Pinellas gears up program for black males
Pinellas Schools Superintendent Julie Janssen has signed off on a new program aimed at increasing achievement among young black males.
Officials are still working out the details, but say the pilot program will target 40 black males at Gibbs and Boca Ciega high schools. Valerie Brimm, who directs the district’s Office of Strategic Partnerships, announced the program yesterday at a Concerned Organization for Quality Education for Black Students meeting.
The teens will spend a couple times a week in a special class that will focus on cultural and behavioral issues, Brimm said.
The National Trust for the Development of African-American Men will facilitate the program, set to launch in the next few weeks and run through the end of the school year. The organization runs a similar program in some Hillsborough schools.
Area districts have come under scrutiny in the past several months because of their dismal graduation rates for black males. Brimm said the new program is just one of the ways Pinellas plans to tackle this issue.
The district’s state-computed graduation rate for black males was 57.5 percent in 2009-10.
- Kameel Stanley, Times Staff Writer