Magnet plan aims to draw Coconut Creek students to namesake school

With its namesake high school billed a low performer, Coconut Creek has joined with the School Board aiming for the school’s makeover.

The city has set up an online forum to get ideas for turning around statistics that make Coconut Creek High a “D” school, according to state rankings. Less than a third of its 1,600 students are proficient at reading and less than half are proficient at math, according to the city’s information.

City Commissioner Sandra Welch and School Board member Nora Rupert are convinced that a magnet school, where a specialized theme is emphasized, needs to be added to the offerings. They are trying to garner support and gauge interest through the online forum.

“My concern isn’t so much what the magnet is, but that we get a magnet to … find the magic ingredient that will make the resident students come back one by one and give the students goals, give them incentives,” said Welch, whose granddaughter graduated from Monarch High School.

If the school were performing better, more students would elect to stay closer to home, she said.

Earlier this year, a proposal would have made Coconut Creek a magnet for students interested in policing and firefighting.

Special spots for hybrid cars sit empty in Coconut Creek

Special spots for hybrid cars sit empty in Coconut Creek

Keep your fossil-fueled fossil of an auto out of these parking spots or risk a fine.

Coconut Creek is one of the area’s few municipalities to embrace hybrid or alternative fuel vehicles to the extent it enforces preferred parking for the cars with a $30 fine. And nowhere is the policy that started…

Keep your fossil-fueled fossil of an auto out of these parking spots or risk a fine.

Coconut Creek is one of the area’s few municipalities to embrace hybrid or alternative fuel vehicles to the extent it enforces preferred parking for the cars with a $30 fine. And nowhere is the policy that started…

(Anne Geggis)

But a survey that parents and students completed last spring showed that option last in community preferences and the School Board voted the proposal down.

At the top of the list in the survey: medical education. “I had no idea that’s what the community was interested in,” Rupert said of the survey results.

The Broward County School District on Thursday couldn’t provide the number of how many parents and students completed surveys.

After research into other schools with a focus on medical education, Rupert said it made perfect sense. Her idea that the School Board likely will be considering this month would offer students classes pointing toward jobs in emergency medicine, sports medicine and veterinary services.

Coconut Creek tax rate dips, but city revenues rise

Coconut Creek tax rate dips, but city revenues rise

The property tax rate is dipping slightly in Coconut Creek, but the amount of tax the city is collecting will increase, according to the final rate adopted this week.

At $6.1803 per $1,000 of assessed value, next year’s tax rate is .8 percent lower than this year’s rate.

At that level, those with…

The property tax rate is dipping slightly in Coconut Creek, but the amount of tax the city is collecting will increase, according to the final rate adopted this week.

At $6.1803 per $1,000 of assessed value, next year’s tax rate is .8 percent lower than this year’s rate.

At that level, those with…

(Anne Geggis)

Getting an education that has specific career goals helps with student achievement, said Rupert, who once taught high school reading.

“Connecting education to real-world knowledge turns discipline issues around and the kids want to be there,” she said. “It’s because they are getting more than a basic education, they are getting the key to their future.”

School Board statistics show that most of Coconut Creek High’s students — 49 percent — come from North Lauderdale. Margate brings 31 percent of the students and Pompano Beach, 9 percent.

Rupert said she’d like nothing better than to see Coconut Creek High a community school once again.

“Instead of all those buses, I would love to see kids walking down the road,” she said.

Jean Bigley, who retired from computer work in Philadelphia, said she has heard that Coconut Creek High School has deteriorated over the years.

And she wants to get more people interested in magnet schools.

“I’ve seen it work in Philadelphia and other parts of Broward,” she said. “Kids have to have interesting courses, things that capture their imagination and show them about the world.”

The forum can be accessed on the city website through SunSentinel.com/creekforum.

ageggis@sun-sentinel.com, 561-243-6624 or Twitter @AnneBoca

Article source: http://www.sun-sentinel.com/local/broward/parkland/fl-coconut-creek-high-makeover-20151001-story.html

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