Updated: Contract Renewals Approved For Several Duval Charter Schools

Mar 3, 2017

Credit Lindsey Kilbride / WJCT News

Updated:8:15 p.m.

The Duval County School Board approved contract renewals for several charter schools without discussion, Tuesday. 

The schools include KIPP Voice Elementary, Mycroschool of Integrated Academies and Technologies, S.O.C.K Outstanding Students Academy and Waverly Academy. 

Original Post

The Duval County School Board will vote Tuesday on renewing several Duval County charter school contracts.

Charter schools are free public schools, but privately run. The school district doesn’t have a say on teachers or curriculum.

KIPP Voice Elementary School

KIPP Elementary received a D last year.  Because of its grade, Superintendent Nikolai  Vitti is recommending the school’s contract be renewed for three years instead of the five the school is asking for.

Vitti said KIPP isn’t outperforming surrounding schools. Biltmore and Reynolds Lane elementary schools have C and D grades, respectively.

The school opened five years ago, adding a grade level each year. The school serves just under 500 K-4 students this year.

Mycroschool of Integrated Academies and Technologies

Mycroschool is an alternative high school serving students who are behind a grade level or more.

This past year, about a third of its students graduated within four years of entering high school. Vitti said while graduation rate is important, it’s not the only factor educators should focus on.

“I think we have to be realistic with the students that are being served and that four years may not be possible considering how far behind a student is,” he said. “What I’m more focused on is improvement year after year.”

Mycroschool’s graduation rate is up to 31 percent — from 17 percent in 2012 — and has the highest rate of Duval’s four alternative charters. Vitti is recommending a five-year contract. But last month in a board workshop, Board Chair Paula right said five years might be too long.

S.O.C.K Outstanding Students Academy

Vitti is recommending just a one-year renewal for SOS Academy middle school, which opened in 1997.

It’s received a D grade two years in a row and has received several D and F grades since it’s opening. The school serves about 160 students.

During the workshop, some school board members questioned if the school’s contract should be renewed at all.

“How long do we let them keep on,” board member Becki Couch said.

Waverly Academy

Waverly Academy is up for a two-year contract renewal, although school officials requested five years.

Waverly middle school is an all-girls academy and received a C last year. Nearby middle school options include Jeb Stuart Middle School, with a C grade, and Jefferson Davis Middle School, with a D.

Reporter Lindsey Kilbride can be reached at lkilbride@wjct.org, 904-358-6359 or on Twitter at @lindskilbride.