As part of Florida's School Recognition Program, more than 40 Pinellas County schools will receive a little more than $4.2 million in funding.
The School Recognition Program acknowledges the quality of public schools by giving financial rewards based on sustained or significantly improved student achievement in reading, mathematics, science and writing. Schools eligible for recognition awards include those receiving an "A" school grade, improving at least one letter grade from the previous year or improving more than one letter grade and sustaining the improvement the following school year.
Each recognized school will receive $100 per full-time equivalent student based on last year's (2012-2013) enrollment.
North Pinellas schools receiving awards and the funds allocated for each are Carwise Middle, $121,914; Clearwater High, $188,332; Clearwater Fundamental Middle, $85,100; Curlew Creek Elementary, $64,246; Dunedin High, $136,647; Highland Lakes Elementary, $54,998; Calvin A. Hunsinger School, $10,888; Oakhurst Elementary, $71,428; Ozona Elementary, $71,464; Curtis Fundamental Elementary, $53,550; Clearwater Intermediate School, $29,750.
Also Plumb Elementary, $77,685; Tarpon Springs High, $146,704; Tarpon Springs Middle, $110,218; Tarpon Springs Fundamental Elementary, $27,300; Palm Harbor University High, $244,329; East Lake High, $216,060; Cypress Woods Elementary, $71,545; Sutherland Elementary, $52,950; Lake St. George Elementary, $57,233; Pinellas Preparatory Academy, $43,850; Plato Academy Charter School, $36,401; Plato Academy North K-8 Charter, $32,000; and Plato Academy Tarpon Springs Charter, $21,000.
Funds are to be used for nonrecurring bonuses to the faculty and staff, nonrecurring expenditures for educational equipment or materials, or for temporary personnel to assist the school in maintaining or improving student performance. Each school's staff and School Advisory Council must decide to spend these funds on any one or any combination of these three purposes.
In other education news, Clearwater's Sandy Lane Elementary has been awarded a $50,000 grant by the Leonore Annenberg School Fund for Children. Nominated for the award by the Council for Educational Change, the school will use the funds to pay for computers and interactive white boards that will provide school-wide access to a digital reading and mathematics series in the 2014-15 school year.
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For its commitment to protecting the environment through superior energy efficiency, Habitat For Humanity of Pinellas County Inc. is being honored with a 2014 Energy Star Award for Excellence by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy.
Habitat Pinellas has been building homes in partnership with community volunteers and home ownership applicants since 1986 and for the past five years has been committed to building only Energy Star-certified homes. Nearly 100 Habitat Pinellas homeowner families have gained the benefits of this commitment in the form of quality construction and reduced energy expenses.
The Clearwater-based organization completed 25 new Energy Star-certified homes in 2013, saving individual households an estimated $600 annually on their utility bills.
The 2014 Energy Star Awards ceremony is scheduled for April 29 at the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel in Washington, D.C.
For a complete list of winners, visit energystar.gov/awards.
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Recently, members of the Clearwater and Dunedin Flotillas of the Coast Guard Auxiliary beautified two spoil islands off the coast of north Pinellas County by collecting and disposing of trash as part of the Spring Coastal Cleanup, coordinated by the organization Keep Pinellas Beautiful.
In addition to the usual assortment of beer bottles, cans, cigarette butts and food packages, the haul included plastic flip flops, a toilet lid, a chair frame, a stereo speaker, a propane tank, PVC pipe, rebar and a machete.
Flotilla members also put out a small campfire that had been left smoldering.
The volunteers were gratified by the absence of any plastic six-pack rings, clumps of fishing line or mylar balloons, items particularly harmful to wildlife.
The Clearwater and Dunedin Flotillas of the Coast Guard Auxiliary are members of Division 11 which extends from Madeira Beach to Hudson.