Incoming freshmen in Pinellas County could find that their honor courses are worth a little less toward their grade-point averages than college-level courses offered at the high schools.
Superintendent Mike Grego said in February that he would consider changing the weighting system to make honor courses worth more than regular classes, but a little less than more rigorous Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate classes. The current system gives more weight to honors, AP, IB and dual-enrollment classes....
After some construction delays, the Lew Williams Center for Early Learning is expected to open in January at PTEC in St. Petersburg. The Times wrote an update about the project in October.
The School Board will take another step Tuesday toward opening the center, the first of its kind for the Pinellas school system. Board members are expected to approve a job description for a program coordinator for the center. The program coordinator will report to the executive program manager and work as a second in command. ...
Seminole Middle School is expected to get a new principal next week.
Wendy Bryan, principal of Frontier Elementary, has been appointed to the position by superintendent Mike Grego. The position was open after Grego promoted Thomas Lechner to head of technology last month. District officials say the position was advertised for a week and 12 applicants applied. Five of those were interviewed....
No teacher in Pinellas County public schools received a poor rating last year. Not one. None were deemed "unsatisfactory" on their evaluations. There were none in Pasco, and there were none in Hernando. You could find 138 in Hillsborough, about 1 percent of its teachers.
Across the state, out of 163,986 evaluated teachers, 306 received a poor rating, according to preliminary results released Tuesday by the Florida Department of Education....
Florida's evaluation model for teachers hasn't been popular since it was first implemented in the 2011/12 school year, with teachers complaining that it's unfair and potentially inaccurate.
So far, however, the results aren't that different from past years in which most educators were rated satisfactory.
For the 2012/13 school year, 97.9 percent of teachers who were evaluated statewide were in the top two categories, effective and highly effective. Less than 1 percent of teachers - or 306 - fell into the lowest category, unsatisfactory, according to initial results released Tuesday afternoon by the state Department of Education....
Just a friendly reminder that the Ties and Tennis Shoes 5K is scheduled for Saturday at Tropicana Field.
The annual race raises money for the Take Stock in Children scholarship program. The event is organized by the Pinellas Education Foundation and is preceded by a gala, also at the Trop. The finish line for the 5K is on the turf of the Trop, with finisher photos on Ray Vision. The event includes a 5K, a one-mile fun run and a kids dash....
Some of Florida's superintendents are worried about the potential effects of a proposal by Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fort Walton Beach, that high schools statewide be prohibited from starting earlier than 8 a.m. Gaetz believes teenagers, who are biologically wired to stay up later, will learn better with a bit more sleep.
The Times wrote about the issue in October when it first arose. ...
With the opening of a new aviation academy, students at Clearwater High School soon will be able to graduate with a pilot's license - and a jump into the growing field of aviation and aerospace.
The Clearwater Aeronautical Space Academy, or CASA, will have a soft launch in January, with one class available to interested students. The first course will be on unmanned aircraft. A full schedule of classes will be available in the 2014/15 school year....
CLEARWATER — With the opening of a new aviation academy, students at Clearwater High School soon will be able to graduate with a pilot's license — and a head start in the field of aeronautics and aerospace.
The Clearwater Aeronautical Space Academy, or CASA, will have a soft launch in January, with one class about unmanned aircraft available to students. A full schedule of classes in piloting, engineering, space flight and aeronautical science will be available in the 2014-15 school year through a partnership with Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University....
Our cheerful staff here at the Gradebook would like to wish you a happy, restful holiday. We will be taking the day off and hope that many of you are able to do the same.
For those interested in a little light reading on the history of Thanksgiving, here's a piece from Valerie Strauss at the Washington Post. who writes that much of what we know about the holiday is wrong. Here's something from the Buffalo News about the history of Thanksgiving foods....
With too few teachers taking after-school tutoring positions, the Pinellas County School District is looking to hire college students.
College students must have 60 credit hours to be hired as tutors to work in before- and after-school tutoring programs and Saturday sessions. They will work with students on day-to-day academics and assist with enrichment programs. The school district also has used retired educators to fill tutoring positions this year....
Pinellas County Schools has paid another $275,000 to teachers and administrators at four middle schools as part of its teacher incentive fund grant. Recipients received payouts from $1,000 to $5,000, based on their professional evaluations.
The federal grant is intended to build infrastructure around pay for performance systems and to provide incentives for good teachers and administrators to stay in difficult schools. Pinellas earned the grant in 2010 - promising improvements at Azalea, Bay Point, John Hopkins and Pinellas Park middle schools - but hadn't paid out much to teachers....
BEHAVIOR APP: Parents can monitor their child's behavior throughout the school day with an education app that allows teachers to instantly communicate, according to the Daytona Beach News-Journal.
CORPORAL PUNISHMENT: Parents and teachers don't always agree about the use of corporal punishment, which is still common in North Florida, the Florida Times-Union reports....
At the end of the 2013 legislative session, Florida's lawmakers made a last-minute change in how dual-enrollment students are paid for, making it the responsibility of school districts to pay the tuition and fees of high school students taking college courses.
Both colleges and school districts received money for dual-enrollment students in previous years. Lawmakers who supported the change said they wanted to avoid double-paying for students' education....
To improve the academic fortunes of black students, Pinellas County needs a high-level administrator to focus on the achievement gap and an outsider to take a hard look at the entire school system, two leaders in the black community said Wednesday.
Goliath Davis and Ricardo Davis said Wednesday that they were encouraged by some steps taken by superintendent Mike Grego to tackle one of the county's most pressing issues. But after decades of failure by the school system, they didn't think his plan, Bridging the Gap, was "robust enough."...