Superintendent Robert W. Runcie: ‘What a Year it Has Been’

Robert Runcie UPdate

A Message from Broward County Public Schools Superintendent Robert W. Runcie:

It’s hard to believe the end of the school year is upon us and what a year it has been.

As a community and as a school district, we faced incredible challenges during this year, and together we found ways to meet and overcome them and to use them to grow. We have continued to demonstrate our resiliency and our resolve to rise above adversity.

Robert Runcie UpdateWhile the close of this year may not look like any other, one thing that has never changed, and that is our commitment to educating our students and to ensuring the well-being of one another.

Near the start of the year, we prepared for Hurricane Dorian. South Florida was spared the worse, but unfortunately, our friends in the Bahamas were devastated.

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Today. Broward County Public schools is announcing a coalition of organizations that have joined together to help victims recover from the devastating impact of Hurricane Dorian.

Our school community opened its hearts, welcoming hundreds of families into our schools with resources, school supplies, clothing, food, and more help to help them recover and rebuild their lives.

District-wide this year, we saw the need to increase our emphasis on social and emotional well-being and provide mental health supports.  Our school board approved the investment of 16 million for an additional 150 counselors, social workers, and mental health professionals.

We continued our focus on safety and security. This year we’ve added an additional number of security staff, bringing our total to more than 1200. And they include school resource officers, our guardians, campus monitors, and security specialists.

Through the day of service and love, we honor those lost during the Marjory Stoneman Douglas tragedy two years ago by giving back to our community with service projects and activities that promoted kindness, unity, peace, well-being, compassion, and love.

This is a really good way of getting involved in your community to unite and show that even though something bad has happened in the past, we have to move past that. And right now, what we need to do is just make sure that everything in our community is better, and we need to work towards a better community.

Always at our foundation is our core mission of educating our students. We’ve expanded innovative programs and jumped nearly 2 points this year to earn our highest graduation rate of all time.

Robert Runcie UpdateWhile continuing to narrow achievement gaps as we strive for educational excellence. We increased debate and computer science in schools, provide a strong reading

foundation for youngest learners, and worked to offer unique learning opportunities in all grade levels. And then just a few short months ago came the worldwide coronavirus pandemic.

Across our district, we’re taking steps to prepare for the impact of the coronavirus in our school communities.

And the immediate transition to distance learning. Our district has provided more than 90,000 computer devices to students.

We made certain families have access to low cost or free Internet services and served close to 2 million meals. We’re also delivering 240,000 books to students in pre-k through second grade in our title one schools so that they can build home libraries and support their love of reading.

Thanks to our amazing teachers, administrators, and staff, we ensured, learning never closes. We’ve learned a lot during this crisis. While COVID-19 has created a disruption, it is also creating new opportunities that will emerge for us to offer better learning experiences for our students and transform our public education system for the better.

To all of our employees who have worked tirelessly during the pandemic distributing meals supporting technology providing mental health services and so much more.

And to our families for all that you do. Our school board members and I say thank you. I’m proud of what we’ve accomplished this school year and that whenever there’s an expected challenge, we can come together to overcome it.

We find solutions to problems, and we work to meet and exceed the needs of our students and families. We know that change is never easy. But it is surely possible.

Thank you for your support. We wish you and your family a healthy and safe summer break.

Be Strong. Be Safe. And Be Kind.

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