We’re asking thought leaders, business people and creatives to talk about 2023 and give us catalyzing ideas for making St. Pete a better place to live. What should our city look like? What are their hopes, their plans, their problem-solving ideas? This is Catalyze 2023.
Kevin Hendrick is Superintendent of Pinellas County Schools.
As I began as superintendent on July 1, I challenged our 128 schools to reignite the Student Experience. Although we became very good at digital instruction over the last two years, I wanted our schools to be places where students have an experience that is second to none, and one that cannot be obtained behind a computer screen. As we look towards 2023, Pinellas County Schools has dramatically improved the Student Experience, but there is more work to be done. My hope is that as a community we come together to build Student Experiences in our schools that are world-class. Experiences that make students excited to be at school and provide a sense of belonging and prepare them for their college, career and life. As a district this will continue to mean focusing on the state standards so that students are academically prepared, but also ensuring that the learning is brought to life through hands-on activities, real-world projects, field trips and experiential opportunities that build connections to curricular standards.
We are expanding opportunities for our students and creating experiences that are unique to Pinellas County Schools. Our partnerships with the Innovation Foundation, powered by Ark Invest and the TB12 Foundation, are only available in our district. In collaboration with the Pinellas Education Foundation, the Pinellas Early Literacy Initiative is a model for the state, and high school programs like 3DE and Elevating Excellence are preparing our students for any post-secondary path they choose. The district continues to look for new and innovative ways to connect with students, ignite their curiosity and foster their excitement for learning.
We are also changing the Student Experience through investment in world-class facilities, including Clearwater High School, Tyrone Middle School and the Speer YMCA Partnership Middle School that will all have ribbon cutting ceremonies in 2023.
I challenge and welcome everyone to join us so that Student Experience are embedded across our district. To make this vision come to life, the support and engagement of our business partners, community leaders and families is critical. Every person in Pinellas County can positively impact the Student Experience. Whether it be signing up to mentor a student, to adopting a classroom, hosting a field trip or even sponsoring a student internship, the reach of our community is greatest when we work together. And what better way to impact the future of our community than to invest and create positive Student Experiences.