JSA has been diligently working on finding a permanent school home for the last several years. Obviously, the COVID-19 pandemic has created a different environment in which to prepare our transition after 8 years at our current location but we have prevailed. Thanks to countless individuals who supported JSA in a big way, namely our Board of Directors and specifically, the New Campus Steering Committee. They have all been relentless in their leadership, advocacy and support of our mission and needs for a permanent school campus. Thank you simply isn’t enough for your investment of time, talent and resources. We are so grateful for each of you! #JSASTRONG
The school that HOPE built..
It all began with a dream. One small schoolhouse started by the Dunham & Schuldt families for our children, Nick and Sarah. For our family, it truly was a school built out of fear for our son and hope for his future. We started JSA with 2 students and one teacher, Mrs. Irene, who is still with JSA today and just received her 15 Year Tenure Award.
Since its inception in 2005, Jacksonville School for Autism (JSA) has seen the incidence rate of Autism continue to climb to 1 in 50 children and our enrollment expand by adding students and further developing our programming. While our collaborative work with staff and parents has always reached beyond classroom walls, our mission has remained steadfast in providing meaningful educational experiences developed specifically for students with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). These include integrative models that blends multi-sensory approaches, intensive behavioral, academic options and vocational programming to meet a multitude of learning styles. While it was never JSA’s intention to grow into such a large program, the incidence of Autism remains unrelenting and our passion to support this under served population will never waiver.
Our classrooms and clinics have been rented spaces that we designed to the best of our ability for therapeutic use. Many rooms were small or acoustically challenging and we attempted to serve as many children as we could. As parents called desperately searching for a school that would offer their child a meaningful education, we utilized every square inch to maximize space and reduce student distractions to ensure the best education possible for each child. We have had parents plead to allow enrollment even if their child had to sit in the hallway. Clearly, JSA was running out of room to support additional students so we looked for a larger campus to help us meet the needs of the growing autism community in NE Florida. Not the sprawling rural farm campus we hoped for but just what God intended for us; an urban campus, close to a major artery in Jacksonville that gives access to families enrolled at JSA who travel from all over NE Florida and Georgia.
Into Gramercy Woods we go..
Jacksonville School for Autism (JSA) is fortunate to have purchased a large campus used originally as a Duval County Charter School. The campus embraces the lush landscape and invites the beauty of the surrounding nature into the building. This will provide staff and students frequent opportunities for engagement with the outdoors and expansion of our vocational gardening program.
The campus is tucked into a corner of the Gramercy Woods Business Park conveniently located off Southside Blvd. We look forward to partnering with our new neighbors at Gramercy Woods and cannot wait to share our new campus home with each of you.