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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Four years ago KIPP arrived in the city offering a different educational setting for students: longer school days and a longer school year for starters.

This week the charter school that has grown from 90 students in 5th grade to 650 students. The school has add a new grade each year plus an elementary school.

"Our students may come from families with low incomes, but they have incredible potential," said Tom Majdanics the Executive Director of KIPP.

"An average student comes to use in 5th grade frankly behind in reading and math," said Majdanics.

The school is located in Northwest Jacksonville on the site of a former dog track on McDuff Avenue. The facility has been remodeled but the school's music classroom still has seats used by people when watching the greyhounds race.

The charter school is also unique in that art and music is a part of each day, one hour a day is dedicated to those subjects.

On Friday evening the first class of 8th graders will graduate from KIPP marking a milestone for the school that prides itself in making a difference and offering families an educational option.

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