For many years Maximo was one of the few remaining neighborhood schools in South Pinellas. At that time the student body came from the surrounding beach communities and area subdivisions, such as Lakewood Estates and Broadwaters.
Then, the student community changed for several years to meet the district guidelines for desegregation. The commitment and dedication of the staff became stronger than ever with Paula Lamb at the helm. That strong commitment helped the staff to meet the challenges, every two years of taking different students drawn from at least three different neighborhoods and melding them into one community. These students represented a diverse population and create the Maximo Family.
In the last few years, Maximo has gone back to being a neighborhood school serving the nearby community and neighborhood.
Through the PTA, tens of thousands of dollars have been given to the school over the years to enhance the quality of education for children. These dollars have provided library books, playground equipment, teacher mini-grants, computers, field trips, a teacher seminar fund, classroom donations, and an outdoor classroom. The PTA has constantly been here to supplement and enhance Maximo.
In addition to the material items, PTA has given countless volunteer hours helping children, teachers, and parents. Special shows, parent education, legislative action, clinic help, bicycle safety, drug awareness, parties and book fairs — no job has ever been too big or too small for the PTA to lend a hand.
Parents, teachers, staff, and community leaders are involved with the School Advisory Council (SAC). This committee meets monthly to discuss school issues and the implementation of the School Improvement Plan and to offer advice and support to the principal. Serving on SAC has become an excellent way to be informed of new trends, current issues, and special events. Topics of discussion have included beautification, school-based management, the impact of the interstate and building projects, rezoning, and school choice.
As a part of the school’s community involvement, volunteer tutors have come as individuals or from local businesses and agencies, such as Florida-Power, Eckerd College, and Publix.
The Florida Department of Education honored Maximo in 1998 with the Ten Year Golden School Award in recognition of its continued outstanding school volunteer programs. In another community effort, the staff established an Adopt-a-Student program, which gave a helping hand to students in need, emotionally and/or financially.
Included are programs in reading, language arts, mathematics, science, social studies, and health. Students regularly receive scheduled art, physical education, music, and library skills. Additional programs offered are strings, chorus, and computer lab. Other resources offered are guidance, speech, gifted, Title One and exceptional education.
Whether reading a story, creating a new art project, or giving a student a helping hand, the faculty has always created excitement in learning at Maximo. The staff and students show they care about Maximo by participating in a kaleidoscope of activities and events.
Maximo in the new millennium: Since the beginning of the new millennium, Maximo adjusted its programs to meet the challenges of this new century while striving to maintain its unique character. School choice proved to be the major challenge facing Maximo.
Under the leadership of Barbara Hires, using Baldrige as a framework, other programs and initiatives began to evolve. In 2002, Maximo became a Center for MicroSociety® and Visual Arts. Students concentrate on real-world experiences through government, economics, and integrated thematic units during a 210-day school year.
Whatever changes and challenges are ahead, Maximo’s mission will remain constant. The staff is committed to using the CHAMPS Integrated Management System to provide an instructional program that meets the needs of all students. The staff will continue to maintain an appropriate school climate in which students and staff feel a sense of belonging, experience success, and grow through learning. Maximo’s unique instructional model encourages all stakeholders to work together to ensure that no child is left behind.