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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Gibbs' extended day proposal likely to involve all students' schedules



In Pinellas County, Gibbs High School is considering adding another hour onto the end of the school day in an effort to move the F-rated school off the list of the state's poorest performing.

The terms of the extended day -- how teachers will be paid for the additional time and more --  still need to be negotiated between the Pinellas Classroom Teachers Association and the school district.

But Gibbs Principal Kevin Gordon said the plan the school is proposing at the moment involves keeping all students at the school an hour later, some for study hall or tutorial, some for reading or science intervention, some for electives and some for dual-enrollment classes for college credit.

"We want it to be beneficial to all kids," Gordon said Monday.

Still in question is how long it will be until the revised schedule will be hammered out and enacted. Besides affecting schedules and teacher pay, it will require transportation changes -- always a touchy subject in this 104,000-student school district.

Gordon said it would be nice to have the extended day plan in place by the 10th day of class, which would be next Monday, Sept. 6. But it all depends on how things shake out between the teacher's union and district officials.

Some students at the school -- we don't know how many -- are still dealing with scheduling conflicts that has them awaiting proper class assignment. Gordon said they bulk of those students are enrolled in Pinellas County Center for the Arts program and that the problem pertains largely to electives assignment, not core classes like reading or math.

Potentially exacerbating the scheduling situation is the district's conversion to PCS Portal, a new informational system that helps students, parents, teachers and counselors communicate about student performance, classes, discipline and activities. John Just, assistant superintendent for management information systems, said some data was lost in the transfer from the old system to the new system, but the district is working to correct problems, increase training for employees using the database and iron out any other start-of-year problems.

Tell us, how is Portal working in your school so far?

[Last modified: Monday, August 30, 2010 9:47pm]


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