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:
Will the GRASP students be 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 will be the
What supplies are needed? There is a school supply list posted under the parents 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 bussing system within
Duval County School Boundaries.
How will transportation be coordinated? Transportation has a bussing system for the centralized magnet programs. Stops are located near the child's home, or at 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.
Will there be 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 will be 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 red communication folder on Fridays.
We also utilize the Duval phone/email school messenger, social media sites, and text based Remind program.
How often will the parents receive 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 are planning on 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 or 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 bday
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 Organization.
Will you need volunteers for the classroom, PTA, or fundraising?Yes, will will need to
build a classroom volunteer base and a PTA organization.
Will you have a list of families interested in car-pooling? This is something that we can 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.
the classes departmentalized or self-contained?
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 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 hand picked by the principal and interview committee to be teachers best suited for this school.
Do all the teachers
have certified OG training? All of our staff will receive training in
the Barton Method, which is one of the Orton-Gillingham based programs
available. We will 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. All reading staff also will be provided with 40 hours of OG training.
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 students
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 Method? Will it be integrated into the reading instruction or taught for a certain amount of time each day? The
Orton-Gillingham Method 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 helps to differentiate instruction and allow teachers to tailor remediation to individual students.
Will the ESE teacher and the reading specialist be assigned to more than one class? If so, how much time will be spent in each class? Our special needs teachers will focus their efforts on students with IEPs, and determine the amount of service time needed. Our reading specialists and our 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 technoloy as found in other Duval elemenatry and middle school classrooms such as presentation technology screens, laptops, ipads, clicker systems and a 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.
will you deal with any school anxiety or fear from previous school
experiences? What if the students have performance anxiety or academic
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
GRASP students have IEPs?
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 an d 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.
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.