School Information

  • Sunrise at Richard L Sanders school

    Richard L. Sanders School - Home of the Eagles

    Address: 5025 76th Ave. N Pinellas Park, FL 33781

    Phone: (727) 547-7728

    Fax: (727) 545-6413  

    Pinellas County Schools Administration: (727) 588-6000

    Principal: Heidi D'Ambrosio, Ed.D.

    Grade levels: K-12

    School Hours:  7:25 AM - 1:25 PM


    The school was originally built in 1958 as a school for students with exceptional needs. The original name was Parkland School. Over the next two decades, it grew to include 5 permanent buildings. In 1981, it was converted to a school for students with emotional/behavioral disorders and was renamed Richard L. Sanders School. In 2002, the old buildings were replaced with a new, state of the art facility. We have a full range of academic programs for students in grades K through age 22. We have a low student to adult ratio; 3 students per 1 adult, allowing students to get more of their individual needs met. Our staff focuses their lesson plans and daily schedule to meet both the academic and emotional/behavioral needs of our students. The beginning of each day is reserved for Social/Emotional Learning, which encompasses learning replacement behaviors and responding appropriately to situations.

    Attractor/focus: The primary method of assisting students at The Richard L Sanders School with behavioral change is the Positive Behavior Support Program (PBS). “Positive” refers to a change of focus from reactive (pointing out what the student did wrong) to proactive teaching and recognizing what children are doing right. It is an overall shift in the school climate to a learning environment where students and staff feel appreciated, safe, and respected; it is a collaborative, proactive, and educative approach. Character education is included in the PBS model.


    Points of Pride
    • Students use individual data sheets to set goals and track their personal progress.
    • Academic Student of the Month Recognition
    • AdvancEd Accredited
    • Restorative Circles to build community
    • Check-n-Connect for all students
    • Student assemblies for student input and information sharing
    • School Wide Level System
    • Monthly PBS Activities


    Special Services & Programs
    • Trauma informed staff with specialized training
    • Sensory Support in classrooms and two Sensory Rooms
    • Positive Behavior Support Level System
    • Additional support is provided if needed in the area of occupational, physical, and speech/language therapy services.
    • Our program includes four full-time social workers, three behavior specialists, nursing services, and a psychologist. Our Reintegration/VE Specialist works to provide opportunities for our students to return to the general education setting.
    • We are a Title l School. Title I funding supports smaller classes, supplemental curriculum, additional staff, parent involvement activities, and technology.


    School Vision:

    100% Student Success-Equity with Excellence for All


    School Mission:

    The mission of Richard L. Sanders is that all students will master the academic, behavioral, and affective skills necessary to grow into successful adults preparing them for college, career, and life. 




    Download the Richard L. Sanders School Brochure (PDF)