About P.K. Yonge

P.K. Yonge Developmental Research School’s mission since its establishment in 1934, has been to design, test and disseminate innovations in K-12 education through serving a diverse student community. As such, P.K. Yonge impacts educators, school leaders, and other schools around the state and the nation by providing proof of concept for K-12 educational innovation.

P.K. Yonge has been recognized by US News & World Report numerous times and is ranked among the Best High Schools in 2023. According to US News & World Report data, P.K. Yonge is the #1 high school in Gainesville, #38 in Florida and #1183 in the nation! Congratulations to the teachers, students, staff and families who make that happen!

We are a Public School

As a publicly funded K-12 school that is not academically selective, we strive to serve all students while facing the same challenges and constraints that confront all public schools in Florida. Our status as a one-school school district makes it possible to develop and pilot creative educational solutions in response to never-ending demands, and based on new research findings.

Funded by the Florida Department of Education, we are uniquely positioned in the College of Education at the University of Florida to collaborate with University of Florida researchers to develop innovative solutions to 21st century challenges for students of all cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds.

We Serve a Diverse Student Community

As legislated by the Sid Martin Bill (F.S.S. 1002.32), our student population, selected by lottery, represents Florida’s racial and income demographics. Our students commute from more than 30 surrounding small and rural north Florida cities and towns.

Establishing a school culture where students from all backgrounds and circumstances come together to learn and grow in a positive, safe, and nurturing environment is a core part of P.K. Yonge’s mission and a source of pride for the school. The diversity of our student population is the foundation of our relevance to the broader conversation about K-12 education.

We Impact Other Schools

Our impact on schools stems from professional learning activities offered for practitioners and administrators throughout the state and nation. Our reach has also extended internationally with participants coming to us from Abu Dhabi, Australia, Belgium, Canada, China, Denmark, Germany, India, Israel, New Zealand, and Slovakia.

Our professional learning activities serve hundreds of educators each year, from school districts around the state and the nation. Workshops and activities focus on innovative structures for professional learning, literacy, project-based learning, technology integration, student-centered instruction, active learning, student collaboration, personalized learning, Universal Design for Learning, Multi-Tiered System of Supports, inquiry-based science, and student discourse and engagement.

We Provide Proof of Concept for Innovation in K-12 Education

Innovations in teaching, pedagogy, curriculum, and architecture are rooted in our school-based mission, “to design, test, and disseminate best practices in K-12 education.”

We are Committed to Innovation

Curriculum and Instruction | P.K. Yonge provides a place where interested educators can consult with P.K. Yonge teachers who are figuring out how to put emerging theories and research into practice.

Architecture and Interior Design | In an elementary building designed for tomorrow’s students, P.K .Yonge teachers are defining how to teach and learn in non-traditional learning spaces.

Delivery Systems | Optimizing available time, personnel, and funding to support the social, emotional, and educational needs of our students defines the framework of our multi-tiered system of supports (MTSS).

Our History

P.K. Yonge Developmental Research School was established in 1934 as both a laboratory school and a department of the College of Education at the University of Florida. At the time, laboratory schools were described as schools that colleges or departments of education used to support curriculum development, design and test experimental educational practices, and serve as spaces for teaching practicums and classroom observation.

The P.K. Yonge Laboratory School opened in 1934 in Norman Hall on the campus of the University of Florida. As the new site of the College of Education and P.K. Yonge, Norman Hall was designed to support the vision of quality education at the time dedicating 90% of the space to the laboratory school and 10% to college classes.

With increased enrollment in the College of Education in the 1950’s resulting in a growing need for space, University of Florida President J. Wayne Reitz presented the faculty at the College of Education a choice – to build a new college or a new laboratory school. The faculty opted for a new location for P.K. Yonge where the school relocated in 1958 and remains today.

In 1990, with the passing of the Sid Martin Bill, the P.K. Yonge Laboratory School was renamed P.K. Yonge Developmental Research School. In addition, the Sid Martin Bill designated all developmental research schools as a special category of public schools that were eligible to receive state monies and apply for competitive grants. P.K. Yonge to this day is governed by the University of Florida, and as a consequence of the Sid Martin Bill is now designated as a special school district directly funded through state appropriations.

Our Relationship with the University of Florida's College of Education

P.K. Yonge is governed by the University of Florida and functions as its own supervisory school district. The director of P.K. Yonge is responsible for leading the overall operation of the school and advancing the school’s mission as a developmental research school.  P.K. Yonge, the College of Education, and the University of Florida share in the mission of advancing the generation and dissemination of knowledge.

The director of P.K. Yonge reports to the Dean of the College of Education and P.K. Yonge and the College of Education often work in partnership to develop, test, and share innovations in K-12 education, pursue research interests and funding, and collaborate on external communications about their collective work.

All faculty and staff at P.K. Yonge are employed by the University of Florida.

Our Plan for Excellence

P.K. Yonge Developmental Research School at the University of Florida has a unique opportunity as a “school of choice” to provide leadership in education excellence in Florida and throughout the nation. In an effort to make a positive contribution to the realization of that ambition, the School Advisory Council, working with parents/guardians, teachers, students, and administrators has articulated what it believes to be a relevant description of the level of achievement to which the school should aspire. More…

About Our Namesake: Philip Keyes Yonge

Philip Keyes Yonge (May 27, 1850–August 9, 1934) was a prominent Florida businessman and civic leader. For almost 30 years he served as member and chairman of the Florida Board of Control – the governing body of the State University System of Florida.

“[P.K] Yonge’s commitment toward improving education is commemorated in the University of Florida’s P.K. Yonge Laboratory School in the School of Education, dedicated to innovative programs in elementary, middle, and high school teaching and learning.” More