Schools and students nationwide have been severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Among obvious indicators, kindergarten enrollment is down across the country. Rural and urban areas, and crossing sociodemographic categories, have been touched by this trend. There are potentially multiple reasons why. Why it has happened, however, is no less important than how we plan for what’s next. Future Ready Collier and its partners are aware of these concerns, and are taking steps to help.
As a community-based collective impact network, Future Ready Collier appreciates the critical importance of having the right information, at the right time, in the hands of the people who need it. Recently, Future Ready Collier undertook major website reorganization. The new Resources pages enable users to more easily find what is useful to them. Web pages are specific to Family Resources, Partner Resources, and Reports and Data.
Future Ready Collier regularly brings together community representatives to ensure the network is aware of the most pressing regional needs. A theme throughout this last 12-month period, since the earliest onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, has been the threat to Southwest Floridians’ mental health. Stakeholders agree this is an urgent priority.
If it feels like 2020 rolled right into 2021 without a break in the action, you would not be alone. But there are important updates and deadlines that come along with the new year! Read more for news from Collier County Public Schools about school registrations, as well as separate critical upcoming scholarship deadlines, and FAFSA information.
A special contribution from the FutureMakers Coalition with Florida SouthWestern State College (FSW) and Florida Gulf Coast University (FGCU) to the Fort Myers News-Press wants students on track to finish their associate’s degree that they may already have earned that credential. As students transfer from FSW to FGCU to pursue a bachelor’s degree, they may think any progress towards an AA is left behind. These schools want you to know, that’s not the case.
State, regional, and local initiatives share information about the value of pursuing post-high school education or training. Data show that newer jobs demand higher levels of training and education. Systemic challenges like COVID-19 make existing strains more evident. A well-educated workforce connects to a robust economy, and workers benefit throughout their careers. Many partners come together to help with preparing our Florida workforce.
A primary interest of Future Ready Collier is helping all young people graduate from high school with a plan for their future. Whatever your expectations or hopes, it’s smart to be sure you complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) as early in your senior year as possible. Filling out the FAFSA gives you the greatest flexibility in getting and using financial aid and scholarships for any sort of post-high school education and training. Read more to register for free virtual FAFSA information sessions held in November and December.
On October 7, Future Ready Collier hosts a virtual community conversation with the Florida College Access Network (FCAN) about their Talent Strong Florida initiative. Talent Strong Florida joins stakeholders in education and the business community to bring attention to the value of post-high school training. FCAN’s recently welcomed executive director and their assistant director for network partnerships will participate in the conversation.
Collier County Public Schools reopen for the year on Monday, August 31. This includes back to school for both in-person, on-campus learning and digital or other home-based options. CCPS created a webpage with plenty of helpful resources for parents. Make sure to read through and have all the information you need!