The McKay Scholarship Program and the Gardiner Scholarship Program provide 70% of the budgeted tuition funds for all students enrolled at North Florida School of Special Education.
The McKay Scholarship Program
North Florida School of Special Education is in compliance with the Department of Education to accept The McKay Scholarship Program. 85% of our students are eligible for and benefit from The McKay Scholarship, which empowers parents of students with intellectual and developmental differences to choose the best learning environment for their children. The remaining students utilize funds from the Gardiner Scholarship.
According to the stipulations outlined by The McKay Scholarship Program and Department of Education website, eligibility is determined by the following:
- Student must be documented as having an intellectual disability; speech or language impairment; hearing impairment; visual impairment; dual sensory impairment; emotional or behavioral disability; specific learning disability, including but not limited to: dyslexia, dyscalculia, developmental aphasia, traumatic brain injury, developmental delay or autism spectrum disorder
- Student must apply for The McKay Scholarship Program prior to withdrawing from the public school system
- Student must have an Individual Education Plan (IEP) OR a 504 accommodation plan
- The student has spent the prior school year in attendance at a Florida public school (Pre-K through 12th Grade) OR
- The student was enrolled and reported for funding by the Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind during the preceding October and February (Pre-K through 12th Grade) OR
- The student received services under the Specialized Instructional Services (SIS) program during the previous school year and has a current IEP developed by the local school board in accordance with State Board Rule or a 504 accommodation plan OR
- The student is a dependent child of a member of the United States Armed Forces who transfers to Florida from out of state due to a parent’s permanent change of station orders AND
- The parent has notified the school district in a manner that creates a written or electronic record of the notification (this is done by filing intent on the School Choice website) at least 60 days prior to the date of the first scholarship payment AND
- The parent has obtained acceptance for admission of the student to North Florida School of Special Education
The Gardiner Scholarship Program
Formerly known as the Personal Learning Scholarship Account or PLSA
North Florida School of Special Education also accepts the Gardiner Scholarship as a form of financial aid. The Gardiner Scholarship stands alone as a scholarship that allows parents to personalize the education of their child with intellectual and developmental differences by directing the scholarship funds toward a variety of programs and approved providers, including schools, therapists, specialists, curriculum, technology and even a college savings account.
According to the stipulations outlined by The Gardiner Scholarship and Department of Education website, eligibility is determined by the following:
- The student must be a resident of the state of Florida and be between the ages of 3 – 22
- The student must have one of the following disabilities: autism spectrum disorder, muscular dystrophy, cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, Prader-Willi syndrome, Spina bifida, Williams syndrome, Phelan-McDermid syndrome or intellectual disability
- The student must have an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) from a Florida school OR a formal diagnosis from a Florida Licensed physician or psychologist
- Students must be at least 3 or 4 on or before September 1st. Students entering kindergarten must be 5 on or before September 1st. Students entering first grade must be 6 on or before September 1st.
- Students can participate in the Gardiner Scholarship (PLSA) program as part of home education. However, they cannot be enrolled in a public school or receive any other state-sponsored scholarship (McKay Scholarship or the Florida Tax Credit Scholarship).
If you have any questions regarding the eligible scholarships at North Florida School of Special Education, please contact Deb Rains, Assistant Head of School, at 904-724-8323 ext. 221 or firstname.lastname@example.org.