Dear Students, Parents and Community Members:

Welcome to the 2021 – 2022 school year!   I am excited to start this school year and see each of you again after a long time apart.   It is my pleasure to serve you again this year as principal of Dale Cassens Education Complex and Pride Academy.  We are all very excited to begin our 2022 school year journey together.   We have many familiar faces returning with our staff and a few changes to our program opportunities for all children in St. Lucie Public Schools.   Our mission is to graduate students on time or early with the knowledge, skills and desire to succeed.   Our passion is our children.   Our culture is our relationships with students, parents and the community as we BELIEVE that is our greatest opportunity to truly make a difference in each child’s life.

Our programs this year include our very popular Middle School Accelerated Paced Program (MAPP) with students already enrolled in a seven-eight and eight-nine grade sections along with our MySchool opportunity for grades 7,8,9.   This program is extremely rigorous and fast paced as students all complete credits to be promoted to high school as either freshman or sophomores by the end of the year.

Phoenix Academy offers live and MySchool instruction with a traditional teacher in a regular paced routine with extra support for students who thrive in a small learning, very supported environment.  This program has grown to include all grade levels from six through twelve.

HOPE House continues to offer students a small learning environment with intensive academic and behavioral supports.  Students have an individual learning plan with specific goals set and monitor for student achievement.  This environment is our smallest student to teacher ratio of all programs.

New this year is our Digital Learning Academy.  This program was created from the data on how some students did BETTER in a digital learning world with Edgenuity as the resource for learning with a certified content teacher to assist and facilitate their learning.  Students in grades six through twelve are served with this model.   Self-motivated students who have a desire to catch up on credits and graduate on time or early thrive in this program design.

Our youngest students, grades Kindergarten through five, have P.R.I.D.E. Academy located at 2202 Avenue Q in Fort Pierce.  This program is for students that need a smaller learning environment with social emotional learning as a core component and a evidence-based behavioral model of Zones of Regulation.

Some of the benefits of enrolling in any of our programs include a full time Graduation Coach, School Counselor, other counseling services for mental health and wellness, Psychological services, English Language Learner support, intensive ESE services, Assessment Specialist, Instructional Coach and a very supportive staff of behavior techs, self-care aides and paraprofessional in classrooms.

We appreciate our connections with community agencies and work together to support our students and their family’s unique needs.  Our hearts are full, our compassion great and our welcoming smiles uplifting.   We are a PBIS Gold School and have maintained a rating of a “B” by the Florida Department of Education.   We are fully accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.   We are HERE for YOU!   Have a great year.

Ellen G. Harden, Principal