Letter from Douglas Anderson alumni asks that investigation look into possible financial links to teacher misconduct
The Duval County Public School’s special meeting was abruptly canceled Friday, leaving some former Douglas Anderson School of the Arts students disappointed that they didn’t have a chance to discuss their ideas as the investigation into longtime music teacher Jeffrey Clayton, who is now charged with lewd behavior involving a student, continues.
Misconduct Management: What to know ahead of DCPS Board’s Friday meeting
Duval County School Board members plan to meet Friday at 2 p.m. to continue a discussion about recent misconduct issues at Douglas Anderson School of the Arts and about the district’s methods for reporting instances of employee misconduct to various state agencies.
I-TEAM: Duval County Schools superintendent’s job in jeopardy amid Douglas Anderson scandal, sources say
The Duval County Schools Superintendent’s job could be in jeopardy, according to three News4JAX I-TEAM sources familiar with the matter. This comes amid scandal at Douglas Anderson School of the Arts, which saw a longtime teacher, Jeffrey Clayton, arrested last month and charged with lewd behavior involving a student.
140 former, current students asked to interview for ongoing investigations at Douglas Anderson
Duval County Superintendent Dr. Diana Greene on Friday sent a note to families at Douglas Anderson School of the Arts detailing upcoming changes at the school to address the culture in the wake of multiple investigations into teachers at the public magnet school.
DCPS committee discusses changes to school bathroom rules, facility renaming process
Following revelations about multiple faculty members at Douglas Anderson School of the Arts, board members also discussed and reviewed the board’s policies on ethics and those that prohibit any staff fraternization with students.
Douglas Anderson celebrates their centennial
Many are discovering the origin of School #107 which eventually became Douglas Anderson. Through a few incarnations and closing the school finally became known as Douglas Anderson School of the Arts. The school has played a major role in graduating students to excel in many sectors of life with the arts being recognized the most in the last few decades. Alumni from the school’s inception to now prepare to celebrate their centennial with a special get together which will connect the various classes while also fundraising for the 4 scholarships the group offers each year.
Douglas Anderson principal back at school after receiving diversity training
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The principal of Douglas Anderson School of the Arts returned to the campus Monday after completing diversity training, according to the school district. The school sent parents an email announcing diversity meetings for the students to “discuss cultural issues that have arisen at the high school.” That letter sparked protests because it outlined separate meetings for white students and students of color. In addition to parents and former students, the school district also reacted to the plan for segregated meetings. And you deserve to have the best possible high school experience. I remain 100% dedicated to working together with you, to improve the racial and cultural experience of our school.
Douglas Anderson principal to receive diversity training over plan for segregated student meetings
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The principal of Douglas Anderson School of the Arts has been temporarily reassigned to receive diversity training, according to an email sent to parents late Friday afternoon. This development comes days after the school sent parents an email announcing diversity meetings for the students on Thursday to “discuss cultural issues that have arisen at the high school.” That letter sparked protests because it outlined separate meetings for white students and students of color. AdIn addition to parents and former students, the school district also reacted to the plan for segregated meetings. “I think that this sadly has taken away the possibility of trusting administration to create that safe space for students,” said Douglas Anderson alumna Jade Collins. But there shouldn’t almost never be a reason, especially at such a creative, honest and liberal school like Douglas Anderson, to even have to bring an outside voice for students to be able to speak freely.”For perspective, Douglas Anderson School of the Arts has more than 1,100 students.
Students call for cultural changes at Douglas Anderson High
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Students at the Douglas Anderson School of the Arts tell News4Jax the controversy over race and culture at their school is not a student problem, but an administration problem. Plans for “student cultural meetings” Thursday, that would have separated white students and students of color, sparked outrage, and over the school intercom Wednesday, the Principal Melanie Hammer apologized. “I do hope you forgive me, and we continue strengthening our family together,” Hammer told students and staff. RELATED: Principal apologizes after segregated meetings at Douglas Anderson canceled amid backlashAdHammer also sent an email to families acknowledging the “hurt and pain” around the school. Ad“The best way to address the culture is whatever the students have an appetite for.
Principal apologizes after segregated meetings at Douglas Anderson canceled amid backlash
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A plan to hold two segregated school cultural meetings has been canceled at Douglas Anderson School of the Arts, the Duval County School District told News4Jax. AdParents and former students of Douglas Anderson said they were outraged after hearing about plans for the meeting. “I think that this sadly has taken away the possibility of trusting administration to create that safe space for students,” said Douglas Anderson alumna Jade Collins. AdNews4Jax received an email reportedly sent to school leaders two weeks ago by a group of students. For perspective, Douglas Anderson School of the Arts has more than 1,100 students.
Douglas Anderson email: ‘Cultural meetings’ to be split for ‘students of color’ & ‘white students’
The Duval County School Board canceled the cultural meetings. UPDATE: Segregated meetings at Douglas Anderson canceled after ‘dismay’ from parents, school districtThe email that was sent to DA families with the subject line “Student Cultural Meetings” was addressed from Melanie Hammer, the school’s principal. These meetings are to discuss cultural issues that have arisen at DA and to ensure that DA truly is a place for all. The two meetings are scheduled as follows: 9 am will be for all 11th and 12th-grade students of color, and 10:30 am will be for all 11th and 12th-grade white students. Our consultant will continue to work closely with DA students bringing everyone together for our common goal.
DCPS makes changes after students call for ‘You Matter Month’ to be renamed
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – After Sandalwood High School students took to the hallways on Wednesday in protest of the district’s “You Matter Month” campaign, more demonstrations were held Friday on campuses across the district. Students rallied again at Sandalwood, as well as at First Coast High School, Fletcher High School, Andrew Jackson High School and others. The main target of all the demonstrations is the district’s “You Matter Month” campaign which they say takes away from Black History Month and, at the same time, high-jacks the “Black Lives Matter” phrasing. “We want more Black history to be in the curriculum, we want it to be more important,” Sandalwood student Milka Fanord said. In fact, DCPS is listed as one of only nine “exemplary districts” by Florida for how it provides Black history education.
Juvenile hit by car near Douglas Anderson School of the Arts in Jacksonville
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A juvenile is expected to be OK after he or she was hit by a car Monday morning near Douglas Anderson School of the Arts on San Diego Road in Jacksonville. Jacksonville Fire Rescue responded to the call but did not take the kid to the hospital before a parent arrived. It’s not known if the juvenile is a student at Douglas Anderson. New4Jax requested the crash report from Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office. We will update this story if more information becomes available.
Douglas Anderson students and staff return after COVID-19 closure
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Students, teachers and staff are returning to the Douglas Anderson School of the Arts campus Friday morning. Douglas Anderson follows Fletcher High School and Providence School, which both reopened this week after similar surges in cases. Students with the I’m A Star Foundation participated in a live virtual debate about reopening schools amidst a pandemic. Among the participants, there were both students who supported reopening and those who were against it. This number could fill the entire city of Rocky Mount and the city of Pinellas Park, Florida,” student Tiffany Powell said.
Douglas Anderson closed another week due to multiple cases of COVID-19
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – As the Department of Health tracks multiple cases of coronavirus at Douglas Anderson School of the Arts, Duval County Public Schools announced Tuesday that the campus will be closed for another week and all students must use Duval HomeRoom. The district said students can return to campus starting on Oct. 30. “All extracurricular activities, including group rehearsals, practices and other events will be suspended during this time,” according to the district. The health department will contact students and staff personally if there they need to quarantine for a longer period. "She texted me, and the school is yet to inform my mom that I was next to someone who has COVID-19.
Gov. DeSantis says Florida schools should not close due to COVID-19 outbreaks
Let’s not repeat any mistakes of the past,” DeSantis said during a press conference at Jacksonville Classical Academy in Mixon Town. The CDC said “in-person” learning is invaluable if proper safety precautions and protocols are put in place, but it also recommends schools close if they have coronavirus outbreaks. Neither Corcoran nor DeSantis wore masks Tuesday as they stood in close proximity to teachers from the school. There are no available COVID-19 case counts for the Jacksonville Classical Academy because the district does not track cases for charter schools. The Florida Department of Health on Tuesday reported a total of 64,011 cases of COVID-19 in children less than 18 years old.
Fletcher High extends online learning after COVID-19 outbreak
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Fletcher High School students will continue learning virtually at least through Oct. 28 in response to a growing number of cases of COVID-19 at the school, administrators said Monday. Fletcher is the first of two public schools in Duval County to close its doors temporarily because of the virus. The second, Douglas Anderson School of the Arts, moved students to online instruction on Monday. RELATED: Fletcher shifts to online instruction after multiple COVID-19 casesAdministrators expect to bring students back to campus for brick-and-mortar instruction beginning on Oct. 29. Before closing campus last week, Fletcher acknowledged it was dealing with roughly 16 reported cases of COVID-19.
After Fletcher High outbreak, district now tracking virus at Douglas Anderson
NEPTUNE BEACH, Fla. – Duval County students had the day off Friday for teacher training, but contact tracing continued after an outbreak at Fletcher High School in Neptune Beach. Seconder, her roommate, and one of her two children that attends Fletcher High School tested positive last Friday. “I got probably eight phone calls between the school, Department of Health, another department of health, my doctors at Mayo, like, everybody just asking questions,” Seconder said. The Department of Health is now tracking the virus at Douglas Anderson School of the Arts where Amy Hynes-Johnson’s 10th-grade son attends. As health department staff complete that contact tracing at Fletcher High School, they’ll then decide if the school should stay closed past the planned Tuesday reopening.
Samantha Hill honored as All-Star Athlete
Samantha Hill is a senior majoring in classical guitar at Douglas Anderson School of the Arts. Samantha plays volleyball with the Jacksonville Junior Volleyball Association and is a volunteer junior coach. Samantha also volunteers with the Clara White Mission, Second Harvest and the Clara White Rescue Mission. She currently has a 3.9 G.P.A.
Students, alumni call out racism at Douglas Anderson School of the Arts
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. Douglas Anderson School of the Arts, a public magnet school in Jacksonville named after local black civil rights activist, is creating a new advisory group to help improve the culture at the school after students came forward to share their experiences with racism. Students and alumni recently started sharing their stories with former student Jade Collins, 19, who then shared them in a Douglas Anderson Facebook group. Douglas Anderson was originally a black school NO one acknowledges that nor do they appreciate it and instead throw it under the rug, another post reads. Douglas Anderson School of the Arts was established in 1922 and was originally named the South Jacksonville School. He was best known for his efforts to provide transportation for black students, operating the only bus service for them in Duval County.