automated amount before you become accustomed to the new paycheck.

CLEAN UP AND FINE TUNE Maybe you have been great at setting aside money for years, but now is a helpful time to revisit your plan. Do you have a good understanding of where and how your money is invested? Are your investments working well together? Are you saving for your goals in tax efficient ways? Are you on track for retirement? While these questions are too extensive to visit in a short article, there are many resources to start these conversations. Gather your financial statements and review your current holdings and plans. If you feel overwhelmed or would like additional support, a financial advisor can help craft these conversations and guide your goals.

*Did you get a raise? “Pay yourself” first by increasing your monthly savings amounts. *Find a website, app or other tool that helps you track your finances.

© 2020 Raymond James & Associates, Inc., member New York Stock Exchange/SIPC. Every investor’s situation is unique and you should consider your investment goals, risk tolerance and time horizon before making any investment. Prior to making an investment decision, please consult with your financial advisor about your individual situation.

Graham Rigby, CFP® – Financial Advisor TAMPA | 100 N. Tampa St., Suite 2400, Tampa, FL 33602 OCALA | 2701 SW 34th St., Building 100, Ocala, FL 34474 352-291-6711 | Graham.Rigby@RaymondJames.com www.RigbyWealth.com


TampaBayParenting.com JANUARY 2021

istockphoto.com/ AndreyPopov




Crafting a financial plan can mean a lot of different things to a lot of different people. January is a great time to refocus and recommit to your wellbeing. Consider including your financial health in this year’s goals. While everyone’s situation is different, here are three categories to give you an idea of where to start.

JANUARY 2021 TampaBayParenting.com



Tampa Dads Help Secure City as Super Bowl LV Host by Tara Payor, Ph.D.

Football fan or not, Super Bowl thrills hit different than other gridiron matches. Super Bowl LV, the game of the year, makes its fifth touchdown in Tampa Bay. Will Super Bowl parties look different? Sure. But celebrate we will. Two Tampa dads, Rob Higgins and Jason Aughey, share their experiences as both parents and professionals navigating family life and the NFL’s pinnacle game during a global pandemic. No pandemonium to see here.

PRE-GAME SHOW Rob Higgins, president and CEO of the Tampa Bay Super Bowl LV Host Committee, and Jason Aughey, senior vice president of sports tourism for the committee, played integral roles in securing Tampa as the host city. Both rose to the occasion because solid game plans played out at home. Jason Aughey with his wife, Courtney Aughey, and their two children: son, Bryce (7) and daughter, Ryan (5)

“Planning for the Super Bowl was a monumental task in and of itself,” Aughey shares. “But my wife and I communicate and strategize. Adapting proved challenging. Once we found our stride, I started scheduling time with the kids (7 and 5) during lunch. We’d do things like play basketball for 15 minutes.” Higgins is proud of how his kids (16 and 14) have heeded health and safety measures. He explains that both are involved in competitive sports and understood that events would return if they did their parts. Some chaos ensued as the host committee tackled March Madness and Wrestle Mania while working from home as children were distance learning. But the family units decided on what plays everyone needed to execute in order to win at pandemic life. Striving for balance, both men feel fortunate having jobs and families they wake up excited for.

ALL-PRO The Tampa Bay Sports Commission is a cornerstone of Tampa’s continued grow th. For Higgins and Aughey, work life (like dad life) guarantees no two days are alike. Both are involved in the entire process: from recruit to award to implementation. Sometimes, that translates to shuteye from 2-7 a.m. “We represent this region, which means working at all hours,” Aughey says. “Spearheading efforts to bring major events to Tampa, we believe none are too big and there’s nothing we’re unwilling to do.” Says Higgins: “From the media standpoint to the economic impact, the Super Bowl plays a big part in our community’s fabric and tradition. Only three cities have hosted more Super Bowls.” Tampa’s no stranger to hosting during difficult times: 2001 during wartime and 2009 during a recession. Higgins is steadfast in the host committee’s belief that the 55th Super Bowl offers Tampa Bay an opportunity to share both its transformative story and a preview of its next chapter. He explains that the commission is engaged in a listening tour with community leaders to identif y areas of need where investments could leave residual impacts. Partnerships with organizations like PNC Bank, Tampa General Hospital and the Early Childhood Education Coalition were established to help area families, as the commission feels entrusted to help Tampa thrive beyond Super Bowl Sunday.


TampaBayParenting.com JANUARY 2021

Photo by Elizabeth Dugan Creative

Rob Higgins with his wife, Casey Higgins, and their two children: son, Landon (14) and daughter, Laney (16)


Free family-friendly events will span the Tampa Riverwalk including athletic challenges, interactive games and concerts with plenty of local food and official NFL merchandise for purchase.


BLITZ The Super Bowl Experience, free for the first time in Super Bowl history, will happen along the Riverwalk and include programming in Julian B. Lane Riverfront Park. Events begin at the end of January and run through Super Bowl Sunday on Feb. 7. Aughey underscored that, due to f luid circumstances, planning efforts are ongoing: “Some will definitely go virtual.” Super Bowl LV includes volunteer opportunities, too. As soon as they were old enough, Higgins' kids began volunteering with the sports commission. While Higgins worked remotely during quarantine, the Higgins kids witnessed all facets of Super Bowl planning. “They’ve gained great perspective through seeing Zooms and asking me questions,” he says. “There’s no better feeling than when my two worlds collide. The keys of my life are the memories we create as a family.” Fortunately, for Tampa parents, hosting Super Bowl LV introduces occasions for safely working, volunteering, and making lasting family memories.

Leading up to the big game, the host committee remains focused on helping local businesses take centerstage. There’s a particular focus on increasing attention for minority and female-owned businesses. Given the hospitality industry’s devastating losses throughout the pandemic, the Road to Gameday Restaurant Week was created: “We’re committed to helping residents and visitors discover more of our culinary scene, and a portion of proceeds go back into Feeding Tampa Bay,” Higgins explains. He’s positive these efforts serve as catalysts for recovery.

FACE MASK Of course, COVID-19 isn’t sidelined because of Super Bowl LV. While the commission doesn’t know how things will transpire with capacity, they’re unwavering in attention to health and safety. “We have weekly calls with the NFL and COVID is number one,” Aughey notes. “Many intelligent people are talking through all processes.”

TOUCHDOWN Tara Payor, Ph.D. has a doctorate in curriculum and instruction. She is a contributing faculty member for Walden University, where she guides doctoral students through their dissertations. She is also a language arts educator. Reach her at tpayor@gmail.com.

No Hail Mary needed in making Super Bowl LV in Tampa Bay a success. Longstanding collaborative efforts among the Tampa Bay Sports Commission, community partners, residents and business owners place Tampa in victory formation. The host committee’s playbook is unshakable. Rooting for people like Higgins and Aughey are life’s most valuable players—their precious families.

JANUARY 2021 TampaBayParenting.com


moms to by Julie Tingley, The KNOW Book + Tribe Director, KNOW Tampa and KNOW St. Pete | Clearwater

TAMI FITZPATRICK | Tamifitzpatrick.com WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO BE PART OF THE FOUNDING TEAM/ ADVISORY BOARD AT IGREW? iGrew is the first of its kind. It’s a private social media platform where parents can invite and engage other parents in their network, whether they are friends, neighbors, connected through school, church, sports or wherever, to share stories about their children in a private space. When Art Fyvolent first told me about his vision for iGrew, I believed it was a project worth supporting. His idea began when he lost a precious voice message from his daughter and was further developed from his understanding of predatory threats our children face every single day today. As iGrew builds out their app, I believe it will be THE parent portal, full of resources, parenting solutions, printing options, a place to sell their used clothing, toys and furniture and much more. There is, and will be, nothing like it.

WITH JANUARY BEING NATIONAL SLAVERY AND HUMAN TRAFFICKING PREVENTION MONTH, IT FEELS LIKE THE PERFECT TIME FOR PARENTS TO MIGRATE SOME OF THEIR SHARING PRACTICES TO THIS NEW PLATFORM. HOW DOES IT WORK? iGrew’s business model is to protect your information, not sell it. The problem with other social media apps is the surveillance capitalism that other sites gain from YOUR information. That is what iGrew is protecting, which in turn helps with both your security and privacy.

I KNOW YOUR INCREDIBLE STORY AS A SURVIVOR OF OPPRESSION, A BRAVE MOTHER OF THREE AND AN ADVOCATE OF WOMEN EMPOWERMENT WHO LEADS BY EXAMPLE. WHAT CAN YOU SHARE WITH OTHER MOMS ABOUT BEING MORE VIGILANT AND PROTECTING THEIR CHILDREN IN TODAY’S WORLD? Knowledge is power. Many caregivers and parents believe they know what their child is doing, sharing, creating and posting on social media but they may not. Parents themselves are so wrapped up in sharing the milestones, accomplishments and splendor of their child, that they may not realize they are playing into the hands of a predator sitting in the dark just looking for something to feed their pathetic interests, whether personal or on behalf of a trafficking organization. iGrew plans to provide a secure environment for the entire family. From pre-natal to 18 years and beyond, you, your children, your family and invited friends can store, share and feel confident and in control of who is looking over your virtual shoulder.

AS THE HEAD OF YOUR HOUSEHOLD AND OF YOUR COMPANIES, WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR BUSY MOMS WHO STRUGGLE WITH BALANCE BETWEEN HOME DUTIES AND WORK RESPONSIBILITIES? My message is this: Unconditional love! Your number one job is to provide a safe place for your children to grow into who THEY want to be. This shouldn’t be confused with who YOU want them to be. I’ve been through the trauma of starting over with nothing and selling everything I had to make sure my children had food and shelter. I’ve managed companies and a household at the same time. It isn’t easy, but it isn’t impossible. Create a safe haven with subtle but solid rules for them to follow early on. Listen to their sweet dreams and let them grow without trying to make your dreams or goals theirs. There is no “perfect”, but unconditional love, validation and support from their parent and/or caregiver is certainly a good base to grow from.


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WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE THING TO DO IN TAMPA BAY WITH YOUR FAMILY? When your children are young, it’s easy to tell them you’re heading to MOSI, Bush Gardens, The Florida Aquarium or a fun day at the park. One of my favorites was going to Barnes & Noble to grab a few books, curl up in a chair and pass time while occasionally looking up from my book to see them reading theirs. I loved that. These days, and because I am a big proponent of supporting local small businesses in the Tampa Bay region, we enjoy trips to fresh produce markets, local antique shopping around Ybor or some of the wonderful art festivals. Because the COVID pandemic has unfortunately stomped on social outings, I’ve kept up a tradition I started when they were little called, “Crazy Friday.” Crazy Friday started as “What the heck is for dinner tonight?” We’d snuggle on the couch and watch their favorite movie with our pajamas on and their favorite foods and treat, no matter how crazy they were. But one night a week they were allowed to have whatever they wanted. Sounds crazy, but this gave me the ability to enforce healthy eating the rest of the week. I look forward to the day I will introduce Crazy Friday to my grandchildren, especially since I can send them home and watch my children deal with the sugar rush!

JANUARY 2021 TampaBayParenting.com


See All Things With Your Heart, Not Just Your Eyes


Get Inspired ...

for a great date night!


QUIT YOUR WAY Quitting tobacco isn’t easy. Finding help should be. Tobacco Free Florida offers free tools and services to help you get started.

USF Area Health Education Center presents

FREE Virtual Tools to Quit Classes Start the New Year off Tobacco Free!

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, quitting is more important than ever! Let us help you get the support you need from the comfort of your own home.

***MONTHLY SCHEDULE*** Every First Saturday of the Month 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM Every Second Sunday of the Month 5:00 PM - 7:00 PM Every Second Wednesday of the Month 2:00 PM - 4:00 PM Every Third Monday of the Month 5:00 PM - 7:00 PM Every Third Thursday of the Month 5:00 PM- 7:00 PM

TampaBayDateNightGuide.com Your source for fun places to try and new activities to make your date night inspired!


TampaBayParenting.com JANUARY 2021

BENEFITS: Nicotine replacement patches, gum or lozenges. (if medically appropriate for those 18 years of age or older)

Participant workbook and materials. More than DOUBLES your chances of success!

Pre-registration is required! JOIN: By calling 813-974-7889 to register. Pre-registration is required! You will be emailed a link to join by ZOOM conference via video or audio. ABOUT THE CLASS: Tools to Quit Class will provide you with information about the effects of tobacco use, the benefits of quitting, and will assist you with developing your OWN QUIT PLAN. Cessation groups cover all forms of tobacco.

To register, call:


For more information, visit us at: www.tobaccofreeflorida.com/quityourway Sponsored by:

USF Area Health Education Center


EXHIBIT OPENING JANUARY 23 Long before the first Paleoindians made Florida home, gargantuan sharks swam in Florida seas and furry mammoths munched on Florida grass. How do we know? In a word, fossils.

See them up close at the Tampa Bay History Center.

Smithsonian Affiliate


Tampa Riverwalk | 801 Water Street 813.228.0097 | tampabayhistorycenter.org

JANUARY 2021 TampaBayParenting.com 23 Timed-entry tickets can be purchased safely in advance; face masks required.


DANCE • THEATER • MUSIC Our stages may be experiencing a brief intermission, but our classes continue virtually and on-site. Private lessons and classes for all ages and experience levels





TampaBayParenting.com JANUARY 2021

PROGRAM PROFILES From state-of-the-art technology to old-fashioned Socratic sessions by a lakeside, there's a school, a method and an academic home for your children in Tampa Bay. Check out some of these exciting and enriching programs from local schools.

Academy at the Lakes At Academy at the Lakes, everything is done with intention and excellence, every step of the way from 3 years old to high school graduation. Inside the beautiful campus, students find a warm environment full of opportunities and experiences provided by an outstanding faculty and a unique culture. Academy’s 7-to-1 student-to-teacher ratio allows for personal and focused education. Layered into the stellar academics of the school are signature programs such as Public Speaking, AP Capstone, Medical Programs, Environmental Science, STEM, Amazon Adventure and Internship, Student Travel & Retreats and a House System. Academy’s students become inspiring leaders who embrace opportunities and challenges with poise and selfconfidence. They think critically and creatively, balancing passion and responsibility to achieve individual growth

and success while creating and nurturing meaningful relationships with respect, empathy and joy. More than 80% of students in grades 5-12 participate in school-sponsored athletics. Over the last eight years, more than 14% of Academy’s senior student-athletes have received financial packages to participate in collegiate athletics, compared to the national average of 2%. The 39 members of the Class of 2020 earned a combined $5 million in scholarship offers, and 30% earned full fouryear scholarships. Academy students grow into interesting, compassionate humans who are prepped for life. The most important sign of success begins and ends with the expectation with which families enter the school: “You matter here.” ACADEMYATTHELAKES.ORG

Admiral Farragut Academy Admiral Farragut Academy is a private, college-prep, coeducational, boarding and day school that serves students in K-12th grade with a 100% college acceptance rate. Their boarding program starts in eighth grade. Boarding students hail from 26 countries and 17 states. Situated on a picturesque, 40-acre waterfront campus in St. Petersburg, they offer hands-on opportunities for sailing, kayaking, fishing and more. As a United States Naval Honor school, Farragut is designated by an Act of Congress and re-accredited each year by the Department of the Navy. All students in eighth to 12th grade participate in the Naval Science military program. The officer in charge of Farragut's Naval Science program has the authority each year to make three nominations each to the U.S. Naval Acad-


emy, the U.S. Air Force Academy and the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. Farragut offers signature programs in aviation, Scuba, STEM, marine science, leadership and naval science as well as opportunities for leadership, extracurriculars like Drill Team and Color Guard and ROTC scholarships and appointments to military academies. Notable alumni include two astronauts who have walked on the moon. Farragut families can expect a warm, safe family environment. They seek to instill core values of integrity, perseverance, self-discipline, and wellness and fitness in their students, who leave Farragut confident and ready to succeed in college and beyond. FARRAGUT.ORG

JANUARY 2021 TampaBayParenting.com


Berkeley Preparatory School Berkeley is nationally recognized as an independent school leader with an innovative curriculum that inspires intellectual curiosity, empathy, resilience and wonder in its students. An exceptional and diverse community of learners follow personalized paths to success through a broad curricular and extracurricular program. One hundred percent of Berkeley graduates go to college. The Class of 2020 was accepted to a combined total of 186 colleges and universities, and 15% percent were recognized as National Merit honorees. Students can choose from more than 60 AP©, Honors and Advanced Topics courses in the Upper Division. More than 80% of students participate in the athletic program that offers 16 sports. Berkeley is mission-driven to provide the best possible environment for the intellectual, emotional, spiritual

and physical development of each student, and to instill in them a strong sense of morality, ethics and social responsibility. The curriculum considers a broad range of perspectives, and age-appropriate programming challenges assumptions, guiding flexible, open and growth-minded thinking. We inspire all of our students to be responsible global citizens who have excelled in the lessons of character and learned the values of discipline, diligence and integrity. They leave Berkeley with open minds to find the future awaits them with open doors. We develop and expect strong character, promote innovation and growth and desire excellence in all that we do. Simply put, the educational journey at Berkeley is truly extraordinary. BERKELEYPREP.ORG

Corbett Preparatory School of IDS Located on a beautiful 15-acre lakeside campus, Corbett Prep offers the International Baccalaureate programme for all PreK3-8th grade students. For 52 years, Corbett Prep has taught generations of children in a uniquely childcentered culture and community. At the heart of the Corbett Prep experience is the positive, supportive relationship between students and teachers. Teachers use research-based strategies to engage students in hands-on learning opportunities. In this extraordinary learning environment, a socialemotional curriculum provides the framework for student mindfulness and wellbeing with robust opportunities to discover and develop individual areas of giftedness – academic, musical, performance, STEAM, leadership, athletic or global. Through a diverse, multicultural

student body as well as partnerships with schools around the world, Corbett Prep students grow in intercultural appreciation and understanding. Corbett Prep parents enjoy strong, often lifelong, connections with teachers, staff and other families. The Parent-Faculty Association and the Dads’ Club provide opportunities for involvement and social activities open to the school community. Graduates often say that at Corbett Prep, they learned and practiced the life skills they needed for success beyond 8th grade: the choreography of working respectfully and productively with those from different backgrounds and cultures, a growth mindset to approach and solve problems, and the confidence, poise, and presence to serve as leaders in their community. CORBETTPREP.ORG

Keystone Prep High School With small class sizes, caring faculty and a beautiful campus in Odessa, Keystone Prep High School is committed to providing the best educational experience for all students. With an average of eight to 10 students per class, Keystone Prep students thrive within an individualized approach based on students’ strengths and challenges. The school’s advocacy program, which runs parallel to the academic program, focuses on social and emotional learning and college and career exploration. At Keystone Prep, parents can expect a family atmosphere where students feel safe, supported and challenged to reach levels of performance they may have not thought possible. Families can also expect a partnership with the school where they work together to help


TampaBayParenting.com JANUARY 2021

their students reach their full potential academically, emotionally and socially. The school’s goal is that all students do everything in their power to leave a positive impact on their communities and the world. Faculty and staff encourage students to learn compassion and understanding, to work hard and apply themselves to whatever task is before them. Students are taught the knowledge and skills to not only navigate an ever-changing world—but to thrive in it. While Keystone Prep is not a special-needs school, they espouse the philosophy that any student, regardless of a formal diagnosis, can benefit from the school’s unique approach. KEYSTONEPREP.ORG

istockphoto.com/ Karolina Madej

Shorecrest Preparatory School Founded in 1923, Shorecrest is a PK3 through 12th grade coed, nonsectarian independent school located in St. Petersburg, Florida. Shorecrest’s four schools are connected by an overarching mission, vision and core values on one beautiful campus. The Experiential School serves the youngest learners with an inquiry-based, joyful Reggio Emilia-inspired model. Project-based learning is the foundation of the K-4 Lower School program, and the Middle School (which includes fifth grade in its program) prepares students to excel in the ninth to 12th-grade Upper School. Known for its student-centered approach to teaching and learning, Shorecrest is continually on the leading edge of innovation in education. In 2016 the school opened the Center for Medical Sciences applied-sci-

ence track for high school students, won a grant from Steelcase Education for its interdisciplinary work in middle school, and became an Apple Distinguished School. Other signature programs include the Global Scholars Initiative for students interested in international studies and the STEAM Signature Program which allows students to earn a certificate in computer science, engineering or entrepreneurship and design. Shorecrest is ranked the #1 STEM High School in Pinellas County according to Niche.com. Shorecrest offers its students a nationally recognized performing and visual arts program, competitive athletics, opportunities for engaged service learning and the best-fit college placement in the region. SHORECREST.ORG

St. John's Episcopal Parish Day School St. John’s welcomes students and families into a joyful environment of passion, commitment, hard work and faith. The curriculum is focused on the development of the whole child through an interdisciplinary program that honors tradition and fosters innovation. St. John's students are empowered to lead and inspired to serve. Graduates are coveted by area high schools because of the strength of preparation they receive through our vigorous academic program. St. John’s families become part of a community in which the school-parent partnership is encouraged in raising their children. Parent-led associations such as The Parents’ Club and Dads’ Club support the mission and strategic goals of the school, encouraging parent involvement by promoting community among SJE families. From Pre-K through grade 8, St. John’s students

participate in a variety of activities, including 10 middle division sports and visual, performing and fine arts. Our graduates emerge as confident learners who are intellectual, intuitive and independent thinkers, and involved and inclusive individuals of impressive character and citizenship. Throughout the course of the ongoing global pandemic, St. John’s remains focused on three primary goals: to mitigate risk in our community as much as possible by implementing a comprehensive implementation of health and safety measures; to deliver on our mission of academic rigor, daily chapel services and community service and leadership; and to communicate clearly, especially about training, expectations and other school protocols. STJOHNSEAGLES.ORG

Westlake Christian School For 25 years, Westlake Christian School has developed and maintained a unique blend of faith, academics and community. The school is based in the belief of a well-rounded school experience with faith formation, academics, fine arts, athletics, technology and leadership development as the primary areas. Westlake is especially proud of using best practices throughout the school and in all areas. The whole school is a best practices environment. Families can expect a


community-minded school dedicated to serving each child and family individually. Westlake graduates are well-rounded and the best thinkers and problem-solvers in this locale. The school is also proud to be the only Christian school to hold accreditation by the Florida Kindergarten Council, the Florida Council of Independent Schools, and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools/AdvancED. WESTLAKECHRISTIANSCHOOL.ORG

JANUARY 2021 TampaBayParenting.com


2021 Enrollment Now Open!

PreK3 – Grade 12

Learn more about the Academy at the Lakes experience by visiting our new website and see why You Matter Here. academyatthelakes.org/admission 813-909-7919

NOW ENROLLING 2021-2022 School Year Family of Tuition-Free Public Charter Schools Downtown Tampa: Channelside Academy of Math & Science K-8 Riverview: Valrico Lake Advantage Academy K-5 Bell Creek Academy 6-12 Riverview Academy of Math & Science K-8 Westchase: Hillsborough Academy of Math & Science K-8 Dover: Independence Academy K-8

Visit: CharterSchoolAssociates.com/TBParenting


TampaBayParenting.com JANUARY 2021

YOU CAN AT CANTERBURY OPEN HOUSE Grades 5-12 Thursday, Jan. 21, 2021 PK3 - Grade 4 Friday, Jan. 22, 2021 Marine Studies | STEAM | College Counseling | Character Ed | Athletics | Theater

CanterburyFlorida.org/openhouse 727-521-5903 JANUARY 2021 TampaBayParenting.com




(813) 961-3087 • PreK3-8th Grade • www.corbettprep.com 30

TampaBayParenting.com JANUARY 2021

Your Guide to:

Ta m pa BayArea Schools The Tampa Bay area is lucky to have such a wealth of incredible private, charter and magnet education options making it easy to find the perfect school for your child. ACADEMY AT THE LAKES

2331 Collier Parkway, Land O’ Lakes 34639 813-909-7919; academyatthelakes.org Academy at the Lakes is an independent, non-denominational college preparatory school located in Land O'Lakes. Offering grades PreK3-12, Academy is a learning community of shared values dedicated to the success of each individual. Academy at the Lakes celebrates the love of learning and the joy in the journey.

Enrollment: 475 Class-size: 7 Grades: PreK3-12 Tuition: $12,300$25,250

ACADEMY OF THE HOLY NAMES 3319 Bayshore Blvd., Tampa 33629 813-839-5371; holynamestpa.org

Enrollment: 970

The Academy of the Holy Names empowers students to be authentic individuals who engage in independent thought, are inspired by creativity and lead culturally aware, spiritually rich lives. Our innovative approach to curriculum integrates technology, encourages artistic expression and actively engages students in exploration and inquiry.

Grades: PreK-8 Coed, 9-12 All Girls

Class-size: varies by division.

Tuition: $13,000 (PreK) to $20,730 (High School)

ADMIRAL FARRAGUT ACADEMY 501 Park St. N., St. Petersburg 33710 727-384-5500; farragut.org

Admiral Farragut Academy is a co-ed, private K-12 school that offers boarding for grades 8-12. Farragut offers more than just an education—it’s an experience, a journey, a launch point for life. The student body represents an average of 32 countries and 17 U.S. states. Signature programs include aviation, marine science, scuba, sailing, engineering, NJROTC and leadership. Summer day and boarding camps also offered. Discover what only Farragut students can experience.

Enrollment: 500 Class-size: 17:1 Grades: K-12 Tuition: $13,000$50,000


5995 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. St. S., St. Petersburg 33705 727-310-8243; alegriamontessori.com

Enrollment: 140

Alegria Montessori School is an authentic Montessori program that creates a rich learning environment and supports individual development. We are also a bilingual program, with students receiving Spanish instruction throughout the week from native Spanish speakers. We offer a true Montessori education through middle school. Come discover the joy of Montessori.

Grades: age 1 to grade 8

Class-size: Small class sizes in elementary and middle school Tuition: Varies depending on age


19215 Livingston Ave., Lutz 33559 813-803-3994; andessmart.academy Our goal is to provide an excellent experience for every family who enters our preschool area. More than a daycare, we are a preschool learning center.

Enrollment: Capacity for 105 children Class-size: DCF ratios, based on age Grades: 3 months to 5 years, and afternoon school-age tutoring Tuition: $223-$286


3909 S. MacDill Ave., Tampa 33611 813-839-4297; bayshorechristianschool.org Bayshore Christian School is a college preparatory, accredited, non-denominational Christian school serving students 2 years old through 12th grade. Founded in 1971, Bayshore Christian School is located on 10 acres in residential South Tampa. BCS provides athletics and fine arts opportunities in addition to a rigorous and challenging academic curriculum.




financial aid



Enrollment: 250 Class-size: 10 Grades: K2-12 Tuition: $8,860-$10,800

JANUARY 2021 TampaBayParenting.com


EDUCATION DIRECTORY | special advertising section BELL CREEK ACADEMY

13221 Boyette Road, Riverview 33569 813-793-6075; bellcreekacademy.com

Grades: 6-12

A tuition-free public charter school proudly serving grades 6-12, Bell Creek provides a well-rounded college preparatory education. The challenging and rigorous curriculum includes a special concentration on math and science, a technology-rich atmosphere and a focus on character development. We are an “A” rated Florida School of Excellence offering the Cambridge Program for Advanced Studies and an award-winning athletic program and are Cognia accredited.

Tuition: FREE

BERKELEY PREPARATORY SCHOOL 4811 Kelly Road, Tampa 33615 813-885-1673; berkeleyprep.org

Enrollment: 1,386

In Berkeley Preparatory School’s safe, nurturing environment, inspiring teaching, engaged parents and alumni and incomparable facilities come together on a beautiful campus. Our broad curricular and extracurricular program serves a diverse community of learners who relish a supportive culture, the school’s Episcopal identity, its ongoing commitment to continual self-improvement and a deeply authentic dedication to making a positive difference in the world.

Class-size: 20 Grades: PreK-12 Tuition: $18,370-$27,750

BISHOP MCLAUGHLIN CATHOLIC HIGH SCHOOL 13651 Hays Road, Spring Hill 34610 727-857-2600; bmchs.com

Enrollment: 350

Bishop McLaughlin Catholic High School provides a Christ-centered education that nurtures the development of the whole person. Bishop has a 100% graduation rate and a 100% college-acceptance rate. We are the number one college-prep, private high school in Pasco County as ranked by Niche. com and offer a wide variety of class options, sports and extracurricular activities.

Class-size: 20 Grades: 9-12 Tuition: $13,595


801 Limona Road, Brandon 33510 813-689-1952; brandon-academy.com

Enrollment: 237

Motto: QUALITY EDUCATION IN A COMMUNITY OF RESPECT At Brandon Academy, students, parents and teachers work together in an environment supported by open communication and community pride. Experienced, respectful children with a positive attitude toward learning are the end result of the Brandon Academy school program.

Class-size: 12 Grades: PreK3-12 Tuition: $6,350-$12,200


110 N. McMullen Booth Road, Clearwater 33759 727-449-2247; cchs.us

Enrollment: 675

Calvary offers an advanced college preparatory education in an environment where students are taught a Christian worldview with the Word of God being integrated into each subject. Calvary also offers many extra-curricular activities for your child including athletics, fine arts, SGA, clubs and leadership opportunities.

Class-size: 13:1 Grades: 9-12 Tuition: $13,800 + fees

CAMBRIDGE CHRISTIAN SCHOOL 6101 N. Habana Ave., Tampa 33614 813-872-6744; ccslancers.com

Enrollment: 690

Cambridge Christian is a college preparatory, Christian outreach school serving students 3 months through 12th grade. We are an award-winning, National Blue Ribbon 2020 school. Our goal is to partner with parents and the local church in the education of your children. This partnership provides a strong foundation for college and life. Visit us today!

Class-size: 17 Grades: 3 months through grade 12 Tuition: $8,000-$16,000

CANTERBURY SCHOOL OF FLORIDA 990 62nd Ave. NE, St. Petersburg 33702 727-521-5903; canterburyflorida.org

Enrollment: 350

Canterbury School of Florida is a private, co-ed, college preparatory school on two campuses in Saint Petersburg serving ages 3 through grade 12. Founded in 1968, Canterbury School of Florida educates and nurtures the whole child in mind, body and spirit in preparation for college and an honorable life as a responsible steward of our world.


TampaBayParenting.com JANUARY 2021



Class-size: 12 Grades: PreK3-12 Tuition: $6,000$22,000


financial aid



St. Petersburg | 727-384-5504



Choose a school that is




during these uncertain times.

GRADES K-12 www.farragut.org



Rigorous, Dynamic Curriculum Faith-Based Perspec�ve and a Christ-Centered Worldview •

Located in Citrus Park 6201 Ehrlich Road Tampa, FL 33625

Caring and Qualified Faculty Cost-Effec�ve Tui�on and Scholarships

Preschool (K3 & K4) - 12th Grade some restric�ons apply for 7th-12th grade

www.hcatampa.org Call Today! 813.884.8250 x235 JANUARY 2021 TampaBayParenting.com



TampaBayParenting.com JANUARY 2021


Bearss Avenue Campus | 1515 W. Bearss Ave., Tampa 33613 Early Childhood Campus | 12606 Casey Road, Tampa 33618 813-920-2288; carrollwooddayschool.org Carrollwood Day School is a world class co-ed IB school in Tampa for college-bound students age 2 through 12th grade. CDS fosters the development of the entire student not only in academics, but also ethically, emotionally and through social experience. Our goal is to help students discover and develop their own talents and interests and use these to better the world and themselves.

Enrollment: 1,008 Class-size: Varies Grades: Age 2 to grade 12 Tuition: $6,500$24,000


6710 86th Ave. N., Pinellas Park 33782 727-541-5716; centeracademy.com Founded in 1968 and AdvancED accredited, Center Academy provides a small, safe setting to help students to focus, organize and learn. We work with students in grades 4-12 with ADHD and learning differences and accept McKay, Gardiner and Tax Credit Scholarships. Dual enrolment and summer programs are available.

Enrollment: 90 Class-size: 18 Grades: 4-12 Tuition: $12,680-$15,180

CHANNELSIDE ACADEMY OF MATH & SCIENCE 1029 E. Twiggs St., Tampa 33602 813-579-9649; channelsideacademy.com

Students at this tuition-free, public charter school receive a well-rounded college preparatory education. The challenging and rigorous curriculum includes a special concentration on math and science, a technology-rich atmosphere and a focus on character development preparing students for their secondary education and beyond. Offerings include the Cambridge program for Advanced Studies, Edvantage before and after school program, Tampa Bay’s Grasses in Classes Program and Cognia accreditation.

Grades: K-8 Tuition: FREE

CHRIST THE KING CATHOLIC SCHOOL 3809 W. Morrison Ave., Tampa 33629 813-876-8770; cks-school.org

Christ the King Catholic School offers an academically challenging PreK4 through 8th grade curriculum in a nurturing, Christ-centered environment. Our outstanding faculty, joyful campus and enriching academics provide students with a strong foundation of skills, compassion and confidence to excel at the area’s leading high schools.

Enrollment: 507 Class-size: 23 Grades: PreK4-8 Tuition: $8,230-$9,940


Toddler & Primary Campus, 4930 Webb Road, Tampa 33615; 813-886-2050 Elementary & Middle Campus, 8411 Civic Road, Tampa 33615; 813-886-3969 communitymontessori.org Community Montessori School provides a prepared environment that responds to the developmental needs of the child and cultivates the unique potential of each individual by adhering to Montessori principles. CMS is a warm, secure community with a high expectation for the quality of thought, work and mastery of content and skill.

Enrollment: 133 Class-size: Average 25 Grades: 18 months-15 years Tuition: $7,200-$10,700

CORBETT PREPARATORY SCHOOL OF IDS 12015 Orange Grove Drive, Tampa 33618 813-961-3087; corbettprep.com

Founded 52 years ago, Corbett Prep offers the International Baccalaureate curriculum for all students. Teachers use research-based strategies to create hands-on learning experiences. Visual and performing arts, team sports and social-emotional learning curriculum align to develop confident, creative, innovative thinkers with character ready to contribute to the world in a meaningful, positive way.

Enrollment: 514 Class-size: Varies by grade (12-20) Grades: PreK3-8 Tuition: $12,890-$17,410


1850 N. McMullen Booth Road, Clearwater 33759 727-799-1618 ext. 1901; myccacademy.org Countryside Christian Academy’s mission is to provide excellence in Christian education while instilling Biblical principles in students’ lives that they might impact their society for Christ. Our program is fully accredited and well-balanced, encouraging the development of the whole child: spirit, soul (mind) and body.




financial aid



Enrollment: 140 Class-size: 1:15 Grades: K5-8 Tuition: $9,000 + fees

JANUARY 2021 TampaBayParenting.com


Introducing the

STEAM Signature Program at Shorecrest A new academic track allowing for in-depth study of Computer Science, Engineering, or Entrepreneurship and Design

#1 School for STEM in the Area; Ranked among the Best Schools in the State by Niche.com

Learn more at www.shorecrest.org/STEAM

5101 1st St. NE | St. Petersburg, FL 33703 | 727-522-2111 | www.shorecrest.org


TampaBayParenting.com JANUARY 2021


Inaugural Applied STEAM Program at Shorecrest by Raffi Darrow, photos provided by Shorecrest Preparatory School

Students at Shorecrest Preparatory School in St. Petersburg have a number of opportunities to pursue areas of interest throughout the ninth to 12th-grade Upper School curriculum. Signature programs like the Global Scholars Initiative and the Center for Medical Sciences offer formal opportunities for students passionate about global studies and applied medical sciences. New this school year, students may also choose to pursue the STEAM Signature Program, a specialized track that allows them to earn a certificate in one of the three STEAM areas of study Computer Science, Engineering or Entrepreneurship and Design. In addition to taking at least three courses within their specific area of study, students must participate in an Applied STEAM and Entrepreneurship seminar, in which they work on a culminating project. The inaugural seminar is under the direction of Dr. Anna Baralt, Director of Educational Technology at Shorecrest. “Like so many things this year, this class had to pivot due to COVID-19 and the necessary health and safety protocols,” Baralt says. “Originally, the course was designed to have students out in the community as well as creating something for their younger peers on campus as the culminating project. We adapted and the students have been so responsive and open with the changes, I think they’ve only made the course better - part of being an entrepreneur is adapting to unforeseen circumstances!” After weeks of work, classmates Spencer Mendelsohn ‘21 and Anthony Vivio ‘21 presented phase one of their project to a small group of administrators. The pair used the design thinking process to create a shoe whose brand is connected to one of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. The group first explained the five-step design thinking process to their audience—Empathize, Design, Ideate, Prototype and Test—then discussed the Sustainable Development Goal they chose to pursue. Vivio and Mendelsohn chose to support the environment, aiming to promote the planting of trees and use of recycled materials in their product. Their shoe, a unisex sandal made of hemp canvas, hemp plastic and cork, has seeds embedded into the sole, allowing the shoe to be planted once it’s outlived its usefulness as footwear. As they progress with their project, the students will merge fashion and function to meet their sustainability goal and customer preferences. Through audience feedback, the students were challenged to think about their target audience, differences in cultural interpretations, brand positioning and how to improve upon their ideas for the next phase of the project. Diego Duran-Medina, Shorecrest Director of Service Learning, says he was impressed with the idea of designing for and with a purpose. “It was great to see our core value of compassion applied in a classroom context through STEAM,” he says. “I was impressed with prototypes of the shoes which demonstrated the handson nature of the project,” says Shorecrest Head of School Nancy Spencer. “There was a lot of thought put into the design-thinking and purpose of the product.” The students will maintain a portfolio of their work throughout the year-long course. The Class of 2021 is the first group to whom the STEAM certificate is offered.



EDUCATION DIRECTORY | special advertising section COVENANT ACADEMY

5495 Pinellas Park Blvd., Pinellas Park 33781 727-542-6294; covenantacademyfl.org

Enrollment: 54

Covenant Academy offers a college preparatory and Christ-centered education in a safe, nurturing and engaging environment. We’re the only certified University-Model® school in Florida. Stimulating, character-based teaching is provided three days a week in the classroom paired with two days of home learning. We offer an award-winning art instructor, soccer program and music education by the Patel Conservatory.

Class-size: 10 Grades: K-10, Dual enroll at grade 11. Tuition: $4250-$5150

DOWDELL MIDDLE MAGNET (ENVIRONMENTAL STUDIES) 1208 Wishing Well Way, Tampa 33619 813-744-8322; hillsboroughschools.org/dowdell

enrollment: 625

We bridge passion for the environment with real world learning. Students can take unique environmental and animal science electives. Students learn outdoors with our salt marsh grass nursery and land lab, and experience our hydroponics and aquaponics labs. Education at Dowdell is strengthened by our proud partnership with The Florida Aquarium.

Class-size: 22 Grades: 6-8 Tuition: FREE

DUNBAR ELEMENTARY MAGNET (MEDICAL SCIENCE) 1730 Union St., Tampa 33607 813-276-5677; dunbar.mysdhc.org

Enrollment: 260

We partner with AdventHealth, USF Health’s Department of Orthopaedic Surgery and Sports Medicine and the Patel Conservatory. Students participate in show choir, drums and Little Kids Rock band. Student-led inquiry and goal setting, National Elementary Honor Society, 3-D printing, and Genius Hour are other elements creating a great learning experience.

Class-size: 18-22 Grades: K-5 Tuition FREE


4302 24th St., Tampa 33610 813-276-5608; hillsboroughschools.org/ferrell

Enrollment: 583

As a Cambridge International Magnet School, we are dedicated to developing confident, dynamic, educated young women. Our technology-rich, interactive learning campus—including our 1:1 iPad program—infuses 21st century technology skills into every student’s learning. Our rigorous Scholar Quest high school credit courses challenge our students in a variety of subjects.

Grades: 6-8

Class-size: 22 Tuition: FREE


3915 21st Ave., Tampa 33605 813-744-8108; hillsboroughschools.org/franklin

Enrollment: 530

As a Cambridge International Magnet School, we are molding young men of distinction who will achieve greatness. We promote academic achievement, professionalism and self-confidence. Our young men prepare for college in a technology-rich environment with a robotics makerspace and Smart Boards and iPads available for every student. Free after-school Enrichment Academies including debate, golf and Model UN.

Grades: 6-8

Class-size: 22 Tuition: FREE

THE FRENCH AMERICAN SCHOOL OF TAMPA BAY (FASTB) 2100 62nd Ave. N., St. Petersburg 33702 727-800-2159; fastb.org

FASTB offers a multicultural educational experience that is unique in this region. French is the language of instruction in all subjects, so children are immersed, learning the language in context and becoming bilingual naturally. Our school is in-person, with COVID-19 safety protocols in place, and we still have slots available for 2020-21 in our small, flexible environment. Contact us today - Merci! (Licence #52511985542)

Enrollment: 40, Capacity is 80-90 Class-size: 15 Grades: Pre-K (age 3)-8 Tuition: $6,500-$13,500


6925 E. Fowler Ave., Tampa 33617 813-987-6926; hillsboroughschools.org/greco

Enrollment: 819

Our school-wide IB candidate program, guided by International Baccalaureate World School principles, launches in Temple Terrace in Fall 2020. Rigorous STEM and Pre-KAPS (King HS Advanced Placement Scholars) programs are offered, along with Scholar Quest high school credit courses including engineering, culinary and computer science. *Transportation provided for attendance-area only.


TampaBayParenting.com JANUARY 2021



Class-size: 22 Grades: 6-8 Tuition: FREE


financial aid



Happy. Secure. Inspired. Since 1968 Make LifeLong Friends.

Pursue your college dreams.

be a student and an athlete.

• Grades 4-12 • ADHD & LD

BRANDON ACADEMY is a place to...

• Fully Accredited

Call or visit our website for more information.

• College Prep

www.brandon-academy.com 813-689-1952

• Scholarships

learn in a safe environment.


Pinellas Park Palm Harbor Lutz Riverview

727 541-5716 727 781-2986 813 909-9442 813 677-7777

www.CenterAcademy.com Learn from talented and dedicated teachers.

participate in many co-curricular activities.

"Tampa Bay Top Workplaces" 2016-2017-2018-2019-2020

Solid Rock Community School “Making the World a Greener Place”

*Scholarships Available

Now Enrolling K-12 School Options Available: Traditional Virtual Blended Solid Rock Community School is “Making the World a Greener Place” with our sustainable seed-to-table lunch program, environmentalism classes, and a strong focus on health, wellness, and fitness. We encourage, challenge, and inspire our students to become thinkers, leaders, and collaborators who can contribute to the greater good of society and be good stewards of the world in which we live.

2801 Keystone Road, Tarpon Springs, FL 34688 | SolidRockCommunitySchool.org | 727-934-0909 JANUARY 2021 TampaBayParenting.com


THE VANGUARD SCHOOL Guided Learning through Individualized Spectrums of Growth Leadership




www.vanguardschool.org admissions@vanguardschool.org 40

TampaBayParenting.com JANUARY 2021



2704 N. Highland Ave., Tampa 33602 813-983-7278; hillsboroughschools.org/virtual Hillsborough Virtual K-12 offers personalized learning in a structured, yet flexible environment. It is a school choice option in which students learn in a digital space using a web-based curriculum with highly-qualified teachers from Hillsborough County. Students can take part in athletics and extracurricular activities at their zoned school.

Enrollment: 2,000 Class-size: n/a Grades: K-12 Tuition: FREE

HILLSDALE CHRISTIAN ACADEMY 6201 Ehrlich Road, Tampa 33625 813-884-8250; hcatampa.org

Hillsdale provides a variety of activities and learning opportunities for our students. Our primary purpose is to help children grow spiritually, socially, physically, intellectually, and creatively in welcoming surroundings as a supplement to the home environment. Our staff will work hard to create a loving, Christian atmosphere for children's development.

Enrollment: 155 Class-size: 15 Grades: PreK2-grade 6 Tuition: $180/week (preschool) - $7,700

HOLY TRINITY LUTHERAN SCHOOL 3712 W. El Prado Blvd., Tampa 33629 813-839-0665; htlstampa.org

Holy Trinity Lutheran School is a co-educational school located in the heart of South Tampa. Founded in 1958, HTLS offers an enriching and rewarding academic education in a loving and safe Christian environment. Our mission is to provide Christ-centered academic excellence and care for the whole child that equips them for lifelong learning and service.

Enrollment: 191 Class-size: 16 Grades: PreK-grade 5 Tuition: $5,950


5001 Nebraska Ave., Suite A, Tampa 33603 813-467-3004; ideapublicschools.org/regions/tampa-bay IDEA believes a quality K-12 public education is the key to success in college and life and is committed to helping every student achieve their own success. Personalized learning, critical thinking skills, mastery of core subjects and continued support through college is IDEA’s recipe for success.

Enrollment: 1,000 Class-size: 18-25 Grades: K-2 & 6 upon launching in 2021. Each campus will add a grade each year until fully scaled to grades K-12. Tuition: FREE


1555 Windmill Pointe Road, Palm Harbor 34685 727-900-6164; igniteacademy.education Ignite Academy is a growing, independent Christian School serving families from Hillsborough, Pasco and Pinellas Counties. Ignite Academy is enrolling kindergarten through fourth grade for the 2021-2022 school year. At Ignite Academy, your child will be immersed into a learning environment of real health: mental, physical and spiritual health.

Enrollment 35 Class-size: 9 Grades: K-4 Tuition: $500-$8,000


12902 E. U.S. Highway 92, Dover 33527 813-473-8600; iacademies.com Independence Academy provides a tuition-free, well-rounded college preparatory education. The challenging and rigorous curriculum includes a special concentration on math and science, a technology-rich atmosphere, and a focus on character development preparing students for their secondary education and beyond. Offerings include the Cambridge program for Advanced Studies, Edvantage before and after school program, Tampa Bay’s Grasses in Classes Program and Cognia accreditation.

Grades: K-8 Tuition: FREE

JCCS PRESCHOOL AND AFTERSCHOOL PROGRAMS 13009 Community Campus Drive, Tampa 33625 813-264-9000; jewishtampa.com

Located in Citrus Park and South Tampa, the JCCs provide a safe environment with low student-to-staff ratios. The preschools offer creative and meaningful activities, Club J Afterschool provides homework supervision and Club J School Day supervises virtual school. All programs deliver high-quality activities for infants through fifth grade.




financial aid



Enrollment: Club J: 30-55 per location; JCC Preschool: 100-150 per location Class-size: Varies Grades: Infants-grade 5 Tuition: Varies JANUARY 2021 TampaBayParenting.com


St. Petersburg Collegiate High Schools

Nurturing today’s learners and tomorrow’s leaders St. Petersburg Collegiate High Schools offer a supportive educational experience with all the benefits of both high school and college. Students thrive at SPCHS and graduate with their high school diploma, an Associate in Arts degree, and the skills for continued success. • A Florida “A” School of Excellence and High Performing Charter School • Small school setting with a family-like atmosphere • 100% high school graduation rate • Top ranked by Newsweek, Niche K-12 and U.S. News & World Report





Two locations: St. Petersburg and Tarpon Springs, Florida ST. PETERSBURG 42

Learn more at spchs.spcollege.edu

TampaBayParenting.com JANUARY 2021

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Sing • Dance • Act • Music CONTACT US: Call 2-1-1 and ask for Help Me Grow or visit ecctampabay.org/help-me-grow Contact Lori Reyes at 813-955-9973 or lreyes@ecctampabay.org

JANUARY 2021 TampaBayParenting.com


EDUCATION DIRECTORY | special advertising section KEYSTONE PREP HIGH SCHOOL 18105 Gunn Highway, Odessa 33556 813-264-4500; keystoneprep.org

Enrollment: 43

Get ready to experience a school unlike anything you have encountered! Keystone Prep High School is a non-profit private school located in Odessa, just outside Tampa, with small classes and individualized support. Our mission is to not only help students achieve their full potential, but also reach pinnacles of success they never thought possible.

Class-size: 8-12 Grades: 9-12 Tuition: $18,500$25,000

LAND O’ LAKES CHRISTIAN SCHOOL 5105 School Road, Land O’ Lakes 34638 813-995-9040; lolcs.org

Enrollment: 330

A Christ-honoring atmosphere for preschool through high school, LOLCS trains students to develop and grow spiritually, intellectually, socially and physically. We offer a fully accredited, balanced program that emphasizes spiritual life, challenging academics for college preparation and opportunities for students to explore their interests and talents in fine arts and athletics.

Class-size: 10-20 Grades: PreK3-12 Tuition: $5,000-$6,950


4400 Chancellor St. NE, St. Petersburg 33703 727-552-8331; lccdayschool.com

Enrollment: 532

LCC Day School is a partnership of school, church and families, inspiring superior academic performance while instilling leadership, responsibility and values in a nurturing environment. Our mission is to meet the changing needs of our students as they develop their God-given potential from early childhood through adolescence.

Class-size: 8-17 Grades: PreK2-8 Tuition: Preschool $3,786-$5,549; Elementary-Middle $10,073-$11,910

LINCOLN ELEMENTARY MAGNET (IB) 1207 E. Renfro St., Plant City 33563 813-757-9329; lincoln.mysdhc.org

Enrollment: 501

We prepare students to meet the challenges of world citizenship with confidence, imagination and integrity. Students can study global cultures and develop an open and curious mind. Students engage in music and arts programs, Odyssey of the Mind, Robotics Team, Inquiry-based learning centers, student action/service learning, world languages and more.

Class-size: 18-22 Grades: K-5 Tuition: FREE

LOCKHART ELEMENTARY MAGNET (CREATIVE SCIENCE CENTRE) 3719 N. 17th St., Tampa 33610 813-276-5727; lockhart.mysdhc.org

Enrollment: 387

Students learn using the latest technology tools and programs. We provide STEM Education with PLTW (Project Lead the Way), where students engage in hands-on activities, projects and problems that are reflective of real-world challenges. Engage with robotics experiences, engineering challenges, outdoor learning and wildlife habitats.

Class-size: 18-22 Grades: K-5 Tuition: FREE

LOMAX ELEMENTARY MAGNET (GIFTED TALENT ACADEMY) 4207 26th St., Tampa 33610 813-276-5569; lomax.mysdhc.org

Enrollment: 390

Students are active thinking and learning citizens, engaging their minds with Math Olympiad, TiViTz, Chess, Future Problem Solvers and Odyssey of the Mind. We embrace the arts with World Drumming, Violin and Little Kids Rock; build with LEGO and VEX Robotics and grow through Student Ambassadors and National Honor Society.

Class-size: 18-22 Grades: K-5 Tuition: FREE

MACFARLANE PARK ELEMENTARY MAGNET (IB) 1721 N. MacDill Ave., Tampa 33607 813-356-1760; macfarlanepark.mysdhc.org

Enrollment: 370

As the #1 Elementary Magnet School in America, we prepare students to meet the challenges of world citizenship with confidence, imagination and integrity. Students study global cultures, engage in music and arts programs, Odyssey of the Mind, Robotics Team, inquiry-based learning centers, student action/service learning, world languages and more.


TampaBayParenting.com JANUARY 2021



Class-size: 18-22 Grades: K-5 Tuition: FREE


financial aid




•Challenging Academics •Competitive Athletics •Performing and Visual Arts •Foreign Language Instruction •Religious Education •Advanced Technology •Video Production Activities •Global Studies •Community Service •Exciting Enrichment Opportunities

Call today to schedule a campus tour. Pre-Kindergarten through 8th grade

2101 S. Hubert Avenue, Tampa (813) 258-5508

Age 3 - Grade 8 • Outdoor classrooms, forested campus & trails • Core Academics taught in concert with Art, Music & Movement • Class sizes 6-16 students • Florida Scholarships accepted • Located at the Dunedin/Palm Harbor border

WaldorfTampaBay.org JANUARY 2021 TampaBayParenting.com


Academy at the Lakes’ Worldly Curriculum Delivers Results


by Sue Gunther, Director of Admissions, photos provided by Academy at the Lakes

With acceptance letters from Yale, Johns Hopkins, Wake Forest, Georgetown, Cornell, NYU, Vanderbilt and the University of Florida, among many others, students graduating from Academy at the Lakes consistently garner significant brand equity for this small but impressive PreK3-12 private school. Academy students have endless opportunities to find their path in life through the experiences they have in the school’s inclusive, inspiring culture. The opportunities Academy students have to lead and to participate build confidence and skill sets that prepare them for college and beyond. For years, Academy at the Lakes seniors have earned acceptance at the finest colleges at rates beyond those of other high schools in the Tampa Bay area. They are attractive to the most prestigious schools because their opportunities combined with expert college counseling produce impressive candidacies. Academy’s athletic program not only gives all students the chance for meaningful participation, it also pushes and inspires truly talented student-athletes to heights of achievement. Just last month, senior AllAmerica swimmer McKenna ’21 (who has attended Academy at the Lakes since Pre-K) signed her scholarship to attend Duke next fall. Her classmate since Kindergarten, softball player Vanessa ‘21, will be playing in the Iv y League for Brown. Over the past eight years, 14% of Academy’s senior athletes were offered opportunities to play at the collegiate level, while the national rate is only 1-2%.

All-America swimmer McKenna ’21 (who has attended Academy at the Lakes since Pre-K) signed her scholarship to attend Duke next fall

The school’s success in preparing students to achieve great heights is not limited to student-athletes. Two brothers (also Academy “lifers” since Pre-K) recently received significant recognition for their fusion of computer science and biology. Now undergrads at Duke, Pranav ’16 and Anmol Warman ‘18, developed an effective artificial intelligence system to detect COVID-19 in lung scans this spring. While in high school at Academy, the brothers whetted their appetites for research in the school’s Intro to Medicine course. This signature Academy course is taught by MDs and offers an in-depth look at the medical profession through interactive experiences, guest speakers and practical field trips. It is Academy’s goal to help each student find the best “fit” for college – academically, socially and financially. Finding the ideal match means finding a place that helps students fulfill their personal goals for higher education and offers the tools, opportunities and support for students to be prepared to successfully take the next steps in their lives and careers.

The Warmon brothers (also Academy “lifers” since Pre-K) recently received significant recognition for their fusion of computer science and biology.


TampaBayParenting.com JANUARY 2021

In fact, in the last two years alone, Academy seniors have earned over $8 million in scholarship offers, and over 30% of the class of 2020 earned full four-year scholarships. The College Counseling Program begins preparing students for college before their freshman year. As students progress through Upper Division, there’s an emphasis put on college visits, applications, essay writing, resume preparation and summer opportunities. Academy students develop the skills that are necessary to succeed in college and career: critical thinking, research and analysis, writing and presentation. Students learn how to collaborate, solve problems, hone their interpersonal communication skills and become confident young adults who lead by example to inspire purpose and passion in others. It’s a great experience.

EDUCATION DIRECTORY | special advertising section MARSHALL MIDDLE MAGNET (IB CANDIDATE) 18 S. Maryland Ave., Plant City 33563 813-757-9360; hillsboroughschools.org/marshall

Launching with sixth grade in Fall 2020, students will be guided by the International Baccalaureate World School Philosophy in Plant City. Students can engage in STEM; Robotics; Culinary Arts; Math League and AVID college readiness. Optional Scholar Quest high school credit courses offer additional rigor. *Transportation provided for attendance-area only.

Enrollment: 911 Class-size: 22 Grades: 6-8 Tuition: FREE


3721 Canoga Park Dr., Brandon 33511 813-571-3400; montessorikidsuniverse.com/brandon

Enrollment: 70

Our school is the premier international early childhood franchise offering an authentic Montessori-Reggio inspired curriculum. We have created a unique learning experience, integrating the Montessori philosophy with our proprietary DaVinci Kids art and science curriculum. Children benefit from a learning experience enriched with gardening, foreign language, yoga, music and cooking.

Grades: 18 months kindergarten

Class-size: Small class sizes

Tuition: Varies by age



13615 N. 22nd St., Tampa 33613 813-558-1355; muller.mysdhc.org

Enrollment: 439

Students learn through Arts and Science Integration, where they experience weekly strings, dance, music and art classes. They engage in the orchestra and rock band, performance groups and our annual musical. Students can explore the outdoor classroom, global gardens, and take part in the National Honor Society and student government.

Grades: K-5

Class-size: 18-22 Tuition: FREE


7777 62nd Ave. N., St. Petersburg 33709 727-541-7593; nck12.com Named a Blue Ribbon School by the US Department of Education, Northside Christian School equips students to reach their God-given potential through outstanding academic and extra-curricular programs within a Christ-centered environment. NCS offers Advanced Placement, Dual Enrollment, Honors and Praxis classes. Northside has been serving PreK3 -12th grade students in a safe, nurturing environment since 1971.

Enrollment: 720 Class-size: 16 Grades: PreK3-12 Tuition: $7,350-$13,450


5585 E. County Line Road, Wesley Chapel 33544 813-991-0801; northtampaca.com North Tampa Christian Academy provides an on-campus experience that encourages innovation through project-based learning and thematic structure. When life demands flexibility, we offer the Titan Teacher Network, a “teacher-centric” virtual learning experience. Parents have the freedom to flex from on-campus to accessing at home instruction through the Titan Teacher Network, ensuring excellent education every day.

Enrollment: 300 Class-size: 15:1 Grades: K-12 Tuition: $13,475-$17,875

NORTH TAMPA CHRISTIAN EXPLORERS PRESCHOOL 5585 E. County Line Road, Wesley Chapel 33544 813-991-0820; northtampaca.com/preschool

We support young children as they develop skills of exploring, choosing, creating and solving for God’s glory. Children are challenged to stretch themselves and persevere as they make sense of the world around them. Our safe and secure facility is nature-inspired, diverse and family oriented.

Enrollment: 135 Class-size: Varies by age Grades: Six weeks to PreK Tuition: $115-390 per month


19521 Michigan Ave., Odessa 33556 813-792-1825; odessachristianschool.org OCS is a Christ-focused school for motivated, self-directed learners seeking to discover their God-given calling. Students dive deep with content through inquiry, investigation and discussion, and gain responsibility, perseverance, professionalism and compassion. Graduates achieve mastery in all areas of learning and launch into life with strong minds and hearts.




financial aid



Enrollment: 75 Class-size: 25 students max per department (1-5, 6-8, 9-12) Grades: 1-12 Tuition: $10,100-$10,500

JANUARY 2021 TampaBayParenting.com



TampaBayParenting.com JANUARY 2021


Safe IN School by Laura Cross, Hillsborough County Public Schools

This year has been especially difficult for parents. We have all had to make tough decisions concerning our child’s health and safety, and ultimately the health and safety of our families and the community. One of the biggest decisions was whether to send our children back to school or have them learn virtually. No one knew how COVID-19 would affect our schools. Fast forward several months later, and we are very proud of the way our teachers, staff and students have created a safe and healthy environment in our schools. Yes, there have been cases. Every day. The school district has been transparent about these cases on its COVID-19 dashboard. Schools are safe: Students and staff wear masks. Common areas are cleaned and there’s hand sanitizer on every corner. These measures have allowed our schools to provide face-to-face instruction and the social interaction that our students need.

LET’S TALK MORE ABOUT THAT FACE-TO-FACE INSTRUCTION. There’s really no replacement for it. eLearning is great, and a lot of kids are thriving, but being in a classroom in front of a teacher is the best way to receive a successful education. There are also a lot of programs and activities that cannot be replicated in the eLearning format. At Sumner and Freedom High Schools, we offer a Doggy Daycare program as part of our Veterinary studies. Students get hands on experience with live animals… Something that most students don’t receive until internships. “I’ve wanted to be a vet ever since I was a little girl,” said Alexis Alverez, a vet assisting student at Sumner High. “I feel like this will help me accomplish what I want to be.” At Jefferson High School, students turn the classroom into a simulated work environment as part of the Virtual Enterprises International Program. Students fill organizational roles such as CEO and Human Resources Manager and serve as consumers for other VE businesses. The goal is to design and pitch a business plan to industry professionals.

And at Barrington Middle School, and other schools across our district, the study of Agriculture takes students out of the classroom and into the large outdoor area where they can help with livestock and grow their own vegetables. The hands-on and collaborative learning experiences are essential to a world-class education and something you just can’t get when you’re not physically in a school building. This is just a sampling of the extraordinary programs offered in Hillsborough County Public Schools. 2020 has been hard for parents and, in extension, for children. Heading into 2021, the amazing teachers and staff in Hillsborough County Public Schools are making one decision a little less difficult for parents. We are thrilled to be welcoming thousands of our virtual students back into schools starting Jan. 19, second semester! Don’t miss out! Hillsborough County Public Schools – Safe, social, successful. JANUARY 2021 TampaBayParenting.com




3415 16th St., Tampa 33605 813-276-5717; hillsboroughschools.org/orangegrove

Enrollment: 556

Be a shining star at Orange Grove, where high academic achievement meets creativity. Our historic campus includes two professional dance studios, video production, visual arts with a MAC lab and exceptional music and technical theater suites. We provide advanced courses, and our Scholar Quest offerings lead to high school credit.

Grades: 6-8

Class-size: 22 Tuition: FREE

OUR SAVIOR LUTHERAN SCHOOL 5843 4th Ave. S., St. Petersburg 33707 727-344-1026; osls.net

Enrollment: 185

Our Savior Lutheran School is committed to help your child grow intellectually, academically and spiritually. We are designed for students to learn on campus, but have technology in place to transition to remote learning during required times. Check us out and see if OSLS is the right fit for your family!

Class-size: 15-20 Grades: Preschool age 2 to grade 8 Tuition: $4,800-$8,100

PAIDEIA CLASSICAL CHRISTIAN SCHOOL 7834 N. 56th St., Tampa 33617 813-988-7700; paideiatampa.com

Enrollment: 86

Paideia Classical Christian School is a community of parents and teachers who share a commitment for educating children to love learning and grow in godliness. We are intentional about developing passionate disciples, exceptional scholars and virtuous citizens. As a nationally accredited, classical school, we employ time-proven curriculum and methods of education which teach students not primarily what to think, but how to think: thoroughly, maturely and biblically.

Class-size: Varies Grades: K-12 Tuition: $7,930-$8,699


1010 N. W.C. MacInnes Place, Tampa 33602 813-222-1040; patelconservatory.org

Enrollment: 1,000

At the Patel Conservatory, every student deserves the opportunity to discover their creative potential. Our programs provide training in dance, theater and music. Camps and classes vary by length, age and skill level. Patel Conservatory classes require active learning participation by students and result in a performance.

Grades: All ages and skill levels

Class-size: Varies by program

Tuition: Varies by program

PEPIN ACADEMIES | pepinacademies.com

3916 E. Hillsborough Ave., Tampa 33610; 813-236-1755 9304 Camden Field Parkway, Riverview 33578; 813-533-2999 9804 Little Road, New Port Richey 34654; 727-233-2961 Pepin Academies are non-profit, tuition-free, independent public charter schools serving students with learning and learning-related disabilities in grades 3-12. Qualified as Exceptional Student Education (ESE) center schools, we provide a diversified curriculum driven by the student’s needs in a positive therapeutic educational environment, as well as a transitional job training program for post-high school students.

Enrollment: 1,200+ students between three campuses Class-size: 13:2 Grades: Grades 3-12 and a Transition Program for ages 18-22 Tuition: FREE

PINELLAS PREPARATORY ACADEMY, INC. 2300 S. Belcher Road, Largo 33771 727-536-3600; pinellasprep.org

Pinellas Preparatory Academy Inc. is a K-8 tuition-free public charter school. Designed to meet the needs of students who are very highly motivated and willing to put forth effort into their education and are willing to accept and adhere to our school expectations; and families involved with their children's education.

Class-size: K-3 is 18, 4-8 is an average of 22 Grades: K-8 Tuition: FREE



3020 S. Falkenburg Road, Riverview 33578 813-626-6724; pivottampa.com

Enrollment: 225

Pivot Charter School is a free public charter school serving families in Hillsborough County. It is our mission to engage and empower each student to achieve excellence.

Grades: 6-12

TampaBayParenting.com JANUARY 2021



Class-size: 10-25 Tuition: FREE


financial aid



Land O’ Lakes CHRISTIAN SCHOOL www.lolcs.org | (813) 995-9040 | school@fbclol.org

 PK3 ‐ 12th Grade  �ull accredita���  Qualified teachers  ���rda�le tui���

 Character training  College prep  Fine arts  Athletics

Connect with us on social media



BAYSHORECHRISTIANSCHOOL.ORG (813) 839-4297 3909 South MacDill Avenue Tampa, FL 33611

Christian Values Small Class Sizes Academic Excellence

JANUARY 2021 TampaBayParenting.com





11:28 AM


BE BERKELEY An Independent Episcopal Day School for Boys and Girls in Pre-K to Grade 12

Preparing for College is Important Preparing For Life is ESSENTIAL

Cambridge Christian School 52

813.872.6744 • CCSLancers.com

TampaBayParenting.com JANUARY 2021




8113 Zinnia Drive, Tampa 33619 813-671-5110; hillsboroughschools.org/progressvillage

Enrollment: 953

We are proud to offer the largest dance and culinary arts programs in Hillsborough County. We’re routinely recognized as a Magnet School of America School of Distinction. Students can try exciting electives such as costume and fashion design, orchestra, journalism and more. The spotlight shines on students at Progress Village.

Grades: 6-8

Class-size: 22 Tuition: FREE

QUEEN OF ALL SAINTS VIRTUAL ACADEMY 20120 Barnett Road, Brooksville 34601 352-428-4847; qasonline.org

Virtual private education wherever you are, QAS Academy offers a unique and highly engaging way for children to receive a private education in a live, interactive online classroom. Taking the best of the most prodigious educationalists of old while focusing on the technological advances of the day, QAS strives to build for its children an educational method unsurpassed in results. Please schedule an online meeting with us to put these assertions to the test.

Enrollment: 100 Class-size: 8-10 Grades: K-12 On-Campus, 2-12 Online Tuition: $4,080-$4,462

RAMPELLO K-8 MAGNET (CULTURAL ARTS AND HUMANITIES ) 802 E. Washington St., Tampa 33602 813-233-2333; rampello.mysdhc.org

Join us for experiential learning with walking field trips through downtown Tampa, and a Differentiated Instruction Focus to meet the needs of all learners. We have strong community partnerships and school-wide AVID instructional strategies. Middle school electives include: band, jazz, orchestra, steel drums, Art 2-D and 3-D, Spanish and creative writing.

Enrollment: 777 Class-size: 18-22 Grades: K-8 Tuition: FREE

RIVERHILLS ELEMENTARY MAGNET (IB) 405 Riverhills Drive, Temple Terrace 33617 813-987-6911; riverhills.mysdhc.org

We prepare students to meet the challenges of world citizenship with confidence, imagination and integrity. Students can study global cultures and develop an open and curious mind. Students engage in music and arts programs, Odyssey of the Mind, Robotics Team, inquiry-based learning centers, student action/service learning, world languages and more.

Enrollment: 529 Class-size: 18-22 Grades: K-5 Tuition: FREE

RIVERVIEW ACADEMY OF MATH & SCIENCE 9906 Symmes Road, Riverview 33578 813-412-6111; riverviewacademy.com

The tuition-free, public charter school proudly serves students from kindergarten through middle school with a well-rounded college preparatory education. The rigorous curriculum includes a special concentration on math and science, a technology-rich atmosphere, and a focus on character development. Offerings include the Cambridge program for Advanced Studies, Edvantage before and after school program, Tampa Bay’s Grasses in Classes Program and Cognia accreditation.

Grades: K-8 Tuition: FREE

RODGERS MIDDLE MAGNET (CAMBRIDGE CANDIDATE) 11910 Tucker Road, Riverview 33569 813-671-5288; hillsboroughschools.org/rodgers

Rodgers, a Cambridge International Magnet School, offers learning guided by the rigorous, world renowned Cambridge Pathways philosophy. Located in Riverview's Bell Creek Nature Preserve, we embrace and empower the whole student. Several national board-certified teachers highlight our exceptional team of educators. *Transportation provided for attendance-area only.

Enrollment: 823 Class-size: 22 Grades: 6-8 Tuition: FREE


1510 N. Manhattan Ave., Tampa 33607 813-872-5212; rolandpark.mysdhc.org We inspire young inquiring minds to become compassionate, lifelong learners who are internationally-minded people with respect for various cultures and a desire to serve others. Students can experience inquiry-based learning centers, transdisciplinary units of study, an outdoor classroom with an international garden, a strings program and world languages.




financial aid



Enrollment: 766 Class-size: 18-22 Grades: K-8 Tuition: FREE

JANUARY 2021 TampaBayParenting.com


EDUCATION DIRECTORY | special advertising section SAFETY HARBOR MONTESSORI ACADEMY 2669 McMullen Booth Road, Clearwater 34653 727-724-1767; safetyharbormontessori.com

Enrollment: 111

Safety Harbor Montessori Academy is a learning community whose primary goal is to help students reach their full potential in all aspects of their development, in a loving, respectful atmosphere. We have programs for children ages 2 through 14, providing continuity from early childhood to adolescence.

Class-size: 12-18 Grades: Ages 2-grade 8 Tuition: $9,800-$16,650


11605 E. U.S. Highway 92, Seffner 33584 813-626-0001; scacrusaders.com

Enrollment: 700

The mission of Seffner Christian Academy is to provide academic excellence in a Christ-centered environment with a challenging educational program based on the principles of God's Word.

Grades: K2-12

Class-size: 22 Tuition: $5,000-$10,500



1908 2nd Ave., Tampa 33605 813-276-5712; shore.mysdhc.org

Enrollment: 441

We are an award-winning Magnet School of the Arts located in historic Ybor City. Students learn through arts and science integration, and can take part in the Annual Arts Festival and school musical. Students expand their horizons through visual art, dance, strings, music, drama, STEAM Engineering and robotics programs.

Grades: K-5

Class-size: 18-22 Tuition: FREE

SHORECREST PREPARATORY SCHOOL 5101 1st St. NE., St. Petersburg 33703 727-522-2111; shorecrest.org

Enrollment: 965

Founded in 1923, Shorecrest is a coed, nonsectarian, PK3-12 independent school in St. Petersburg. In a safe, student-centered environment, Shorecrest educates a diverse community of students to become lifelong learners in the pursuit of personal and academic excellence, physical well-being, creative achievement and the development of a commitment to social responsibility.

Class-size: 15 Grades: PreK3-12 Tuition: $11,950$26,850


129 N Belcher Road, Clearwater 33765 727-797-1186; skycrestchristianschool.org

Enrollment: 450

The value of a Skycrest education is immeasurable. School graduates enter their high school years with outstanding academic preparation, leadership skills and confidence in their ability to succeed. With newly integrated technology, an extensive list of extracurricular activities and a small student/teacher ratio, a Skycrest education is available at amazingly competitive rates.

Class-size: 22 Grades: K4-grade 8 Tuition: $10,000 + fees



2011 E. Sligh Ave., Tampa 33610 813-276-5596; hillsboroughschools.org/sligh

Enrollment: 579

Join a culture of future health professionals who sport scrubs four days a week. We are preparing students for one of the fastest growing career fields in the country. Electives engage all students with Career and Technical Education, Family and Consumer Science and our AVID college readiness program.

Grades: 6-8

Class-size: 22 Tuition: FREE


2801 Keystone Road, Tarpon Springs 34688 727-934-0909; solidrockcommunityschool.org

Enrollment: 200

Solid Rock Community School is "Making the World a Greener Place" with our sustainable seed-to-table lunch program, environmentalism classes, and a strong focus on health, wellness and fitness. We encourage, challenge and inspire our students to become thinkers, leaders and collaborators who can contribute to the greater good of society and be good stewards of the world in which we live.


TampaBayParenting.com JANUARY 2021



Class-size: 18 Grades: K-12 Tuition: $10,500$13,500


financial aid






by Jessica Salmond, communications and outreach coordinator, photos provided by the Early Learning Coalition of HIllsborough County

When you watch your child play, it sure looks like a lot of fun, right? It is! But play is much more than young children having fun. It’s actually hard work, too. Children use play to learn lots of different concepts and skills that form the building blocks of their life. Play gives children an opportunity to be creative “while developing their imagination, dexterity and physical, cognitive and emotional strength,” according to a study on play and development from the Official Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics. When they play, children learn confidence and resiliency while practicing adult roles and skills in an environment they can control.

If you peek into the classroom of voluntary prekindergarten (VPK) 4- and 5-year-olds, or even younger age groups, you probably won’t see rows of desks with a teacher up front at a white board. Instead, you’ll most likely see early childhood educators engaging with students in activities such as circle time, shared reading or free choice learning centers. Often, teachers intentionally place play items in these areas that match the week’s lessons, tying in new words and ideas to the theme. These educators guide play to incorporate literacy, math, social emotional and other skills into the activities. How can you work guided play into at-home playing and learning? With a bit of grown-up help, your child’s natural inclinations to explore the world around them through play can be paired with their love of learning new things.

Let’s return to the tower game. If you see your child wants to A child building a tower out of blocks or shapes may seem build a tower, you might offer to help. Learning to work with engaged in a simple task, but they are intrinsically learning others and take turns is a social emotional skill. While buildscience, technology, engineering and math skills. How many ing the tower, you might talk about the blocks to work in early blocks can she stack before it topples over? If she lays a horiliteracy skills. Are the blocks long or square, heav y zontal block on a vertical block, where must she balance or light? What colors are they? Add science and the block, so her tower doesn’t come crashing engineering skills: How many blocks do you down? If you watch your child doing a task like have to work with? When the tower falls, this, you can see the careful scientific conwhat else can you and your child make sideration and development of motor skills with blocks? she uses to slowly place that final piece to DO YOU WANT TO Children are natural-born scithe tower. More than likely, your child FIND AN EARLY LEARNING entists. They love to learn, ask has already experimented with other PROGRAM NEAR YOUR HOME questions, experiment and see methods of stacking blocks, learning OR WORK? what happens. Why not join in what does and doesn’t work. their fun? Children learn through play. If your The Child Care Resource & child is enrolled in an early learning Referral team at the Early Learning program before kindergarten, most VISIT ELCHC.ORG OR Coalition can help. We can create likely they are spending their time CALL 813-515-2340 TO a list of childcare providers in the in childcare in play-based learning.

zip codes you request. This is a free service for all Hillsborough County families.


JANUARY 2021 TampaBayParenting.com


We Are Enrolling! Age 2 - 12th Grade


TampaBayParenting.com JANUARY 2021

Schedule a tour! www.WeAreCDS.org

CARROLLWOOD DAY SCHOOL Bearss Avenue Campus | 1st - 12th grade 1515 W. Bearss Avenue, Tampa, FL 33613 813.920.2288 Early Childhood Campus | Ages 2 - Kindergarten 12606 Casey Road, Tampa, FL 33618 813.963.2388


4716 Montgomery Ave., Tampa 33616 813-272-3020; hillsboroughschools.org/monroe

Enrollment: 432

We develop active learners and internationally-minded students. Launching with sixth grade in Fall 2020, students will be guided by the International Baccalaureate World School Philosophy. Students can pursue unique electives like computer modeling and simulation. Our Sixth Grade Structure creates a supportive middle school transition. *Transportation provided for attendance-area only.

Grades: 6-8

Class-size: 22 Tuition: FREE

STEWART MIDDLE MAGNET (NASA EXPLORER SCHOOL) 1125 Spruce St., Tampa 33607 813-276-5691; hillsboroughschools.org/stewart

Be part of a nationally recognized NASA Explorer School. Through our Project Lead the Way (PLTW) curriculum, students choose from electives like aerospace and engineering. Scholar Quest options deliver high school credit in gaming, robotics and more. Stewart partners with NASA, NOAA and the U.S. Air Force for real-world learning.

Enrollment: 1,024 Class-size: 22 Grades: 6-8 Tuition: FREE

ST. CECELIA INTERPAROCHIAL CATHOLIC SCHOOL 1350 Court St., Clearwater 33756 727-461-1207; st-cecelia.org

Enrollment: 425

St. Cecelia (SCS) is a two-time recipient of the prestigious Blue Ribbon Award, both in 2020 and 2010. SCS is also Pinellas county’s only private school to offer the International Baccalaureate to students in grades PreK-3 to grade 8. Through the IB Programme we provide tools, develop character and teach skills that prepare our students to thrive in high school, college and beyond. We remain steadfast in our commitment to our students’ educational and personal success and to the betterment of our local and global communities.

Grades: PreK3-grade 8

Class-size: 12-24 students depending on grade level Tuition: $7,120-$7,918


240 S. Plant Ave., Tampa 33606 813-849-4200; stjohnseagles.org St. John's is distinguished by 70 years of demonstrated success preparing children for lives of learning and service. Renowned for its Episcopal identity and a core belief in the potential of our students, the school delivers an unparalleled, values-driven preparatory education in a safe and nurturing environment. Our graduates are prepared to thrive in high school and beyond.

Enrollment: 533 Class-size: 18 Grades: PreK-grade 8 Tuition: $2,825-$14,635 (based on demonstrated need)

ST. JOHN VIANNEY CATHOLIC SCHOOL 500 84th Ave., St. Pete Beach 33706 727-360-1113; sjvcs.org

St. John Vianney Catholic School was founded with one purpose in 1951: to build a Christ-centered space for all students to grow, learn and create with each passing day. Through a unique teaching approach and a truly passionate staff, we help students develop academically and personally to the highest level. SJVCS offers a safe learning environment where our PreK-8th grade students are enriched through quality academics, athletics, technology and the arts.

Enrollment: 208 Class-size: 25-30 Grades: PreK-8 Tuition: $4,000-$5,400


5223 N. Himes Ave., Tampa 33614 813-879-5090; stlawrencecatholicschool.org Founded in 1961, St. Lawrence Catholic School inspires students towards academic excellence in a Christ-centered environment. Each unique student is challenged to develop their special talents and become lifelong learners. Our 21st century classrooms promote creativity, critical thinking, communication and collaboration. In response to the ongoing pandemic, we have invested in an extensive sanitation protocol and new technology for distance learning options.

Enrollment: 480 Class-size: < 25 Grades: PreK3-grade 8 Tuition: $8,080-$11,445

ST. MARY’S EPISCOPAL DAY SCHOOL 2101 S. Hubert Ave., Tampa 33629 813-258-5508; smeds.org

St. Mary’s Episcopal Day School provides challenging academics, performing and visual arts, competitive athletics, technology, public speaking, foreign language, global studies, community service, religious education and more. St. Mary’s highly-qualified Pre-K through 8th grade faculty inspires students to achieve their best, developing well-rounded individuals ready for the challenges ahead. KEY



financial aid



Enrollment: 445 Class-size: 22 Grades: PreK-8 Tuition: $15,700

JANUARY 2021 TampaBayParenting.com



St. Petersburg | 6605 5th Ave. N., St. Petersburg 33710; 727-341-4610 Tarpon Springs | 600 Klosterman Road, Tarpon Springs 34689; 727-712-5891 spchs.spcollege.edu St. Petersburg Collegiate High Schools offer a supportive educational experience with all the benefits of high school and college. Students thrive at SPCHS as successful learners and leaders. SPCHS students graduate with their high school diploma, an associate’s degree and the skills for continued success. Best of all, it’s free!

Enrollment: 240 students at each campus Class-size: average of 18 Grades: grades 10-12 Tuition: FREE


1376 Snell Isle Blvd. NE, St. Petersburg 33704 727-821-9663; straphaelschool.net

Enrollment: 170

St. Raphael Catholic School welcomes families who believe that Christ is the cornerstone of our lives, strive for academic excellence, seek to provide faith-filled service to others, reflect Catholic values, and are responsible leaders of the Church and community.

Class-size: 17 average Grades: PK-8 Tuition: $6,100-$8,100


12606 Henderson Road, Tampa 33625 813-269-2100; tampadayschool.com

Enrollment: 145

Established in 1970, Tampa Day School has offered an innovative, highly effective approach to the private prep school experience. Our dynamic, private school environment and our tailored approach to learning are uniquely designed for the student who hasn’t been able to reach his or her potential in a more traditional school setting. Specialized tutoring is also available onsite.

class-size: 10-12 Grades: grades 2-8 Tuition: $21,000


3719 N. 17th St., Tampa 33610 813-276-5405; tampaheights.mysdhc.org

Enrollment: 308

Our students become innovative thinkers, who achieve academically and socially through our 7 Wonders—Leadership, Environment, Economics, Wellness, Innovation, Communication and Culture. Students can participate in Model United Nations and Odyssey of the Mind, learn world languages and leadership and experience cultural clusters: yoga, cooking, African art and Lego Makerspace.

Grades: K-5

Class-size: 18-22 Tuition: FREE


727 W. Cass St., Tampa 33606 813-251-8481; tampaprep.org

Enrollment: 700

There’s a culture of creativity here, a willingness to try new ideas – anything that better serves students. We are Florida’s Most Innovative School, where students graduate uniquely prepared to succeed in a world of accelerating change. Located in the heart of downtown Tampa, we’re here to inspire the next great creators.

Class-size: 15 Grades: 6-12 Tuition: $24,788$25,683

VALRICO LAKE ADVANTAGE ACADEMY 13306 Boyette Road, Riverview 33569 813-699-5049; valricoacademy.com

Grades: K-5

A tuition-free, public charter school proudly serving students in kindergarten through fifth Grade, theschool provides a well-rounded elementary foundation through a challenging curriculum with a focus on teaching math and science in proven and innovative instructional methods preparing students for their secondary education and beyond. We are an “A” rated Florida School of Excellence offering the Cambridge program for Advanced Studies. Cognia accredited.

Tuition: FREE


22000 US Highway 27, Lake Wales 33859 863-676-6091; vanguardschool.org The Vanguard School is a co-educational boarding and day school for students in grades 6-12. Vanguard specializes in educating students who experience academic learning challenges in an environment that works with academic strategies, executive functioning, social skills, celebrates student strengths and assists in transitioning into higher educational opportunities and independent living.


TampaBayParenting.com JANUARY 2021



Enrollment: 100 boarding, up to 120 total Class-size: 6-10 Grades: 6–12 Tuition: 7-day $49,000; 5-day $43,000; Day $25,500 arts

financial aid



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Teaching students Discover the Westlake difference! westlakechristianschool.org westlakechristianschool.org 727.781.3808 to soar beyond the 727.781.3808 westlakechristianschool.org classroom. 727.781.3808 westlakechristianschool.org westlakechristianschool.org westlakechristianschool.org

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westlakechristianschool.org 727.781.3808

Join us for a tour on Thursdays at 10 a.m.

JANUARY 2021 TampaBayParenting.com


Gear , NEW You



by Chris Sturgeon, all photos provided by Tampa-Hillsborough County Public Library

As we usher in 2021, some of us are learning how to use new gadgets we were gifted over the holidays (or bought for ourselves). Others are setting resolutions to learn something new. If there’s one certainty about the year ahead, it’s that technology will continue to change and impact our lives. With a wide array of materials to borrow, online learning resources and live virtual classes, the public library is committed to helping you with all things STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics). The public library’s book and magazine collections offer diverse titles covering a substantial range of science and technology topics. Customers can easily search the catalog for current books on tablets and smartphones, software guides, coding and much more. If you’re unable to visit one of the library’s 27 branches, you can access eBooks and current magazines in full color on your computer or mobile device. With OverDrive, Hoopla, Flipster and PressReader, library users of all ages have several options for their technology-related reading. To learn more, visit HCPLC.org/Books. If you’re interested in taking continuing education classes on technology, the public library has you covered. Whether you are a beginner or an expert, Lynda.com offers selfpaced online classes covering many areas of technology. Taught by industry experts, the courses and learning paths explore the latest versions of software, tech careers and emerging fields such as altered reality and artificial intelligence. After completing a class, you can showcase your new skills by uploading a certificate of completion directly to your LinkedIn profile. For a more traditional class structure that includes lessons, assignments and interac-

tion with an instructor, Universal Class is a great option. With this service, you can learn about Microsoft and Google applications, digital photography and cybersecurity while earning continuing education credits (CEUs). Both Lynda.com and Universal Class can be accessed from anywhere for free with your library card. To find out about all the tech topics offered through these self-paced learning resources, please visit HCPLC.org/ Research/Online-Learning. The library also offers live, online enrichment and instruction. Library card holders can schedule virtual “Tech Rescue” appointments. January appointments can be made for Jan. 11 and Jan. 25. These 30-minute sessions provide exclusive access to library staff who can help with technology troubleshooting. January also marks the beginning of our online “STEAM Topics” classes. All ages are welcome to attend these quick and fun online sessions covering all aspects of STEAM. You can register for these and other events at HCPLC.org/Events. Whether you’re looking for an article about robotics, a how-to guide for using Windows 10 or live assistance with basic tech questions, the public library is ready to help you fulfill your “new gear” goals in 2021!






TampaBayParenting.com JANUARY 2021


THE WALDORF SCHOOL OF TAMPA BAY 1857 Curlew Road, Palm Harbor 34683 727-786-8311; waldorftampabay.org

The Waldorf School of Tampa Bay offers play-based curriculum for 3 to 6-year-olds built upon imagination, time spent in nature, physical development and fostering social skills. This prepares children for academics in the grades in a safe, gentle and nurturing environment. Students in grades 1 through 8 are given robust academics to help them become “more than smart.” Traditional academics are combined with world languages, music, handwork, art and movement, all in a developmentally appropriate way to stimulate the head, heart and hands.

Enrollment: 90 Class-size: 1:8 Grades: Age 3-grade 8 Tuition: $5,000-$12,000


8282 N. Mobley Road, Odessa 33556 813-631-4726; hillsboroughschools.org/walker We develop creative and confident learners. Communication, reflection and whole-child learning energize Walker Middle Magnet, Odessa’s IB World School. As a “Magnet School of Distinction,” students are exposed to a rigorous curriculum. High-impact teachers and our Florida Power School Library highlight our exceptional, highly rated team of educators.

Enrollment: 984 Class-size: 22 Grades: 6-8 Tuition: FREE


1551 Belcher Road, Palm Harbor 34683 727-781-3808; westlakechristianschool.org Westlake Christian School, a National Blue Ribbon School, is accredited by the Florida Council of Independent Schools and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools/AdvancED. Westlake’s mission is to help students develop in their faith, academics, fine arts, and athletics. Westlake serves approximately 425 students in Kindergarten through eighth grade from Northern Pinellas County, Southern Pasco County, Trinity, Westchase and surrounding communities.

Enrollment: 425 Class-size: 1:18 Grades: K-8 Tuition: $8,950-$9,275


5020 N. 47th St., Tampa 33610 813-744-8600; hillsboroughschools.org/williams We are a top-ranked IB World School, creating global learners focused on intercultural awareness and communication. Scholar Quest high school credit offerings challenge students in French, algebra and Emerging Technology in Business. Connect through clubs including LEGO Robotics, Model UN, Future Business Leaders of America and our award-winning Chess Club.

Enrollment: 841 Class-size: 22 Grades: 6-8 Tuition: FREE

YOUNG MIDDLE MAGNET (CREATIVE SCIENCE CENTRE) 1807 E. Dr. Martin Luther King Blvd., Tampa 33610 813-276-5739; hillsboroughschools.org/young

We empower creative learners with our Project Lead the Way (PLTW) STEM curriculum. We focus on engineering, sustainability and “Global Planting”— engaging students in hands-on learning with an on-campus hydroponic farm and greenhouse, along with student-constructed rain gardens. Students learn using state-of-the-art technology, including touch-enabled whiteboards and 3-D printers.

Enrollment: 654 Class-size: 22 Grades: 6-8 Tuition: FREE


JANUARY 2021 TampaBayParenting.com



ENROLL YOUR CHILD IN VPK! Please visit our Families page on www.phelc.org for VPK Registration on the Family Portal. Spring Hill Location: Westwood Plaza 15506 County Line Road, Suite 101, Spring Hill, FL 34610 Tel: (727) 233-8291

COULD IT BE HUNTER SYNDROME? A rare combination of common childhood complaints could indicate Hunter syndrome (MPS II ), a progressive, genetic disease.1,2,3 Talk to your doctor, or learn more at:

New Port Richey Location: Courtside Commons 7334 Little Road, Suite 102 New Port Richey, FL 34654 Phone: (727) 569-1004

VPK is FREE for ALL Florida 4-year olds. Your child must turn 4 by September 1st to be eligible.

¿PODRÍA SER EL SÍNDROME DE HUNTER? Una rara combinación de quejas comunes de la infancia podría indicar el síndrome de Hunter (MPS II ), una enfermedad genética, progresiva.1,2,3 Hable con su médico, o conozca más en:


hunterpatients.com/es Recurrent Ear Infections2 Abdominal Hernia2

Hernia abdominal2

Enlarged Tonsils/ Adenoids2

Amígdalas/ adenoides agrandadas2

Joint Stiffness2

Rigidez en las articulaciones2

1. Burton K et al. Eur J Pediatr. 2012; 171 (1 ): 631-639 2. Wraith JE et al. Genet Med 2008; 10 (7 ): 508-516 3. Keilmann A et al. J Inherit Metab Dis 2012; 35 (2 ): 343-353 Copyright ©2019 Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited, Lexington, MA 02421. All rights reserved. 1-800-828-2088. TAKEDA and the TAKEDA logo are trademarks or registered trademarks of Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited. S46480 04/19


Infecciones recurrentes en los oídos2

TampaBayParenting.com JANUARY 2021

Aiden, age 5


TODDLER TOE WALKING: What's Normal, What's Not by Paul Benfanti, M.D., pediatric orthopaedic surgeon at Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital, photo provided by Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital

Toe walking, as the name implies, describes a pattern where the child walks on his or her toes. The child steps on the front part of his or her foot, and the heels do not hit the ground. Toe walking is considered normal up to age 2. Intermittent toe walking after that can be normal, but persistent toe walking may merit further evaluation. Paul Benfanti, M.D., a pediatric orthopaedic surgeon at Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital, helps parents understand if and when they should be concerned about a child who might show signs of toe walking.

WHAT CAUSES TOE WALKING? Idiopathic toe walking (IT W) implies that children walk on their toes for no identifiable reason. Some common underlying causes include cerebral palsy, autism and muscular dystrophy. The first task is for the child’s pediatrician to do a thorough history and physical exam to confirm that there is indeed no underlying cause. The physician will ask questions about the child’s birth history, developmental history and family history (IT W may run in families). The physician will then watch the child walk and perform a physical and neurological exam. Note that some underlying causes cannot be detected on routine examination. If an underlying cause is identified, the child will be referred for further workup to the appropriate specialty. Treatment for that type of toe walking will be dependent on the cause. Some cases of neurological toe walking require treatment; others do not.

WHEN TO SEEK TREATMENT Dr. Paul Benfanti is a pediatric orthopaedic surgeon at Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital. He sees patients in the St. Petersburg and Tampa locations of Children’s Orthopaedic and Scoliosis Surgery Associates (COSSA), L.L.P. and the Johns Hopkins All Children’s Outpatient Care locations in East Lake and Pasco. COSSA is the exclusive provider of pediatric orthopaedic services at Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital. Dr. Benfanti is board certified and has been recertified by the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery. He is also a member of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgery, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American College of Surgeons, American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society, the Pediatric Orthopaedic Society of North America, the Pinellas and Hillsborough County Medical Societies and the Florida Orthopaedic Society.

If an underlying cause is not identified, then treatment may be started based on the child’s age and physical findings. There is no single right way to treat IT W, so there will be some variation depending on the patient, parents’ desires and treating physician’s experience.

TREATMENT OPTIONS There have been many treatment options described in the literature including observation, physical therapy, stretching, Botox injections, casting, bracing, surgery and combinations of some of the above. The first goal of treatment is to ensure the child has the range of motion necessary to walk with a heel-toe pattern. If the child has static IT W, meaning a fixed tightness of the heel cord, it will need to be corrected before it is possible to walk normally. Each child is different, and your physician will suggest the best treatment option for the child.

VISIT HOPKINSALLCHILDRENS.ORG/NEWSROOM FOR MORE PEDIATRIC HEALTHCARE INFORMATION. Paul Benfanti, M.D., is on the medical staff of Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital, Inc. (“JHACH”), but is an independent practitioner who is not an employee or agent of JHACH.


TampaBayParenting.com JANUARY 2021

JANUARY 2021 TampaBayParenting.com


RENEW RESTART Start Strong in 2021!

As we move into the NEW year, it’s time to RESET your motivation and REFOCUS on the important things in life, and the YMCA is here to help you do just that. We are committed to providing the cleanest wellness centers for you to REENERGIZE your fitness routines and a safe environment for kids to RE-ENGAGE in activities like sports and swim lessons. AND with our friendly, welcoming team, we are ready to help you RECONNECT with friends.

Enhanced safety protocols Reduced capacity to ensure social distancing Community involvement



TampaBayParenting.com JANUARY 2021





Crystal Bush and her six children; (from L to R) Brooklyn, 10, Brice, 1, Bristol, 5, Bridget, 7, Brody, 4, and Brock, 2.

Renew, Reconnect and Rebuild

at the YMCA “For us, there’s so much more hidden value inside the YMCA that people don’t recognize,” says mother of six and YMCA member of nearly a decade, Crystal Bush. “There are so many things that make the Y important to us.” Because she homeschools her children— Brooklyn, 10, Bridget, 7, Bristol, 5, Brody, 4, Brock, 2 and Brice, 1—Bush comes to the Y up to five times a week. “It’s nice for me to have a break and put at least five of the kids in the child watch area,” says Bush, whose eldest daughter sometimes joins her in group exercise classes. “It’s like family, it’s like home here.” Her daughter, Brooklyn, describes feeling really happy when the Y reopened and she was able to see some of her old homeschool friends. “We get a little bit of free time and when the free time is over, we’ll start stretching and then we’ll get split up into groups and each leader will take us. One day we even went to the pool and swam,” Brooklyn says. “I’ve done the climb-

by Kelli Biandudi, Tampa YMCA Communications Manager

Kelli Biandudi is the Communications Manager for the Tampa Metropolitan Area YMCA. She lives with her family in downtown Tampa. When she’s not promoting the good work of the YMCAs of Tampa Bay, she’s busy working out at them and trying to keep up with her 5-year-old son, Koa.

ing tower. We’ve done arts and crafts, gaga ball, nature walks – it’s a lot of fun.”

portant to us and our marriage is important to us,” she says.

Bush says she didn’t worry about returning with her six children once their Y reopened.

The couple were Y members even before they had children. “We made a decision a long time ago that the Y is not a want; it is a need,” says Bush. “It’s just always been a special place in our hearts. We appreciate the Judeo-Christian principles that the YMCA is founded upon, and the charitable things that they do inside the community makes the YMCA an organization that we want to support.”

“First of all, there is a risk every time we step outside. You have to choose what risk you’re willing to assume. I feel safer at the YMCA than I do going to the grocery store just because I see what the YMCA has been doing, the extra steps to ensure everybody’s health and safety here. I see the child watch workers constantly cleaning the toys. I see (the Y) trainers on the floor constantly wiping things down. There’s nowhere else I go that I see the level of cleanliness that takes place than the YMCA.” There are also other perks that come along with a Y family membership, like Parents’ Night Out, which Bush and her husband, Mike, take advantage of. “We put the kids in here and we did a date night to help foster the love in our marriage and that’s important for our kids to see. It’s important for them to see that physical activity is im-


The YMCAs of Tampa Bay are committed to providing the cleanest wellness centers for you to REENERGIZE your fitness routines and a safe environment for kids to REENGAGE in activities like sports and swim lessons. The Y’s friendly, welcoming team is ready to help you RECONNECT with friends. Depending on your location, check out the special January offers at www. tampaymca.org, www.ymcasuncoast.org or www.stpeteymca.org to see how the Y can help you RESTART strong in 2021.

JANUARY 2021 TampaBayParenting.com


COVID-19 and Kids: What’s by Anu Varma Panchal


WHAT IS THE CURRENT SITUATION WITH CHILDREN AND COVID? A.M: For the most part, kids fare better than adults. But we are seeing more cases in the community and that affects everybody. We have not seen a lot of clusters that center around schools. That being said, have there been cases transmitted in schools? There probably have, but we have not heard that that’s a major source. [It’s more likely] from the community—their parents, their relatives, their friends. I think it’s fair to say that across the board, not only children, but medically compromised people across all age groups have a worse time with this. Having said that, this disease is highly random. It’s a disease you have to have a lot of respect for.

P.E: There have been over 1.4 million children infected with COVID in the United States. Most children are mildly symptomatic; however, about 1.7% of all COVID-19 hospitalizations and 0.06% of the deaths have been among children. The AAP believes the number of reported COVID-19 cases in children is likely an undercount because children’s symptoms often are mild and they may not be tested for every illness. The virus has had a disproportionate impact on Black and Hispanic children, who are suffering a higher number of infections, as well as other impacts of the pandemic.

AS MANY SWITCH FROM E-LEARNING TO IN-SCHOOL OPTIONS IN JANUARY, WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR PARENTS? P.E: We know that masks work and so do the other mitigation measures like social distancing and good hand hygiene. Teach your child how to wear a mask, and model this behavior for them. Work to not become complacent; try to avoid group events, especially those that are inside. We find that many of the infections in schoolaged children and teachers are coming from outside social events or activities. WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR THE SAFEST WAY FOR CHILDREN TO PLAY TOGETHER? A.M: Outdoors is better. Masked is better than unmasked…and trying to keep distance. Any child old enough to wear a mask, if they can do it, they should do it. Children have surprised me in their ability to comply with mask wearing. What’s nice

The highest rate of symptomatic infection is in infants less than 1 year of age and children with underlying health condition like diabetes and chronic lung disease. Of children who were hospitalized, 42.3% had at least 1 underlying medical condition, of which obesity was most prevalent (37.8%), followed by chronic lung disease (18%).


TampaBayParenting.com JANUARY 2021

istockphoto.com/ ake1150sb

is for children attending schools, they’ve all become used to wearing masks. With my kids, they don’t leave the house without their masks. It’s not even something I have to tell them to do. I really credit the schools. The kids are doing a much better job than we thought they would be.

RULES AROUND QUARANTINE RECENTLY CHANGED. WHAT DO YOU RECOMMEND? A.M: An exposure is if you were within six feet of someone who tested positive for greater than 15 minutes… even if you were wearing masks. That doesn’t mean you’re going to be infected, but the risk is such that we want you to wait before you go out into the community. In an ideal sense, the sick person would be legitimately by themselves for the duration of the illness, in a separate bedroom, with a separate bathroom if you had it. In a family of adults, if the person could leave the house for a period of time—that would be the safest thing. That’s very tricky, especially when you have a parent and child. It’s really difficult to separate that person.

istockphoto.com/ Alek_Koltukov

It’s 2021, the year we had all planned to resume “normal” lives. But though the news of the vaccine is exciting, things haven’t quite returned to the way they were before COVID-19 made its appearance on the world stage. As parents, we worry about keeping our kids safe. For answers to some of our child-related COVID-19 questions, we turned to Dr. Allison Messina, chairman of the Division of Infectious Disease at Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital, and Dr. Patricia Emmanuel, Lewis A Barness Professor and Chair at the Department of Pediatrics at University of South Florida’s Morsani College of Medicine and co-medical director of Women and Children’s Services with Tampa General Hospital. *Responses have been shortened to fit space constraints.


istockphoto.com/ FamVeld

Dr. Messina is the chairman of the Division of Infectious Disease at Johns Hopkins All Children's Hospital. She joined the pediatric infectious disease program in 2006. A graduate of Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, she completed her pediatric residency at University of Texas-Southwestern Medical Center/Children's Medical Center, Dallas, followed by a pediatric infectious diseases fellowship at UT/Southwestern Medical Center. She was a staff pediatrician at Children's Medical Center Dallas. Dr. Messina was named Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital physician of the year in the 2019 Johns Hopkins Medicine Clinical Excellence Awards. A fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics, Dr. Messina is board certified in pediatrics and pediatric disease. She is a member of the Pediatric Infectious Disease Society, the American Society for Microbiology and the Infectious Disease Society of America. Dr. Messina serves as a reviewer for the Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal.

P.E: The CDC recently updated their quarantine guidance. Although they still recommend the 14-day quarantine period, they performed some modeling to determine the risk of shortening the time period. Quarantine can end after 10 days if there have been no symptoms. If you are able to get tested at day six or seven and are negative, then quarantine can end on day seven. Make sure the most vulnerable members of the family stay apart and wear a mask even inside. Keep the person with COVID as separate as possible. Do not share food or utensils and if possible, keep the windows open to improve air circulation.

ARE CHILDREN STILL FALLING BEHIND ON ROUTINE MEDICAL EXAMS AND VACCINATIONS? P.E: Yes – many families delayed well child checks and routine vaccines because of fear of going to the doctor’s office. The doctors’ offices are safe; they have worked hard to provide a safe environment and employees are screened daily. It is important that we do not layer another epidemic like measles on top of this one. HOW MUCH PROTECTION WILL ADULTS GETTING VACCINATED GIVE KIDS? A.M: Whether or not children benefit from adults being vaccinated de-

pends on the number of adults being vaccinated. The more people in a community who are immune, the more protection you have for those who are not. From my standpoint, I think masks will stay until we’ve got good herd immunity. Nobody knows how long the protection lasts. I plan on getting vaccinated, but I also plan on wearing my mask.

MANY IN THE COMMUNITY ARE FEELING “COVID FATIGUE.” WHAT CAN YOU SAY TO THEM FROM A PHYSICIAN’S PERSPECTIVE? P.E: We are starting to see the finish line! The vaccine has arrived! This is a particularly dangerous time with the holidays and winter upon us, so it is important that we remain vigilant. Think of it as the sprint to the finish and finishing strong. Yes, for many folks the infection does not have long term morbidity or mortality—but you cannot predict who will have issues. A.M: We want to do our jobs; we want to be there for you. As medical workers, we are still community members. If we keep seeing this uptick in cases, it’s going to stress everything from beds to staff to the economy. There’s a light at the end of the tunnel now that we have the vaccine, so just hang on a little bit longer!

Patricia J. Emmanuel, M.D., received a Bachelor of Science from University of Notre Dame and a Medical Degree from the University of Florida. She performed her pediatric internship and residency at the University of South Florida in Tampa, where she was chief resident and completed a fellowship in pediatric and adult infectious diseases at the same institution. She is board certified in pediatrics and pediatric infectious disease. Dr. Emmanuel is currently the Lewis A. Barness Professor of Pediatrics and chair of the department of pediatrics at the University of South Florida’s Morsani College of Medicine, and co-medical director of Women and Children’s Services with Tampa General Hospital.

On Dec. 15, 2020, TGH's Vanessa Arroyo became the first nurse in Florida to receive the COVID-19 vaccine: "This morning my 6-year-old daughter came up to me and said, 'Mommy, I'm so proud of you that you got that shot.' My husband had watched it on the news with my two young kids. My family from out of town called me and said 'We saw you on CNN!' I was just thankful to be a part of history. I wasn't really nervous. I'd done my research. I trust in science, I trust in the researchers. I wanted to set an example for my peers and for the community that it's safe to get the vaccine. It's strange to think that a year ago we were all at holiday parties and sitting together, and I hope this is a first step in us all getting back to normal life, so that by the next holiday season, we're all able to be together again."

JANUARY 2021 TampaBayParenting.com


It’s the most wonderful tube of the year!


by Peter Karempelis, MD, photos provided by Pediatric Ear, Nose, and Throat Specialists

Being a parent is tough. Being a parent with a child that gets multiple ear infections or an ear infection that just won’t clear is even more difficult. Middle ear infections (otitis media) are the second most common illness diagnosed in children by health care professionals. These infections occur when f luid gets trapped behind the ear drum and then bacteria overgrows. Your child may experience multiple symptoms, such as pulling on his/her ears, fever, irritability, pain, ear drainage and hearing loss. Your pediatrician is skilled at detecting these infections and will often prescribe antibiotics to help treat the infection. Seems simple enough--unless the infection doesn’t go away or comes back again and again. Sound familiar? Children 7 years of age and younger are at particularly increased risk of middle ear infections due to their immature immune systems and poor function of the eustachian tube (a small tube that drains the middle ear space to the back of the nose). Additionally, if ear infections persist over a long time, permanent hearing loss, speech delay, scarring and harmful effects of multiple and prolonged use of antibiotics may occur. It is always important to address an ear infection and ensure that it is resolved to avoid these longterm complications.

ANOTHER ROUND OF ANTIBIOTICS?! THERE HAS TO BE SOMETHING ELSE TO DO… Good news! There is. When a child has a hard time clearing an infection (or remaining f luid behind the ear drum) or continues to get multiple ear infections throughout the year, it may be time to consider ear tubes. The American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery Foundation recommends consideration of placement of ear tubes in children that have three or more ear infections in six months or four or more ear infections in one year. Additionally, ear tubes should be considered in children with f luid behind the ear drum that has persisted for three months or longer.

WHAT ARE EAR TUBES? Ear tubes are tiny cylinders (about 3 mm) that are placed by an ear, nose and throat surgeon in the child’s ear drum to allow f luid to escape from the space behind the ear drum into the ear canal. Additionally, this allows antibiotic ear drops to be placed into the ear canal and treat the ear infection in a much more effective manner than antibiotics taken by mouth. The tubes last for about 1-3 years and usually fall out on their own.

HOW ARE EAR TUBES PLACED? Children need brief anesthesia for less than 10 minutes for ear tube placement. No breathing tube is required. Sedation is essential to ensure the safety of the child during the procedure. A tiny incision is made in the ear drum, the f luid behind the ear drum is suctioned, and the small ear tube in placed. The child is often back to normal by the end of the day.

HOW CAN I LEARN MORE? Don’t fear the ear! We can help you! Research shows that placement of ear tubes significantly improves hearing, reduces the frequency of f luid and infection behind the ear drum, provides a way for drainage of the f luid and application of antibiotic drops and improves the quality of life of children with recurring or persistent ear infections.

LEARN MORE AT PEDIATRIC-ENT.COM photo credit: https://medlineplus.gov/ency/presentations/100045_2.htm


TampaBayParenting.com JANUARY 2021

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U-PICK FARMS: The winter and spring months usher in u-pick season in Tampa Bay and one of our favorite u-pick adventures is Florida citrus at Dooley Groves in Ruskin. We’ll be sharing more u-pick opportunities at TampaBayParenting.com as they pop up, so stay tuned!

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@jotorotpa at Sparkman Wharf

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Birthday Party Businesses and Venues From teepee party businesses to kid party furniture rental and more! @Glamp_with_me_teepee

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Families need play now more than ever and GCM offers respite, promotes wellness, and deepens family connections. Enjoy a full year of imagination and discovery with a Family Membership to the Glazer Children’s Museum for only $125!

Join today at GlazerMuseum.org/memberships NEW: Monthly Memberships are now available. Enjoy all the benefits of a Family Membership without the annual commitment for only $15 a month! JANUARY 2021 TampaBayParenting.com


320 W. Kennedy, Ste. 220 Tampa, FL 33606





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