With so many people relocating to Jacksonville, FL, many folks are in search of the best options for educating their children. Many people will tell you that Duval County Public Schools are not good enough, but that may not always be the case. You might hear about the expensive private schools, but you might wonder about some of the less expensive options, as well. Since there are no public or private high schools in the Fort Caroline Shores part of Jacksonville, parents are forced to send their kids somewhere that requires a decent commute. However, this also means that several local Jacksonville high schools are available without adding too much time for transportation.
If you want to see one family's perspective on the high school situation in Jacksonville near the Intracoastal, then make sure you read the entire annotated list of high schools here. If you want a quick recap of some of the thoughts, read on.
Good and Expensive
If you think you are better than others and deserve all that you've earned OR you're really afraid of the influences the lower classes might have on your namesakes OR you really believe in the power of name recognition OR you want your child-athlete to go pro, then you'll want to check out the following schools:
Bolles, Episcopal, Providence, and Bishop Kenny
These are the more elite private schools in the area. Bishop Kenny can be a bargain of the bunch for the right Catholic family.
Religious and Cheaper
If you're more concerned about making sure your kids get the ultimate religious experience in high school, then you might want to consider these small private schools for high school:
Harvest, Seacoast, Beaches Chapel, University Christian
UC can also be good for that student-athlete who may not qualify for a nice Bolles or Providence scholarship. Harvest is the spot for homeschoolers. All are Baptist or non-denominational, which is Baptist.
Under or Over Achievers
If you have kids who want to drop out, then Lone Star High School might fit the bill. On the other end of the spectrum, if your kid is dead-set on Ivy League or other elite colleges (and you don't want to pay for Bolles), then Stanton is the local option, though it is a long commute. Both of these schools are free.
Public School Options
While everyone seems to agree that Terry Parker is not the right school, four public/charter school options in the area are worth mentioning:
Sandalwood, Fletcher, River City Science, and Atlantic Coast
Sandalwood seems to be the hub for early college options, but it's also not a bad school besides that. Fletcher is near the beach, so you get some of that influence, but it's also the AICE school in the area. Atlantic Coast has the local AP Capstone program and seems to have gotten past a negative reputation. River City Science is the STEM charter school. If you choose the specialty of the three public schools, you do not have to live in the attendance area. All of these schools seem to have similar overall achievement.
Best Choice for You
You need to talk to people in the area in order to figure out your best option for high school if you live somewhere near Monument and McCormick in East Arlington. You will realize quickly that every parent has a different view of what makes a good high school and whether or not it's worth investing money in a private school. In general, kids will get out of a public school what they put into it, meaning even a mediocre public school can produce very good results. However, if you worry about the potential influences that will exist at the public school, you have options in Jacksonville.