Florida district partners to address multiple challenges

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH) today announced the launch of a long-term collaborative partnership with Florida's St. Lucie County School district to build a community of learners where content and information can be available and shared. The partners will work together to improve the way teachers educate, students learn and parents involve themselves in the educational process. The five-year agreement was unanimously approved by the St. Lucie County SchoolBoard on March 22.

The partnership will address several of the most critical challenges faced by educators, students, and parents throughout the district. Initiatives will include the creation of a St. Lucie County Parent Academy, enhancement of early childhood education, development of a comprehensive science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) curriculum, and expanded access to information technology and the internet for all students to help bridge the digital divide within the district.

The partnership will also provide professional development and training for teachers in the use and instruction of 21st century technology and digital materials. This new collaboration aims to not only raise student achievement, but also provide the local community access to cutting-edge materials and software. This is manifested particularly in the creation of the Parent Academy, which gives parents resources to help their kids excel in school while helping their families succeed more in society.

“This partnership is a breakthrough step, and cultural game-changer for the people and economy of St. Lucie County. Our students will be taught in ways that they have not experienced before,” said St. Lucie County Schools Superintendent Michael Lannon. “They will be equipped to meet the needs of the Florida Research Coast, as well as those that are critical for future economic development. This is about raising the entire community.”

The partnership is the latest in a long relationship between Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and St. Lucie County Public Schools. The two announced in 2009 the results of a five-year technology infusion initiative in St. Lucie schools that showed a positive correlation between interactive courseware solutions and student achievement in those areas. Fundamental to the success of that campaign was the introduction of HMH's Destination Math, Destination Reading, and Learning Village platform into the classroom. The initiative helped St, Lucie move from a C-rated to a B-rated district based on Florida's A+ Plan accountability system.