Are you looking for the best private schools in Lakeland, Winter Haven, and Polk County? We are here to help you find the right fit for your children. Our Private School Guide includes private high schools, private middle schools, private elementary schools, private preschools, and some schools that run all the way from preschool through 12th grade. Featured listings include details on school affiliations, grades served, scholarships, open houses and tours, and our favorite – what makes each school unique.
For more information on preschools and daycares, see our Preschool & Daycare Guide.
For information on Polk County Public Schools (including Magnet, Charter, IB, Academies, & more) see our Polk County Public School Guide.
Our Private School Guide contains both sponsored and free listings.
Polk County Catholic Schools form remarkable leaders in a Christ-centered environment for a better tomorrow. Our foundation of faith is an education for life. The Polk County Catholic Schools system offers 3 Elementary/Middle Schools, 1 High School, and one Early Learning Center providing a high-quality Catholic education from Pre-K3 through 12th grade.
- Santa Fe Catholic High School (9-12) – 3110 US-92, Lakeland, FL33801
- Resurrection Catholic School (PreK – 8th) – 3720 Old Hwy 37, Lakeland, FL33813
- St. Anthony Catholic School (PreK – 8th) – 820 Marcum Road, Lakeland, Florida33809
- St. Joseph Catholic School – Winter Haven (Pre-K3 – 8th) – 535 Ave. M NW, Winter Haven, FL33881
- Neumann Early Learning Academy (Pre-K3, Pre-K4 and VPK) – 501 E Carter Rd, Lakeland, FL 33813
For more information about our schools, go to www.polkcountycatholicschools.com
Excel Christian Academy opened its doors as Lake Wire Christian Academy in 1974 with a single preschool class and has since grown to a community of more than 400 students, from infants to high school seniors. Located on a 26-acre campus in Lakeland, Excel Christian Academy is a ministry of Free Life Chapel, and under its dedicated and inspiring leadership, has high hopes and great vision for the future in “Pursuing Excellence with Honor.”
What makes your school unique?
At Excel Christian Academy, the emphasis is for each child from PreK-high school to realize his or her God-given potential, developing confidence and self-awareness, creativity and curiosity, and a deep understanding of community and connectedness to others. A robust, well-rounded curriculum with talented and engaging teachers and an energetic and diverse peer group provides students endless opportunities to discover their passions and talents. Our commitment to the core values of Creativity, Honor, Diversity, Excellence, and Generosity ensures the social/emotional, academic, physical and spiritual needs of each child are met. Visual and performing arts promote confidence and creativity. Physical education classes include Archery and Taekwondo. Athletic teams include JV/Varsity Volleyball, Basketball, Flag Football, and Soccer.
Ages/Grades Served: Excel Christian Academy’s Early Childhood Center accepts infants and children from 6 weeks through 4 years old (PreK4). Excel Christian Academy serves students from Kindergarten-12th grade.
Open Houses or Tours: Prospective families are invited to schedule tours (currently virtual) on the school website at https://www.excelonline.org/schedule-your-tour or call the Office of Admissions at 863-853-9235.
Affiliations: International League of Christian Schools, Florida League of Christian Schools (FLOCS)
School Hours: 6:30 am- 6:00
School Schedule: 7:50 am to 3:20 pm (with aftercare until 6pm for an additional fee)
Registration Dates / Details:
Preschool – ongoing enrollment based on space
Academy – suggested enrollment commitment by April 1 of each year to meet space availability. As spaces are available open enrollment continues.
Excel Christian Academy accepts the McKay Scholarship, Florida Tax Credit (Step Up for Students, AAA), Gardiner, and Hope Scholarships. All students are eligible for free breakfast, snack, and lunch through the National School Lunch CEP program.
Crossroads Christian School is a K-12 private school in Lakeland that provides a personalized education focus for each of its students. With low student-teacher ratios and an encouraging, nurturing environment, Lakeland area kids with special education needs are finding success at Crossroads Christian School, and your child can too!
What makes your school unique?
Crossroads Christian School is an inclusive setting that encourages students to find their voice. Our teacher-student ratio is 1:15 and the small class setting helps foster an environment where students can receive small group and one on one attention. We are a Bully Free Zone and encourage students to live by the Golden Rule.
Ages/Grades Served: K-12
Open Houses or Tours: Virtual School Tours and a FREE Virtual consultation are available now, in-person tours will resume soon.
Accreditation: Children’s Educational Services (Parent company) and accredited through Cognia
School Hours: Before care 7:00-8, School hours 8:30-3:00. After care 4-6pm.
Registration Dates / Details: Open Enrollment runs throughout the year.
Scholarships: Crossroads Christian School offers scholarships and accepts all of the scholarships/vouchers currently available. The Principal can help guide you through the scholarship application process.
Pathways School of Excellence provides a program specifically tailored for middle and high school students with intellectual disabilities. Our program infuses faith-based learning with academics that are customized for each student’s unique abilities.The mission of Pathways School of Excellence is to equip learners for growth and success in academic, personal and spiritual life.
Students are assigned to classes based on data representing age-appropriate level, academic achievement, and individual educational plans. Pathways School of Excellence has classrooms with middle school and high school-aged students ages 11 through 22 that are diagnosed with special needs.
Pathways is located in the heart of Southeastern University’s beautiful campus, so our students enjoy many campus amenities.
What makes your school unique?
We are a secondary school located on a college campus, which makes us a laboratory school. With this opportunity, we are able to provide our students with a plethora of real-life learning experiences, such as on-the-job training, mock interviews, and one-on-one lessons with college students who want to share their expertise, such as music, nursing, and education majors.
Grades/Ages Served: Our student population consists of middle and high school students with varying abilities.
Open Houses / Tours: Tours are available by appointment only. Email email@example.com to set up a tour.
School Hours / Schedule: 8:30am-3:00pm M-F (closed for various holidays)
Registration Dates / Details: Open Enrollment begins in March. Fill out the application at seu.edu/pathways, pay the application fee of $125, and turn in the additional requirements listed on the website.
Scholarships: We accept McKay, Gardiner, AAA Scholarship, and Step Up for Students Scholarships
All Saints Academy is a vibrant and progressive independent Christian college preparatory day school serving students PreSchool 2 – Grade 12 and their families. ASA’s highly qualified faculty fosters self-discipline, sparks enthusiasm, and encourages the academic success and well being of each student. The faculty, administration, and support staff work together as a team to inspire independent thinkers, principled leaders, and humble learners.
At All Saints Academy, our #1 goal is to prepare your student to succeed in tomorrow’s world. We pursue that vision through rigorous college preparation in a Preschool – 12th environment. Exemplifying Judeo-Christian values within an Episcopal tradition, we welcome students of all racial, cultural, and religious backgrounds. ASA is conveniently located between Lakeland and Winter Haven.
What makes your school unique?
All Saints Academy has a 100% college acceptance rate. Community partnerships, numerous opportunities to present both within and outside the ASA community, and service work that take students out of their comfort zone, all help to develop leaders of high principles. Whether in the classroom, athletic field, or the arts, ASA students have the opportunity for leadership unique to a small school.
- Early Childhood Center for age 2 – PreK
- Elementary for grades K – 5
- Middle School for grades 6 – 8
- Upper School for grades 9 – 12
School Hours / Schedule: All Sains Academy runs on a traditional school schedule with Summer Camp programs available in June and July.
Open Houses / Tours: Campus tours are available throughout the year. Your child is also welcome to spend a “Shadow Day” at ASA, through which he/she will be paired with a current student in his/her current grade to experience a full day inside All Saints. Contact the Admission Office with interest, questions, or to set up an on-campus experience.
Registration Dates / Details: ASA encourages all interested families to schedule a personal visit and tour or attend an Open House event. Applications are accepted throughout the year.
Scholarships: All Saints Academy accepts the Florida Tax Credit Scholarship, the Florida Empowerment Scholarship, the Hope Scholarship and the McKay Scholarship. Families can also apply for tuition assistance through All Saints Academy. The Merit Scholarship Competition is also available each January to students entering 6th and 9th grade in the fall.
Florida Council of Independent Schools
National Association of Independent Schools
Florida Kindergarten Council
National Association of Episcopal Schools
Florida High School Athletic Association
Educational Records Bureau
National Association for College Admission Counseling
Southern Association for College Admission Counseling
Secondary School Admission Test Board
Independent School Management
Read our Posts about All Saints Academy:
St. Paul Lutheran School is a non-public school serving children age 15 months through 8 th grade. Over the 56 year history of SPLS we have provided nurturing and engaging education that has equipped students exceptionally well for the next stages in their lives. This is all done with Christ and God’s Word at the center and with individual care and respect for each learner.
Our core principles include discipleship training, mission, and the development of servant leaders. These are joined by striving for academic excellence, innovative thinking, and developing student G.R.I.T. (Grace, Responsibility, Integrity and Tenacity). We understand the key role positive relationships have in school success. Having high expectations, sharing grace, practicing empathy for children, and empowering them to be independent and accountable are key aspects of managing student behavior.
What makes your school unique?
SPLS is located on a beautiful, conveniently located 37 acre campus with extensive facilities and access to learning technology. An athletic center, sports fields, a ¼ mile running track, a 4H archery range, three student playgrounds, and student gardens are just some of the amenities of the SPLS campus.
Classrooms feature interactive touchscreens and student access to iPads or Chromebooks.
The core program emphasizes Christian Studies, the language arts, mathematics, science, and social studies. The core is supplemented by Spanish, physical education, and art. Our program of music instruction is outstanding including high-quality weekly piano lab instruction for K-4 students and band for 5th -8 th grade.
Many families and guests comment on the family atmosphere at SPLS that flows from our desire to
emulate the love of Christ and build the bonds of community.
- Early Childhood Enrichment Center Ages (ECEC) starting at 15 months.
- Elementary serving children from Kindergarten through 5th grade
- Middle School with students in 6th -8 th grades
- Academic Immersion Program which is a small ABA based program for middle school learners
Open Houses / Tours: We love to engage with individual families through comprehensive campus tours and in person exchanges of information. Call or email.
Affiliations: St. Paul Lutheran School is a ministry of St. Paul Lutheran Church. We are part of the Florida-Georgia District of the Lutheran Church- Missouri Synod (LCMS). The LCMS has an extensive history of Lutheran Christian education encompassing thousands of schools and early childhood centers nationwide.
We are fully accredited through AdvancED and National Lutheran School Accreditation.
School Hours / Schedule: Programs start at 8:15 AM daily. Before school care begins at 7 AM. Elementary and Middle School programs conclude at 3:00 PM and 3:10 PM respectively. Eagles’ Club after school care is available until 6 PM daily. SPLS typically operates with a school calendar that mirrors Polk County schools. Summer programs and child care during vacation periods are also typically available.
Registration Dates / Details: Registration for the coming school year SPLS starts in February of each year and we continue to accept and review applications throughout the year. Information about admissions is found on our website however we really enjoy meeting families face-to-face. Call for a tour.
Scholarships: SPLS accepts Family Empowerment, StepUp (Florida Tax Credit), Gardiner, McKay and Hope scholarships for students who meet our enrollment criteria. We also disburse some additional scholarships for K-8 students through our SPLS scholarship program. Information is available in the Admissions section of our website.
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