Pinellas school news: Getting ready to apply for special programs, evaluating the superintendent, and more

Students tour Clearwater High during the school’s Discovery Night in 2014. Discovery Nights and information sessions are being scheduled in advance of the January 2017 application period.
Students tour Clearwater High during the school’s Discovery Night in 2014. Discovery Nights and information sessions are being scheduled in advance of the January 2017 application period.
Published Oct. 19, 2016

Time to study up on special programs

With fewer than 90 days left before the deadline to apply for special programs in the Pinellas County school system, it's time for families to start preparing. The district offers more than 70 magnet, fundamental and career programs for those considering something other than their regular zoned school. First up are three Parent Information Sessions, which explain the application process, followed by two Information Fairs, where representatives of the programs answer questions. After that come dozens of Discovery Nights before the application period, which runs Jan. 4 through 13. Here's the first part of the schedule:

Parent Information Sessions, 6:30-7:30 p.m.

• Nov. 1, Boca Ciega High, 924 58th St. S, Gulfport

• Nov. 2, Countryside High, 3000 State Road 580, Clearwater

• Nov. 7, Pinellas Park High, 6305 118th Ave. N, Largo

Information Fairs

• 6-8 p.m. Nov. 10 at Gibbs High, 850 34th St. S, St. Petersburg.

• 9 a.m.-noon Nov. 12 at Pinellas Park High, 6305 118th Ave. N, Largo

Discovery Nights

To see the full list, visit

For more information, call the district's the student assignment office at (727) 588-6210.

Grego scores well in evaluation

Pinellas County school superintendent Mike Grego has received high marks from the School Board for his performance in 2015-16, according to a score sheet released this week by the district. Grego, 59, became superintendent in 2012 after stints as superintendent in Osceola County and as interim Chancellor of K-12 Education for the Florida Department of Education. The seven board members gave Grego mostly "outstanding" marks for his performance in eight categories, including the district's learning environment, improved student performance in some areas, his integrity and work standards, and his rapport with district employees and the public. In 2014, the board extended Grego's contract by five years, through 2020.

'Parent University' to cover multiple topics

The Pinellas County school system this year continues its Parent University program, a series of free half-day conferences "that help parents and caregivers support the academic life of children in kindergarten through 12th grade." The next session will be on Oct. 29 at Countryside High. Participants will start registering at 8 a.m., choosing two workshops to attend after a general session that begins at 8:30 a.m. Workshop topics include math, reading, science, graduation requirements, college and career readiness, digital learning tools, STEM, and more. In addition, district staff will be available at a "Resource Cafe" to answer questions about 504 plans, kindergarten registration, choice programs, student assignment, family engagement, the Juvenile Welfare Board and more. Free immunizations and physicals also will be available, and free childcare is offered for children in kindergarten through fifth grade who preregister. To register for the conference, visit For information, email

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Elementary lunch menus

Monday: Hamburger or cheeseburger, turkey pot roast and noodles with roll, veggie double dipper salad, turkey and cheese hoagie, corn, veggie dippers.

Tuesday: Chicken broccoli penne alfredo with roll, pepperoni stromboli, farmer's salad, Jamwich Kit, sliced carrots, marinara cup, romaine side salad.

Wednesday: Chicken nuggets, spaghetti and meatballs, fruit and yogurt plate, ham and cheese croissant, broccoli, sliced cucumbers.

Thursday: Breakfast for lunch, cheesy bread, chef salad, chicken caesar wrap, marinara cup, deli roasted potatoes, mixed or tossed side salad.

Friday: Pizza, ocean treasure fish nuggets, chicken caesar salad, Italian sub, oven-baked beans, veggie dippers.