Leon County Schools
Leon County Schools will be an engaging, safe and respectful learning environment that embraces change and produces successful learners who value diversity and are conscientious contributors to our society.
The mission of Leon County Schools is to prepare students to become responsible, respectful, independent learners equipped with the critical thinking skills necessary to compete in our global society.
1. Excellence - LCS pursues the highest standards in academic achievement and organizational performance.
2. Integrity and Personal Responsibility - LCS requires the highest level of integrity and personal responsibility for individual actions as a family member, teacher, student, and citizen.
3. Equity - LCS fosters an environment that serves all students as we strive to eliminate the achievement gap.
4. Citizenship - LCS honors the diversity of our community by working as a team to ensure the educational success of all our students and recognize that our obligations go beyond our professional responsibilities to promote democratic principles.
5. Compassion and Respect - LCS builds positive relationships through honesty, respect and compassion, which enhance the self-esteem, safety, and well-being of all stakeholders.
6. Perseverance - LCS promotes the inner strength to remain constant to a purpose, idea, or task in the face of obstacles. This includes dedication, consistency, and having a positive attitude.
Each county in Florida is a single school district and, as a part of the state system, must follow the rules and regulations of the State Board of Education.
The County Superintendent of Schools is elected county-wide and is responsible for administration of the school system. He also serves as secretary and executive officer to the school board.
The Leon County School Board is the local policy making board and each of the 5 members is elected by the voters who live in the district from which he/she resides and runs.
The School Board meets on the second and fourth Tuesdays of each month. Meetings begin at 6:00 p.m. and are held in the back conference room of the Howell Center at 3955 W. Pensacola Street.
A citizen who wishes to bring a matter of concern before the School Board may be placed on the agenda by calling the School Board office at 487-7110. Interested citizens are invited to view School Board meetings live on WLCS-Cable Channel 23.
Current School board Members:
- Alva Striplin Residential Area 1 Term Expires: Nov. 2018
- Rosanne Wood Residential Area 2 Term Expires: Nov. 2020
- Darryl Jones Residential Area 3 Term Expires: Nov. 2022
- DeeDee Rasmussen Residential Area 4 Term Expires: Nov. 2020
- Georgia M. “Joy” Bowen Residential Area 5 Term Expires: Nov. 2018
Pre-Kindergarten through Grade 12
A full educational program is offered to 33,000 students in forty-eight school and program sites. These include preschool, elementary (PreK-5), middle school (6-8), high school (9-12) and special district wide program centers for specific populations of all ages and ability levels.
Exceptional Student Education Programs
These include Gretchen Everhart School for the mentally handicapped, and special education classes for children with learning disabilities and physical handicaps in the elementary and secondary schools. Students are served in the least restrictive environment wherever possible.
Homebound teachers assist students who are seriously ill or unable to attend classes for a significant period of time. These teachers work with the students' parents and regular teachers to help their students continue their education outside the classroom.
Career, technical, adult and community programs
Lively Technical Center offers a wide range of career programs available to the general public including business education, nursing, aviation maintenance, welding, automotive, photography, cosmetology, barbering, computers, web design, commercial driver license, driver education, motorcycle rider training and more.
Leon County Schools Adult & Community Education (ACE) is the primary provider of adult education classes in Leon County. Many students enroll in ACE programs every year at the more than 25 class locations during the day, evening and online, making Adult & Community Education, the largest adult education program in Leon County. Classes offered include GED Preparation, Literacy, English for Speakers of Other languages (ESOL), Adult and Co-enrolled High School Credit, Classes for Adults with Disabilities and Senior Adult Learners. ACE is also the official Leon County Testing Center for the GED Examination. For more information please go to the ACE webpage at www.aceleon.org/.
SAIL (School for Applied Individualized Learning)
SAIL, A School for Arts and Innovative Learning, is a magnet school for students looking for a creative and personalized high school experience. SAIL offers challenging academic classes, dual enrollment college courses and a multitude of creative arts electives. Interactive learning, creative expression and community involvement are hallmarks of this small public school. Any Leon County high school student looking for a caring, non-traditional high school to meet his/her individual needs is eligible to apply. leonschools.net/sail
Special Alternative Schools and Programs
The Leon County School District offers several alternative school programs designed to provide support for disruptive, disinterested, and/or unsuccessful Leon County Schools students. Several of these programs are mandated by law and are offered in cooperation with state or local agencies.
Special Day Schools
Both Everhart School and Pace Secondary School are special day schools providing services to exceptional education students whose individual educational plans document the need for such services. Parents or guardians that feel their exceptional education children would benefit from these programs should contact the administrator their child’s current school.
State funds and revenues derived from millage levies on property within each county combine via a state funding formula to make up the primary support for public education.
These come primarily from property taxes, levied through millage rates. One mill is equal to $1 for every $1,000. The required local effort (RLE) millage rate is set annually by the Legislature and must be levied to receive state funding. It accounts for 46% of the formula driven funds. State funding accounts for approximately 48 percent of the formula driven funds, so the RLE must be levied to properly fund district operations. The RLE is approximately 38% of the formula driven funds for Leon County Schools.
There are two more millage levies for operational purposes which may be levied at the Board’s option. There is also a Board optional capital outlay levy. A debt service levy applies in districts that must service voter approved General Obligation Bonds.
The formula for calculating the full time equivalent student (FTE) and the value of each FTE is also determined by the Legislature each year. The formula recognizes that costs of educating children vary with different levels and programs. The actual number of children in each level and program is weighted in the calculations and multiplied by a set dollar amount per weighted FTE. Other district factors included in the formula are cost of living, declining enrollment of students, scarcity of student homes within the district, and minimum per student funding amounts for discretionary operating millage rates. Once the basic cost for the county's education program is determined, the local required effort is subtracted and the amount of money due from state funds can be determined.
The amount of tax exempt property in Leon County significantly affects the amount of discretionary and capital outlay funds that can be collected. Approximately 32% of the property in Leon County is exempt and immune. The current funding formula adjusts funding to ensure at least the state average level for discretionary levies.
Additional restricted state funds
These are appropriated by the Legislature annually. The funds are restricted to such expenditures as textbooks, transportation, capital outlay, debt service, or special programs.
Federal funding is allocated by the Federal Government for public school education. This revenue may flow to the county directly from the Federal Government or indirectly through the Florida Department of Education (FDOE). Most of the federal funds flow indirectly through FDOE. Examples of funds that flow through FDOE are the federal reimbursements for school lunch and breakfast programs, and for federal contracted programs such as Title I, which funds supplemental academic instruction for the economically disadvantaged students. The revenue received to pay for the military portions of the ROTC instructors’ salaries is an example of a direct federal reimbursement.
Children between the ages of 6 and 16 are required by law to regularly attend a public, private, or parochial school. This requirement may also be achieved through a home education program or a private tutoring program.
The Superintendent is responsible for enforcing school attendance for students of the compulsory school age. Students are required to attend school in the zone where they reside. Exceptions are made for students who enroll in magnet programs or have special conditions which must approved or authorized by the School Board.
Children who live two or more miles from their assigned school may ride a bus. Transportation may be provided for elementary school students whose walk areas fall under the hazardous walking conditions criteria. Transportation is available for all exceptional students except gifted.
Starting times of schools are staggered by level to permit buses to make multiple runs and prevent students from waiting long periods for the bus. School buses are also used by the schools for field trips, music trips and sports events and may be used by community groups under certain conditions.
Leon County Schools employs 2,013 instructional personnel, 1,018 district personnel, and 1,424 support personnel.
All teachers and principals must hold valid certificates issued by the Florida Department of Education.All school personnel are employed by the county school board upon recommendation of the Superintendent.The Superintendent, in turn, bases his recommendations of the school staff including teachers upon those of the principals of the schools and program administrators.
Instructional staff is paid according to a salary schedule negotiated with the Leon County Classroom Teachers Association.The salary for a beginning teacher with a Bachelor’s Degree in 2016-17 is $36,002.21.
The average teacher salary in 2016-17 is $53,101.53 (including the Florida Retirement System, health insurance and FICA).All regular employees of the school system are required to participate in the state retirement system.