Darnell-Cookman Middle/High School, School of the Medical Arts

Darnell-Cookman Middle/High School, School of the Medical Arts Logo

Basic Information

Address: 1701 N. Davis Street
County: Duval
District: Duval County Public Schools
Phone Number: (904) 630-6800
Fax Number: (904) 630-6811
Principal: Mr. Mark Ertel

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Additional Information

School Type: Dedicated Medical Arts Magnet
Accreditation: SAC
Grade Level: 6-8, 9-12
School Schedule (Hours in Day): 8:25 - 2:40
School Colors: Navy & Gold
School Mascot: Viking
School Size: 1250 students
Classroom Size: 22 in Middle School and 25 in High School
Camp Programs: No
After School Programs: Yes
Summer School: No
PTA Organization: Yes
Uniform Guidelines:


Mission Statement:

Our mission is to prepare students for collegiate success through a rigorous college preparatory curriculum integrated with professional medical standards emphasizing integrity, the pursuit of academic excellence, and a passion for life-long learning.

Philosophy/Belief Statement:

Our highly trained faculty provides a variety of both group and individual learning opportunities that help prepare students to succeed in college preparatory courses. The rigorous, standards-based curriculum is designed for academically gifted and advanced students. Emphasis is placed on team building, problem solving, critical thinking and creativity. It is our diverse student population in an educationally rich environment that has created the Darnell-Cookman tradition of excellence.

Enrollment Characteristics: A College Preparatory Medical Magnet Program for Academically Talented and Gifted Students in grades 6-12
School History:

The Reverend S. B. Darnell was a Methodist minister who moved to Jacksonville to serve as pastor of Ebenezer Methodist-Episcopal Church. He founded the Cookman Institute, which was located at Beaver and Hogan Streets. It was the first institution of higher education for African-Americans in the state of Florida specializing in the religious and academic preparation of teachers. Under the leadership of Reverend Darnell, the school served thousands of young Black men and women until it was destroyed in the great Jacksonville fire of 1901.
Before rebuilding, the school changed locations in order to get the school a little farther from the center of town. The Reverend Alfred Cookman, a friend of Reverend Darnell's, helped raise money to rebuild the school at its current site. After rebuilding, the enrollment was about two hundred and fifty. The Cookman Institute for Boys had classes in all the elementary grades and in the four high school grades. In addition, there were special courses in normal training, music, domestic science, and public speaking. They added sewing, shoemaking, printing, business, and agriculture. In 1923 the Cookman Institute merged with the Daytona Normal and Industrial Institute forming what would later become Bethune-Cookman College. The Cookman Institute was later purchased by the Duval County School System. Eartha White, a well known Jacksonville activist, suggested naming the Jacksonville school to honor both Reverend S. B. Darnell and Reverend Alfred Cookman.
Darnell-Cookman has been through many changes. It served elementary grades one through six before becoming a junior high school. Later it would become an alternative school for troubled students in grades 1-12. Then in 1991, the school was turned into a neighborhood middle school. Just two years later, the school changed from a neighborhood school to a dedicated magnet school serving academically talented and gifted students from throughout Duval County. In 2007, the school was award a grant from the U.S. Department of Education that allowed the school to begin the process of growing the dedicated magnet school into a Medical Arts School for grades 6 - 12.
Notes/School Information:


Darnell-Cookman Middle/High School, School of the Medical Arts, provides high performing students an advanced academic curriculum with an overview of the professional medical fields by equipping them with the academic skills and experiences to support their future success in college as an undergraduate who intends to pursue advanced degrees.
The curriculum of our program is college preparatory. Our students are expected to develop a personal vision and plan for a four-year college/university degree with the intent to pursue an advanced degree. The curriculum is advanced, honors and Advanced Placement based. Students at Darnell-Cookman Middle/High School will work closely with faculty members, their peers, and community partners to create an environment that supports creative and independent thinkers through the exploration of real-world connections in the fields of medical practice and is fully grounded in the liberal arts. Students will be prepared for their undergraduate college or university study in any chosen field.