About the Academy

Our mission is dropout prevention.

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.

Chi Chi Rodriguez Academy is the highest rated dropout prevention school in Florida and a one-of-a-kind educational 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

At the Academy, we take a holistic approach, placing emphasis on homework assistance, life management, social skills, personal grooming, business skills, consumer education, art, and reading enhancement. Golf is another major part of the Chi Chi Rodriguez Academy’s approach, because the game helps students learn personal discipline, self-control, respect for others, responsibility, concentration and honesty.

Through the Academy’s unique shadow program, students spend time with adults in each department of our campus Chi Chi Rodriguez Golf Club and Sports Complex, seeing firsthand how management, marketing, retail sales, landscaping, and agronomy apply to real life. In the pro shop, what we call our "living classroom," they might help the staff sort golf balls, attach pricing stickers to merchandise, restock shelves, or staff the checkout counter. Students are more enthusiastic when they see how 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. The students have a greater opportunity to succeed because of that 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 traumatic past
  • From a single parent home
  • On some form of government assistance
  • Have poor grades
  • Be socially withdrawn
  • Have poor school attendance
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