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Coronavirus takes its toll on Florida students’ grades

A roundup of Florida education news from around the state.
A Pasco County report card
A Pasco County report card [ Pasco County Schools ]
Published Dec. 18, 2020

Grace before grades? Grades before grace? Maybe a little of each? Teachers in Florida, as around the nation, have a tough task when determining how to rate their students’ performance in a pandemic. The decisions take on a greater significance this winter, as the state has told schools to encourage “failing” students in remote learning to return to classrooms. But what does failing really mean? Read on for that story and other Florida education news. • With schools going on holiday, this roundup also will take a break, resuming in January along with classes. See you in 2021.

When should a student receive an F grade? The shift to live distance classes, and the struggles that have accompanied it for some children, has highlighted a need to examine how to give grades.

Parents want to know about coronavirus cases in their children’s schools. Clay County families are complaining that they’re not getting adequate information, WJXT reports.

Case counts continue to rise. Orange County superintendent Barbara Jenkins expressed concern that a continued increase could negatively impact the second semester, WKMG reports. Meanwhile, thousands of Orange County students are preparing to return to schools after vacation, Spectrum 13 reports.

Schools have started offering rapid testing for students and staff. The effort has gotten off to a slow start in Palm Beach County, where many parents are refusing to give consent for their children to be tested, WPTV reports.

Some people continue to downplay the virus. Flagler County School Board member Janet McDonald used her speaking time at a recent meeting to issue a string of falsehoods about the pandemic, Flagler Live reports.

The Class of 2020 still wants its celebrations. Wakulla High School will hold an in-person graduation ceremony for last year’s seniors on Friday, WCTV reports.

In this June 15, 2018, file photo, 20-dollar bills are counted in North Andover, Mass. The Palm Beach County school district is discussing whether to end publication of its investigative reports detailing fraud, waste and abuse.
In this June 15, 2018, file photo, 20-dollar bills are counted in North Andover, Mass. The Palm Beach County school district is discussing whether to end publication of its investigative reports detailing fraud, waste and abuse. [ ELISE AMENDOLA | AP ]

The Palm Beach County school district hires an inspector general to investigate waste, fraud and abuse. The School Board is considering ending its requirement that the investigative reports be published online, the Palm Beach Post reports.

Time for a change. The Lake Wales charter school district is undergoing a shift in leadership, the Ledger reports.

No time for a change. Manatee County superintendent Cynthia Saunders wins a two-year contract extension, the Herald-Tribune reports. More from the Bradenton Herald.

Some legislation never goes away. State Sen. Dennis Baxley has reintroduced a bill to require a moment of silence at the start of each day in public schools, the Ledger reports.

Many students have special needs. The Collier County school district will expand its services to students with disabilities, the Naples Daily News reports.

Work time is for work. A Manatee County school guard resigned after being discovered going to the gym when he was supposed to be on duty, the Bradenton Herald reports.

This calendar is parent-approved. The Lake County school district adopted its 2021-22 schedule after asking for family input, the Daily Commercial reports.

Don’t miss a story. Here’s a link for yesterday’s roundup.

Before you go ... Yes, it’s about a neighboring state. But Broadway stars singing “Georgia On My Mind” as a Rock the Vote reminder that there’s an upcoming runoff is just too good to pass up. Enjoy.