Charlotte County Public Schools Review

By
Real Estate Agent with The Andreae Group at RE/MAX Harbor Realty

Recently, this article ran on the state of Charlotte County Schools. I thought it was worthy of passing on to those interested in the area. 

Article courtesy of INSIDE Punta Gorda (pub date: January 2008) Thanks to the publisher, Adam Bartolotta for giving us permission to repost the article in its entirety.

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Good things are always happening in our school district, and I appreciate the publishers allowing me to share a few of those things for this new year edition.

Let me tell you a few facts about our school district, and then share some outstanding markers of 2007 and anticipated activities for 2008. First, we are the largest employer in the county, with nearly 2,500 employees. In addition, we run the county's largest public transportation system (school busses), the largest food service chain (school cafeterias), have the largest corporate square footage, and have the second largest budget. Our payroll department processes about 60,000 paychecks per year, and our technology staff keeps over 7,000 instructional computers operating each day. We serve students from birth to age 21 in several programs funded by state and federal education agencies. Our vision is "Student Success!", but as you can tell, there are many other functions that must be in place and running smoothly for our district to operate well and allow students to be successful.

In 2007, we were accorded "A" status as a school district for the fourth year in a row, and are one of only 13 Florida districts to have earned an "A" in each of those years. 14 of our 17 graded schools also earned a grade of "A" in 2007, giving us the highest percent of "A" schools in the history of graded schools in our county. Tremendous effort by our teaching and support staff were key in making these grades a reality.

We were very pleased in January of 2007 to have moved our medical programs into a new facility at the Charlotte Technical Center (CTC). State of the art dental, nursing and patient care classrooms are in place now, and have been instrumental in raising the bar for student success in those technical programs. Other technical offerings have continued to grow and flourish, and include fine programs in culinary arts, construction trades, automobile technology, cosmetology, and aeronautical sciences (which is one of only four high school programs in the state to be officially connected to and supported by Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University). Take some time and come by CTC to check out our programs and enjoy a memorable lunch in the culinary arts area.

At our high schools, we've worked hard to increase rigor and relevance in our honors courses. Among many other accomplishments, we were able to graduate our first Charlotte/Edison Collegiate Academy students with both a high school diploma and a 2-year associate's degree at the same time! This extremely rigorous program of high school credits and Edison College courses opens up a new avenue for students at Charlotte High School, and will be expanded to all of our high schools over the next two years. This year's addition of a Mandarin Chinese course is also important as we educate our students to compete more effectively in a global economy.

Our middle schools began offering credits leading to major areas of interest, and notched up their focus on career and technical education. All middle school technical laboratories have been updated with programs and equipment that allow students to fully explore a number of career choices before entering high school. A portfolio of explorations has to be completed by middle schoolers in the 8th grade year to ensure that they can make better, more informed selections of high school courses and major areas of interest. In 2007, our schools were awarded a Best Practices Award for the 8th grade career and academic planning course.

Elementary schools have jumped into Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) labs to round out a rigorous reading curriculum developed over the past few years. Schools have developed programs in Spanish, set up Family Book Check-Out Centers, conducted "WOW! Assemblies" to recognize student success, and worked with organizations like Rotary to develop RotaKids programs linking civic activities with our students.

For 2008, we will re-engage and update our district vision established in 2003, again involving stakeholders. We will ask our school community to tell us what they want this school district to have, do and be, as we grow and thrive over the next 5-10 years. Refining curriculum offerings developed over the past few years will also be a prime focus. With the right courses and offerings in place now, we will strive to infuse more relevance and rigor in the current courses rather than expand further.

In conclusion, I must mention our final recovery efforts from Charley. We will have opened five of our six hurricane destroyed schools by the end of 2008, and will be well on our way to completing the last one.  There is no standing still for this school district! To do so in today's world would be to lose ground. Come visit our schools - help us ensure Student Success!

Written by Dr. David Gayler, Charlotte County Public Schools Superintendent

For links to the Charlotte County schools, visit our Charlotte County school page.

For market updates, available listings and other area information, visit our website dedicated to Punta Gorda Real Estate.

Comments (1)

Joe Kendall Broker
Keller Williams Elite Realty - Fort Myers, FL
It's Always best to talk to "Broker Joe"

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Mar 31, 2010 09:10 AM