General Overview

General Information

Manatee School For the Arts is a tuition free, arts infused, public charter middle and high school, which strives for academic and artistic excellence in a safe, student-centered environment. We are fully accredited at the high school and middle school levels by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) and is the only accredited public middle school in Manatee County. We are also one of five Gold Seal of Excellence Charter Schools in the state of Florida. 

Enrollment and Hours

Students are accepted from Manatee, Sarasota, Hillsborough, and Pinellas counties. Middle School students are accepted on a first come, first serve basis, and subject to class size limits and ESE parameters required by the student, yet within the MSA Charter guidelines.  Space is limited. High School applicants are chosen through an interview/audition with our staff. Students at the High School level should demonstrate a desire for higher level studies in one of the arts: Visual Art, Digital Art, Theatre, Music, or Dance. 

Grades: 6-12    Enrollment: 1900 students      
Middle School Class Size Average: 22:1 High School Class Size Average: 25:1
Hours: Middle School – 9:45a.m. To 4:35 p.m.
High School – 8:10 a.m. To 2:55 p.m.

Visitors to the School

Parents and visitors are welcome to visit our school campus but must be approved by administration.  If a visitor is expected, the front desk must be notified. All visitors to the school should be dressed appropriately. 

All visitors must check in at the front desk, and no visitor will be allowed into the school without a visitor’s pass.  A valid I.D. is required to enter the school and used for the required background check through our visitor management software.  This policy applies to vendors and contractors as well. 

All visitors must wear a visitor’s badge while in the building and be escorted to their end point by a staff member.  There are no exceptions to this policy.  If someone is found in the school who does not meet these criteria, they will be addressed by school administrators and school guardians and escorted to the front desk immediately. Visitors leaving the campus must sign out and exit through the front office only, where they will return the sticker I.D. It is critical that everyone follow these procedures. This policy will be strictly enforced. 

Curriculum and Special Programs

MSA’s curriculum includes a program of studies based on the Florida Sunshine State Standards, with a focus on an arts-infused approach reaching student’s individual needs by using multiple intelligence strategies in all classes.

Highlights of School Programs

Academic focus at all grade levels:  Basic–Regular -Advanced Gifted (6-12) and High School level courses starting in 7th grade. Comprehensive 6th Grade Program which introduces students to all the areas of the arts – Visual Art, Digital Art, Theatre, Music and Dance
Music Program includes all Orchestral and Band instruments, Keyboard, Guitar and Choral High School Classes for Middle School students                  Exceptional Student Education
Computer based math programs Dual Enrollment College Courses starting in 9th Grade with the option of students taking classes at the SCF Campus starting in 11th grade. AP Courses offered starting in 11th Grade
Computer Graphics programs, starting using Adobe Illustrator in 6th Grade Rigorous Pre-AP and AP Courses of Study starting in 7th Grade Earn your Associate’s Degree from SCF BEFORE you graduate high school.
6th Grade Greek Olympics and Meso-American Festival Students can graduate MSA with 30 or more college credits from The State College of Florida and/or USF Sarasota-Manatee. 7th and 8th grade End of Year activities
6th Grade Etiquette Dance National Art Honor Society (HS) HOSA (Health Occupations Students of America)
National Honor Society National Junior Honor Society Mu Alpha Theta Math Honor Society
National Dance Honor Society (HS) School Dances (6th and 7th Grade during the school day) Key Club
MSA Heat, JV Heat, Inferno, Turning Pointe, and Strikers Dance Teams Chamber Choir Jazz Band

Interscholastic Extracurricular Activity

Non-Traditional students as defined by the FHSAA (including but not limited to; home school, private school and charter) will be eligible to participate in interscholastic athletics at the school where based on or at a school of their choice that has available seats through the district controlled open enrolment policy per FS 1006.

To be eligible for participation in the regular season games or tournaments, the student:  1. Must be regularly enrolled and in regular attendance at school.  Charter school students, home education students (including FLVS Full-time) may participate at their zoned school or at a school they may choice to per Florida Statutes. Please make an appointment with your assigned counselor for more information on how to participate in this program.


Before School Care is a service offered at 7a.m. daily, and is supervised by MSA Staff for a nominal charge. Breakfast is available for purchase every morning.

Transportation to and from Manatee School For the Arts

MSA provides transportation to and from school from most parts of Manatee County. 

  • Our new state of ART “Super” buses arrived on campus this July owned, and operated by MSA. Among the many new improvements are safer anti-collision technology, online apps to view bus location in real time, SMS (text) notifications when students enter and leave the bus and even student WIFI.

Sampling of a few of the after school activities offered throughout the year at MSA

National Junior Honor Society Anime Club
National Honor Society MS and HS Thespians
Robotics Club Spanish Club
French Club Competitive Dance Teams
Key Club Movie Club


Food Services

MSA has a full Breakfast and Lunch program. A la carte items are also available for an additional cost.

Our food services program is run by SLA. They offer a multitude of selections on a daily basis to satisfy even the pickiest of eaters! Students are also permitted to pack their own lunch. No glass bottles or containers are permitted on campus please.

Applications for the free and reduced lunch program are available through our Food Service Manager on campus at MSA. We are not part of the Manatee County School District meal application process.  Click here for more information.

Unpaid Meal Charge Policy 22.23SY

Unpaid Meal Charge Policy 22.23 SY Spanish

Non Discrimination Statement 22 23 SY (1)

MSA Wellness Policy


Click here for a full description of our strictly enforced dress code policy.

Uniform shirts are sold at the MSA Uniform Shop located at the school.

Uniform bottoms for Middle School Students may be purchased at many fine retailers such as Target, Walmart, Amazon, and others.  Please carefully read the uniform description at the link above.

Communication and Parent Involvement

Parent / Student Contracts Required standards of excellence for communication, behavior, and work ethics.

School website – contains upcoming events, electronic copies of parent updates and school newsletters, schedules, the school calendar, and links to many other useful resources within and outside the school.

Parent E-mail Updates– is a bi-weekly e-mail update sent to parents for whom we have current e-mail addresses for.  Items in this update will include school events ongoing, reminders, and other important information about the school.

Parent/Teacher Organization/Department Boosters – We are looking for volunteers to get our PTO program going! If you are interested in being a Parent Volunteer Leader, or would just like to donate towards the program email Ms. Hillman at We would LOVE to have you. 

Gradebook Portal– is an online service for parents and students to track their progress. (Activation codes are supplied to each family at the beginning of the year).

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