I’m excited about the upcoming new school year and all that Orange County Public Schools (OCPS) has to offer our students. To start, I’m extremely pleased to welcome Dr. Barbara Jenkins as our new superintendent and look forward to working with her as she leads OCPS to greater heights of student achievement.
I’m also excited about the dedicated and caring administrators, principals, teachers and staff who will greet our students on August 20. These individuals are ready to present our students with various learning opportunities and experiences that will lead them to a successful future.
Many would have you believe that our public school system doesn’t offer a quality educational experience. Nothing could be further from the truth. Our community has every right to boast about its public school district. Consider the following:
- Prestigious International Baccalaureate magnet programs at 10 middle and high schools.
- Dual-enrollment programs at all high schools that allow students to earn college credits at no additional cost.
- Magnet programs in elementary, middle and high schools that offer customized curriculum in specific areas of interest that include theater and performing arts, international studies, law and finance, science and technology, foreign language, criminal justice, medical technology, veterinary science and many more.
- A full complement of Advanced Studies and Honors courses offered at our middle and high schools.
- Career and technical education programs that begin in middle school.
- Full offering of online and virtual courses with OCPS Virtual School.
- A wide variety of sports programs for male and female students.
- Fine arts programs in dance, instrumental music, vocal music theatre and visual arts.
I’m also excited to welcome parents and community members to be involved with our schools. Our local schools thrive when teachers, students, parents and community members feel a connection with each other.
I urge all parents to join the PTA/PTSA, SAC, PLC, booster clubs or other parent-based organization. Through these groups parents are able to provide valuable input and assistance for principals and teachers. These groups also help to improve two-way communication and build a sense of community that reaches far beyond school boundaries.
Local business involvement is also welcome through our “Partner in Education” program. A business can partner with an individual school, multiple schools or the entire district. Our Community Resource Department will help you find the right fit so that business resources and school needs intersect and are mutually beneficial to each other.
Even if you don’t have school-age children there’s a place for you in OCPS. Please consider volunteering to help a child with his or her reading, assist in the media center or mentor a student. Your time and talents are valued in our schools.
As your school board member and a resident in East Orange County, I am available to help you answer your questions, navigate the OCPS educational system, and keep you abreast of current issues and events. Don’t ever hesitate to contact me with your concerns or for more information on the above involvement programs.
By Daryl Flynn, vice chair & District 2 board member, Orange County School Board