A special “school expo” event at The Falls shopping center on Saturday, May 18, brought together principals and teachers of many area schools for a chance to spread the word to parents about the quality programs offered by the Miami-Dade Public Schools system.
Similar events have been conducted at other locations during the past month, but this one focused on schools within the Miami Palmetto High and Miami Killian High feeder patterns. Its theme was “Discover excellence in your own backyard.”
Representing the Palmetto feeder pattern were Howard Drive, Pinecrest, Palmetto, R.R. Morton, Perrine and Coral Reef elementary schools; Frank C. Martin K-8 and Vineland K-8; Palmetto Middle and Southwood Middle, and Palmetto High.
For the Killian feeder pattern administrators and staff attended from Gloria Floyd, Kendale, Snapper Creek, Sunset Park and William Lehman elementary schools; Devonaire, Kenwood and Leewood K-8 centers; Arvida Middle and Glades Middle, and Killian High.
Southwood Middle School principal Magda Pereira was pleased with the opportunity and stressed the importance of reaching out to parents.
“This is our second expo that we’ve done,” Pereira said. “The reason that we’re doing it is to promote our curriculum and our programs that we offer in public education so that we can bring back all of those students who are out in private schools and in charter schools — bring them back to the public school system where we have exceptional teachers and exceptional programs for the students. We have brochures and videos that show what the students are actually doing.”
Todd W. Morrow, principal of Gloria Floyd Elementary School, agreed about the purpose of the important event that brought administrators out on their own time.
“We’re here to let the community know about the wonderful things we have going on at our school, and also hopefully to recruit students,” Morrow said. “This is the first one we’ve done out in a public location. We did one at a high school earlier on in November. This helps us reach people we wouldn’t normally have contact with.”
Principal Nancy Aragon of Arvida Middle School was understandably proud of her school’s accomplishments and offerings.
“We’re here showcasing my school,” Aragon said. “We have two magnet programs — the Forensic Science and the Global Studies. All the schools in the Killian feeder pattern have a lot of magnets or academies. They’re excellent schools.
“This is a good way to get in touch with parents who might be in charter schools or private schools and that way we can let them know what wonderful schools we have, and what programs we have that they might not know about. All our schools are ‘A’ schools and our test scores are off the charts.”
Sara Martin, the principal at Sunset Park Elementary, also thought the expo event was worthwhile.
“I think it’s fantastic,” Martin said. “It brings the community together, informs the parents of our curriculum and it’s a fantastic idea. Next year we’ll be starting our STEM Academy and we’re very excited about it, and are advertising and promoting it.”