Florida – March 21, 2017 – Last night, in an historic vote, the Jefferson County School Board unanimously agreed to turn over operation of their elementary, middle and high school to the Somerset Academy Charter School Network. This is a 1st in Florida!
Somerset schools have been providing quality education options to families in Florida for twenty years. “This is an incredibly opportunity to help a community that has been trapped in a failing system for way too long,” said FCSA Executive Director, Lynn Norman-Teck.
At today’s State Board of Education meeting in Tallahassee, Education Commissioner Pam Stewart expressed support for the decision. “Jefferson children and their right to learn was the driving force behind this decision to work with a charter organization,” said Stewart. “I’m proud that the Jefferson County school board put children first.”
“The Somerset Academy network is honored to have been selected to serve the children of Jefferson County,” said Somerset board chair, Lourdes Isla. “We have a successful history of working with a cross section of communities, raising student achievement, and high school graduation rates – which consistently exceed state and national averages. We are confident that we that we can help the students of Jefferson rise to their highest potential. Our schools have received National Blue Ribbon Awards and been listed among the top schools in America, but our most valued prize is our long list of successful Somerset graduates who have become leaders in their communities and a testament that our “Parents + Teachers + Students = Success” formula works.”
Somerset Academy is one of Florida’s largest charter school networks operating schools throughout the state. There are also Somerset Academy schools in Washington, D.C., Nevada, and Texas. Academica is the network’s education service provider.
The State Board of Education and the Florida Department of Education want the charter contract finalized by April 10th. In the meantime, the Somerset team — including their top school leaders, turnaround experts, and ESE specialists — are putting the final touches on their action plan which includes boosting teachers salary, and a one-on-one mentoring program for students to get them on grade level.
– end –