Step Up For Students: Educational Choice in the New School Year

August 22, 2020

Never has educational choice meant as much to parents as it did this month with the start of the 2020-21 school year. Many wrestled with the decision to send their children back to school or continue the virtual learning that began last spring when schools closed because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

It’s time to welcome everyone to another school year, though the joy of a new beginning may be tempered by a cloud of uncertainly. Some students need the structure of the traditional school setting, while others adjusted to learning from home. But what works for some, doesn’t work for all.

As a parent of an autistic child, Keith Jacobs knows the decision about re-opening schools during the pandemic could have a tremendous impact on the social-emotional health of his son, Deuce, 13, who thrives on structure.

Jacobs, who serves as manager of charter school initiatives for Step Up For Students, wonders if schools are properly balancing health concerns with students’ social-emotional health from learning in an online platform. Read about it here.

Math, science, coding and a whole lot more

As the school year begins, don’t forget to continue to check Step Up’s Parent Resource page where you will find education, community and virtual resources as well as resources for teachers, podcasts and videos for schoolchildren and much more. Check back often as we add more resources when we learn of them.

Income-Based Scholarships

Both income-based scholarships – Florida Tax Credit Scholarship and Family Empowerment Scholarship – are now once-in, always-in! This means once a student uses an income-based scholarship, they will be automatically eligible for the scholarship in future years. 

If your student used the Florida Tax Credit Scholarship for the 2019-20 school year and you have not yet applied for the 2020-21 school year, apply immediately to secure your student’s scholarship. Your household income will no longer impact the eligibility of your renewal student and any siblings you may add to your application. 

If you are a NEW family, meaning your child did not benefit from an income-based scholarship for the 2019-20 school year, and you would like to see if you qualify or would like to apply, please click on this link to create an account and start your online application. Your household income will determine your student’s eligibility this year, but will not impact future eligibility. 

Special Needs Scholarships

Step Up is accepting applications from renewal and new families for the Gardiner Scholarship serving children with special needs for the 2020-21 school year. Click here to apply.

Scholarships for Bullied Children in Public Schools

Families may apply now for the Hope Scholarship for the 2020-21 school year. Click here to apply.

Reading Help Scholarships for

Children in Public Schools

Step Up For Students is working with the Department of Education to determine eligibility criteria for the 2020-21 school year since the Florida Standards Assessment was not administered in the 2019-20 school year. Due to this change, the opening of the Reading Scholarship application for the 2020-21 school year will now be in fall 2020.

Click here to join the interest list.

If you have any questions about our scholarships and can’t find the information on our website, you can contact us via online chat or by calling our Service Center at 877-735-7837. Our Service Center is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. – 8 p.m. ET. We are here to help you.