SLPS Continues Its Growth

SLPS Continues Its Growth

St. Lucie Public Schools 2017-2018 Graduation Rates Projections and Industry Certifications Point to More Growth

Growing by leaps and bounds is the best way to describe St. Lucie Public Schools’ (SLPS) graduation rate and industry certification ascent over the last few years. Projections for this year’s graduating class indicate the upward trend will continue. This holds true for industry certification trends as well. The number of students passing industry certification tests through SLPS Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs is projected to surpass 2,300.  That’s an increase of 140 percent over a two-year spread.

While the District currently has the fifth highest graduation rate in the state, this year’s projected rate increase of one to two percent, will result in an overall District graduation rate of 91 to 92 percent, helping to maintain a top spot for SLPS. Focusing on its six comprehensive high schools, the data indicates that all will increase or maintain their current graduation rate, and all will boast rates of more than 91 percent. In fact, projections for SLPS’s six comprehensive high schools will exceed 95%.  “Meeting Florida’s high bar for graduation is a challenge for our students.  Our success in this area reflects the work of all our K -12 teachers and staff.  Everyone has a hand in a child’s success,” said Deputy Superintendent Jon Prince.

What does this mean for graduates of SLPS?  “Our mission is to equip all students with the knowledge, skills, and desire to succeed so they are prepared for college and the world of work.  Graduating with a high school diploma is a critical first step for our students,” explained Superintendent E. Wayne Gent. He added that CTE programs offer students the opportunity to achieve industry-recognized certifications, work-based learning experiences, and articulated college credits that provide technical skills, rigorous academic foundations, and real-world experiences needed for post-secondary education and high-skill, high-wage, high-demand careers. Passing the industry certification tests means students have an immediate employability edge.

Gent pointed out that with the continued surge in graduation rates and industry certification passing rates, he is also pleased to see the continued growth among all demographic groups.  “We are committed to serve all students as we help them achieve their goals. I am very proud of the dedication our teachers and administrators have to support each child every day, said the Superintendent.”

About St. Lucie Public Schools

St. Lucie Public Schools (SLPS) ranks fifth in Florida and proudly serves as the highest-ranking District on the Treasure Coast with a graduation rate of 90.1 percent.  As a B rated District, there are no failing schools, and SLPS has the distinction of being recognized as one of St. Lucie County’s Best Places to Work.  The mission of SLPS is to ensure all students graduate from safe and caring schools equipped with the knowledge, skills and desire to succeed. For more information, visit



SLPS Continues To Enhance Safety and Security

SLPS Continues To Enhance Safety and Security

Chief Brian Reuther of  the SLPS Security Department announced today that Treasure Coast Crime Stoppers banners will be placed in all K-8 and middle schools as a step toward expanding awareness of the Crime Stoppers program.  Last year, in partnership with the St. Lucie County Sheriff’s Office, the program began on high school campuses.

Safety is a priority for SLPS, and the District will remain vigilant in monitoring campuses and buses.  It is up to everyone to immediately report any concerns or suspicious activities directly to law enforcement or staff members.

Anonymous reporting is available through Crime Stoppers by calling 1-800-273-TIPS or by using the emergency alert button on the SLPS app.


More About the SLPS Emergency Alert Button on the SLPS App

SLPS has added an emergency alert button to the St. Lucie Public Schools app.  The app is FREE for everyone and is available in your favorite app store. Just do a quick search for St. Lucie Public Schools, and download the app today.

The added emergency alert feature allows users to submit anonymous tips to school and district officials anytime, anywhere.

This mass texting software support instantly relays information to authorities and is valuable to the overall safety of students and staff.  Download the St. Lucie Public Schools app for access to this emergency See Something, Say Something emergency alert button.


SLPS Donates to Grace Packs

SLPS Donates to Grace Packs

On behalf of the SLPS District Office Events Committee, $500 was donated to Grace Packs.  Laura Klosterman and Lisa Ferrick from Grace Packs accepted the gift on behalf of the nonprofit organization that provides students and their families with weekend food source packages.


SLPS Education Referendum Passes with 66% of the Vote

SLPS Education Referendum Passes with 66% of the Vote

St. Lucie Public Schools Superintendent E. Wayne Gent and School Board members thank St. Lucie County voters and community members for supporting the education referendum with a 66% vote.

“The record number of returned ballots and support from our community speaks volumes to the value placed on a quality public school education system. High performing students must have high performing teachers, and they must have opportunities to learn on safe and secure campuses,” said Superintendent Gent. He added that students will also benefit from expanded mental health services and important programs afforded to them by this referendum.

“Many people worked hard to help educate the community on the need and the benefits of this referendum,” said School Board Chair Debbie Hawley.   “We appreciate the collaboration and dedication of our employees, union partners, parents, business partners, community groups, and civic organizations.”

This is a four-year referendum, and Gent stressed that funds will only be utilized as they were promised.  He said, “As an added layer of assurance, the District will form an Advisory Committee to provide oversight on expenditures.”


SLPS Educators Attend, Present, and Are Honored at Florida’s Council for the Social Studies Conference

SLPS Educators Attend, Present, and Are Honored at Florida’s Council for the Social Studies Conference

Nineteen educators from St. Lucie Public Schools recently attended the 58th Annual Florida Council for the Social Studies Conference in Orlando, Florida.  Dr. Susan Taboada of Treasure Coast High School and Dr. Karen Garcia-Rinelli of Oak Hammock K-8 presented three sessions at the conference introducing a variety of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) applications that can be utilized in social studies classrooms.

Terrance Barriner of Forest Grove Middle School, Ronald Frazer of Port St. Lucie High School, and Sandra Frapart of Palm Pointe Educational Research School at Tradition were recognized at the awards dinner as the Outstanding Social Studies Teachers of the Year for St. Lucie County.  This year’s Keynote Speaker was Joan Trumpauer Mulholland, a Freedom Rider and Civil Rights Activist, who told her story and connected the struggles of the 1960s to those of today. Teachers learned a tremendous amount of information and participated in various content-specific activities that they can take back to their classrooms immediately. Participants enjoyed the collegial conversations with teachers from around the state and were mesmerized by the Keynote Speaker’s personal tale.

20151003_203041 20151004_094552 866x488 (1) 866x488

SLPS Found the Right Fit for Students in Project Search

SLPS Found the Right Fit for Students in Project Search

St. Lucie Public Schools (SLPS) need look no further. District officials found what they were looking for in Project SEARCH – a supportive and collaborative community-based program providing students with disabilities real world work experiences in high-turnover, entry-level positions with an end goal of securing employment after a year-long internship.


SLPS Director of Exceptional Student Education and Student Services Bill Tomlinson explained that his team was overjoyed to learn the Developmental Disabilities Council of Florida accepted SLPS’s application to cover start-up fees and licensing for the Program.  “Through an agreement with Martin Medical Center and Tradition Medical Center, our District is replicating the highly successful Project Search model launched at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center.”


Tomlinson attributes Lesa Kitzmiller, a program specialist for the District, as the backbone for getting the initiative started.  “Project SEARCH is a one-year high school transition program for our students with disabilities who are 18 – 21,” said Kitzmiller.  “Interested students submit an application, interview with a panel of representatives from all collaborating agencies (SLPS, Martin Health System, and agencies who support two full-time job coaches for students: employU and Department of Vocational Rehabilitation), and commit to total immersion in the business. Feedback on job performance is on-going from job coaches and a full-time instructor,” she said.


Project Search began almost 20 years ago in Cincinnati and has since grown to international levels.  Florida boasts over 20 Project Search units and encourages expansion.  Eighty percent of student participants obtain gainful employment after completing the program according to Tomlinson who also stated, “Our goal is to continue to expand the opportunities of students as they reach the ages of 18 to 21. We’ll kick this year off on August 6 at full capacity with 12 students.”


August 7, 2018, is slated for Orientation as well as the dissemination of each students’ official scrubs and name badge.   Program participants will begin their day at Keiser University’s Tradition campus in the morning for training, discussion, and direction.  Next, students will move to their rotation on site at the hospital.  Each student will experience three rotations during the year based upon self-selected interests. The day will wrap up as it started – with a return visit to Keiser University and a debrief of the day to discuss and problem solve.


SLPS Graduations

SLPS Graduations

Commencement: A Beginning


Rather than an ending, commencement – both the word and the ceremony – represents a beginning. It is appropriate that an occasion which marks the beginning of a new phase of life should be conducted with pomp and circumstance, stateliness and tradition.

The ceremony of commencement celebrated at high schools, colleges, and universities throughout the world has its roots in the scholastic traditions of the Middle Ages. It is an ancient, dignified, and highly symbolic ritual of conclusion and emergence, a rite of passage into a new life.

Upcoming Ceremonies

Ft. Pierce Central High School
8:30 am on May 23, 2017 at the Fair Grounds

Treasure Coast High School
1:30 pm on May 23, 2017 at the Fair Grounds

Lincoln Park Academy
8:30 am on May 25, 2017 at Fenn Center

Ft. Pierce Westwood High School
1:30 pm on May 25, 2017 at Fenn Center

***Please note the corrected order for PSLHS and SLWCHS graduation times.

St. Lucie West Centennial High School
8:30 am on May 26, 2017 at Fenn Center

Port St. Lucie High School
1:30 pm on May 26, 2017 at Fenn Center

SLPS High Schools Featured in Aero Newsletter

SLPS High Schools Featured in Aero Newsletter

Two of our area high schools were featured in the Spring 2019 e-newsletter for Gaetz Aerospace Institute and Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.  See the articles and featured photos below!

School safety is a concern not only for parents, teachers, administrators, but also for students that attend school. When local law enforcement asked students to assist them in a school safety plan, they provided some high tech solutions. Students at Fort Pierce Central High School provided drones as an option to help with school safety. (Image below)

Fort Pierce Central High School students visited Triumph Aerostructures in Stuart, Florida during Florida Aviation Business Association week. They were able to tour the production facility that produces flight control surfaces for Boeing aircraft. Students really enjoyed the opportunity and look forward to possible internships with Triumph. Thank you Triumph Aerostructures!  (Image below)

Emma Teague from Piper Aerospace Company of Vero Beach presented at Treasure Coast High School to the AFJROTC and ERAU dual enrolled students/cadets. Ms. Teague discussed the Piper Apprenticeship Program for seniors that are interested in a career in the aviation industry. Students have an opportunity to apply for this apprenticeship, and if selected will be hired full time after graduation at Piper for two years while completing the program.

SLPS Honored as One of Best Places to Work

SLPS Honored as One of Best Places to Work

With over 5,400 employees, St. Lucie Public Schools (SLPS) was recognized as one of St. Lucie County’s Best Places to Work. This announcement came amid cheers from staff members at the 16th Annual Best Places to Work St. Lucie County Awards Ceremony held on November 1st and hosted by the St. Lucie County Human Resources Association and Personnel Dynamics.

Superintendent E. Wayne Gent accepted the award on behalf of the District, and commended the dedicated team of professionals whose mission it is to support students saying, “You win with the right people.”  SLPS Director of Human Resources Dr. Rafael Sanchez agrees.  “The new retention and recruitment model we now use has transformed our human resources department from a compliance machine to a strategic force in K-12 education.” Sanchez added, “The HR retention and recruitment model is unique and unlike any model currently used in public education today.”

Winning the Best Places to Work distinction enhances the SLPS recruitment brand and model which integrates support functions that correlate to the District’s mission and vision.   Determining factors for award recognition which is open to organizations annually include turnover, growth, training, benefits, profit sharing, pay, work environment, and retirement programs.


SLPS is Recognized as a Florida Healthy School District

SLPS is Recognized as a Florida Healthy School District

St Lucie Public Schools was presented an award by Eric Stern from Action for Healthy Kids at the school board meeting on October 28th. The District earned a Silver level on the Coordinated School Health Assessment that includes the areas of Health Services, Food Services, Physical Education, Staff Wellness, Mental Health, and Community and Family Involvement. Pictured are, Debbie Hawley, Eric Stern, Carlye Fabrikant, and Genelle Yost.

SLPS Medici Project

SLPS Medici Project

Teachers Katie Avra, Desiree Miller, Susan Wessel, and Cary Schott, are pictured with A.E. Backus Gallery Director J. Marhsall Adams. The teachers are learning about the works of A.E. Backus as well as learning how to use digital software to manipulate and teach Art elements incorporating the artist’s work.

What is the SLPS Medici Project?

~Enhancing the practice of artist educators and student achievement through the Arts and Sciences.
~A professional development initiative supporting the natural integration of Arts and Science.
***The Medici family was the greatest supporter of Arts and Sciences during the Renaissance.
  • An innovative, strong, standards-based professional development program.
  • Arts educators will participate in training that will develop their ability to effectively plan, lead, and evaluate quality arts integration.
  • Project includes training on arts integration, targeting science.
  • Ongoing community of professional development through collaboration and peer-support.
  • SLPS Medici Project will cultivate a community of Arts educator aspiring to be masters of their craft and leaders in their school community.
  • Arts and Science integration is the thread by which we will begin to integrate creativity into the core curriculum and to collect data.
  • This project will include 45 educators from 33 schools.
  • ALL SLPS Arts educators will benefit from Medici Project Conferences and Training.

Areas of Focus

  • Developing Arts Educators as Subject-Area Experts
  • Integrating Arts and Science
  • Developing Teachers as Sustained, Career-engaged Learners
  • Creating Collaborative Culture & Community for Arts Educators



SLPS Medici Project

SLPS Medici Project

This past weekend, the SLPS Medici Project held its first “Beginning Band A Palooza” at Ft. Pierce Central H.S.  165 beginning band students from APK8, CAST, SGAET, SOMS, SPM, WGK8, PPREK8, MAK8, SLWK8 participated in a group workshop to learn how to put their instruments together, and learn to make their first note on their instruments! High school directors and their leadership students from FPC, TCHS, PSL, and FPWA lead the workshops and helped each musician get off to a successful start. 
Thank you to  Music Man, Inc. who provided “Swag” for all participants.
SLPS Organizational Meeting

SLPS Organizational Meeting

The School Board of St. Lucie County held an Organizational Meeting on November 22, 2016, at 9:00 a.m. in the School Board Room.

During this meeting, Mr. Troy Ingersoll was elected Chairman and Dr. Donna Mills was elected Vice Chairman.

SLPS Presents At The Full Sail University Teacher Webinar

SLPS Presents At The Full Sail University Teacher Webinar

Recently Jane Whitaker, Magnet School Coordinator and Laurie Boyer, Magnet School Outreach and Recruitment Specialist, had the opportunity to present a webinar, Getting Started with Esports in partnership with Full Sail University at the Teacher Outreach Webinar.  The session focused their work on getting the Esports Program at Ft. Pierce Westwood Academy up and running. The webinar was a global platform and they had the opportunity to share their journey with educators from Virginia, North Carolina, Canada and India.
Esports Lab in the West Prep Learning Commons
SLPS Professionals Present at FCTM

SLPS Professionals Present at FCTM

The annual Florida Council of Teachers of Mathematics Conference was held in Orlando on October 20-22, 2016. Six sessions boasted presenters representing professionals from St. Lucie Public Schools.

The Area Model for Whole Numbers and Beyond (Christina Worley and Jason Bragg)
The Productive Struggle is Real (Michele Schucher, Laurie Boyer, and Adrianne Mendoza)
Operations with Fraction Blocks (Elizabeth Pruitt and Zoie Griffiths)
Making Math Meaningful for All: Transforming your instructional practices to increase student achievement for every student every day! (LaTanya Greene and Samantha Piscopo)
Differentiating Math through Daily 3 Framework (Victoria Pease)
Fluency: Beyond Flashcards and Rote Memorization (Kimberly Jay and Christina Worley)


SLPS Receives AdvancED Accreditation

SLPS Receives AdvancED Accreditation

St. Lucie Public Schools received the highly sought-after AdvancEd Accreditation, and all SLPS principals received their AdvancED certificate at the August School Board Meeting.

AdvancED is the largest community of education professionals in the world. They conduct rigorous, on-site reviews of a variety of educational institutions and systems to ensure that all learners realize their full potential.

AdvanceED’s expertise is grounded in more than a hundred years of work in school accreditation. Using a set of rigorous research-based standards and evidence based criteria, an AdvancED Performance Accreditation team came to SLPS as we closed last school year and examined the whole institution – our policies, programs, practices, learning conditions and cultural context – to determine how well the parts work together to carry out SLPS’s vision and meet the needs of every learner.


SLPS Receives Highest Rating In Meeting Requirements of the IDEA

SLPS Receives Highest Rating In Meeting Requirements of the IDEA

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) of 2004 (Section 616 (d) requires states to make annual determinations on each school district’s educational agency’s (LEA) performance in meeting the requirements and purposes of the IDEA.  At a minimum, states are required to implement a determination process that considers performance on State Performance Plan compliance indicators, data integrity, uncorrected noncompliance issues and relevant state audit findings.  Each LEA must be assigned to one of the four categories:
  • Meets Requirements
  • Needs Assistance
  • Needs Intervention
  • Needs Substantial Intervention
We are proud to report that St. Lucie Public Schools received a “Meets Requirements” designation for the 19/20 school year.   This is a testament to the wonderful work of our administrators, teachers, support staff and district personnel who work continuously to ensure quality programming and services for students with disabilities.  Congratulations to everyone!
SLPS Rises Above (Video)

SLPS Rises Above (Video)

St. Lucie Public Schools is proud to have served the community by providing eight general hurricane shelter sites and four Red Cross shelter sites.

  • As shelter site hosts, SLPS staff provided safe and dry temporary accommodations, food service, and custodial support before, during, and after the storm
  • The SLPS Transportation Department established a call center for residents needing transportation to shelters and provided transportation service to shelters before the storm as well as return transportation after the storm
  • The SLPS Transportation Department also provided transportation for residents displaced by the storm to post-storm host shelters

Thank you to our staff for your tireless efforts to support others and rise above!