Saturday, June 23, 2018
Education

Public schools: Application for special programs begins Wednesday

In three days, the Pinellas County school system will start accepting applications for special programs for the 2014-15 academic year. The offerings include magnet, fundamental and high school career programs. The district refers to these as "application programs."

This deadline does not apply to those who plan to attend their regular zoned school next year. Students already registered with the district automatically receive notices about zoned school assignments. New zoned school students, including incoming kindergarten students, can register this spring.

For more information about application programs, consult this guide or go to pcsb.org and download a copy of the District Application Programs Guide for 2014-15.

Before you go online to apply

• Have or get a User ID and password. If you misplaced yours or don't have them yet, you can get them at any nearby school with a photo ID. Only one User ID and password are needed per family.

Apply online between Wednesday and Jan. 17

• Go to pcsb.org and log on to the Student Reservation System, known as SRS, using your User ID and password.

• Choose up to five programs and rank them in order of preference. You can do this any time during the application period; your odds are not affected whether you go early or later.

• All high school magnet programs — and some middle school magnet programs — have entrance criteria. (See the District Application Programs Guide at pcsb.org for details.) Deliver all documentation of eligibility by the close of the school day on Jan. 17.

Check status/accept invitation

• Log on to the Student Reservation System (SRS) between Feb. 6-13 to accept one program invitation. If you get an invitation and do not accept during this time, your application becomes invalid.

• Once a program's invitation is accepted, the student's name will be removed from all other lists (except the Center for Gifted Studies).

• Families can change their selection before Feb. 13.

• You don't need to accept waiting list spots.

Avoid these mistakes

• Every year, some families apply for a program but fail to check later to see if they've been invited to one. Or they check back but fail to accept the invitation. It's a two-step process — apply, then accept.

• Students in "feeder" schools get preferred consideration to attend the school at the next level — such as a fundamental elementary student applying to get into a fundamental middle school. But the preference is not automatic. You still have to apply.

• Hundreds of students apply to programs for which they are not eligible. Check first to see if you're eligible. A call to the school will give you the answer.

Get answers

Applying for a special program can get tricky. How does the lottery work? What are the rules if my child lands on a waiting list? The district lays it all out in a manual called Procedures for District Application Programs. To find it, visit pcsb.org. In the middle of the home page, under the heading "Latest News," click on "Explore magnet, fundamental, and career-focused District Application Programs." On the next page, click on the link for "District Application Programs Website." On the next page, near the bottom, click on the title of the manual.

Comments
First step for Hillsborough schools facing biggest challenges: Hire more teachers

First step for Hillsborough schools facing biggest challenges: Hire more teachers

TAMPA — As chief of diversity for the Hillsborough County School District, Minerva Spanner-Morrow tries to keep her expectations realistic."We want the best of the best and I know that’s very difficult," she told principals last week as they prepared...
Published: 06/23/18
Hernando school officials set to discuss replacement, sever ties after firing Superintendent Lori Romano

Hernando school officials set to discuss replacement, sever ties after firing Superintendent Lori Romano

BROOKSVILLE — With dust still settling from the Hernando County School Board’s close vote to fire Superintendent Lori Romano — and days before her time as head of the district runs out — school officials and community members seem to be already movin...
Published: 06/20/18
Hernando students score slightly better on state tests

Hernando students score slightly better on state tests

BROOKSVILLE — As schools and districts across the state await their 2018 grades from the Florida Department of Education, the standardized test scores that factor into those ratings and were dropped last week show slight gains in Hernando County.The ...
Published: 06/20/18
Budget analysis projects deficit, deepened by security costs, for Pasco schools in coming year

Budget analysis projects deficit, deepened by security costs, for Pasco schools in coming year

An early analysis of the Pasco County School District’s 2018-2019 budget projects a deficit of more than a million dollars, with more than half of that coming from a shortfall in funding new school safety requirements.Costs to hire and train 53 new s...
Published: 06/20/18
New dorm still coming to USF St. Petersburg, but in a smaller package

New dorm still coming to USF St. Petersburg, but in a smaller package

ST. PETERSBURG — Originally pitched as a nine- or 10-story, 550-bed dorm for the overcrowded University of South Florida St. Petersburg campus, USF’s latest residence hall project will likely look much different by the time it’s done.For starters, it...
Published: 06/20/18
Carlton: From Sun Dome to Beer Stadium: Don’t let suds scare you

Carlton: From Sun Dome to Beer Stadium: Don’t let suds scare you

Am I missing something in the — pardon the expression — brouhaha over the renaming of the University of South Florida Sun Dome to the Yuengling Center? In trading a college arena’s longtime name for that of a big-name beer brewed ne...
Published: 06/20/18

Hillsborough school district will pursue two kinds of local taxes

TAMPA — Hillsborough County School District officials took an important step Tuesday toward asking the voters to pay higher taxes for schools that, they say, are not getting enough money from the state.The board voted 5-0 to submit a tax referendum r...
Published: 06/19/18
Updated: 06/20/18
STEM camp beats the summer doldrums for some Pasco students

STEM camp beats the summer doldrums for some Pasco students

DADE CITY —Just a few weeks into summer vacation, Pasco Middle School student Jade Neal, 14, was back at school, delving into a challenging STEM activity on force in motion, as the theme to Mission Impossible played in the background.The assignment? ...
Published: 06/18/18
Updated: 06/21/18
Ethan Hooper steps up with a salute to teachers

Ethan Hooper steps up with a salute to teachers

Editor’s note: Ethan Hooper wrote today’s column to give Ernest Hooper Father’s Day off.In May, I graduated from the University of Central Florida with a degree in elementary education, and I recently secured a job as a first-grade teacher with Orang...
Published: 06/18/18
AP World History course is dropping thousands of years of human events - and critics are furious

AP World History course is dropping thousands of years of human events - and critics are furious

Since 2002, the AP World History course has covered thousands of years of human activity around the planet, starting 10,000 years back. But now the College Board, which owns the Advanced Placement program, wants to cut out most of that history and st...
Published: 06/16/18