Thursday, April 19, 2018
Education

Pinellas to ramp up training for new special education teachers

New special education teachers will get intense job training and an opportunity to practice their teaching before the school year starts as part of a state grant given to the Pinellas County school system.

The program comes as Pinellas realigns staffing in special education classes as part of an effort to improve lagging performance.

The graduation rate for students in the district's exceptional student education programs is lower than most other large districts in Florida, and 10 percentage points below the state average.

The $949,241 grant will pay for about 50 to 60 teachers to participate in a four-week summer training program that emphasizes practical skills. Teachers will take seminars and then apply what they learned by teaching summer school.

Superintendent Mike Grego described the experience for teachers as akin to a "paid internship."

Lisa Grant, executive director of exceptional student education, said the program is meant to provide teachers with training, practice and feedback.

The goal is not only to better prepare new teachers for the classroom but to encourage them to stay in the profession. Many teachers quit a few years after they start.

It can be particularly difficult to recruit and retain special education teachers, Grant said.

"The paperwork itself can be overwhelming," she said.

Pinellas is the only school district in Florida to participate in the grant this year. The Florida Department of Education, which provided the grant through a partnership with TNTP, formerly The New Teacher Project, plans to add other school districts over three years.

As part of the grant, TNTP will hire up to 13 coaches and eight trainers to work with the teachers. Those positions will likely be filled by veteran teachers in the Pinellas school district. All of the positions are only for the summer session.

District officials still are negotiating to have participating teachers paid by TNTP rather than the school district.

Grego said the school district typically hires about 50 to 60 new special education teachers every year. The program also will be open to recent mid-year hires who might have missed out on other training opportunities, he said.

The program will run from June 30 to July 25.

Comments
Hillsborough targets bilingual teachers’ aides in latest school cuts

Hillsborough targets bilingual teachers’ aides in latest school cuts

TAMPA — The Hillsborough County School District, with a large and growing population of children from foreign cultures, is reducing the ranks of teachers’ aides who help them master the English language.Next year’s workforce will have about 164 fewer...
Published: 04/19/18
Pinellas to enlist Sandy Hook group in its quest for safer schools

Pinellas to enlist Sandy Hook group in its quest for safer schools

LARGO — Starting soon, Pinellas County public schools could be using a nationwide violence prevention program founded by families of those killed during the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting in December 2012.The nonprofit group Sandy Hook Promise, with ...
Published: 04/19/18

Hillsborough targets bilingual teachers’ aides in latest school cuts

TAMPA — The Hillsborough County School District, with a large and growing population of children from foreign cultures, is reducing the ranks of teacher aides who help them master the English language.Next year’s workforce will have about 164 fewer p...
Published: 04/18/18
After Parkland, these students became activists. Will their movement last?

After Parkland, these students became activists. Will their movement last?

TAMPA — Sam Sharf’s parents thought he had the best position on the Plant High School football team. As back-up quarterback, he could impress the girls but rarely played enough to get hurt.Now a junior, Sharf is off the team so he can focus his energ...
Published: 04/18/18

Gannon University’s Ruskin growth includes $21 million addition

RUSKIN — Gannon University is experiencing some serious growing pains and as a result, SouthShore is going to see a big change in the landscape. When it opened its doors in 2015 as a satellite campus for its home school in Erie, Pa., Gannon occupied ...
Published: 04/17/18
Updated: 04/18/18

Enrollment growth anticipated for Pasco County charter schools, with two more to open in the fall

Most of Pasco County’s more established charter schools expect to see their student population remain stable in 2018-19.Even so, enrollment in the county’s charter schools is expected to grow by about 1,100 children — or nearly 25 percent — in the fa...
Published: 04/17/18
Sunlake High sophomore wins summer scholarship to Ringling College of Art and Design

Sunlake High sophomore wins summer scholarship to Ringling College of Art and Design

LAND O’ LAKES — As a child, Taylor Young started doodling with crayons as a hobby. Now at age 16, this Sunlake High School sophomore has received a full scholarship, valued at $6,000, to attend the Ringling College of Art and Design Summer Pre-Colleg...
Published: 04/16/18
Manatee County high school student calls for ‘bracott’

Manatee County high school student calls for ‘bracott’

A Florida high school student who said she was told to cover up her nipples after not wearing a bra to school is planning a protest in response. Lizzy Martinez’ "bracott" will take place today at Braden River High in Manatee County, according to Twit...
Published: 04/16/18

School news for April 20

School Calendar• April 27: Progress reports• May 17-20: High school graduations.• May 25: Last day of school for students.Theatre/Art/MusicCenter for the Arts at River Ridge, 11646 Town Center Road, New Port Richey. (727) 774-7382.• J .W. Mitchell Hi...
Published: 04/16/18
Hernando district fires all teachers at Moton Elementary, regardless of rating

Hernando district fires all teachers at Moton Elementary, regardless of rating

BROOKSVILLE — Hernando County School District leaders vowed last year in their turnaround plan for struggling Moton Elementary to remove all under-performing teachers if the school earned lower than a C grade from the state in 2018.But last week — mo...
Published: 04/14/18
Updated: 04/18/18