16 schools get a bite of Top Apple Awards
St. Petersburg Mayor Bill Foster awarded his first batch of Top Apple awards Wednesday, honoring 16 schools that earned an A grade this year or improved their grade from last year. (The tradition was started by former Mayor Rick Baker in 2005.) The recipients are:
High schools: Gibbs (from an F to a C), Lakewood (from a D to a C), Northeast (from a C to an A), St. Petersburg (from a C to an A) and St. Petersburg Collegiate (A)
Middle schools: Tyrone (from a C to a B)
Elementary schools: Azalea (A), Bay Vista Fundamental (A), Lakeview Fundamental (A), Madeira Beach Fundamental (K-8) (A), Mount Vernon (A), Northwest (A), Pasadena Fundamental (A), Sawgrass Lake (from a B to an A), Seventy-Fourth Street (from a C to a B) and Shore Acres (A).
Info on charter schools in black communities
Want to start a charter school in one of Pinellas' black communities?
If so, you might want to attend a Feb. 3 workshop in St. Petersburg.
Sponsored by the Concerned Organizations for Quality Education for Black Students, the workshop is designed to give interested parties more information about how they can start charter schools in or near black communities in Pinellas. It's a spinoff from last summer's legal settlement in the Crowley case, which says the district will give "full and prompt consideration" to future charter school applications that are "located in and designed to serve student needs in the black community."
The settlement also says the district will set an aspirational goal of having at least 500 new charter school spaces available for black students in the next five years. Among those who may be interested in applying: the Uhurus, who were denied a charter school for black students 10 years ago.
Pinellas district officials will be present for the workshop that begins at 6 p.m. and will be held at the Enoch Davis Center, 1111 18th Ave. S.
For more information call (727) 893-7539.
Free driver education sessions this summer
Pinellas County schools will offer two free driver education sessions this summer to public and private school students who are at least 15 years old.
The four sessions will run from June 13 through July 21 at selected high schools. There is a 42-student maximum for each session. Students must have a birth certificate, Social Security card, two proofs of residency documents and a restricted driver's license. The DMV website for permits is gathergoget.com, or call (850) 617-3995. A parent or legal guardian also must be present. Registration begins Feb. 1. To register or for more details, call the following contacts:
Clearwater: Tom Shaneyfelt/Pete Eagleson, (727) 298-1620, ext. 172.
Countryside: Kevin O'Sullivan/Scott Hernon, (727) 725-7956, ext. 2059.
Dixie Hollins: Lynn Keiser/George Johnson, (727) 547-7876.
Dunedin: Brian Bruch/Robert Beckman, (727) 469-4100.
East Lake: Sean O'Flannery/Adam Tedora, (727) 942-5419, ext. 1020.
Lakewood: Rudy Coffin/Sam Roper, 893-2916.
Largo: James Casey/Rob Hawk, (727) 588-3758, ext. 186.
Northeast: Dave Redding/Larry Rudisill, (727) 570-3138, ext 1133.
Palm Harbor University High: John Baker/Rob Jenkins, (727) 669-1131, ext. 2250.
Pinellas Park: Ralph Young/Paul Hanson, (727) 538-7410.
St. Petersburg: Chris Blackwell/Steve Flanagan/Dusty Boylson, (727) 893-1842.
Compiled by Times staff