The superintendent of Palm Beach County schools outlined Thursday his strategic plan for the future of education in his “State of our Schools” address at the annual Education Forecast.
Dr. Robert Avossa highlighted how a successful school district benefits the entire county. He said to achieve his goals he needs partners throughout the county, not just in the school community.
"We took 21 schools off the D and F list last year,” Avossa pointed out. "So, we’re hoping this academic year to move those last handful of schools and really make the progress I know this community demands."
Here are the four key areas Avossa plans to measure and focus on:
- Help students read on their grade level by third grade. Studies show students are more likely to drop out if they aren’t proficient readers early on.
- Make sure students are prepared for high school. That includes helping students get good grades, behave well and get involved in school.
- Increase the high school graduation rate. Palm Beach County already has the highest rate among similarly sized districts in Florida.
- Help students succeed after high school. This goal isn’t limited to directing all students to college, but includes options like offering trade certifications or helping students enlist in the military.
“The days of long ago when a high school diploma could get you to the next phase are long gone,” Avossa said. "So, now we’re working hard to make sure kids have the skills they need to enter the workforce, to enter college, or to enter both."
The luncheon event is being held from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Palm Beach County Convention Center since it is also a fundraiser for the Education Foundation of Palm Beach County. That organization provides programs to support academic initiatives in the district.
The Education Foundation will award Bill Bone with the 2017 Distinguished Alumni Award and Eric Kelly with the Outstanding Community Leadership Award at the luncheon.