Duval County Public Schools
|Duval County Public Schools|
Every school. Every classroom. Every student. Every day.
|1701 Prudential Drive, Jacksonville, Duval County, Florida, 32207
|Superintendent||Dr. Nikolai Vitti|
|Students and staff|
|Students||128,702 (November 20, 2015)|
|Language||English or bilingual with Spanish|
Duval County Public Schools (DCPS) is the public school district that serves the famlies and children residing in the urban, suburban, and rural areas of the City of Jacksonville and Duval County, Florida. As of 2015, the district had an enrollment of over 128,000 students, making it the 20th largest school district in the United States, and the 6th largest school district in Florida. The district’s 197 schools are traditional neighborhood and magnet schools, charter schools, and alternative schools, all of which serve students of various needs.
The district is managed by the Duval County School Board and the Superintendent. Dr. Nikolai Vitti has been the Superintendent since November 2012. Current Duval County School Board members are Cheryl Grimes, District 1; Scott Shine, District 2; Chairman Ashley Smith Juarez, District 3; Vice-Chairman Paula Wright, District 4; Dr. Constance S. Hall, District 5; Becki Couch, District 6; and Jason Fischer, District 7.
DCPS has achieved an overall ranking of “B,” according to the Florida Department of Education’s school grade system, which is based on the New Florida Standards and Florida Standard Assessments (FSA) test results. It is the first time since 2010-11 in which the district earned a “B.”
- 1 History
- 2 Leadership
- 3 Schools
- 4 Accomplishments
- 5 Broadcast and Promotion
- 6 See also
- 7 References
- 8 External links
In the spring of 1864, J.M. Hawks opened the first free public school in the state, located in Jacksonville. The school was later branded as the Stanton Normal Institute in 1868, with a student body of 400. Duval County paved the way for public education in Florida by establishing the first stand-alone high school in 1877, and the first large-scale public school transportation system in 1898.
Duval County School Board
The district's administrative offices are primarily located on the south bank of the St. Johns River in a six-story building at 1701 Prudential Drive. Duval County Public Schools is governed by the Duval County School Board, a body of seven elected officers, each board member representing a particular geographic area. School Board districts are somewhat analogous to City Council districts in that there are two council districts in each school board district. The current School Board members, in order of district number, are Cheryl Grymes, Scott Shine, Ashley Smith Juarez, Paula D. Wright, Dr. Constance S. Hall, Becki Couch and Jason Fischer. Board members are elected every four years with two-term limits, with Districts 4 through 7 elected during midterm election cycles (next in 2018) and Districts 1 through 3 elected during presidential cycles (next in 2016).
|Cheryl Grymes||1||Cheryl Grimes has been involved in public education for more than 25 years, including as an executive director of the Alliance of World Class Education (now Jacksonville Public Education Fund). Ms. Grymes is a Duval County Public Schools alumnae, graduating from Samuel W. Wolfson High School. She received her bachelor’s degree from the University of North Florida and an executive nonprofit management certificate from Georgetown University. Ms. Grymes is currently the vice president for development for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northeast Florida.|
|Scott Shine||2||Scott Shine is a local businessman who has led strategic planning for multiple organizations, including Blue Cross Blue Shield, Barnett Banks, The Nemours Children’s Clinic, and Bank of America. He served in several leadership positions with the City of Jacksonville. Mr. Shine graduated from the public school system and received his bachelor’s degree from Virginia Commonwealth University.|
|Ashley Smith Juarez
|3||Chairman Ashley Smith Juarez has served as a teacher and coach in public and independent schools throughout her career and worked in dropout prevention. She is a board member of several foundations and organizations located throughout Jacksonville, including Chairman of the Family Support Services Board of Directors and the Northeast Florida Regional Director for the Clinton Health Matters Initiative. A native of Jacksonville, Ms. Smith Juarez graduated with honors from Vanderbilt University with a bachelor’s degree in secondary education and history.|
|Paula D. Wright
|4||Vice-Chairman Paula Wright has taught within the district and at two local colleges (Florida State College of Jacksonville and Edward Waters College). Ms. Wright is an alumnus of Duval County Public Schools’ Edward H. White High School and Jacksonville University and is an active community member involved in multiple organizations.|
|Dr. Constance S. Hall||5||Dr. Constance Hall has worked across the district as a teacher, principal, and administrator for over 30 years. She was the principal at four schools – two elementary and two middle schools. A native of Jacksonville, Dr. Hall received her bachelor’s from St. Augustine’s College in North Carolina, earned her master’s from Nova Southeastern University, and complete her Ph.D. from Florida A&M University.|
|Becki Couch||6||Becki Couch is a native of Jacksonville and graduated from First Coast High School and the University of North Florida. She started her career in the medical field, but switched careers and taught for 10 years at Baldwin Middle Senior High School. In 2009, she was selected as Baldwin’s Teacher of the Year and was a semifinalist for Duval County Teacher of the Year.|
|Jason Fischer||7||Jason Fischer is the youngest person ever to be elected to the Duval County School Board. After stints with Florida Power & Light, the U.S. Navy as a civilian engineer and CSX, Mr. Fischer currently works for URETEK Holdings. Mr. Fischer is a Jacksonville native and graduate of the University of North Florida.|
The superintendent is an appointed position by the Duval County School Board. On September 25, 2012 the school board voted to hire Dr. Nikolai Vitti, the Chief Academic Officer of Miami-Dade County Public Schools, to replace Ed Pratt-Dannals as superintendent. Vitti's contract became effective on November 12, 2012, and he continues to serve as the Superintendent of Duval County Public Schools.
Since his appointment, Dr. Vitti has started several successful projects such as the School Allocation Plan, the Quality Education for All initiative, and established the GRASP Academy for students with dyslexia, dysgraphia, and dyscalculia. Dr. Vitti completed his doctorate from Harvard in Education, Administration, Planning and Social Policy in 2012. He received in his masters in the same field from Harvard. He also holds a Master’s in Education and a Bachelors of Arts in History from Wake Forest University.
|2007 - 2012||Ed Pratt-Dannals|
|2005 - 2007||Joseph Wise|
|1998 - 2005||John Fryer|
|1989 - 1997||Larry Zenke|
|1976 - 1989||Herb Sang|
|1974 - 1976||John Gunning|
|1969 - 1974||Cecil Hardesty|
|1957 - 1969||Ishmael "Ish" Brant|
|1953 - 1957||Iva T. Sprinkle|
|1941 - 1953||Daniel Boyd|
|1933 - 1941||R. C. Marshall|
|1928 - 1933||R. B. Rutherford|
|1924 - 1928||G. Elmer Wilbur|
Every student is inspired and prepared for success in college or a career, and life.
To provide educational excellence in every school, in every classroom, for every student, every day.
We expect the highest standards throughout our organization from the School Board and Superintendent to the student.
We foster positive relationships based on mutual respect, transparency, honesty, and the consistent demonstration of actions.
We create dynamic systems and processes that solve problems and overcome challenges.
We promote an environment that ensures equal opportunity, honors differences, and values diversity.
We are a community of individuals who share a collective responsibility to achieve our common mission.
Develop Great Educators and Leaders
Provide teachers and students with the tools and resources necessary to meet the demands of the Common Core Standards and students’ individual needs.
Recruit, employ, and retain high quality, diverse teachers, instructional leaders, and staff.
Provide ongoing professional learning and support to develop all teachers, instructional leaders, and staff.
Engage Parents, Caregivers, & Community
Establish and sustain a culture that is collaborative, transparent, and child-centric.
Create a welcoming, respectful, and responsive environment for all stakeholders that leads to open lines of communication.
Expand partnerships and ensure alignment between district strategic plan and community, government, non-profit, and business initiatives.
Ensure Effective, Equitable, & Efficient Use of Resources
Ensure the use of district funds is transparent, strategic, and aligned.
Distribute district-wide programs and resources in an equitable manner.
Deploy information technology that supports the academic needs of all students, teachers, and staff.
Develop the Whole Child
Facilitate and align effective academic, health, and social-emotional services for students based on needs.
Address the needs of all students with multiple opportunities for enrichment.
Encourage positive behavior, respect towards others, and ensure safe environments throughout the school district.
DCPS has 163 regular-attendance schools as of the 2015-16 school year: 102 elementary schools, 24 middle schools, 1 K-6 school, 2 K-8 schools, 2 6-12 schools and 19 high schools. The district also has an adult education system through its Bridge to Success program and Parent Academy, six dedicated ESE schools, as well as a hospital/homebound program, virtual school, and six alternative education centers.
DCPS has used an attendance model of Kindergarten through Grade 5 for elementary schools, Grades 6-8 for middle school and Grades 9-12 for high school since 1991. Before then, Grade 6 was part of elementary school and Grade 9 was part of middle school (called Junior High in DCPS prior to 1988). Pre-Kindergarten education is available to all children from the age of 4 through the Early Learning Coalition of Duval’s Voluntary Pre-Kindergarten Program.
DCPS has a wide variety of programs available to students within the district, and schools are categorized as either neighborhood, choice, or magnet schools.
Magnet & School Choice
All DCPS schools offer at least one choice program, special program, or acceleration program to students. The majority of schools in Duval County are boundary-based and serve students residing within that boundary. Some schools, such as non-dedicated magnet schools serve both neighborhood students as well as students residing outside the school’s specified boundary, who are selected via lottery. In February 2016, Duval County Public Schools received a 1.2 million dollar School Improvement Grant for use towards the development of STEM labs in 11 Title-1 schools.
A total of 64 schools offer magnet programs. In addition to the required courses, offer a theme or focus that allows students to explore a special interest, talent or skill in fields such as the arts, aviation, culinary skills, language, law & legal occupations, mathematics, public service, science and technology. Duval County Public Schools contains both dedicated magnets, which do not have set boundaries, and non-dedicated magnets, which are neighborhood schools that also have magnet programs.
Duval County also contains 34 charter schools charter schools. These schools are located within the boundaries of Duval County, and operate under a state sanctioned contract with Duval County Public Schools. While publicly funded, DCPS does not oversee the daily operations and governances of charter schools. Most are oriented to help students "at risk". These include students who have been unsuccessful in a traditional setting; have below average grades; have difficulty on tests; have been retained in one or more grade levels; or have problems with behavior.
Newsweek also publishes a "Catching Up" list of 33 disadvantaged schools nationwide that challenge their students to participate in Advanced Placement programs which offer better instruction and a stimulating curriculum designed to improve academic skills and prepare for college. Because fewer than 10% of those sitting for the exams actually pass, the schools are excluded from the Best High Schools list. For 2010, six of the top 11 schools and twelve of the top 22 were located in Jacksonville: 
Florida Public K-12 School Rankings are based on data from the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test (FCAT) provided by Florida Department of Education. Based on FCAT Data, among the state's 72 school districts, Duval County rates as follows: High schools—51, Middle Schools—52, Elementary Schools—42.
In 2007, the district instituted the Educators of Change program to identify future teachers among professionals and other individuals who have achieved success outside of the education field.
On August 23, 2010, Atlantic Coast High School opened for the 2010-2011 school year. It was the first new public high school built in the county since 1990 and cost $78 million. The school was constructed primarily to relieve overcrowding at the two largest high schools in Duval County, Sandalwood and Mandarin.
Jacksonville, Florida is located in Northeast Florida and is the largest city in the contiguous United States in land area. We are ranked as the 14th largest city in the United States in population with more than 800,000 residents. The Jacksonville metropolitan area, including surrounding Clay, Baker, Nassau and St. Johns counties, has a population of more than 1,000,000 residents.
Duval County and the City of Jacksonville merged in 1968, creating a single entity governing all of Duval County with the exception of the beach communities (Atlantic Beach, Neptune Beach and Jacksonville Beach) and Baldwin. The Duval County Public School District includes the beach communities, as well as the City of Baldwin.
Elementary - 56,668
Middle - 21,138
High - 30,455
Exceptional Schools - 1,441
Virtual School - 303
Alternative Schools -2,319
Charter Schools - 11,951
Graduation Rate: 76.6% 
African American- 44%
Caucasian - 36%
Hispanic - 10%
Multiracial - 5%
Asian - 4%
American Indian/Alaskan Native - <1%
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Broadcast and Promotion
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- "About US" DCPS website
- US Department of Education, Digest of Education Statistics
- "Superintendent / Biography". dcps.duvalschools.org. Retrieved 2016-02-18.
- "School Board / Contact Board Office". dcps.duvalschools.org. Retrieved 2016-02-18.
- Education, Florida Department of. "School Accountability Report". schoolgrades.fldoe.org. Retrieved 2016-02-17.
- "School Board / Board Member Profiles". dcps.duvalschools.org. Retrieved 2016-02-18.
- "Duval voters choose youth over experience for School Board". jacksonville.com. Retrieved 2016-02-18.
- Sanders, Topher: "Duval School Board votes for Nikolai Vitti to be next superintendent" Florida Times-Union, September 25, 2012
- "School Board / School Board Members". dcps.duvalschools.org. Retrieved 2016-02-18.
- "Duval's only new school, GRASP academy, to help students with learning difficulties". jacksonville.com. Retrieved 2016-02-18.
- "Superintendent / Strategic Plan". dcps.duvalschools.org. Retrieved 2016-02-09.
- "Our District / Our District". dcps.duvalschools.org. Retrieved 2016-02-18.
- "The Early Learning Coalition of Duval".
- "Access Denied" (PDF). www.duvalschools.org. Retrieved 2016-02-18.
- "DCPS RECEIVES MILLION DOLLAR SCHOOL IMPROVEMENT GRANT FUNDS TO SUPPORT SELECT ELEMENTARY STEM INSTRUCTIONAL PROGRAMS AND EQUIPMENT".
- "School Choice/ Magnet / Duval Choice". www.duvalschools.org. Retrieved 2016-02-18.
- "Untitled Page". www.floridaschoolchoice.org. Retrieved 2016-02-18.
- "Frequently Asked Questions". www.fldoe.org. Retrieved 2016-02-10.
- Mathews, Jay (2015-04-19). "America's Most Challenging High Schools national top 25 list for 2015". The Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved 2016-02-03.
- Mathews, Jay: "America’s Best High Schools: The Catching-Up List" Newsweek, July 14, 2010
- Burmeister, Caren: “New boundaries, new school changes enrollment” Florida Times-Union, July 30, 2010
- "About Jacksonville". www.coj.net. Retrieved 2016-02-18.
- "DUVAL COUNTY RANKS NUMBER ONE AMONG FLORIDA'S LARGEST 7 DISTRICTS IN AFRICAN-AMERICAN GRADUATION RATE".