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NBRS Award Winners

Find this year's schools on our National Blue Ribbon Schools award winners list

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Pompano Beach High School 2009 NBR School

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.

School Culture. Pompano Beach is a school where, in the words of then-principal David Gordon, “It’s okay to be smarter.” Principal Gordon, magnet coordinator Bill Bankowski, and students and teachers describe some of the practices that make this relatively small (1260 students) high school the one where top colleges and universities come to recruit scholars and scientists. A strong culture of safety and rigorous academics attract ambitious students who thrive in a supportive learning environment that offers four two-hour classes each semester, permitting deep explorations of subject matter. Read the transcript of “School Culture.”
Learning Through Authentic Tasks. Pompano Beach High School students characterize their teachers as adults engage them in hands-on learning and pose realistic, engaging tasks. Service learning opportunities take students out of school to tutor students from the next-door elementary school and coordinate food drives. Pompano’s strong computer focus challenges students to create websites, presentations, and other media to demonstrate their learning. Read the transcript of “Learning Through Authentic Tasks.”

Contact Information

Pompano Beach High School
600 NE 13th Avenue
Pompano Beach, FL 33060
(754) 322-2000 Fax: (754) 322-2130

Student Demographics
2009-2010 Academic Year

Demographic Feature Data
Number of Students 9-12 1260
Students eligible for subsidized meals 31%
Limited English proficient students  0%
Students receiving special education services 10%
White students 54%
African American students 26%
Hispanic students 14%
Asian students  4%
Students of two or more races 2%
Average teacher turnover, last 4 years  6%
Student:Teacher ratio 25:1