On March 31, Superintendent Brenda Longshore unveiled the five goals for their renewal of the District Strategic Plan. As a student, I see firsthand as to how our school district could be improved in curriculum and other important areas in our education. After reviewing the five goals, I felt somewhat content on the way the five goals addressed many crucial parts that need to be addressed in our school district.

Longshore discussed new strategies for treating any at-risk students and also mentioned raising teacher salaries in order to attract high quality employees. A second crucial piece that was mentioned was fiscal responsibility, in which the district aims to increase efficiency of work and provide more information to the taxpayer as to how their money is being spent. Third, I feel Dr. Brenda Longshore is taking a step in the right direction by being more transparent in the actions of the School Board. She posts monthly columns and videos about what is going on in our county’s schools.

Despite being a good piece of work on behalf of our School Board, it does not seem to give a solution to a significant problem in our school district: infrastructure. Students in our schools deserve to get an education in the best facilities that are kept as clean as possible. Sadly, this may not always be the case. While this is not the administration’s or any employee’s fault, I do feel that it is something that has to be addressed.

I know that Superintendent Longshore and The School Board of Highlands Country want the best for us, so I hope they address this issue. This lack of infrastructure in certain areas of our county brings with it many negative effects that can do serious damage to our schools.

The issue of a pest is not limited to the fact that it is there, but rather continues how it misrepresents our School Board and its employees. Before, one could kill the invader and the issue was temporarily dealt with. However, with the increased social media presence, these issues are highlighting even bigger than ever. Social media sites, such as Snapchat, allow information to be spread at unprecedented speed. A video of a rat could be shown to an entire high school before the school day is over.

After years of being blessed with great teachers and administrators, I know this paints a terrible picture of the quality of our schools.

One may ask, what can Dr. Brenda Longshore and The School Board of Highlands Country do about this issue? First, they can address it in their new District Strategic Plan. It is something our schools lack at times and it is something that individual schools cannot solve on their own. Secondly, they can work with the individual schools to identify how they will solve the issue. Third, they implement the solutions and increase the quality of our schools.

Until then, they are left dealing with the negative effects of the problem. Because sometimes when there is a problem at the lowest levels, those at the highest levels have to step in and help deal with it.

Miguel Arceo is a student athlete at Sebring High School.

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