We have so much to be proud of here in Lake County Schools. We are part of a community that cares about and supports its children. With dedicated teachers, staff and administrators coupled with strong parent engagement and the support of community businesses and organizations, our students have every opportunity to excel.
Last year, the COVID-19 coronavirus presented us with unprecedented challenges. I am so proud of how quickly our district pivoted to new ways of teaching and learning, even in the midst of a global pandemic. Our teachers and administrators learned new systems, students adjusted, parents provided much-needed support at home, and community partners filled in the gaps, supporting and encouraging us along the way. We pulled together when it mattered most, and it made a difference.
I am looking forward to returning to more normal operations this school year. I am confident that the same strength and resilience that brought us through the pandemic last year will lead us to excellence on all fronts this year.
We are opening our newest school, Lake Pointe Academy, in the Four Corners area this year, and beginning construction on the new Aurelia Cole Academy, which will open in 2023. We are launching new aviation programs at Eustis, East Ridge and South Lake high schools, giving students high-tech skills that will help them succeed in college and/or careers. In addition, we are creating more opportunities for acceleration as the Cambridge Advanced International Certificate of Education (AICE) Diploma program expands with a presence in all three regions, and Tavares High School moves into the planning year to prepare for the launch of a new International Baccalaureate (IB) program there.
Our focus on developing a common vision for instruction remains steadfast. We worked diligently over the summer to help students who needed additional support after our unprecedented school year, and we remain committed to closing achievement gaps and ensuring that all students have access to grade-appropriate assignments, strong instruction, deep engagement and teachers with high expectations, every lesson, every day.
We will work to maintain or exceed our 90% graduation rate and continue working toward our goals of earning an A or B at every school; supporting teacher recruitment and retention efforts; improving promotion rates and performance of all students to meet state standards; and giving all students opportunities to graduate with advanced credits and industry certifications.
We will stay connected with parents every step of the way, keeping everyone informed through social media, phone calls, emails, school websites and the parent portal. We invite all stakeholders to get involved and communicate with us often. We will continue to do great things for children together!