The Florida Department of Education (FLDOE) has designated 36 Duval County Public Schools (DCPS) as “Schools of Excellence” for the 2018-19 school year, five more than in 2017-18.
Schools of Excellence now make up nearly 1 in 5 of Duval County’s public schools, which include traditional district and charter schools. As DCPS gets closer and closer to an “A” district grade, this increase reflects the achievement happening every day in our classrooms.
The “Schools of Excellence” program was created in 2016 under House Bill 7069. To be eligible, a school must rank in the 80th percentile or higher for district schools with the same grade levels (i.e. elementary schools) in two of the last three school years. Both traditional public schools and public charter schools can be selected.
Once chosen, a school remains a School of Excellence for three years, and may then be renewed if:
- The school was in the 80th percentile or higher for two of the last three school years, and
- Receive a grade of “A” or “B” in each of the three most recent school years.
A school loses its designation if it earns a “C” or below during the three-year period and the accompanying flexibility described below.
“Schools of Excellence” were created to give high-performing traditional public schools more control over how they operate, similar to the autonomy afforded to public charter schools. Schools of Excellence can:
- Make it easier for teachers to renew their teaching certificates by substituting one year of employment for 20 in-service points;
- Have more flexibility in their curriculum, bypassing 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.
Across the state, there are now Schools of Excellence at 422 elementary schools, 132 middle schools, 106 high schools, and 115 combination schools.
In Duval, these schools are (new additions are in italics):
Fishweir Elementary School
Dinsmore Elementary School
Hogan-Spring Glen Elementary School
Atlantic Beach Elementary School
Hendricks Avenue Elementary School
San Pablo Elementary School
John Stockton Elementary School
River City Science Elementary Academy
J. Allen Axson Elementary School
Jacksonville Beach Elementary School
New Berlin 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
Biscayne Elementary School
Seaside Community Charter 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
Duval Charter High School at Baymeadows
Stanton College Preparatory School
Sandalwood High School
Duval Charter at Baymeadows
Darnell Cookman Middle and High School
Duval Charter School at Flagler Center
River City Science Academy at Mandarin