Monday, April 29, 2013
One Florida County has given elementary school principals the green light to paddle misbehaving students. What do you think about this, Tampa Bay?
A trip to the principal’s office in Marion County elementary schools might mean more for misbehaving students than a call to parents and possible detention detail. Principals there have been given the green light to paddle unruly pupils. The county’s school board decided April 23 that it was high time this once banned practice was brought back into the educational system. Citing repeat disciplinary problems with students where nothing else worked to get kids on track, board member Carol Ely, a retired principal, put the idea on the table. While the measure passed, principals don’t have carte blanche to paddle kids. Principals must first obtain standing written permission from parents, and they must get verbal permission before each …
Thursday, April 25, 2013
It's not just a school rumor. The Pinellas County School District has decided to end the practice.
You can almost hear the collective groan in your child's classrooms: There will be no more early release days at Pinellas County public schools. Starting next school year, the early dismissals on Wednesdays will go away. Pinellas County Schools posted the announcement on its website, along with a listing of bell schedules for campuses across the district. To find out the bell schedules for individual schools, just visit the district’s website. “The new school bell times for 2013-14 reflect minimal changes,” district officials said on the website. “However, next school year, schools will not have early-release Wednesdays.” Students end this school year on Wednesday, June 5. Get the Pinellas Beaches newsletter delivered to your email.
Tuesday, April 9, 2013
The new academic year begins Aug. 19 for students from the beaches.
Parents from the beaches hoping to get a jump on planning activities around next year's Pinellas County school calendar are in luck. The school district has released its list of important dates for the 2013-14 school year. This school year (2012-13) ends Wednesday, June 5, 2013. Students only have two more days off before the year ends. The first one is Monday, April 29, which is a teacher professional development day. That means kids get to stay home, but teachers have to hit the books. The last holiday off of the school year is Monday, May 27 for Memorial Day, according to the district’s calendar. Here’s a look at the 2013-14 school schedule: Source: Pinellas County Schools
Monday, April 8, 2013
A district review of dropout prevention and alternative education programs showed there was room for improvement. What changes would you like to see made, Pinellas beach residents?
Pinellas County School Board members want to see the district do a better job in handling troubled students. Specifically, board members want the district improve the way it handles disruptive kids and those who are at risk for dropping out. A recent countywide review of programs geared toward troubled kids showed the district’s programs are not used as much as they could be, The Tampa Tribune reported. To remedy that, the district hopes to add programs meant to get students who have fallen off track back on grade level faster. It also wants to boost its technical education programs. Plans are also in the works to revamp programs that target kids who are chronically disruptive in classrooms. School Board Vice Chairwoman Peggy O’Shea said …
Thursday, April 4, 2013
Three Pinellas County students will compete in the state competition in Jacksonville April 5.
Max Raynor, a 7th-grader at Madeira Beach Fundamental School will be heading to Jacksonville April 5 to compete in the 2013 Florida National Geographic Bee. Raynor, who is coached by Social Studies teacher Brett Volland, won't be traveling alone. Two other Pinellas County students are also taking part in the competition. • Max Gillespie, an 8th-grader at Palm Harbor Middle School, who is coached by Social Studies teacher Michelle Anderson. • Will Shedden, an 8th-grader at Thurgood Marshall Fundamental Middle School, who is coached by Social Studies teacher Mark Gibson. The three students won their individual school bee and passed the qualifying test for the state bee. Sign up for the Pinellas Beaches Patch email newsletter to get our …
Sunday, March 31, 2013
Florida lawmakers are considering another 6 percent raise in tuition at the state’s universities.
Pinellas high school students who want to further their education at the University of South Florida or another state university may soon find themselves paying more to get in. Even though funding for universities is up and budget cuts are off the table for the first time in years, Florida lawmakers are considering a tuition hike of 6 percent, according to the Tampa Bay Times. Over the past few years, tuition at Florida’s universities has climbed by as much as 15 percent as funding from the state fell. While funding is improving, lawmakers say the hike is needed to help offset some of the damage done during leaner years, the Times reports. Gov. Rick Scott, however, does not agree. He’s promised to veto any proposal that includes a hike in …
Thursday, March 28, 2013
What should happen to underperforming schools in Pinellas County?
A proposed 'Parent Empowerment Act' has raised concerns with multiple members of the Pinellas County School Board who say the bill would hurt the school district. The bill, according to TBO.com, would "allow parents to request that school districts rehabilitate schools that earn consecutive failing grades from the state instead of leaving the decision up to the school board; in many cases, that would mean converting the schools into charter schools." In an interview with TBO, school board member Chairwoman Carol Cook said the proposed legislation is more harmful to the district than it is helpful to parents. “We aren’t just a bunch of yahoos that have been elected; we are constitutional officers and we are responsible for the education …
Tuesday, March 12, 2013
For every five books that a student read, they were given an entry to the bike drawing at 17 participating Pinellas County Schools.
A few lucky students at 17 schools throughout Pinellas County were given bikes today as part of the Horace Mann Insurance 'Bike for Books' program. The program, according to a news release from the Pinellas County School District, encourages reading by giving student an opportunity to win a bike. For every five books that a student read, they were given an entry to the bike drawing. According to a news release, there is a drawing for each semester at participating schools with one bike for a girl and one bike for a boy. Starting at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday, representatives from Horace Mann Insurance and the school district visited 17 Pinellas County schools including: Sign up for the Pinellas Beaches Patch email newsletter to get our top …
Thursday, February 28, 2013
A group is proposing a free charter middle school on St. Pete Beach. Do you think it's a good idea?
Do the beaches need a public school? At least a few people think so. Teacher Sarah Tierney and a group of parents are proposing a free charter middle school on St. Pete Beach, the Gabber reports. Academy By the Sea would open in August of 2014 and serve the fourth through eighth grades. The St. Pete Beach City Commission recently passed a resolution supporting the school, and Tierney's group plans to begin applying to the Pinellas County School Board's charter school office in June, the Gabber reports. If approved, the school would be the first to open on the beaches since Gulf Beaches Elementary closed in 2009. “The closing of Gulf Beaches left a hole here in the community," the Gabber quoted Tierney as saying. Read more in the Gabber's …
Friday, February 15, 2013
Students on the beaches don't have to go to school on Monday, Feb. 18.