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A New Charter School, Other Big Changes Could Head To Jefferson County

By: Garin Flowers Email
By: Garin Flowers Email

It was standing room only at the Jefferson County School Board meeting in Monticello Monday night.

There was a lot to discuss, like a proposal to bring a new charter school to the area.

"We're a failing school system right now, we're making changes to correct that and the charter saw an opportunity because there used to be a charter here four years ago," said Al Cooksey, Superintendent of schools in Jefferson County.

Dr. Thelma Banks grew up in this Jefferson County. She's the founder and principal of the charter school the Inlet Grove Community High School in West Palm Beach. She hopes to bring a new branch it to Monticello. We spoke to an administrator at the school.

"We're trying to give the community an option and it is no more than that. It is not an indictment of the public school system here, it's simply an option that is very successful for us in palm beach county," said Shelley Kelley with Inlet Grove.

Also, up for discussion was more security for the schools. The county recently received money from homeland security to build fencing around Jefferson County Middle-High school, which was installed last week.

They said extra funding from the project could go towards putting up more fencing around the county's elementary school.

"You can never have enough safety at any school site and we have some outlining fence already, but this inner-lining fence will offer a little bit more aesthetics for the students moving from class to class as well," said Phil Barker, a school board member in Jefferson County.

As for the charter school, the school board has 60 days to make a decision on it. If they vote no to bringing it, officials with the school can petition the Florida Department of Education.


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