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Twenty-Seven Duval County Public Schools Chosen for “Schools of Excellence” Award

Strong schools provide the foundation for a strong community, which is why it is important to Jacksonville that Duval public schools continue to be honored by the Florida Department of Education (FLDOE). By demonstrating student achievement, several of our public schools were selected by the FLDOE as “Schools of Excellence.” This program was created under House Bill 7069 (HB 7069) in an effort to make it easier for highly successful schools to operate. To be eligible, a school had to receive a grade of A or B in each of three most recent school years and rank in the 80th percentile or higher for their school type for at least two of the three past school years. Once chosen, a school remains a School of Excellence for three years, and may then be renewed.

Upon designation as a School of Excellence, a school has flexibility with major state education rules, allowing it to:

  • Substitute one year of employment at a School of Excellence for 20 in-service points toward certificate renewal;
  • Bypass state requirements that require a minimum period of daily or weekly reading instruction;
  • Determine start and end times for the school day that are separate from school district policies and procedures;
  • Have more principal autonomy over personnel management, including hiring, and budget decisions; and
  • Calculate class size based on the schoolwide average instead of a classroom count.

347 elementary, 116 middle, 96 high, and 84 combination schools across the state of Florida qualified for the distinction. In Duval, these schools are:

  • Fishweir Elementary School
  • Dinsmore Elementary School
  • Atlantic Beach Elementary School
  • Hendricks Avenue Elementary School
  • San Pablo Elementary School
  • John Stockton Elementary School
  • J. Allen Axson Elementary School
  • Jacksonville Beach Elementary School
  • Bartram Springs Elementary
  • Seabreeze Elementary School
  • Kernan Trail Elementary School
  • Chimney Lakes Elementary School
  • Sabal Palm Elementary School
  • Neptune Beach Elementary School
  • Alimacani Elementary School
  • Mandarin Oaks Elementary School
  • Chets Creek Elementary School
  • Kirby-Smith Middle School
  • Julia Landon College Preparatory & Leadership Development School
  • Duncan U. Fletcher Middle School
  • James Weldon Johnson College Preparatory Middle School
  • LaVilla School of the Arts
  • Paxon School of Advanced Studies
  • Douglas Anderson School of the Arts
  • Stanton College Preparatory School
  • Duval Charter at Baymeadows
  • Darnell Cookman Middle and High School

The complete list of the selected Florida schools is available for elementary schools, middle schools, high schools, and combination schools

This Wednesday, October 18, at 9:00 am, the Florida State Board of Education will hold its meeting in Jacksonville at Florida State College at Jacksonville, Advanced Technology Center, Room T140/41, located at 401 West State Street. During the meeting, the Board will review and vote on the list of Schools of Excellence. It is also expected to name up to 25 schools chosen to receive $2,000 per student toward turnaround plans under HB 7069’s controversial “Schools of Hope” program. 93 Florida schools are eligible, including five in Duval County: Arlington Heights Elementary School, Arlington Middle School, George Washington Carver Elementary, Gregory Drive Elementary School, and Ramona Boulevard Elementary School. Read more about HB 7069 “Schools of Hope” and how some are concerned about the effect of the school district’s participation in the multi-district lawsuit against the state here. We will provide an update following the Board’s announcement so check back next week.