Grantee Corner  |  Seminole County Public Schools

Seminole County Public Schools (SCPS) is one of only 10 districts to earn an “A” rating from the Florida Department of Education for the 2013-14 school year, a grade which it has maintained since district grades were introduced in 1999. Serving more than 64,000 PreK-12 students, SCPS remains committed to providing a 21st century learning environment that prepares graduates for the challenges of a democratic society and a global economy. As defined by the ePathways initiative, SCPS provides personalized learning experiences such as accelerated learning opportunities, flexible scheduling, blended learning, access to online courses, and college- and career-focused programs.

Whether students wish to prepare for a university education, pursue technical training that leads to industry certification, or both, SCPS aims to provide a world-class education for all students. This commitment includes rigorous programs for high school students as well as opportunities for elementary and middle school students to explore careers, identify their interests, and pursue their passions.

One of the new opportunities available to Seminole County residents is the Hamilton Elementary School of Engineering and Technology magnet school. Thanks to the Magnet Schools Assistance Program (MSAP) grant, this program is engineered for success. Hamilton Elementary features an “Engineering is Elementary” curriculum and a state-of-the-art robotics lab complete with interactive technology and Lego robotics sets. The curriculum utilizes a hands-on, project-based approach to learning that focuses on real-world technologies and problems. This curriculum helps teachers demonstrate for students how math and science are relevant  to  “real-world” situations. “Engineering is Elementary” also incorporates a collaborative approach to learning, where students work together to apply a five-step engineering process to solve problems. That five-step process requires students to ask, imagine, plan, create, and improve their projects. This concept can then be applied across all academic areas and enables Hamilton Elementary students to engineer a foundation for future success.

The Hamilton Elementary magnet program prepares students for the SCPS secondary career and technical education (CTE) and college-focused programs. CTE opportunities include digital design, game/simulation/animation programming, automotive service technology, cosmetology, and culinary operations. These courses reinforce academic content by applying curriculum to real-world, workforce readiness and skills training situations. ePathways also allows students to use  one period during the day at the primary school to take a CTE course at a neighboring campus based on their area of interest.

The SCPS MSAP project director, Kyle Hughes, has more than 10 years of experience in education. Mr. Hughes has worked as a paraprofessional, teacher, and assistant principal.  He is currently the Choices Coordinator for SCPS and manages Choices Department responsibilities, including K-12 magnet programs, region student assignments, and K-12 districtwide student transfers.  He is passionate about accomplishing the district’s excellence and equity goals related to choice options and diverse student enrollment.

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