Another school year is behind us, wrapped up with a whirlwind visit to 30 Miami-Dade County Public Schools’ graduation ceremonies. This year, 21,000 students received diplomas, and I shook hands with just about half of those young people in six days. The ceremonies were filled with touching moments, including surprise visits from family members who serve in the military overseas, diplomas that were received by the parents of students who were lost to senseless street violence, and the miraculous strength of a young lady with a physical challenge who chose to walk across the stage on her own.
We have given our students gifts that will serve them all their lives: a love of exploration gained from blended learning, technology skills to help them research, and character education that gives them a sense of what is right and wrong. I could sense that these students were well on their way to becoming tomorrow’s leaders, helping our community to achieve new success. Our graduates radiated hope and promise, ready to take on college and career, with more than $315 million in scholarships to assist them.
And just as we wrap up last year, we are planning for next year and beyond. We will be expanding and enhancing bilingual education services to give students a foundation in language that will serve them in their future. We’ll be offering new choice programs for students to explore those career fields that interest them, as well as internships to give them a taste of what it’s like to participate in that work.
In the meantime, it is summer, and we are not resting in providing for our students. We are serving breakfast and lunch to thousands of hungry children every day at schools across the county; many times it is the best nutrition they receive. We are feeding students’ minds as well, through our iSummer Learning-on-the-Go program, and through innovative summer camps such as SEA Corps, where students study and research how the rising seas may change our local landscape. At the District level, we are completing an ambitious five year Strategic Plan to ensure that our best, most efficient effort is put into educating our students in a way that serves them well. A recent reorganization, approved by the School Board, will streamline our organization and save $6.5 million as we move forward. We are even exploring the monetization of 10 acres of prime development land at our downtown headquarters to help provide educational opportunities for students for years to come. The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their own dreams, and our students—our graduates—fit that description well.
Superintendent Carvalho can be reached at 305-995-1430 or via email superintendent’firstname.lastname@example.org.