It’s not just the schools on the North-side that are underutilized.

By Bradford Hall

We hear all the time
about how the schools on the North side of town are underutilized and because
of that radical changes have to be made.

However, if you look
at the Master Planning File you will see that many of our schools are underutilized
all throughout the city and many others are heading that way. Saying that we
must do something in “neglected” neighborhoods are not inclusive of
the entire problem we face in Duval County.

About 80% of the
district’s schools within three years will fall to less than 85% utilization.
In fact, Atlantic Coast is set to hit 70% utilization by the 2018-19 school
year. Ribault High School currently holds a 74% utilization, which has
drastically improved from 52% over the past seven years. The enrollment at
Ribault has continued to rise for seven consecutive years. Sure there are
schools that struggle worse than others but the district constitutes safe
enrollment as anywhere between 85% and 105% utilization.

Every area in this
city within three years will face underutilization. Even with the district
knowing this, they have concentrated all changes in one community. The federal
government should be here stopping this travesty. Taking away black schools
will not stop the mass exodus of students.

I have sat in rotary
meetings where elite businessmen, judges and lawyers have told the
Superintendent that St. John’s County has become more attractive than Stanton
and Paxon. Let’s face the truth. The real reason Dr. Vitti is making changes is
because he has failed to continue effectively managing the learning
environment. If you don’t believe me call other large urban districts in
Florida and listen to them tell you how nothing impressive is happening here in
Duval County.

I think Vitti has
done some great things but student achievement is struggling. I’m more worried
about student achievement than anything else! We need to become better informed
about what is really happening in our schools.

One Reply to “It’s not just the schools on the North-side that are underutilized.”

  1. To quote J. Taverna from a few weeks ago, he was hired to be a transformative superintendent, but all he's been is a disruptive superintendent.

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