Welcome Back to School

Welcome Back to School
Posted on 08/09/2019
Welcome Back to School

Dear Families,

Welcome back!

We hope your summer has been both fun and relaxing and that your students are looking forward to the first day of school and a great year!

This summer we have been busy celebrating the success of our students as well as putting processes and procedures in place to continue to ensure your child’s personal achievement.

I am proud to share with you that out of the top 10 largest Districts in Florida, we are the only District to have no “D” or “F” schools. In addition, 60% of our schools, not including charters, earned an “A” or “B”, with 18 schools increasing their school grades.

Our District maintained its “B” grade for a sixth year in a row, however, due to the hard work of our students and teachers we are within three percentage points of a an “A”.

This is significant because recent data shows that our District has the 2nd highest economically disadvantaged student rate of the 18th largest districts. In addition, over the last 5 years we have had the highest English Language Learners (ELL) growth rate for all Florida districts.

When you think of the academic successes mentioned above in relation to this information, the achievements of our students are even more remarkable and that is due in great part to you and your engagement in their education.

We are working to make it easier for you to be connected to your child’s education through platforms like FOCUS, where you can check your child’s grades, assignments and attendance. WheresTheBus tells you how far away your child’s bus is from his or her stop. SchoolMessenger Communicate allows us to share event information,  schedule changes and emergency messaging with you via email, phone calls, texts and push notifications. Peachjar allows community organizations and schools to share information about opportunities for your children. If you’d like more information on any of these programs you can go to the FOR FAMILIES section at www.leeschools.net or ask at your child’s school.

We know that students cannot achieve academic success unless they feel safe in our schools, and much of our focus this summer has been on school safety.

Once again, every school will have at least one School Resource Officer to help keep our students safe. All of our campuses are now single point of entry with a video access system. We have upgraded security cameras to cover more areas of our campuses and our security function lock project is nearly complete.

While those are steps we have taken to harden our buildings, our goal is prevention.

To that end, our school mental health teams are making sure students who need help, are getting it – increasing our ability to focus on the whole child. Faculty has undergone mental health training and we have formed strong partnerships with community agencies which are focused on mental health. When children’s minds are healthy and their emotions are good, we have a better chance of helping them reach their highest personal potentials.

In addition, bus stop safety has been top of mind. We have spent the summer working with community partners on benches and lighting at our semi-permanent stops. We continue to develop a proximity plan for the closest 5-7 elementary schools that will cut down on ride times and consolidate routes, making it possible to adjust school start times. I urge you to visit the school safety page on our website to read about steps you and your child can take while walking and waiting at the bus stop, as well as view safety videos tailored to your child’s grade. We are all in this together for the benefit of our students.

What I’ve listed is just a snapshot of the things we have been working on this summer to better support and engage your children. I want to thank you for trusting us with your children. Their teachers and administrators look forward to seeing them on Monday and speaking on behalf of the 12,000+ employees of the District, we all look forward to being part of the amazing things they will accomplish over the next year.

Sincerely,

Gregory K. Adkins, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools