Florida schools roundup: Charter school turnaround, Sisters recognized and more

Travis Pillow

Historical recognition. The Sisters of St. Joseph, a group of Catholic nuns who took on a racist establishment and discriminatory education laws to help educate descendants of freed slaves in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, receive recognition from the Daughters of the American Revolution. St. Augustine Record.

Visible gains. Visible Men Academy, a single-gender charter school targeting economically disadvantaged youth, describes its remarkable improvement from an F to an A in the state’s grading system over a two-year span. WWSB.

Battling back. A Sarasota high school student recovers from a traumatic brain injury caused by a freak accident during dance practice. Classmates and teachers at her public school, which features a unique performing arts program, have rallied around her. Sarasota Herald-Tribune.

Teachers unions. As teachers unions take the state to court over HB 7055, some, like the Leon County Classroom Teachers Association, are pushing to boost dues-paying membership levels above 50 percent. WFSU. There isn’t much money in the budget for raises, but Pasco County’s teachers union holds out hope as labor talks with the school district begin. Gradebook.

Crowding. Palm Beach County wants to build new schools to relieve crowded campuses in fast-growing areas of the district. State officials won’t let them, saying other schools┬áin the district have ample space for students. Palm Beach Post. Rapid growth could soon turn a Lee County high school into a “mega-school.” Fort Myers News-Press.

Foster children. A community organization provides a free boutique where children in foster care can get clothes that help them fit in at school. Sarasota Herald-Tribune.

School safety. The Bravard County Sheriff says his office will fill staffing holes while the school district scrambles to find an officer for every K-12 campus. Brevard Times. Marjory Stoneman Douglas students join peers in Brevard County to discuss gun violence and other issues. Florida Today. More here.

Campaigns. Orange County School Board candidates plan a public forum. Orlando Sentinel.

Mental health. School districts plan to use a new mental health funding allocation to hire social workers and address other needs that took on new urgency after February’s mass shooting in Parkland. TC Palm.

Internships. A Bank of America program sponsors select teens who work at nonprofits over the summer. WLRN.

STEM. Robotics teams, including those at Catholic high schools, help fuel student interest in science and technology. Tampa Bay Times.

Opinions on schools. Teachers unions are challenging one of the most “odious” provisions of House bill 7055 in court. Ocala Star-Banner. A shortage of qualified staff makes hiring school mental health workers difficult. Palm Beach Post.

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