Changes at Northwestern Middle School
May 24, 2019 - Duval County Public Schools has been one of the fastest improving districts in the state under Florida’s school grading system, but Northwestern Middle School’s lack of progress is prompting the district to move its students to higher performing schools.
On Friday, May 24, the district began the process of informing rising sixth graders from Northwestern’s feeder schools that they will be re-zoned for higher performing middle schools.
These students will receive a letter next week informing them of their new school assignment. The district has also scheduled a series of information sessions to answer parents’ questions about the changes.
Current Northwestern students are eligible to remain at the school for one more year. If the school falls below a C grade this year, those students will also be eligible for free school bus transportation to a higher performing middle school. The district will inform current students of their options when the state releases school grades this summer.
If the school does not earn a school grade of C or higher this year, the school will be slated to close as a middle school at the end of the 2019-20 school year.
Northwestern’s school accountability grades required the district to turn management of the school over to a private company, Educational Directions, this school year. Educational Directions will continue to manage the school for the 2019-20 school year.
Northwestern’s last three school grades have all been D, and the school district is projecting a D grade for this year as well.
“I know we can be successful at schools like Northwestern in the future,” said Superintendent Dr. Diana Greene. “We have brought in leadership from the Florida Department of Education whose expertise is improving schools just like this. But with Northwestern, we were too far behind to catch up in the last lap of the race. The best option for our students is to move them to higher performing schools.”
If closed, the Northwestern building will likely reopen in the future as an elementary school, consolidating other elementary schools in the area to improve academic opportunities for children, cut administrative overhead and direct more resources into classrooms. Those changes will be announced when the district finalizes its master facilities plan in July.
A series of meetings to discuss the changes were held May 30, 31 and June 6. Parents who were not able to attend the meetings can contact the Turnaround Region Office at (904) 924-3722 or the School Choice Office at (904) 390-2082.