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Pinellas education news: Last-minute help with choice applications, new education license tags and more

News and notes from Pinellas County K-12 schools and colleges.
An image of Florida’s “Support Education” specialty license tag, which recently was redesigned and is available now. When a Florida resident purchases or renews one of the tags, $20 of the fee goes to support schools, teachers and students in the county where the tag is registered. The Pinellas Education Foundation is encouraging residents to get one.
An image of Florida’s “Support Education” specialty license tag, which recently was redesigned and is available now. When a Florida resident purchases or renews one of the tags, $20 of the fee goes to support schools, teachers and students in the county where the tag is registered. The Pinellas Education Foundation is encouraging residents to get one.
Published Jan. 11, 2019

'Assistance nights' help families with choice process

The Pinellas County school system is hosting several "assistance nights" in the coming days to help families navigate the application process for magnet, fundamental and career programs. The application period began on Jan. 9 and ends Jan. 18. The assistance nights are scheduled for 7-8 p.m. Monday at Union Academy Family Center, 401 E. Martin Luther King Jr. Drive, Tarpon Springs; 5:30-7:30 p.m. Tuesday at Gibbs High, 850 34th St. S, St. Petersburg; and 4:30-7:30 p.m. in the Student Assignment office at school district headquarters, 301 Fourth St. SW, Largo. The office also can assist families during its regular business hours, 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. For more information, call Student Assignment at (727) 588-6210 or visit

New design, same old purpose for education license tags

The Pinellas Education Foundation is encouraging county residents to help out by acquiring a "Support Education" specialty license plate from the state. Local education foundations in Florida receive $20 every time a resident purchases or renews the tag, which has a new beach-themed design. The money helps support schools, teachers and students in the county where each tag is registered. Since its introduction in 1994, Florida's education specialty tag has raised more than $13 million for the Consortium of Florida Education Foundations and local education foundation members throughout the state. Local education foundations invest in classroom innovation, sponsor recognition programs like teacher of the year, help pay for school supplies for students in need, and sponsor scholarships, among other activities. To purchase a specialty plate, visit a local tag office or call (727) 562-3262.

Kindergarten registration starts Monday

Families planning to send a child to kindergarten in a Pinellas County public school for 2019-20 can register starting Monday. To kick off registration, the district's "Ready, Set…Kindergarten" program will hold events at a number of elementary schools on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. In addition to registering their students, families can explore classrooms, meet teachers and find out how to get their children ready for kindergarten. Visit for a schedule of events. For more information, call the Student Assignment office at (727) 588-6210.

Signups still open for SPC spring classes

Registration is open for the spring semester at St. Petersburg College. The regular term begins Jan. 14, the Spring Weekend term begins Jan. 18 and the Spring Express term begins Feb. 11. The deadline to enroll in face-to-face and blended classes is before the start of the last class meeting of the first week of classes. For example, if the class meets at 9 a.m. Monday and Wednesday, the deadline to register is Wednesday by 8:59 a.m. For more information on classes, tuition, financial aid and the registration process, visit SPC's registration page.

Exhibit highlights work of student journalists

Students from Melrose Elementary, John Hopkins Middle and Lakewood High schools will present the "Through Our Eyes: Midtown and Beyond," a photo and multimedia exhibit held Jan. 11-28 at The Studio@620, 620 First Ave. S in St. Petersburg. An opening celebration from 5-8 p.m. today will feature student-led tours. Two additional events are scheduled at the same location — a Poetry Slam from 5-8 p.m. Saturday and A Taste of Midtown and Beyond from 5-8 p.m. Wednesday, featuring cuisine from local restaurants and food vendors. Also, the exhibit will be part of the Second Saturday Artwalk from 5-9 p.m. Saturday in St. Petersburg. "Through Our Eyes" features work from students in the school district's Journeys in Journalism program.

Elementary school lunches

Monday: Hamburger or cheeseburger, chicken and broccoli penne alfredo with bread stick, fruit and yogurt plate, bologna and cheese sandwich, sliced carrots, fresh veggie dippers.

Tuesday: School Favorites Day — Students choose the hot entrees and veggies. Entrée salad: Farmers or Apple-a-Day salad. Sandwich: Jamwich Kit. Romaine side salad.

Wednesday: Chicken tender basket with crinkle oven fries, macaroni and cheese, yogurt and fruit parfait, ham and cheese croissant, sliced cucumbers, spinach or collard greens.

Thursday: Beef or pork tacos, Max Cheese Sticks, chef salad, chicken caesar wrap, marinara cup, refried fiesta beans, side salad.

Friday: Pizza, teriyaki chicken bowl, chicken caesar salad, turkey and cheese ciabatta sandwich, green beans, fresh veggie dippers.

To find other lunch menus, visit the school district's food and nutrition web page.


  1. Clay County Schools Superintendent Addison Davis (wearing a pink tie), center, takes photos with the  Hillsborough County Public Schools board members after being voted unaminous as the new incoming superintendent in Tampa, Florida on Tuesday, January 21, 2020.
  2. University of Florida students walk through Turlington Plaza in between classes on Thursday afternoon, February 13, 2020, in Gainesville, Fla.
  3. Chikara Parks, right, along with her children in front of their home in St. Petersburg. In the back is Kamijah Laswon, 14. In front of Kamijah is her sister Tanijah Clark, 12. Their brothers are 7-year-old Tai'jon Carter, left, and Dai'quan Carbart, 9. The four children used to attend Pinellas public schools. Now they are in private schools, using Florida's tax credit scholarship program. [DIRK SHADD   |   Times]
  4. Florida Board of Education member Michael Olenick speaks during a July 17, 2019, board meeting in Polk County. [The Florida Channel]
  5. A new house under construction in Waterset on Big Bend Road in Hillsborough County's Apollo Beach area. Developed by Newland Communities, which also developed Fishhawk Ranch  in Hillsborough, Waterset has had more housing starts in the past year than any other new-home community in the Tampa Bay area. [SUSAN TAYLOR MARTIN | Times]
  6. Janiyah, left, and Stephanie Davis of Philadelphia, stand as they are recognized by President Donald Trump during his State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Feb. 4, 2020. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
  7. Florida lawmakers are considering changes to the state grant that helps students who attend private colleges and universities such as Eckerd College, whose 2005 commencement is shown here.
  8. Graduates from the Eckerd College Collegium of Natural Sciences make their way to the forty-second annual commencement on the Eckerd's campus in St. Petersburg Sunday, May 22, 2005.  (Times photo by James Borchuck)
  9. Check for the latest breaking news and updates.
  10. Students from Lakewood Elementary School dismiss for the day in St. Petersburg, Monday, February 10, 2020.
  11. Orlando high school student Yomar Fontanez is shown rapping in a music video he released Wednesday to commemorate the victims of the Feb. 14, 2018 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High.
  12. Chancellor Jacob Oliva explains recommended new academic standards in language arts and math to the Florida Board of Education at a Feb. 12, 2020, meeting in Tallahassee. The board unanimously adopted the proposal.