|Pinellas County Schools Superintendent Visits All Children's Hospital|
With a $1.33 billion dollar budget, the Pinellas County School District is the largest employer in Pinellas County with more than 16,000 employees serving more than 101,000 pre-K through 12th-grade students. The PCS District is seventh largest in the state and the 26th largest in the nation. As Dr. Grego shared an abbreviated version of the District's Strategic Plan with the hospital's Advocacy Council, he identified the following as its five strategic goals: increase student achievement, ensure an effective use of curriculum, provide a safe and caring learning environment, improved fiscal responsibility, and provide quality technology and business services.
"When you only have 6 to 6.5 hours to work with, teaching and learning doesn't stop at the end of the school day," said Dr. Grego. To that end, Ms. Matway reported on the various programs-extended learning, summer, after school and weekend-that exist for continued teaching and learning efforts. Through its Connect for Success initiative, 4,000 laptops were purchased with Title 1 funding to enable third-and fourth-graders at 36 Title I elementary schools to check out laptop computers for use at home. The initiative aims to provide economically challenged students with equal access to technology to support their learning outside of class.
On a corporate level, through the Executive PASS (Partnership to Advance Student Success) program, 21 business partners have been matched with underperforming schools to boost student achievement through mentoring, resources and business expertise. While the urgent need for parent engagement persists, Ms. Matway also reported on the Parent Academies - help sessions for parents - that have become active in St. Petersburg.
The hospital's partnerships with Pinellas County Schools has encompassed addressing childhood obesity and nutrition through Fit4AllKids and injury prevention through the SafeKids program. Led by Cindy Rose, Vice President of Marketing and Community Relations, and Amy Maguire, Vice President of Corporate and Government Relations, members of the Advocacy Council were eager to explore further collaborations with the superintendent, including items that focused on chronic diseases such as asthma, diabetes and obesity, homebound patients, and students returning to the classroom after experiencing a concussion.
Dr. Grego and Ms. Matway wrapped up their visit with a hospital tour. Their stops included the Emergency Center and a visit to the NICU with its director Cindy Driscoll.