Janet Meeks, Delray Beach Education Coordinator since 2001, shared background on her position with the city at the Dec. 3 PTSA meeting:
In 1989 Delray Beach created an committee to study the challenges facing city schools, including overcrowded and outdated facilities, busing and lack of diversity. As a result the city established the Sharing for Excellence in School program and recommended a permanent education advisory board. The city and the board advocated for the implementation of choice programs, including the Montessori program at S.D. Spady, and improved facilities at Spady and other schools to make them more desirable.
Over the past two decades city has invested more than $10 million in Delray Beach schools and the environment around the schools, including parks, sidewalks and other infrastructure.
As Education Coordinator Janet Meeks was involved with relocation of Atlantic high school 10 years ago, and the city continues to support programs at Atlantic, including the construction and criminal justice academies.
The Eagle Nest construction program is a partnership between the city and Atlantic's construction academy. Construction academy students have built two houses that were sold to families with the proceeds from the sale funding the next house. Groundbreaking for the third Eagle Nest home is Thursday, Dec. 11 at 8:30 a.m. at 108-110 NW 12th Ave.
In its second decade, the Education Board turned its focus to literacy and family involvement. The city joined the national Campaign for Grade-Level Reading to address absenteeism, kindergarten readiness and summer learning. The campaign has enlisted the support of non-profit partners in the city to provide an academic component to summer camp programs.
The Education Board is working with Carver Middle School on a matching grant program from the Annenberg Foundation. The city and the chamber are matching funds to build technology programs at Carver and a summer IB program to strengthen the relationship between Carver and Atlantic.
Visit the city's website for more information about the board and the city's support of schools in Delray Beach.