JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Duval County Public Schools (DCPS) has recommended "an outside entity" operate three of the district's most at-risk schools, according to Laureen Ricks, DCPS' spokeswoman.

For weeks, the future of Lake Forest Elementary, Matthew Gilbert Middle School and Northwestern Middle School has been up in the air after all schools have struggled to receive a "C" grade on state report cards.

"[They] are all within 4 percentage points of attaining a 'C' grade," said DCPS' Interim Superintendent, Dr. Patricia Willis. "... It was critical to invite community input on such a crucial decision for these school communities."

There are roughly 1,300 students attending the schools. Per Florida law, DCPS was required to choose among "turnaround" options for the schools.

READ MORE: Duval to file plan for three schools in danger

Eighty-seven percent of participants from Community Assessment Team meetings voted to have the Florida Department of Education contract an outside entity to operate the schools, according to a press release. The entity could be a district-managed charter school.

Contracts will be reviewed and voted on by the School Board before Jan. 31, 2018.