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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Pasco district to move ahead with "schools of innovation" concept



Back in January, Pasco schools superintendent Heather Fiorentinon began talking about having the school district create some elementary magnet schools to offer parents more education options.

That idea has now morphed into what assistant superintendent David Scanga called "schools of innovation" during a Tuesday workshop. Rather than create more traditional magnet schools in set locations, Scanga said, the district is looking at having school principals and teachers come up with innovative "attractor" programs that enhance teaching and learning, making the schools more inviting to families using choice — and families who might want to return to the public schools from private ones.

"We have to be thinking ahead," Scanga told the School Board. "If we don't create the right learning environments that attract students, somebody else is liable to."

Before moving ahead with planning, he said, he wanted the board's approval. Board members gave the idea a cautious nod.

They had many questions about attendance, curriculum, funding and other important matters related to the plan. So they urged a go-slow approach, even as Fiorentino has suggested that the first programs might be ready to debut as early as the fall.

"I don't want these to be like the career academies, where someone runs out and announces we're going to have career academies, and they're not properly researched and implemented," board member Allen Altman told the Gradebook. "I'm in favor of opportunities. But I want them to be well thought out."

[Last modified: Wednesday, March 7, 2012 8:57am]


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