Starting next year, Jacksonville parents who want their children's education to be grounded in the classics can send them to two new charter schools.
Jacksonville Classical Academy, just west of Downtown, and Cornerstone Classical on St. Johns Bluff Road, promise what Jacksonville Classical Head of School David Withun calls a language-rich environment where students learn cursive handwriting in second grade, and Latin in Middle School.
“We’re sort of returning to some of the traditional methods for how to teach reading. So we start with phonics. And then when students acquire that reading fluency — and they do by first grade — they’re reading and memorizing poetry,” said Withun.
The literature that students read also dovetails with what they’re learning in their history classes.
“Students are studying Ancient Egypt in first grade and they’re reading some of the fairy tales of Ancient Egypt in their literature class,” said Withun.
The tuition-free charters are currently taking applications for students entering kindergarten through 6th grade in the fall of 2020. Grades will be added each year until the schools include 12th grade.
The first period of open enrollment runs through the end of December. If more students apply than there are spaces in each grade, they will be entered into a lottery.