Fort Caroline Middle School would become an arts school, and Ed White High would become a military magnet under recommendations the Duval County superintendent endorsed Tuesday.
The conversion of many urban core schools into magnets was recommended by community groups who’ve been working over the past month. Vitti wants to tackle low enrollment and underperformance at the schools.
Vitti had tasked the working groups with accepting his proposed changes or providing different solutions.
“I have no ego connected to any of the recommendations,” Vitti said. My recommendations were the initial thought in overcoming those challenges, but I look forward to the feedback from the community because they could be better than mine.”
The groups agreed to convert Oak Hill Elementary into an autistic center, Ed White High into a military magnet and Wolfson into an International Studies and executive leadership magnet, all Vitti’s recommendations along with splitting Hyde Grove and Hyde Park Elementaries into separate grades Pre-K-2 and grades 3-5 schools.
Groups rejected Vitti’s proposals to convert Stilwell Middle School into an arts school and Ft. Caroline Middle into a young men's leadership academy, saying it should be a dedicated visual and performing arts magnet. Vitti okayed their recommendations.
School Board member Connie Hall says she needs more information before moving forward to vote, like transportation costs and curriculums associated with the changes.
“We would hate to commit to something that after the fact we find out it’s a huge mistake,” Hall said. “‘Why didn’t we think about this? Why didn’t we know the impact of that?’”
Vitti has agreed to provide more information next week. Communities will be engaged about Vitti’s recommendations before a board vote in February. Five working groups are still meeting about changes to other schools.