BOCA RATON, FL (BocaNewsNow.com) — A new website designed by the Palm Beach County School District in an effort to promote area schools is actually highlighting the shortcomings of the nation’s 11th largest school system.
The website reveals that only 31 students from last year’s graduating class — county wide — matriculated into what the school district is calling a “top university.” With 176,724 students in Palm Beach County Schools, we estimate a senior class of roughly 14,600 students. This suggests just .2 (point 2) percent of Palm Beach County’s graduating class matriculated into a top-100 college or university.
For Boca Raton area high schools, the website publicizes West Boca High School’s grade of a “B” by the State of Florida, and a graduation rate of just 86%. Only 68% of 9th graders passed the FCAT reading exam, while just over 70% of 10th grades passed the writing portion.
It gets better, however.
Boca Raton High School received an A, with a more impressive graduation rate of 90%. FCAT scores are better at Boca Community as well, with 74% of 10th graders passing the reading portion of the exam, and 94% of 10th graders passing the writing section. The website also reveals that 30 percent of students at Boca High receive free or reduced lunch.
Olympic Heights Community High is graded “B” by the State of Florida, and offers just an 82% graduation rate. 36% of students here received a free or reduced lunch. Boasting the lowest FCAT reading scores in the area, only 65% of freshmen passed the reading portion of the FCATs, while 84% of 10th graders passed the writing section.
And Spanish River Community High School, which received an A from the State of Florida, achieved a 95% graduation rate. 75% of freshmen passed the reading portion of the FCAT while 88% of the 10th grade class passed the writing portion. 21% of students at Spanish River receive a free or reduced lunch.
Here is the official press release from the Palm Beach County School System announcing the website:
In partnership with the Palm Beach County Business Development Board, the School District today launched a new “Public School Showcase” website, geared towards providing in-depth information for parents and companies considering a move to Palm Beach County.
The new website can be accessed off the School District’s main home page at www.palmbeachschoools.org or directly at www.palmbeachschools.org/showcase.
The Public School Showcase website includes five interactive components:
- Our Schools – Provides specific details about every public school throughout Palm Beach County, including student demographics, school grades, statistics, programs offered, administrators’ contact information, and more.
- University Enrollment – Graphical views of college matriculation statistics, including School District graduates who enrolled in an Ivy League university or a top 100 U.S. university.
- Choice Programs – Lists all choice and magnet programs offered in the School District. Allows the ability to search by program and view all schools that offer a particular program.
- Points of Pride – Learn about District Accreditation, awards, student success stories, and other accolades received by the School District of Palm Beach County received.
- Media Gallery – Includes a slideshow and short videos that showcase our students and our state-of-the art facilities.
“The design of the website showcases the great partnership we have with the Business Development Board of Palm Beach County to promote the great achievements and programs through our nationally recognized public school system in Palm Beach County,” said Frank A. Barbieri, Jr., Esq., District 5, Palm Beach County School Board Member. “This site will provide parents, community members, and prospective businesses with the vital information needed when making a decision about education in South Florida.”
In addition to being accessible via the School District’s website, the Public School Showcase will also be accessible through the new Business Development Board education site at www.pbcEDU.org in the near future. The purpose of the pbcEDU.org site will be market Palm Beach County’s regular K-12 schools, charter schools, private schools, colleges, and universities to CEOs and their employees who are considering moving their company to Palm Beach County.