With nearly 356,000 students, Miami-Dade County Schools is the fourth-largest school district in the nation. The school system must be prepared for managing such a large student and parent population.
To bridge the gap between school years for anxious parents and students, MDCS created an annual “Back to School Tool Kit,” a catalog designed to answer questions about the upcoming school year. It addresses everything from school holidays to bus transportation, to uniform policies. Originally distributed in the form of media releases to the press, the catalog today is regularly updated online and offers even more information, including registration, vaccination requirements, school hours, and school safety.
The 2015-16 “Back to School Tool Kit” has recently been released for the upcoming school year, which will commence Aug. 24. (Cue sigh of relief from parents and groan from children.) It is offered in three languages — English, Spanish, and Creole —— and is available online on the School County’s website, www.dadeschools.net.
John Schuster, the school system’s administrative director of the Office of Public Relations, explains that the kit has proven useful over the years.
“It touches on a little bit of everything from academics, to transportation, to food. … It gives the public extra information on topics they need to know further about,” Schuster says. “We’ve gotten a lot of feedback from parents who can easily access it, so we know it’s working quite well. It’s been a big advantage to be online.”