Florida schools roundup: Magnet and private schools, digital learning & more

Sherri Ackerman

Magnet schools: A new Polk County policy guarantees current students at Winston Elementary a spot next year at the magnet school, Winston Academy of Engineering. The Ledger.

florida-roundup-logoDigital learning: The Hillsborough County School Board moves closer to allowing students to use their own Internet devices while at school. Tampa Bay Times. More from The Tampa Tribune.

School choice: With a marketing campaign and several new middle school options, Pinellas County schools see a dramatic increase in the number of students applying for choice programs. Tampa Bay Times.

Private schools: Tampa’s Jesuit High is ranked No. 1 among all boys athletic programs in Class 5A as the Florida High School Athletics Association’s Academic Team Champion. The Tampa Tribune. Tampa’s Hillel Academy students create their own tech projects. The Tampa Tribune.

Common Core: Will Florida continue to be part of the Common Core initiative? The answer isn’t clear. The Gradebook. Florida Department of Ed officials propose changes to the standards, from requiring fourth-graders to master cursive writing to re-codifying learning requirements for calculus. Tallahassee Democrat. Many questions focus on copyright issues and the so-called “15 percent” rule for adding changes to the standards. StateImpact Florida. More from The Florida Current.

Class size: The penalties may soon be less severe for school districts that fail to meet state-mandated class-size limits. The Buzz. The Broward school district expects to pay a $200,000 penalty for not meeting the caps, even after the state allowed schoolwide averages for magnet schools. Sun Sentinel.

STEM: Educators from across the country visit a Sarasota County school STEM program. Sarasota Herald-Tribune.

School budgets:Lee County school officials try to decide how to recoup losses suffered at the hands of an 80 percent cut to impact fees and a 40 percent decrease in funding from the county’s tax base. Naples Daily News.

Teachers: A Palm Beach math teacher and a Brevard County science teacher are recipients of the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching in Florida. Sun Sentinel. A motivational speaker reminds Collier County teachers why they got into the profession. Naples Daily News. Thirty finalists for the Golden Apple awards are named in Lee County. Fort Myers News-Press.

Instruction: Free private tutoring is returning to Lee County schools. Fort Myers News-Press.

Sick-out: The Miami-Dade School Board may investigate a possible illegal strike by bus drivers after more than 200 call in sick on the same day. Miami Herald.

Conduct: St. Lucie County School Board fires a Port St. Lucie High teacher after his arrest in 2012 for selling and shipping dogs and cats with bogus inspection records. TC Palm. A Maitland Middle School teacher is reinstated after making disparaging remarks about a student’s Facebook page in class. Orlando Sentinel.

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