Location: Tamiami Circle and Tennessee
Haven School is one of two elementary schools built in Sarasota
from identical plans to accommodate population growth resulting
from the 1920s real estate boom. Bay Haven and Southside Elementary
were designed by architect M. Leo Elliott; a New York trained
practitioner with offices in Sarasota, Tampa, Orlando, and St.
Petersburg. Both schools reflect the Mediterranean Revival Style;
each cost $72,000 to build. Their locations Bay Haven north
of the city center and Southside to its south reflected the
advice of nationally renowned land planned John Nolen, city
planner of Cambridge, Massachusetts, who recommended two schools
in the outlying residential areas.
Designed for 600 students, Bay Haven School opened in 1926. Mrs. Mason H. Rose was its first principal. Active support by a vigorous Bay Haven Parents-Teacher Association instilled price in the school. At its first meeting, held November 4, 1927, Mrs. Benjamin F. McCall was elected president, dues of 50 cents were established, and the first student program was presented.
The Great Depression closed Sarasota's public schools for lack of funds on February 24, 1933. The Bay Haven PTA raised cash to operate its school on a tuition basis, sponsoring a dinner to raise tuition for impoverished families. Parents worked in the kitchen and provided vegetables, canned fruits and milk for free lunches for needy students in 1934. The State PTA convention honored the Bay Haven PTA for its welfare work and membership efforts.
In 1937, Bay Haven established the county's first staff in-house elementary school library. In 1962, Bay Haven became the first integrated county elementary school and enrolled 29 black students. Bay Haven School became the site of the first kindergarten in a Sarasota County public school in 1964. In 1983, the Bay Haven School of Basics Plus initiated a written contract between student, family and school to enforce academic and behavioral standards. IT requires parents to attend PTA meetings and volunteer time annually to the school. In 1990, the school received the National Elementary School Recognition Program Award. The school was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1982.