Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Pinellas schools to offer free driver's education during summer

District will offer free driver's ed during summer

The Pinellas County School District will offer free driver's education this summer. The sessions are open to public and private school students. There is a 42-student maximum for each session.

Twelve-day sessions:

• June 14 to July 1, 7:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

• July 5 to 22, 7:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Ten-day sessions:

• June 14 to 29, 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

• June 30 to July 15, 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Students must be at least 15, have a birth certificate, Social Security card, two proofs of residency documents and a parent or legal guardian present. Students without a restricted driver's license will have to pay $54.25 to the Tax Collector's Office. The DMV Web site for permits is, or call (850) 617-3995.

Board candidate offers a parent's perspective

Jessica Summers is open about it: She says she doesn't know the "ins and outs" of how the Pinellas School District works. But as the parent of two kids in Pinellas schools, she says she knows what does and doesn't make sense for parents and students.

"I'm coming from a parent's standpoint," Summers said. "I may not look at (issues) as, is this what's best for business? I look at it as, is it the best for the child? It seems to me that's the most important thing."

Summers, 28, a physical therapy assistant in Largo, has been active in PTAs. She and her husband have two children in Pinellas schools — an 8-year-old in the gifted program at Ridgecrest Elementary and a 5-year-old at Fuguitt Elementary. She's running for the at-large District 2 seat being vacated by Nina Hayden.

Summers said the ongoing flap over arterial bus routes is a case where the district fell short from a parent's perspective. "It seems like they put the 'this is the most cost effective' (over) 'this is the safest one for the child,' " she said. "I'm not saying they're trying to put our kids in danger. It just seems like they didn't think it through."

Summers said one of her top issues is finding ways to keep good teachers from leaving the district. She said they need to be better rewarded for their hard work and need to be given more leeway to establish "control in their classrooms."

She also favors performance pay.

"In my profession, if you're a good therapist, you get raises. If you're not, you may not get the same raise as everybody else. But they'll talk to you and figure out ways you can do better," she said. "You have good teachers who say, 'Why I should try (when) they're going to make the same as me?' "

Summers said the FCAT "drives me insane." She doesn't like the state's school recognition money program. She said the state's reliance on standardized testing is leaving the district's low-performing and high-performing kids behind. "A lot of that is coming from the state, and there may not be a whole lot you can do to change it," she said. "But we should try."

Outstanding educator to be named Wednesday

Principals, parents, community members and teachers nominated 92 educators. Two administrators and a local business leader observed semifinalists in the classroom and then selected 14 finalists in several categories.

Winners in each category, along with the 2010 Outstanding Educator, will be announced Wednesday during a celebration at Ruth Eckerd Hall sponsored by the Pinellas Education Foundation. About $6,000 will be awarded.

Last week, the district named Lisa Troiso, a secretary in the science department, as the 2010 Support Employee of the Year. The district has more than 6,600 full- and part-time support employees.

Times staff

Pinellas schools to offer free driver's education during summer 01/16/10 [Last modified: Friday, January 15, 2010 3:43pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Florida education news: Budgets, discipline, charter schools and more


    BUDGETING: Florida school district officials keep a close eye on their spending plans as they await word on the Legislature's budget. Gov. Rick Scott

  2. Forecast: Return of summertime pattern means afternoon storms on tap for Tampa Bay


    As if Memorial Day wasn't enough of a signal that summer truly is upon us, this week's forecast across the Tampa Bay area will be a stark reminder.

    Tampa Bay's 7-day forecast. [WTSP]
  3. Tiger Woods says medication, not alcohol, led to DUI arrest in Florida

    Public Safety

    Players arriving for a tournament this week at Muirfield Village might notice a framed picture of Tiger Woods with a resplendent smile and bright red shirt. He's posed there with the trophy, an image that embodies the excitement he once brought to golf.

    This image provided by the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office on Monday, May 29, 2017, shows Tiger Woods. Police in Florida say Tiger Woods was been arrested for DUI.  [Palm Beach County Sheriff's office via AP]
  4. Manuel Noriega, Panamanian strongman toppled in U.S. invasion, dies at 83


    Gen. Manuel Noriega, the Panamanian strongman and onetime American ally who was toppled from power in a 1989 U.S. invasion and who spent more than two decades imprisoned on drug dealing and conspiracy convictions, died late Monday. He was most likely 83.

    Gen. Manuel Antonio Noriega waves to newsmen after a state council meeting, at the presidential palace in Panama City, where they announced the new president of the republic in 1989. Panama's ex-dictator Noriega died Monday, May 29, 2017, in a hospital in Panama City. He was 83. [Associated Press]
  5. Austin Mahone talks Pitbull, Taylor Swift, Ariana Grande, his pop evolution and more


    Austin Mahone has vivid memories from his childhood visits to see his grandparents in Tampa Bay.