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Jax Daily Record Friday, Jul. 16, 202110:30 AM EST

Jacksonville University partners with IDEA Public Schools

The tuition-free K-12 program is designed to lead to acceptance into college for 100% of students.
by: Max Marbut Associate Editor

Jacksonville University is collaborating with IDEA Public Schools to develop a pre-K through doctorate degree education hub in Arlington.

With the purchase of land along University Boulevard south of JU, IDEA Jacksonville will build a tuition-free public charter school campus.

JU sold the property July 15 to IDEA through IPS Enterprises Inc. for $3.27 million, according to a deed recorded with Duval County Clerk of Courts on July 16.
IPS Enterprises is based in Weslaco, Texas.

Together with Jacksonville University’s undergraduate and graduate programs, and with Wilma’s Little People’s School for 2- to 4-year-old children, the addition of IDEA School’s K-12 campus creates a center for educational opportunities spanning the trajectory of a student’s academic journey, the university said in a news release.

The gym at the IDEA Public Schools River Bluff campus.

“Jacksonville University is proud to partner with IDEA Jacksonville in our shared vision to create exceptional, life-changing educational opportunities for young people,” JU President Tim Cost said in the release.

“Our missions are remarkably similar: we look beyond today to prepare students for what comes next. For IDEA Jacksonville, that means every one of their students is ready for college. For Jacksonville University, it means developing a passion for learning at every stage of life. Our partnership is a natural fit and it will transform the lives of students in Arlington.”

IDEA Jacksonville will break ground this summer on its second Jacksonville location, the River Bluff campus. Beginning in fall 2022, the campus will educate approximately 500 students in kindergarten, first, second and sixth grade. The campus eventually will serve students through 12th grade in two schools within the Arlington campus.

The main entrance to IDEA Public Schools River Bluff campus.

The school will provide technology to every student, free bus transportation and after-school programming.

Founded by former Teach For America Corps members with the slogan “Individuals Dedicated to Excellence and Achievement,” the first IDEA Academy opened in 1998 in Donna, Texas.

According to, the program has since grown to 120 schools in Texas, Louisiana and Florida. For 15 consecutive years, 100% of IDEA Public Schools’ graduates have been accepted into college.

IDEA Public Schools River Bluff campus is south of Jacksonville University.


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