*Student to teacher ratio calculated from Liza Jackson’s US Department of Education Data
ºPercent of children at Liza Jackson Preparatory School who are considered economically disadvantaged.
The Liza Jackson Preparatory School seeks to educate the smartest kids in Okaloosa County. The school aims to “provide a student-centered, rigorous approach that gives students a strong academic foundation for high school while also building confidence, self-esteem, and effective work habits.”
In its mission statement – the school says, “We are a caring community of learners, dedicated to making the world a better place, through academic preparation, good manners, common sense and 100% effort.”
The school serves students from grades K-8 mainly in the Fort Walton Beach area, although students from Niceville and Valparaiso can also gain admittance. Bus service is not extended to the twin cities area. The current commute from the Niceville-Valparaiso area to Liza Jackson can take about 25 minutes one way.
Liza Jackson is accredited by the prestigious Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS).
Because of its status as a charter school, Liza Jackson is able to select its own teachers – and searches for the best in the area to recruit to the school.
A group of locals founded Liza Jackson Preparatory School in 2001, intending to create a rigorous educational environment for local students. The founders named the school after Liza Jackson, a local entrepreneur and hotelier who broke barriers for women in the northwest Florida Panhandle in the 20th century.
Since its inception, it is one of a handful of schools in the state of Florida to receive all ‘A’ ratings from the Florida Department of Education. The school is a public charter school. This means that the school is considered a non-profit corporation with sponsorship from the Okaloosa County School District.
Liza Jackson uses the Johns Hopkins-researched curriculum called Success For All. The curriculum subdivides classrooms into small groups of 4-5 learners. The groups work together throughout the year, are graded as a unit, and are recognized based on a preset standard. The goal of the program: “Help students build thinking and cognitive skills, emotional management as well as interpersonal and social skills,” according to the Liza Jackson website. The program continues to create successful learning outcomes for students – according to a study by the Success For All foundation.
In addition to the elementary school, the middle school program at Liza Jackson earned accreditation with SACS – meeting some of the highest academic standards in the country. In addition to the core learning requirements, the children at Liza Jackson have access to band, art, drama, technology, digital arts, and physical education classes.
The school also offers high school credit for Algebra I, Geometry, and Spanish. The credit for those classes gets decided by student achievement and teacher recommendations.
In addition, students can choose 10 different clubs in which to participate. These include the academic team, the archery team, color guard, the Liza Jackson Dance Project, drama, environmental club, a global perspectives program, math counts, National Junior Honor Society and the Student Council.
Students may only participate in one sport per season at Liza Jackson. The sports include the baseball, softball, swim team, tennis, golf, track, basketball, cross country, soccer and volleyball.
Students may also participate in one of four athletic clubs: Dance, Color Guard, Archery and Lacrosse.
Liza Jackson Preparatory School is one of the few schools in the area with a school uniform. The uniform consists of khaki shorts or pants and a shirt and tie on Mondays for boys and shorts or pants, and a polo shirt for the rest of the week.
Girls are required to wear certain dresses and skorts.
The full uniform policy may be found here.