James Jacobs
What are your priorities for the district in the coming year? Why and how did you select these issues? 

My first priority is to be a consistent presence in district 3 schools! One of my main priorities this year will be establishing school safety for our students, teachers, faculty and staff! So that every student will have an environment conducive to learning in district 3 schools.

I chose these issues due to years of hands on experience working in the trenches on our school system since April 2001-present. 

School board members are elected to represent not only the interests of the schools located in their district, but also the school system as a whole. In the past, this has at times led to conflict among board members. What is your philosophy on this issue?

My philosophy as an athletic coach is Team work and communication amongst co-workers! What would you do to keep cohesiveness and communication among school board members? I feel that having the willingness to listen and agree to disagree while understanding the big picture and that we are here to aid and assist our students, teachers, faculty and staff be all they can be. 

What would you do to improve communication and strengthen your relationships between the schools, parents and community members, especially when a new program or policy is introduced?

I believe keeping our schools, parents, and Community updated so by working and communicating with board members and the superintendent on any changes that will directly effect everyone. I strongly believe in monthly forums to keep our community engaged when it comes to changes in our school system.

In addition to voting for school board members, members of our community will also vote on a half-penny sales tax referendum to fund an extensive capital facilities plan in November. Do you support the referendum and capital plan, and how do you plan to engage with it as a school board candidate and member?

As someone who has worked in our school system since 2001-present I've seen the conditions of our schools, so yes I'm in favor and will vote yes for the half-penny sales tax referendum to fund an extensive capital facilities plan in November. Our schools are dramatically due for upgrading! Especially with the Corona Virus now part of our world! We need the upgrading to prevent the spreading of germs amongst our student, teachers, Faculty and staff.

Over the last few years, the Legislature has had a big impact on local public education. What are your top issues at the state level, and how would you work with legislators in Tallahassee to represent the needs of our students?

One of the top issues that effects our schools is our teachers being highly underpaid. 2nd Teachers do not have enough time to teach properly due to the politics which effects the testing for our students and teachers. Again I am to be engaged working with our legislators to make things better for schools as a whole. There are so many educational legislatures that's needs attention to better serve our schools.

Duval County, like districts across the country, has a teacher recruitment and retention problem. How do you think our district can address this shortage?

I strongly feel we need to find away to waive or pay for teachers certification tests. I believe this will attract and raise the morale for educators to continue and pursue a long career as a educator. 

As Duval County has made great progress in education, there are still students who are falling behind. How would you keep a focus on addressing inequities in student performance and supporting schools in low-income neighborhoods? 

First and foremost we have to focus on the truancy issues we have in our schools! We have a part-time truancy dept that try's to cover many schools with 3-5 truancy officers. We need to advance our truancy dept from part-time to full-time truancy officers that way counselors can track students performance if they are in school. Lastly if the students are not in school that becomes the challenge for all schools. There has to be a focus on our students to get caught up due to truancy behavioral issues or home issues.

The most viable part that would help is developing more after school programs in schools in our low-income neighborhoods which would surely help track the performance of our students.



Upcoming Event

Applications Due for the Cindy Edelman Excellence in Teaching Fellowship

  • Date: Sunday, Feb 21, 2021
  • Time: 11:59PM to 11:59PM
  • Where: Online Application
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of public schools in Duval County earned an "A," "B," or "C" in 2018-2019.