GOSHEN, N.Y. (April 7, 2016) – Hudson Valley-based public relations and marketing firm Focus Media, the agency of record for Mount Vernon City School District, played a key role with the recent passage of the $108 million 20/20 Vision bond referendum. The public overwhelmingly approved the proposal by a more than 3-1 margin, with official results of 2,330-690.
“We congratulate Superintendent Dr. Kenneth R. Hamilton, the Mount Vernon Board of Education and this very talented team of administrators for their commitment to create a plan to positively transform the Mount Vernon City School District and ensure every child has the best possible opportunity to have an exceptional education,” said Focus Media President and CEO Josh Sommers. “Focus Media is honored to have played a role in this endeavor by using our expertise to communicate the district’s 20/20 Vision and its immediate infrastructural needs. We look forward to watching the many great things that will happen because of this bond’s passage.”
Hamilton expressed his appreciation to the Focus Media team for its work. “We believe Focus Media’s proficiency for communication helped convey our mission and projects to our many constituent groups,” he said. “It was equally important for Mount Vernon residents to understand both the 20/20 Vision and the long-term, positive impact the bond’s passage will have on generations of Mount Vernon children and Focus Media handled that exceptionally well.”
Focus Media’s work included media relations, the creation of communication materials and a video documenting the needs to be addressed and the transformational plans to be put in place should the referendum be approved.
Of the $108 million bond, $81 million will be covered by state aid with $27 million to be covered by taxpayers. Highlights of the bond package are:
- The implementation of a districtwide, full-day pre-kindergarten program for all eligible students, which allows educators to nurture students at a much earlier age. Universal Pre-K has been proven to play an important role in closing the gap between students who are far behind in school readiness when they first enter classrooms and their more advantaged peers. The Pre-K program would also save daycare costs for Mount Vernon parents.
- The expansion of all elementary buildings to K-8 schools or pre-K-8, which provides tremendous benefit for all students. Studies indicate the continuity of academic attention and rigor is best maintained in this model. Once the building reconfigurations are in place, students will remain in one school until high school, which is considered the most successful approach to academic achievement.
- The creation of three specially defined high schools of excellence, which will create multiple educational pathways for student success. Thornton High School will become a performing arts school for visual arts, music, dance, voice or drama careers education. A.B. Davis will become a specialized STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) school. Mount Vernon High School will continue to operate as an innovative high school with a reinvigorated Career and Technical Education program and an International Baccalaureate Program, in addition to general studies and technology.
- Installation of artificial turf and new track surfaces at A.B. Davis and Mount Vernon High School in addition to renovation of outdoor basketball courts at A.B. Davis and tennis courts at Mount Vernon High School. Soccer and softball fields will be re-sodded.
- Building technology and infrastructure upgrades and enhancements, which will include the elimination of existing modular classrooms, retrofitting wiring for high speed Internet and wireless communication, ventilation, roofing and auditorium repair and/or replacement and overall rehabilitation and repair to all buildings.
About Mount Vernon City School District
With more than 8,000 students in 16 schools, the Mount Vernon City School District is committed to providing a quality education to its children as well as developing programs that meet the diverse academic and social needs of its students. For more information, visit:
About Focus Media
Focus Media, Inc. is an award-winning, full-service public relations and marketing firm specializing in market research, branding, design, collateral development, TV and radio production, media planning and placement. Since launching the company in 2002, President and CEO Josh Sommers has assembled a highly talented team of marketing experts, public relations strategists and acclaimed graphic designers that have made Focus Media a preeminent advertising agency known for its creativity, innovation and cutting edge marketing strategies. For more information, visit http://www.focusmediausa.com.