Storm closes all schools: Gov. Rick Scott orders all public K-12 schools, colleges and universities in the state closed today through Monday so that they may be used as shelters for people fleeing from Hurricane Irma. Associated Press. Florida Department of Education. Orlando Sentinel. Tallahassee Democrat. Panama City News Herald. Brevard County school officials decide to move payday up a week to help employees prepare for the hurricane. Florida Today. How a Florida school district prepares for a hurricane. School Transportation News.
New school site: Manatee County commissioners won’t support the site plan for the new high school being built in Parrish because the structure won’t meet hurricane shelter standards. A school attorney defended the board, saying meeting shelter standards would add 7 to 10 percent to the $80 million budgeted for North River High School. The school board does not need the commission’s approval to proceed, and the 3-3 vote frees the board from abiding by some of the details agreed to by the school district and county planners, such as traffic, sidewalk construction and stormwater retention, if it chooses to. Sarasota Herald-Tribune.
One robe color: A Hillsborough County School Board member says she supports a school doing away with special graduation robes for its highest achieving students. Earlier this week, Leto High School announced it would stick with a single robe color for all graduates instead of dressing the highest achievers with a different color. Tamara Shamburger says “the two robe colors are nothing more than a type of caste system that really punishes those who are less academically successful rather than honor those who have achieved high academic success.” Gradebook.
Board member embarrassed: A Hernando County School Board member says he’s “embarrassed” by the public disagreement among board members over a districtwide evaluation of Superintendent Lori Romano. Gus Guadagnino says, “I was kind of embarrassed at our last meeting at what took place . . . the interrupting, the accusations, the breakdown of teamwork.” Romano interrupted the USF professor who conducted the survey several times, questioning his methods. After the meeting Romano criticized two board members for saying they were open to the survey results. Tampa Bay Times.
Egyptian-themed charter: A Coptic Christian group has plans to start an Egyptian-themed charter school at the St. Verena Coptic Orthodox Church in Trinity. The Thebes Academy school would be inside the church, and would mirror the Pasco school district’s curriculum while adding courses on the history and culture of Egypt and other countries in North Africa. Tampa Bay Times.
School bus crash: Two Godby High School students are hospitalized after a vehicle ran into the back of their school bus. The injuries are minor, according to a Leon County school spokesman. Tallahassee Democrat.
Cafeteria aide arrested: A cafeteria worker at Hernando Christian Academy is arrested and charged with unlawful sexual activity with a minor and transmission of harmful material to a minor. Sheriff’s deputies say Aimee Chevalier, 40, exchanged explicit text messages with a teenager at the school, and engaged in sexual activity in the school kitchen. Tampa Bay Times.
Opinions on schools: Needs outweigh the available money for the increasingly desperate Hillsborough County School District. Joe Henderson, Tampa Bay Times. Republican gubernatorial candidate Adam Putnam is wrong when he suggests that it’s against the law for children to talk with their parents about standardized testing. Politifact. A sense of community may come to a screeching halt if the Hawthorne Middle/High School closes its doors in the coming year. Megan Hendricks, Gainesville Sun.