Pinellas education news: Choice programs, kindergarten signups, perfect test scores and more

Published April 5
Updated April 5

Some school choice programs still have openings for 2019-20

Pinellas County families looking for an option besides their zoned school still can apply for a seat in one of the district’s choice programs. While most seats were taken during the choice lottery earlier this year, the school district says spots remain available at many magnet, fundamental and career programs for 2019-20. Geographic application area restrictions for several programs have been lifted, allowing students who live in other areas of the county to apply. After parents apply, schools with available seats will contact parents to invite students to attend. Parents can also contact program coordinators to find out the status of their late applications. For more information, visit or call the district’s Student Assignment office at (727) 588-6210.

Pinellas urges families to sign up for kindergarten soon

Pinellas school officials are encouraging families to register children for kindergarten by May 29, before the end of the school year. Those with children currently attending a Voluntary Prekindergarten program in the school district will not need to register them as they will be automatically assigned to their zoned school. To register, visit For more information, visit or call the district’s Student Assignment office at (727) 588-6210.

Schools, city host art and music festival Saturday

The University of South Florida St. Petersburg, the city of St. Petersburg and St. Petersburg College are collaborating to present the Good Vibes Only Art & Music Festival from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday at Williams Park. The family friendly event is free and will feature a performance by CeCe Teneal & The Soul Komotion, plus food trucks, a rock climbing wall, an art bus, a silent disco and more. Williams Park is at Second Avenue N and Fourth Street in downtown St. Petersburg. For more information, contact Frank Jurkovic at [email protected] or (727) 341-7974.

Honors and awards

Jacob Harrison, a junior in Largo High’s International Baccalaureate program, earned a perfect score of score of 1600 on the SAT recently. Jacob is also the math team captain, vice president of the Science Olympiad team, is on the wrestling and swimming teams, and volunteers as a chemistry tutor. … At Lakewood High, Nathan Hamilton, William Kline and another student who wanted to remain unnamed recently earned the highest possible composite score on the ACT, a 36. Last year, only 2,760 of the more than 2 million graduates who took the ACT earned that score. All three of the Lakewood students are in the school’s Center for Advanced Technologies. … Megan Nelson, a senior at Boca Ciega High, placed ninth overall at the National Air Rifle Championships in the JROTC’s Army category. The competition featured more than 7,800 competitors. … Tarpon Springs High School’s Jazz Ensemble is one of 15 finalists selected to compete in the 24th Annual Essentially Ellington High School Jazz Band Competition & Festival. The festival is the nation’s premier jazz education event and will be held May 9-11 in New York City. … Dixie Hollins High has earned the College Board’s AP Computer Science Female Diversity Award, in recognition of efforts by the school and teacher Jacob Kolosey to close the gender gap in computer science.

Elementary school lunches

Monday: Breaded chicken sandwich, loaded beef and cheese nachos, fruit and yogurt plate, bologna and cheese sandwich, Santa Fe black beans, fresh veggie dippers.

Tuesday: Mandarin chicken lo mein bowl with egg roll, grilled cheese sandwich, Farmers’ Salad or Apple-A-Day Salad, PBJ Jamwich Kit, tomato soup, romaine side salad.

Wednesday: Teriyaki beef dippers over rice or lo mein noodles, chicken nuggets with dip cup, yogurt and fruit parfait, ham and cheese croissant, sliced cucumbers, steamed broccoli florets.

Thursday: Breakfast for lunch, mini cheese calzones, chef salad, chicken caesar wrap, marinara cup, deli-roasted potatoes, side salad.

Friday: Pizza, cheesy or spicy fish filet sandwich, chicken caesar salad, turkey and cheese ciabatta sandwich, corn niblets, fresh veggie dippers.

For all lunch menus, visit the school district’s Food and Nutrition site.