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St. Johns County school district to approve site for K-8 school in Nocatee

ST. JOHNS COUNTY, Fla. — More schools are coming to St. Johns County, and the district’s about to approve the site for one of them.

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A K-8 school coming to the Nocatee community by 2026, designated right now as “K-8 RR,” was supposed to be approved during today’s school board meeting, but the district pulled the item from the agenda. The district told Action News Jax the new school site is expected to be finalized within the next two months.

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The Nocatee school is one of five K-8 schools the district will build through 2026. Here’s a list of where they’re being built:

  • K-8 School “NN”: set to open by August 2024; located in the Shearwater neighborhood with a capacity of 1500 students
  • K-8 School “OO”: set to open by August 2024; located in the Beacon Lake neighborhood with a capacity of 1500 students
  • K-8 School “PP”: set to open by August 2025; located in the Rivertown neighborhood with a capacity of 1100 students. The school district says this will eventually convert to a middle school.
  • K-8 School “QQ”: set to open by August 2026; located in the Silverleaf neighborhood with a capacity of 1500 students
  • K-8 School “RR”: set to open by August 2026; located in the Nocatee neighborhood with a capacity of 1500 students

Action News Jax has now learned the site for “RR” is in the southwest corner of Nocatee’s Seabrook community. Right now, only one future high school has been confirmed.

Halle Caprietta, a Ponte Vedra High School graduate working in Nocatee’s town center, says the new schools are long overdue.

Read: St. Johns County School District unanimously approves zoning changes

“They’ve definitely needed to have more schools to accommodate all these kids,” Caprietta says.

Caprietta’s been in St. Johns County schools all her life. She graduated in 2019, but after all this time, one memory of the classroom is still clear.

“It was really bad, classrooms had more than 25 kids then, it was very crowded,” Caprietta says, “hallways in school felt like there were a whole mob of kids rushing at you.”

Read: New schools to address overcrowding in St. Johns County schools

The school district has built at least 10 schools since 2014. Superintendent Tim Forson says the new schools on the way are an effort to keep up with the new families moving into St. Johns County.

“The need is just an incredible pace of residential growth,” Forson says.

By the time Nocatee’s “K-8 RR” is built, Pine Island Academy, also in Nocatee, is expected to be 663 students over capacity. Forson hopes the new school will help bring relief, but won’t stop more from being built.

“Certainly there will be other demands on the district due to growth in the next five years,” says Forson.

Caprietta says more schools will mean less pressure on families, hoping for more schools in the near future so more students can have a better future.

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“I think, really, as many academies as they can build, and, maybe another high school, would be really good for the area,” Caprietta says.

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