Students, and schools, are well-prepared for the future

01/05/2014 12:34 PM

01/05/2014 12:44 PM

Over the past few months, I have visited all of the public high schools in District 37. I am proud of the progress each school has made to create a better learning environment for students. They are doing outstanding work, and I salute the faculty, staff and students of the Miami-Dade County Public School System, as well as the administration and School Board for their leadership.

Since I was first elected to the Florida Legislature in 2004, I have seen huge advances in our educational system. I am confident that we will continue to work and challenge ourselves to achieve even greater accomplishments.

Every high school in District 37 offers students the opportunity to participate in a Magnet Academy that focuses on specific subject areas, along with a hands-on learning approach to each subject area. Each school offers a variety of programs that provide career and vocational training in areas such as international business, finance, engineering, health sciences, biomedical research, law and public service. Students have the opportunity to choose a focused path that helps them pursue a future career, and even enroll in college credit courses while completing a high school degree.

Several high schools in the district have established the iPrep Academy that educates students using the most up-to-date technology, while offering advanced-placement courses to aid in college readiness. The iPrep Academy also provides students the opportunity to complete internships with public and private entities in the local community.

At TERRA Environmental Research Institute, students from the Biomedical and Engineering and Robotics Academies have competed, and placed, in national and international competitions. Several high schools, such as Coral Park and the School for Advanced Studies, have partnered with local colleges and universities to allow students to take college-level courses and accumulate credits toward a college career.

Students at Robert Morgan Educational Center have the opportunity to enroll in courses for career and vocational training that focus on applied skills for specific industries.

Students are not only benefiting from well-equipped classrooms, they are being instructed by some of the best and brightest teachers in the state. Visiting students and teachers while class was in session, I was able to see the high levels of engagement of students and teachers alike.

By working together — state and local policy makers, parents, teachers, students and the entire South Florida community — we can ensure that future students will be as bright and successful as those I have already seen.

Anitere Flores, state senator, District 37, Miami

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