Chances are when you think about Amelia Island, you think vacation. White sand beaches, surfing, sailing, sunning – this Floridian paradise transports you away from the pressures and responsibilities of daily life.
But what if you chose to call Amelia Island home? More than 30,000 people reside on Amelia Island, having opted for the slower pace of island life, so it’s not as far-fetched as it might seem.
Education is a concern for any family with school-aged children, and it’s important to know the facts before investing in Amelia Island real estate. The good news is that Fernandina Beach education is thriving. The island is home to two elementary schools, one middle school, and one high school.
Emma Love Hardee Elementary School
Home of the Little Pirates – a Florida-worthy mascot – this elementary school gets a 9/10 rating from Greatschools.org. Test scores are more than 20 per cent above the national average in math and English. For low-income students, test scores are still above state average at a 7/10.
ELH works toward fostering a culture of “teaching and learning among the community of learners.” The focus on learning is evident here. The teacher-student ratio is 15:1 – lower than the 17:1 state average – giving your child the opportunity for better individual attention.
Southside Elementary School
With a mission to “positively empower each other to make good choices, to become life-long learners and responsible model citizens,” Southside Elementary School is another fine choice for your children. In a 2016 self-assessment, the school rated a Level 4 in areas of student success and school leadership.
There are nearly 550 students at this school, with 44 teachers. It is demographically diverse, and students score above average on assessment tests.
Fernandina Beach Middle School
Fernandina Beach Middle School staff and faculty have earned an A rating from the Department of Education during the past 17 years, a distinction “accomplished by very few schools.”
Test scores and student progress each rate 8/10 from Greatschools.org, and English, math and civic test scores are higher than state averages. Fifty per cent of students participate in Algebra I, an advanced STEM course; the state average is 22 per cent.
Fernandina Beach High School
This high school is home to more than 900 students and employs 46 full-time teachers.
Test scores in English, math, geometry, and U.S. history are above state average, and the school rates an impressive 10/10 from Greatschools.org when it comes to college readiness, and the Florida Department of Education awarded Fernandina High 639 points in its latest grading, higher than any other school in Nassau County.
Post-secondary Education Near Amelia Island
Once your child gets a Fernandina Beach education, college might be the next step. For those who stay closer to home, there are several institutions nearby, many found in Jacksonville, a 45-minute drive away. These include:
- Jacksonville University
- University of North Florida
- Florida Community College – North Campus
- Florida State College at Jacksonville
The nearest college to Amelia Island is Florida Community College’s Betty P. Cook Nassau Center, about 20 minutes from Fernandina Beach. This campus offers programs in nursing, electrical and carpentry trades, EMT/paramedic, drafting, medical assisting, culinary arts, office administration, and information technology.
With quality education ensured, you might be ready to make your new home on a piece of Amelia Island real estate. Dive into life on laid-back Amelia Island – you won’t look back.