After more than a year of negotiations, the Pinellas County School District has reached a new agreement in a 16-year-old state lawsuit that accused it of shortchanging black students, unveiling a plan Friday to "greatly narrow" or close the achievement gap within a decade.
District officials and the plaintiffs in the case crafted the agreement behind closed doors, with a mediator, after informal talks yielded little progress....
After more than a year of negotiations, the Pinellas County School District has reached a new agreement in a 16-year-old state lawsuit that accused it of shortchanging black students, unveiling a plan Friday to “greatly narrow” or close the achievement gap within a decade.
District officials and the plaintiffs in the case crafted the agreement behind closed doors, with a mediator, after informal talks yielded little progress. ...
Antonio Burt, who was hired to lead an aggressive effort to turn around eight of Pinellas County's lowest-performing schools, has resigned and will leave at the end of June.
Burt has been on the job for about a year and a half and was the first director of the school district's new Transformation Zone. He built a reputation as a "turnaround leader" after improving struggling schools in Memphis. Superintendent Mike Grego said Friday that he was grateful to Burt for his work in Pinellas and credited him with creating a stronger foundation in the eight schools in the zone. ...
LARGO — In his first public comments on the issue, Pinellas County schools superintendent Mike Grego spoke out at Tuesday night's School Board meeting about the decision to transfer former Campbell Park Elementary principal Christine Hoffman after an email in which she made a racially insensitive directive to her staff.
Grego confirmed that Hoffman is under investigation by the district's Office of Professional Standards. Hoffman on Monday requested a transfer to school district headquarters until the investigation is complete. In an email sent April 18, she told her staff to cluster white students together as the predominantly black school took on the task of setting classroom rosters for next year....
The principal of Northeast High School is a finalist for Florida's 2017 Principal of the Year award, state officials announced Friday.
Kevin Hendrick, who has been Northeast High's principal for eight years, is one of three finalists for the honor. Other finalists include: Earl Johnson, principal of Matanzas High School in Flagler County and Rachel Shelley, principal of Booker High School in Sarasota County. The winner will be announced during a ceremony June 21. ...
A food service manager at Lake St. George Elementary was named the 2017 School-related Employee of the Year, beating four other finalists for the honor.
Education Commissioner Pam Stewart presented the award to David Melnick at an awards breakfast in Orlando today. In her comments, she said that Melnick "goes above and beyond for the students" at the Pinellas County school and called him an example of the "tremendous" effect that school support staff have on the entire community....
Superintendent Mike Grego walked in some principal changes Tuesday during the regular meeting of the Pinellas County School Board.
Barry Brown, principal of John Hopkins Middle School, will transfer to Oak Grove Middle School. Dawn Coffin, the current principal of Oak Grove, will move to Bayside High School, where she's replacing Patricia Fuller. Fuller is retiring at the end of the school year....
At eight of the lowest performing schools in Pinellas County, district officials see promising signs: academic growth, reductions in suspensions and discipline referrals, better teaching and improved attendance.
The question is whether the improvements will translate into stronger academic performance and higher test scores.
"We're seeing continued growth in these schools, which gives us hope," Dan Evans, the district's head of accountability and research, said this week during a community meeting in south St. Petersburg, where six of the eight schools are located. Two other schools are in Clearwater....
The Pinellas County School Board approved Tuesday a $10.5 million project to turn Career Academies of Seminole into a technical high school, expected to open in the 2018-19 school year.
Hundreds of students currently commute to the school for two periods of technical classes. The project will make it into a comprehensive high school.
Superintendent Mike Grego said he was “very excited about this project.”...
ST. PETERSBURG — Sitting in the school library on a brisk and breezy Saturday morning, Cadi Moorehead proudly held up two sheets of paper.
"I wrote a two-page story about Nate the Great," she announced.
Cadi, 9, could have slept in. She could have played outside. But she wanted to be in school. So here she was on a Saturday morning at Fairmount Park Elementary, doing math on an iPad, reading aloud from Nate the Great, a children's series about a boy detective, and writing a story about what she read....
Carol Cook came to the polls Tuesday prepared to talk about issues.
The good things happening in struggling schools, an improving graduation rate, Hispanic student achievement and more career education options. The 16-year Pinellas County School Board incumbent could expound on them all.
Instead, many passers-by avoided her gaze or sidestepped away. When voters did talk to Cook, they weren't focused on education. They didn't ask about her opponent, Eliseo Santana. They wanted to know: Are you for Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton? Are you a Republican or a Democrat?...
More than 100 people turned out Tuesday night at the third public forum to receive input about the Pinellas County School District's plan to close the achievement gap.
The forum, which was held at Gibbs High, followed the same format as the first two, held at Largo High and Boca Ciega High. Superintendent Mike Grego spoke for about 20 minutes and then asked audience members to write their suggestions on sticky notes....
The plaintiffs in a Civil Rights-era desegregation lawsuit announced Monday that they are suspending informal negotiations with the Pinellas County School District.
In a letter emailed to the district, Enrique Escarraz and Roger Plata, lawyers for the plaintiffs, said that after more than a half-dozen meetings, progress has been “extremely slow and uneven.”
Instead of continuing to meet as scheduled, they are giving the school district two weeks to provide detailed plans related to black student achievement....
Dozens of students transferred this year out of four low-performing elementary schools in south St. Petersburg, taking advantage of a long-standing state law.
According to the Pinellas County School District, 88 students opted to transfer to higher-performing elementary schools. The transfers include: 26 students from Fairmount Park to Bauder; 22 students from Campbell Park to Cross Bayou; 22 from Lakewood to Azalea; and 18 from Melrose to Fuguitt, Curlew Creek and Pinellas Central. (Most of the students from Melrose went to Fuguitt.)...
More than 100 people turned out Tuesday night at a public forum to get input about the Pinellas County School District's plan to close the achievement gap.
The gathering, held at Boca Ciega High School in Gulfport, was the second of four scheduled by the school district. Superintendent Mike Grego first unveiled the "Bridging the Gap" plan in 2013, but district officials have updated it, as well as the district's overall strategic plan. ...