Upcoming Pinellas School Board workshop: a plan to recruit, retain minority educators, new middle school morning program
On the evening before the debut of the 2016-17 school year, the Pinellas County school district released an agenda for its School Board workshop on Aug. 16, which aims to tidy up some of the district's unfinished business.
There's proposed tweaking to the district's student progression plan, application procedures for the district's magnet programs and the district's strategic plan which defines and outlines its goal for the school year; a briefing on the turnaround plans for the district's struggling schools, including those highlighted in the Times' Failure Factories series; updates on the district's facilities and bonding formalities; a before-school program for two middle schools and a plan to attract and keep educators of color. You can read Tuesday's agenda here.
Paula Texel, the district's assistant superintendent of human resources services, will lay out a plan for recruiting and retaining minority teachers in the district. That could include reviving the Pinellas Alliance of Black School Educators and creating a similar organization for Hispanic educators. Although 18 percent of the school district's students are black, 22 percent of administrators are also black and 8 percent of teachers are black. About 16 percent of the district's students are Hispanic, and 3 percent of the district's administrators and 3 percent of the district's teachers are Hispanic as well.
A new after-school program geared toward the arts will begin this year at Tyrone and John Hopkins middle schools. The Arts Conservatory for Teens will work with the schools and aim to build character in students, curb behavior and expose students to arts and culture. Each school will be able to work with 100 students.
Enrolled students will learn modern and hip hop dance, pop and musical theater chorus, video production, improvisational theater and visual arts including drawing, painting and photography. One-hour classes will be provided at John Hopkins from 8 to 9 a.m. three days per week and from 7:45 a.m. to 9:15 a.m. two days a week at Tyrone Middle.
The total cost for ACT should not exceed $135,000 and is funded by school based Title I funding, the district's Title I funding and supplemental academic instruction funds.
The workshop begins at 9 a.m. Tuesday at the school district's Largo headquarters: 301 Fourth St SW.