We’ll explore Broward County Public Schools in Florida, the largest fully accredited school district in the country, including its history, structure and special features.
Broward County Public Schools
is the second largest school district in the state of Florida and the sixth largest district in the United States. Broward also boasts the largest, fully-accredited school district in the country. Serving more than 260,000 students in 260 schools, this district has implemented numerous programs to address the needs of all students. From magnet schools
to a brand new military academy, this district strives to provide for a diverse student body, preparing them for life after their Broward County Public Schools experience.
The History of Broward County
According to the Broward County Public Schools website, the first two public schools in the county opened in 1899. The first teacher for the county, Ivy Cromartie, taught nine students at one small schoolhouse, while Mary Butler greeted another nine students in another. School was only in session for around six months a year at that time, since students were needed by their parents to help on family farms the rest of the years.
Schools in the area continued to grow by leaps and bounds over the next few years. By 1914, Fort Lauderdale High School
, which was created in 1910, boasted a study population of 325 and a full nine-month school year. Broward County was officially established in 1915, offering firm boundaries for the region. The county was named for the former governor of the state, Napoleon B. Broward. As the new county was established, and official Broward County School System followed, complete with a superintendent, board of public instruction, and elected trustees to represent each individual school.
Broward County Schools Today
Today, Broward County Public Schools continues to be governed by a superintendent and a nine-member elected school board
. The county is staffed by more than 17,000 teachers and works within an annual budget of more than $5.65 billion, according to Wikipedia
. The district has also expanded from its K-12 schools to include 16 adult and vocational schools
and 16 education centers.
Broward County Public Schools now features a wider variety of schooling options to families looking for a very specific academic experience. The school system offers Innovative Programs, which allows students to attend schools outside their boundaries. Reassignment can be done to another public school within the county or a variety of schools that specialize in various subjects or instructional styles.
Options in Broward County
Broward County leads the country in choices of magnet schools today, according to the website for the Innovative Programs
initiative. Magnet schools
offer a unique educational experience to students that include focused area of study is specific subjects and in-depth learning experiences within those subjects. Hands-on and real-life experiences are emphasized, as students move beyond the traditional classroom structure to opportunities to interact and even manipulate their own learning environment.
One of the magnet programs now available to Broward County students is the S.T.E.M. program
that allows students to dig deep in the subjects of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. The program uses state-of-the-art technology and project-based curriculum to give students a realistic taste of the STEM fields today. Students learn through curriculum developed by university professors and experts in the STEM fields. They work in labs and with technology during their classroom experience, and they have the opportunity to attend related camps during school breaks.
This year, Broward County opened its first military school, the Hollywood Hills High School Military Academy
. The program is available for high school students interested in building their leadership and academic skills to prepare for the road to higher education. Classes are taught by retired military instructors and teachers working to build self-esteem
, leadership and self-confidence into the students that attend this magnet program.
Adult Education in Broward County
As Broward County has expanded, the school district has also extended their educational opportunities to adult members of the community as well. The website for Broward Educator
describes the various options for adult students, which include community schools that offer a wide range of adult education options. The schools are located at various locations throughout the county and offer courses in subjects like parenting
, business and arts and crafts. Classes are also open to younger students who want to expand their education choices.
Broward technical centers also offer adults the chance to further their education, through classwork specifically designed for the professional environment. The centers provide high quality training at a fraction of the cost of colleges in the area. Credits earned at the centers may transfer to an associate degree program and financial aid is available for students who qualify. The schools are fully accredited and offer job placement to students looking for work after completion.
Kudos for Broward County
With many academic and learning options for students of all ages to choose from, it may not be a surprise that this district has earned ample recognition for their education quality in recent years. The district website reports that three high schools in Broward County were recently recognized by U.S. News and World Report as top high schools in the country
. The district has also been recognized by the Council of the Great City Schools for outstanding student achievement.
Broward County Public Schools boasts a long history of more than century. During those many decades, the school district has grown and evolved into a region of learning that is committed to academic achievement for students of all ages and from all backgrounds. With a wealth of options beyond the traditional public school experience, Broward County has risen to become one of the top school districts in the country.