Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Lakeview parents protest proposal to move fundamental program

ST. PETERSBURG — The first night, they heard from International Baccalaureate parents. The second, the talk was mostly fundamental.

Pinellas County School Board members made the second stop on a two-night listening tour Wednesday in an effort to get input on a sweeping countywide plan to give more students access to rigorous academic programs.

Parents from Lakeview Fundamental Elementary showed up in force to protest a proposal to move their program into roomier Gulfport Elementary.

Superintendent Julie Janssen floated the idea as one way to increase the number of fundamental seats available to students to meet what appears to be a growing demand among parents for the back-to-basics curriculum.

But parents at A-rated Lake­view worry that tampering with their school could diminish the success of the program.

Under Janssen's plan, students at D-rated Gulfport would have the opportunity to be grand­fathered into the program if their parents agreed to the contract required of fundamental families — one that guarantees high parental involvement and an adherence to strict discipline or else face removal.

"Lakeview is our community, our home," said parent Kristie Dowling, after asking all the Lakeview parents to stand. "Many of us feel you are punishing our students for succeeding."

Though Janssen's plan includes other proposals such as a new fundamental school within a school at Boca Ciega High as well as uniforms for students in elementary and middle schools, few speakers addressed those issues.

Those who didn't speak on behalf of Lakeview spoke about everything from the achievement gap between black and white students to the shortcomings of a lottery system required for placement in magnet programs.

Minetha Morris, mother of three students at three different schools, told board members she was disheartened by the speakers who said they were worried about the impact of "those" students at another school. "These are our students," she said, emphasizing that all children are worth the district's concern.

And because a part of Janssen's plan for Lakeview includes moving Gulfport's smaller Montessori school-within-a-school to its own facility at Lakeview, there were a couple of Gulfport parents who spoke in favor of the move.

Janssen and board members were swarmed by parents as they left the 90-minute meeting.

Board member Peggy O'Shea said that despite concerns that the plan is a done deal, it's not. But the reason for the proposal is to meet a demand. "For years they've said 'we want more fundamental seats,' " she said. "This plan will increase fundamental seats."

The board is expected to vote on a final plan Dec. 7. The public is invited to speak during a first reading of the plan on Nov. 9. Janssen also is planning to meet with the staff at Lakeview on Oct. 20 and at Gulfport on Oct. 21.

Rebecca Catalanello can be reached at rcatalanello@sptimes.com or (727) 893-8707.

Lakeview parents protest proposal to move fundamental program 10/13/10 [Last modified: Thursday, October 14, 2010 12:02am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Five reasons why Kentucky can beat Florida for the first time since 1986

    College

    By Matt Baker

    GAINESVILLE — Florida's 30-game winning streak over Kentucky is one of the most impressive feats in the country.

    Florida Gators offensive lineman Martez Ivey (73) celebrates Florida Gators running back Mark Thompson's  (24) touch down in the first quarter, putting Florida on the board 6-0 during the game between the University of Florida and the University of Kentucky in Ben Hill Griffin Stadium on Saturday, Sept. 10, 2016, in Gainesville, Fla. Florida defeated Kentucky 45-7. ANDRES LEIVA   |   Times

  2. Once targeted by the Bucs, Dalvin Cook thrills for the Vikings

    Bucs

    How good would the Bucs be with running back Dalvin Cook?

    Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook (33) slips a tackle by Steelers strong safety Sean Davis (28) to score a touchdown Sunday in Pittsburgh. [AP photo]
  3. Review: More than 20 years later, 'RENT' still matters

    Stage

    TAMPA — Two decades after Rent shook up Broadway with a starkly joyous musical that demanded to be recognized, a nostalgic tour is taking audiences back.

    The 20th anniversary tour of RENT, shown in 2016, comes to the David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts Sept. 19-24, 2017. Photo by Carol Rosegg.
  4. Dennis Miller, headed to Tampa with Bill O'Reilly: 'We don't know each other that well'

    Events

    Dennis Miller often gets cast as the odd comic out these days.

    Dennis Miller will perform with Bill O'Reilly at the Spin Stops Here Tour at Amalie Arena in Tampa. [Spuffy Productions]
  5. Tampa Bay among top 25 metro areas with fastest growing economies

    Economic Development

    Tampa Bay had the 24th fastest growing economy among 382 metro areas in the country for 2016. According to an analysis by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, Tampa Bay's gross domestic product, or GDP, increased 4.2 percent from 2015 to 2016 to hit $126.2 billion.

    Tampa Bay had the 24th fastest growing economy in the country for 2016. Rentals were one of the areas that contributed to Tampa Bay's GDP growth. Pictured is attorney David Eaton in front of his rental home. 
[SCOTT KEELER | Times]