Saturday, October 20, 2018

Pasco County sixth graders poised to play school sports next year

Pasco County middle schools are making plans to allow sixth graders to participate on sports teams for the first time ever.

"For next year, we're going to let sixth graders do it," district athletic director Matt Wicks said.

Wicks plans to bring a policy revision proposal to the School Board in the next few months to make the change official. He said he did not anticipate any pushback.

In fact, School Board members were among those asking the administration to take this step. Principals also are supporting the move, Wicks said.

Word already is getting out to parents through social media.

If approved, the plan would allow sixth graders to try out for any middle school sport. Indoor sports, such as volleyball and basketball, would have junior varsity and varsity teams.

"We're not going to let sixth graders play varsity," Wicks said.

For sports with just one team, such as football and soccer, sixth graders would be allowed to try out and be considered just as any other athlete, based on their performance.

Sixth graders would become immediately eligible to participate on entering their school, with grade checks for continued participation taking place after the first semester.

The district would not establish any new teams, and does not expect to incur any additional costs. It aims only to give sixth graders more opportunities to take part in school activities.

The district's existing rule is a relic from when sixth grade was part of elementary school, and junior high schools served seventh and eighth graders. Wicks said the proposed new policy appears to the the first time anyone seriously discussed making changes.

"We've just never had any sixth graders participate at all. Ever," he said.

Previous coverage (podcast): Is sixth grade too young for school sports? 

Comments
Student who mangled fingers with school table saw sues Pinellas School Board

Student who mangled fingers with school table saw sues Pinellas School Board

A Northeast High School student who mangled his fingers using a table saw in class in 2016 is suing the Pinellas County School Board for negligence, asking for at least $15,000 in damages.According to a lawsuit filed Oct. 12, Brandon Jacob ...
Published: 10/19/18
State to designate Florida ‘Schools of Excellence’ for flexibility on some rules

State to designate Florida ‘Schools of Excellence’ for flexibility on some rules

Eighty-eight Florida schools will join 630 others in gaining relief from some state education laws as "Schools of Excellence."The recognition, developed by lawmakers in 2017 as part of HB 7069, grants principals greater autonomy in daily operations, ...
Published: 10/19/18
Florida education news: Campus climate, contract talks, student discipline and more

Florida education news: Campus climate, contract talks, student discipline and more

CLIMATE SURVEY: Large majorities of Pinellas County teachers say they feel valued and safe at their schools. District officials plan to break down these and other survey results by school, and use the information to make any needed improvements....
Published: 10/19/18
New survey shows most school staff in Pinellas feel valued, safe

New survey shows most school staff in Pinellas feel valued, safe

Pinellas County schools recently wrapped up a new type of survey which asked school-level staff to evaluate aspects about their workplace.The results show about 70 percent of the 3,952 respondents agree that they feel valued by the adm...
Published: 10/18/18
Pasco school employees ask for 4.5 percent raises plus a bonus

Pasco school employees ask for 4.5 percent raises plus a bonus

Contending the school district has more money available than it has discussed, the United School Employees of Pasco requested 4.5 percent raises plus a nonrecurring bonus for all its support personnel during negotiations Wednesday.A similar requ...
Published: 10/18/18
Gradebook podcast: Are 11th and 12th grades a waste of time? A discussion on dual enrollment and early college

Gradebook podcast: Are 11th and 12th grades a waste of time? A discussion on dual enrollment and early college

As a Florida state lawmaker, John Legg often spoke about how the final two years of high school were becoming less important to students who had already passed many of their graduation requirements and could benefit from better preparation for colleg...
Published: 10/18/18
Florida education news: Teacher pay, school threats, special education and more

Florida education news: Teacher pay, school threats, special education and more

TEACHER PAY: Pasco County's school employees union prepares to make a salary request that exceeds what district officials have said is available. The sides have delayed negotiations two months while awaiting updated financial information. •...
Published: 10/18/18
Pasco school district gets strong credit ratings for upcoming issue

Pasco school district gets strong credit ratings for upcoming issue

In advance of selling $67.5 million in certificates of participation, the Pasco County school district sent several high level officials to New York to pitch for a good credit rating.The effort paid off, chief finance officer Olga Swinson told t...
Published: 10/17/18
Pasco County school employee contract talks turn to salaries

Pasco County school employee contract talks turn to salaries

After a two month break while awaiting updated financial data, negotiators for Pasco County school employees and the district administration return to bargaining this week, with plans to start talking pay.The United School Employees of Pasco intends ...
Published: 10/17/18
Florida education news: Turnarounds, rebuilding, funding and more

Florida education news: Turnarounds, rebuilding, funding and more

TURNAROUNDS: Hernando County's long struggling Moton Elementary School takes advantage of a state "Hope" grant to establish a family resource center for its students and parents. The goal is to help with issues outside school that impact academi...
Published: 10/17/18