Pine View School

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Pine View School
Pine View School seal.svg
School typepublic, gifted
School districtSarasota County Public Schools
PrincipalDr. Stephen P. Covert[1]
Enrollment2,051 (2016-17)[2]

Pine View School for the Gifted is a public, college-preparatory, coeducational school located in Osprey, Florida. The school is the only full-time program in Florida for intellectually gifted students in the elementary through high school level.[3] The mission of Pine View School is to provide a qualitatively different learning environment that nurtures a passion for intellectual curiosity; encourages risk taking, and independence; and is committed to a tradition of academic excellence and social responsibility. There are currently around 2,211 students at Pine View.[4] Pine View serves students in 2nd through 12th grades.


In 1969, the school was founded as the state's first and only school for the intellectually gifted. The first director was John D. Woolever, an educator who had written numerous scholarly articles on education throughout his career.[5] During the school's early history, many feared it would be closed, particularly when the school moved to its current campus in 1994.[6] Periodically, this possibility has reemerged, the most notable occasion being in 2007 and 2008 when the Florida State Legislature considered abolishing the Exceptional Student Educational (ESE) label "gifted." On this occasion, Pine View was included in a statewide comprehensive policy assessment completed by the Florida Legislature's Office of Program Policy Analysis & Government Accountability (OPPAGA), which determined that gifted programs were thriving and that the ESE label "gifted" had more advantages than disadvantages.[7]

There were 28 members in the first graduating class. Until the 1990s, Pine View's class sizes hovered around 130 per graduating group. From 1990 until 2010, class sizes gradually rose but were generally kept under 200. However, the Class of 2012 (with 158 graduates) is generally considered the school's last small class, as class sizes are steeply increasing above 200 with the Class of 2013 and younger grades.[8]

At the end of the 2012–2013 school year, Steve Largo, Pine View's principal of 25 years,[9] retired. Dr. Stephen Covert took Largo's place as Pine View principal on July 1, 2013.[10]

Pine View's entrance sign

Academic Recognition[edit]

Nation Rankings[edit]

During the 2003–2004 school year, Pine View School was recognized with the Blue Ribbon School Award of Excellence by the United States Department of Education,[11] the highest award an American school can receive.[12][13]

In 2014 Pine View was ranked the number one school in Florida and the sixth best school in the Country. In 2013, Pine View was ranked by U.S. News & World Report as the sixth best public high school in the nation. The previous year, Newsweek ranked Pine View the 15th best public high school in the nation.[14] Out of public and private schools, Pine View was rated the 6th best high school in the nation in 2007, 11th in 2008, 14th in 2009, 30th in 2012, and 6th in 2013 by U.S. News.[15] Due to its average SAT score of 1335 for 2005, the school was listed among Newsweek magazine's 21 Public Elite American high schools.[16] It was the only Public Elite school in Florida.[17] Pine View's U.S. News & World Report 2012 national ranking was called into question when it seemed the ranking was significantly deflated when U.S. News calculated Pine View's 8th grade students as high school students who did not participate in Advanced Placement courses (a significant factor in its methodology) and incorrectly factored Pine View's AP pass rate.[18][19]

State Rankings[edit]

In 2012, the Florida Department of Education ranked Pine View as the best Florida school that combined high school students with other grade levels.[20] The ranking was produced by crunching state and national test data. In the same year, Pine View was ranked by Newsweek as the 4th best high school in Florida.[21] U.S. News and World Report ranked Pine View the best high school in Florida, based on its 2013 national ranking.[22] In 2009, Pine View was rated America's Best High School for Florida by Business Week.[23]

Admission requirements[edit]

As a full-time gifted program, Pine View maintains selective entrance requirements. Students may be referred for admission by administrators, teachers, staff members or parents. Prospective students are admitted based on the gifted identification standards (described in the table below) that are required by the Florida Department of Education. Since other Sarasota County district schools house gifted programs, an important part of admission is considering if Pine View's program best meets the student's educational needs. At Pine View, students must enroll at the beginning of each school year. Other district gifted programs enroll students during the school year.[24] To be eligible for admission, the following requirements must be met.

Eligibility Requirements for Pine View and Sarasota County Full-time Gifted Programs (subject to minor changes)[25]
Requirement Description
1. Proof of residency in Sarasota County This can include recent bills or other official documentation
2. Licensed psychologist's evaluation reporting IQ and academic achievement test scores, if interested in Pine View or full-time Gifted The evaluation Report must include both individual IQ and academic achievement testing.(Some partial scores of 130 may be considered with acceptable written justification from the examiner.) Accepted IQ Test include the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children Fourth Edition (WISC-IV), the Stanford-Binet V (SB5), or other acceptable IQ measures. Accepted Academic Achievement Tests include the Woodcock-Johnson III or Wechsler Individual Achievement Test-III. For the Woodcock-Johnson III Tests of Achievement (Form A or B; Normative update required effective January 2008), the evaluation must report standard scores (age based) for reading comprehension composite broad math. The Wechsler Individual Achievement Test-III evaluation must report standard scores (age based) for reading, fluency composite, and math composite. All evaluations from psychologists in private practice are subject to review and verification by Sarasota County School Board staff prior to gifted eligibility determination.
3. Gifted characteristics rating scales Renzulli's Scales for Rating the Behavioral Characteristics of Superior Students (revised 1997) can be completed by at least one of the student's current academic teachers. Areas rated are learning, creativity, motivation and leadership. The student must display a majority of characteristics to be considered for a gifted program. These forms are provided at most district schools.
4. Most recent report card grades, that spans one year Grades are required for reading and math.

The gifted identification requirements for students living in Sarasota County and students moving to Sarasota County are similar. However, the procedure to submit the information is slightly different. For students living in Sarasota County, students may be referred by their parents or school staff for a gifted screening. Parents can request a gifted screening by contacting the ESE Liaison at their child's district or charter school. Parents of a child enrolled in a private school should contact the ESE Liaison at the child's district school. If the child scores 130 on the gifted screening, then the information in the table below is collected. For students moving to Sarasota County, the students should contact the admissions office at Pine View.

If a reevaluation of a student's academic achievement is conducted within 12 months of the previous achievement testing, then both academic areas (reading and math) must be reevaluated to provide a current assessment of the student's academic profile. To avoid a test/retest policy violation, an alternative academic achievement test must be administered. The most current reading and math scores will be used in determining full-time gifted program eligibility.


Pine View's curriculum emphasizes rigor, differentiated instruction, and, in high school, students' academic self-determination. A periodically updated description of the curriculum is available at the Course Code Directory Link Page. In elementary and middle school, students take classes that are accelerated and go more in-depth than topically similar courses at other schools. Students begin to rotate teachers and classrooms beginning in 4th grade. Starting in 6th grade, students are placed in different levels in math based on a standardized test administered at the end of 5th grade. Students can begin to choose some of their course load beginning in 7th grade and continuing throughout high school.

At the beginning of high school, students create their own individual four-year academic plans, which they refine and revise as the years progress. This differentiated instruction results in a variety of math, English, science, social science, and foreign language levels being offered to students in the same grade.[26] The substantial elective selection allows students access to breadth and depth of their interests. By the 11th grade, students exercise significant autonomy over their schedules. Students largely build their own curriculum, subject to the approval of their teachers and administrators.

Most high school courses are offered as honors (except where Florida statute prohibits the designations, such as in foreign language classes) and/or Advanced Placement (AP) courses.[27] Students can start taking AP classes, the centerpiece of the Pine View curriculum, beginning in 9th grade. Unlike most AP programs, Pine View requires all of its students who are taking AP courses to take their courses' respective AP exams.

To graduate from Pine View, students must abide by the following programming requirements:[28]

  • Earn a minimum of 26 credits as approved in Sarasota County School's Student Progression Plan for Pine View. (This includes credits earned in middle school.) Credits needed for graduation for transfer students after Grade 9 are determined at the time of registration.
  • Be enrolled in at least 6 classes each semester per year.
  • Complete through Level III of a foreign language.
  • Refrain from repeating courses that have been successfully completed (C or higher).
  • Maintain, through grades 9-12, a minimum 2.0 cumulative unweighted GPA for all core classes during any 4 consecutive quarters throughout the year. At the end of each academic year, grade point averages are reviewed to ensure students are eligible for continued placement at Pine View.
  • Refrain from taking courses offered at Pine View elsewhere, unless there is a genuine scheduling conflict. Waivers may be granted only in extenuating circumstances after consultation with parents, teachers, and counselors. The principal has final approval in determining such waivers.
Pine View Graduation Requirements (Class of 2011 and Beyond)[29]
Subject Credits
English 4
Math 4
Science 3 (4 highly recommended)
Social Studies 3
Performing/Fine Arts 1
H.O.P.E. 1
Electives 6
World Language 3 (in a row)
Total Required 26


Pine View School has three news publications: The Torch (grades 7–12) and The Match (grades 2–6), both of which are physical newspapers, and, an online publication that runs both stories unique to it as well as stories that appear in the print editions of the newspapers. Pine View also has two yearbooks: The View, the high school yearbook, and The mView, the middle school yearbook. The yearbooks have been ranked in the top 5 in Florida competitions and ranked highly in national competitions.

Competitive Teams[edit]

Academic Olympics: Pine View's Academic Olympic Team competes on the county and contributes to the All-County team for the state tournament. The team holds tryouts during the year for prospective members and trains and competes weekly during the season. The team won the county championship every year until 1990.[30] More recently, the team won the 2007,[31] 2008,[32] 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, and 2018 county championships.[33]

Speech and Debate Team: Team membership is open to all high school students who meet the membership requirements put forth in the Team Bylaws. Members are recognized as varsity competitors by the National Forensics League (NFL). The team has been recognized on the state, national, and international levels. In the 2011–2012 school year, the team placed in the Top 32 in the world in the International Public Policy Forum World Championship, sponsored by the Bickel and Brewer Law Firm and New York University.[34] In 2012, the National Catholic Forensic League awarded a Daniel S. Masterson, Jr. Award of Excellence in Forensics to the Pine View Speech and Debate Team for ranking in the top 5 teams in the nation. From 2000 until 2012, the team produced seven Academic-All Americans, the top NFL award.[35]

Model United Nations Team: Pine View's Model United Nations team is one of its oldest and most acclaimed student organizations, and is currently within the top 50 programs of its kind within the country.[36] They have competed at Georgetown University, University of Florida, Boston University, as well as at the conferences of numerous other top-ranked programs. Currently, they hold one of the largest rates of club participation in the high school student body.

Sports: Pine View has middle school sports teams for basketball, track and field, and volleyball. In the 2008–2009 school year, the tennis team went undefeated and won the Sarasota County Championship, and in 2009–2010 both the men's and women's basketball teams went undefeated and won the county final.[citation needed] In the 2009–2010 school year, the Pine View women's tennis team went undefeated in the regular season, but lost the county Championship to Sarasota Middle School.[citation needed]

HOSA Team: Pine View features one of the most successful HOSA teams in the state of Florida, with 6 International Finalists in 3 years. Pine View's competitive team competes on the regional, state, and international circuit annually. The team is the third largest competitive club on campus and the fourth largest club overall.

Other Competitive Teams: In addition to the teams listed above, numerous Pine View student clubs and organizations participate in competitive events ranging from national robotics competitions, to off-road motor biking, to circus performing.

Notable alumni[edit]


  1. ^ "Letter from principal". Pine View School. Retrieved 2018-05-01.
  2. ^ "PINE VIEW SCHOOL". National Center for Education Statistics. Retrieved November 25, 2017.
  3. ^
  4. ^ "Pine View School". U.S. News. U.S. News & World Report LP. Retrieved 17 October 2013.
  5. ^ JStor search on "John D. Woolever
  6. ^ from an interview with Mrs. Patricia Johnston, who has taught at the school since 1970 and is the head of the social studies department
  7. ^ The Florida Legislature Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability Report No. 08-01, January 2008.
  8. ^ School Roster by Grade. Inquire with the registrar for verification.
  9. ^ "Sarasota County Commissioners decree 2-12 'Principal Steven Largo Day'". Retrieved 1 March 2013.
  10. ^ "Stephen Covert named next Pine View principal". Retrieved 1 March 2013.
  11. ^ U.S. Department of Education Blue Ribbon Schools Program: Schools Recognized 2003 through 2006 (PDF), United States Department of Education. Accessed May 11, 2006.
  12. ^ CIBA cited as one of the best by Education Department Archived 2007-08-19 at the Wayback Machine, Journal Inquirer, November 16, 2006. "The Blue Ribbon award is given only to schools that reach the top 10 percent of their state's testing scores over several years or show significant gains in student achievement. It is considered the highest honor a school can achieve."
  13. ^ Viers Mill School Wins Blue Ribbon; School Scored High on Statewide Test; The Washington Post. September 29, 2005 "For their accomplishments, all three schools this month earned the status of Blue Ribbon School, the highest honor the U.S. Education Department can bestow upon a school."
  14. ^
  15. ^
  16. ^ "Best High Schools: The Public Elites". Archived from the original on June 15, 2006. Retrieved July 2, 2006.
  17. ^ "Pine View tests out of Newsweek's ranking". Retrieved July 2, 2006.
  18. ^
  19. ^
  20. ^
  21. ^
  22. ^
  23. ^
  24. ^ Pine View School Overview.
  25. ^ Requirements updated on the Pine View Admissions Website's Eligibility Page.
  26. ^ Pine View Course Code Directory. Available at
  27. ^ See Pine View Course Selections. Available periodically on the Pine View Website.
  28. ^
  29. ^
  30. ^,4792109
  31. ^
  32. ^
  33. ^
  34. ^
  35. ^ Historical Listing of Academic All Americans January 2000 through 2012. NFL Online.
  36. ^

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 30°25′07″N 84°18′13″W / 30.4185336°N 84.3035113°W / 30.4185336; -84.3035113