Okaloosa Schools Superintendent welcomes students back, talks academic success and continued safety

Okaloosa Schools Superintendent Marcus Chambers welcomes students back for the new school year in a letter, while highlighting academic achievements and priorities like safety. Okaloosa students ranked 5th statewide in English and Math testing last year.
Okaloosa Superintendent of Schools Marcus Chambers speaking before the crowd at the announcement

Ahead of the first day of school, Okaloosa County Superintendent of Schools Marcus Chambers sent a letter highlighting academic achievements from the previous school year and outlining priorities for the upcoming year. 

  • The 2022-2023 school year was marked by strong standardized test results, with Okaloosa students ranking 5th out of 67 Florida districts in English Language Arts and Math proficiency. This continues an upward trend from 8th and 7th place rankings in the previous two years. 

“In a year that brought new, more rigorous statewide assessments in English Language Arts (ELA) and Mathematics to Florida, Okaloosa students once again outperformed almost every other school district in the state in their proficiency rankings,” Chambers wrote.

Safety has been a major focus. Chambers credited the district’s partnership with the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office, along with use of funds from a half-cent sales tax, with improving school safety measures.

While students were on summer break, staff and administrators worked to identify areas needing improvement and fine-tune best practices, Chambers said. 

Okaloosa Superintendent of Schools Marcus Chambers talking to school admin during the “Huddle” Summit at Beach Community Church.

“We’ve updated our ‘playbook’ that outlines a student-centered approach to academic excellence and continuous learning for students using researched-based best practices,” wrote Chambers. “I’m thankful for everyone who spent the summer diving into data, reviewing policies and procedures, and planning for a great start to what I know will be a fantastic year for our students!

The superintendent emphasized the importance of communication between the district and families. “We will continue to utilize multiple means of communication to keep all stakeholders up- to-date on what’s happening in Okaloosa. It’s a winning strategy,” he wrote.

In the letter, Chambers expressed excitement about the new school year and his appreciation for the community’s support. 

  • “Being your Superintendent is more than a job for me; it’s a calling. I’m thankful for your trust and support in educating those you hold near and dear, and I approach this position with all the enthusiasm and attention to detail such an important task demands,” he stated.

The first day of school in Okaloosa County is Thursday, August 10th.

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News reel – 09/10/2023