• What you need to know about Duval County's school choice applications

    By: Brittney Donovan , Action News Jax

    Updated:

    Many Jacksonville parents are in the process of choosing the right schools for their children.

    Thousands of those parents came to Duval County's School Choice Expo on Saturday.

    “Very crowded,” Tisha Lawson said. “It's a lot to offer for the kids. We went straight to the high school section.” 

    Lawson's daughter, Jaliyah, will be a freshman in high school next year. Like many parents, Lawson and her husband are new to the school choice program.

    “Coming from private school to public school, just want to make sure everything is in line,” Dante Lawson said.

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    The first step -- is creating a parent/guardian account. This year, all applications for magnet placement and special transfer options are online. The deadline for both is Feb. 28.

    Administrators were on hand at the expo Saturday, helping parents register for the accounts. 

    Parents then walked up and down aisles of offerings for their children, from courses in public safety and firefighting to business and finance studies.

    “At the end of the day, if we can find that program or that class that really speaks to that student then they’re going to be more engaged and ultimately take responsibility for their own learning,” Superintendent Diana Greene said. 

    Duval County Public Schools is urging parents to tour schools and learn more about programs online. A thorough guidebook is posted on their website.

    Superintendent Greene said DCPS will have even more options for students in the coming years.

    A brand-new teaching academy is expected to open next year for students who want to go into the field of teaching.

    “They can start these programs, possibly say, 'This is what I want to do for my career,' and now they have a head start,” Greene said. 

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