top of page

A Sigh Of Relief: Hallandale High School Progress And Changes

By Hallandale Beach Mayor, Joy Cooper

March 22, 2024

A few weeks ago, I wrote to our readers about changes that were taking place in Broward County Schools. There was a sigh of relief that they were not closing Hallandale High School. This did not mean their work re-defining our schools stopped. Dr. Licata made it clear to all stakeholders that in fact everything was on the table. There could still be closed, combined schools, reproduced schools, investments in partnerships between cities and the school board, Mayor and all stakeholders have a task with making suggestions on the possibilities.

The following is a letter that I submitted with a list of observations that I had gleaned from visiting all the schools and centers within the community. I had a chance to speak with many individuals about their ideas and suggestions. The work of the School Board will continue and we all need to keep an eye on their progress and changes.

I want to thank you for your generosity of time during this process. While under-enrolled schools partially prompted the discussion I understand there are many other factors that have impacted our district. I commend you and the board for taking these bold steps to address vital needs to ensure every student has the opportunity to succeed.

I know we have discussed many of the items below but wanted to at least document them. There will always be opportunities to partner on many levels. I have discussed housing opportunities at GELC, and you mentioned opportunities at Lanier. The other is with HACC fields, but I am not certain if our own budget restraints or commission policy could support partnership investments there.

Through my conversations at schools and with other stakeholders I wanted to make sure you and the board know from my observations what is lacking and what is envisioned. Programming is important and may be beneficial on a financial level as well. As long as it is in the right place and managed properly.
Hallandale High School: Upgrades, Additional Programming and After-hours use. The school was slated to be rebuilt and the state stopped funding. While we all know that education for students and teaching staff is the top priority, school buildings matter. School buildings create a place of pride for students, teachers and the community. The piecemeal improvements over the years are great but some are still not complete.

The school does not have proper Baseball Fields. The Football Field needs upgrades that are found at other schools. The school has lost many sports programs due to this. Parking lots are shabby. Stakeholders think the single point entry is good but could be embellished to make the entry more appealing. While these items are not critical they are important to build pride and make the school welcoming.

Before I cover suggestions on programs I would like to share a global observation. “Every” principal and parent I have had a chance to speak with supports uniforms 100%. The key component was the time consumed over discipline issues over clothing. This takes administration and teachers away from their key goal of education and safety. School uniforms create a point of pride, respect, discipline, remove inappropriate distractions and create a springboard of being part of something greater than oneself. The argument of letting someone be able to express their uniqueness should be through class education and activity not clothing. In fact, bullying will always be taking place, but implementing a Countywide policy for all students will certainly help to preempt some harassment and shaming.

Magnet programs serve a purpose and are a great option for focused studies, but they seem to have caused more competition among regular schools when they already face challenges from charters and choice. The way magnets are established, funded, and teachers are hired is not always maintainable.

Stakeholders would like to see more training programs that will develop job skills and ability to join the workforce. I have heard many times that not all students are suitable for or can afford college. Automotive, Electrical, Plumbing, Carpentry, Computer Skills and other trades could be offered. These courses could be given at existing schools during and/or after hours. They could be combined with GED Courses and Language Courses. Leaving school resources idle after the school day ends is not a good use for an existing school.

Graduation is paramount and those students wanting and able to further their education by attending college should also be given every opportunity and access to resources found in every private school.

The rest of this correspondence will be published next week, better!

As always feel free to contact me anytime with your questions, concerns and ideas to make our City better! I can be reached at: Or: Or Facebook Mayor Joy Cooper. You can always call my Office number at: (954) 457-1318. Or Call/Text me at: (954) 632-5700. Working for you! Always have! Always will!

bottom of page