Hundreds of Jacksonville elementary students to be reassigned

Duval County School Board told that mistake made 2 year ago forces change

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Hundreds of Duval County students could be reassigned to new schools in the next school year due to mistakes made in a 2016/2017 turnaround schools report.

R.L. Brown, S.P. Livingston, Hyde Grove and Oak Hill elementary schools were selected for closure/reassignment for 2016/2017, but 900 of the students were never reassigned or weren't reassigned to a school with a C grade or higher, which was one of the state requirements.

Because of that, any of those students who are not currently attending a school with a grade C or higher will be reassigned to a school with that grade for the 2018/2019 school year.

Parents or guardians of 378 students will be sent letters informing them of the reassignment, although that parents and guardians can elect to keep their child in their current school.

Information about the mistake and reassignments came out during a Duval County School Board workshop Tuesday morning. Members were told the flawed report was done and incorrect information submitted to the Florida Department of Education when Dr. Nikolai Vitti was superintendent.

Parents of students in the schools involved were not happy to hear the news.

"I don’t want to be relocated because there's a lot of bad schools here and I think this school is safe and it's making my daughter have good progress," R.L. Brown parent Latanuia Gaskins said.

Another R.L. Brown parent is also troubled by the thought of her child being moved to another school.

"We love the school. We love the diversity. We love the friends we've made," Kelley Pekarek said. "I'm a little concerned. I hope we don’t have to (switch schools) because we really like it."

School officials said they have not completed the letter about the reassignments, but it should go out within about two weeks.

The transferred students will be placed with teachers who are labeled as effective or highly effective and there will also be quarterly reviews to check on academic progress as well as attendance, because many of these students have missed more than the average, which is about 10days a year.  

The district said the students will be reassigned to new schools based on that school's grade stability, bus routes and capacity at the school. Transportation will be provided to students who are reassigned.