Florida schools roundup: Online classes, FHSAA accused, transgenders and more

florida-roundup-logoOnline requirement: The new education law gives Florida high school students additional options to fulfill an online class required for graduation. The specifics are vague, though, and school officials are hoping for clarification from the Florida Department of Education. Orlando Sentinel.

FHSAA accused: The Florida High School Athletic Association is being accused of not following a new law that allows schools to join the association on a sport-by-sport basis. The FHSAA violated the intent of the law by telling schools that only those with full membership status will be allowed to participate in state playoffs, according to Stuart Weiss, president of the Sunshine State Athletic Conference. Orlando Sentinel.

Transgenders and bathrooms: Nate Quinn, a 17-year-old transgender student at the Pine View School in Sarasota, is lobbying for a district policy giving transgender students access to the bathroom they identify with. Reuters. Target becomes the first major U.S. corporation to “welcome transgender team members and guests to use the restroom or fitting room facility that corresponds with their gender identity.” Washington Post.

Suicide training: Florida teachers will be trained in suicide prevention as part of a law passed by the Legislature this year. The two hours of training in youth suicide awareness and prevention, developed by the Florida Department of Education and the Statewide Office of Suicide Prevention, begins in the 2016-2017 school year. WFSU.

Special education growth: The number of school-age students with disabilities has grown almost 3 percent since the 2011-12 school year, according to an analysis by Education Week and its Research Center. Rapid growth in such disability categories as autism and an 8 percent increase in New York State contributed to the increase. Education Week.

Sales tax draft: The latest draft for a sales tax increase in Palm Beach County includes no mention of $121 million for cultural projects, though officials say those projects would still be funded. They say they don’t have room in the 75-word ballot language for that reference. Opponents of the cultural projects think the language is misleading. Almost half of the money raised by the proposed 1-cent hike would go to the school district, if voters approve the referendum in November. Palm Beach Post.

Cafeteria renovations: The Broward County School Board is considering whether to renovate or rebuild cafeterias at Stranahan and Plantation high schools. The cost would be more than $18 million. Sun-Sentinel.

Beach volleyball: Beach volleyball is now an official high school sport for girls in Florida. It gets underway in spring 2017. The goal is to have at least 20 schools participate. WFOR.

Girls football ended: Jupiter High School Principal Dan Frank has ended the 50-year tradition of the juniors vs. seniors Powder Puff girls tackle football game. He says he is worried about injuries. The girls are fighting back with a petition drive. Palm Beach Post.

New school: Ground is broken for a new school in Lake Wales that will serve special needs students. Officials expect Our Children’s Academy of Lake Wales to open by August, since the main structure is a modular building. Winter Haven News Chief.

Personnel reshuffling: The Manatee County School District hires a principal for the newly combined Orange Ridge-Bullock and Rogers Garden elementary school, and also announces other administrative and personnel changes. Bradenton Herald. Sarasota Herald-Tribune.

Union election: Scott Mazur, a Killearn Lakes Elementary fifth-grade teacher, is elected president of the Leon County teachers union. Tallahassee Democrat.

Challenged books: The Bible makes the latest list of books most objected to in U.S. public schools and libraries. Associated Press.

Hackers’ redirection: Googling the Santa Rosa Education Foundation on Wednesday took visitors to a hardcore pornography site, thanks to hackers. The foundation is a nonprofit organization that supports the Santa Rosa School District. Northwest Florida Daily News.

Teachers wanted: The Panhandle Area Educational Consortium is holding a job fair to recruit teachers for rural and low-performing schools. A Department of Education survey indicates there are critical teacher shortages in English language arts, reading, student education, science, foreign languages, English for speakers of other languages and math. Tallahassee Democrat.

Bus stop robbery: A 19-year-old man is arrested and accused of robbing a 14-year-old girl at gunpoint as she waited for her school bus Tuesday morning in Pompano Beach. Sun-Sentinel. WSVN.

Opinions on schools: The education bill signed by the governor last week that promises school choice is not about choice at all. It’s about undermining the authority of local school districts. Beth Kassab, Orlando Sentinel. Ridiculous dress code rules are the real deterrent to learning. Brittany Fletcher, Gainesville Sun. The Lake County School District’s method of evaluating teachers must be simplified and beaten into consistency.. Lauren Ritchie, Orlando Sentinel. The Lee County School Board chose wisely in choosing a high school site and deferring a decision on a sales tax referendum. Naples Daily News. Public schools boost democracy in many ways. Dan Kennedy, Daytona Beach News-Journal.

Student enrichment: Robotic teams from River Ridge High School in Pasco County and Middleton Magnet High in Tampa are competing in the FIRST Robotics World Championships this month in St. Louis. Tampa Bay Times. Two Pasco County students qualify for the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair May 8-13 in Phoenix. Viraj Patel of Mitchell High and Pranav Warman of Academy of the Lakes were winners at the 61st annual State Science and Engineering Fair of Florida STEM Competition. Tampa Bay Times. Brooks DeBartolo Collegiate High School students win the remotely operated vehicle 25-minute race endurance competition at the Ten80 National STEM League Miami Invitational Spring 2016 Racing Challenge. Tampa Tribune. Corbett Preparatory School technology teacher Matt Melnick has helped raise about $1.2 million for Team Challenge, a support group for patients with Crohn’s disease and colitis and their families. Tampa Tribune. Fifth-graders at Hidden Oaks Elementary in Boynton Beach build a miniature “Electric City” in their classroom to learn about energy efficiency. Palm Beach Post. Two students at Polk State Chain of Lakes Collegiate High School win top honors in the Florida Health Occupations Students of America Leadership Conference. Juniors Allison Huffman and Kat Santiago-Tate won the Forensic Science competition and qualify for the international conference in Nashville. Lakeland Ledger. The Duval Early Learning Academy in Gainesville gets a $15,000 gift from the Gainesville Woman’s Club for the creation of a natural “learningscape” on the grounds. Gainesville Sun. Students at the i3 New Tech Academy comb the beach at Marineland for nurdles, which are small pieces of plastic that are a danger to sea life. Daytona Beach News-Journal. The Early Learning Coalition of the Nature Coast receives $626,800 from a fundraiser to support at-risk children in the Citrus County’s School Readiness Program. Citrus County Chronicle.

One Comment

  1. Don’t call people “transgenders”