Issue 206, November 19, 2023

This week at our general meeting, we heard from Dr. Dana Kriznar, Interim Superintendent of Duval County Public Schools. Kriznar spoke on the 2020 Strategic Plan that the school board and leadership is using as a guideline. They are:
• LITERACY: DCPS will improve from the bottom quartile of Florida Standards Assessment reading and writing performance in June 2019 to the top quartile of performance statewide by August 2026.
• HIGH-PERFORMING SCHOOLS: DCPS will be recognized as being high-performing with the percentage of district-operated schools earning an A, B, or C rating increasing from 2019 to 2026.
• SOFT-SKILLS: DCPS will improve the post-secondary readiness of graduates by increasing the percentage of students earning soft skills credentials from the baseline in August 2023 to August 2026.
• VOCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: DCPS Career Technical Education (CTE) programs will be recognized as high performing with the percentage of programs becoming novice or moving from 1 performance level to the next (advanced, master, or national model) increasing from the baseline in July 2021 to July 2026.

She outlined the makeup of schools in Duval, with 41 Charters, 97 Elementary facilities, 23 Middle Schools, 20 High Schools, 5 Combination, 6 ESE, 1 Virtual, and 12 Alternative. Kriznar pointed out that attendance has been down since Covid-19. One out of three students miss 20 days or more per year. This is a problem that needs a lot of work.

As far as security (a big priority for everyone), there is increased camera surveillance, radio access and panic alert systems for all teachers, only one access door for lower schools, and in the high schools, everyone must go through metal and weapon detectors. Every school has a security officer that has numerous trainings in handling emergencies, and in the larger schools, there are two officers on each campus.

Many members inquired about the tech classes that used to be offered. Currently, the Duval County Schools promote career academies. There are 201 courses that are vocational in style, encouraging students who are vocational-driven to try their hand at different career paths.

This Wednesday, we do not have a meeting, so that we may spend time with our families and friends. I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving, with special reunions with those we find dear. We will meet back the following week with a great speaker and a kick-off to our holiday programs.

Happy Thanksgiving!
Jeanne Maron
2023 President

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