Black-owned elementary school to open in Jacksonville

Becoming Collegiate Academy to open its doors this fall

News4Jax | by Marilyn Parker | Updated April 19, 2021

JACKSONVILLE, Fla – A Black-owned elementary school will open its doors this fall and is being opened by a Jacksonville native.

It’s been Cameron Frazier’s vision to open a school he says is “for us and by us.”

“It’ll be an option for all families to know that their kids are going to receive an education in which they see they’re reflected in,” said Frazier. “Every county in the United States needs this. Black kids specifically are missing out on a cultural experience in some places. And we are receiving an education that we’re not reflected in. And I believe that every child deserves that.”

Frazier said this fall, the K-5 Becoming Collegiate Academy will open in Jacksonville’s Norwood neighborhood and will target students in communities of color.

“The kids definitely need a positive and progressive school to go to and if it’s Black-owned on top of that we support that also,” said parent Mario McKinney.

A study complied by 904Ward, a group working to build an inclusive Jacksonville, said in the 2018-19 school year, only 37% of Black or African American students earned enough points on English state assessments to pass, and the majority of third graders were reading below grade level.

Frazier said the theme of BCA is Historically Black Colleges and Universities.

He feels this will help students connect deeper with their education.

“I believe that’s the missing piece missing the schools. There’s so much power that comes from those schools, those institutions, those higher those institutions of excellence, and they are the most producers have Black professionals. And we don’t highlight that enough,” said Frazier.

Frazier said they want to reflect the HBCU experience of love and compassion from teachers while celebrating history.

“It does seem like this side lacks in resources a little bit. This neighborhood definitely needs revitalization as far as school is a concern. A lot of concerns I think a lot of parents have is the schooling,” said McKinney.

Though it’s a charter school, Frazier said BCA is a school for the community, with students that could one day, change their communities for the better.

There are over 100 kindergarten students already enrolled in BCA.

News4Jax was told they will be releasing the location of the school sometime this month.

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