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Booker High School

Preschool | Grades 9-12 | Sarasota
3201 North Orange Ave
Sarasota, FL 34234
(941) 355-2967

About This School

Booker High School is located in Sarasota, FL and is one of 14 high schools in Sarasota School District. It is a magnet school that serves 1062 students in grades 9-12.

Magnet schools are public schools that offer a specialized curriculum or educational philosophy, often with a specific focus or theme. Magnet schools promote student diversity because they are open to students outside the normal school district boundaries and often attract high caliber students through competitive programs. See Booker High School's test results to learn more about school performance.

In 2011, Booker High School had 16 students for every full-time equivalent teacher. The Florida average is 15 students per full-time equivalent teacher.

Student Ethnicity (2011)

Students (2011)


Students Per Teacher (2011)

Female/Male (2011)

55% 45%

Subsidized Lunch (2011)


District Spending (2010)

per student
See All Test Scores

Grade 9 Math Performance

FCAT Results
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Booker High School Reviews

By a Current Student on

I am a current student and this school is okay. I feel like the staff and principle favor the VPA (Visual Arts) kids over everybody else. I was in the Theatre program last year but I got out. I recommend this school to all the kids that really want to pursue Art, Theatre, or Music as a future career. The school is currently being rebuilt, so for another year all you will see are tractors, and you will hear a ton of noise in the small classrooms. This school has some amazing programs too. But the only reason why everybody says the school is "amazing" is because of the VPA. When I was in the VPA, everybody payed so much attention to me, and favored me. Now I'm out and I feel as if the administration doesn't feel the need to care for a normal every day student. Not exactly the best attention given. Whenever I need something or have to talk to a counselor about my grades or something else that's important, they will tell me that they will call me the next period and they never do. They are very late at times and very disorganized. I also had a bad incident in the past with breaking my leg because of another student and got touched and I never laid a finger on her and they suspended me for TWO weeks, the same time she got suspended too. If you get into a "fight" EVEN if you don't lay a finger on the student, you get suspended the same number of days that the other student did. I was very dissapointed. The school could have gotten in trouble if we had a video to prove it. Average school. A lot of smoking in the bathrooms too.

By a Current Student on

At this time I am a senior at Booker High School who absolutely loves this school.  The staff is dedicated to helping the students. I have known teachers who will stay after school for an extra 3 hours just to help tutor a student who may be struggling. Teachers use a variety of tools to get the students involved such as class room debates in an AP Language course to help students understand how to persuade, which is a goal of the course for the AP Exam at the end of the year. They see us not as children but as young adults. They will have a serious conversation with us. They don't look at us like we are nothing, but see the true potential in each of us. We are given rules that are reasonable and are meant to help the student population. Teachers give us assignments and due dates but is never so much that it kills us. They also assist if you have any questions and constantly remind us in case we're afraid to approach. The student body gets along perfectly. You can walk the halls with no fear, as everyone talk to each other and has fun. Most students have enough self-pride to know what is right and what is wrong and when they see another student making the wrong decision they will stop them and try to help them so they learn. We are all one family at Booker. I am a part of the Visual Performing Arts Program in the Technical Theatre Department. The VPA is one of many programs that allow students to focus on the things they enjoy most. There is a department for Visual Art, T.V/Film, Dance, Theatre, Technical Theatre, and Music. Another program is the STEM program where students can focus on Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. The STEM department is something the United States is currently lacking in. There are not enough people going into those careers and Booker is a school who is pushing those subjects. The VPA allows me to explore my creative side and help others. All the VPAs interact with each other and will work with one another as well as invited other students who aren't in the program to enjoy and interact with us. The VPA isn't something that you can just be a part of because you want. You must audition for it and stay a good student. Each department within VPA has strict rules that you must keep your GPA above a certain level and can't get into any behavior problems or you will be put on probation in which you are in risk of being removed from the program. You can also be removed for simply not participating and really wanting to be a part of the arts. The school has a College Resource Room located in the Guidance office. This room is open to anyone at any time. Students who are in the college room for a class period are not simply there to relax. The class is called Peer Counseling and select students are allowed to take this course. These students are not just students, they are student mentors. They spend the class preparing materials to give to their mentees and filing out applications for colleges and scholarships. Even if you aren't in that class you still have the opportunity to use its resources. You can go in to do research on any college or scholarship, you can talk to Peer Mentors who are in the room, you can pick up pamphlets on the various colleges, you can fill out scholarships, talk to the college adviser who will know you by name after the first few visits and can talk to you about majors, colleges, and what you should do to help you get into college.  After knowing what you want to do he will even keep an eye out for things you might be interested in and will gather scholarships for you. The school is challenging academically and offers many Advanced Placement(AP) and Dual Enrollment (DE) courses in which you can take a college level course and take a final at the end of the year that give you college credit saving you money in college. Many students take these courses looking for a challenge. The school is known internationally for its students and performers. There have been Gates Millennium Scholarship winners, Sunshine State Scholars, contestants on American Idol such as Syesha Mercado, and our jazz band who has traveled to perform all over the east coast. The school has seen a great change in attitude in the past year. With a new principal many would believe that the school would be thrown into chaos, but it has been quite the opposite. Since Dr. Shelley has joined the administration at Booker there has been a rise in student spirit. She always greets people with a smile. People are happier, staff included. The first couple of weeks we would always hear the teachers talking about how great she is. She is sure to include students where ever it is possible. The school has many counsels that include students in them to help make decisions and brainstorm things that will help the school. And it’s not only the top students that are a part of these groups. She selects a wide variety of backgrounds to give everyone a fair chance. Even in tough times, she is able to remain calm and guide everyone. She is there to comfort as well as lead. In this school we are one family who learns and helps hold each other’s hands. We explore our creative sides and our academic sides together. And never let each other fall. I would recommend this school to anyone, no matter if they are into the arts or not. This school is simply one of the best in the country and deserves 5 stars.

By a Current Student on

I am currently a high school Senior at Booker High School. I am enrolled in the Visual and Performing Arts (VPA) Visual Art program. The staff is there for the students and are all quite open minded. The rules students and staff abide by are just like that of any other Floridian school. Rules are put in place for a reason, that reason being to make sure no student is left behind. Even through tragic times the staff and new principal, Dr. Rachel Shelley, handle it with great care and are able to deal with the situation to the best of anyone's ability. Teachers and staff offer comfort to students and make grief counselors available. We are a close-knit school that takes care of each other as if we were a true family. The student body is a combination of many different backgrounds and we all take care of each other.
The assignments given to students are not impossible to complete. If students cheat, it is no different than any other school, and the students would then be breaking our no cheat rules. We are taught about plagiarism and it's consequences in every class and reminded of it a few times a year. In other words, the students are well informed.
The VPA program offers Music, Visual Art, Dance, Theatre, TV/Film. All programs are rigorous courses that many times include Advanced Placement courses within the program. The VPA programs do not count as excuses on tardiness, crude behavior, projects or the specific chance to be selected for the college room. The programs are there to offer students with the passion for their chosen art field more knowledge. To be accepted into a VPA program students must audition, which sifts out the students who might just be trying to fill in their schedule.
The College room is located in the guidance department and has many available resources for colleges, scholarships and everything in between. Students that enter the college room are allowed to use the computers, pick up brochures and speak to the College Adviser.
Booker High School is exactly where i'd send my child, the faculty and staff members truly understand the students and offers many available studies. There are many offered AP and honors courses, as well as ESOL (English as a Second Language program) which enrolls students from all parts of Sarasota County, as well as from populations representing many cultures.
Also available is the Dual-Enrollment opportunity. DE is a chance to take courses in high school or to visit a college campus for half of your Booker High School day and receive college credit for it. This Program can lead students to industry certifications before they even graduate high school. As a comprehensive high school, the programs are designed to meet the needs of the diverse population offering college preparatory, advanced placement, honors, vocational, Tech Prep and School to Work.
If there is any doubt or further questions please visit the Booker High School website and increase your factual knowledge on what a fantastic school this really is.

By on

This place shouldn't even be called a school. The staff fails to show any signs of creativity or an open-mind and basically follows rules bordering on the ridiculous or absurd. Teachers rush students with assignments they couldn't possibly finish, and therefore, the students cheat. Most of the student body is racist, incompetent juveniles. Their VPA program contains few students who are actually interested in an art field, the rest of them entered the program for its benefits. VPA program here offers more than the arts, it offers passes on tardiness, it offers passes on crude behavior, passes on homework or projects, and it offers the chance to be selected for college room. College Room is considered a class, but it's just a bunch of students who've been selected to sit in a computer room and do what they want. Sometimes they'll fill out scholarships, and sometimes they'll eat pizza. In general, Booker High School isn't where you want to send your kid and it doesn't offer much. This school has nothing to offer in the fields other than music, sketch, or ballet. So your child will be lacking in english, math, science, and most likely, common sense.

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