The quality of the school district is attributed to many factors, and the support of the community is at the top of the list. We are privileged to have more than 11,000 volunteers working in our schools to help enhance the learning environment for our students. Thanks to the citizens of this county who passed a referendum in 2002 to provide additional operating funds to our schools, we are able to have nationally competitive teacher salaries, special programs for struggling learners, and challenging honors courses. Sarasota is the first county in the state to have a referendum ensuring first-rate schools.
The quality of the district’s arts programs was recently recognized by the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and the National School Boards Association. These organizations selected our School Board as one of only two in the country to receive a prestigious award for their outstanding support of a comprehensive arts education.
In addition, our students consistently outperform their peers in the state and nation on various assessments, including the rigorous SAT and ACT tests. They consistently receive honors in academic and athletic competitions in every area from debate, science, and Odyssey of the Mind to football, cheerleading, and video production.
The school district is especially proud of the recognition received for being fiscally responsible with the taxpayers’ dollars. Two independent rating firms have rated Sarasota County Public Schools at the top of the state and nation, citing our sound financial management.
Even though we enjoy a fine reputation for excellence, we still have much work ahead of us. We must find ways to close the achievement gap with our low-socioeconomic and minority students. We must improve our graduation and dropout rates, and we must enhance our career and technical education programs so that our students graduate with skills necessary for the 21st Century workforce.
We need your help to accomplish these tasks. Please consider becoming a PALS volunteer to tutor or mentor a child in need. Or, sign up for our Citizens Academy—an exciting way to learn about the workings of the school district in nine interactive and fun sessions. You even get to drive a school bus.
Sarasota County has been classified by the state as an “A” district, and I know, with your assistance, we can become a 360-degree “A” district, where excellence is all around - at every level, with every person, in every direction.