MIAMI (WSVN) - In a back to school address Tuesday, Miami-Dade Schools Superintendent Alberto Carvalho touched upon various topics for the upcoming school year.
Young dancers, singers and dueling drum lines could be seen as Miami-Dade County Public School students showed off their talents at the Adrienne Arsht Center.
Their performances came ahead of Carvalho’s back to school address, meant to inspire school officials as they prepare to welcome more than 300,000 students to the new school year.
Carvalho’s speech stayed true to his style with touches of humor and inspirational stories, including a message he read from South Dade Principal Javier Perez, who continues to recover after losing his legs to a drunk driver. “I am able to focus on my health thanks to all of you. My wife and I are humbled by the outpouring of love and generosity from all of you. Our family is forever grateful. God bless you all, Javi Perez,” Carvalho read.
Carvalho also addressed a concern potentially affecting 4,300 Miami-Dade County students near the Wynwood area: the Zika virus.
“This week, Thursday, we shall be welcoming the Department of Health officials from Tallahassee to provide for the distribution of insect repellent to individuals in our community, its selected sites, and those have been publicized,” he said. “In addition to that, because we recognize that a lot of the parents in this community are parents who are poor, who struggle to make ends meet. We’ll be providing that same day, uniforms for students — long-sleeve shirts and long pants.”
The biggest concern — the ongoing gun violence affecting youth. He referenced the most recent shooting victim, a 12-year-old shot in Miami Gardens. “We don’t control what happens outside of schools, but we can influence it by teaching values to our children.”
This year, Miami-Dade County Public Schools rebranded “Values Matter” into “Values Matter Miami,” taking a more direct and aggressive approach to help break the existing code of silence.
Among the packed Hall sat Susana Mauri, the principal of South Dade Technical College. She said she’s more inspired than ever to welcome students back to class. “It’s all about making a difference in their lives and his vision and his innovations, this year with the digital conversions and getting us all involved and actively participating in our professional growth to enhance our classrooms, made a huge difference in Miami-Dade County,” Mauri said.
The school year will kick off with 61 new programs, some focused on language immersion and digital convergence.
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