Florida education news: Turnarounds, achievement gap, superintendents and more

A roundup of stories from around the state.
West Zephyrhills Elementary first grade teacher Stephanie Bacot works with students during "What I Need" time, as the school strives to stay off the state's accountability watch list. [Jeffrey S. Solochek | Times]
Published Oct. 4, 2018

TURNAROUNDS: Pasco County's West Zephyrhills Elementary made several dramatic changes a year ago on its way to getting off the state's accountability watch list. This year, the school's goal is to stay off the list. So it has kept many of the interventions and added resources in place, to avoid sliding backward.

ACHIEVEMENT GAP: Pinellas County schools make slow progress toward eliminating academic performance gaps between black students and others.

SUPERINTENDENTS: Former Hernando County superintendent Lori Romano asks the School Board to consider whether it properly fired her.

SCHOOL CLIMATE: Pinellas County schools focus on encouraging students to care more about one another as a strategy to keep schools safe.

LEGISLATIVE SESSION: Florida lawmakers set their committee weeks schedule as they approach the March 5 beginning of session.

TAXES: The Hillsborough County school district names more high-profile members of its proposed committee to oversee the use of revenue from a sales tax referendum, if it passes. The Hillsborough County Commission meanwhile offers to help the district borrow money to make needed air conditioning repairs.

TEACHER PAY: Collective bargaining on teacher and staff salaries is about to resume, with both sides looking for ways to boost raises beyond 1 percent.

TIME TO GO: The Manatee County school district administrator under fire for a problem-filled software project decides to retire, WWSB reports. Ron Ciranna was on leave pending an investigation, the Bradenton Herald reports. More from the Herald-Tribune.

ONLINE EDUCATION: St. Johns County schools see a rise in students using virtual schooling, the St. Augustine Record reports.

CHARTER SCHOOLS: The Palm Beach County School Board approves one new charter school but delays action on two other applications, the Palm Beach Post reports. The postponement comes as the district debates with the state over the need for more student seats in the county. • State College of Florida wins approval for a new collegiate charter high school as it stops offering dual enrollment courses at Sarasota and Manatee county high schools, the Herald-Tribune reports.

SCHOOL THREATS: A Broward County teen is arrested over threats to shoot up an area high school, WPLG reports.

GAME DAY: The Osceola County school district joins several others in banning bags from sporting and other after school activities, the Orlando Sentinel reports.

MISSING RECORDS: Bay County school district officials accuse Department of Health workers of improperly accessing and taking student health records, the Panama City News Herald reports.

LABOR NEWS: Polk County school employees ratify terms of a new contract with the district, the Ledger reports.

ICYMI: Yesterday's Florida education news roundup