Keystone Heights earns UCF-Certification  

Keystone Heights Junior/Senior High School
Keystone Heights Junior/Senior High School. (File photo by Seth Johnson)

Keystone Heights Junior/Senior High School recently announced being named a University of Central Florida (UCF)-Certified Community Partnership School. 

Achieving the title of UCF-Certified Community Partnership School signifies the years of work put into changing the trajectory of students’ lives. It proves that a school has the best practices to help students and families in their most vulnerable state.  

Three schools in Clay County have the certification.  

The certification typically takes five years to complete. The first readiness look occurs in year three of being A Community Partnership School. During the readiness check, members of UCF come to the school and evaluate shortcomings, gains, gaps, and improvements within the program. The school passed all 12 benchmarks, including governance, structure and leadership, after-school programs, and wellness services. 

Keystone Heights received the certification after just one readiness check. 

“This is the one thing I’m very proud of,” Tina Baker, Keystone Heights Director of the Community Partnership, said in an interview. “We did it in year three. We are one, if not possibly the only, Community Partnership School that received the certification in just three years.” 

The Community Partnership School model at Keystone Heights is a long-term commitment to bring quality academics, health care, counseling, and mentoring. Keystone partnered with the Children’s Home Society of Florida, Aza Health, Clay County District Schools, and Sante Fe College.  

“The only way this program is successful is if our partnerships with Aza Health, Santa Fe, and the school district can collaborate,” Baker said. “Luckily for us, they do work very well together. We are able to bring students to doctor and dentist appointments, provide food and hygiene packages, and offer clothing services.” 

The high school has an onsite laundry mat with detergent and drier sheets so students can wash and dry their clothes. Students can even shop for any clothing they might need. 

The recognition event is scheduled for 6 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 1, at the Clay County School Board meeting located at 2233 Village Square Parkway in Fleming Island.  

Visit the Children’s Home Society of Florida website for more information.  

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