schools

Masks aren’t the only thing the Broward County school district and state education leaders can’t agree on.

The second-largest school district in the state, which is among the largest in the nation, is also fighting with the Florida Department of Education over federal stimulus money designed to help schools beat back COVID-19.

Carol Basilio, right, greets her daughter Giovanna, 4, left, outside of iPrep Academy on the first day of school, Monday, Aug. 23, 2021, in Miami.
Lynne Sladky / Associated Press

More than 30 Democratic state lawmakers, including Rep. Angie Nixon of Jacksonville, have signed a letter urging Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis to apply for a federal program that would provide $820 million to help feed low-income children.

Florida School Districts Tackle Staffing Challenges

Sep 10, 2021

Hosting hiring fairs, shifting resources and shuttering schools are some of the measures school district officials are taking as they grapple with shortages in crucial staffing positions amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Since the school year began nearly a month ago, a growing number of school districts have gotten creative to address a shortage of bus drivers, cafeteria workers and other support staff.

Judge Rules Florida School Districts Can Require Masks Immediately

Sep 8, 2021
disposable mask
News Service of Florida

A Leon County circuit judge on Wednesday again blocked Gov. Ron DeSantis’ executive order that seeks to bar school mask mandates, giving at least a temporary victory to parents challenging the order.

AP Photo/Marta Lavandier, File

Some Nassau County parents are taking matters into their own hands when it comes to tracking the number of COVID-19 cases in their children’s classrooms.

Can A Duval Student Ask To Sit Away From One Who's Unmasked? District Says 'No'

Aug 20, 2021
Chris O'Meara / AP

More than 8,000 students have opted out of wearing masks within Duval County Public Schools within the second week of school — a small number representing only about 6.5 percent of the 125,000 students on campus. But teachers say the numbers are disproportionately dispersed classroom-to-classroom.

Palm Beach County, Fla., has asked 440 students to quarantine just two days into the school year, after 51 students and faculty had confirmed cases on COVID-19.

Vouchers, Lawsuit Ratchet Up Florida School Mask Debate

Aug 6, 2021

TALLAHASSEE --- The State Board of Education approved an emergency rule Friday that will allow students who experience what officials labeled COVID-19 “harassment” to use state-backed vouchers to transfer to private schools or to move to different public schools or districts.

The rule, proposed by the Department of Education, was approved on the same day that the Florida Department of Health set new guidelines for COVID-19 protocols that would shield students from being mandated to wear masks.

Over 700 COVID Cases Tied To Florida School Reopenings; 24 In Duval

Aug 25, 2020
Bob Self / The Florida Times-Union

Twenty-four Duval County public and private school community members have contracted COVID-19 since school started, WJCT News partner The Florida Times-Union reported.

Giving Closet Project

A former Jacksonville teacher is stepping up to help students experiencing hardships.

Former Nassau County Principal Hired, Fired, Hired In 1-Month Span

Mar 21, 2018
Via News4Jax

A former Nassau County principal who resigned last month after officials said he admitted to taking money from Fernandina Beach High School and who recently got fired from Duval County Public Schools has been hired by a private school in Clay County.

Study Points To 'Resegregation' Of Some Florida Schools

Sep 28, 2017
Lindy Buckley / Flickr Commons

Although Florida is becoming a more racially diverse state, its public-school system is becoming more segregated, a new study from the LeRoy Collins Institute shows.

News4Jax

A social studies teacher at Lake Shore Middle School was suspended without pay Monday after school officials learned he allowed his students to kiss and expose body parts during a game of Truth or Dare during class in May.

Allie George / WJCT News

The St. Johns County School District recently expanded its realm to include post-secondary education with the acquisition of First Coast Technical College.

Last Friday, the district took over administrative and operational duties after the college agreed to relieve itself of its charter status and its former president of her duties.

According to its website, the school had originally been under the direction of the St. Johns County School Board, but became a conversion charter school in 1999.

announcement
Liz Morgan PR

Two Duval County high schools with predominantly low-income students are getting a federal grant that’s changing the curriculum for incoming freshmen. Duval Superintendent Nikolai Vitti says the three-year award will allow Ed White and Andrew Jackson High Schools to offer emotional and social training alongside reading and math. Vitti says the grant is sure help the schools build on their recent double-digit graduation rate gains. 

Duval County Public Schools

Next month, more than $6 million in grants will go before the Duval County Public School Board for approval, and about $3.8 million will go towards support services for 37 struggling schools in Duval’s Urban Core.

Rhema Thompson

The Duval County District 4 School Board race was expected to be a close one, but it quickly became clear Tuesday that voters wanted to keep incumbent Paula Wright in office.

With 53 percent of the votes from the 32 precincts of District 4, Paula Wright will keep her seat as School Board Member.

After months of aggressive campaigning, countless community appearances and posters, it only took about 30 minutes after polls closed for the primary celebrations to begin.

Rhema Thompson / WJCT

On Thursday, August 14 at 8 p.m., WJCT-TV and 89.9 FM in partnership with News4Jax will simulcast a First Coast Forum program examining the school to prison pipeline. This report is a preview of that discussion.

On a recent morning just a few weeks before school starts, teachers gather in Atlantic Coast High School for CHAMPS training.

“You do have expectations for behavior for your kids when they come to the carpet; every teacher does,” one instructor tells the others. “All you have to do is wrap it up for us in this acronym.”

Rhema Thompson / WJCT

Seventeen-year-old Kioni Campbell can remember when he tried one of the challenges.

Brad Flickinger / Flickr

In a move toward another big change in the district, the school board took the first step toward a multi-million dollar effort to boot up technology in schools across the district this week.

Rhema Thompson / WJCT

This week marks a milestone for many high school seniors across Duval County: Graduation.

The Florida Senate narrowly passed a bill Friday giving school districts sole control over selecting textbooks and curricula and taking that power away from the state education department. The local-selection option has been available to school districts since last year, but none of them has chosen it so far.

The Senate passed the bill 21- 19, with five Republicans siding with Democrats in voting no. Sen. Alan Hays (R- Umatilla) says his bill is for parents.

Duval County Public Schools

The Duval County School Board explored two additions to Superintendent Nikolai Vitti’s unprecedented open enrollment proposal Thursday.

Duval County Public Schools / YouTube

More than a dozen Duval County principals learned Monday that they’ll be finishing the week in a different school or position than they began.

Duval County Public Schools

Duval County Public Schools is ringing in its 150th birthday with a new look.

(UPDATE) Stolen Hawthorne School Buses Found, Linked To Jax Tour Operator

Nov 19, 2013
Leah Harding / WUFT News

In the end, the school buses stolen in Alachua and Flagler counties earlier this school year essentially just switched places.

Wikimedia Commons

At a meeting Tuesday evening, the Duval County School Board signaled they will vote Friday on whether to begin the process of renaming Jacksonville's N.B. Forrest High School.

A recent online petition renewed debate on the name, which first belonged to Confederate Army officer and founding leader of the Ku Klux Klan, Nathan Bedford Forrest.

Forrest High isn't the only school in Jacksonville named for a local or national luminary; 13 of the district's 21 high schools have personal namesakes. Here's what we found out about them.

Marissa Alexander back in court, Fresh Market confirmed for Riverside, and Sanford banning guns for neighborhood watch members are in the headlines today.

U.S. Department of Agriculture

Kids in more than half of Duval County Public Schools can now get free breakfast and lunch whether their families qualify for public assistance or not. 

This year, more than 80 public schools in Duval County Public Schools are serving students breakfast and lunch free of charge.  The program is called the Community Eligibility Provision, or CEP.

According to Mark Dingee with the district’s food service, schools that qualify for CEP must have at least 40 percent of kids coming from families that receive Food Stamps or Welfare. 

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