Marion County’s newest public school, Fordham Early Learning Academy, will celebrate its opening with a ribbon-cutting event next week.
The event will take place at 8:30 a.m. on Monday, September 26 at Fordham Early Learning Academy (FELA), which is located at 4000 W Anthony Road.
The new school educates the youngest learners in Marion County Public Schools. A total of 47 students in the Voluntary Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten grade levels currently attend the school, according to MCPS.
First and second grade levels will be added to the school over the next two years.
Students, community members, special guests, district leaders, and school personnel will participate in the ribbon-cutting event, which will include history on who Edmond Fordham was and how the school came into existence.
Attendees are encouraged to bring their favorite children’s book to donate to the school’s library.
FELA focuses on developing strong literacy skills, social-emotional learning concepts, and music enrichment opportunities in early learners.
The Academy’s namesake, Edmond Fordham, grew up in Marion County’s Fort McCoy area and graduated from Howard Academy. He served in the U.S. Air Force and later graduated from Payne College in Augusta, Georgia.
Fordham served MCPS as a history teacher at Belleview-Santos School; assistant principal at Osceola Junior High School; and principal at Sparr Elementary, Dr. N.H. Jones, and Dunnellon Elementary Schools.
After retiring, Fordham became the site administrator for NOVA Southeastern University, mentoring aspiring school administrators enrolled in the Early Education and Exceptional Student Education programs.
Fordham passed away just days before FELA opened its doors in August.
FELA operates as a School Choice program, meaning any appropriately-aged student can apply to attend. As with any Choice program, parents/families must provide their own transportation.
For more information, please contact Early Learning Director Jennifer Beck, who serves as the school’s principal, via phone (352-671-4925) or email ([email protected]).