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Our Sunday letter to the editor regarding the district's Strategic Plan

This letter from our board chair and vice-chair was published Sunday, March 3 in the Florida Times-Union.

 

To the editor:

The Jacksonville Public Education Fund would like to commend the Duval County School Board and Superintendent Nikolai Vitti for listening to and partnering with the citizens of Jacksonville to develop a new vision and action plan for public education in our city.

Over the last 18 months, citizens all over Duval County have been speaking out about what our schools need through the ONE by ONE campaign. More than 1,700 people participated in ONE by ONE conversations, which led to a Community Agreement with four key priorities for our schools.

Earlier this month, the Duval County School Board released the draft of its Strategic Plan - a plan that will undoubtedly guide our public schools into a brighter future and a plan that represents an unprecedented level of alignment between the community and the school district. The Strategic Plan honors the work of the thousands of ONE by ONE participants by reflecting their priorities, along with the hundreds of citizens who participated in the district's Envisioning Committee during the superintendent search and in the superintendent's recent town hall meetings to share their hopes for our public schools.

These actions mark a new era of focused collaboration among the many stakeholders that want to improve public education in our city.

Not only does the draft of the Strategic Plan reflect citizen input, but the district is now demonstrating its commitment to transparency and community engagement by seeking a second round of community feedback on the draft plan through a series of public forums. We would encourage readers to attend one of the upcoming meetings or provide feedback through the online survey posted online at www.duvalschools.org.

This continued collaboration is both much needed and appreciated as citizens and district partners begin to align their work behind the new Strategic Plan. We are confident that as we all work together toward these shared goals, the dream of high-quality public schools for all children will be closer than ever.

Cindy Edelman, Chairwoman

Torin Dailey, Vice-Chairman