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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

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CHECK THAT GUY OUT: And her. And him. And him. The Citrus County school district has a new system in place to check backgrounds of anyone entering school grounds. Hand over your driver's license, run it through a scanner and the computer spits out whether you're a sex offender or if there's a restraining order against you. But like a kid with a new toy, the district has been using this system with abandon - even at a School Board meeting, as residents entered the room. Which has some board members calling for restraint.

SUB STANDARD: A group of Springstead High students in Hernando County hope to best college-level engineers in the International Human Powered Submarine Competition this summer. They're just one of two high school teams to compete.

OPTING OUT: The notice appeared on page 53 of the student handbook. But Broward County officials decided that was too obscure a place to tell parents that their children's personal information would be handed over to military recruiters unless they fill out a form saying not to. So the School Board has decided to add the form to registration materials, so everyone sees it, the Sun-Sentinel reports.

BRINGING PARENTS ON BOARD: It's just too hard to leave no child behind without parental involvement, educators have increasingly found. Now they're looking for ways to get parents on board, and not just raising money for the PTA or chaperoning a field trip, the Christian Science Monitor reports.

SOME PERSPECTIVE, PLEASE: With all the talk of school accountability and teacher pay, it's easy to forget what education is all about. All together now. The kids. To drive the point home, the Washington Post had some students offer personal accounts about how tough it was for them when their school had to close because of mechanical problems. It's a compelling read, to remind us all what matters.

AND NOW FOR SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT: It's not really an education story. But it started in a school. So here it is. Feel free to commiserate with Jennifer Mee, a St. Petersburg 15-year-old who can't get rid of her hiccups, which began in her first-period science class on Jan. 23.

[Last modified: Tuesday, May 25, 2010 9:14am]


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