Broward County School District
Pompano Beach, Florida
Take a dynamic staff, a spacious and well-lit building, high standards, and motivated students, and the odds of having a superior high school dramatically increase. To that combination Pompano Beach High School, a magnet school in the seaside Florida city of that name, adds an innovative, four-day schedule and a schoolwide focus on reading. It is a potent mix.
Any student in the county who scores a “3” out of “5” on the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test in 7th grade is eligible to apply to Pompano High School; students who meet entry standards are entered into a lottery. Once accepted, students are expected to achieve at least a “3” on subsequent state tests; students who fall behind receive tutoring and a range of supports to try to keep them at Pompano.
Pompano’s student body is a lively mix of diverse cultures and backgrounds, representing more than 12 languages and 15 nations. This make-up is in keeping with Pompano Beach High School’s International Affairs focus; students may take courses in French, Spanish, and Japanese, as well as Global Studies, International Business and International Finance and Law. Both AP and Honors courses are offered in major subjects.
The unique four-day schedule not only accommodates extra time on task for struggling students and enrichment activities for students who seek academic challenges, it allows Pompano to and ask more of its students—the magnet diploma requires 30 credit hours (25 required, 5 electives), as opposed to the 24 (16 required, 8 electives) needed for a standard diploma. Magnet diploma students take an additional year of math, science, social studies, two and a half years more of computer science, and three more years of foreign language classes. Students must earn a minimum of 40 community service hours (ambitious students earn more than 100 hours). In addition to its intense academic focus, this high school also offers students challenging art and music classes. NBRS staff created the videos School Culture and Learning Through Authentic Tasks about Pompano.