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Looking back, looking ahead

With so much happening in Duval County Public Schools, it's easy to miss some of the accomplishments from last year and upcoming initiatives. Here are a few recent important developments that caught our attention:

  • The Voluntary Prekindergarten (VPK) program at the district expanded for the 2013-2014 school year to 49 schools and 89 classrooms serving approximately 1,450 students from 1,200 students in 33 schools and 58 classrooms in 2012-2013. Click here to learn more about how the students who participated in the district's VPK program received high scores.

  • The district announced this week that it had the highest single-year gain in a decade in its Advanced Placement (AP) scores, representing a 28 percent increase in the pass rate from the previous school year. Overall, 37 percent of Duval County students passed their AP Exams (meaning they had a score of a 3, 4 or 5).

  • Also made public this week, Duval County Public Schools will be one of 60 school districts participation in a nation-wide effort championed by President Obama called My Brother's Keeper. You can learn more about it in this story in The Florida Times-Union.

  • When the school year starts on August 18, Eugene J. Butler Middle will be two schools - with single-gender classrooms for young men and women. The leadership magnet schools will aim to build and strengthen academic offerings, as well as increase student engagement and learning. Click here to learn more.

What developments are you most excited about in the upcoming school year?

- Ale'ta Turner