Duval County superintendent meets with students

Community forums aim to discuss goals, plans for teachers, students, parents

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - After weeks of developing and discussing the Duval County School District's proposed strategic plan with board members, Superintendent Nikolai Vitti is meeting with those who matter most -- students.

More than 40 students from high schools throughout the district met with Vitti on Thursday morning to talk about set goals and plans for teachers, students and parents and how those goals and strategies can best contribute to their academic success.

"We need to do a better job of making parents feel comfortable and respected when they come to school," Vitti said.

Most of the students agreed with the superintendent's ideas.

"He really cares about the kids and cares about all of us," Raines High School senior Ahmon Lott said. "He has four kids as well and cares about us as much as he cares about them."

Every student got the chance to fill out a feedback form so they could tell the superintendent and everyone at the School Board what they think about the new plan.

"Every student needs a great teacher," said Kelsey Rice, senior class president at Lee High School. "There are the weak ones, the average ones and the strong ones, and you can definitely tell the difference. And if you have a great teacher, you will want to be a good student."

You don't have to be a student to attend the upcoming forums. Community members are encouraged to attend to learn more about the proposed strategic plan and share their thoughts. Vitti is hoping to make the changes the community is asking for.

"Students and our community wants more than just FCAT and standardized testing," Vitti said. "They want the development of the whole child -- the music, the arts, the electives."

There are two other community forums -- one at 5:30 p.m. Thursday at Lee High School and one at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday at Andrew Jackson High School.

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