The SailFuture Academy, a comprehensive child welfare agency and private school based in St. Petersburg, is currently enrolling incoming ninth-grade students for the 2022-23 school year. Tuition is free with a valid Step Up for Students or McKay scholarship.
ST. PETERSBURG — High school students at the SailFuture Academy are exploring the essential question: “How does government impact my life” across all seven of their courses during this term.
The SailFuture Academy is a tuition-free, hands-on career preparatory high school in central St. Petersburg, serving students who qualify for Step Up For Students Scholarships. Their campus is located off 22nd Avenue North, between Lowe’s and the Interstate-275.
The academy equips high school students with the skills and mindset necessary to achieve economic freedom and upward social mobility through rigorous project-based learning.
Heather Hafer, SailFuture’s director of Project-Based Learning, believes that “educators must teach students the Why before the What.”
That’s why each term has a specialized theme that connects the core subject areas with integrated, practical applications.
The current theme, “How does government impact my life,” is not just Civics 101. Rather than teaching an American Government class by itself, students explore how government impacts their daily lives.
The curriculum goes far beyond “how a bill becomes a law.” Coursework focuses on real-world applications that are key to navigating life as a young adult.
In math class, students start with basic questions such as what is FICA (Federal Insurance Contributions Act) and why it takes 7.65 percent of my paycheck every week? During science class, students lead a water quality study on how wastewater discharge impacts Tampa Bay.
In their construction lab, students are studying St. Pete’s municipal building code and constructing a 1:16 scale model home. While students learn that wall studs must be spaced 16” on center, their teacher integrates key math concepts such as ratios, proportions, and scale.
In business, students dig into the reality of owning their own business. The course explores the rules and regulations that impact the industries they want to work in: professional licensure requirements, facility regulations and permits, business taxes, corporate structure, and more.
Students earn their official Florida Boater’s license in their maritime lab by studying the rules and regulations that govern recreational boating. Once a week, they pilot a 22-foot research vessel around Tampa Bay to practice those regulations in the real world.
In the personal finance course, students utilize Google Sheets to build household budgets, explore interest rate calculations for auto loans, and calculate the up-front cost associated with leasing an apartment.
In less than seven weeks, SailFuture’s students constructed a two-bedroom model home, led a scientific water quality study, learned how to drive a 22-foot motor vessel, and built a budget to buy their first car and lease their first apartment.
The next term will take students on a journey to understand the theory of electricity. They will wire a residential panel, build a marine 12V electrical system, research Elon Musk and Thomas Edison, and use algebraic principles to measure ohms, amps, and resistance.
The SailFuture Academy is currently enrolling incoming ninth-grade students for the 2022-23 school year. Tuition is free with a valid Step Up for Students or McKay Scholarship.
Learn more at sailfuture.org/academy/