This list was developed from initial questions submitted by parents after acceptance into the program. They have been placed here for building common understanding, but may be revised over time to fit general FAQ's to be listed on our website over time.
Operational/Day to Day:
Are GRASP students required to wear uniforms? Yes, we are a student uniform school. Please see dress code under students on our school webpage for more information.
What are the school hours? 8:30 am - 3:00 pm
What supplies are needed? There is a school supply list posted under the parent’s tab of the website
Where is the school? Will transportation be provided? The school is located at 3101 Justina Road. Transportation will be provided through the magnet busing system within Duval County School Boundaries.
How will transportation be coordinated? Transportation has a busing system for the centralized magnet programs. Stops are located near the child's home, or a nearby school.
What type of security is in place to protect the children while outside on the playground? We have a completely fenced property, supervision by adults and a school security supervisor on campus.
What is the cost of this program? There is no cost of this program for families. It is a Duval County Public School to offer a school choice/magnet program in response to students’ needs.
How does the school handle bullying? Bullying will not be tolerated and will be handled within the Duval County Behavioral Protocol in a progressive manner. The most important element will be encouraging students to speak up to an adult when they feel they are being bullied in order for us to address the situation.
Are there resources like art, computers, theater and sports? There will be resources similar to the other standard elementary schools. We are currently offering PE, art & music. Resources are scheduled to meet daily. Middle School students have PE & Health, as well as options such as art, band, and computer technology.
What type of daily communication is available from the teacher to the parent and/or parent to teacher? Each teacher will be developing their own communication forum/format. We encourage you to reach out to your child's teacher if you have suggestions for what works best for your family or if you are not getting the level of two-way communication that is needed. School Communication should come home in the communication folder on Fridays.
We also utilize the Duval phone/email school messenger, social media sites, and text based Remind program.
How often are parents receiving communication about their child's progress? During the regular progress reporting time frames supplied by the district but also as needed.
How often can the parents expect a parent/teacher conference? We currently utilize 2x per year. During the 2nd Quarter and at the beginning of the 4th Quarter.
Is there a possibility for a parent to spend a day or part of a day at school with a student? Yes, we welcome both visitors and parent volunteers! Volunteers need to follow the Duval Volunteer registration & screening process. Classroom visits must be scheduled through the teacher & the principal. We have to make sure it is not disruptive to the learning environment, and also not during district or state assessments.
Will there be an opportunity to share contact information (with permission) with other students? (To facilitate like play dates and birthday parties etc.) this might help build community since the kids live in different neighborhoods. This is something we facilitate through a voluntary sign up within our Parent Teacher Association.
Will you need volunteers for the classroom, PTA, or fundraising? Yes, we have been building a classroom volunteer base and a PTA organization.
Will you have a list of families interested in car-pooling? This is something that we have voluntary sign ups to share information through our PTA.
Are the children in line with getting a standard diploma? Will they be eligible to return to their neighborhood school in the future? Yes, we use the Florida State Standards for each grade level which will be on track for a standard diploma and working on the same standards as the regular elementary school even if we go about learning them in a different way.
Are the classes departmentalized or self-contained? That will depend on the grade level and number of teachers at each grade levels to determine what departmentalization will or will not take place. Currently our 3rd, 4th & 5th grades departmentalize as well as middle school.
How many years of experience do these teachers have? The years of experience vary but all staff were handpicked by the principal and interview committee to be teachers best suited for this school.
Do all the teachers have certified Orton-Gillingham training? All of our reading/ELA/ESE staff receive training 40+ hours of Orton-Gillingham. We then work as a professional learning community to continue to support each other's implementation and to continue learning how best to facilitate OG based practices throughout the day.
Will dyslexia strategies be used in every subject? Yes, we will work to align our practices to those that best fit our students’ needs in all subjects.
Will there be daily or weekly homework? Homework amounts vary but we look at such factors as: we plan on working our students’ brains very hard during the school day, and many of our student’s exhibit frustration with traditional homework.
Will there be field trips or experiential learning experiences? Yes, our students thrive in hands on learning and experiential learning experiences. We will work to have on campus and off campus learning experiences that are standards based and fun!
What standardized tests, and/or benchmark tests will the students be required to take? Our students are still part of the Florida Public Schools System and therefore will need to take the required tests for their grade levels. We will focus on these events being a chance for students to show their learning and growth. We will also utilize district benchmarks not as assessment grades, but as lens through which to see what areas of improvement on which we need to focus our work.
How much of the day will be spent teaching the Orton-Gillingham Approach? Will it be integrated into the reading instruction or taught for a certain amount of time each day? The Orton-Gillingham Approach will require some direct whole group and some small group instruction. It will be integrated into the reading block time but also utilized throughout the learning day.
Will the students be broken into groups based on their current reading level and taught in small groups? Small group instruction will be essential in all classrooms as we will have varying reading levels in each classroom. Small groups help to differentiate instruction and allow teachers to tailor remediation to individual students.
Will the ESE/VE teacher and the reading interventionist be assigned to more than one class? If so, how much time will be spent in each class? Our ESE/VE teachers will focus their efforts on students with IEPs, and determine the amount of service time needed. Our reading interventionist and other support personnel will work with those that either have large gaps or are showing slow growth in closing their gaps.
What technology will be available to the teachers and students? We have similar technology as found in other Duval elementary and middle school classrooms such as presentation technology screens, laptops, ipads, clicker systems and a mobile computer lab.
What the target is with remediation, meaning are you targeting grade level or ability level? We are targeting each child exceeding growth standards, growing as much as possible each year and meeting/exceeding state standards. Some students need to catch up in various subject levels, some students need to be pushed to higher levels in others.
What emphasis will be placed on learning content (history, science, etc) and how will the program go about teaching it? Content is a heavy part of the Florida State Standards as well as 21st Century Skills such as being able to explain your thinking, collaborating and problem solving. We will strive to teach in a multi-sensory, experiential learning environment.
How will you deal with any school anxiety or fear from previous school experiences? What if the students have performance anxiety or academic low self-esteem? We understand from reviewing our applicants that many have not necessarily had successful school experiences or at least not all positive experiences. We will work to build trust, student growth, and success. We also have school guidance counselors on site.
Do GRASP students have IEPs? Some students at the GRASP Choice Academy have IEPs, some have 504 plans, and some do not have any formalized plans.
What if my child's reading is behind or ahead of most of the class? Just as with any elementary or middle school class, we are going to have various reading levels in each class. We will utilize differentiation especially during small group time to tailor instruction and student learning.
How will science and social studies be taught if the child's reading is below the textbook's level? We will not depend on children reading a text in order to ensure that they learn the material. We will utilize experience learning and inquiry based learning as our students learn best hands on. At the same time, we need to build non-fiction text skills to assist them in higher level courses.
If a child receives occupational and speech therapy, will that child continue to receive that service in their wing? All services currently listed on the student’s IEP will continue to be served at GRASP Academy.
Will the students be pulled out for one on one time for reading, spelling, and writing? Most of our interventions will take place in the classroom during the school day. If a child’s IEP has services or therapies that must be delivered outside of the classroom, then that would happen with the ESE teacher in a pull out setting.
How will the strengths of students with dyslexia be developed and nurtured? Each teacher will work to enhance each student's strengths while also working to improve their areas of needed growth.
Will there be additional time allotted to complete tests? We will work to assess students' mastery of standards. This normally requires additional time as needed. If students have a documented disability, then the need for additional time will be documented for state assessments on their IEP or 504 plan.
Will any medical evaluations be done or recommended by the staff? Our staff will utilize the same response to intervention team process to determine how best to meet students’ needs. If there is a concern that there is a learning disability, then formal testing is conducted by a school psychologist. We are not medical staff, nor are we able to diagnose dyslexia.
If a child should become frustrated which would result in a meltdown, how will that be handled? School frustration will be handled in a manner that honors the student’s need for a break, while also not disrupting the learning of others. We will have paras that can facilitate sensory breaks, but also our classrooms will be using frequent movement breaks to relieve stress, focus students’ minds and bodies.
How will the potential advanced skills be adapted to? For instance, a strong math student with weaker reading skills. We will work to help each student remediate skills as needed as well as stretch students in areas that they already excel. Some students may even need to work with a gifted and talented teacher in some subject areas.
What happens if a student becomes complacent and is not being pushed to a higher learning level? We will work with students, parents, guidance counselor and parents to help each child excel as needed.
If this program is not a good fit for our child, what are the options? The first step would be to meet with the administration and determine what can be done within our school as well as discuss other options on a case by case basis. If it is not a good fit, then the parent would request the form to release their seat at GRASP which gets faxed to the school choice office. When students have released their seat, we fill seats from the waiting list. This means that it is often not possible to return to GRASP. Students would need to reapply for the next academic year if interested.