About the Academy

We are determined to positively impact the graduation rate of our community and prepare our students for the most important game of all, life.

The Chi Chi Rodriguez Academy, located in Clearwater, Florida is a public private partnership school that serves fourth through eighth grade students who are not achieving at their grade level, have low self-esteem, or have difficulty adjusting to their academic environment.

The Academy is made possible by a unique public private partnership between the Pinellas Country School System and the Chi Chi Rodriguez Youth Foundation. The school system identifies children in need of these special surroundings and provides the teachers and principal, while the Foundation provides the assistants, facilities, and classroom enrichment materials.


Our Approach

The Academy uses a holistic approach in its programs.  Emphasis is placed on homework assistance, tutoring, social skills, core values, business skills, retail, art, landscaping, and golf.  Golf was chosen as a key ingredient for the program because it does not require unusual size, speed, or strength for excellence.  The sport does, however, require personal discipline, concentration, honesty, and tenacity.  These qualities plus exposure to role models of successful adult golfers made golf a natural choice.

Through the school's “Shadow Program” the students, on a rotating basis, get to spend time with adults in every department of the Golf Club and the Youth Foundation. While learning about the various jobs, the children see how basic educational skills like math and reading are used on an everyday basis. The teachers feel that students are much more enthusiastic when they see how the things they learn are involved beyond the classroom. 

In addition to the living classrooms, the small-school atmosphere, individual attention, counseling, and availability of student services and special instruction foster a desire in Academy students to succeed. We maximize the resources that the students would receive at mainstream schools and then provide them with additional support.

Our Students

The Academy currently has over 90 students, all referred by the Pinellas County School System.

In order to be eligible for the Academy, students must meet two or more of the following requirements:

  • Have poor grades
  • Be socially withdrawn
  • Have poor school attendance
  • From a single parent home
  • On some form of government assistance
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