Jacksonville, FL — It makes them the first junior high school in all of Northeast Florida to implement this strategy.
On Wednesday, the Clay County District Schools announced the launch of its first Community Partnership School model at Wilkinson Junior High School.
The district says under the Community Partnership School model, they will collaborate with local non-profits, businesses, and faith-based organizations to bring services and solutions into the school and surrounding community.
Specifically, the school is partnering with the following organizations: The Children's Home Society of Florida, St. Johns River State College, and Baptist Health and Wolfson Children's Hospital.
Clay County School Superintendent Addison Davis explaining why Wilkinson Junior High was selected, says,"After reviewing a number of analytics, and one point being that 65% of the students in this community are considered economically disadvantaged, whereas the threshold in Clay County is 45%, in addition, residents who live on the 218 corridor, do not have the same accessibility to healthcare, do not have the same accessibility to mental health care."
The district adds that nearly half of the student population qualifies for free lunch programs. The surrounding neighborhoods are also said to have a 16.85% poverty rate, compared to the state rate of 11.7%. The district says, additionally, the local unemployment rate is 7%, coming in at almost double the state average of 3.6%.
We're told this collaboration is intended to address barriers to learning, including poverty, hunger, insufficient access to healthcare and mental health resources, as well as violence and crime.
"This partnership brings support for all, those who are insured and those who are not insured. We have here to bring the services to our families and to our students," says Davis.
The district says it has committed to a 25-year partnership with the local organizations, thanks to a grant funded through the University of Central Florida.
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