Florida schools roundup: Anti-violence plan, superintendent’s job and more

florida-roundup-logoSchool violence: The Miami-Dade School District becomes the first in the country to implement the Sandy Hook Promise in all its schools. It’s a violence-protection program started by parents who lost children in the Newtown, Conn., elementary school massacre in 2012. It emphasizes social inclusion by reaching out to isolated students, and trains students and staff to see warning signs. Miami Herald.

Superintendent’s job: The chairwoman of the Duval County School Board member asks School Superintendent Nikolai Vitti to resign or face termination at a meeting Friday, according to Vitti. He says he won’t quit. Chairwoman Ashley Smith Juarez has accused Vitti of not being truthful with the board. She also has criticized the district’s performance on state exams, and says Vitti’s goals for improving those scores are not aggressive enough. Florida Times-Union.

CPR training: Orange County students are now being required to take CPR training before graduating. The training will be provided during a physical education course or another required course. Orlando Sentinel.

Impact fees: A Lake County commissioner urges the school board to waive part of the school impact fees on builders. Leslie Campione wants the board to reduce the fees on homes built within two miles of existing schools in established neighborhoods. Doing so could cost the school district about $1 million a year. Orlando Sentinel. Daily Commercial.

Anthem protocol: The Orange County School District now says students do not need permission from a parent to kneel during the national anthem. The district originally equated the anthem with the Pledge of Allegiance, saying a parent’s note was needed if a student chose to not stand. WFTV.

School rezoning: Hundreds of Boca Raton students could have to change schools next year if the Palm Beach County School Board approves rezoning for Calusa Elementary School. The rezoning would create a ripple effect at several other schools. Sun-Sentinel.

Turnaround plans: Polk County school officials have modified turnaround plans for Westwood and Lake Alfred-Addair middle schools, and will resubmit them to the state for approval. More highly effective teachers are being brought in, and a management company will closely watch data and track students performance. The state has twice rejected plans for the two struggling schools. Lakeland Ledger.

Choice closed: Twenty-six Pasco County schools are now closed to students who live outside their attendance boundaries. The district made the decision after the 20-day student count. Gradebook.

Charter schools: The Polk County School Board votes today on a proposed charter school. A committee recommends denying approval for a K-8 school planned by Polk Charter Academy, citing a lack of transportation and community support. Lakeland Ledger.

Top-paid list: Miami-Dade School Superintendent Alberto Carvalho is No. 1 on the list of the 500 top-paid school district employees, at $345,000. Miami Herald.

Trump’s team: If Republican Donald Trump is elected president, former Florida Education Commissioner Gerard Robinson will be on the transition team for educational issues. Robinson was commissioner in 2011-2012, and left after a controversy over student writing proficiency rates. He is currently a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute. Education Week.

School elections: Campaign mailers are being sent out on behalf of Pinellas County School Board member Carol Cook without her knowledge. The political action committee responsible, Citizens First of Jupiter, is a charter school supporter. Cook says she has no affiliation with the group and has never heard of it. Gradebook.

Coach arrested: Kathleen High School’s softball coach is arrested and accused of stealing $700 that was donated to her team. Kaelin Mancuso, 28, has been suspended with pay from her job as a physical education teacher, softball and volleyball coach at the Lakeland school. Lakeland Ledger. WFLA.

School brawl: Several students are arrested after a fight at Rutherford High School in Panama City. Deputies say the fight was sparked by a social media post. Panama City News Herald.

Opinions on schools: Florida is losing teachers, one test at a time. John Romano, Tampa Bay Times. Teaching coding in schools is both highly valuable and highly important. But the idea that education leaders would bargain away the benefits of learning a foreign language for learning coding skills is misguided. Srini Mandyam, Sun-Sentinel. It’s up to all of us to ensure that all students have a continuous, high-quality arts education to help them become creative, engaged learners prepared to lead successful lives. Brian Hersh and Angela Hartvigsen, Sarasota Herald-Tribune. A major reason students from immigrant families perform highly in school is that their families on average come from countries whose people have more patience than Americans. Dave Denslow, Gainesville Sun.

Student enrichment: Florida students compiled the second-most reading minutes in the annual Scholastic Summer Reading Challenge. Texas was No. 1. Lake Nona Middle School in Orlando was the top Florida school, with more than 3.8 million minutes. Scholastic. Niceville High School junior Ally Woodard’s message of peace will be part of the Peace Day Global Broadcast streaming live from the United Nations today. Northwest Florida Daily News.

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BY NextSteps staff