At its meeting on February 2, the Duval County School Board elected to implement a series of five programmatic and boundary changes, beginning this coming fall, in time for the 2016-17 school year. The schools affected are Ed White High; Wolfson High; Hyde Grove and Hyde Park Elementaries; Oak Hill Elementary and Ft. Caroline Middle School.
The changes are designed to allow the district to better compete in a strong school choice environment by creating attractive programs for students and families. All of the proposals were unanimously supported by the Jacksonville Public Education Fund Board of Directors.
The specific changes include:
- Ed White High School (approved 7-0) — would be converted to a whole-school military leadership magnet program, beginning with 9th grade in the 2016-17 school year.
- Samuel Wolfson High School (approved 7-0) — would be converted to a dedicated Advanced International Studies and Leadership magnet program. All of the existing programs, such as AVID, JROTC, and the finance/law academies will remain at the school and be integrated under the IB theme. Changes would begin with 9th grade in the 2016-17 school year.
- Hyde Grove and Hyde Park Elementary Schools (Approved 5-2) — These two schools, which are about a mile apart from each other physically, will be combined, with Hyde Grove becoming a K-2nd grade school and Hyde Park becoming a 3rd-6th grade school. The changes will be made immediately in the 2016-17 school year, and present 5th graders will have the opportunity to opt-in as 6th graders.
- Oak Hill Elementary School (Approved 7-0) — This school will be converted into a dedicated center for students with Autism, where students districtwide could opt-in to specialized services at the school beginning in the 2016-17 school year. Existing students would be rezoned to Gregory Drive, Jacksonville Heights, and Cedar Hills Elementary Schools.
- Fort Caroline Middle School (Approved 4-3) — This school will be turned into a dedicated IB World/Visual Performing Arts Academy, beginning immediately in the 2016-17 school year. The district intends to apply for a federal grant program to pay for $5 million cost to convert the school building, and to phase in the program if the grant is not awarded to the district. Current Fort Caroline Middle School students will be consolidated into two higher performing middle schools, Arlington Middle and Landmark Middle.