Florida schools roundup: Gun violence prevention, charter schools and more

florida-roundup-logoGun violence prevention: The Miami-Dade coalition Together for Children announces that it has $14 million available for youth gun violence prevention programs. The coalition includes the Miami-Dade County School District, the Children’s Trust, Miami-Dade County, the Office of the State Attorney and the U.S. Attorney’s Office. In the past 10 years, at least 19 children under the age of 13 have been killed by guns, and the coalition has identified 2,000 others who are at risk. Miami Herald. An 18-year-old Homestead High School student is shot in the face as she was walking to her school bus stop. Jennavi Small, 18, suffered a broken orbital bone and could lose her right eye. Her ex-boyfriend, Darius Chaney, 19, was arrested. Miami Herald.

Bill for charter students: A bill is filed that would allow charter school students to take part in extracurricular activities at private schools. The bill filed by Rep. Byron Donalds, R-Naples, would expand on the law that already allows charter students to participate in extracurricular activities at public schools. News Service of Florida.

Norovirus outbreak: The Viera Charter School closes today, a day earlier than scheduled due to an outbreak of Norovirus that has sickened more than 40 children and kept 400 away from school this week. Florida Today.

School boundaries: The Pasco County School Board tentatively approves new school boundaries. Three zones were changed to ease overcrowding. Two of the plans drew opposition, and Superintendent Kurt Browning’s decision to replace the recommendations of a zoning advisory committee with his own also drew criticism. Another hearing will be held Jan. 17. Gradebook. WFLA.

Teachers honored: The St. Johns School District announces nominees for teacher of the year and rookie teacher of the year. The winners will be announced Jan. 23. Florida NewsLine. The Clay County School District announces nominees for teacher of the year and school-related employee of the year from each of the district’s 41 schools. The winners will be announced Jan. 24. Florida Times-Union.

Candidate’s plans: The sole finalist for the Lake County School District superintendent’s job says she would evaluate the number of tests students take and make some hard decisions on a reorganization. “Asking (students) to do additional local assessments on top of state assessments is not a good practice in my mind,” said Diane Kornegay. Daily Commercial.

Graduation rate: Graduation rates at Hernando County schools improved at a greater rate than in neighboring school districts, and the countywide rate of 81.1 percent is now higher than the statewide average. Tampa Bay Times.

Reactions to DeVos choice: Collier County School Board members weigh in on the appointment of Betsy DeVos as secretary of education. Naples Daily News.

Satanic display vandalized: A Satanic display in a Boca Raton park is vandalized. The 300-pound, 10-foot metal pentagram, the work of Palm Beach County teacher Preston Smith, has been a target for vandals several times since it was installed Dec. 6 in the free expression zone at Sanborn Square. Sun-Sentinel. Palm Beach Post. Associated Press.

Swastikas at school: Three swastikas found in the Lake Brantley High School parking lot have been covered with paint. Two of the symbols were discovered in May and painted over, and a third one was reported Dec. 9 and painted Monday along with the first two, which were still visible. The teacher who reported the third swastika says he’s upset it took so long to cover up the hate symbol. Orlando Sentinel.

Restoration nears end: Renovation of the historic South Side School nears completion – about 6 years past the original deadline and $2.8 million over budget. The city of Fort Lauderdale bought the 1922 school 12 years ago. Sun-Sentinel.

School safety: The Lake County School District is installing a digital radio system that will allow schools to communicate directly with police officers and the rest of the countywide public safety network. Orlando Sentinel. Manatee County is applying for funding that would be used to improve sidewalks and lightning along walking routes to three schools. Bradenton Herald.

Teacher charged: A Pasco County high school teacher is charged with domestic battery. Mark Rubin, who teaches biology at Ridgewood High School, is alleged to have grabbed the arm of a woman at a McDonald’s and pulled her out of a car. WFLA.

Student enrichment: South Fort Myers High School students raise money to buy new wheelchairs for two classmates. Fort Myers News-Press. Each of the 17 students in Sandra Patterson’s second grade class at Manatee Elementary gets a pair of new shoes. Patterson had noticed the behavior of a previous student improve when he got new shoes, and raised money to do it for her whole class. Bradenton Herald.

Avatar photo

BY NextSteps staff