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charter schools

School of Integrated Academics Tech
SOS Academy - Middle
SOS Academy - High*
Wayman Academy of the Arts
Pathways Academy

What are they? Who do they serve?

In 1996, Florida Legislature authorized charter schools as part of the state’s program of public education (Ch. 96-186, Laws of Florida). The legislature authorized the creation of charter schools to improve student learning, increase teaching innovation, provide students and parents more choice, increase accountability, and provide competition within the public school system.

Charter schools are publicly funded, nonsectarian schools that operate under a contract (charter) with the Duval County School Board. A governing board, appointed or selected, manages them; charter schools are open to all students but the majority of Duval County Public Charter Schools target at-risk students.

Charter schools are funded like other public schools in Florida, receiving funds based on the number of full-time equivalent (FTE) students enrolled. In addition, charter schools are eligible to receive fixed capital outlay funding based on their enrollment and number of student stations. The legislature appropriated $27.7 million dollars of the public Education Capital Outlay and Debt Service Trust Funds for charter school facility and construction maintenance in 2001-2002 year.

An insert provides a listing of charter schools currently operating in Duval County. It includes the name of the principal, telephone number, address, and the grade levels that the school serves. Below are answers to commonly asked questions regarding charter school enrollment.

Charter school registration and bus transportation:

  1. Parents must register the child at the charter school the student wishes to attend by completing the application for the school. Application forms are located at the charter school.
  2. Parents must provide a copy the current report card. Parents of kindergarten students should call the charter school for enrollment requirements.
  3. Students will be placed in the grade to which the student was promoted.
  4. Contact the individual school regarding the availability of bus transportation.

If you need additional information, please call Gary Bryan at 390-2039, or visit the Duval School Board Administration Building, 1701 Prudential Drive, second Floor, in the Magnet/Charter School Office.

How do Charter Schools Differ from Traditional Public Schools?

Traditional Public Schools Charter Public Schools
  • Publicly funded and publicly operated.
  • The district determines the curriculum while adhering to state and federal guidelines.
  • Governed by the Duval County School Board.
  • Accept all students who are school age.
  • Teachers are certified by the State of Florida Department of Education.
  • Students must meet state and local graduation requirements.
  • Must abide by all state statutes and the Florida School Code.
  • No limit to student enrollment but certain restrictions may apply.
  • Free/reduced lunch is available.
  • Students are governed by a Code of Student Conduct.
  • The public charter school may be privately operated but publicly funded.
  • The charter determines the curriculum and instructional strategies but must adhere to state and district guidelines regarding course requirements.
  • Charter Schools have an appointed/selected Governing Board.
  • Charter Schools serve the general population and at-risk students. At-risk students may be identified as:
    • Students who have not been successful in the traditional setting;
    • Students who may not test very well;
    • Students with a 2.0 or below on a 4.0 scale;
    • Students who are at risk of academic failure;
    • Students who may not be grade and/or age appropriate;
    • Students who may have behavioral problems.
  • Teachers are certified by the State of Florida Department of Education.
  • Students must meet state graduation requirements.
  • Charter schools are deregulated and are exempt from most state statutes.
  • Exceptions:
    • Those pertaining to civil rights and student health, safety, and welfare.
    • Public records inspections
    • Public meetings
  • Students may attend any charter school but each school has an enrollment cap.
  • Free/reduced lunch is available for eligible students.
  • The charter school determines discipline policies and procedures.

Charter School Application Process

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