School board to consider waiver option for Duval County magnet students

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The start of the new school year is fast approaching and some parents are concerned about the options provided to secondary students, particularly those of magnet schools.

The Duval County School District’s reopening plan provides students in grades seven through 12 two options; attend in-person classes for a few days a week or enroll in Duval Virtual Instruction Academy full-time. The latter option would involve the student withdrawing from their brick-and-mortar institution.

“I think that’s ludicrous,” said Jada Davies, whose son attends Douglas Anderson High School. “First of all, the elementary and the middle school students are allowed the Florida Virtual option, you know, without losing their slot.”

Davies told News4Jax she’s not comfortable sending her son back to school under the current state of the coronavirus.

“I’m just wanting to wait until the second wave comes through,” Davies said. “I would like to see you know what happens after the RNC and Fourth of July and Labor Day after all these big events come through.”

The issue of magnet school and school choice options was a main concern of the Duval Schools Pandemic Solutions Team, a newly formed group of more than 1,400 parents, teachers and stakeholders.

“We’re bringing an agenda item to ask for a waiver from the policy that states if you enroll in DVIA, you give up your seat to move into this new school,” Superintendent Dr. Diana Greene said in a workshop Tuesday.

School board member Lori Hershey polled her social media followers on the issue after the workshop.

The next virtual meeting of the Duval County School Board is scheduled for July 7.

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