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A Community-Driven School Nears Opening Day In Parramore

Photo courtesy of OCPS.
Photo courtesy of OCPS.

On Monday, students will start school at the new Academic Center for Excellence or ACE school in Parramore. The 17- acre campus will offer pre-K through 8th grade.

ACE is a Community Partnership School under Orange County Public Schools. It’s the first new school in Parramore in 50 years. After school, 300 students will also be the first to attend the on-site Boys and Girls Club. The organization says this will allow them to serve about four times more children in Parramore.

“We’ve got a teen lounge, we’ve got a college prep area for the teens, we’ve got technology centers, we’ve got a digital music studio, we’ve got a dance and aerobic studio, a gymnasium,” said Boys & Girls Club of Central Florida CEO Gary Cain.

He said the on-site club will help working families save on childcare costs. Every student who attends this ACE school and graduates from Jones High School will get a scholarship to attend a Florida public college or university, courtesy of the Harris Rosen Foundation.

Bakari Burns is President and CEO of Healthcare Center for the Homeless, which operates Orange Blossom Family Health. They’ll run an on-campus pediatric clinic. Burns says this zip code has a high incidence of asthma.

“Studies show kids with asthma have higher than usual absences from school, often times may spend time in the hospital, whereas if they had easy access to a service that would help to educate their parents and manage their asthma, we could reduce that absenteeism to school,” said Burns.

The location has eight medical exam rooms, eight dental chairs and behavioral health services. It will serve students enrolled in ACE and children from the community up to 18 years old. The clinic accepts Medicaid, most private insurance and for the uninsured- fees will be charged on a sliding scale. Burns said no child will be turned away.

Parents will be able to sign a consent form so students can get care during school hours without a parent having to miss work.