In 1991, under the leadership of Dr. Robert Parks, a plan was designed to reconfigure the educational landscape by "linking" a group of schools in the Deerfield Beach area together. This established a collaborative effort to provide better educational opportunities for students. By the time the Innovation Zone concept was brought before the School Board to be adopted as policy, it had already begun changing the face of education in Broward.

The Zones consist of a cluster of schools that includes a high school, middle school(s), elementary schools and centers. The Zones break down "barriers" and divide the District into 28 representative, responsive and manageable geographic areas while maintaining the importance and influence a big district demands.

In molding the Innovation Zone concept, the main priority was that all facets of the educational environment be addressed. Schools were organized in a feeder pattern or community-centered concept to promote a smooth, constant base of support.

By being part of an Innovation Zone, individual schools benefit through coordination, collaboration and shared decision making with other area schools. Schools are now part of a team effort and share resources to maximize opportunities and improve the education of students.

Students, parents and the community benefit in a number of ways through Innovation Zones. Zones create a bottom-up decision making process as well as provide more ways for parents to become involved in the process. In addition, the Zones have streamlined operations, created attentive administrations, and localized chains of command. By using Innovation Zones to decentralize the school system rather than breaking it into smaller districts, we remain powerful enough to meet the needs of all our students.