Welcome to the Sarasota Military Academy Foundation
SMA, a public charter high school, is a part of the Sarasota County school system. To be classified as a “charter” school, the organizers of the school must submit an independent charter concept for the school that defines its unique characteristics that will serve a distinct student population apart from the typical district school program. A charter school works within the county school district but functions with distinct independence through its own governing board of directors. In the case of SMA, the charter indicates that the discipline and teaching approach will be fashioned after the JROTC program, the Army training style that employs discipline and a military structure that promotes respect for authority, self, others, and the United States of America.
Headmaster Dan Kennedy, co-founder of SMA, explains the reason behind chartering SMA after the JROTC program:
“Serving as principal of Sarasota High School for 22 years showed me in living color what a military structure and discipline could do for a student body. Consistently the best behaved, and often, the best overall performing students at SHS were involved in the JROTC program. Thinking about how to structure a school so that all of the student body could learn in a wholesome, safe, and disciplined environment, it just made sense that a school operating within the JROTC format would serve that end. That concept has proven itself~we have the best student body on the planet and that’s how Sarasota Military Academy got its start.”
The school is a non-profit, 501(C)3 corporation and does not charge tuition. Although SMA is publically funded, it does not receive the same per-student funding as district schools and therefore, functions at a financial disadvantage. The shortfall must be made up from efficient financial oversight as well as steady fund raising campaigns. Academic performance is measured in the same fashion as district schools, through the FCAT testing system. All qualified Sarasota county 9th through 12th grade students are welcome to apply for admission. SMA also accepts qualified students from Manatee county as well.
The aim of the Sarasota Military Academy is to provide an alternative approach to education that allows the student to reach his or her leadership potential within a structured and disciplined learning environment. SMA seeks to educate and train our area’s most committed students through the best administration, faculty, and parental involvement as possible. SMA is the place to be!
SMA Foundation Director