Marion County Public Schools (MCPS) has earned “exemplary status” for its efforts to acknowledge and teach students about the historic contributions of African Americans.
The award was announced by the Florida Commissioner of Education’s African American History Task Force in a letter and certificate dated April 26, 2022.
MCPS is the 11th school district in Florida to earn this distinction. Four years ago, MCPS began its efforts for exemplary status and committed to the following requirements:
- School Board approval of the initiative.
- Structured professional development for teachers and administrators.
- Creating an African American studies curriculum.
- Structured teaching of the African American history curriculum.
- University and school district collaboration, along with parent and community partnerships.
Social Studies Curriculum Specialist Lindsey Barber led the district team in meeting these specific criteria, and the district’s application was submitted the following morning after Marion County School Board members approved it during their meeting on February 9.
MCPS worked with Dr. Patrick Coggins, a consultant from Stetson University in DeLand, to achieve “exemplary status.” A Community Advisory Team, which was appointed by Marion County School Board members and headed by longtime Ocala resident Frank Rasbury, also led to this achievement.
The distinction recognizes and earmarks a school district’s long-standing commitment to teach students about the contributions and achievements of African Americans.
For more information, visit the Florida Commissioner of Education’s African American History Task Force webpage, or contact Social Studies Curriculum Specialist Lindsey Barber via phone (352-236-0500) or email ([email protected]).