Building a Village


Revitalizing a Downtown Neighborhood

A new OCPS school joins other Community Partnership Schools in their mission to not only provide education, but serve entire communities.  Pegasus Magazine Feature    By Nicole Dudenhoefer

 

For the first time in 46 years, Orlando’s Parramore neighborhood has its own school for children in preschool through eighth grade.

 

Since the early 1970s, when court-ordered integration efforts closed the two all-black schools in the area, children in the Parramore neighborhood have been split up and bused to eight different school.

 

That all changed on August 14, when the new Orange County Public Schools Academic Center for Excellence (OCPS ACE) opened its doors to nearly 1,000 students. Located across from the UCF Downtown campus, the school is based on an innovative model created by UCF and other partners that envisions the 251,812-square-foot campus as a place to both educate children and improve the community.

 

That all changed on August 14, when the new Orange County Public Schools Academic Center for Excellence (OCPS ACE) opened its doors to nearly 1,000 students. Located across from the UCF Downtown campus, the school is based on an innovative model created by UCF and other partners that envisions the 251,812-square-foot campus as a place to both educate children and improve the community.

Orange County Public Schools Academic Center for ExcellenceThe Parramore school is the 13th school in Florida to be built on a successful design — the Community Partnership Schools (CPS) model — developed by UCF and the Children’s Home Society of Florida (CHSFL).

 

“The opportunities here [at OCPS ACE] are just phenomenal because we have services for parents and families,” says Superintendent Barbara Jenkins ’83 ’86MEd ’96EdD. “There will be activities to draw in these families who have had to go out to other schools previously. Now they have their own community.”

 

Community schools aim to remove social, economic and health barriers that prevent children in underserved communities from gaining access to the best education possible. There are currently more than 5,000 community schools across the nation.

 

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