Mission & History



Brooks DeBartolo Collegiate High School strives to be a model collegiate school offering a broad and rigorous educational program to students from diverse cultures. Within a caring, respectful environment, the school is committed to instilling in each student a desire to learn, to take appropriate risks, to accept challenges and to become a life-long learner.


In 2005, NFL great Derrick Brooks and the Edward J. DeBartolo Family combined their charitable organizations, Derrick Brooks Charities, Inc. and the DeBartolo Family Foundation, to create the Brooks DeBartolo Collegiate High School (BDCHS).  Their goal was to open a school that would provide a quality education, similar to that of the numerous private schools in Tampa, but without the staggering price and to provide a higher opportunity for achievement to students who may otherwise not excel in a large classroom setting.

BDCHS became a reality in 2007, when the Charter application was approved by the Hillsborough County School Board. The school officially opened its doors in August of 2007, becoming the only traditional charter high school in the Tampa Bay area.  The inaugural student body consisted of 183 students in grades 9-11. Grade 12 was added the following year.

In 2008, BDCHS added athletics to its program. The school is now a full member of the Florida High School Athletic Association (FHSAA) and is eligible to participate in the State Championship Series in Class 2A District 10.  BDCHS offers eight sports, including volleyball, bowling, girls’ and boys’ basketball, softball, baseball, girls and boys soccer, tennis, and golf. In just three years of competition and only one year of post-season eligibility, the school has earned four Class 2A District 10 Runner-up trophies, as well as one Regional Championship and a State Finals appearance by the baseball team.

In its fourth year, BDCHS was among eight Hillsborough County public high schools and 140 schools statewide that received an “A” grade from the Florida Department of Education.  The school also graduated its first freshmen class in 2011, growing its alumni to more than 120 students.  Many of these alumni were accepted to universities such as Howard University, Villanova University, University of Pittsburgh, the University of South Florida, the University of Tampa, the University of Florida, and Florida State University.

In 2012, BDCHS moved to a beautiful 11 acre campus and earned another A grade from the FLDOE. The school has continued to “Soar to New Heights” by being named one of “America’s Most Challenging High Schools” by the Washington Post,  a Non-Profit of the Year finalist by the Tampa Bay Business Journal, and the Golden School Award for parent volunteerism. In addition, the class of 2012 and 2013 graduates were all accepted into post-secondary institutions.

Looking to the future, we will continue to strive for excellence in education by creating more relevant curricula, keeping our academic standards high and working collaboratively with colleges and universities to ensure postsecondary success. Moreover, we plan to aggressively build and strengthen our athletic and extracurricular programs, thereby providing our students with more opportunities to learn and achieve in and out of the classroom.

Soaring To New Heights