OCPS Academic Center For Excellence Opens
As Orange County Public Schools prepares for a new school year there are some exciting details to reveal about one of the brand new schools opening in downtown Orlando.
You may recall the groundbreaking ceremony back in January of 2015. The school is now named OCPS Academic Center for Excellence (OCPS ACE). It’s a first-of-its-kind preschool through eighth-grade school serving students on one campus. It is also a unique Community Partnership School.
A Community Partnership School relies on four core community partners – a school district, university or college, nonprofit, and health care provider – to secure resources that support student success and community well-being. Orange County Public Schools formed the partnerships with the University of Central Florida, Valencia College, Children’s Home Society of Florida, Orange Blossom Family Health, Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Florida, and Rosen Foundation.
Students will receive a high-quality academic experience as well as;
- Tutoring and mentoring programs
- Before and after school services
- Athletic and arts programs
- Education and counseling on nutrition, exercise and healthy lifestyle choices
- All-day summer programs
- On-site dental and health services
- On-site counseling services
- A parent resource center
The school will provide a high-quality Rosen Preschool program for two and three-year-old children funded by local hotelier and philanthropist Harris Rosen. Through the Harris Rosen Foundation, every student who attended OCPS ACE and graduates from Jones High School will receive a scholarship to attend a two or four-year public college or university or technical/vocational school in Florida. The scholarship includes room, board, tuition, books and travel. This mirrors the successful program Rosen started in Orlando’s Tangelo Park neighborhood more than 25 years ago.
The University of Central Florida is also helping to lead the development OCPS ACE as a Community Partnership School. UCF is assisting OCPS ACE with strategic planning and coordinating efforts to engage talented students, faculty, and staff members in the life of the school. In addition, UCF has secured state legislative funding to help support OCPS ACE. UCF co-founded the Community Partnership School model, which was first implemented in 2010 at Evans High School in Orlando and is now a nationally-recognized school model.
Valencia College will support students and families in the school and community in the following ways:
- A teacher internship program where college students serve as mentors and work with OCPS ACE students on projects
- Workshops for parents and families on resume building, interview skills, applying for college and financial aid, and other topics
- College prep days for 6th, 7th and 8th graders
- Priority invitations to summer camps at Valencia
Children’s Home Society of Florida, the state’s leading provider of solutions for children and families, has a vision of world where children realize their full potential. Delivering solutions that turn this vision into reality, CHS is a founding partner of the Community Partnership School model in Florida and a core partner in nine Community Partnership Schools – more than any other organization in the state.
Orange Blossom Pediatrics will provide students with on-site primary and preventative healthcare which includes: medical, dental, vision and behavioral health services. Orange Blossom Pediatrics accepts Medicaid, most private insurances and uses a sliding fee scale for uninsured patients.
In addition to the kindergarten through middle-school curriculum, an on-site Boys & Girls Club program for six to 18-year-olds will provide children with after-school youth development programs. Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Florida’s Hughes Branch is committed to providing a safe place to learn and grow. They will provide quality after-school and summer programming, including academic support, arts, music and sports programs, mentoring and life skills. Their mission is to inspire young people to realize their full potential as productive, responsible and caring citizens.
“We are grateful to the community for making this a reality,” said Dr. Barbara Jenkins, OCPS superintendent. “From the voters who approved the half-cent sales tax to build this school, to the community philanthropists whose donations will provide valuable experiences on this campus, we are so lucky to live in a community that truly values and supports public education.”by