It only takes one visit to Learning Gate Charter School to realize you have stepped onto an education facility like no other. Nestled in among trees, wetlands and ponds, the school’s campus and its curriculum are a testimony to an integrated environmental approach to education and community. From the recycling bins placed throughout the grounds and rain barrels to the butterfly gardens, this school lives its mission and passes its legacy onto our young, eager students.

Students learn the symbiotic relationships between their community and that of their natural environment by using local resources as well as participating in community service. They focus on learning in a team environment, which improves social and emotional intelligence as students learn to value diversity and the individual strengths of others.

One of the school's many programs, the "Seed to Soup Garden," focuses on enrichment of curricula in nearly every academic subject, from biology, health, science and math to history, geography, language arts, social sciences and art. Focal points for curriculum development include global sustainability issues such as water conservation and world hunger and health issues such as nutrition, food safety and environmental protection. The ultimate goal, however, is to create healthy, strong, confident, and self-motivated learners who are ecologically sensitive enough to be committed to protecting the ever fragile eco-system.

Learning Gate School is a Hillsborough County public school serving kindergarten through 8th grade. Learning Gate received its charter from the county in the year 2000. Learning Gate students are located on two sites: K-6th grades reside at Hanna Road in Lutz, and 7th-8th grade students are located at our Florida Ave. campus in Tampa. The mission of the school is to prepare students to successfully participate in their family, school, community, and workplace through an education program that promotes academic excellence, develops environmental stewardship and stimulates students to be lifelong learners.

As part of the Hillsborough County school district, Learning Gate must meet the statewide accountability standards. Learning Gate's goal is to provide the most productive and inspiring learning experiences and opportunities for its student population with the added bonus of significant academic growth.

Our Motto "Nature is our Best Teacher" personifies the natural spirit of the school. The program is built around the Environment as an Integrating Context model for learning. This model focuses not only on learning about the environment but is about using a school's surroundings and community as a framework within which students can construct their own learning. Guided by teachers and administrators using proven educational practices, they employ the environment as their comprehensive focus for learning in all areas: thinking and problem-solving skills, basic life skills, and understanding of the personal relationship to one's community and natural surroundings.

Parents and families of Learning Gate Community School are here because they value the original style of education provided. Each family is required to volunteer a minimum of 30 hours and attend an additional 10 hours of educational classes. Many studies show when parents take an active part in their child’s education, the child excels. Specifically, Henderson's and Berla's A New Generation of Evidence: The Family Is Critical to Student Achievement, 1994, confirms that parent involvement makes an enormous impact on students' attitude, attendance, and academic achievement. Students and community members have opportunities to interact and explore their environment in a variety of ways using the organic garden, outdoor classroom, the protected wetlands area, the butterfly garden and backyard habitat, the LEED Platinum Green Classrooms, the aquatic observation and research deck, and the historic log cabin that serves as a library.

Letter from the Principal

Welcome to Learning Gate Community School,

The mission of Learning Gate Community School is to prepare our students to be successful participants with family, school and the community. Learning Gate promotes academic excellence, community service and environmental responsibility.

Students at Learning Gate are surrounded by over 20 acres of natural habitat to learn and explore in. They are provided with numerous opportunities for hands on activities and exploratory learning. Teachers integrate environmental topics throughout all subject areas and inspire children to develop their creative thinking.

Our Motto "Nature is our Best Teacher" personifies the natural spirit of our school and curriculum.

Michelle Mason

Administrative Staff

Assistant Principal of Curriculum
Gloria Bliss
Assistant Principal K-6
Kelly Pratt
Assistant Principal 7-8
Adam Wolford
ESE Supervisor
Kelly York
Marketing, Parent Involvement Facilitator
Michele Northrup

For public records request, contact our Public Records Custodian, Michelle Mason:

We do not discriminate against any persons because of race, color, national or ethnic origin, age, religion, disability, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, veteran status (special disabled veterans, disabled veterans and Vietnam-era veterans), or any other characteristic protected under applicable federal or state law.