James Weldon Johnson College Prep
|James Weldon Johnson College Preparatory Middle School|
|3276 Norman E Thagard Boulevard
|Motto||"In the spirit of excellence"|
|School district||Duval County Public Schools|
|Faculty||64 (on FTE basis)|
|Grades||6 to 8|
|Student to teacher ratio||20:1 |
|Color(s)||Green, White and Black|
James Weldon Johnson, College Preparatory School for the Gifted and Academically Talented is located in downtown Jacksonville, Florida, USA. It goes from sixth grade to the eight similar to any other middle school in its area with the exception of Darnell Cookman located a couple miles toward the center of Jacksonville. The school was created in honor of American author, politician, diplomat, critic, journalist, poet, anthologist, educator, lawyer, songwriter, and early civil rights activist. James Weldon Johnson. He was the principal of an all black high school which is located less than 10 miles away from the school. It has now been integrated and now joins James Weldon and Darnell Cookman among the well-respected magnet schools in Jacksonville. James Weldon Johnson College Preparatory Middle School, the academically gifted and talented college prep middle school, began in August 1990 as the only college prep middle school in Duval County. Since then, the school has been a beacon of light for students seeking a rigorous academic program. The school was envisioned to reflect Weldon's interests by hosting electives and after school activities that he enjoyed. Some of these included Creative writing and Civil Rights. As of 2009[update], the school has over 1,108 students, and had an instructional staff of 63. The school's colors are green, black, grey, and white, and the school mascot is a Trojan. The school is a dedicated magnet for advanced studies and gifted students. There are also many extra curricular activities and sports.
The current principal is Sharwonda Peek. After the 2010–2011 school year James Weldon Johnson Middle School was relocated to the site of the Paxon Middle School Facility.
James Weldon Johnson has been through many changes. It served middle grades six through nine before becoming a junior high school. Then in 1995, the school was turned into a neighborhood middle school. Just five years later, the school changed from a neighborhood school to a dedicated magnet school serving academically talented and gifted students from throughout Duval County. James Weldon has consistently been one of the best middle schools in the state. It has been rated an A+ school for every year of its existence. James Weldon Johnson students frequently take honors in academic competitions on a local, state and national level. Students have finished in the state finals in the state science fair, the state history fair. Students from James Weldon Johnson have represented the region at the national SECME .
College Preparatory Magnet
James Weldon hosts a College Prep program, in addition to its Gifted and Academically Talented Program. It was an innovative idea and a great opportunity for children all over the city of Jacksonville to make it college Preparatory. Therefore student could learn on a level higher that their own and receive high school credits, community service hours and early scholar ships and opportunities to be on waiting lists of colleges of their choice. James Weldon Johnson Middle School and high school is now James Weldon Johnson School College Preparatory School for the Gifted and Academically Talented. (JWJ) The Gifted Program and Academically Talented Program will remain, but acceptance will be limited due to the rising number of students to be accepted into the magnet program. In addition to its middle school component, the school will be expanded to include a high school program for the medical magnet program. James Weldon today is going through a controversy. Edward Waters College located behind the school demands their property. So JWJ will soon move to the Location of Paxon and Paxon will move eugene bulter middle school which currently hold 330 students.
Clubs and sports
There are many sports in James Weldon Johnson. The popular sport is football which captivates almost the entire school for every home game. Overall, the school has swimming team, boy's football team, boy's and girl's soccer team, boy's and girl's basketball team, boy's baseball team, girl's softball team, Cheerleading, a girl's volleyball team a girls track team, and a boy track team. Only seventh and eighth graders are allowed to participate in these sports Some clubs that are open to all grades are Student Government, and Science and Speech Forensics. The school's drama club competes at La Villa School of the Arts every December.
JWJ represents itself in many ways. One popular way is the Barnes & Noble night. A fundraising attempt used to raise money from the school, all the purchases made that night will go to the school. This is also a way to showcase different clubs one of the most prominent ones being Drama, and to share the ideas and opinions of the students in our Soapbox Corner. Spirit Weeks are another fun thing for the students The Pep Rally is brief but always exciting. This is a way to showcase our sports teams and recognize our school band. And a way to announce the results of our school election (always anticipating, always disappointing when you lose). Recently the school has decided to move into the building of Paxon Middle School, but its name will remain after hundreds of students signed the "Keep James Weldon Johnson Strong" petition this year. The girls soccer team has been undeafeted 3 years in a row.
JWJ College Prep is known for its significant diversity. In the beginning of the school, the race was strictly African American. Whites slowly diffused into the population. Now there are an abundance of Black, White, Asian, South American, Hispanic, and many more.
- Weldon Johnson_2.pdf Darnell Cookman Middle School, Duval County — 2002 Case study by Florida School Report (PDF)
- Research and evaluation data — Duval County Public Schools
- James Weldon Johnson Greatschools.com
- 2005 Annual Yearly Progress report card — Florida Department of Education
- U.S. Dept of Ed.
-  — James Weldon Johnson Official website