Florida schools roundup: Recess, construction, commissioner and more

florida-roundup-logoSchool recess: Supporters of daily recess for elementary students are worried that the bill they support still isn’t getting a hearing in the Senate. They blame Sen. John Legg, R-Lutz, for the inactivity. Legg, chairman of the Senate Education Committee, says other issues have a higher priority. Gradebook.

Charters and construction: Today, the House Appropriations Committee will consider a bill that would place limits on the money school districts can spend on construction and share local capital projects tax revenue with charter schools. Gradebook. WFSU.

Elected commissioner: A website has been launched to help lobby for an elected education commissioner who will also be in the Cabinet. Fund Education Now created the page to push for an amendment to be decided by voters. Florida Politics.

New SAT concerns: Some experts worry that the new SAT, with its longer and harder reading passages and more words in math problems, will cause problems for some students. Testing begins in March. New York Times. New Boston Post. Should you take the new SAT or the ACT? Huffington Post.

Book removed: Seminole County school officials remove a book from three elementary school libraries after a parent’s complaint. Mariko Tamaki’s This One Summer contains sexual references and obscenities. WFTV.

LGBT protection: The Brevard County School Board will consider an expansion of the district’s nondiscrimination policy to include lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender students and staff. Florida Today.

Superintendent under fire: Two former Polk County School Board members and a citizens committee say Superintendent Kathryn LeRoy should be asked to resign. LeRoy was recently cleared of nine misconduct charges, but was urged to get sexual harassment training. Lakeland Ledger.

Moms organize: It started with three moms who are worried about the Volusia County school system. Now it’s grown into a community-wide group that’s discussing district weaknesses and ideas for fixing them. Daytona Beach News-Journal.

Student-criminals: Too many students are being diverted from schools into the criminal justice system. That’s the conclusion of a report by an American Bar Association task force. ABA Journal.

Racial disparities: Hillsborough County School District officials hope to resolve a federal discrimination complaint. They say they have made progress on discipline and educational opportunities for minorities. Tampa Bay Times.

School schedule: The Martin County School Board kills a proposed block schedule for middle-schoolers. Board members say they do want to synchronize the schedules for all middle schools. TCPalm.

New school sites: Residents from three gated communities are protesting the location of a proposed high school in Bonita Springs. The Lee County School Board meets tonight to discuss the proposal. Fort Myers News-Press. The Tavares City Council buys a 10-acre property to set aside for a new school. Daily Commercial.

School closing protest: Dozens of parents and students protest the possibility that their Miami Lakes school might close. Dade Christian School has been struggling financially and has discussed selling its property or merging with another church. WSVN.

Wellness clinic: Community leaders preview the full-service wellness clinic that is being placed at Rickards High School. Tallahassee Democrat. WFSU.

Take kids to work: Palm Beach County teachers are unhappy with the date the district has chosen to observe Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day. March 18 is a teacher work day, with no classes. Sun-Sentinel.

Principals honored: Rhonda Hunt is named Florida’s principal of the year by the Department of Education. She’s from Eustis Heights Elementary in Lake County. Assistant principal of the year is Anne Bieber of Vero Beach High. Orlando Sentinel. TCPalm. Daily Commercial.

School property sold: The Lake County School Board approves the sale of half the old Dabney school property in Leesburg to the Boys & Girls Clubs of Lake and Sumter Counties. Daily Commercial.

Opinions on schools: Adjusting test scores for Florida’s children doesn’t help them prepare for the future. Dave Trecker, Naples Daily News. Having a laboratory school for autistic children sounds like a good idea, but let’s see how Duval County implements the plan. Julie Delegal, Florida Times-Union.

Student enrichment: Diego Lucano, a student of the Dr. Phillips Center Florida Hospital School of the Arts, made his Broadway debut Friday in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s School of Rock. The 11-year-old is from Orlando. Broadwayworld.com. Students at St. Paul’s Catholic School are busy packing 16,000 canned goods and groceries into bags for the needy. The food was collected by the Jacksonville Beach school and 17 other Catholic schools across Northeast Florida. Florida Times-Union. Weis Elementary, a community school in Pensacola, is the beneficiary of a $100,000 grant from the Jessie Ball duPont Fund. Pensacola News Journal. Manatee High School’s cheerleaders place ninth in a national competition. Bradenton Herald.