Five Duval magnet schools nationally recognized for outstanding magnet programs

Feb. 7, 2020– Congratulations to five district magnet schools earning national recognition for their outstanding magnet programs.

John E. Ford English and Spanish Montessori, LaVilla School of the Arts, Paxon School for Advanced Studies, Spring Park Elementary and Stanton College Preparatory have all been awarded the prestigious “School of Distinction Merit Award” from the Magnet Schools of America (MSA).

This award is given to top magnet schools annually across the country through MSA’s National Merit Awards program. The schools awarded must demonstrate a high commitment to academic standards, curriculum innovation, successful desegregation and diversity efforts, and consistent delivery of high quality educational services to all stakeholders.

“It’s an honor for an organization to recognize the hard work of our teachers and students, and it feels good to have this best kept secret recognized,” said Davina Parker, principal of Spring Park Elementary. “We’re really humbled by this.”

Spring Park Elementary is the only magnet school with an International Baccalaureate program for pre-kindergarten through 5th grade within the district. The school takes a “Programme of Inquiry” learning approach to allow students to develop as inquiring learners and problem solvers.

John E. Ford is being honored for it’s individualized instruction that promotes success for all students. The teachers encourage students to master state standards and to pursue their individual intellectual interests and talents.

Paxon received the award for their success in enrolling all students in the International Baccalaureate Program or the Advanced Placement Program. The school puts students through

rigorous and advanced coursework that includes a minimum of seven AP courses and IB course progression along with dual enrollment courses.

“It is really gratifying,” said Paxon for Advanced Studies principal, Royce Turner. “ Paxon School for Advanced Studies is extremely proud and honored to be recognized as a magnet school of distinction. To be one of the 180 schools featured from the over 3,400 magnet schools in the country is a testament to the hard work of both the students and staff of our school.”

LaVilla School of the Arts focuses on promoting equitable access for all students as they strive for inclusion to give their English Language Learner students a platform to creatively share cultural differences. The school also displays their appreciation for diversity through a host of cultural events.

“We are honored and thrilled to receive this recognition,” said LaVilla School of the Arts principal, Lianna Knight. “This year, LaVilla School of the Arts is celebrating 20 years of art and academic success. I can’t think of a better way to be honored than to receive an award that recognizes our school’s diversity, community partnerships and involvement, and innovative practices.”

Stanton College Preparatory school is being recognized for its College Readiness and International Baccalaureate Programme including AP/Honors and IB Programme. This is the school’s third time being recognized as a school of distinction by MSA. Stanton joined Chimney Lakes Elementary and Jacksonville Beach Elementary in 2019 as award recipient.

“It is great to see our children receive the recognition in the ‘School of Distinction Merit Award.’  Through our school’s theme, UBUNTU, which means human kindness, we do our best to ensure that our Magnet theme is integrated throughout all our programs of study.  Additionally, we strive to promote equitable access by giving support to all students,” said Principal Nongongoma Majova.