On August 29th our speaker was Dr. Mark Rendell, Indian river County Superintendent of Schools. Dr. Rendell has been with the school district for approximately 3 years. His opening words to us were “Thank you for all the work you do with our young people – I appreciate everything you do for this community.”
Dr. Rendell then went on to describe the community projects of students in our district. At the 2017 United Way Day of Caring each elementary school put together a project at their school. The middle schools created thousands of bags filled with personal hygiene items for the homeless, which were then passed on to local law enforcement officers to distribute when in contact with homeless people. The high school students created an artistic heart to present to the Parkland High School students and faculty. The middle school students also mentor elementary students through the Moonshot Moments Program.
The IRCSD has more than 17,000 students in 22 district schools and 5 charter schools. It employs over 2000 people with an annual operating budget of $291 million. In 2016 there was an 87% graduation rate, its highest ever. It is expected the 2017 graduation rate reports will show an increase to 89-90%. The district has earned an A or B rating for the last 3 years. Thirty one percent of students are in AP or IB classes.
The 5-year strategic plan includes:
- Student success (state standardized tests and letter grades)
- Culture and climate (decreasing student misbehavior)
- High quality work force (competitive wages and salaries)
- Communication and engagement (positive employee feedback)
- Community partnerships (Volunteer Hours – exceeded 47,663 last year)
The district also oversees Treasure Coast Technical College which serves adult education needs (Career in a Year) and is open to high school seniors as well. The students who attend the technical college are taught applied technology such as healthcare, security guard training, automotive, culinary, and shop and welding. There is also an IRCSD Virtual School where students can take classes on line and interact with our local teachers.
There are now specifically trained School Resource Officers in each school; 1 in each elementary school, 2 at SRHS and 3 at VBHS.
Although still striving to do better, he let us know that our school district has received good ratings.
For more information visit www.indianriverschools.org.