Agenda Plus
School Board of Clay County
February 7, 2019 - Regular School Board Meeting
D3 - Expansion of School Choice Programs for the 2019-2020 School Year

Cambridge Primary at Charles E. Bennett, Plantation Oaks Elementary, and Fleming Island Elementary

Cambridge Program and Gifted & Talented are two of the top five Choice programs that elementary parents requested in the Clay County District Schools School Choice Survey. 82% of those surveyed indicated a desire for their school to have Accelerated Learning programs in their children’s schools, and 72% marked college preparatory classes as Very Important or Important.  Cambridge Primary and AICE are both equipped to meet these requests and if proposed junior high schools are approved would provide a complete K-12 feeder pattern in three locations throughout the district.

Pre-AICE at Green Cove Springs Junior High School and Oakleaf Junior High School

Accelerated Learning is the number one Choice offering junior high school parents indicated in their responses to the CCDS School Choice Survey. 64% rated accelerated learning/college preparatory as a 4 or 5 in level of importance.  This feeder pattern of Cambridge programs offers a prime opportunity for students to experience a unified program from kindergarten through graduation. If students continue in the program from elementary to high school, they will encounter a cohesive upward spiral of presentation of instruction and a high level of expectations thereby better preparing them for college and career.

  • Charles E. Bennett (proposed)→ Green Cove Springs Junior (proposed) → Fleming Island High School (existing)

  • Plantation Oaks Elementary (proposed)→ Oakleaf Junior (proposed) → Oakleaf High School (existing)

  • Fleming Island Elementary (proposed)→ Lakeside Junior (existing) → Fleming Island High School (existing)

STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math) at Lake Asbury Junior High School

STEAM is one of the top Choice programs requested by junior high school parents in CCDS, and the top requested Choice program in elementary schools.  By creating a STEAM school at the Junior High level, Lake Asbury Junior, who has the greatest number of feeders in the district, will be able to impact the greatest number of students.  Lake Asbury is one of the largest junior high schools in Clay County and desires to have a competitive program that maintains its home-zoned students.   STEAM/STEM instruction uses Project Based Learning as an instructional model which has proven to be one of the best methods for learning. Project Based Learning as a pedagogy is a great vehicle for meaningful inclusion because each of its project design elements and teaching practices are geared toward creating the kind of engaging and dynamic learning environment that are also known to best serve students with a wide range of disabilities.

Visual and Performing Arts Elementary School at Coppergate Elementary

89% of elementary parents surveyed believe that the arts are a very important or important part of their children’s education. Arts and Gifted & Talented programs are two of the top five Choice programs elementary parents selected from the School Choice survey. In addition, STEAM is the number one Choice program indicated on the survey. Coppergate Elementary can infuse the “A” in STEAM throughout all content areas thereby leading a logical feeder pattern from Coppergate Elementary to Lake Asbury Junior High.  CGE has a 68% free and reduced lunch population.  Americans for the Arts says that “low-income students who are highly engaged in the arts are twice as likely to graduate college as their peers with no arts education”.  In addition, Coppergate Elementary is centrally located in the district which allows more students and parents to benefit, and the school currently has the lowest utilization percentage (76.5%)  in the district.  CGE has an enrollment of 555 students, yet has the capacity for 725.


Gap Analysis

Neighboring school districts provide choice options at each school within the district.  Clay County currently provides choice programs in 2 schools (Montessori at SPC and Pre-AICE at LSJ).  The district seeks to expand choice offerings across the district to provide parents and students access to personalized learning pathways.  While the district has traditionally offered multiple programs at the high school level including Accelerated Learning (IB, AICE, AP Capstone, Collegiate High School and Dual Enrollment) and various Career Technical Education (CTE) offerings, parents and students in the elementary and junior high levels should also have access to multiple pathways for their children’s educational success.


Previous Outcomes

Recent additions of school choice offerings include Montessori at Swimming Pen Creek Elementary and Pre-AICE at Lakeside Junior High.  Both of these programs are at capacity and maintain a waitlist.  This indicates the desire of parents in our community to have choice in their children’s academic experience.  

A School Choice survey was developed and results of the survey indicate the following as the top choices parents seek for their children:


  1. STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics)

  2. Foreign Language

  3. Gifted and Talented

  4. Visual and Performing Arts

  5. Cambridge Primary

Junior High

  1. Accelerated Learning

  2. Foreign Language

  3. STEAM

  4. Technology and Digital Design

  5. Medical Career Readiness

High School

  1. Visual and Performing Arts

  2. Life Skills

  3. Medical/Health

  4. Vocational

  5. Technology


Expected Outcomes

Expand choice offerings throughout Clay County District Schools


Strategic Plan Goal

Goal 1: Develop a high quality & aligned instructional system.

Strategy 1.1: Provide teachers and students with the tools and resources necessary to meet the demands of the Florida Standards and students’ individual needs.



Approve expansion of School Choice offerings in 2019-2020

Financial Impact
$102,159 for application fees, registration, student curriculum and teacher training for Cambridge Primary at CEB, POE, FIE; $44,654 for application fees, registration, learning materials and teacher training for Pre-AICE at GCJ and LJH; $114,000 for Professional Development, Chromebooks and Materials for STEAM at LAJ; $200,000 for additional Resource teachers, musical instruments and visual art supplies for Visual and Performing Arts at CGE; Year 1 Total $460,813; Year 2 Total $386,813; Year 3 Total $291,054
Review Comments
School Choice_ Pre-AICE Plan (1).pdf
School Choice_ Cambridge Primary Plan (1).pdf
School Choice_ STEAM (1).pdf
School Choice_ Visual and Performing Arts School (1).pdf
2019-20 School Choice .pdf