Hillsborough County recently announced plans to offer a unique middle school experience for a group of current fifth grade students. When it opens in August 2020, the newly named Jule F. Sumner High School, previously known as High School TTT, in Riverview will also be home to Academy 2027, a first-of-its-kind middle school program.

According to Sumner High School Principal Dave Brown, Academy 2027 is a program only for students who will be in sixth grade for the 2020-21 school year. The students will move together through sixth, seventh and eighth grades in the academy and will then be able to stay at the same school for high school.

“This is a unique concept and something we are excited to develop,” said Brown, whose own daughter will be participating in the program. “Students and teachers will become a tight-knit group moving through the program together, something that research shows is very effective for learning.”

Students can apply to attend Academy 2027, which was named because its members will graduate from high school in 2027, through Hillsborough County School District’s School Choice program. There are no specific academic or testing requirements for students to enter the program, and students within the Sumner High School boundaries—who live more than two miles from the school— will receive free transportation.

“The school will be applying for certification through the internationally respected Cambridge Pathway to become a Cambridge pre-AICE school,” said Hillsborough County Public School’s Media Outreach Tanya Arja, who explained that AICE stands for Advanced International Certification in Education. “The AICE curriculum is written and administered by the University of Cambridge in Cambridge, England.”

Students in the middle school will be largely separated from the Sumner High School students, although they may be taught by the high school teachers for elective classes and will have access to the new high school’s facilities, including the auditorium and athletic facilities.

Depending on how many families express an interest in choosing the school, Brown expects the class to house anywhere from 300 to 450 students.

The School Choice application window is currently open, and families have until December 31 to apply to Academy 2027. For more information, visit www.sdhc.k12.fl.us.

Sumner High is located at 10650 C.R. 672 in Riverview, email Brown at David.Brown@sdhc.k12.fl.us.