As an operations member of the Jacksonville Public Education Fund team, I spend most of each day at my desk, working on human resource tasks, accounting questions, and our engagement database. So, yesterday was a special treat for me: I abandoned my desk and visited Wolfson High School through the Discover Duval Schools program.
When I arrived at the school, I texted my coworker, Maira, to ask where I should go. Her response informed me that the program would take place in the "Courtroom." I was certain that this was a case of smart phone auto correct - a "courtroom," really? It turns out, there actually is a courtroom inside Wolfson High School. It is a part of the school's law magnate program. During the visit, guests had the privilege of watching students participate in a mock trial.
Wolfson High School is also the site of a fully operational branch of the VyStar Credit Union, which is a part of its financial magnate program. We arrived at the bank as they were getting ready to open. One of the tellers told us that the program provided her with invaluable lessons in financial literacy. Students in the program share this knowledge with their peers in classroom presentations.
Students who are not enrolled in either the magnet programs have the opportunity to take some of the classes in their elective coursework.
Wolfson High School engages about 300 cadets through its Army JROTC program. Cadets have titles that mirror the hierarchy of the army and they learn responsibility, discipline and respect for authority. As guests, we had the privilege of watching impressive performances from two drill teams, each comprised of two cadets who executed their drill with focus. Our presenter spoke with a poise well beyond any expectations I have for a high school student. A graduating senior, she was recently accepted to Embry Riddle in Daytona.
Additionally, Wolfson High School is one of five schools in Duval County with an International Baccalaureate program. Although the program is for Juniors and Seniors, Wolfson accepts students into a pre-IB program, which puts students into Honors and Advanced Placement classes from the start. Not only does this prepare students for the rigors of the IB program, it also gives them the opportunity to earn college credit through AP classes as early as 9th grade. While it certainly includes rigorous academics, the IB program also seeks to develop students into civic-minded people through community service projects. Students who successfully complete the program receive an internationally recognized diploma. In this first IB graduating class at Wolfson, at least one student has been accepted into a post-secondary school in Europe.