Sarasota County Schools News

A Statement from Dr. Todd Bowden on the Upcoming Superintendent Annual Evaluation

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Dr. Todd Bowden reading to students

July 16, 2018 

“I am incredibly thankful to our school leaders, teachers and classified staff members who have contributed to a successful year throughout the school district. Our shared vision for maintaining a tradition of excellence in our schools has brought forth incredible results, including another “A” grade from the state for the 15th consecutive year and improvements in key content and curriculum areas. Our students are thriving and the strategies we’ve employed since I assumed the job of superintendent are working. There is still much work to be done, however, to close the achievement gap and ensure success for all students, and I look forward to working together to bridge the divide and promote successful academic, artistic and athletic outcomes for students throughout Sarasota County. I am honored to serve as superintendent of this supportive community and look forward to even greater outcomes this next year and beyond.”

On Tuesday, the Sarasota County School Board will issue its annual evaluation of the superintendent during the 3 p.m. School Board meeting. In anticipation of the evaluation, Dr. Bowden prepared an overview of the year’s accomplishments to school board members for their review. Highlights of the year include:

  • District Performance on State Accountability Measures
    • “A” rated District for 15 consecutive years - every year since grades have been awarded
    • 4 percentage point increase from 2016-17 to 2017-18 (63% to 67%)
    • 37 total point increase from 2016-17 to 2017-18 (697 to 734)
    • Increased in 8 of 11 measures of district performance
    • Maintained in 3 of 11 measures of district performance
    • No decrease in any measure of district performance
  • Renewal of Referendum
    • On March 20, 2018, voters in Sarasota overwhelmingly supported the renewal of our 1 mil of operating revenue with 78.62% in favor – the highest percentage ever!
  • Collective Bargaining
    • Two-year agreement
    • Implemented Performance Pay for all instructional staff
    • Ended longevity for all employees
    • Ended Step/Lane salary schedules for all employees

District Leadership during Hurricane Irma

    • During Hurricane Irma, the district sheltered over 20,000 residents in 14 shelters
    • According to the “Sarasota County Hurricane Irma After-Action Report/Improvement Plan” commissioned by Sarasota County, the Gulf Coast Community Foundation, and Charles & Margery Barancik Foundation, [the] “School District staff stepped up to help with the unprecedented sheltering operation.”
  • Legislative Appropriation to Support Summer Learning
    • Worked with legislative delegation and Lobbyist to secure $500k to support and expand summer learning
  • Earned Florida Superintendent Special Certification through the Florida Association of District School Superintendents (FADSS) and the Florida Department of Education (FLDOE)
  • Continued Financial Excellence
    • According to outside auditor Cherry Bekaert, “No reportable deficiencies were identified during the current year” – a clean audit!
    • District received both the GFOA and ASBO awards for the fourteenth consecutive year
      • Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) – Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting
      • Association of School Business Officials International (ASBO) – Certificate of Excellence in Financial Reporting

School Safety and Security

    • Capital building campaign to alter physical security of school sites
    • Launch of internal Police Department to enhance human security
    • Funding of social, emotional and behavioral elements to bolster emotional security and well-being


  • Strategic Restructuring at District and School Sites
    • Assistant Superintendent for Instruction staff
    • Combine Curriculum and Staff Development Departments to create integrated grade level teams to support elementary, middle, and high schools
    • Adjust staffing ratios to provide additional support at school sites
      • Minimum of 1 Assistant Principal at each elementary school
      • Minimum of 2 Assistant Principals at each middle school
      • Reorganize high school administrative teams
        • Assistant Principal for Curriculum
        • Assistant Principal for Administration
  • Strengthen Partnerships with local Foundations and individual donors
    • Charles & Margery Barancik Foundation: Teacher training in Math, Reading Recovery, FSU SSTRIDE, Fresh Fruits & Vegetables, Teacher Recruitment, Educators Rising, High School Intensive Language Arts, Mental Health Community Scan, Crisis Text Line, STEMsmart, TechACTIVE, UF Innovation Station, Parenting Matters at EEB
    • Community Foundation of Sarasota County: Mental Health Therapist, afterschool tutoring, Summer Learning Academies, student scholarships, EdExploreSRQ, Student Emergency Fund
    • Education Foundation: College/Career Centers, Teacher of the Year, STEM Fair, SRQ Hacks, CreateSRQ, EdExploreSRQ, school and teacher grants
    • Gulf Coast Community Foundation: Reading Recovery, KidsREAD, KidsSWIM, STEMsmart, ACT support, TechACTIVE, student scholarships, Civility Squad, STC Internship Training, Schoolhouse Links, SRQ Hacks, STEM Fair, school grants
    • The Patterson Foundation: Suncoast Campaign for Grade Level Reading (e.g., Attendance Poster Contest, Kindergarten Literacy Bags), Summer Book Challenge, Data Dashboard Specialist, EdExploreSRQ

Opened Suncoast Technical College – North Port

    • Full-service technical college
    • Unique partnership with state and local governments
      • State of Florida – $3 million legislative appropriation
      • Sarasota County – co-location of the Shannon Staub Library
      • City of North Port – funding to include conference center
  • Policy Review
    • Working with the School Board, initiated a review of the district’s policy manual to strengthen and clarify processes and procedure to align with future goals
  • Implementation of Data Dashboards
    • District (School) grade overall
    • District attendance & out of school suspension
    • Reading performance: i-Ready & Achieve3000
    • Middle and high school acceleration
  • Provide up-to-date technology to support instruction and infrastructure improvements to enhance information systems capacity and efficiency
    • The final phase of the 3-year ActivPanel replacement project was completed at all schools and departments across the district.
    • Complete replacement of the district’s domain controller server infrastructure along with the decommissioning of over 150 antiquated servers at school sites.

The annual review of the superintendent will take place during the July 17, 2018 Board Meeting at the Landings starting at 3 p.m.


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