Schools headlines

POINT OF VIEW: Study shows Florida girls behind peers on many markers

As families all over Palm Beach County get back on their school schedules, great opportunities must be provided to girls to help them gain the confidence and skills they need to be successful in life — especially at a time when Florida isn’t necessarily helping girls live up to their potential. In the third edition of State of Girls, the first research report to focus on the health and...

POINT OF VIEW: Public school financing must change

With the increasing federal drumbeat to spend a trillion dollars rebuilding our nation’s infrastructure through public-private partnerships, public school districts should seize the same opportunity. Since the public sector often is criticized for paying too much and taking too long, it is time to enlist the private sector’s expertise and efficiencies to strengthen the public education...
Shooter gets 48 years in prison for murder of FAU student selling pot

Shooter gets 48 years in prison for murder of FAU student selling pot

For the 19 years he was alive, Nicholas Acosta was the apple of his father’s eye. He was the child who Maximino Acosta called “mini-me” and brought to work with him to show off. The father beamed with pride when the boy gave his client stock tips and correctly predicted the rise of the online giant Amazon. Alexander Gillis’ early ride through life was much less idyllic, born...

POINT OF VIEW: PBC schools charter challenge a matter of local control

When the Palm Beach County School Board rejected a charter school application in December 2014, it brought a flurry of headlines – and gave the school district and School Board a reputation that it is opposed to charter schools. As a former charter school principal and longtime educator, I can tell you that nothing could be further from the truth. While our differences with charter schools are...
Court ruling could end PBC school board’s fight to block a charter school

Court ruling could end PBC school board’s fight to block a charter school

Renaissance Charter in Royal Palm Beach is one of six Charter Schools USA schools in Palm Beach County. (File photo) The Florida Supreme Court today handed a legal victory to a charter school company battling the Palm Beach County School Board for the right to open a school west of Delray Beach. Justices refused to hear the school board’s appeal of the case, letting stand a ...
Bak Middle School cancels classes after power outage

Bak Middle School cancels classes after power outage

Bak Middle School of the Arts in West Palm Beach (File photo). Bak Middle School of the Arts canceled classes and sent students home this morning after power went out at the West Palm Beach school. A school district spokeswoman confirmed that a power outage was reported at the school around 7:15 a.m. The school has a backup generator but it does not operate the air-conditioner...
PBC clears path to free school meals through Oct. 20 in Irma’s wake

PBC clears path to free school meals through Oct. 20 in Irma’s wake

File photo behind the scenes at a Palm Beach County school cafeteria. (Bruce R. Bennett/The Palm Beach Post) In the wake of Hurricane Irma, the school district has the go ahead to offer free meals to all students from today through Friday, Oct. 20, Palm Beach County school officials announced Monday. “Breakfast is always free in Palm Beach County, and for the next month, the...
Florida International law school grads beat UF and FSU on recent exam

Florida International law school grads beat UF and FSU on recent exam

Florida International University Law School gets bragging rights for having the highest percentage of students who passed the most recent Florida Bar exam on their first try, according to figures released Monday. Graduates of the public university in Miami bested those who attended law school at Florida State University, the University of Florida and the University of Miami in the exam that was administered...

POINT OF VIEW: Celebrate and recognize importance of our Constitution

Today is Constitution Day, and it commemorates the date in 1787 that the delegates to the Constitutional Convention finished their work and signed the U.S. Constitution — a document that defines the structure and character of our nation to this day. No matter what your interests are or the paths you have taken, it is the Constitution that sets forth the guarantees of freedom that allow you to...
Hurricane Irma: After 7 missed days, PBC public schools weigh makeups

Hurricane Irma: After 7 missed days, PBC public schools weigh makeups

Palm Beach County may have dodged the worst of Hurricane Irma’s winds, but the storm dealt a direct hit to classrooms. After seven days of canceled classes, the county’s public school system is weighing whether it needs to resort to makeup days to recoup lost classroom time when classes resume Monday. No decision has been made, but Schools Superintendent Robert Avossa said he was worried...
Hurricane Irma: Employees question county shelter staffing policy

Hurricane Irma: Employees question county shelter staffing policy

No on-site training. Little guidance. Long, exhausting hours of work with frightened, confused residents. And, perhaps worst of all, forced separation from family members during a hurricane. Palm Beach County’s requirement that county employees staff evacuation shelters was an unfair, forced burden on employees who were ill-equipped to provide meaningful assistance to the people they were assigned...

POINT OF VIEW: The real value of make-believe

Of course, children prefer scooping and eating real ice cream to playing with wooden cones adorned with pretend sparkles. Duh! They would like to drive real cars, too. But just because children prefer the real deal, as research by Angeline Lillard, of the University of Virginia, shows, that does not negate the value of make-believe and toy play. In fact, scientific studies give us reason to believe...
After Hurricane Irma: More than 75% of PBC public schools have power

After Hurricane Irma: More than 75% of PBC public schools have power

More than 75 percent of Palm Beach County’s public schools now have power, the school district says, a rate of progress that has administrators optimistic that schools will be ready to reopen on Monday. Hurricane Irma left just 25 percent of the county’s more than 180 public schools with power on Monday, officials said, but the number of schools with electricity has tripled in 48 hours...
After Hurricane Irma: 27 PBC schools will serve kids free meals

After Hurricane Irma: 27 PBC schools will serve kids free meals

More than two dozen Palm Beach County public schools will be offering free meals to children and their families on Thursday and Friday to ensure access to nutritious meals as schools work to reopen after Hurricane Irma. The 27 campuses will serve breakfast and lunch to anyone under 18, along with their adult caretakers, the school district said. Breakfasts will be served from 7:30 to 9 a.m. and lunch...

Seminole Ridge High to host Junior-Senior Parent Night

SEMINOLE RIDGE HIGH The annual fall Junior-Senior Parent Night begins at 6 p.m. Sept. 27 in the auditorium. Information on applying to college and for financial aid will be provided, and several college and university representatives will be on hand. The Drama Department will perform “Murder on the Nile” Oct. 19-21 as its first production of the school year. Tickets, available online or...

SouthTech Preparatory Academy hosts open house event

SOUTHTECH PREPARATORY ACADEMY An open house begins at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday on the campus at 1325 Gateway Blvd., Boynton Beach. School staff will be on hand to provide information on academic and student support services, clubs and organizations. Admissions assistance will be available. The tuition-free charter school serves students in grades six through eight. The school educates students in the STEAM...

John Carroll High AP students recognized for achievements

PALM BEACH COUNTY SCHOOLS BRIEFLY The Palm Beach County Council of PTAs will host Family Fun Night at Florida Atlantic University Stadium on Saturday. The festivities begin at 6 p.m., with the kickoff for the FAU football game against Bethune-Cookman University at 8. End zone tickets and parking passes are $5 each. Call 561-297-6720 for ticket information. TREASURE COAST SCHOOLS JOHN CARROLL HIGH...
Hurricane Irma: PBC public schools will be closed all week

Hurricane Irma: PBC public schools will be closed all week

Palm Beach County’s public schools will remain closed for the rest of the week as the school district reckons with widespread power outages, malfunctioning air-conditioners, fallen trees and a scattered work force. Two days after Hurricane Irma blew through, Schools Superintendent Robert Avossa announced Tuesday that it would be impossible to open schools this week given the extent of the power...
Hurricane Irma: PBC public schools will be closed through Wednesday

Hurricane Irma: PBC public schools will be closed through Wednesday

Palm Beach County’s public schools will remain closed at least through Wednesday as utility workers rush to restore power and educators repair “significant damage” at campuses across the county. More than 130 schools were without power one day after Hurricane Irma mowed through the region, and the air-conditioning systems at about three dozen other campuses were not functioning properly...
Cerabino: Scenes of sadness, sharing in a Boca Raton shelter

Cerabino: Scenes of sadness, sharing in a Boca Raton shelter

*** It’s nearly dark in the cafeteria. Only a faint ring of lights on the ceiling illuminate the floor, which is packed with humanity. Young families with toddlers, homeless men with freshly-provided clothing, retirees sprawled on makeshift bedding on the floor. We’re all here, roughing it as best we can in this refuge of last resort. For some of the older people, the decision to get down...
Hurricane Irma: Palm Beach, Martin county schools closed Tuesday

Hurricane Irma: Palm Beach, Martin county schools closed Tuesday

The storm may roll out of town by day’s end Monday, but Palm Beach County schools will be closed at least through Tuesday, Superintendent Robert Avossa said Sunday morning. Avossa had been fielding queries through social media over the weekend, and had expressed concern about how families, both students’ and employees’, would return from sometimes distant locations after evacuating...
Hurricane Irma: Latest updates on weather, power, more

Hurricane Irma: Latest updates on weather, power, more

Hurricane Irma is looking like less of a direct threat to Palm Beach County, but Irma is wider than Florida and her reach is long - long enough to deliver tropical storm winds and even hurricane-force gusts this far east. Keep posted on the latest regarding shelters, curfews and more here.  As we slog through Saturday, Sept. 9, this is what we know so far:  Update, 2:10 a.m.: Hurricane...
POINT OF VIEW: PBC schools charter challenge a matter of local control

POINT OF VIEW: PBC schools charter challenge a matter of local control

When the Palm Beach County School Board rejected a charter school application in December 2014, it brought a flurry of headlines – and gave the school district and School Board a reputation that it is opposed to charter schools. As a former charter school principal and longtime educator, I can tell you that nothing could be further from the truth. While our differences with charter schools are...
Hurricane Irma: More than 11k take shelter as storm approaches 

Hurricane Irma: More than 11k take shelter as storm approaches 

If your phone didn’t alert you to reality last night just as you  were finally nodding  off after a day of shuttering, it is official: Palm Beach County is under a hurricane warning. Hurricane Irma continues to head our way and is expected to strike the tip of the Florida peninsula early Sunday morning.  But the tropical storm-force winds will get here much earlier - closer...

POINT OF VIEW: Where have all the astronauts gone?

This summer, NASA was pushing for fifth-grade students to reach for the stars by getting involved in STEM, doing well in school, and excelling in mathematics and science. The United States continually ranks lower than other world powers in all subjects. I ask you, “How can one achieve greatness with only 10 minutes of science a day in fourth grade?” “How can one create inquisitive...
Hurricane Irma: PBC emergency shelters gear up for record influx

Hurricane Irma: PBC emergency shelters gear up for record influx

Tens of thousands of people are expected to seek refuge in Palm Beach County’s emergency shelters as Hurricane Irma nears, an unprecedented test of the county’s shelter system. Emergency managers are opening 15 public shelters across the county beginning today at 10. The total capacity is about 47,000 people, and officials say they expect shelters to mostly fill up. “We expect to...
Hurricane Irma: Curfews, evacuations and shelters

Hurricane Irma: Curfews, evacuations and shelters

Hurricane Irma is a certainty for South Florida, expected to make landfall somewhere in the state Sunday as a Category 4 hurricane. That may be days away but lots of things are happening as residents prepare. We’ll keep you posted as to what’s going on, Thursday, Sept. 7.  Here’s what we know so far:  Delray Beach said their city-wide curfew will begin 2 a.m. Saturday,...
PBC school bus driver fired after 5 crashes in 1 year

PBC school bus driver fired after 5 crashes in 1 year

File photo (Lannis Waters / The Palm Beach Post) A Palm Beach County school bus driver has been fired after officials said he was involved in five bus crashes in less than a year. The county school board voted today to fire driver Craig Freeman, 59. He will have an opportunity to appeal the termination. In a termination letter, school district officials say that Freeman was involved in...
Donna Klein Jewish Academy students gear up for new school year

Donna Klein Jewish Academy students gear up for new school year

SOUTHTECH PREPARATORY ACADEMY An open house begins at 6:30 p.m. Sept. 20 on the campus at 1325 Gateway Blvd., Boynton Beach. School staff will be on hand to provide information on academic and student support services, clubs and organizations. Admissions assistance will be available. The tuition-free charter school serves students in grades six through eight. The school educates students in the STEAM...
Suncoast High School Foundation Board adds three new members

Suncoast High School Foundation Board adds three new members

PALM BEACH COUNTY SCHOOLS THE WEISS SCHOOL An open house begins at 8 a.m. Friday at the school, 4176 Burns Road, Palm Beach Gardens. RSVP to Pam Tripp at 561-209-2474 or ptripp@weissschool.org. ALLAMANDA ELEMENTARY Curriculum Night begins at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday for families of students in grades three through five. The program is for parents/guardians only; no child care will be available. For more...
Wellington Elementary hosts Meet the Teacher event

Wellington Elementary hosts Meet the Teacher event

SEMINOLE RIDGE HIGH Choral groups will hold a car wash fundraiser at the Acreage McDonald’s 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday. The annual fall Junior-Senior Parent Night begins at 6 p.m. Sept. 27 in the auditorium. Information on applying to college and financial aid will be provided, and several college and university representatives will be on hand. For more information, contact the guidance department...
FAU closing Wed., PBC public schools and PBSC on Thursday

FAU closing Wed., PBC public schools and PBSC on Thursday

UPDATE, 10 p.m.: Palm Beach State College campuses will be closed Thursday through Sunday. UPDATE, 6:15 p.m.: Florida Atlantic University canceled classes Wednesday through Sunday, but staff members are expected to be on campus Wednesday. ORIGINAL STORY: Palm Beach County’s public schools will close Thursday and Friday as the region braces for Hurricane Irma. The county school...
Avossa: Trump’s immigration move is contrary to “American Dream”

Avossa: Trump’s immigration move is contrary to “American Dream”

Robert Avossa, Superintendent of the School District of Palm Beach County, speaks to members of the media about the bus situation in a press conference Wednesday, August 19, 2015. (Bruce R. Bennett / The Palm Beach Post) Palm Beach County Schools Superintendent Robert Avossa blasted President Trump’s decision today to end protections for younger immigrants residing...
Hurricane Irma: PBC schools open for now; District keeps eye on forecast

Hurricane Irma: PBC schools open for now; District keeps eye on forecast

Palm Beach County School District Officials are watching the hurricane forecast closely but have not yet made the call regarding if and when schools would close. The district works closely with the county’s emergency managers in making that call, spokeswoman Kathy Burstein said. Those emergency managers, including representatives from various emergency services, are...
Don’t spend that $10 million just yet, PBC schools warn charter schools

Don’t spend that $10 million just yet, PBC schools warn charter schools

Clip art A new law requires Palm Beach County’s public school system to share an extra $10 million with charter schools this year, but school district leaders are telling those schools not to make any spending plans just yet. In a letter dated Aug. 25, the school district warns the county’s 48 charter schools to “refrain from pledging any and all future revenues&rdquo...
Why more Palm Beach County schools are converting to K-8

Why more Palm Beach County schools are converting to K-8

Hidden Oaks Elementary opened in suburban Boynton Beach 12 years ago as a remedy to crowding at six nearby schools, but in the past five years, it has struggled to fill even two-thirds of its seats. One of its biggest siphons has been charter schools, including one just a five-minute walk away. Several of those charters offered something Palm Beach County parents can’t typically find in traditional...
UPDATE: Three injured in crash involving Palm Beach County School bus

UPDATE: Three injured in crash involving Palm Beach County School bus

12:35 p.m. UPDATE: Three people were taken to hospitals following a two-vehicle crash involving a school bus Thursday morning near Belvedere and Benoist Farms roads, Palm Beach County Fire Rescue reports. The crash occurred shortly before 9 a.m. It was not clear which vehicle the injured persons were taken from, said Capt. Albert Borroto, Fire Rescue spokesman. Original story: A bus driving students...
PB County sees record enrollment even as charter schools lose students

PB County sees record enrollment even as charter schools lose students

Schools Superintendent Robert Avossa greets students at Washington Elementary School (Photo courtesy of Palm Beach County School District) Enrollment in Palm Beach County schools has grown again, this time by more than 1,300 students, hitting 193,972, according to the year’s first head count. But in a new twist, none of that growth happened in charter...
Avossa: PBC’s supposed spike in teacher happiness was just bad math

Avossa: PBC’s supposed spike in teacher happiness was just bad math

Three months ago, Palm Beach County Schools Superintendent Robert Avossa presented school board members with promising results from his efforts to reform the county’s public schools: a record number of happy teachers. The rate at which teachers and other school employees gave their schools high marks on anonymous surveys had jumped five percentage points in one year, he said, and four points...
Oxbridge Academy Speech & Debate Team earns high marks at nationals

Oxbridge Academy Speech & Debate Team earns high marks at nationals

SEMINOLE RIDGE HIGH At the Universal Cheerleaders’ Association annual summer camp, held on the Florida Atlantic University campus, the varsity squad earned Superior and Leadership awards, first place in the Extreme Routine Competition and two Spirit Sticks. The junior varsity cheerleaders won a Superior award and second place in the Extreme Routine Competition. The Hawks also earned the coveted...
Somerset Academy Canyons High student takes home HOSA gold

Somerset Academy Canyons High student takes home HOSA gold

CARVER MIDDLE The school will receive $100,000 from the city of Delray Beach and its mayor, Cary Glickstein. The funds, which will be distributed in 2018, will further the school’s magnet program and provide additional professional development to the teachers at the school. The donation also will provide instructional technology, a summer academic enrichment program between Carver Middle and...
Riviera Beach Kiwanis Club awards 19 scholarships to area students

Riviera Beach Kiwanis Club awards 19 scholarships to area students

PALM BEACH COUNTY SCHOOLS THE WEISS SCHOOL An open house begins at 8 a.m. Sept. 8 at the school, 4176 Burns Road, Palm Beach Gardens. RSVP to Pam Tripp at 561-209-2474 or ptripp@weissschool.org. ALLAMANDA ELEMENTARY Curriculum Night events are scheduled at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday for families of students in kindergarten through second grade, and at 5:30 p.m. Sept. 13 for families of students in grades...
NEW: Florida exchange student gets house arrest in sex abuse of underage sister

NEW: Florida exchange student gets house arrest in sex abuse of underage sister

A 21-year-old who came to Miami from Spain as a foreign-exchange student was sentenced to house arrest Tuesday in a case involving the sexual abuse of her underage sister with her one-time American host, who later committed suicide. The Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office has not decided if it will formally charge Marta San Jose, The Miami Herald reported.  San Jose and Dale Leary,...

POINT OF VIEW: Clinic to be a neighbor delivering medicine

Recently, there has been some discussion about the location of a dispensary that Modern Health Concepts is opening in Lake Worth because of its proximity to a public charter school, the Academy for Positive Learning. In an effort to be a good community partner and resolve this issue with our neighbors, Modern Health Concepts has refrained from litigating this matter in the press; but, now we feel...
Donated Christmas toys became test-taking prizes at this Palm Beach Gardens school

Donated Christmas toys became test-taking prizes at this Palm Beach Gardens school

Clip art Grove Park Elementary spent $14,000 on a 3-hour field trip to a Miami zoo, used school funds to buy Saks Fifth Avenue sandals for an assistant principal, and hoarded donated Christmas toys for use as rewards for students with high test scores, a school board investigation found. Principal JoAnne Rogers did not violate any policies last year when her Palm Beach Gardens...
LATEST: Crash with county school bus slows I-95 traffic in Lake Worth

LATEST: Crash with county school bus slows I-95 traffic in Lake Worth

Children were on a Palm Beach County School District bus that was in a crash Monday morning with two cars on northbound Interstate 95 in Lake Worth, but none were hurt, Florida Highway Patrol Sgt. Mark Wysocky confirmed. Wysocky said two cars collided and one then struck the bus. He said he had no immediate word on injuries to people in the cars. The bus was headed to Bak Middle School of the Arts...
Editorial: Medical marijuana clinic, Lake Worth school a bad mix

Editorial: Medical marijuana clinic, Lake Worth school a bad mix

Thousands of Floridians are impatiently awaiting the arrival of medical marijuana. And well-funded companies, more corporate than counterculture, are gearing up around the state. But there’s trepidation, too. Although Palm Beach County commissioners are advancing an ordinance to allow dispensaries in unincorporated areas, many Florida municipalities have banned dispensaries, at least temporarily...
Angry teachers say principal’s second chance proof of a double standard

Angry teachers say principal’s second chance proof of a double standard

When investigators learned that Lake Worth High School’s principal had asked teachers to do math assignments for his son and pressured teachers to change students’ grades, Palm Beach County Schools Superintendent Robert Avossa decided at first to fire the longtime principal. Less than a month later, though, Avossa relented, writing to then-Principal George Lockhart to inform him that...
Palm Beach County’s highest-rated public schools, ranked

Palm Beach County’s highest-rated public schools, ranked

Suncoast Community High School is one of Palm Beach County’s top-rated public schools (File photo) More than 70 of Palm Beach County’s public schools earned A grades from the state this year. But sharing the same letter grade doesn’t mean those schools performed equally well under Florida’s school-grading formula. The state’s A-rating is a pretty broad category...
Are Palm Beach County schools committed to new West Boynton High? Not so fast

Are Palm Beach County schools committed to new West Boynton High? Not so fast

This is where GL Homes wants to build communities and the land it offered for schools. Now that the Palm Beach County School Board has agreed to accept GL Homes’ offer to donate $10 million for a West Boynton Beach High and two pieces of property – one for the high school and another to the south for an elementary school – what happens next? According to GL...
Palm Beach Central High cheerleaders earn top rating at summer camp

Palm Beach Central High cheerleaders earn top rating at summer camp

BINKS FOREST ELEMENTARY The PTA will host a Party with a Purpose at 7 p.m. Sept. 9 at Romeo’s Italian Cuisine, 13889 Wellington Trace, Wellington. Tickets are $40 ($45 after Sept. 1) and include unlimited tapas, soft drinks and $20 in casino chips. Auctions and raffles are also part of the festivities, which will raise money for laptop computers at the school. THE OPEN DOORWAY The West Palm...

Donna Klein Jewish Academy partners with West Boca Medical Center

DONNA KLEIN JEWISH ACADEMY High school students enrolled in the Medical Studies Program, affiliated with the Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine at Florida Atlantic University, will now have the opportunity to learn about careers in medicine through a program at West Boca Medical Center. The school-hospital affiliation will augment the program’s curriculum with a new clinical component. BRIEFLY...
Students earn $37K in scholarships given by Comcast

Students earn $37K in scholarships given by Comcast

PALM BEACH COUNTY SCHOOLS ALLAMANDA ELEMENTARY Curriculum Night events are scheduled at 5:30 p.m. Sept. 6 for families of students in kindergarten through second grade, and at 5:30 p.m. Sept. 13 for families of students in grades three through five. The program is for parents/guardians only; no child care will be available. For more information, call 561-803-7200. THE WEISS SCHOOL Michael Evrard-Vescio...
Commentary: Fight against school vouchers hurts low-income parents

Commentary: Fight against school vouchers hurts low-income parents

Vouchers put educational choices for children in the hands of the people who care most: the parents. The voucher program was developed in the 1980s to give low-income families more choice in where their kids go to school. Rich people already have this choice. Why should this choice be denied to low-income kids who especially need a school environment that will help them acquire the skills needed to...
Commentary: On vouchers, the evidence is in, and it’s not good

Commentary: On vouchers, the evidence is in, and it’s not good

The continued push for school vouchers, which transfer scarce taxpayer dollars out of public education and into private schools, is “a triumph of ideology over evidence that should worry anyone who wants to improve results for children.” That’s how one scholar described President Donald Trump’s nomination of Betsy DeVos to lead the U.S. Department of Education. DeVos has been...
Editorial: PBC leaders must speak out against racism, bigotry

Editorial: PBC leaders must speak out against racism, bigotry

Once again, our nation’s internal struggle with racism, anti-Semitism and bigotry has found its way to the surface of our collective conscience. And once again, we’re struggling with how to address these poisons. Even here in Palm Beach County. Encouragingly, we’ve seen local citizen vigils and demonstrations. We’ve witnessed an exodus of charity fundraisers from President...
Many PBC schools are largely empty today as kids stay home for eclipse

Many PBC schools are largely empty today as kids stay home for eclipse

File photo Classrooms sat mostly empty in many public schools across Palm Beach County this morning as parents kept their children home in anticipation of today’s solar eclipse. Teachers reported widespread absences in their classrooms today, with some saying only a handful of kids showed up this morning. The school district gave parents the option to keep...
Last-minute checklist for eclipse day: What you need to know right now

Last-minute checklist for eclipse day: What you need to know right now

It’s the celestial event of the century, and we’ll see 80 percent of it. The solar eclipse happens Monday, starting about 1:30 p.m., and Palm Beach County will see a sun that’s more than three-quarters obscured by the moon. Here’s what you need to know at the last minute. Don’t have glasses? Don’t look up. Just don’t. The danger of damaging your vision is...

POINT OF VIEW: Need resources to spark interest, save performing arts

With the return of the school year upon us, it is important to remember the arts and its importance to the youth of our community. There has been a demise of cultural arts around the world — especially from generation to generation. We can see the impact in our own community. The Boca Pops is gone. The Florida Philharmonic Orchestra is gone. Multiple theaters have closed. Live performance attendance...
Christie commentary: For kids, Internet can be a dark, dangerous place

Christie commentary: For kids, Internet can be a dark, dangerous place

Kids can, and will do the darnedest, most dangerous things. These things can make us laugh at how silly they are. That is, until a child is hurt. And then there is an almost immediate reaction: “Well, that wouldn’t happen with my child.” Sure it can. Especially in this day and age of Internet accessibility, and kids — even those in elementary school — carrying smartphones...
He stared at an eclipse as a boy. Now this teacher is warning kids.

He stared at an eclipse as a boy. Now this teacher is warning kids.

Like many other 10-year-old kids at the time, Neil Brown had heard repeated warnings not to stare at an upcoming solar eclipse. Like many other 10-year-old kids, he had little interest in the advice. Over the course of a few hours on July 11, 1991, Brown stole glance after glance at a partial eclipse in the sky as he toured a historic mission site with his family outside of Walla Walla, Wash. Soon...
NEW: Woman arrested after bringing gun to West Palm elementary school

NEW: Woman arrested after bringing gun to West Palm elementary school

A Rivera Beach woman was arrested Thursday for bringing a gun to a West Palm Beach elementary school in June, according to an arrest report. Brianna Eugenia Ballard, 22, is facing a charge of possession of a weapon on school property and is being held at the Palm Beach County Jail in lieu of $1,000 bail. Police were called to Pleasant City Elementary School at Spruce Avenue and 23rd Street...
Offering land for school won’t get development built, commissioners say

Offering land for school won’t get development built, commissioners say

GL Homes’ offer of land and money for schools in Palm Beach County’s Agricultural Reserve sweetens the pot, but county commissioners who will make the final decision on the developer’s controversial plans say it is not a game-changer. “It wouldn’t influence my decision in any sense,” Commissioner Hal Valeche said. Another commissioner, Mack Bernard, had the same...
Cerabino: University of Florida fails history with neo-Nazi ban

Cerabino: University of Florida fails history with neo-Nazi ban

If you care at all about government intrusion on free speech, you shouldn’t be applauding the University of Florida’s decision to ban white nationalist leader Richard Spencer from speaking on campus next month. As American scholar Noam Chomsky once put it: “If we don’t believe in freedom of expression for people we despise, we don’t believe in it at all.” University...
Board will take cash, land for West Boynton High if new homes OK’d

Board will take cash, land for West Boynton High if new homes OK’d

Should thousands of homes go up in the county’s south end, the Palm Beach County School Board does not want to be caught without land on which to build schools, and so Wednesday night it voted 6-1 to accept a  developer’s promise of more than 100 acres and $10 million toward s those needs. The acceptance came with the caveat...
What Palm Beach County school was once monument to Confederate leader?

What Palm Beach County school was once monument to Confederate leader?

As the nation confronts the issue of Confederate monuments in the wake of Charlottesville and President Trump’s divisive comments, it’s a reminder that Palm Beach County grappled with another aspect of the Confederate legacy in 2005. RELATED: RICK CHRISTIE: Removing Confederate monuments is not removing history
PBC students can watch Monday’s eclipse, but only for 3 minutes, district says

PBC students can watch Monday’s eclipse, but only for 3 minutes, district says

File photo Palm Beach County’s public schools will allow students to view Monday’s solar eclipse with special protective glasses, but the viewing time will be limited to three minutes and students must get parents to sign a permission slip beforehand. The schools will consider any absences and early departures Monday to be excused absences, giving parents additional cover ...
FAU uses new state money to increase summer courses, hire deans

FAU uses new state money to increase summer courses, hire deans

Florida universities are hiring more faculty, providing more scholarships and expanding course offerings and academic counseling with a $121 million boost in funding provided by the Legislature this year. In letters to Gov. Rick Scott, the 12 state university presidents outlined plans for using their shares of $71 million in the “world class faculty and scholar” program and $50 million...
UF says no to white nationalist speaker Richard Spencer

UF says no to white nationalist speaker Richard Spencer

The University of Florida is refusing to allow white nationalist leader Richard Spencer to speak on campus next month, citing “serious concerns” about safety in the aftermath of a deadly weekend clash in Charlottesville, Va. In a message to staff Wednesday morning, university President Kent Fuchs said the decision to deny the National Policy Institute’s request to rent space on campus...
GL Homes offers land, $10M for new Boynton school

GL Homes offers land, $10M for new Boynton school

A developer is promising more than 100 acres of land and $10 million toward the cost of a new high school west of Boynton Beach should its controversial proposal to build homes in the county’s Agricultural Reserve be approved. The high school, not in any district construction plan already, could help chip away at near-crisis crowding on most of the county’s high school campuses...
Negron gives Florida Senate committees a makeover

Negron gives Florida Senate committees a makeover

With legislative committees poised to start meeting again in less than a month in preparation for the 2018 session, Florida Senate President Joe Negron on Tuesday revamped the leadership of several key Senate panels. Negron, R-Stuart, appointed new heads of five budget subcommittees, while changing the leaders of committees that oversee policy areas involving the environment, agriculture, utilities...
Cerabino: The KKK in Palm Beach taught us to let the haters speak

Cerabino: The KKK in Palm Beach taught us to let the haters speak

White supremacists are their own worst enemies. The more they speak, the more they reveal themselves to be anything but “supreme.” So muzzling them, or trying to muzzle them, elevates their low-brow racism, sexism and anti-Semitism to the level of importance it doesn’t deserve. Denounce them. Absolutely. Call them out for being the creeps they are. Every time. But if you...
As classes begin, 10 tips for young teachers from a veteran PBC educator

As classes begin, 10 tips for young teachers from a veteran PBC educator

Clip art Mike Dowling Mike Dowling, a sixth-grade social studies teacher at Emerald Cove Middle School in Wellington, began his 26th year in the classroom this week. Seven years ago he wrote 10 “Be’s” for young teachers. This week he posted the list on his Facebook page, and we are re-publishing it with his permission. By Mike Dowling Don’t pretend you are something...
Few problems reported as classes begin for Palm Beach County public schools

Few problems reported as classes begin for Palm Beach County public schools

File photo Palm Beach County’s public schools reported a a smooth start to the new school year Monday morning, saying that glitches were few and far between as an estimated 193,000 students arrived for classes countywide. “So far opening has been uneventful, which is the best news that I can provide,” Schools Superintendent Robert Avossa said at a news conference...
This family’s amazing 37-year tradition on the first day of school

This family’s amazing 37-year tradition on the first day of school

Four years ago, Katie Scalisi not only celebrated her official First Day of School as a kindergartner, but cemented her place in a now 37-year-old tradition. The tradition of five girls, the first day of school and one blue dress. In 1981, Katie’s grandmother Joyce Johnston of Lantana bought a pretty blue and white dress for her daughter Nicole to wear on her first day of school. And...
PBC school board joins suit over charter-friendly education law

PBC school board joins suit over charter-friendly education law

Gov. Rick Scott during a visit to Galaxy Elementary School in 2015. (Richard Graulich / The Palm Beach Post) Palm Beach County School Board members voted Wednesday to join at least six other Florida school boards in a lawsuit over charter school-friendly legislation passed this spring and signed by Gov. Rick Scott in June. Without discussion or debate, board members unanimously authorized...
In reversal, PBC schools will let some kids watch Aug. 21 eclipse

In reversal, PBC schools will let some kids watch Aug. 21 eclipse

After initially ordering all students to remain indoors during the Aug. 21 solar eclipse, Palm Beach County’s public school leaders relented Wednesday and said schools could let students watch the historic event in outdoor sessions with special protective glasses. The reversal came hours after The Palm Beach Post reported that school district administrators had ordered principals Tuesday to...
UPDATE: In reversal, PBC schools will let kids watch Aug. 21 eclipse

UPDATE: In reversal, PBC schools will let kids watch Aug. 21 eclipse

UPDATE: Palm Beach County’s public schools have rescinded their blanket ban on letting students watching the Aug. 21 solar eclipse outdoors, hours after The Palm Beach Post reported that principals had been instructed to keep all kids inside. In an email memo sent to school leaders Wednesday afternoon, Deputy Superintendent David Christiansen said that schools would now be allowed to let students...
Flashback: Why were Boca Raton students running naked at FAU in 1974?

Flashback: Why were Boca Raton students running naked at FAU in 1974?

— “The Streak,” Ray Stevens To this day, can anybody explain the streaking craze of 1974? On college campuses, on sporting fields, and even the Academy Awards, the desire to doff your clothes and run bare-bottomed in public was the Me Decade’s definition of “letting it all hang out.” And, of course, Palm Beach County couldn’t resist. Or at least...
This A-rated school is Palm Beach County’s most unhappy campus

This A-rated school is Palm Beach County’s most unhappy campus

Jerry Thomas Elementary School in Jupiter. (Andres Leiva / The Palm Beach Post) It’s a high-achieving school, with an A grade from the state and an address in a prosperous zip code. But if any school demonstrates the adage that test scores aren’t everything, it’s this Jupiter campus. Despite its high marks, Jerry Thomas Elementary last year had the unhappiest teachers...
This is Palm Beach County’s happiest public school

This is Palm Beach County’s happiest public school

Students, parents, and teachers entering Eldridge Gale Elementary in 2014. (Bill Ingram / Palm Beach Post) Since it opened in 2005, Elbridge Gale Elementary School has been a powerhouse of high student achievement and high spirits. A campus of just under 1,000 students, it has earned an A grade from the state every year except for one (in 2013). Its teachers routinely win...
PBSC enrollment forecast to grow by 3.1 percent

PBSC enrollment forecast to grow by 3.1 percent

Florida state colleges this year are expected to have their first modest rise in enrollment since 2010. A new state forecast projects a 1 percent growth rate in enrollment in the 28 colleges during the 2017-18 academic year, representing the equivalent of 324,109 full-time students. Each “full-time equivalent” actually represents about 2.5 students, reflecting the fact that 65 percent...
Immigration in the age of Trump: What it means for Palm Beach County

Immigration in the age of Trump: What it means for Palm Beach County

Immigration returned to the forefront of political discourse with the emergence of Donald Trump, who announced his bid for the presidency two years ago by saying he would build a wall between the United States and Mexico, which he accused of sending drugs and rapists into the U.S. That wall has not yet materialized — Congress has so far refused to go along with funding for it — but...

No ‘failure factories’ in Palm Beach County schools

Each year, the Florida Department of Education (DOE) releases grades for every traditional public and charter school in Florida. The foundation of these grades is student performance and learning gains on the Florida Standards Assessment (FSA) tests given each year, starting with students in the third grade. We know that grades don’t tell our school district’s whole story, and that they...
5 ways to save, stretch your dollars in back to school shopping

5 ways to save, stretch your dollars in back to school shopping

With back-to-school sales in full swing, the bargain hunters at FatWallet.com have offered up a list of money-saving tips to make sure you get the best deal on all the items on your supply list. Florida’s popular tax-free shopping we starts at one minute after midnight on Friday, Aug. 4 and runs through Sunday, Aug. 6. During the three-day weekend, shoppers won’t be charged the state&rsquo...
Wellington High students score high marks in national debate contest

Wellington High students score high marks in national debate contest

CARDINAL NEWMAN HIGH Sophomores, juniors and seniors will return to campus on Aug. 10 for a variety of school activities, including getting student ID photos, purchasing school locks, enrolling in the lunch program, and picking up schedules and books. Sophomores report at 9 a.m., juniors at 10:30 a.m. and seniors at 1 p.m. Parking permits may be purchased by juniors and seniors for $175. Orientation...

Back-to-school events take place in Lake Park, Port Salerno

ALLAMANDA ELEMENTARY An open house takes place 9-11 a.m. Aug. 11 for registered students and their families. At the event, students can meet their teachers, drop off their supplies, visit their classrooms and turn in their summer reading logs for a prize. Parents can sign up their students for the school’s aftercare program. The PTO will be selling school T-shirts. For more information, call...
PBC schools start Aug. 14, a day earlier than last year – sort of

PBC schools start Aug. 14, a day earlier than last year – sort of

  Once again, the summer is rolling to a close that seems to have arrived even earlier than before. The first day of school in Palm Beach County has indeed crept back one more day on the calendar, making this year’s opening on Aug. 14 the earliest start date in 12 years. And, in case you’re curious, the date steps backward by one for the next two years, giving us first...
Former fugitive gets life in prison for 2013 Dreyfoos killings

Former fugitive gets life in prison for 2013 Dreyfoos killings

Javier Burgos, the man recently arrested after four years on the run from the shooting deaths of his supervisor and another janitor at Alexander W. Dreyfoos School of the Arts in 2013, was sentenced Monday to life in prison. Burgos, 57, speaking through a Spanish interpreter, pleaded guilty to two counts of first-degree murder in the shooting deaths of Christopher Marshall, 48, and Ted Orama, 56...
Christie commentary: Having Narcan on hand could save a child’s life

Christie commentary: Having Narcan on hand could save a child’s life

It’s understandable that the tragic death last month of a Miami-Dade County fifth-grader who somehow came in contact with the powerful drug fentanyl has raised concerns among some Florida public school district officials about the health and safety of students. A child is dead. Not an adult struggling with addiction. An innocent child. We can count Chuck Shaw among those concerned. The Palm...
Ten PBC schools to open Aug. 14 with new principals

Ten PBC schools to open Aug. 14 with new principals

Avossa visits Forest Hill HS on first day of 2016/17 school year. (Lannis Waters / The Palm Beach Post) Ten Palm Beach County public schools will not only welcome new students when they open Aug. 14, they will welcome new principals. Boynton Beach High School: Guarn Sims Forest Hill Elementary School: Scott McNichols Freedom Shores Elementary School: Dan Smith Jeaga...
A record number of PBC elementary schools are on Fla’s “Low 300” list

A record number of PBC elementary schools are on Fla’s “Low 300” list

Stock photo A record number of Palm Beach County schools have fallen onto the state’s list of the 300 elementary schools with the lowest reading scores in Florida, meaning more than $2 million in extra costs for the county’s public schools as educators extend the school day on more campuses. The number of county public schools on Florida’s &ldquo...
PBC school board moves to bar officials from asking students not to speak at meetings

PBC school board moves to bar officials from asking students not to speak at meetings

Lake Worth High School freshman Miguel Cardenas says administrators pulled him from class to ask him not to speak at a county school board meeting last month. He spoke anyway. “You don’t let anything stop you, especially fear,” he said later. Palm Beach County School Board members gave preliminary approval Wednesday to a rule that bars school district employees from...
Cerabino: Paying the price for school spirit at Lake Worth High

Cerabino: Paying the price for school spirit at Lake Worth High

You’ve got to hand it to former Lake Worth High School principal George Lockhart. He’s certainly a guy who isn’t afraid of thinking outside the box. Like getting the high school teachers who worked for him to do his middle-school son’s online algebra homework. That’s so far out of the box that it nearly got Lockhart fired. But when it comes to Lockhart’s variety...
Lake Worth High principal: Problems cannot be solved overnight

Lake Worth High principal: Problems cannot be solved overnight

As Elvis Epps prepares to take over as principal at Lake Worth High School, he brings with him a wealth of experience both as a former principal and as a human resource manager. Epps said that a common misconception about being a principal is that problems — such as addressing the needs of all students and increasing test scores — is something that can happen overnight. Name: Elvis Epps...
New Jerry Thomas principal aims to ‘positively impact youth’

New Jerry Thomas principal aims to ‘positively impact youth’

Jeffrey Eassa will take over as principal of Jerry Thomas Elementary School in Jupiter after previously serving as the principal of Woodlands Middle School in Lake Worth. Eassa has seen a lot in his 16 years as a principal, but says that his core goals are to continue positively impacting the children of Palm Beach County. Name: Jeffrey D. Eassa School Name: Jerry Thomas Elementary Location: 800 Maplewood...
Area schools get ugrades thanks to one-cent sales tax

Area schools get ugrades thanks to one-cent sales tax

Thanks to the one-cent sales tax increase that went into effect Jan. 1, the Palm Beach County School District has been able to get started on $1.3 billion worth of improvement projects — including new roofs, lighting upgrades, paving and water intrusion prevention. The revenues from the tax increase referendum, approved by Palm Beach County residents in November, will be used to upgrade each...
New Freedom Shores principal wants elementary school to be ‘A’ again

New Freedom Shores principal wants elementary school to be ‘A’ again

Daniel Smith brings with him 17 years of experience as a principal as he prepares to assume a new role at Freedom Shores Elementary School in Boynton Beach. Smith said that the kids he gets to work with are the best part of his job — but that bridging the gap between students of different learning capabilities will be a challenge he tackles in his new position. Name: Daniel Smith School Nam...
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