Duval Discussing Boundary Changes For 17 Schools
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - The Duval County School Board is discussing possible changes to boundaries for future students of 17 schools, but those currently attending won't have to change schools.
The changes will potentially apply to kindergartners, sixth- and ninth-graders who will enroll in the affected schools next year, said Tia Ford, spokeswoman for Duval County Public Schools.
The boundary changes are proposed because some schools are over-utilized and others are under-utilized.
"We have to get more competitive, and I think these programmatic changes allow us to be more competitive," said Superintendent Nikalai Vitti.
According to the district's website, the following schools could be impacted:
- Alimacani Elementary School
- Arlington Elementary School
- Arlington Heights Elementary School
- Atlantic Coast High School
- Eugene J. Butler Young Women's and Young Men's Leadership Academies
- Fort Caroline Elementary School
- GRASP Choice Academy
- Highlands Middle School
- Jean Ribault Middle School
- Jefferson Davis Middle School
- Joseph Stilwell Military Academy of Leadership
- Justina Road Elementary School
- Lake Lucina Elementary School
- Northwestern Middle School
- Richard L. Brown Elementary School
- Sandalwood High School
- Seabreeze Elementary School
Under the proposal, Justina Elementary would be converted to GRASP Academy — a school that specializes in teaching students with dyslexia. Current Justina students would be rezoned with transportation to Arlington, Arlington Heights, Lake Lucina, or Ft. Caroline.
Students will also receive priority option for special transfer to other schools as well as the GRASP program, if they meet criteria.
District officials said if the boundary changes are approved, they want to minimize the disruption to students.
Parents will also have other options than going to the newly designated neighborhood school. They could apply for their child to get into a magnet school — they have until Feb. 27 to apply. They could also apply for a special transfer to a school that offers programs like dual languages, performing arts or marine sciences. That deadline is May 15.
Parent Brooke Shoemo thinks the specialized programs will be an excellent opportunity for her daughter.
"It's great. I feel like if the kids have an opportunity to learn better and they have somebody that can do one on one with them, then that's good," Shoemo said.
A public hearing on the changes was held Monday night, where parents could discuss their thoughts about the issue. An official vote to decide on the boundaries is scheduled for Feb. 9.
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