St. Petersburg College is holding a job fair this Thursday to hire more adjunct professors — day, evening, online — academic and technical disciplines — positions filled as early as this fall. How exactly did SPC find itself in the market for part-time professors?
This is phase II of an ugly little snafu....
ST. PETERSBURG — The president of St. Petersburg College said it was a professional courtesy. A woman who had been turned down for the top job at the college's downtown campus had filed a gender discrimination complaint; Bill Law decided to tell her current employer and all her references what she had done.
"I would certainly want to know if any of my senior employees was involved in a legal matter that could affect the college," Law wrote in a letter to Sherri Davis' boss....
The teenagers all began itching in the springtime, for their yearbooks, for the final bell, for summer break, for it all. It was all so close now, here at Dixie Hollins High School. They asked each other to prom. They ordered caps and gowns. They took exams with manila folders taped to the sides of computer screens for blinders. They ate lunch outside, in the grass, shrieking. Here was the final, manic leg of a four-year race to graduation: June 5, Tropicana Field, guests please hold their applause until the end. ...
In addition to encouraging elementary schools to move away from daily physical education, Pinellas County is cutting P.E. teaching positions. "There is a change to the staffing model for PE," district spokeswoman Melanie Marquez Parra writes The Gradebook. "It is resulting in a reduction of 10 PE teacher positions and 17 PE assistant positions next school year."...
Seven schools in Pinellas and Hillsborough counties are facing severe penalties from the state after failing to improve their test scores.
The solution? Education's version of a Hail Mary pass.
In each of the five Pinellas schools, the entire faculty, from the principal to the classroom teachers, will be dismissed — only getting to keep their jobs if they reapply, and are rehired. An advisory board, including community members, will be formed to provide recommendations to the superintendents. And the schools, all D and F's, will be under the state's microscope until things start to improve....
Pinellas elementary schools are being pushed to cut daily physical education, compressing the 150 weekly minutes of P.E. required by the state into three days instead of five.
Although most research supports daily P.E. for young children, central office administrators say the move to three days would simplify school schedules and make it easier to calculate data for teacher evaluations.
Currently, most Pinellas elementary students take an art class and a music class each week for about 50 minutes, in addition to 30 minutes a day for P.E. Grouping P.E. into 50-minute blocks, three times a week, would create a consistent time of day for a student to be out of a teacher's classroom for all extracurriculars. Some students attend intensive reading and math classes during these periods....
LARGO — It has been four years since students walked the halls of the tan building on 10th Street South.
Closed in 2009, Southside Fundamental Middle School has instead played host to graffiti, smashed windows and pests. Its Midtown neighbors wondered how they got stuck with yet another blighted property.
But the building is about to become a school again.
The Pinellas County school board voted Tuesday night to sell the property to University Preparatory Academies, Inc. The $1.1 million purchase marks the first time the Pinellas school board has sold a former school site to a charter....
Decades had passed since Cynthia Staiger sat in a high school classroom breathing in chalk dust and learning what "x" equaled if "y" was less than 5.
So when Staiger, 54, went to enroll for summer classes at St. Petersburg College, the Pinellas Park woman didn't do so hot on the math placement test.
She was not alone. More than half of first-time college students at SPC are placed in a remedial course and, more often than not, it's math....
In the lobby of the Renaissance Vinoy Resort on Friday, hotel guests checked in, checked out and, above all, checked their smartphones. They chatted through oversized sunglasses about overpacked suitcases ("How should I know what I'm going to want to wear?") and sipped fruit-infused water. In other words, it was difficult to imagine any of the hotel's guests taking their clothes off in public....
Adjunct professors at St. Petersburg College aren't very happy these days. Late last month, they all got an email from the senior VP for academic affairs saying that the course loads could be capped at six credit hours next fall. For some of those professors, that essentially meaning halving their work (and their paychecks).
In a phone interview with the Gradebook, President William Law said SPC was waiting to hear from the IRS before making things final. Here's the thinking: When the Affordable Care Act goes live, the college will have to offer healthcare to any employee who works 30 hours or more a week....
LARGO — The president of St. Petersburg College apologized Tuesday for selecting a construction firm without notifying the public, a misstep that violated state law and could delay the opening of the school's new Midtown campus.
William Law Jr. acknowledged that he did not open his interviews with construction firms to the public, nor did he record them, as required by Florida statutes. Attorneys say the interviews could have been exempted from public meetings laws, but never were declared public in the first place and still would need to be recorded....
Pinellas is a step closer to getting half a million dollars to put extra staff and tutoring services in its three lowest-performing elementary schools.
The district's application was selected by Volunteer Florida to move forward in the process for a three-year School Turnaround AmeriCorps 2013 grant. If selected, Pinellas will match a $501,467 grant with $611,781 of its own funds.
The grant would train and place about 75 student volunteers as tutors at Fairmount Park, Lakewood and Woodlawn elementary schools. Each school would also get six onsite substitute teachers to and a parent engagement coordinator....
Pinellas County officials are quietly analyzing student data at 11 schools, considering new curricula and possibly even new magnet programs to make the underachieving campuses more attractive to parents and children.
A team of 11 administrators, including superintendent Michael Grego, met this week to discuss the schools' absentee and suspension rates, FCAT performance and demographic information about the students. The administrators plan to meet again....
St. Petersburg College appears to be in some legal trouble over whom its chosen to build its new Midtown campus, potentially pushing back its groundbreaking.
"Despite a great deal of time and effort, our previous selection process for this important project contained a procedural flaw that could jeopardize the continued progress of the project," writes SPC President William Law, Jr. in a memo to the board of trustees....
ST. PETERSBURG — The chief justice of the Supreme Court has been losing sleep. He is stressed. He has been debating and weighing the variables with his associate justices, one of whom refers to his own hairline to drive home the point: "Receding."
The most controversial election dispute in recent history is fraught with anxiety, though it's unlikely that any of the five justices — all between the ages of 18 and 23 — are really losing their hair. This is college, after all. And the University of South Florida St. Petersburg student government is in a pickle....