1. The Education Gradebook

Pinellas school news: Discovery nights begin, the search for new teachers, a veteran teacher is honored

School district discovery nights begin next week

Families can begin shopping in earnest for special programs in the Pinellas County school system with discovery nights beginning next week and the second of two information fairs scheduled for Saturday. The fair will take place from 9 a.m. to noon at Pinellas Park High, 6305 118th Ave N, Largo. Special programs, also called "district application programs," include magnets, fundamental schools and career academies. For more information about each program, visit or call (727) 588-6210.

Discovery nights allow families to tour schools and meet the staff. They begin at 6 p.m. Here are next week's discovery nights:

Monday, Nov. 16

• Academy of Engineering, East Lake High

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

• Osceola Fundamental High

Tuesday, Nov. 17

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

• Career Academy for International Culture and Commerce, Clearwater High

• Center for Construction Technologies, St. Petersburg High

• Center for Gifted Studies, Ridgecrest Elementary

• Lealman Innovation Academy (grades 6-12)

Wednesday, Nov. 18

• Center for Computer Technology, Countryside High

• Institute for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (ISTEM), Countryside High

• International Studies Primary Years Programme, Mildred Helms Elementary

• Madeira Beach Fundamental (K-8)

Thursday, Nov. 19

• Center for Education and Leadership, Seminole High

• Center for Journalism and Multimedia Studies, Melrose Elementary

• Tarpon Springs Fundamental Elementary

Teacher fair seeks to put new grads in key positions

The Pinellas County School District will have advanced teaching contracts available during an invitation-only job fair for teacher candidates preparing to graduate from college in December. The fair, scheduled from 5 to 7:30 p.m. Monday will provide qualified applicants the opportunity to interview with principals from schools throughout the county. The focus will be on filling the need for teachers of elementary education, exceptional student education, mathematics and science, and for positions in low-income schools that receive Title 1 funding. Candidates will need to bring their resume and midobservation review from their final internship. For more information, contact Jenny Furlott at or (727) 588-6450 or Kim Swartzel at swartz or (727) 588-6281.

Veteran teacher of disabled students wins award

Longtime Pinellas County teacher Carol Dinsdale received the 2015 Florida Council for Children with Behavioral Disabilities Eleanor Guetzloe Outstanding Service Award recently at the council's convention in Orlando. Dinsdale retired from the school system in August after 25 years as a teacher of students with emotional behavioral disabilities. She has taught classes from pre-school to the university level. She is a board member of Suncoast Voices for Children, a foster care nonprofit organization that provides physical, psychological, educational and social support for neglected children in Pasco and Pinellas counties. She and her husband, Paul, live in Largo.

Elementary school menus

Monday: Chicken sandwich, cheesy mac and beef with roll, farmers salad, turkey and cheese hoagie, baked beans, veggie dippers.

Tuesday: Thanksgiving meal, mini calzones, chef salad, chicken Caesar wrap, marinara cup, sweet potato waffle fries, side salad.

Wednesday: Beef dippers with rice, lasagna roll up, yogurt parfait, ham and cheese croissant, steamed broccoli, sliced cucumbers.

Thursday: Breakfast for lunch, bean and cheese burrito, chicken Caesar salad, Italian sub, deli roasted potatoes, side salad.

Friday: Pizza, cheesy fish filet sandwich, veggie double dipper salad, school favorite sandwich, green beans, veggie dippers.