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Sarasota Tuesday, Apr. 16, 2019 1 month ago

Sarasota County Schools receives international award from University of Cambridge

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The Cambridge Pathway curriculum serves all students levels K-12 in at least 32 states across the country.
by: Samantha Chaney Staff Writer

Formally recognized for accessibility, sustainability and equity in its Cambridge International education program, Sarasota County Schools has been formally awarded by Cambridge University with the Mid-Size District of the Year Award for 2017-2018.

The award comes from the world’s largest provider of international education programs and recognizes districts that maintain consistently high rates of various performance standards, such as benchmark exams, student success and diversity.

Superintendent Todd Bowden addresses attendees at Sarasota High School, where district and Cambridge officials acknowledged Sarasota County Schools as an award recipient for the Mid-Size District of the Year Award from Cambridge University.

On April 16, district leaders and Cambridge officials alike congregated to acknowledge the accomplishment at Sarasota High School — the school at which The Cambridge Advanced International Certificate of Education program was first installed in Sarasota County.

“We are thrilled to be the recipients of such a distinguished award from Cambridge International,” Sarasota Superintendent Todd Bowden said. “We strive to provide our students and staff with the best resources available to attain their goals and stretch their skills … We are thankful to have this enhanced curriculum as an option in our district.”

First implemented in 2011, the Cambridge AICE program began at Sarasota High School but has spread throughout all district levels. Not only do Booker High School and North Port High School also have Cambridge AICE programs, but Booker Middle, Heron Creek Middle and Tuttle Elementary have since installed the curriculum to guide students toward a successful college career.

By graduating from high school with an AICE diploma, students don’t only enter college with a number of credits already under their belt, but they can also enter with their tuition covered in full.

And one of the major reasons Sarasota County Schools is being recognized, according to North America Cambridge International Regional Director Mark Cavone, is Sarasota County’s continuing dedication to ensuring that all students have an equal opportunity to pursue higher education through the Cambridge AICE program.

Dante Garcia and Taylor Sawyer are seniors at Sarasota High School who will be completing the Cambridge AICE program this year.

“Here at Cambridge, we fully believe in achievement for all, we believe every student in the right circumstance can achieve and really excel,” Cavone said. “We really believe in opening access, and Sarasota County has done that. So we're really proud to be giving Sarasota County this award.”

Last year alone, 250 students across the district earned such diplomas, which is no easy feat, according to students and teachers in the district.

“As much as there is a rigor to [the AICE program], the teachers and the curriculum will always be there to help you,” said Dante Garcia, an AICE senior at a Sarasota High. “And, if you’re ever lost, not only do you have the teachers, you also have the students and your friends that are there in your AICE program with you that are helping you along the way.”

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