Improvements at Pinellas Secondary come from Osceola County
To help reform the district's go-to behavioral reform school, Pinellas County school district officials didn't have to go far for inspiration.
In fact, superintendent Mike Grego turned to his old stomping ground of Osceola County for ideas on how to hold Pinellas Secondary School students accountable for their attendance, academics and attitudes.
Two Pinellas officials checked out an Osceola school similar to Pinellas Secondary called "New Beginnings" and created a rubric centered around the concept of those "4 A's" that will be implemented for every student reassigned to the school in the coming school year.
Located in Pinellas Park, Pinellas Secondary enrolls students in sixth through 12 who were reassigned for violating the Code of Student Conduct at their original schools.
Without much context, officials created a PowerPoint presentation that summarized how Pinellas Secondary students were returning to their zoned schools at the end of the reassignment period regardless of their attendance, academic or behavioral performance.
"Finite reassignment period does not incentivize change," the slide read.
Now, should a student be reassigned to Pinellas Secondary, the student and a parent or guardian must attend an "intake conference" with school administrators. Parents are also required to attend two out of three meetings for their child to return back to his or her zoned school.
For that, students can earn up to three points on their report card. Students must earn at least 32 points, which are determined by the school's faculty, on their rubric to return to their zoned school.
Students are scored on four "A" categories. For example, students with perfect attendance can earn 10 points, but 15 absences amounts to zero points in the attendance category. Same for "accountability," or disciplinary referrals: zero referrals equals 10 points, but more than 10 referrals means zero points.
A district spokeswoman said Thursday that the efforts to improve Pinellas Secondary are unrelated to a February incident when a 17-year-old student with a history of sex-related crimes lured an 11-year-old classmate out of the school and into the woods for sex.
The improvements will be formally presented at a Pinellas County School Board workshop on Tuesday.