Florida schools roundup: Magnet schools, charters, Bright Futures & more

Magnet schools: Broward County’s popular district choice schools, NOVA, face scrutiny for what some parents call unfair advantages over other magnet and choice options. Sun Sentinel.

florida-roundup-logoCharter schools: Bok Tower Academy charter school in Lake Wales attempts to set a Guinness World record for hand-holding. The Ledger. All 430 of Hillsborough’s Brooks-DeBartolo Collegiate High School students plan to pursue post-secondary education and all  69 seniors have received college acceptance notices. The Tampa Tribune. Pasco County school administrators change procedures for reviewing charter schools. Tampa Bay Times.

Teacher pay: The teachers union and Palm Beach County School District return to negotiations about raises. Palm Beach Post. Osceola County’s public school teachers will get raises of about $1,400 this year. Orlando Sentinel.

Bright Futures: The state scholarship that used to pay up to 100 percent of college tuition for qualifying students now covers only about half the costs. Fort Myers News-Press.

School safety: Hillsborough school board members continue talks about putting armed security guards at elementary schools. Tampa Bay Times.

Principals: Patricia Noble is the new leader of Kingsford Elementary in Polk County. The Ledger. Janet D. Knott of Duval County is one of 61 school principals named a distinguished principal by the National Association of Elementary School Principals. Florida Times-Union.

Class size: Broward County school officials expect a lower fine this year, maybe even as low as $1,600. Sun Sentinel. Hillsborough County district schools meet class size. The Tampa Tribune.

Gift of joy: A prosthetic elbow gives a West Palm Beach boy born with no left arm the chance to play violin. Palm Beach Post.

Music award: Jacksonville’s Beauclerc Elementary School music specialist April M. Laymon is the Florida Music Educators Association’s 2014 Music Educator of the Year. Florida Times-Union.

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BY Sherri Ackerman

Sherri Ackerman is the former associate editor of redefinED. She is a former correspondent for the Tampa Bay Times and reporter for The Tampa Tribune, writing about everything from cops and courts to social services and education. She grew up in Indiana and moved to Tampa as a teenager, graduating from Brandon High School and, later, from the University of South Florida with a bachelor’s degree in mass communications/news editing. Sherri passed away in March 2016.