We are frequently asked about education programs and recommendations for childcare, preschools, and schools in the Jacksonville area. We understand that picking a school or childcare center that fits your child’s and your family’s needs can be an overwhelming task. Whether you choose an independent, private, public, religious affiliation, or otherwise — we are thrilled to provide this guide resource to help your family, brought to you by our many sponsors! If you have questions about specific schools, we also encourage you to ask the moms in our neighborhood groups about their thoughts and experiences, including our specialty groups for homeschool moms and our newest group for moms of middle school and high school-aged kids. Who better to ask about local schools than actual moms who have experienced the schools themselves?
Episcopal School of Jacksonville
Independent Private College Preparatory School: Age 1 – 12th Grade
With three campuses located across Northeast Florida, Episcopal School of Jacksonville is able to serve students and families through every phase of their academic journey, from age one through 12th grade. ESJ is a community where students benefit from a rigorous curriculum, vibrant fine arts offerings, outstanding athletic programs, diverse extracurricular programs, small class sizes, and exceptional faculty; the global community benefits from the contributions and leadership of their graduates.
Episcopal School of Jacksonville prepares students for success in college and beyond by delivering a unique balance across Four Pillars — Academics, Athletics, Spiritual Life, and Fine Arts. An Episcopal graduate lives into his or her potential by becoming a well-rounded individual who seeks understanding, develops a sense of self, lives with honor and purpose, and pursues a life of faith. Episcopal invites you to visit one of four campuses to learn more: Munnerlyn Campus, Beaches Campus, St. Mark’s Campus, Knight Sports Campus
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The Bolles School
Independent Private College Preparatory School: Pre-K – 12th Grade
An independent college preparatory and boarding school, The Bolles School holds a longstanding reputation for providing a well-rounded educational experience for students in Pre-K through Grade 12. Its four area campuses — Bolles Lower School Whitehurst, Lower School Ponte Vedra Beach, Middle School Bartram, and Upper School San Jose — now enroll 1,700 boarding and day students from more than 18 countries and 17 states. Renowned for its tradition of excellence in academics, arts, athletics, and its emphasis on servant leadership, The Bolles School provides students an unequaled breadth of opportunities for achievement — enabling every child to optimize his or her unique interests, abilities, and talents. Students develop an awareness of exploration, service, and personal values in the lower schools that instill a sense of All Things Possible as they move on to the middle school, upper school, and beyond. Bolles inspires boys and girls to pursue excellence through courage, integrity, and compassion. This time-honored legacy of learning thrives on every Bolles campus and in the many lives it has shaped over the years.
Visit their website for more information, to attend one of their “Explore Bolles” open houses or to schedule a tour.
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Jacksonville Country Day School
Independent Private School: Pre-K3 – 6th Grade
Jacksonville Country Day School (JCDS) located in Jacksonville, Florida, provides a private school education to Pre-K 3 through 6th grade students in a nurturing, and academically-challenging, environment. Explore their dynamic curriculum, designed to inspire a love for learning and foster critical thinking. Their dedicated faculty and staff are committed to helping students reach their full potential academically.
JCDS is more than just a school; it’s a place where character is cultivated. Utilizing strategies from Conscious Discipline and the 7 Mindsets Curriculum, they seek to instill values such as integrity, compassion, and responsibility to prepare students for a bright future. JCDS offers over 50 different after-school enrichment activities that provide engaging on-campus options that supplement and enhance a student’s experience in the classroom. Currently, more than 92% of JCDS students participate in at least one after-school activity.
You are invited to take a closer look at JCDS through their website, but they would also like to extend a personal invitation for you to visit the campus in person. There’s nothing quite like experiencing the warmth and energy of this school community firsthand. Schedule a tour today!
The community at JCDS is thrilled to share with you the incredible educational journey that awaits your child at Jacksonville Country Day School.
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The Discovery School
Non-Profit, Independent Montessori and International Baccalaureate School: Toddler – 8th Grade
“We open our minds and hearts so we can discover the knowledge and ideals to build a better world,” is the mission at The Discovery School. They are proud to offer an inclusive learning environment for students aged 18 months through 8th grade that promotes inquiry-based learning, independent thinking, global awareness, creative problem-solving, and mutual respect in a safe, nurturing environment where every child’s voice is valued. Discovery is the only school in Northeast Florida and one of only a handful of schools in the country, that is rooted in a renowned educational philosophy: Montessori, that advances to a globally recognized program, the International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme, which begins at the age of three.
The Discovery School has been a continued leader in personalized, learner-centric education for over 30 years. In addition, they are accredited by the Florida Council of Independent Schools, a member of the American Montessori Society, and authorized as an IB World School.
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San Jose Schools
Tuition-Free Public Charter School Group: Kindergarten – 12th Grade
San Jose Schools is a tuition-free, public charter school group that offers an abundance of school choice to fit every family’s needs. Students graduate career and college ready.
Mandarin, Grades K–12 on a single campus: Visit San Jose Primary to see grades K–5 experience hands-on, Authentic Learning in science, technology, engineering, arts and math (STEAM). Next, discover why San Jose Prep students have demonstrated a 100-percent graduation rate for the past three consecutive years. San Jose Prep, for grades 6–12, specializes in Early College and Career Academies, including Early Childhood Education, Information Technology and Culinary Arts. This single-campus delivery model offers a small-school environment with large-school opportunities. Favorites include interactive LEGO education, a growing sports program, an award-winning theater department, and a competitive robotics team.
Westside, new campus opened in 2022: San Jose Early College at Cecil will serve grades 9-12 on Jacksonville’s Westside. Ground breaks before the end of 2021 for this state-of-the-art, career-centered high school that will be located on the FSCJ Cecil Center property. San Jose Early College at Cecil will offer Career Academies in Aviation, Financial Technology, Information Technology and Culinary Arts, along with dual enrollment for college success.
Northside, early college campus opening in 2023: The launch date for San Jose Early College at North, grades 9-12, is expected to be 2023. Follow them on their website and social media for progress and the future location.
Online learning from home: San Jose Cyber Academy offers an array of online learning choices that includes full-time enrollment, individual distance-learning courses, homeschool support, and GED preparation including free access to the GED exam. Instructors are Florida certified, and students experience their educational pathway at their best pace. San Jose Cyber Academy is a tuition-free choice for all Florida residents.
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Independent Private Preschool: Age 1 – VPK
Play, learn and grow at the Padawan Academy, which is a private preschool for children ages 1 to VPK. Padawan Academy students receive priority enrollment for kindergarten at San Jose Primary, a tuition-free charter school that serves grades K-5 on the campus immediately next door. Tuition discounts apply for families with multiple children at the Padawan Academy, or for those families with older children enrolled in the San Jose Schools. Free VPK for 4-year-olds is available for all Florida residents.
Your child will be supported by a team of educators experienced in early childhood development and in the use of activity-based curricula. An abundance of hands-on projects in the classroom and physical activity on the playground will make school time your child’s fun time.
Their staff members communicate your child’s milestones with photos and texts via a school-specific mobile app. Parents are invited to share in their child’s day via live cameras in all classrooms. Tuition rates include two meals per day, snack, wipes and diapers (as needed).
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River City Science Academy – Intracoastal
Tuition-Free Public Charter School: Kindergarten – 8th Grade
River City Science Academy (RCSA) Schools are tuition-free, public charter schools with a STEM-focus and history of academic excellence. RCSA has five campuses located in Jacksonville, FL and will be opening a 6th campus in 2023. RCSA provides advanced academic and college-readiness programs and after school programs, including free clubs and tutoring, academic competition teams, and athletics. RCSA is recognized as a High Performing Charter School by the Florida Department of Education (FLDOE) and is accredited through Cognia.
To visit any school for a tour or to submit an application, please visit the campus websites for more information!
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St. Johns Country Day School
Private College Preparatory School: Pre-K – 12th Grade
At St. Johns Country Day School, they know that the best education doesn’t stop with the classroom. That’s why their future-facing curriculum combines first-rate academics with vibrant visual and performing arts and championship athletics, along with a progressive Fellowships program, innovative on-campus technology, and much more.
St. Johns students seek solutions, accept responsibility, and create collaboration, preparing them not just for college, but for life. Call or click today to learn more about how St. Johns is redefining college preparatory education, and to schedule your personal tour!
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Duval Charter at Baymeadows
Tuition-Free Public Charter School: Kindergarten – 12th Grade
Duval Charter School at Baymeadows is a tuition-free public charter school proud to serve students in grades K-8. Named a School of Excellence by the Florida Department of Education, DCSB has received recognition for being an “A” graded school since its inception in 2011. DCSB is also among the highest-scoring charter schools in Duval County. We offer a rigorous curriculum with an individualized approach to learning and community-centered academic programs that equip your child to meet today’s challenges. These programs include Cambridge advanced classes and Gifted program, K-5 After school clubs and activities that include Playball, Girls On The Run, Dance, Jui Jitsu, Challenge STEM, Soccer, Drama, Band option for 5th-grade students. MS Athletics (football, cheer, cross country, soccer, basketball, track, baseball/softball, volleyball, and ultimate frisbee), MS After school clubs that include National Junior Honors Society, Robotics, Student Government, Jr. Thespians, and more! Uniform school with a dress code enforced.
Duval Charter High School is a tuition-free public charter school educating students in grades 9-12. DCHS offers a robust, advanced curriculum (only AICE and honors courses available) that meets the needs of lifelong learners who enjoy coming to school every day. We offer a safe environment for students and incorporate Social Emotional Learning into the high school coursework. Student/Teacher relationships are important to student growth and comfort. We have a low student-to-teacher ratio which allows our students to engage with their teachers and each other. We have a school culture program where all students are assigned to a Hero Team. Students engage in Team Community Meetings and competitions. Students can earn rewards for themselves as well as their team when they show their Panther Spirit in word or deed. DCHS highlights include AICE, AP; Dual Enrollment, Honors Classes, National Honors Society, After school clubs and activities, and men and women’s athletic program. Graduation rate 98%-100% yearly, with 98% entering post-secondary education, trade school, or military. Uniform school with a dress code enforced.
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The Goddard School – Baymeadows/Gate Pkwy, Julington Creek/St. Johns, Ponte Vedra Beach
Private Preschool: Infant – Kindergarten
The Sunshine Education Group is proud to offer three premier Goddard School locations in the Jacksonville market. Their portfolio includes locations at Gate Pkwy/Baymeadows (near the E-Town community), Julington Creek/St. John’s, and Ponte Vedra Beach. As an industry leader in early childhood education, their team of experienced educators are excited to welcome students ages 6 weeks through Pre-Kindergarten, and their families! Under the ownership of local resident, Liz Scott, the Schools provide a nurturing, safe, and healthy environment; allowing children to have fun while learning and growing each day in a setting designed with each child’s needs in mind.
Each unique campus offers children the opportunity to explore creative and unique learning environments, such as outdoor play areas featuring athletic turf fields, outdoor mini-amphitheaters, interactive music space, gardening and horticulture experiences, STEM classrooms, computer labs, and more. Small class sizes offer children the opportunity to learn and grow while focusing on core academics. The schools also feature new health and safety procedures that ensure the cleanest environment possible so parents have peace of mind, and your child can focus on fun learning experiences throughout the day. Each School offers two-, three- and five-day schedules with school-day and full-day options available. The schools also host fun and engaging Before & After School programs serving select nearby elementary schools. Please visit one of our three campuses, Gate Pkwy/Baymeadows, Julington Creek/St. Johns, and Ponte Vedra Beach to learn more about their programs and how they instill a lifelong love of learning in our students.
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St. Johns (Julington Creek)
Ponte Vedra Beach
Global Outreach Charter Academy
Tuition-Free Public Charter School: Kindergarten – 12th Grade
At Global Outreach Charter Academy, they are working hard to truly deliver on their promise and prepare students for global opportunities in leadership positions. To that end, GOCA has created a plethora of unique programs, such as foreign exchange, global visitors program, and more!
Global Outreach Charter Academy is the first charter school in Duval County specializing in foreign languages. GOCA emphasizes the study of difficult foreign languages at an early stage. Children who study foreign languages have been shown to have an increased cognitive advantage over their monolingual peers throughout their lives.
All GOCA students are inspired to acquire a global vision to succeed in an ever-changing world. GOCA students gain a greater global perspective through the broad selection of courses, the presence of students from around the world, along with the opportunities to participate in international programs.
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Intercoastal: Lions Campus
Academy: Cub & Grizzly Campus
High School: Kodiak Campus
Holy Family Catholic School
Independent Private School: Pre-K3 – 8th Grade
Holy Family Catholic School is committed to the success of every student, by providing a rigorous academic curriculum, rooted in Gospel values. Their outstanding faculty meet students at their level and challenge them to reach their full potential. Holy Family’s preschool programs are designed to enhance and encourage students’ natural curiosity about the world around them; while the elementary curriculum allows students to work in a collaborative learning environment while also assessing skills at an age-appropriate level. In grades 6–8, they offer top-notch technology such as 3-D printers, 1:1 iPads, and a brand new STEM lab where students attend STEM-specific classes and advanced math classes. Holy Family is pleased to be a National Blue-Ribbon School, Notre Dame STEM Trusty Fellow, and this year’s Bold City Best Private School. They look forward to welcoming your family as part of their family.
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Independent Private College Preparatory School: Preschool – 12th Grade
Providence School is a Christian college preparatory school for students in preschool through 12th grade, committed to creating an educational experience that cultivates a lifelong love of learning. The school was founded in 1997, guided by a mission to prepare its students to become boldly Christian and unquestionably academic servant leaders who change the world.
Providence has continued to strengthen the academic, fine arts, and athletic programs that have elevated its students to the highest levels of achievement. As an increasingly diverse community, their emphasis on “Loving God and Loving People,” helps students develop strength of character as they become independent young men and women who are leaders in their communities and across the globe.
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Grace Episcopal Day School
Independent Private School: Pre-K3 – 8th Grade
Grace Episcopal Day School is a Christian-based, family-oriented educational community dedicated to maximizing each student’s potential. For over 70 years, Grace has provided a rich educational experience for students in Northeast Florida. Their students are challenged to become self-directed critical thinkers in an environment where STEM, technology, the arts, and sports are an integral part of the curriculum. They believe that partnering with parents to create a personal and ongoing dialogue is critical to the students’ success. Come see how a small environment can make a big difference. Take a tour of their beautiful outdoor campus located in the heart of historic Orange Park, just one block from the St. Johns River.
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Riverside Presbyterian Day School
Independent Private School: Pre-K3 – 6th Grade
The mission at Riverside Presbyterian Day School is to “educate the mind, nurture the spirit, and foster the development of the whole child.” From the time students enter Pre-K3 through their journey to 6th grade, RPDS focuses on providing a challenging academic program, a foundation for leadership and service, and opportunities for students to pursue interests in the arts and athletics, all enveloped in a warm and vibrant community. Riverside Presbyterian Day School is now accepting applications for the 2023–2024 school year. Inquire and apply today and discover the advantage of a Riverside education.
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Early Childhood Play-Based Program: Early childhood – Kindergarten
The Playgarden is a perfect place for children to explore, grow, and create. We focus on the whole child: head, heart, and hands. Whether on campus or in the forest, their literacy-rich curriculum includes play, music, poetry, movement, bread-baking, gardening, painting, and frequent walks to the beach. The Playgarden offers 2, 3, or 5-day mixed-age classes at its beach Cottage-Kinderhaus campus as well as offering the first Forest Kindergarten in the South Eastern United States. The Playgarden is a LifeWays Representative site following Waldorf-inspired programming. Whether on campus or in the forest, students enjoy circle time, storytime, nature hikes, snack, outdoor artistic activities, and of course lots of time for observation, exploration, discovery, and wonder. They are proud to provide a loving environment with “unstructured free time in nature resulting in an intimate, deep, and personal connection to the natural world.”
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Spring River School
Outdoor Education Program: Kindergarten – 8th Grade, full or part-time offerings
Spring River School, established in 2015 as part of The Playgarden Community, serves approximately 60 students in grades K–6 from all over the Jacksonville area. Beginning in the fall of 2021, Spring River took its programming 100% outdoors on daily field trips and is the only “All Outdoor School” in Northeast Florida. They offer hands-on creative programming inspired by Waldorf methods of learning, meeting each family with warmth and joy. Spring River supports families that have chosen home education and are a Florida non-profit organization with a commitment to serving the community by helping to build children’s reverence for the natural world and create future stewards of the earth.
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Early Childhood Education: Infant – Pre-K
Chappell Schools is a local favorite for classic early childhood education for more than 60 years. Chappell’s longevity focuses on the fun of friendship, a distinct early literacy curriculum (research-based by UNF), enjoyment of the arts, instrumental music, great books, and the natural sciences. Also, they emphasize impressive etiquette that equips your child for success. Every day their chefs prepare hot, nutritious meals that add another layer of classic goodness to every child’s experience—and helps you remain confident in the attention, love, and care that your child enjoys. To inquire or to enroll, please reach out at [email protected] or call 904-409-3702.
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Seacoast Christian Academy
Independent Private School: Pre-K – 12th Grade
Start here and stay here! Seacoast Christian Academy offers a rich variety of academic, artistic and athletic programs centered around a Biblical worldview. Seacoast Christian Academy maintains a 99 percent graduation rate, ensuring that each and every student is prepared for college or career. Visit their website if you are interested in learning more about SCA, available scholarships, or to schedule a tour.
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Duval County Public Schools
Area Public Schools: Kindergarten – 12th Grade
Duval County Public Schools is the 22nd-largest school district in the nation and the sixth-largest school district in Florida. The district is committed to ensuring that students are prepared for success in college or a career and life. Also, the district will make sure its mission of providing educational excellence is reflected in every school, in every classroom, for every student, every day. Phone (904) 390-2000.
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St. Johns County School District
Area Public Schools: Kindergarten – 12th Grade
The St. Johns County School District will inspire good character and passion for lifelong learning in all students creating educated and caring contributors to the world. The St. Johns County School District includes 45 schools and is fully accredited as a quality school system by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Council on Accreditation and School Improvement (SACS CASI), a division of AdvancED Accreditation. AdvancED Accreditation is the highest level of accreditation that a school system can receive. Phone (904) 547-7500.
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Clay County District Schools
Area Public Schools: Kindergarten – 12th Grade
The School District of Clay County exists to prepare life-long learners for success in a global and competitive workplace and in acquiring applicable life skills. The School District encompasses a 601 square-mile suburban/rural county in Northeast Florida, including the communities of Orange Park, Middleburg, Green Cove Springs, Fleming Island, Penney Farms, Clay Hill, Oakleaf, and Keystone Heights.
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