Opportunity for PK community input: selective admissions

May 6, 2024

Dear PK Community,

Our students, faculty, and staff are putting the finishing touches on an especially successful school year here at P.K. Yonge. We look forward to celebrating our 126 graduates and their achievements later this month. I am proud to report forty-seven of our Class of 2024 grads have already earned a Florida Bright Futures Program scholarship, with more still with an opportunity to qualify. 

As we continue to raise the standard of student success at PK, it is important to reflect on our recent accomplishments. PK remains the US News & World Report top-ranked high school in North Central Florida, a byproduct of our school’s focus on university and career readiness. Our students K-12 are enjoying increased levels of success through a concerted emphasis on mastery of state standards, developing community, and creating personalized success plans in preparation for university and career.

PK is a school centered around ensuring the success of each student, no matter the walk of life they may hail or where they may have begun. We are proud of our collective work, in partnership with parents, in serving the academic needs of each student. 

Following recent presentations on the status of PK, the UF Board of Trustees identified a clear expectation of becoming a top 5 high school. PK has been tasked by the Board to join UF staff and Vice President Penny Schwinn to create a plan to elevate PK into the state of Florida’s top 5 high schools. A variety of options have been presented to explore and achieve this charge, including selective admissions which would base enrollment choices on academic achievement measures to replace reflective admissions at the secondary level. There is no plan to replace the lottery admissions process for students entering elementary school. No decisions have been made and conversations will continue leading up to the next UF Board of Trustees meeting on June 13-14.

There have already been numerous opportunities for parent, student, faculty, staff, and community input regarding this issue. These include PK and College of Education Faculty Policy Council meetings, a School Advisory Council meeting, an Advancement Steering Committee meeting, and a Student Government forum. Any PK stakeholder that would like to provide further input on this issue is encouraged to do so in writing here in this form. This input will be compiled on behalf of the PK community and presented collectively for review and consideration directly to the UF Board of Trustees, who will decide on a plan. 

As always, PK appreciates your care and concern for our students, their futures, and the mission of our school. We deeply value the opportunity to serve each student, raise the trajectory of their lives, and meet our mission in sharing our effective, research-based practices with fellow educators throughout Florida and beyond. 

Thank you for your continued support of PK, its people and mission. 

Go Blue Wave and Go Gators! 

Brian K. Marchman, Ph.D.
Director and Superintendent
P.K. Yonge Developmental Research School
University of Florida

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