As Miami-Dade County Public Schools (M-DCPS) wraps up another year, the district’s tradition of innovation and achievement continues to generate honors and recognition at state, national and international levels.
High school graduations are at a record high rate of 78.1 percent, exceeding the state average. In 2014-15, over 21,000 students graduated and 94 percent of them planned to attend college.
Our students outperformed other large urban districts in the 2015 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) exams in Reading. Seniors also excelled on College Board SAT exams and Advance Placement exams.
Our schools received 37 National Magnet Merit Awards, out-performing all other school districts nationwide for the fifth straight year. This year’s 55 new magnet/choice programs brought the district’s total to 500.
Design & Architecture Senior High School (DASH) was rated among the top 20 schools in the U.S. and second in Florida by U.S. News & World Report. Four Miami-Dade schools ranked in Florida’s Top 10 and seven schools placed in Florida’s Top 20.
Our impressive workforce continues to excel across the nation. Arthur and Polly Mays Conservatory of the Arts principal Martin T. Reid was named the 2016 Magnet Schools of America Principal of the Year. Veteran teacher Precious Symonette, from Miami Norland Senior High School, is a finalist for the 2015-16 Florida Teacher of the Year.
The district’s digital conversion forged ahead, and 43,000 digital devices were distributed to students, bringing the total number to 104,000, and enhancing the capabilities of 11,620 interactive boards and 45 million square feet of Wi-Fi space.
Seventy-five General Obligation Bond capital and technology projects totaling $132.2 million were completed, and 145 small and micro businesses were certified to do work with the district, with 137 of them being Minority/Women Business Enterprises.
The “iAttend” program taught the importance of attending school regularly, and 10 Success Centers opened as a way to implement effective discipline practices without depriving students of valuable instructional time.
And we got healthier! First Lady Michelle Obama recognized 22 M-DCPS schools with Let’s Move! Active Schools National Awards, more than any other large urban district in the United States. More than 2,000 teachers, students, parents and community supporters rallied together in support of education at the inaugural Superintendent’s 5K Challenge. And for the first time, free vaccinations were offered in 150 Miami-Dade schools and a new health clinic opened at Miami Northwestern Senior High School to serve the community.
The Miami-Dade School Board was awarded the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting by the Government Finance Officers Association and also was awarded the coveted Distinguished Budget Presentation Award.
I was honored to accept the 2016 Harold W. McGraw Jr. Prize in Education for raising standards and improving graduation rates in an urban district, as well as the 2016 Magnet Schools of America Superintendent of the Year.
It was a busy year — a productive year — one completed with honor and with honors received. For a complete list of our top 30 achievements this year, visit http://pdfs.dadeschools.net/featured/Top_30.pdf.