MDCPS announces new programs, safety measures ahead of school year

MIAMI (WSVN) - Miami-Dade Public Schools has introduced new initiatives and programs as they prepare for the new school year.

The district revealed 90 new initiatives, including 60 educational programs and program enhancements.

“Ranging from new pre-K programs, computer coding programs, culinary programs, virtual reality and robotics,” said Miami-Dade Public Schools Superintendent Alberto Carvalho. “There’s something for everyone in Miami-Dade County Public Schools.”

Along with the programs, officials said there will be a law enforcement presence outside each public school in the district.

Miami-Dade Public Schools also tackled a troubling trend among teenagers: e-cigarettes and vapes.

The new year will come with an awareness campaign, and by 2019 schools will be equipped with e-cigarette detection systems.

“The schools are the first line of defense here that are raising the red flags,” said Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital Director of Emergency Services Doug LaMendola.

Experts said the use and abuse of e-cigs by children has dangerous consequences.

“Respiratory issues – we’re seeing asthma exacerbations. We’re seeing new respiratory problems develop. We’re seeing behavioral changes,” LaMendola said.

Helping students secure a bright future was also on the agenda.

The school system facilitated college savings accounts beginning with students in elementary school.

“Building the nest egg of college support for the later years,” Carvalho said.

Officials said all of the programs were made possible through grants and assistance from the private sector.

“We are a system of creativity, of innovation,” said Carvalho, “and this new school year will be a school year where there will be something for everyone.”

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