Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Visioning about our local public schools and “Project Lake Worth II”.

Highland Elementary School was a topic of discussion at last week’s “Visioning Worth Session” at Lake Worth City Hall (see video below). To learn more about this all-day work session click on this link.

Briefly, the original Project Lake Worth began in 1990,

The 63-year-old Southgrade Elementary was turned into an alternative school for kids with behavior problems. Its twin, Northgrade, was on the verge of closing. Highland Elementary School was dubbed “Portable City.”

But after ten years the president of Project Lake Worth said, “We need fresh blood.” Project Lake Worth was a huge success but later it lost steam and momentum and the effort that created so much progress and change fell apart. Click on this link to learn more. Now fast-forward eighteen years later to the present. . .

To help our students and teachers in local schools.
Is it time for Project Lake Worth II?

Watch and listen very closely to the first minute of the video below. Last Tuesday afternoon visited the “Visioning Work Session” at City Hall facilitated by consultant Kevin Knutson. This work session came on the heels of the news reported in The Lake Worth Herald, “Overcapacity Schools Cause for Alarm”.

At one point in the video below Lake Worth Commissioner Omari Hardy says about students at Highland Elementary,

“If they could just get their science [27% proficiency] to catch up to where their reading is in the third, fourth and fifth grade Highland would be a ‘B’ school today. That’s what their principal is focusing on.”

Consider this: The City of Lake Worth has a number of volunteer advisory boards, e.g., a C-51 Canal Advisory Board, an Electric Utility Advisory Board, a Library Board, a Recreation Advisory Board, and even a Tree Board too.

But guess what this City doesn’t have? A board tasked with coordinating and working with our one charter school, the four public elementary schools, Lake Worth Middle, Lake Worth High School and the private school at Sacred Heart Catholic. And how many other private and faith-based schools are there in this City? Does anyone even know?

If this City had something like an Education and Schools Advisory Board maybe that could be the impetus for Project Lake Worth II. The original Project Lake Worth caught the attention of a lot of public officials twenty-eight years ago. Our public schools are directly linked to poverty and economic development and exactly what visioning is all about.

And FYI: Department heads and administrators in this City need to pay close attention to the second minute of this video.

This video is only three minutes. The entire
Visioning Session was six hours long: