Duval County School Superintendent Nikolai Vitti met with parents, teachers and educators at Fletcher High School in the first of three community meetings to introduce Duval County Public Schools' draft Strategic Plan.
In his explanation of the new plan to a highly focused crowd of about 100, Dr. Vitti repeatedly emphasized a focus on the whole child and taking a "child-centered" approach to decision making whether it be in regards to teacher evaluations or in the use of resources.
Specific attention was paid to the need for innovation in the use of technology in the classroom, especially with "one-to-one" technology and the arts being a core component of elementary education.
"I just came to listen, for clarification," said parent Janet Thompson, letting others take the microphone to asking about improved access to teachers, improved facilities and encouraging the continued trend toward less but more focused assessment.
Vitti paid special attention to a first grader asking about more eBooks on the school computers, encouraging her to speak.
"He's made some quick decisions, and I think we have to be patient," said Becky Farinella, who came to the meeting in her capacity as both a parent and a teacher.
Two more of such meetings remain, one at Lee High School at 6 p.m. on March 7, and one at Andrew Jackson High School at 6 p.m. on March 12.