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What did Broward school leaders tell employees about corruption bust?

Not much.

In a note Broward Schools Superintendent Jim Notter and School Board Chairwoman Maureen Dinnen sent to the district's employees Tuesday, they avoided going into details about last week's arrest of Board member Beverly Gallagher in a federal corruption sting. They tried to rally the troops instead:

"Together, what we do for Broward children is more important than any of us individually. The term 'Team Broward' is not a simple rah-rah phrase. We will continue to be successful because we have high quality people and we know how to work together on our core mission, educating students."

The note was sent on the district's internal message system, known as CAB.

The School Board held its first meeting without Gallagher, who is now suspended, Tuesday, but only briefly touched on the matter.

"It has been a very difficult time for us, but we are hardworking people," Dinnen said at the beginning of the workshop. "We work together and we are a great board and we are going to work like that today and in the future.''

The board meets again Thursday afternoon to hold its annual retreat with the superintendent.

Full text of the note is after the jump.

September 29, 2009
 
Dear District Employees,
 
Reporters have inquired how our district will recover from recent events.  Our answer is that on September16 of this year Broward was recognized as one of the five best urban school districts in America.  According to the Council of Great City Schools, of the largest 100 districts in the nation,we are one of the top two and our finance department is number one.
 
We are grateful for these awards, but none of them are flukes.  We---all of us---all thirty some thousand of us---earned these tributes in the midst of the toughest economic crisis in eighty years.
 
Our Broward County School District has moved the state away from total reliance on FCAT, and established an anti-bullying policy before the rest of Florida knew there was a bullying problem.  Broward is an "A" District, and school districts all over Florida and the United States are borrowing our policies, our programs, and our practices.
 
The sadness of recent events shows us we cannot be complacent.  Together, what we do for Broward children is more important than any of us individually.  The term "Team Broward" is not a simple rah phrase.  We will continue to be successful because we have high quality people and we know how to work together on our core mission, educating students.
 
We shall keep striving for excellence.  We are a quality work in progress.  Watch us, members of the Broad Foundation!  The Broward County Public School District is coming after that first prize.
 
 
     Maureen S. . Dinnen               James F. Notter
     School Board Chair              Superintendent

--Hannah Sampson and Patricia Mazzei

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