1. The Education Gradebook

Pinellas education news: SAT help, Summer Bridge enrollment and more

Published Jun. 14, 2017

Pinellas offers SAT practice for high school students

Juniors and seniors in the Pinellas County school system have a new opportunity to practice for the SAT in high school computer labs using The course is available through a partnership between the College Board and Khan Academy. According to new research released this month by the College Board, students who used the free online practice resources for six to eight hours had improvements of 90 points on average between their PSAT and SAT scores. Students who used the SAT practice site for 20 to 22 hours averaged gains of 115 points over their PSAT scores. The program is particularly helpful for students who may not have access to the Internet or want to practice with peers. Teachers will be on hand to support students in the labs. Students are encouraged to check with their high schools to learn more.

Summer Bridge enrollment up

Participation in the Pinellas County school system's Summer Bridge program is up this year, with 17,962 students enrolled — up 332 kids from 2016. Driving the increase was a rise in participation by elementary school students, who make up about two-thirds of the program's enrollment. The district reports that 576 more kids in that age group are signed up this year than last year. Enrollment in middle school stayed flat while the number of high school students participating went down. Attendance is another matter. According to figures from the third day of Summer Bridge, about two-thirds of the students enrolled typically show up for class. Pinellas school superintendent Mike Grego created the program in 2013 to bring students who are behind academically up to speed and reduce learning loss over the summer. High school students who attend Summer Bridge can focus on credit recovery and practice for college entrance exams.

Teacher of the Year named for NIE program

The Tampa Bay Times Newspaper in Education (NIE) program recently announced the winner of its Teacher of the Year award. The grand prize winner was Cynthia Bowen of Carwise Middle School. Honorable mentions went to Sarah Hastings of Alonso High, Felecia King of Lockhart Elementary Magnet School, Audra Lewis of Young Middle Magnet School and Susan Terry of Carwise Middle. The recognitions were announced at the Gus A. Stavros Institute in Largo. Newspaper in Education is a cooperative effort between schools and the Times to promote the use of newspapers as an educational resource. In addition to supplying free newspapers to classrooms, NIE also provides an e-edition, apps, lesson plans, curriculum guides, scholastic contests and educator workshops.