Donations roll in following DCPS decision to rebrand six confederate-named schools
The effort to strip six Duval County Public School campuses of their confederate-inspired names was approved by the school board Tuesday night, which stoked a swell of donations, according to the Jacksonville Public Education Fund.
Duval County Teacher of the Year surprised with tickets to Players tourney, more
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The 2021 VyStar Duval County Teacher of the Year got another surprise on Tuesday when members of The Players organization stopped by his school. Jim Schmitt, who teaches history and global perspectives and research at Mandarin High School, is a huge golf fan. So a group from The Players Championship stopped by the school Tuesday morning to give Schmitt a gift basket, which included two tickets to this year’s sold-out Players Championship! Throughout his career, he has excelled as a teacher leader, developing a writing program for at-risk students, writing a $10,000 grant for a school-to-work program, and serving as a standards coach. When COVID-19 hit, he took a leadership role in helping teachers collaborate even more, developing a community discussion group to exchange technology strategies that work.
Report: DCPS teacher workforce is less diverse than its student body
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A report compiled by the Jacksonville Public Education Fund shows the teacher workforce in Duval County Public Schools does not reflect the same diversity as the student body. This graph was included as part of the Jacksonville Public Education Fund's Winter 2021 report 'Understanding Teacher Recruitment and Retention in Duval County.' (Jacksonville Public Education Fund)The district’s diversity among principals stood out, with more than half (55%) identifying as Black. She left the district in January as the only Black, English teacher at a school where Black students make up 70% of the enrollment. “I think those role models are essential to them,” Lewis said, referring to the relationship of Black educators to Black students.
Mandarin High School’s Jim Schmitt named 2021 VyStar Duval County Teacher of the Year
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Jim Schmitt, who teaches history and global perspectives and research at Mandarin High School, was named the 2021 VyStar Duval County Teacher of the Year. The 30th annual awards show, presented by VyStar Credit Union and hosted by News4Jax anchor Melanie Lawson, was also streamed on News4Jax.com. Teachers teaching teachers and being part of that makes it so special to me.”And Jim Schmitt is the 2021 @OfficialVyStar Duval County Teacher of the Year!! PHOTO GALLERY: See images from the 30th Annual EDDY Awards“You are all winners, and Jim is just the one who is going to stand and represent Duval,” said Duval County Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Diana Greene. “This year, especially, Duval County Public Schools has gone through a great deal, and our educators have really stepped up and really supported our students in our community,” Greene said.
WATCH: The 2021 EDDY Awards
Five finalists — Kenneth Ford, Jameea Jackson-Gaines, Kimberly Parker, Nadine Ebri, Jim Schmitt — in the running to be the VyStar Duval County Teacher of the Year will find out Wednesday if they have won the honor. The finalists were chosen among Duval County’s best based on their applications, interviews and footage of them teaching, according to the Jacksonville Public Education Fund. We will all find out at the same time as the winner is revealed during The EDDY Awards live on Channel 4 at 12:30 p.m. Wednesday. Watch the awards show, hosted by News4Jax anchor Melanie Lawson, below.
1 of 5 finalists will be named 2021 VyStar Duval County Teacher of the Year
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Five finalists — Kenneth Ford, Jameea Jackson-Gaines, Kimberly Parker, Nadine Ebri, Jim Schmitt — in the running to be the VyStar Duval County Teacher of the Year will find out Wednesday if they have won the honor. “After everything they’ve done for our kids, they deserve to have a moment when the community comes together and celebrates them.”Congratulations to our five finalists for the 2021 VyStar Duval County Teacher of the Year. Besides the top honor, the TV special will also recognize every Teacher of the Year, along with the work of every teacher in Duval County who has persevered through a difficult year to support their students. She also founded the Association for Teacher Collaboration, which allows teachers to support one another throughout Duval County, including helping new teachers set up their very first classrooms. She has 32 years of teaching experience in several schools throughout Duval County, and she specializes in helping to turn around schools through literacy.
Debate over controversial DCPS school names continues
The School Advisory Committee will create a shortlist of possible names on which the school community will vote. Our School Renaming Fund is open for anyone who wants to help offset the costs of renaming schools, following community input and the School Board’s final decision. A group of alumni from Lee High School are pushing to keep the school’s name, saying that Lee High has too much history to be renamed. That estimate was based on the costs associated with the 2014 renaming of Nathan B. Forrest High School to Westside High School, which was roughly $200,000. Although, district spokesperson Tracy Pierce told News4Jax that renaming a high school is much more expensive than a middle or elementary school.
Who will be named the 2021 VyStar Duval County Teacher of the Year?
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – After weeks of waiting, we’ll finally learn next week who will be named the 2021 VyStar Duval County Teacher of the Year at the Jacksonville Public Education Fund’s EDDY Awards. Meet the 5 finalistsKenneth Ford - Carter G. Woodson Elementary – Wells Fargo FinalistKenneth Ford teaches fifth grade math and science at Carter G. Woodson Elementary. He attributes his life and career to his eighth grade teacher, Ms. Tave, who helped him re-integrate into school after treatment for leukemia. She also founded the Association for Teacher Collaboration, which allows teachers to support one another throughout Duval County, including helping new teachers set up their very first classrooms. She has 32 years of teaching experience in several schools throughout Duval County, and she specializes in helping to turn around schools through literacy.
Crowdfunding efforts to rename Jacksonville Confederate-named schools off to slow start
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Two months after a crowdfunding campaign was launched to help pay for the costs to rename six Duval County schools, just over $7,000 have been raised. Renaming six Jacksonville public schools whose names honor Confederate leaders is expected to cost between $750,000 and $1 million, the district said. The Jacksonville Public Education Fund (JPEF) created a fund to allow community members to support public school renamings through tax-deductible donations. The Jacksonville schools up for renaming this time include Joseph Finegan Elementary, Stonewall Jackson Elementary, Jefferson Davis Middle, Kirby-Smith Middle, J.E.B. Renaming of the schools has been met with resistance from some alumni who say the school names honor important historical leaders.
Here are the nominees for VyStar Duval County Teacher of the Year
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – More than 175 teachers have been nominated by their principals for the 2021 VyStar Duval County Teacher of the Year award. Nominees will also be invited to apply for JPEF’s Teacher Leadership Initiative, a professional learning community that connects teachers with best practices in equity and school quality. Teachers accepted into the Teacher Leadership Initiative will have the opportunity to choose an area of study and learn from experts. “Research shows teachers value professional learning with their peers that they guide themselves,” said Warren Buck, JPEF Director of Teacher Leadership and a former teacher and principal in Duval County. “Our Teacher Leadership Initiative is designed to help retain great teachers in Duval County by supporting their leadership in schools.”Below is the list of nominees for the 2021 VyStar Duval County Teacher of the Year:
Duvals superintendent touts benefits of proposed half-cent sales tax
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. The Jacksonville Public Education Fund hosted an online seminar Monday morning in which Duval County Public Schools superintendent Dr. Diana Greene outlined how the district would benefit if voters pass a half-cent sales tax referendum in November. This slide was included in Dr. Diana Greene's presentation to the Jacksonville Public Education Fund meeting on June 22, 2020. This graph was included in Dr. Diana Greene's presentation to the Jacksonville Public Education Fund meeting on June 22, 2020. The half-cent sales tax, Green said, would supplement state revenue such that the districts $1.91 billion master facility plan would be funded over the next 15 years. The sales tax referendum is on the Nov. 3 ballot.
Boos & jeers before City Council withdraws sales tax bill
Ahead of the City Council's decision, the council chambers were cleared due to an outburst from the crowd while the sales tax measure was discussed. In June, the Duval County School Board approved its $1.9 billion Master Plan to repair or replace school buildings. Along with members of the School Board, theyre demanding city council put the half-cent sales tax to voters this year. Charter schools are public schools in that they offer free education, funded by taxpayers. The oldest charter school in Duval County was built 22 years ago, while the oldest traditional school is more than 100 years old.