DCPS highlights options for families with ‘School Showcase Saturday’

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Parents and students had the chance Saturday to explore opportunities at Duval County Public Schools for next school year.

The “School Showcase Saturday” event was for parents interested in VPK, magnet schools or special transfer options.

The biggest change for the showcase this year was that instead of happening in one location at the Prime Osborne Convention Center, all 153 schools in the DCPS system opened their doors for families to visit in person, walk the hallways and get a feel for the schools.

Jessica Bell joined hundreds of parents and students around the district Saturday for the showcase.

“I want him to be somewhere where the teachers are really involved and kind and in a comfortable classroom. That’s what this looks like it has,” Bell said at San Jose Elementary School, where she toured with her son Oliver, who is ready to start VPK.

The school is known for its dual-language program where students can learn half the day in English and half the day in Spanish, so they are close to being bilingual by the time they go to middle school.

Less than five minutes away, Calvin Kirkpatrick and his son Calvin Jr. felt like they got a good first impression of Wolfson School for Advanced Studies.

The magnet high school is known for students taking either college level courses or advanced placement classes.

“I see that they have a lot of stars that have risen from the school. It is big. It is big for us,” Kirkpatrick said.

School leaders like Chris Begley and Brianna Cousins said they believe the change in the showcase will make a noticeable difference for families looking to get a feel for schools.

“Just like house shopping. You walk into a house, sometimes you hear people say, ‘I know right away because of the feeling of the house.’ That’s the way a school should be, too. The spirit of the school should be a part of the decision making,” Wolfson Principal Begley said.

“It is very cool for us to bring families in so they can get to see in action what our school has to offer and really see the environment,” San Jose Elementary Assistant Principal Cousins said.

Click here to learn more about applying for VPK, a magnet school or a special transfer option.

Parents have until Feb. 28 to submit applications.

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