Out-of-Door Academy

Out-of-Door Academy
Out-of-Door Academy
Sarasota, Florida,  United States
School type Independent, Preparatory
Established 1924
CEEB Code 101579
Head of school David Mahler[1]
Teaching staff 54.1 (FTE) (as of-2007-08)[2]
Grades Prekindergarten-12
Gender Coed
Enrollment 600 (as of-2007-08)[2]
Average class size 16 [3]
Student to teacher ratio 10.6 (as of-2007-08)[2]
Color(s) Navy and White
Athletics FHSAA 1A (1B District 6 for football)
Mascot Thor
Team name Thunder
Newspaper The Bolt
Yearbook The Sandpiper
Endowment $1.8 million [3]

Out-of-Door Academy is a college preparatory school in Sarasota, Florida. It serves students in prekindergarten through grade 12 on two campuses in the Sarasota area, one on Siesta Key and one in Lakewood Ranch.

In 2006, Out-of-Door Academy was recognized as a Cum Laude Society School,[citation needed] a distinction reserved for the top 1% of all secondary schools in the United States. Out-of-Door Academy is regularly voted "Best Private School" by Sarasota magazine. [4][5][6]



The Out-of-Door School was established in 1924 by Fanneal Harrison and Catherine Gavin, followers of Belgian progressive education pioneer Ovide Decroly. Classes and free time were spent outside on the school's 20-acre (81,000 m2) campus on Siesta Key, with wooden cabins serving as classrooms during inclement weather and dormitories.[7] Over time, the classes were held indoors. In 1977, the school was purchased by 120 school families and transformed into a nonprofit organization, at which point the school became known as Out-of-Door Academy.

The Lakewood Ranch campus was established in 1996.[8]Seventh and 8th grades were moved to the new campus in 2000, and in 2008 the campus became known as the Uihlein Campus at Lakewood Ranch.[9]

The Out-of-Door Academy is accredited by the Florida Council of Independent Schools[10] and the Florida Kindergarten Council. The school is a member of the Cum Laude Society, the National Association of Independent Schools, the Council for Spiritual and Ethical Education, and the Council for Advancement and Support of Education.


Out of Door School
Out-of-Door Academy is located in Florida
Location: Sarasota, Sarasota County, Florida
Coordinates: 27°17′9″N 82°33′38″W / 27.28583°N 82.56056°W / 27.28583; -82.56056Coordinates: 27°17′9″N 82°33′38″W / 27.28583°N 82.56056°W / 27.28583; -82.56056
Built: 1924
Architect: Ralph Twitchell
Governing body: Private
NRHP Reference#: 94001276
Added to NRHP: October 28, 1994

The Siesta Key lower school campus is on the National Register of Historic Places as Out-of-Door School. The 85-acre (340,000 m2) Upper School campus is located at Lakewood Ranch.[11]

Construction began in 2008 for a performing arts center at the Uihlein Campus at Lakewood Ranch, and the center opened in 2009. Renovation of the Siesta Key campus and construction of new athletic facilities also began in 2008.[12]


The academy's curriculum is a balanced liberal arts program that includes math, English, science, social studies, French, Spanish, Latin, music, and arts. Advanced Placement (AP) and honors courses are available.

Extracurricular activities

Student groups and activities include art club, community service club, drama club, filmmaking, forensics, Habitat for Humanity, National Honor Society, newspaper, Relay for Life, SADD, science/environmental club, student council, Tri-M Music Honors Society, stargazing and yearbook. Community service is required for upper school students.

The Out-of-Door Academy athletic teams, known as the Thunder, compete in interscholastic competition in baseball, basketball, cheerleading, cross country, football, golf, sailing, soccer, softball, swimming, tennis, track & field, and volleyball.


  1. ^ "Briefs; Out of Door Academy to welcome Mahler". Sarasota Herald-Tribune. 2004-02-07. "The Out of Door Academy will welcome its new school head during events at both campuses on Sunday. David Mahler will replace Mike Novello as head of the school in July." 
  2. ^ a b c "School Detail for Out-of-door Academy". National Center for Education Statistics. http://nces.ed.gov/surveys/pss/privateschoolsearch/school_detail.asp?Search=1&SchoolID=A0301145&ID=A0301145. 
  3. ^ a b "Out-of-Door-Academy". Peterson's. http://www.petersons.com/collegeprofiles/Profile.aspx?reprjid=11&volume=PS&inunid=2967&sponsor=1. 
  4. ^ "Best of the Best". Sarasota Magazine. May 2003. http://www.sarasotamagazine.com/Articles/Sarasota-Magazine/2003/05/Best-of-the-Best-5.asp. 
  5. ^ "The Best of the Best". Sarasota Magazine. May 2004. http://www.sarasotamagazine.com/Articles/Sarasota-Magazine/2004/05/The-Best-of-the-Best-5.asp. 
  6. ^ "The Best of the Best". Sarasota Magazine. May 2005. http://www.sarasotamagazine.com/Articles/Sarasota-Magazine/2005/05/The-Best-of-the-Best-5.asp. 
  7. ^ Shank, Ann A.. "Out of Door School". Sarasota History Alive!. http://www.sarasotahistoryalive.com/index.php?src=directory&view=Stories&srctype=detail&refno=564&category=Journals%20of%20Yesteryear. 
  8. ^ "Thunder rolls at new high school". Sarasota Herald-Tribune. 1996-10-19. "About two miles out, on a campus coated with fresh paint and fresh faces, Sarasota's newest high school blazes..." 
  9. ^ "Out-of-Door Academy to announce gift, unveil plan". Tampa Bay Business Journal. 2008-03-31. http://www.bizjournals.com/tampabay/stories/2008/03/31/daily4.html. "A major gift of land and subsequent renaming of the Lakewood Ranch Campus of Out-of-Door Academy will be revealed April 4 when the school's master plan is presented." 
  10. ^ "Florida Council of Independent Schools: Out-of-Door Academy". 
  11. ^ Walter, Nick (2009-04-30). "Still growing at ODA in LWR". Bradenton Herald. http://www.bradenton.com/news/local/lakewood_ranch_herald/story/1403860.html. "A decade ago, a group of investors envisioned a growing area and potential for a thriving private school in this area owned by Schroeder-Manatee Ranch. The Uihlein family, which was behind SMR, donated the 85-acre plot..." 
  12. ^ Sword, Doug (2008-07-09). "2-campus upgrades start at Out-of-Door Academy". Sarasota Herald-Tribune. http://www.heraldtribune.com/article/20080709/NEWS/539584880/0/RSS01. 

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