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Kindergarten sign-ups, mentors and other Pinellas education news

News and notes about K-12 schools and colleges in Pinellas County.
This image from a Pinellas County kindergarten class is from a school district video offering advice on how to prepare children for their first school experience. Kindergarten registration for the 2020-21 school year starts Jan. 13. For more information, visit pcsb.org/KG. [Courtesy of Pinellas County Schools]
This image from a Pinellas County kindergarten class is from a school district video offering advice on how to prepare children for their first school experience. Kindergarten registration for the 2020-21 school year starts Jan. 13. For more information, visit pcsb.org/KG. [Courtesy of Pinellas County Schools]
Published Dec. 18, 2019
Updated Dec. 20, 2019

Kindergarten registration starts soon

Starting Jan. 13, Pinellas County families can register children for kindergarten for the 2020-21 school year. The school district will hold “Ready, Set…Kindergarten” events Jan 14, 15 and 16 at elementary schools across the county. There, families will be able to explore classrooms, meet teachers, register for school, find out about aftercare and learn about ways to get children ready for kindergarten. To be eligible to start kindergarten next fall, children must be 5 years old on or before Sept.1, 2020 and have a physical examination certificate, as well as a Florida certificate of immunization. Families also must show proof of residency with two forms of documentation. Students can be registered at their zoned school. For more information and a schedule of “Ready, Set...Kindergarten” events, visit pcsb.org/KG.

Apply for Pinellas school choice programs Jan. 8-17

After more than two months of open houses and information nights, the next phase of the school choice process starts in January. The Pinellas County school system offers nearly 80 choice options, including magnet programs, fundamental schools and career academies for the 2020-21 school year. Families can apply online Jan. 8-17 by visiting reservation.pcsb.org and logging on to the Student Reservation System using their district user ID and password. Families without a user ID and password can get them at any nearby school, after showing a photo ID. When applying, students can choose up to five programs and rank them in order of preference. After that comes the acceptance period Feb. 10-21, when families must log back in to the Student Reservation System to accept a program invitation. If a student receives an invitation and does not accept it during this period, the invitation becomes invalid. There are still opportunities to learn about these programs. Families can set up a school visit or arrange a shadowing opportunity for students interested in high school programs. For more information visit pcsb.org/choice.

Downtown festival in search of artists

The Good Vibes Only Art & Music Festival, sponsored by St. Petersburg College and USF St. Petersburg, is looking for student musicians, bands and visual artists to participate. The event is from 3-7 p.m. April 25 at Williams Park, 350 Second Ave. N in downtown St. Petersburg. To apply to perform at the festival, visit spc.edu/vibes. The deadline is Jan. 31.

January event to welcome, train new mentors

The Pinellas County school system will hold a Mentoring Recruitment Fair from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Jan. 22 at Tarpon Springs campus of St. Petersburg College, 600 E Klosterman Road. Mentors meet with a selected student for 30 minutes a week typically during their lunch hour where the student attends school. About 2,800 people volunteer as mentors with the school district, listening to students and offering encouragement and friendship. Volunteers are asked to attend a 90-minute workshop and undergo a free Level 1 background screening. After that, they will be matched with a student. January is National Mentoring Month. For more information, visit pcsb.org/mentor.

Coming in January: student photojournalists show their work

A scene from the annual exhibit of student work in Pinellas County Schools' Journeys in Journalism program. [Times (2015)]

The public is invited to see “Through Our Eyes: Midtown and Beyond,” a photo exhibit showcasing the work of student photojournalists from three schools: Melrose Elementary, John Hopkins Middle and Lakewood High. The exhibit runs from Jan. 10-29 at Studio@620 in St. Petersburg and is part of Pinellas County Schools’ Journeys in Journalism program. Using cameras, the students tap into their natural curiosity, learn photography and other multimedia techniques, and visually document a community they often see differently than adults. Related events, also at Studio@620, include a Poetry Slam on Jan. 11 and Taste of the City on Jan. 16, offering free food from local restaurants. The studio is at 620 First Ave. S. Many of the student journalists, their parents and teachers will be present for the opening night celebration, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Jan. 10.

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  7. Incoming Hillsborough School Superintendent Addison Davis (center), School Board Chair Melissa Snively (right) and the other board members pose as Davis signs his contract with the district on Tuesday night. The board unanimously approved the contract beforehand.
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