Notes from the Pinellas County School Board workshop
The Pinellas County School Board had a busy day Tuesday.
The board met with local legislators over breakfast at Pinellas Technical College's Clearwater campus to discuss legislative platform issues like increased funding and reduced testing. Then, it was back to the school district's Largo headquarters to tackle a lengthy workshop agenda filled with housekeeping items, updates and new business.
NOW HIRING: A new human resources position has been created to recruit teachers, particularly those of color. The new talent acquisition manager will be paid a salary of $78,088. A proposed job reorganization will also save the distric $1.3 million.
NEW TESTS: The district is proposing another way to evaluate teachers on their students' performance. Officials proposed using district common exams (district-made final exam) to score teachers for the current school year evaluations. Common exams for high school courses were introduced this year, a total of 146 common exams between middle and high schools.
HOW TO LEASE: School district officials have rewritten the rulebook for leasing school property. Principals will no longer be able to waive fees, and administrators and the public can now refer to a rubric to determine the costs of renting space on School Board property.
BRIDGING THE GAP: The school district's new minority achievement officer, Lewis Brinson, made his workshop debut Tuesday. He spoke to the importance of involving the parents and the community in the district's plan to catch minority students up to speed with their peers.
CLASS SIZE: Deputy superintendent Bill Corbett formerly recommended that the district declare all Pinellas County schools as schools of choice, allowing the district could to use school-wide enrollment averages instead of classroom counts to meet state class size requirements.
PROPERTY UPDATE: The former home of Palm Harbor Elementary school, which shuttered in 2008 after battling mold and title issues will soon be up for sale. The Clearwater Historical Society has agreed to showcase a Pinellas County Schools exhibit in the future museum housed in the former South Ward Elementary building. The district has received offers to house disabled veterans in the defunct Norwood Secondary School property under Interstate 275 in Lealman.
Check out updated renderings of Melrose Elementary's upcoming consructon project here.