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Back to school drives, career fairs, STEM organizations and more

Around the state: An upcoming career fair in Citrus, help for children of domestic violence survivors in Pinellas, college open houses and STEM support for Black girls. Here are details about those stories and others from the state’s districts, private schools, and colleges and universities:

Pinellas: With summer break in full swing, a local organization is making it easier for students to head into the next school year. Casa Pinellas launched its Back to School Drive to provide support to children of domestic violence survivors in Pinellas, and neighboring counties. Donations will be accepted until Aug. 5. ABC Action News.

Collier: Susan MacManus won’t be at the helm of Champions for Learning, a Collier county education foundation, for the first time in almost three decades. MacManus, who was a founding member of the Champions for Learning board in 1990, retired to pursue her own education. Naples Daily News.

Citrus: A career fair hosted by the Citrus County School District will be held from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on July 21 at the College of Central Florida Citrus Campus, 3800 S. Lecanto Highway in Lecanto. The career fair will offer chances for new and experienced teachers in all areas, from bus drivers to food and nutritional services for CCSD, which serves 15,000 students and 23 schools from preschool to grade 12. Citrus County Chronicle.

Civics initiative: Some educators in Florida say the state appears to be chipping away at separation of church and state, and creating a divide between teachers and students over gender identity. Teachers attending a recent Florida Department of Education training on a new civics initiative say the content pushed conservative ideologies over opposing views. WLRN.

University and college news: The College of Central Florida is inviting anyone considering college to an open house from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Thursday, July 14 in the Charles S. Dean Sr. Educational Center at the CF Citrus Campus. Students are encouraged to tour the campus and learn about more than 150 academic pathways that include job-training programs. Those who attend can also get help with financial aid and admission, and register for the fall semester that begins in August. Registration is encouraged. Citrus County Chronicle.  Only 63% of 2020 high school graduates or those who finished a high-school equivalent credential immediately enrolled in a two or four year college by October of the same year, data from the federal government found. The data comes from the annual “Condition of Education” report released by the National Center for Education Statistics within the U.S. Department of Education. Florida Phoenix. The Okaloosa County Extension Service, an outreach arm of the Institute of Food & Agricultural Sciences at the University of South Florida, is providing an FAA remote pilot training session on July 13. NWF Daily News.

Ethics complaints update: The investigation into ethics complaints against a former band director at Leesburg High School and a former guidance counselor is still ongoing after it was discovered that both violated the Standards of Ethical Conduct and should be fired. Members of the Lake County School Board accepted their resignations in lieu of termination and then forwarded the investigation to the Florida Department of Education. Their fate now lies with the FLDOE. Daily Commercial.

STEM support: Atiyah Harmon, founder of Black Girls Love Math, wants Black girls to get involved in the STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) field. She launched her organization in 2020, with the goal of fostering a fun and encouraging learning environment that allows Black girls from K-12 to develop the confidence to explore mathematical concepts, get involved in competitions and receive mentoring and other services in a culturally responsive manner. It’s a new organization that is part of a 21st-century movement to foster an interest in STEM for Black girls, since only 2.9 % of Black women earn STEM degrees. The 74th.

Opinions on schools: There is a concerted effort to blur the line between religion and state and interpret the history of the United States through a conservative Christian lens that whitewashes our past of slavery and segregation. The Miami Herald’s editorial board. A paper recently published in Physical Review Physics Education Research by West Virginia University researchers boils down to this: High school physics is very important for students who are considering majoring in a STEM field in college. Anyone who tells students and parents otherwise is harming them and should stop. Paul Cottle, Bridge to Tomorrow.

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BY Camille Knox