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Choice deadline, top ‘support employee’ honored and more Pinellas education news

News and notes about K-12 schools and colleges in Pinellas County.
In this image from a school district video, Tamra Ingrassia is seen at work in the kitchen at Belcher Elementary School. Ingrassia, a food service specialist, recently was named Pinellas County Schools 2019-20 Support Employee of the Year. [Pinellas County Schools]
In this image from a school district video, Tamra Ingrassia is seen at work in the kitchen at Belcher Elementary School. Ingrassia, a food service specialist, recently was named Pinellas County Schools 2019-20 Support Employee of the Year. [Pinellas County Schools]
Published Jan. 15

Pinellas honors Support Employee of the Year

Tamra Ingrassia, a food service specialist at Belcher Elementary in Clearwater, has been named the Pinellas County Schools 2019-20 Support Employee of the Year, the school district announced this week. Ingrassia started a garden club at the school and helped design garden beds that now produce fresh fruits and vegetables. According to the district, she also “incorporates student achievement by putting math problems on the students’ lunch trays, initiated several healthy food options ... to include a Breakfast Showcase, and continues to search for ways to help students make smart and healthy food and nutrition decisions.” Ingrassia will represent the district for the Florida School-Related Employee of the Year. She will receive $300 from Achieva Credit Union, the event’s sponsor.

Deadline is Friday to apply for school choice programs

The deadline to apply for magnet, fundamental and career programs offered by the Pinellas County school system is 5 p.m. Friday, Jan. 17. Families can apply online at reservation.pcsb.org. The time of an application does not affect a student’s chances of getting into a program as all applications are assigned a random number. However, district officials urge families to allow plenty of time before the deadline in case they have questions about the application process. The district offers nearly 80 choice programs throughout the county. For more information, visit pcsb.org/choice or contact the district’s Student Assignment office at (727) 588-6210.

Registration starts soon for prekindergarten spots

Registration begins Jan. 20 for prekindergarten programs offered by the Pinellas County school system. The district operates a free program for 4-year-olds for three hours a day through the state’s Voluntary Prekindergarten program, known as VPK, as well as a program for 3-year-olds. Families can visit reservation.pcsb.org to apply for a spot for the 2020-21 school year. The deadline is Jan. 31. Families also will need to log back into the system from Feb. 24 to March 6 to accept an invitation. For more information, visit pcsb.org/early. Pre-K 3 is for children who will be 3 years old on or before Sept. 1, 2020. Call (727) 588-6000, ext. 2184, for more information. Voluntary Prekindergarten is for children who will be 4 years old on or before Sept. 1, 2020. Parents interested in VPK need a Certificate of Eligibility from the Early Learning Coalition. Visit elcpinellas.net/register-for-vpk or call (727) 400-4411 for more information about the certificate. For more information about VPK, call (727) 588-6513.

Elementary school lunches

Monday: Martin Luther King Jr. Day. No school.

Tuesday: Breakfast for lunch, Pizzaboli, chicken caesar salad, Jamwich Kit, deli roaster potatoes, marinara cup, romaine side salad.

Wednesday: Pasta and meat sauce or meatballs, ravioli and roll, chicken nuggets with dip cup, yogurt and fruit parfait, ham and cheese croissant, crispy fries, sliced cucumbers.

Thursday: Chicken tender basket with fries and roll, grilled cheese, Apple-A-Day Salad, chicken caesar wrap, tomato soup, mixed side salad.

Friday: Pizza variety, fish nuggets with roll, chef salad, turkey and cheese hoagie or sandwich, spinach or collard greens, fresh veggie dippers.

For more additional menus and other information on school lunches, visit the school district’s Food and Nutrition Department page.

ALSO IN THIS SECTION

  1. State Rep. Wyman Duggan, a Jacksonville Republican, presents his bill to create a "do not hire" list for any school employee who has been terminated, or resigned in lieu of termination, from employment as a result of sexual misconduct with a student. [The Florida Channel]
    The measure would apply to district, charter and private schools.
  2. Students grieve at Pine Trails Park, near the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., one month to the day since 17 students and staff were shot dead there, March 14, 2018. [SAUL MARTINEZ  |  New York Times]
    A roundup of stories from around the state.
  3. Addison Davis, the superintendent of Clay County District Schools, was chosen Tuesday as the new Hillsborough County school superintendent. [OCTAVIO JONES  |  Times]
    The School Board’s vote is unanimous for Davis, who calls himself “an accelerator.”
  4. Rep. Anthony Sabatini presents his bill to create school board term limits to the Florida House PreK-12 Innovation subcommittee on Jan. 21, 2020. [The Florida Channel]
    The idea would require a three-fifths vote in each chamber before it could appear on the ballot.
  5. Children participate in a sorting exercise during activities in a pre-K  class in Tampa.
    A roundup of stories from around the state.
  6. A photo of the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. sits on a pedestal at the Carter G. Woodson African American Museum on Sunday, Jan. 19, 2020  in St. Petersburg. Guests enjoyed music, spoken word, dance and musical performances and concluded with a candle light vigil and song.  [LUIS SANTANA   |   TIMES  |  Tampa Bay Times]
    A roundup of stories from around the state.
  7. From left, Don Haddad, Peter Licata and Addison Davis, all finalists for the job of Hillsborough County school superintendent, met Thursday with community members at Rampello K-8 School. The School Board will choose among the three on Tuesday. [MARLENE SOKOL  |  Times]
    Addison Davis, Don Haddad and Peter Licata outline their plans for the first 90 days.
  8. Check tampabay.com for the latest breaking news and updates. [Times]
    A man university police believe was target shooting near campus was not located, the university said.
  9. Former state senator John Legg has not ruled out a run for Pasco County schools superintendent. The district is the nation's largest to elect its chief executive.
    Short answer: Maybe.
  10. But the competition isn’t who many people expected it to be.
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