The academy offers Chapel, Spiritual Emphasis Week, Compass (STEM), Robotics, NJHS, middle school clubs, sports, morning show, Panther Press, safety patrols, field trips and more.

Would you like your child to attend a Christian private school but believe it is not financially feasible?

As of the 2018 tax year, Education Savings Accounts, commonly referred to as 529 plans, can now be used for tuition at a private or religious school at the elementary, middle and high school levels.

Furthermore, Bell Shoals Baptist Academy (BSBA) offers a reasonably priced private school education and tuition assistance through Financial Aid for School Tuition (FAST). BSBA’s tuition amount includes all textbooks, resources, labs and technology. It also covers extras such as yearbooks, parties, special activities, insurance and most field trips.

For 52 years, BSBA has been a ministry of Bell Shoals Baptist Church. The academy is accredited by the Association of Christian Schools International and provides a biblical worldview education for age 2 through eighth grade. It currently serves 430 students and retains a staff of 70, of which 43 serve as teachers and the other as administration and support staff.

Walt Shaffner, the headmaster at BSBA, has been an educator in Hillsborough County for 39 years. Throughout his tenure, he has held multiple positions from band director to the district director. He elaborated on what sets apart a Christian private education from a public education.

“Students in Christian academies receive a Kingdom Education; the home, school, and church all working together for the success of that student,” explained Shaffner.

The academy’s core curriculum consists of Bible, Language Arts, Math, Science and History. Additionally, eighth graders may participate in high school classes including Algebra I Honors, Spanish I and other courses through Florida Virtual School.

Besides furnishing students with a quality Christ-centered education, BSBA offers extracurricular and enrichment activities incorporating a variety of sports, music, drama, dance, art, clubs and community service opportunities. Moreover, the school adheres to stringent background checks for staff and emergency and safety procedures.

Shaffner continued, “Students learn Christian values and positive character traits that will prepare them for life outside the classroom. We are educating for eternity. “

For more information or to register your child, visit The academy is located at 2102 Bell Shoals Rd. in Brandon. For questions, contact the registrar, Alli Freda, at or call 689-9183.

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Amanda Boston is the Christian Voice Editor for the Osprey Observer. She is a graduate of Bible Training for Church Leaders (BTCL), who enjoys sharing how God is working in and through the community. Amanda resides in FishHawk with her husband and two children.