Back-to-school countdown: Here is how Fort Lauderdale High prepares

At Fort Lauderdale High School, dozens of teachers in bright tie-dye T-Shirts were preparing on Monday to welcome back more than 2,000 students to their classroom desks on Tuesday.

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – At Fort Lauderdale High School, dozens of teachers in bright tie-dye T-Shirts were preparing on Monday to welcome back more than 2,000 students to their classroom desks on Tuesday.

Erin Brown, who has been the school’s principal for about four years, has nearly two decades of experience in education. She said there is always plenty to do to prepare for the first day of school.

“It’s busy! That’s for sure,” said Brown, whose career began as a teacher and coach at Flanagan High School.

Teachers received training on the new emergency code protocols. Broward County Public Schools, the sixth-largest school district in the nation, replaced the color code for action words “HOLD,” “SECURE,” “LOCKDOWN,” “EVACUATE” and “SHELTER.”

Teachers prepare classrooms at Fort Lauderdale High School in preparation for the first 2022-23 school year on Tuesday in Broward County Public School. (Copyright 2022 by WPLG Local10.com - All rights reserved.)

“We use all of the time that you know, we are given to make sure everything is perfect and 100% ready to go for tomorrow,” Brown said.

In the hallways, teachers used carts to deliver new textbooks to their classrooms.

“There is a lot of excitement in the air,” Brown said.

The school, which has a college preparatory program for students interested in law and criminal justice, serves students from areas of Wilton Manors, Lazy Lake, Oakland Park, and Lauderdale-by-the-Sea.

District records show the school has had “A” grades every year since 2012, except for 2016 when the school received a “B” grade.

Teachers and staff worked to deliver new heavy text books on Monday at Fort Lauderdale High School. (Copyright 2022 by WPLG Local10.com - All rights reserved.)

Superintendent Vickie Cartwright told Local 10 News that despite a nationwide shortage of teachers every core academic classroom in BCPS will have a certified teacher on Tuesday.

“Every bus route has a certified bus driver in front of it this year. We have struggled with that for years and this is just phenomenal news,” Cartwright said adding, “We are almost completely hired out for our campus security monitors.”

To deal with an ongoing shortage of teachers, BCPS administrators are asking parents to support a referendum that will be on the Aug. 23 ballot raising property taxes to generate $214 million. This would fund teacher compensation, school resource officers, and mental health professionals.

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Fort Lauderdale High Principal Erin Brown said teachers were really busy preparing their classrooms for back-to-school Tuesday.

About the Authors:

In January 2017, Hatzel Vela became the first local television journalist in the country to move to Cuba and cover the island from the inside. During his time living and working in Cuba, he covered some of the most significant stories in a post-Fidel Castro Cuba. 

The Emmy Award-winning journalist joined the Local 10 News team in 2013. She wrote for the Miami Herald for more than 9 years and won a Green Eyeshade Award.