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ACEC presented to a joint inaugural school board and city commission meeting

ACEC presented to a joint inaugural school board and city commission meeting

The Alachua County Education Compact is about a partnership. It’s about a promise. It’s about potential, said Superintendent of Alachua County Public Schools Owen Roberts, Ph.D., last Tuesday afternoon in support of the recently signed education compact.


The Gainesville Area Chamber of Commerce was invited to present information about the Alachua County Education Compact (ACEC) at a joint inaugural meeting with the Alachua County school board members and Gainesville city commissioners. Gainesville Chamber’s Vice President of Education and Talent Alignment Ian Fletcher spoke about the community conversations that ignited a collated effort regarding education, why the Chamber board of directors prioritized education as No. 1 at last year’s board retreat and the effort required to mobilize the business community around 6 central goals. He highlighted the significance of 21 business, government, philanthropic and non-profit leaders signing the Compact in May and apprised attendees of recent ACEC progress, such as organizing working groups to develop metrics and strategies and hosting educational events. One such workshop—Career Discoveries—will inform students and parents about emerging career opportunities in the region. The workshop will take place Saturday, Oct. 17 from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. at the Professional Academy Magnet at Loften High School, 3000 E. University Ave. This no-cost event is open to the public.

On the same agenda, attendees learned of the placement of school resource officers in SBAC schools within the Gainesville city limits; implementation of “Great Eight Model,” a Reichert House Youth Academy program at the A. Quinn Jones Center and an Alachua County Public Schools’ initiative – Parent Academy.

A Parent Academy, a key focus area and strategy shared by the ACEC and ACPS, has been established to provide parents with skills to help their children academically and socially. With its hub at the Family Services Center in east Gainesville, this academy also includes mobile units to deliver parent training and other services on-site at apartment complexes, churches and other locations within Gainesville neighborhoods.

School board members and commissioners expressed excitement over the region’s collaborative efforts revolving around education. Interim President and CEO of the Gainesville Chamber and Council for Economic Outreach Susan Davenport also provided words of support on behalf of the business community for the strides the ACEC and ACPS is making towards education excellence. District 3 ACPS Board Member Gunnar Paulson, Ed.D., concluded discussions by thanking the Chamber and the business community for their full partnership and the city commission for the joint meeting. The school board and the city commissioners promised to meet jointly and more systematically throughout the year.

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