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Luisa Santos, More Than Just Test Scores: How M-DCPS is Empowering Students

Luisa Santos, More Than Just Test Scores: How M-DCPS is Empowering Students

Miami-Dade County Public Schools is gearing up for a great year as the school district prepares to welcome back students. Check out this interview with Board Member Luisa Santos on what’s to come and how you can get involved.

As the new academic year rapidly approaches, Miami-Dade County Public Schools is gearing up for a great year. We spoke to Luisa Santos, herself a product of M-DCPS and now proud School Board Member for District 9, about the challenges expected in the coming year, as well as the school district’s successes.

Although the pandemic is no longer keeping schools closed, the effects of these closures continue to ripple through the community. “Unfinished learning continues to be a focus area for our schools,” said Santos. “It is a big challenge to make sure we catch up and continue to grow our students’ academic progress.”

To this end, M-DCPS has a number of extended learning programs in place, including after school, tutoring, and summer school. “We’ve invested a lot of money to ensure that students have every opportunity to catch up,” said Santos.
“Safety is of the utmost importance in all of our schools,” said Santos, who went on to state that every school is under constant watch by a threat assessment team which is at the ready to address issues before they become a cause for concern.

In addition to the school resource officer at every school as required by Florida law, M-DCPS is also committed to providing students with access to mental health coordinators and counselors, and focusing on restorative justice – a proactive and pro-social practice which focuses on mediation and de-escalation of situations – rather than reactive punishment. Because of this, M-DCPS now boasts its lowest ever student-to-counselor ratio which is something to be celebrated.

Like many other school districts throughout the nation, M-DCPS is facing difficulties in recruiting and retaining teachers. Especially with the rising cost of living in Miami, it can be difficult for teachers to make ends meet, but the school district is committed to ensuring that it remains an employer of choice, with a variety of in-department training options and support for instructional staff.

Santos put out a call to prospective teachers, “If you’re interested in joining our workforce, please come and join us so we can staff every single classroom this year.”

Luisa Santos and Alyssa Zamora.

Despite these challenges, there are many successes to celebrate. “We continue to be an A-rated school district,” said Santos. “We have the highest ever graduation rate for our high school students.”

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To help M-DCPS achieve even greater heights, Santos has the following appeal for the community: “This November, we’re going to you, our community, to ask you to continue supporting us in ensuring safety and that our teachers get paid what they deserve through our referendum.”

When it comes to education, it takes a village – or the combined power of the Miami-Dade community! For more information visit www.luisasantos.com

Haz clic para leer en Español: Luisa Santos, Más que solo puntajes de exámenes: cómo M-DCPS esta Empoderando a los Estudiantes

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