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Discovery Nights go on, SPC’s recording program marks 10 years, plus more Pinellas education news

News and notes about K-12 schools and colleges in Pinellas County.
Students and parents tour Clearwater High during a Discovery Night in 2014. This year's Discovery Night is scheduled for Tuesday at the school, which offers a Cambridge Advanced International Certificate of Education program known as AICE and the International Culture and Commerce. [DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD  |  Tampa Bay Times]
Students and parents tour Clearwater High during a Discovery Night in 2014. This year's Discovery Night is scheduled for Tuesday at the school, which offers a Cambridge Advanced International Certificate of Education program known as AICE and the International Culture and Commerce. [DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD | Tampa Bay Times]
Published Nov. 29

15 choice programs host Discovery Nights

After the Thanksgiving break, the Pinellas County school system will continue its schedule of open house events for choice programs, inviting families to explore their options for 2020-21. Fifteen choice programs in 12 schools will hold the events, called Discovery Nights, next week. They start at 6 p.m. and typically last one to two hours. More Discovery Nights are scheduled into mid-December. For a full list and more information about school choice options, visit or call the school district’s Student Assignment office at (727) 588–6210. Also consult the Tampa Bay Times’ annual School Search guide. Choice applications will be accepted online Jan. 8–17.


Osceola Fundamental High


Cambridge Advanced International Certificate of Education (AICE), Clearwater High

Center for Construction Technologies, St. Petersburg High

Center for Cultural Arts & Gifted Studies, Midtown Academy

Center for Gifted Studies Ridgecrest

Center for International Culture and Commerce, Clearwater High

International Studies Middle Years Programme (candidate school), Largo Middle

Leadership Conservatory for the Arts with Pre-AICE, Tarpon Springs Middle


Center for Innovation and Digital Learning, Tyrone Middle

First Responders: National Guard Center for Emergency Management, Pinellas Park High


Center for Gifted Studies, Dunedin Highland Middle

Center for Mathematics and Engineering, Jamerson Elementary

International Baccalaureate program, Largo High

International Baccalaureate program, St. Petersburg High

Tarpon Springs Fundamental Elementary

SPC recording arts program marks 10 years

The Music Industry Recording Arts program at St. Petersburg College will celebrate its 10th anniversary by hosting an Emerging Artist Series Showcase at 7 p.m. Monday at the Palladium Side Door, 253 Fifth Ave. N in St. Petersburg. The evening will feature a rock ensemble, R&B ensemble, white light radio and more. For more information about the program, click here.

Top 25 ranking for online MBA program at USF St. Pete

The University of South Florida St. Petersburg is 24th on a list of the nation’s top 25 online MBA programs as ranked by The Princeton Review. The education services company reviewed more than 110 programs for it’s fifth annual ranking in this category. Reviewers based the ranking on interviews with administrators at those programs and surveys of more than 6,000 students enrolled in online MBA programs. USF St. Petersburg’s online Master of Business Administration Program at the Kate Tiedemann College of Business is designed for working professionals, with an emphasis on analytic and leadership skills. It allows students to choose the track and time-frame in pursuit of their degree, and gives them the same access as other students to resources and faculty. “We will continue to innovate with our online MBA program, including adding a health care focus and more immersive short-term courses, as well as strengthening engagement and, as always, utilizing our great faculty in delivering this high-demand degree,” said Sri Sundaram, dean of the college.

Elementary school lunches

Monday: Chicken nuggets and pretzel rod, loaded beef and cheese nachos, fruit and yogurt plate, deli meat and cheese sandwich, country baked beans, fresh veggie dippers.

Tuesday: Breakfast for lunch, cheesy bread, chicken caesar salad, Jamwich Kit, deli-roasted potatoes, marinara cup, romaine side salad.

Wednesday: Asian beef and broccoli lo mein, chicken drumstick with hush puppy, yogurt and fruit parfait, ham and cheese croissant, sliced cucumbers, steamed broccoli florets.

Thursday: Stuffed shells and garlic bread stick, chicken sandwich, Apple-a-Day Salad, chicken caesar wrap, sweet potato fries, mixed side salad.

Friday: Pizza variety, fish sticks with roll, chef salad, turkey and cheese hoagie or sandwich, corn niblets, fresh veggie dippers.


  1. Pasco County school bus drivers are among the district employees who will be voting on a tentative contract that includes 3.25 percent raises.
    They vote on their contract before leaving for winter break.
  2. Pasco School District headquarters in Land O' Lakes
    The sides have not set a new date for negotiations.
  3. Tony Pirotta, right, meets with his Armwood High Ought to be a Law student club and state Rep. Susan Valdes to talk strategy for the group's latest legislative proposal. They presented their bill to state senators on Dec. 9. [JEFFREY SOLOCHEK  |  Times Staff Writer]
    A roundup of stories from around the state.
  4. Florida's Baker Act was written in 1971 by Maxine Baker, a 65-year-old grandmother and a freshman Florida legislator from Miami-Dade County, seen here in a 1965 photo. [Associated Press]
    The law was written in 1971 by Maxine Baker, a legislator from Miami-Dade County who pushed for the rights of people with mental illness.
  5. Sarah Henderson with her son, Braden, who was committed under the Baker Act after a joking remark at school. [JOHN PENDYGRAFT  |  Tampa Bay Times]
    A cop car comes. A child is handcuffed and taken to a mental health facility. The scene is all too frequent at public schools across the state.
  6. The government program provides free lunches in schools that qualify, regardless of a student's family income. The idea is to erase a stigma.
    One manager lost her job, accused of taking advantage of the program she oversaw.
  7. Sally Henderson, a Hillsborough County teacher, is one of the few Florida educators to earn National Board certification since 2015.
    The state still has more teachers in the program than all states except North Carolina.
  8. Staci Plonsky holds art from son A.J., who has autism, that depicts his memory of being taken by the school resource officer to a mental health facility under Florida's Baker Act law. [JOHN PENDYGRAFT  |  Tampa Bay Times]
    A roundup of stories from around the state.
  9. A school bus travels the early morning streets of Pasco County on the way to the first day of classes in 2017.
    A roundup of stories from around the state.
  10. Transgender student Drew Adams speaks with reporters outside of the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta. Adam's fight over school restrooms came before a federal appeals court Thursday, setting the stage for a groundbreaking ruling. Adams, who has since graduated from Nease High in Ponte Vedra, Fla., won a lower court ruling last year ordering the St. Johns County school district to allow him to use the boys' restroom. The district has since appealed. [RON HARRIS  |  AP]
    The closely watched case of Drew Adams, once a high school student in Florida, is heard by a three-judge panel in Atlanta.