Sanibel Schools, Private Schools, Public Schools & Lee County Colleges
LAST UPDATED: 02 June 2014

Sanibel Schools, Private Schools, Public Schools & Lee County Colleges

School options are one of the first things a family considers before relocating. When Eric and I were exploring the idea of moving to Sanibel from Baltimore, Maryland, our daughter Darby was 2 years old and our son John was an infant. Our primary concern was their future education and the Sanibel - Fort Myers school options. We toured Sanibel's CECI pre-school (2 - 5 yrs), the Sanibel School (K - 6th at the time), and Canterbury School in Fort Myers (Pre-K - 12th Grade). Darby was 4 years old and John was 2 when we moved full time to Sanibel in 2001. Having great school choices is as important as home options. We understand this and hope that this article will help address some of those questions.

Sanibel, Fort Myers, Cape Coral, and Lee County offer many excellent pre-schools, elementary options, and outstanding middle and high school choices. From Blue Ribbon pubic schools to International Baccalaureate programs and outstanding private schools focused on college preparation. Sanibel Island schools offer Pre-K to 8th-grade educations with several options for preschools and only one option for K-8th (The Sanibel School - A Blue Ribbon School and top-ranked public school in the state of Florida). Sanibel High school students must attend off-island schools of which there are many excellent choices. Below is a list of the most widely attended schools by Sanibel, Captiva, and Fort Myers students. Local colleges are listed at the bottom of this page. This is not intended to be a directory of all Lee County Schools.


The Children's Education Center of the Islands

Serving children ages two through Pre-K. CECI is a voluntary prekindergarten provider and follows the Lee County school calendar. The mission of the Children's Education Center of the Islands is to create, through our developmentally appropriate curriculum, a nurturing, exciting learning environment that creates happy, curious, confident children. For more information call (239) 472-4538.

Summit Christian School

Summit Christian School opened its doors in 1991 with six students in temporary buildings. In 2001-2002 Summit moved into its new 2.6 million dollar facility (school building and full gymnasium). In 2008, a branch location at Sanibel Community Church was opened, which now operates programs for 2-, 3-, and 4-year olds. Our main Fort Myers campus serves grades PK3- 8. Both campuses offer a free VPK program. For more information call (239) 482-7007.

Happy Healthy Childhoods

Located in Fort Myers, Child Care of Southwest Florida offers three preschools/child care centers as well as child care training courses. Visit For more information call (239) 278-1002.


The Sanibel School - Grades K-8

Ranked the Top School in Florida in 2012, the Sanibel School has been educating islanders for over 100 years. Read the Full Story Beginning as a one-room schoolhouse, the Sanibel School is a nationally recognized Blue Ribbon School serving students K-8. The Blue Ribbon Designation places The Sanibel School in the top 5% nationally. For more information call (239) 472-1617.

Canterbury School - Pre-K-12th

Canterbury School is a pre-K through 12th-grade college preparatory, coeducational day school. The students, who attend Canterbury from Lee, Collier, and Charlotte counties, all share a special trait: a love and appreciation of learning.

Canterbury School is dedicated to academic excellence within a caring and supportive community emphasizing character, leadership, and service. View Canterbury SAT & ACT Results Relative to Local, State and National Scores. For more information call (239) 481-4323.

Bishop Verot Catholic High School - Grades 9 - 12

The mission of Bishop Verot Catholic High School is to build a community of faith and learning in the Salesian tradition, devoted to educating minds and hearts, dedicated to service and centered on Christ. For more information call (239) 274-6700.

Cypress Lake High School - Grades 9 - 12

Known for its focus on the arts, Cypress Lake High School attracts many Sanibel students. For more information call (239) 481-2233.

Fort Myers High School & IB Program

IB MISSION STATEMENT: Through comprehensive and balanced curricula coupled with challenging assessments, the International Baccalaureate Organization aims to assist schools in their endeavors to develop the individual talents of young people and teach them to relate the experience of the classroom to the realities of the world outside. Beyond intellectual rigor and high academic standards, strong emphasis is placed on the ideals of international understanding and responsible citizenship, to the end that IB students may become critical and compassionate thinkers, lifelong learners, and informed participants in local and world affairs, conscious of the shared humanity that binds all people together while respecting the variety of cultures and attitudes that makes for the richness of life. For more information call (239) 334-2167.

South Fort Myers High School

South Fort Myers High offers a 9th-grade Freshman Success program that ensures the successful transition from middle school to high school. Grades are monitored by an assistant principal resulting in improved academic performance. AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination): is a program that focuses on students in the academic middle with potential, who would benefit from support while taking advanced course work. To be in AVID, an application and interview must be completed. For more information call (239) 561-0060.

St. Francis Xavier Catholic School - Pre K - 8th grade

St. Francis Xavier School is an inter-parochial Catholic elementary school serving Pre-K3-Grade8 children of the Lee County Catholic community. The St Francis Xavier School community strives to strengthen Catholic identity, preserve the Franciscan tradition, develop intellectual and creative potential, and respond to one another's needs through service. For more information call (239) 334-7707.

Saint Michael Lutheran School - Pre-K-8th

Saint Michael Lutheran School is an accredited, coeducational school, pre-kindergarten through eighth grade, dedicated to quality education in the Lutheran - Christian tradition. Founded in 1956, it presents an educational alternative for the Lee County community. For more information call (239) 939-1218.

Florida Southwestern Collegiate High School - Grades 9-12

Florida Southwestern Collegiate High is a learning community in which all members have something to learn and something valuable to teach. We believe that children, parents, and teachers are mutually responsible for achieving educational goals. Parents take an active role in preparing their child’s ‘GOLD’ Academic plan – the Goal-Oriented Learning Document. Teachers support the goals of each student through personalized attention and individualized instruction. The curriculum and structure of Florida Southwestern Collegiate High continually reinforce the core values of responsibility, respect, and character. For more information call (239) 432-6767.

Florida Gulf Coast University (FGCU)

Established on the verge of the 21st century, Florida Gulf Coast University infuses the strengths of the traditional public university with innovation and a learning-centered spirit, its chief aim being to fulfill the academic, cultural, social, and career expectations of its constituents. For more information call (239) 590-1000.

Florida Southwestern State College (formerly Edison State College)

The mission of Florida Southwestern State College is to inspire learning; prepare a diverse population for creative and responsible participation in a global society; and serve as a leader for intellectual, economic, and cultural awareness in the community. With the first students admitted to Edison in the fall of 1962, Florida Southwestern State College celebrates 56 years of service to Southwest Florida this year. For more information call (239) 489-9300.

Ave Maria University

Ave Maria University is a vibrant university located in beautiful southwest Florida. It is an academic institution that pledges faithfulness to the teachings of the Church and is committed to providing one of the finest classical liberal arts curricula available. Ave Maria is known for faithfulness to the magisterium of the Catholic Church, a caring faculty and staff, and a unique educational philosophy that strives to develop the whole person. See the Mission Statement of Ave Maria University and our brief History. Academics are the heart of every educational institution. It is what we strive to do best within a truly wholesome Catholic environment. The professional staff and challenging curriculum provide students with training that empowers them to step out into the working world with strong confidence in their academic foundation. For more information call (877) 283-8648.

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