Teacher positions open, COVID-19 vaccination update, school supply drives and more

Around the state: COVID-19 vaccinations were added to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s list of recommended childhood immunizations, teaching job openings reported in Palm Beach, a school supply drive in Bay and STEM program fun for kids in underserved communities. Here are details about those stories and other developments from the state’s districts, private schools and colleges and universities.

Broward: An unusual path was forged to give $26 million to victims of the Parkland shooting: turning a negligence case into a civil rights dispute, according to newly released documents. South Florida Sun Sentinel.

Palm Beach: Officials here reported 418 open teaching jobs as of Oct. 1, which is up 70 from this time last year and more than 200 from the same time period before the pandemic. Two things seem to be fueling the shortage: fewer students studying to become educators, and teachers leaving or retiring early.  Palm Beach Post.

Leon: A local charter school was closed on Thursday after alleging a man was arrested after receiving threats to campus safety. Leon County Sheriff’s Office found that the threat was not related to Tallahassee Classical School. Tallahassee Democrat.

Marion: Marion County Sheriff Billy Woods wants to take over the school district’s Safe Schools department, a five-member team that focuses on school security, such as electronic surveillance and fencing. Ocala Star Banner.

Citrus: A bus driver was suspended without pay for 10 days after it was alleged that she made disturbing comments during a rowdy route in late August. Citrus County Chronicle.

Lee: School board members toured schools heavily damaged here after Hurricane Ian slammed the state a few weeks ago. The district had the board visit Lexington Middle, Diplomat Middle, Hector A. Cafferata Elementary, Gulf Elementary and Gulf Middle schools. WINK.

Bay: The county’s public transit system here is teaming up with Bay District Schools to help give back to local students and teachers in need. Bayway, formerly known as Bay Town Trolley, launched a school supply drive to help teachers and students restock some of the most needed school supplies. Donation boxes are spread throughout the county, and the drive runs through the end of the month. Panama City News Herald.

Vaccines for children: COVID-19 vaccines were added Thursday to the list of recommended childhood immunizations. WEAR. Miami Herald.  But Gov. Ron DeSantis is still against COVID-19 vaccines for school children in the state of Florida, despite the latest guidance from a panel of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that recommends that coronavirus vaccines be added to the Vaccines for Children program. Florida Politics.

Parkland shooting: After a jury recommended a life sentence in lieu of the death penalty for Nikolas Cruz in connection to the Parkland school shooting in 2018, families wondered if this would send a message that there is no punishment for a mass shooting. An expert weighed in. WFSU.

Mental health for children: Students are struggling with mental health challenges that were worsened by the pandemic’s disruption of their school routines. Miami Herald. Meanwhile, a small group of states quietly withdrew from the nation’s largest public effort to track concerning behaviors in high school students. Chalkbeat.

STEM program fun: A Miami nonprofit is providing free educational programming to underserved neighborhoods in South Florida, which includes science, technology, engineering, art and math. The founder and CEO of Seeking Education Empowers Knowledge, or S.E.E.K., said life experiences prompted the start of the nonprofit a decade ago. Miami Herald.

Young voters sound off: A listening session with young voters on the St. Petersburg campus of the University of South Florida shared thoughts on the issues that matter to them. WUSF.

University and college news: The University of South Florida is going to the state Supreme Court in a dispute regarding fees collected from students for on-campus services that were not provided due to pandemic. The university breached a contract with a student and improperly kept fees for services that were not provided when the campus shut down in 2020 due to the pandemic, the potential class action lawsuit alleges. Tampa Bay Times.

Opinions on schools: If you want to give kids a roadmap for their futures, robotics is an extracurricular activity that is helping its participants see pathways to career success. Chris Moore, The 74th.