Alachua County Public Schools

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  (Redirected from Howard Bishop Middle School)
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Alachua County Public Schools
School Board of Alachua County (emblem), 2021.png
Location
620 E University Ave, Gainesville, FL [1]

United States
District information
TypeLocal school district
GradesPre-K through 12
SuperintendentCarlee Simon[2]
Schools64
NCES District ID4807890[3]
Students and staff
Students29,845
Teachers1,532 [1]
Student–teacher ratio19.47 [1]
Other information
Websitesbac.edu

Alachua County Public Schools is a public school district serving Alachua County in North Central Florida. It serves approximately 29845 students in 64 schools and centers.[1]

The district is governed by the School Board of Alachua County, which is made up of five board members elected at large who serve staggered, four-year terms.

In 2015, the district's average SAT score of 1620 was the highest in the state of Florida and above the national average.[4] The districtwide passing rate on Advanced Placement exams was 63%, higher than state, national and global passing rates on the exams,[4] which reflect college-level material. Five of the district's six traditional high schools were ranked on The Washington Post's 2015 High School Challenge Index,[5] placing them among the top high schools in the nation. The district also received the What Parents Want Award from SchoolMatch, the nation's largest school selection consulting firm.[6] About 16% of school districts nationwide receive the award each year.

The district offers a number of magnet programs for gifted/talented students at the elementary, middle and high school levels. It also has thirteen career-tech high school magnet programs in fields such as healthcare, biotechnology, culinary arts and emergency services.

There are approximately 4,000 employees of Alachua County Public Schools. About half of them are teachers. Each school has a nurse on campus full-time. School resource officers/deputies are also assigned to all schools.

History[edit]

The Alachua County Board of Public Instruction was established in 1869. Prior to that year there had been no publicly supported schools in the county. The Board of County Commissioners had provided for the payment of tuition to private schools for students whose families could not afford the tuition, but few families were willing to be seen as paupers and receive the aid. In 1866 the state-supported East Florida Seminary, which had been in Ocala until it closed early in the Civil War, was re-opened in Gainesville using the facilities of the private Gainesville Academy. The next year the Union Academy, a school for African-Americans sponsored by the Freedmen's Bureau, opened in Gainesville. By 1870 there were 22 schools in Alachua County, each with its own board of trustees. The schools were integrated, and therefore unpopular with most of the white population. Funding was low and the schools were poorly equipped and short of qualified teachers.[7][8]

The Compromise of 1877, which marked the end of Reconstruction, left the Alachua County school system under the control of white Democrats. A segregated public school system was established, with most of the available resources going to white schools. The change in control of the schools brought a cut in spending, and the school year for county supported schools, which had been five months long, was reduced to three months. The Union Academy, however, remained in session for six months a year, and then operated another two months as a normal school training African-American teachers.[9][7]

For a number of years public schools in Alachua County met in old houses or other rented spaces. The first building in the county erected specifically for use as a district school was in Gainesville in 1885. The Gainesville Graded and High School was built in 1900. With additions over the years, it has been known as Eastside Elementary and Kirby Smith Elementary. The building eventually became the administrative headquarters of the school district, designated the Kirby Smith Center, and since 2017, the Alachua County Public Schools District Office.[10]

The high school classes of the Gainesville Graded and High School moved to a new building, designated as Gainesville High School, in 1923. That same year the Lincoln School opened, replacing the Reconstruction-era Union Academy. Gainesville High School was moved to a new building in 1955. Gainesville High School was integrated in 1970 and Lincoln High School was closed, leaving Gainesville High School as the only high school in Gainesville.[11][12]

In northwestern Alachua County a school was opened in 1895 in the new community of Alachua. A new building for the school opened in 1901. Over the next few years schools in the neighboring communities of Newnansville, Haynsworth, Greenleaf, Hague, Gracy, Perseverance, Spring Hill, Santa Fe, Bland and LaCrosse were closed and the students moved to the Alachua school. In 1917 the high school classes were moved to a new building. In 1955 Alachua High School was combined with High Springs High School as Santa Fe High School.[13]

Desegregation[edit]

Public schools in Alachua County were racially segregated from the end of Reconstruction in 1877. In response to the ruling of the U.S. Supreme Court in Brown v. Board of Education, the Alachua County Public Schools Board was ordered by the courts to operate a freedom of choice system starting in 1964, when there were eleven all-black schools in the district. In 1969 there were still eight all-black and three all-white schools in the district. That year the U.S. Supreme Court decided, in Alexander v. Holmes County Board of Education, that public schools must be immediately fully desegregated. A district appeals court order established a biracial committee to advise the school board on a plan for desegregation. When the school board refused to forward the committee's recommended plan to the courts, the committee submitted it directly to the court, which ordered it to be implemented. Students were assigned to schools so that each school had a 70% white - 30% black ratio. Three elementary schools and Lincoln High School were closed.[14]

Schools[edit]

The district has 48 schools including 31 elementary schools, 9 middle schools, 8 high schools, two special education centers (Sidney Lanier School and A. Quinn Jones Center), an early childhood center (Duval Early Learning Academy), a family services center (Fearnside Family Services Center) and an environmental education center (Camp Crystal Lake). The School Board of Alachua County also operates the virtual, online Alachua eSchool. Private, for-profit, and charter schools are not administered by the School Board of Alachua County, and are not included in these lists.

Elementary schools[edit]

Elementary schools in the county run from pre-kindergarten to fifth grade, unless otherwise noted.

Middle schools[edit]

Middle schools in the county run from 6th to 8th grades, unless otherwise noted.

High schools[edit]

High schools in the county run from 9th to 12th grades.

School and Facility Name Controversies[edit]

Alachua County Public Schools District Office[edit]

The Alachua County Public Schools District Office is in a building which dates back, in part, to the Gainesville Graded and High School, which opened in 1900. When the Gainesville High School moved to a new building in 1923, the facility became the Eastside Elementary School, and later, Kirby Smith Elementary School, named after Edmund Kirby Smith, a general in the Confederate States Army during the American Civil War.[10] On August 27, 2017, following the August 11 and August 12, 2017 Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, the School Board of Alachua County re-named the Kirby Smith Center [16] At the time of the name change, School Board Chair Robert Hyatt stated that the board considered the name change prior to the Unite the Right rally.[17]

JJ Finley Elementary School[edit]

Jesse J. Finley was a brigadier general in the Confederate States Army during the American Civil War. Removal of Confederate monuments and memorials is motivated by the belief that the monuments glorify white supremacy and memorialize a treasonous government with founding principles based on the perpetuation and expansion of slavery.[18][19][20][21][22] An opposing belief also exists, that monuments and memorials to Confederates are part of the cultural heritage of the southern United States of America. In August 2017, the School Board of Alachua County acknowledged the Finley legacy as potentially problematic, but declined to take action to rename the school.[17] On June 16, 2020, the School Board of Alachua County (Florida) removed J.J. Finley's name from the school, during international protest associated with the murder of George Floyd. The School Board will convene a citizen committee to recommend a new name by August 2020.[23]

Stephen Foster Elementary School[edit]

Stephen Foster is an American songwriter known primarily for parlor and minstrel music. Some modern interpretations of Foster's compositions consider the compositions to be disparaging to African Americans. Others, however, have argued that Foster unveiled the realities of slavery, while also imparting dignity to African Americans in his compositions, especially as he grew as an artist.

Sidney Lanier School[edit]

Sidney Lanier served in the Confederate States Army as a private, and was promoted by the United Daughters of the Confederacy as a poet of the Confederate States of America. As stated in a previous sub-section of this article, removal of Confederate monuments and memorials is motivated by the belief that the monuments glorify white supremacy and memorialize a treasonous government with founding principles based on the perpetuation and expansion of slavery.[18][19][20][21][22] An opposing belief also exists, that monuments and memorials to Confederates are part of the cultural heritage of the southern United States of America.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d "Alachua District Schools". NCES.
  2. ^ "Dr. Carlee Simon, Superintendent". Alachua County Public Schools.
  3. ^ "Search for Public School Districts – District Detail for Allen ISD". National Center for Education Statistics. Institute of Education Sciences. Retrieved March 27, 2012.
  4. ^ a b "The Gainesville Sun".
  5. ^ "The Washington Post".
  6. ^ "SchoolMatch". Archived from the original on January 12, 2016.
  7. ^ a b Charles H. Hildreth; Merlin G. Cox (1981). History of Gainesville, Florida 1854-1979. Gainesville, Florida: Alachua County Historical Society. pp. 16–17, 60–61.
  8. ^ "East Florida Seminary". Alachua County Library District Heritage Collection. Retrieved January 22, 2019.
  9. ^ Laurie, Murray D. (October 1986). "The Union Academy: A Freedmen's Bureau School in Gainesville, Florida". The Florida Historical Quarterly. 65 (2): 170–171. JSTOR 30146739.
  10. ^ a b MacDonald, Peggy (August 5, 2018). "History Lesson: Back to school, old Gainesville style". Gainesville Magazine. Retrieved November 18, 2019.
  11. ^ "Gainesville High School History". Alachua County Public Schools. Retrieved November 18, 2019.
  12. ^ Laurie, Murray D. (October 1986). "The Union Academy: A Freedmen's Bureau School in Gainesville, Florida". The Florida Historical Quarterly. 65 (2): 173–174. JSTOR 30146739.
  13. ^ "Alachua Elementary School History". Alachua County Public Schools. Retrieved November 18, 2019.
  14. ^ "The Diminishing Barrier: A Report on School Desegregation in Nine Communities" (PDF). ERIC. U.S. Commission on Civil Rights. December 1972. Retrieved November 18, 2019.
  15. ^ "School Board of Alachua County meeting agenda and video". School Board of Alachua County. Retrieved June 18, 2020.
  16. ^ https://www.gainesville.com/news/20170829/school-district-removes-kirby-smith-name
  17. ^ a b https://www.gainesville.com/news/20170819/school-officials-consider-name-change-for-kirby-smith-center
  18. ^ a b "Why the U.S. Capitol Still Hosts Confederate Monuments". News.nationalgeographic.com. August 17, 2017. Retrieved August 20, 2017.
  19. ^ a b "What Confederate Monument Builders Were Thinking". Bloomberg News. August 20, 2017. Retrieved August 21, 2017.
  20. ^ a b "Confederate Statues Were Built To Further A 'White Supremacist Future'". NPR.org. Retrieved August 21, 2017.
  21. ^ a b The History of Blaming 'Both Sides' and Why Language Matters, retrieved August 21, 2017
  22. ^ a b Drum, Kevin (August 15, 2017). "The real story behind all those Confederate statues". Mother Jones. Retrieved August 27, 2017.
  23. ^ "School Board of Alachua County meeting agenda and video". School Board of Alachua County. Retrieved June 18, 2020.

External links[edit]