Sunday, February 25, 2018

Florida education news: Start times, diplomas, bonuses and more

START TIMES: Hillsborough County did it. Now some Pinellas County parents are agitating for their high schools to begin classes later each morning. If the district administration doesn't deal with the issue, it could become a hot campaign topic as a majority of School Board seats come up for election in 2018.

CLASS OF 2019: Pasco County officials are looking for a way to let this year's Ridgewood High juniors complete a diploma from Ridgewood even as it converts to a technical school. It's not as straightforward as you might think.

PAY DISPUTE: Huge numbers of Hillsborough teachers keep the pressure on their School Board after the district offers $92 bonuses instead of once-promised $4,000 raises. • Meanwhile, the district announces its teacher of the year finalists.

SURVEY SAYS: The Pinellas County school district plans to contact more than 1,000 families to get input about schools, programs and more.

WANT A LIFT? Some Hillsborough County parents question the district's decision to send a private company's vans to transport their special-needs children.

WHO'S THERE? It might be your local lawmaker, if the Florida Legislature approves a bill to allow its members to visit public schools any time, any day, at his or her pleasure.

DAILY SCHEDULES:  Citrus County high schools abandon block scheduling in favor of a seven-period day, the Citrus County Chronicle reports. • The Brevard County school district prepares to move early-release days from Wednesdays to Fridays, Florida Today reports. • The Broward County school district plans to start the 2018-19 academic year a week earlier than usual, the Sun-Sentinel reports.

LEADERSHIP: The principal of Sarasota County's Riverview High resigns to become Florida deputy chancellor of educator quality, the Observer reports. • An educator and Navy veteran is appointed to the Escambia County School Board, the Pensacola News-Journal reports. • Palm Beach County superintendent Robert Avossa receives a near-perfect performance evaluation, the Sun-Sentinel reports.

HUNGRY KIDS: Bay County schools use the increasingly popular "share tables" for students to place unwanted cafeteria food for others to take, the Panama City News-Herald reports.

STUDENT DISCIPLINE: Duval County's superintendent says public reports about district crime incidents and discipline have been misunderstood, the Florida Times-Union reports.

ELIGIBILITY: A Palm Beach County high school student from England finally wins approval to play on his school's soccer team, the Palm Beach Post reports.

VOUCHERS: Tampa businessman John Kirtley is a key player in Florida's tax-credit scholarship program, the Orlando Sentinel reports.

LABOR NEWS: The Florida Education Association joins with other labor organizations to blast what it considers a union-busting bill in the Legislature, Public News Service reports. More from Capitol News Service.

BAD ACTS: A Marion County principal is suspended for undisclosed reasons, the Ocala Star-Banner reports. • A Sarasota County assistant principal accuses her supervisors of retaliation, the Herald-Tribune reports. • A Broward County teacher is fired amid allegations he had sex with a student, the Sun-Sentinel reports.

TODAY IN TALLAHASSEE: Florida House PreK-12 Innovation, 10:30 a.m. • Florida House PreK-12 Appropriations, 4 p.m.

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ICYMI: Florida education in review, week of Feb. 18, 2018

ICYMI: Florida education in review, week of Feb. 18, 2018

This week, a couple of phrases stick with us as we consider Florida's education news. "He never went in." "In God We Trust." Both made big headlines as Floridians tried to cope with the fact that young lives were lost a week ago in a school shooting....
Published: 02/24/18
A trying week for Tampa Bay area schools

A trying week for Tampa Bay area schools

It happened on the other side of the state, but last week's shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School continues to weigh heavily on Tampa Bay area school systems.Officials found a semiautomatic rifle in a high school parking lot in Pasco Count...
Published: 02/23/18
In Tampa Bay, more students are talking politics. But they’re not registering to vote.

In Tampa Bay, more students are talking politics. But they’re not registering to vote.

The Marjory Stoneman Douglas High students who survived the Feb. 14 mass shooting that killed 17 people have inspired a new wave of political activism.From confronting lawmakers in Tallahassee and on CNN to meeting with the President to staging walko...
Published: 02/23/18
Graffiti causes concern at Plant City High School

Graffiti causes concern at Plant City High School

Friday's message to parents from the principal of Plant City High School: This morning when we arrived at school, we found someone had painted graffiti on the several outside walls by the student parking lot and the bus ramp. There was no graffi...
Published: 02/23/18
Students march from Blake High to downtown Tampa in gun protest

Students march from Blake High to downtown Tampa in gun protest

TAMPA — More than 100 students marched from Blake High School to downtown's Curtis Hixon Park on Friday in a Parkland school shooting-inspired protest aimed at lawmakers in Tallahassee.Dozens more joined them along the way, and the crowd swelle...
Published: 02/23/18
800-plus students stayed home from East Lake High today after threat found on bathroom wall

800-plus students stayed home from East Lake High today after threat found on bathroom wall

A whopping 40 percent of East Lake High's student body didn't show today after a threat was found scrawled in the girls' bathroom on Thursday.The Pinellas County Sheriff's Office deemed the threat, which read, "Careful, Don't come to school Frid...
Published: 02/23/18
Pasco High student arrested for bringing an AR-15 rifle, ammo to campus

Pasco High student arrested for bringing an AR-15 rifle, ammo to campus

Pasco High School senior Dillon Nathanial Xynides, 18, was arrested Friday morning after officials discovered an AR-15 rifle and ammunition in his truck parked in the school parking lot. He had purchased the gun a day earlier to use for hog hunt...
Published: 02/23/18
Unfounded threat found on bathroom wall at Osceola Fundamental High

Unfounded threat found on bathroom wall at Osceola Fundamental High

A student walked into the boy's bathroom at Osceola Fundamental High on Friday and found a vague message scrawled on the wall."Watch out! Today at fifth period he's coming," it read.The message has prompted an investigation by the Pinellas County She...
Published: 02/23/18
Gov. Rick Scott opposes arming Florida school teachers

Gov. Rick Scott opposes arming Florida school teachers

Gov. Rick Scott rejected the idea of arming teachers as a way to protect public schools from future attacks, as he presented his plan Friday to enhance school security."I disagree with arming teachers. My focus is on bringing in law enforcement," Sco...
Published: 02/23/18
East Lake High principal: threat found on bathroom wall not credible

East Lake High principal: threat found on bathroom wall not credible

Deputies from the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office and the school staff at East Lake High did not find anything during their sweep after an ominous message was found written in a girls' bathroom around dismissal Thursday."Careful, don't come to ...
Published: 02/23/18