The Florida Department of Education (FLDOE) selected 64 Brevard County schools as recipients of the 2016-2017 Five Star School Award. The recognition is given to schools that have shown evidence of exemplary community involvement.

"It is an honor to recognize these schools with the Five Star Award," said Commissioner of Education Pam Stewart. "As a former teacher and principal, I have seen firsthand the positive impact family and community involvement can have on the lives of students. I commend our state's parents, guardians and community members for going above and beyond for Florida's students and the schools for encouraging parent and community involvement."

Seventy-eight percent of the district's schools earned the award by meeting prerequisites in five categories: business partnerships, family involvement, volunteerism, student community service and school advisory councils. Schools are also required to have at least a "C" grade or an improvement rating of "maintaining or improving," for the year of nomination.

The award was created by the FLDOE Commissioner's Community Involvement Council. It was established to recognize that community involvement is fundamental to student success.

"We have a wonderful school community that celebrates student achievement and rewards academic excellence," said John Harris, principal of Heritage High. "The Five Star Award is a marvelous way for our students, staff and community to receive recognition for creating a positive school culture and climate for all students."

To meet business partnership criteria, partners must work with the school to plan activities and remain involved in recurring events. These partners also help develop and implement the School Improvement Plan (SIP), and donate goods, services and financial resources.

Volunteerism requirements dictate that schools need to provide volunteer program training to at least 80 percent of the staff, appoint and train a volunteer coordinator and recognize school helpers. They are also obligated to accrue volunteer hours equaling at least twice the amount of the school's enrolled students.

The student community service category includes providing students with service-learning opportunities focused on identified community needs. Students must develop and implement a service project, and a minimum of 50 percent of the school's enrollment must participate in it. 

"We had more than 7,000 volunteer hours last year with nearly half of the hours coming from students," said Bobby Pruett, principal of DeLaura Middle. "DeLaura is truly a community school with support from a variety of different areas and all stakeholders. We have a great partnership all in the name of helping our students."

School Advisory Council criteria includes hosting at least eight council meetings each year with an average of 80 percent of the members in attendance. Furthermore, the council must present the SIP to the community and offer continuous skill development to members.

"Manatee Elementary has a collaborative relationship with the PTO, School Advisory Council and staff which uses its strong ties to the Brevard community to provide our school with the resources to create meaningful social-emotional programs that foster the importance of giving back," said Shannon Daly, Manatee Elementary assistant principal. "Manatee Elementary is able to provide our students with a well-rounded learning experience that prepares them academically and establishes a foundation for future civic engagement."

A few of the requirements for family involvement include maintaining an active parent organization and providing educational and support group opportunities for parents. Schools also must offer joint parent-student training for topics such as reading, financial aid and violence prevention. At least 60 percent of families must be positively involved in the school more than once a year, as well.

According to Saturn Elementary Principal Janice Rutherford, building strong family and community relationships contributed to her school's success. "Even though the demographics of our community indicate that many families are struggling, they still highly value the education their children are receiving and support our school in all of our efforts," Rutherford said. "We are extremely fortunate to have an involved and supportive community."

Congratulations to the BPS Five Star Schools!

  • Hans Christian Anderson Elementary
  • Apollo Elementary School
  • Astronaut High School
  • Atlantis Elementary School
  • Bayside High School
  • Cambridge Elementary Magnet
  • Cape View Elementary School
  • Challenger 7 Elementary School
  • Cocoa Beach Jr./Sr. High School
  • Cocoa High School
  • Dr. W.J. Creel Elementary School
  • Croton Elementary School
  • DeLaura Middle School
  • Discovery Elementary School
  • Eau Gallie High School
  • Edgewood Jr. Sr. High School
  • Enterprise Elementary School
  • Fairglen Elementary School
  • Freedom 7 Elementary of International Studies
  • Gemini Elementary School
  • Heritage High School
  • Holland Elementary School
  • Hoover Middle School
  • Imperial Estates Elementary
  • Indialantic Elementary School
  • Andrew Jackson Middle School
  • Jupiter Elementary School
  • John F. Kennedy Middle School
  • Lewis Carroll Elementary School
  • Longleaf Elementary School
  • James Madison Middle School
  • Manatee Elementary School
  • Crista McAuliffe Elementary
  • Meadowlane Intermediate Elementary School
  • Meadowlane Primary Elementary
  • Merritt Island High School
  • MILA Elementary School
  • Oak Park Elementary School
  • Ocean Breeze Elementary School
  • Palm Bay Magnet Senior High
  • Pinewood Elementary School
  • Port Malabar Elementary School
  • Quest Elementary School
  • Riviera Elementary School
  • Rockledge High School
  • Roy Allen Elementary School
  • Sabal Elementary School
  • Satellite High School
  • Saturn Elementary School
  • Sea Park Elementary School
  • Space Coast Jr./Sr. High School
  • R.L. Stevenson Elementary School of the Arts
  • Stone Magnet Middle School
  • Sunrise Elementary School
  • Suntree Elementary School
  • Surfside Elementary School
  • Titusville High School
  • Tropical Elementary School
  • John F. Turner Elementary
  • Viera High School
  • West Melbourne School for Science
  • Westshore Jr./Sr. High School
  • Westside Elementary School
  • Ralph M. Williams Jr. Elementary School