JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Kids will have another school option to reach their highest level of success in Arlington.
Jacksonville University is partnering with IDEA Public Charter Schools to launch a K-12 school campus.
Schools of Hope legislation is helping fund the campus, and it funds charter schools serving students from one or more persistently low-performing schools, or located in the attendance zone of a persistently low-performing school.
The Action News Jax Sky Vision drone shows an empty field next to Jacksonville University.
It will soon transform into a K-12 school campus welcoming 1,500 students. IDEA Public Charter Schools in Jacksonville bought the 30-acre land and the site will break ground in September.
”This will be the most substantial educational hub in the Jacksonville region,” said Matt Swanson, Vice President of Finance and Business Operations at Jacksonville University.
The campus, known as River Bluff, will feature two schools: a K-5th grade academy and a 6-12th grade college prep school. A spokesperson for IDEA Jacksonville said architects are working on the design now, and the goal is also to include a soccer field and a gym.
In the fall of 2022, it will welcome 500 students in first, second and sixth grades. IDEA will provide them with free technology, transportation and after-school programs.
As those students move up, they’ll add more until all the grades are full.
”I can’t wait until students come through those doors,” said Curtis Lawrence, River Bluff Prep School’s founding principal.
He has experience being a principal and teaching at other IDEA schools, and says his sons are on the fast track to success after learning at IDEA schools as well.
”My oldest son was able to start college on a full scholarship at age 14 and my youngest son, who just started this year as a freshman at George Washington University, is 15,” he said.
Now he’ll help his students find their right college.
”Part of the mandated idea is to visit a minimum of two college campuses each year,” he said.
”It would be great to have a hub over here for the children,” said Barbara, a woman who says she’s lived in Arlington for 20 years.
”Look what’s going on with the problems that they’re having in this area,” she said. “The children need a good education.”
That’s what this learning hub intends to provide.
”When you begin to transform the students, you begin to transform the community,” Lawrence said.
Student enrollment will begin in September, and it will be done by a lottery system.
There will be another IDEA school campus coming to Jacksonville along Bassett Road, which will also open up for the 2022 school year.
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