My Child, My Choice: Why I’m Sending My Kids to an In-School Charter

Here at Jacksonville Mom, we know you need to do what works best for you and your families. During these challenging times, our goal is to provide you with a variety of perspectives so that you can make the best decisions possible.

charterThe difficult decision to send my rising 4th and 6th graders back to school in person was not a decision that was made without many prayers, discussions, and research.

So, why did I choose the brick and mortar charter school for the fall? My kids are starting in a brand new charter school, which is large enough to allow for social distancing and no masks in the classroom. I did not want my children wearing masks all day. I’m not looking to debate anyone — I am just communicating the decision my husband and I have made in the best interests of our family.

How did we end up choosing a charter school? I’ve always been a fan of charter schools, and this year, it was time to pick a new one. We outgrew our former school, and I began looking for an alternative last fall and stumbled upon Cornerstone Classical Academy. I met with the principal, Dr. Williams, in December and was thoroughly impressed with her, the plan for the new school, the reputation of Hillsdale College, etc. And to make my decision easier, my 4th and 6th graders would be on the same campus with the same schedule.

Distance learning was not successful, especially with an IEP. When schools switched to distance learning in March, I was still working full time from home while managing their schoolwork. I did not like the way their school handled the distance learning — but I knew this wasn’t “homeschool.” If my circumstances were different, I would consider homeschooling full time. However, one of my children has an IEP (Individualized Education Program) and requires additional educational services. They did not receive services during the months we were forced to engage in distance learning. Knowing my child would receive their much-needed IEP services in a brick-and-mortar school made my decision to return my children to school easier.

Aren’t you worried about the virus?

My husband and I have both been exposed to COVID-positive co-workers and have tested negative. I have spent two weeks in quarantine this summer and waited 11 days to receive results. We are not around immune-compromised people and are in overall good health. We are ready to return to school, as normally as we possibly can. Each parent will need to make the decision that is best for their own family.

Jessica was born in the “Bold New City of the South" and loves her some Jacksonville. Not only is J-Ville the place where she was raised with her twin brother, but is it also where she met and married her super-handy hubby, Melvin. Together they have a lovely daughter named Lily and a very competitive son, Henry. Professionally, Jessica spends her days as the Activities Director at Jacksonville Golf & Country Club,- because her target audience is 5-11 year old children. Jessica has appeared on local television discussing topics ranging from Black Friday to couponing, - dirty hair, consignment sales and summer camps. Jessica enjoys showing up to parties in costume, Florida Gator Football, all things Disney, singing show tunes, making fudge, big ugly shelter dogs, reading Emily Post and writing in cursive. Keep up with all Jessica's antics at


  1. Except that the current plan set in place by the Duval School Board WILL require mandatory masks in and outside of the classroom for all public and charter schools in Duval county. The only exception being kinder theough second grade where they will have face shields instead/in addition to their face mask.

    I highly recommend staying up to date, as the plans have been changing almost daily – definitely weekly.

  2. I do question the ability to follow the CDC guidance to perfection in the crowded school, for that reason I decided to have my 9t grader do homeroom in hopes that the COVID numbers lowers toward the beginning of next year. Although it is difficult to provide her with the social-emotional engagement she needs I am taking the anxiety away from her worrying about every other student around her . Stress its proven to hinder learning abilities and taking the fact that I am able to supervise and guide her because of my educational experience I know it will work for us. considering the fact that I have been an educator for special needs and English learners as a second language I know the importance of the particular group of students to attend a brick and mortar school setting, the services on an IEP and the ESOL support are impossible to be provided in a homeroom setting and my heart breaks for those parents, perhaps, many do not realize that we have students whose parents or caregivers do not read and providing academic support at home it’s impossible and we don’t think of the children whose only safe environment it’s school and now it’s changed by all the restrictions. I count my blessings and empathize with those families that their choices of school it’s not what they want but the only one they have to make.

  3. I get that you may want to send one of your children to school because they’re on an IEP, but to make the conscious choice not to require your kids to wear masks is reckless and a terrible example. This is a community health issue, not an individual one. That you’d think it’s justified to send your kids to school without masks is utterly selfish and wildly divorced from virtue.

    • I do not co-parent with the government,- this is not a community health issue. And once you remove the rights of individuals to make their own healthcare decisions, we are no longer a free republic.
      If you choose to wear a mask and get vaccinated, that is the choice you make. You can call me names all you wish- but I choose to breathe freely and allow my children to do so as well.


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