Does Focus Academy accept the McKay or Gardiner Scholarship? What is your tuition?

Focus Academy is a non-profit public charter school, so it is tuition-free.

What if my student does not have an IEP?

Please call the office and speak to the ESE specialist.

Do you offer sports?

Focus Academy participates in Special Olympics. In the fall, students have the opportunity to join the co-ed flag football team, and in the Spring, students can join the volleyball team. Our teams have made it to the state games competitions each year they have been held.

Students also take the HOPE (Health Options through Physical Education) class as part of the curriculum at Focus Academy.

Do students wear uniforms?

Students in all programs wear specific uniforms for their program. Uniform items and spirit wear can be purchased through Educational Outfitters, located on W. Hillsborough Avenue in Tampa.

Do you have a school lunch program?

Focus Academy offers a lunch program for daily purchase, as well as a pizza lunch program on Tuesdays and Fridays. Free and reduced lunch is available to qualifying families. Please contact the office for more information.

What are your school hours?

8:45am – 3:30pm

If I submitted an application for the current school year, is that application valid for the coming year?

No, you will need to submit a new application form. However, any supporting documentation that was submitted may still be valid. If you have additional or updated data, please include that with your student’s new application.

Do you provide speech/language and other therapies?

If your student’s Individual Education Plan (IEP) has services designated, they will be provided at Focus Academy at no cost to your family. Students also receive drama therapy, and have ready access to licensed mental health counselors.


Do you provide transportation?

No, we do not provide transportation but will work with your family in discussing possible options. Please contact the main office for more information.

Can my child attend Focus Academy if he or she attends an out-of-county public school?

Living outside of Hillsborough County is not a barrier for students. Focus Academy is a school of choice and accepts students from all over the Tampa Bay Area.


My family is in the military. Does that make a difference?

Florida law states that charter schools must give enrollment preference to students who would have otherwise attended a district-run school. Charter school must give first preference for admission to dependent children of active-duty military personnel.

I applied early in the application window for Open Enrollment. Does that make a difference?

It does not matter when you applied as long as you met the application deadline.  The only time that would make a difference is if the number of applications do not exceed the number of openings, in which case it would be on a first-come, first-serve basis, providing that your student meets the eligibility requirements as stated in the school’s charter.

What if I decline a seat at Focus Academy and then change my mind?

Unfortunately, if you decline, the next student is contacted and offered the seat. We will be more than happy to add your student’s name to the end of the waiting list.​


If necessary, how does the lottery work?

Applications received on or before the deadline by 4 p.m. of the open enrollment period are eligible for the lottery.  If necessary, the lottery drawing will take place on the set date, in the Multipurpose Room at Focus Academy at 6:30 p.m.  The lottery is open to the public, where names will be drawn and announced. Please see our Admissions section for this year’s dates, which are set each year by Focus Academy administration in preparation for the coming enrollment season.

If my student's name is chosen am I guaranteed a spot?

Focus Academy’s policy, requires the Admissions Team to interview all prospective students and families to ensure that the student meets the eligibility requirements as stated in our charter.  The interview process can take 1-2 hours.  Due to this lengthy process, all applicants may not have had the opportunity to interview with us before the lottery.  In situations such as this, if your student is chosen an interview will be scheduled to determine his/her eligibility as well as class openings.  If your student meets school requirements, you will be contacted within 7 days of the interview.  His/Her lottery placement is secured during this process.

How will I be notified if my student is being offered a spot at Focus Academy?

After a lottery, in addition to placing a phone call, Focus Academy staff will send you an email to let you know if your child was selected for a seat (providing interview took place), selected for an interview (placement pending) or placed on a waiting list.  You will have five days to respond to the offer.

If your child was placed on the waiting list, within 24 hours your email notification will include what number he/she is on that list.  It is important you check your junk/spam folder for emails regarding the lottery. A message with the same information will be sent via telephone.

Can I attend the lottery?

If necessary, the lottery is held in public and will be held at Focus Academy’s Multipurpose Room in the main building on the specified date at 6:30 p.m. (please see our Admissions section for this year’s exact date).  You are not required to attend the lottery. Attending the lottery has absolutely no impact on whether your student is selected or placed on the waiting list. You will be notified by email within 48 hours if your student is selected or they are placed on the waiting list.

Dates of the lottery are determined every year in conjunction with the Open Enrollment process.

If my student is selected in the lottery, what is the next step?

In the case of a lottery, you will have five full working days after the lottery is held in which to accept or decline the seat once it is offered. The number of days in which to accept or decline the seat may be changed from five days to two days once we get closer to the start of school.


All families who accept will receive the following:

  • Welcome email from Focus Academy Admissions
  • A letter/form of acknowledgment of acceptance. You will be required to sign and return this document within 5-10 days (depending on how close to the start of school)

Additional forms will be required for registration. If acceptance is for the following school year, these forms will be sent in late June/early July to complete the admissions process.

How am I notified if there is an opening?

Once a parent declines a seat or a seat offer expires, Focus Academy Admissions will send an email to notify the parent/guardian of the next child on the waiting list. Once offered a seat, you will have five days to respond.

IT IS EXTREMELY IMPORTANT THAT YOU NOTIFY FOCUS ACADEMY OF ANY CHANGES IN EMAIL, TELEPHONE NUMBERS OR CONTACT INFORMATION.  Please contact the main office (813.443.5558 or admissions@focusacademytampa.org) immediately with changes.

Wait List

I have two children in the same grade (or two in different grades on the waiting list). What happens if, after the initial lottery run, one child is offered a seat and the other one is further down on the list and there is not an opening at that time for his/her sibling?

If you accept the seat for the one, the second will be moved to the top of the waiting list and will be offered the next available spot. We cannot create a space for the second child.

(NOTE: Your child’s placement at the top of the waiting list depends on how many other siblings were also moved based on the order of the selection.)

Am I notified each time my child moves up on the waiting list?

Please check back periodically by contacting the main office to see if there has been any change in the waiting list.

Family Testimonials

What Do Parents Say? According to our annual parent survey, the overwhelming majority of Focus Academy families recommend Focus Academy and its programming.

"[Searching for] a school for children with disabilities for my daughter is what brought me to Focus and everyone has gone above and beyond for my autistic daughter. She also feels very safe."
"Focus Academy has not only met our needs but had FAR exceeded anything we could have ever hoped for. When I first read about Focus, I felt it was too good to be true. In the end, I have seen first hand that Focus is far more than anything I could have imagined. "
"The teachers here are very passionate about what they do, and they also are very good in realizing the strengths of each student."