Message from the Superintendent
Serving as the Superintendent of Schools for Broward County is a tremendous honor. I am grateful to be supported by a tireless team of teachers, administrators, and support staff. Together we draw great inspiration from, and take enormous pride in, delivering world-class learning opportunities to over 270,000 students.
Every day I think about how we can improve our students’ experiences at our schools. That has always been my top priority. At Broward County Public Schools, we aim to produce life-ready graduates who will succeed in whatever they choose to pursue as responsible citizens of our community. To prepare them, we deliver a portfolio of offerings that is unparalleled in breadth, including academic programs, applied learning opportunities, athletic events, after school options, and service and social clubs. We’ve recently expanded our number of Cambridge programs, and our Debate program is the largest in the nation. We have made improvements in reducing race/ethnicity and socioeconomic achievement gaps in English Language Arts and Mathematics since 2015, our focus on early literacy has yielded strong annual gains year over year, and our middle grades students are engaging more than ever in real-world project- and problem-based learning.
While we always aspire to do more for our students, our intentions are met with stark realities. When I first came to South Florida, the country was in the midst of the Great Recession, with Broward County one of the regions suffering the most. Funding for our schools plummeted, leaving us with difficult decisions around how to allocate already scarce resources. A move to Common Core State Standards in 2012 mandated that we make significant changes to our curriculum, the way we teach, and how we assess student progress. And in 2018, the tragedy at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School brought us immeasurable loss.
Such realities—and the lessons that we learn as we navigate through them—demand that we reassess our values. Our values inform how we set priorities and guide the decisions that we make on a daily basis. I assert that the new Core Values developed through our Strategic Plan Committee representing staff, teachers, students, and community members, must be reflected through all District activities. These are Student Focus, Teaching Excellence, Accountability, Respect, and Safety, or STARS for short.
Our lens for success must extend beyond academic achievement. If recent events have taught us anything, it’s that the mental health and wellness of our students and staff are paramount, with mindfulness a key component for improving our lives. To that end, as evident in our 2024 Strategic Plan, we are committed to preparing students to be emotionally resilient and academically prepared for success in a global community. Together with our dedicated educators and staff, an engaged community, School Board members, and our unwavering resolve towards providing a well-rounded education to our students, I am confident we can achieve the goals set forth in this 2024 Strategic Plan.
Robert W. Runcie
Superintendent of Schools