Gradebook

Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

State allows Zephyrhills High to postpone FCAT after plane crash claims popular student

10

March

Black_ribbon While most Florida schools kicked off the FCAT season this morning, testing didn't begin at Zephyrhills High in Pasco County.

Instead, the school coped with the loss of a popular senior swimmer who died Monday in a stunt plane crash. The teen, who the school has identified as Richard Seufzer, was working on his senior project. (Law enforcement has not confirmed the boy's identity.)

"We were supposed to be giving the FCAT. It was going to be a day consumed by that," principal Gerri Painter said. Instead, today will "be one of those days we deal with grief."

Pasco district officials asked the Florida Department of Education for permission to delay the exam as soon as they learned that a student was involved in the accident.

"The rules are so rigid that you have to petition the commissioner to get a change," student services director Lizette Alexander told the Gradebook. But as Richard was well-known and liked in the community, she added, a postponement seemed necessary.

Students are scheduled to begin taking the the test Wednesday.

Jeff Solochek and Helen Anne Travis, Times Staff Writers

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[Last modified: Tuesday, May 25, 2010 10:17am]

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