Schools headlines

Stoneman Douglas High School will re-open Thursday to staff

Stoneman Douglas High School will re-open Thursday to staff

Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, where 17 people were killed Wednesday by a 19-year-old gunman, will re-open Thursday, according to a statement from Broward County Public Schools. Only staff members will be allowed back on the sprawling campus in northwest Broward County. There is no mention in the statement when students will be permitted to return. The school remains a crime scene and will...
UPDATE: Two events planned to protest gun laws after Parkland shooting

UPDATE: Two events planned to protest gun laws after Parkland shooting

UPDATE, Sunday, 12:30 p.m.: On Sunday, survivors of the Douglas High shootings told several news organizations they were planning a march on Washington, D.C., for gun control, also in March. On March 24, “March For Our Lives” will involve students and families, and according to its website, may spread to other cities beyond Washington. “People are saying it’s not the time to...
Huge crowd mourns Parkland teen shooting victim Joaquin Oliver

Huge crowd mourns Parkland teen shooting victim Joaquin Oliver

Wearing Cubs jerseys, Dolphin jerseys, Panther jerseys, Chelsea United jerseys, but most of all Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School jerseys, hundreds turned out Saturday to mourn the death and celebrate the life of 17-year-old Joaquin Oliver, an athlete and avid sports fan who was among the 17 killed during Wednesday’s shooting rampage at the Parkland school. Students, some barely...
Editorial: Our kids are dying. It’s time to end NRA’s grip on our laws.

Editorial: Our kids are dying. It’s time to end NRA’s grip on our laws.

On Wednesday morning, Alyssa Alhadeff was, in her mother’s description, “a talented soccer player, an incredible creative writer, and all she had to offer the world was love.” Nicholas Dworet was a hard-working swimmer with a scholarship to the University of Indianapolis. Carmen Schentrup was a National Merit Scholar semifinalist. Wednesday afternoon, the teenagers were dead. They...
POINT OF VIEW: Protecting my daughter from a lonely man with a gun

POINT OF VIEW: Protecting my daughter from a lonely man with a gun

My daughter points to the gunman and asks, “Is that a bad man?” We watch the terrible news unfold at the school shooting just minutes away, not realizing Blair has entered the living room. I stare at her green eyes. It’s a yes-or-no question. But it’s not simple. Or concrete, like when we play Candyland and you pick the Lollipop card and take that spot on the board. Instead...
School massacre close to home forces new reckoning on campus safety

School massacre close to home forces new reckoning on campus safety

As the nation struggled last week to process the latest school shooting, Doug Markwardt’s thoughts turned to something seemingly different: the day he came face to face with a sports-utility vehicle in a high school courtyard. As an assistant principal at Spanish River High School, Markwardt watched in horror in October as a confused driver careened into the courtyard of the 2,300-student Boca...
EXCLUSIVE: Parents of teen killed by Conniston classmate again try claims bill

EXCLUSIVE: Parents of teen killed by Conniston classmate again try claims bill

For years, Ashraf Kamel and his ex-wife, Marguerite Dimitri, tried to persuade Florida lawmakers to award them more of the $1.6 million verdict they won in 2002 for the 1997 shooting death of their 13-year-old son, Jean Pierre, at Conniston Middle School in West Palm Beach. They received the $200,000 statutory limit from the Palm Beach County School District after the verdict, but their hopes...
Four school district officials vie to be next PBC schools chief

Four school district officials vie to be next PBC schools chief

Four high-ranking school district administrators want to be Palm Beach County’s next schools superintendent. As the application window closed Friday in the school board’s superintendent search, eight school district employees had submitted their names for consideration, including the four administrators, a teacher and three other district employees. As expected, four members of outgoing...
Trump, first lady visit Parkland shooting victims at Broward hospital

Trump, first lady visit Parkland shooting victims at Broward hospital

President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump visited recovering victims of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School mass shooting on Friday and met with law enforcement officers who responded to the massacre that claimed 17 lives. Trump made the unannounced visit to Broward Health North Hospital shortly after arriving at Palm Beach International Airport west of West Palm Beach for a three-day...

POINT OF VIEW: Broward school shooting shows affluence no protection

This is my first letter to a newspaper. But in the wake of this week’s tragic shootings as Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, I’m motivated to share my thoughts and feelings. I retired two years ago as a Broward County guidance counselor who worked my last 6½ years at that school in Parkland. I am distraught over the carnage in my old school, but I’m not surprised. The...
BREAKING: Threat to ‘shoot up’ school leads to St. Lucie teen’s arrest

BREAKING: Threat to ‘shoot up’ school leads to St. Lucie teen’s arrest

A 14-year-old Port St. Lucie boy was arrested Friday after he allegedly made threats to “shoot up” a school after he was suspended this week. The threat was made Tuesday, one day before an armed intruder fatally shot 17 people at Douglas High School in Broward County, but was brought to the attention of Port St. Lucie police Friday by a parent whose child shared a post from social media...
South Broward students walk out of class, calling for gun control

South Broward students walk out of class, calling for gun control

Students at South Broward High School walked out en masse Friday morning, saying they refused to attend class to force lawmakers to confront calls for gun control after 17 students and teachers were killed at nearby Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. POLL: Should Florida ban assault rifles? About 95 students at the Hollywood school have participated sporadically in the protest, either chanting...
Why don’t all Palm Beach County schools have metal detectors?

Why don’t all Palm Beach County schools have metal detectors?

The Palm Beach County School District has more than once pulled the plug on erecting a metal detector at every school, despite disturbing national events and the pleas of a handful of politicians. Why? The move was deemed too expensive and not effective. The nation’s health and safety experts have largely agreed. A few schools in the district do have them, but there are no plans to install them...
A student’s voice: Scared at school the day after Parkland shooting

A student’s voice: Scared at school the day after Parkland shooting

The beginning of class — once marked by the chime of a school bell — is now commenced with a ritual locking of doors. As students returned to school less than 24 hours after a mass shooting claimed the lives of their peers at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, the atmosphere of anxiety hovers over each and every classroom. It was no different at Dreyfoos School of the...
Assault gun limits not even scheduled for Florida Legislature hearing

Assault gun limits not even scheduled for Florida Legislature hearing

One day after a gunman shot and killed 17 people at a South Florida high school, Senate President Joe Negron said his interest would be focused on improving school safety and access to mental health treatment – not restricting gun laws. At a press conference Thursday afternoon, Negron, R-Stuart, said there could be some interest among senators in increasing the $40 million it has already carved...
Principal waited hours for son in Parkland, shares fears with students

Principal waited hours for son in Parkland, shares fears with students

Spanish River High School Principal William Latson took to the morning announcements Thursday to assure students and warn that some privileges may soon go away in the name of safety. But in short order his tough love dissolved into near tears — the cracking voice and long pauses of a principal who is also a parent who waited more than six hours to hear news of his son, a seventh-grader...
After Broward shooting Florida senator seeks school mental-health cash

After Broward shooting Florida senator seeks school mental-health cash

Less than 24 hours after a troubled gunman killed 17 people — most of them teenagers — at a Broward County high school, a top state senator released a plan Thursday to steer $100 million to public schools for mental-health screening and services and to boost funding for school safety programs. Sen. Bill Galvano, R-Bradenton, is also exploring what, if anything, lawmakers can do to prevent...
NRA cash helps keep gun violence laments from becoming gun control law

NRA cash helps keep gun violence laments from becoming gun control law

The National Rifle Association has pushed back – successfully – against nearly every gun control measure Congress has contemplated in recent years. High-profile mass shootings – in Colorado, Connecticut, California, Virginia, Texas, Nevada and now three here in Florida – led to a predictable lament from many that the nation’s gun...
Nikolas Cruz a ‘broken child’ who’s sorry about shooting, attorneys say

Nikolas Cruz a ‘broken child’ who’s sorry about shooting, attorneys say

Accused school killer Nikolas Cruz is a “remorseful” and “broken child” whose life came apart after the devastating loss of his mother in November, his attorneys say. Cruz, 19, remains on suicide watch at the Broward County jail after being ordered held without bond Thursday on 17 counts of premeditated murder after the shooting Wednesday at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School...
Mass shooting fix: Trump, Scott stress mental health; Dems, gun laws

Mass shooting fix: Trump, Scott stress mental health; Dems, gun laws

President Donald Trump pledged to visit the families of victims, Florida Gov. Rick Scott promised a “real conversation” about school safety and mental health and Democrats renewed calls for gun control in the aftermath of Wednesday’s mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School that left 17 dead. Trump, who was already planning to visit his Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach...
Editorial: Time is now for Florida to pass assault weapons ban

Editorial: Time is now for Florida to pass assault weapons ban

So Florida now follows Connecticut as the state with the second-worst mass school shooting in modern U.S. history. Here’s a better way that the “Gunshine State” can follow its northern sibling: ban high-capacity magazines and military-style assault weapons like the AR-15 rifle reportedly used by 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz to kill at least 17, and wound another 14 people at Marjory...
How Florida’s gun laws compare to those in Connecticut

How Florida’s gun laws compare to those in Connecticut

Although Connecticut toughened its gun law immediately after the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre that killed 27 in 2012, it already was one of only three states in the nation that had at least a partial ban on assault weapons. Florida, on the other hand, has a reputation for being generally accommodating to gun owners, although it does not allow the open carry of handguns as Connecticut does...
JUST IN: Student with two guns arrested at Palm Beach Lakes

JUST IN: Student with two guns arrested at Palm Beach Lakes

A day after 17 people were killed in a school shooting in Broward County, a student at Palm Beach Lakes High School on Thursday allegedly brought two guns to school, officials said. In a recorded call to parents, Palm Beach Lakes High School Principal David Alfonso said they received an anonymous tip that a student had a weapon on campus. When administrators and school police went to investigate...
Seeking mercy, Quarles apologizes for killing Santaluces classmate

Seeking mercy, Quarles apologizes for killing Santaluces classmate

Choking back tears, 21-year-old Frank Quarles on Thursday apologized for killing a fellow Santaluces High School student in an argument over a stolen bicycle but insisted the 2012 shooting was a tragic accident. “I’m very sorry,” Quarles said, looking across the courtroom at the grieving family of 16-year-old Michael Coogle-Robertson Jr. “I wish I could go back and prevent...
Cruz briefly lived in Palm Beach County after mother died

Cruz briefly lived in Palm Beach County after mother died

Nikolas Cruz lived briefly with a family friend near Lantana after his mother died in November and for the past three months was living with a Broward County family. “The family took him in. They knew his mom had died,’’ said attorney Jim Lewis, who represents the Broward County family and would not identify them. “They got him a job at Dollar Tree. And they helped him continue...
BREAKING: Forest Hill High student charged as adult for gun at school

BREAKING: Forest Hill High student charged as adult for gun at school

A Forest Hill High School student was charged as an adult Wednesday for reportedly bringing a loaded gun into a classroom this month. Terrance McMillian, 17, was booked into the Palm Beach County Jail on weapon-related charges just hours after a former student shot at least 17 people dead at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland. McMillian made his first court appearance at the...
UPDATE: Broward sheriff says multiple students dead after high school shooting

UPDATE: Broward sheriff says multiple students dead after high school shooting

Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel said that multiple students are dead after a shooting.  The shooter was taken into custody without any incident and is not a student at the school at this time. He is believed to be 18-years-old.  Authorities are also at a home on Loxahatchee Road, about a mile from the school. It’s unclear why the law enforcement at the home.  Additonally,...
Gunman storms Broward school, kills 17

Gunman storms Broward school, kills 17

In one terrifying Valentine’s Day afternoon, the buffer of miles and time that separated South Florida from the nation’s most catastrophic school shootings shattered in the whine of a fire alarm, a staccato string of “pop-pop” bursts and screams. At least 17 lost their lives in a storm of bullets about the time an ordinary school day should have been ending Wednesday at Marjory...
Broward school shooting: Who was Marjory Stoneman Douglas?

Broward school shooting: Who was Marjory Stoneman Douglas?

Editor’s Note: Wednesday’s horrible mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School may leave some Florida newcomers or outsiders wondering who the school is named for. She was one of the most famous Floridians, an author, feminist and ardent environmentalist known as “The Voice of the Everglades.” Here is Palm Beach Post staff writer Eliot Kleinberg’s obituary...
Only internal candidates to be considered in PBC schools chief search

Only internal candidates to be considered in PBC schools chief search

In the search for the Palm Beach County public school system’s next leader, only internal candidates need apply. By a unanimous vote, school board members decided Wednesday that the best way to ensure continuity after Superintendent Robert Avossa’s surprise resignation announcement last week is to consider only members of his administration to replace him. And board members decided the...
Rosarian Academy students sponsor gleaning effort to benefit food bank

Rosarian Academy students sponsor gleaning effort to benefit food bank

PALM BEACH MARITIME ACADEMY AND HIGH SCHOOL Open house programs take place 10 a.m. to noon March 3 for families interested in learning more about the tuition-free, marine science-enriched charter school. The elementary school is at 1518 W. Lantana Road, Lantana and the middle/high school campus is at 600 S. East Coast Ave., Lantana. Refreshments will be served. SEMINOLE RIDGE HIGH Students in the...

Ben Carson Reading Rooms open at two South County schools

BOCA RATON HIGH The Drama Department will present the romantic comedy “Sweet Charity” at 7 p.m. March 1-3, and 2 p.m. March 3-4. General admission tickets are $10; VIP reserved seating is $15. A group rate for 20 or more is available at $9. For more information, call 561-338-1533 or go to www.bocadrama.com. BRIEFLY Ben Carson Reading Rooms opened at Banyan Creek Elementary in Delray Beach...

Allamanda Elementary educator wins Healthy School Hero Award

PALM BEACH COUNTY SCHOOLS THE WEISS SCHOOL U.S. Rep. Brian Mast will hold an aerospace public policy briefing in the auditorium at 1:45 p.m. Wednesday. To attend, RSVP to bsteele@weissschool.org. An open house will begin at 8:15 a.m. Feb. 23. RSVP to Pam Tripp at 561-209-2474 or ptripp@weissschool.org ALLAMANDA ELEMENTARY Deborah Feinsinger, Health and Wellness Program coordinator, is one of 12 Healthy...
PBC schools chief needs OK from school board to resign in June

PBC schools chief needs OK from school board to resign in June

If Palm Beach County Schools Superintendent Robert Avossa wants to resign in June as planned, he may need special permission from the school board. An obscure provision in Avossa’s contract requires him to give 180 days’ (about six months’) notice before resigning without school board consent. In a resignation letter last week, Avossa gave only four months’ notice. RELATED...

School voucher tax credits comprise 46% of Florida House tax cut plan

Farmers, nursing homes and property owners impacted by Hurricane Irma could receive tax relief as part of a $332.7 million package that will be introduced Wednesday in the Florida House. The package (PCB WMC 18-03), which will be rolled out in the House Ways & Means Committee, will be built on education-related tax credits, a reduction in a commercial-lease tax and sales tax “holidays&rsquo...
Florida House debates changing how university performance cash awarded

Florida House debates changing how university performance cash awarded

The House is taking another look at performance standards for state universities, after supporters of some schools, including Florida A&M University, say they are being shortchanged in a system that denies extra funding to the “bottom three” universities. Currently, universities compete annually for a pot of state performance money that is awarded after the schools are ranked by the system&rsquo...
NEW: Volunteers hope to raise $2 million to restore old Jupiter school

NEW: Volunteers hope to raise $2 million to restore old Jupiter school

Jim Sparger, a volunteer at Jupiter Elementary School, wants to return the auditorium in the historic Jupiter school to its former luster. “I remember there were basketball games. Political debates. They gave out vaccines. There were community functions. It was the heart of Jupiter,” said Tequesta resident Sparger, a former teacher at Jupiter Community High School. JUPITER READERS: Sign...
Editorial: Senate needs to stand up to House bully on education bill

Editorial: Senate needs to stand up to House bully on education bill

House Speaker Richard Corcoran is seeking to push through the Florida Legislature an omnibus education bill, and a key component is a voucher-like program for bullied students. How apropos. Corcoran is on a mission to fundamentally remake Florida’s public education system and he is acting every bit the bully to get his way. This time, the Florida Senate shouldn’t let him — especially...
Superintendent’s new boss: ‘He was going to leave anyway’

Superintendent’s new boss: ‘He was going to leave anyway’

Even if Palm Beach County schools Superintendent Robert Avossa hadn’t accepted a job as senior vice president at LRP Publications, the well-regarded educator would have moved on, his new boss said. “Robert is so good that he was being recruited by some even bigger districts and some states to be state superintendent,” LRP owner Ken Kahn said Friday in an interview. “Frankly...
Saint Joseph’s Parent Organization hosts annual LAPS fundraiser

Saint Joseph’s Parent Organization hosts annual LAPS fundraiser

BOCA RATON HIGH The Drama Department will present the romantic comedy “Sweet Charity” at 7 p.m. March 1-3, and 2 p.m. March 3-4. General admission tickets are $10; VIP reserved seating is $15. A group rate for 20 or more is available at $9. For more information, call 561-338-1533 or go to www.bocadrama.com. BRIEFLY The finalists for Palm Beach Philanthropy Tank (project, school and students)...

Florida House ties major education policy changes to its budget plan

Setting up a potential procedural clash with the Senate, the Florida House on Thursday passed a major education bill, including a voucher-like program for bullied students, and directly linked the legislation to its budget plan. In a 66-43 vote, the House passed the 198-page bill (HB 7055), which has dozens of policy issues impacting the kindergarten-through-high-school system. »RELATED: The...
UPDATE: Forest Hill High student says loaded handgun was protection

UPDATE: Forest Hill High student says loaded handgun was protection

A sophomore brought a loaded handgun Friday to Forest Hill High School because he needed protection, the 17-year-old told Palm Beach County School District police. The teen was arrested Friday morning on a charge of possessing a loaded handgun at school. School police found the gun while patting down the student. They had pulled him from class due to an open probation-violation charge in a curfew...
POST TIME: The colorful life and sudden departure of Guy Metcalf

POST TIME: The colorful life and sudden departure of Guy Metcalf

Readers: Loyal reader Larry Grosser, a former docent at the Historical Society of Palm Beach County, reminded us recently that one of the most shocking departures from public office took place 100 years ago this week. The subject: One of the region’s most colorful pioneers, Guy Metcalf. Here’s more, some of it from previous columns. The Ohioan had founded the Indian River News in Melbourne...
After Avossa, educators mull: Stay the course or hire new “disruptor”?

After Avossa, educators mull: Stay the course or hire new “disruptor”?

Palm Beach County Schools Superintendent Robert Avossa’s surprise decision to resign in June has forced school board members into a stark choice: conduct a national search to replace him or tap someone from his staff to fill the role? Each option has pros and cons. Each has support from some school board members, who are expected to debate the matter publicly next week. But as board members...
NEW: Social media threat at Jupiter High found to be unsubstantiated

NEW: Social media threat at Jupiter High found to be unsubstantiated

A threat to Jupiter High School was posted on social media this week, according to a message sent out to parents. In the message, Jupiter High Principal Colleen Iannitti said Palm Beach County School District police determined the threat was unsubstantiated. She did not say what the threat was or where it was posted on social media. “Please know we are taking this seriously,” she said...
Florida bill would make colleges liable if students disrupt speakers

Florida bill would make colleges liable if students disrupt speakers

Free-speech zones would be banned and state universities and colleges could be sued for up to $100,000 in damages if students or others “willfully” interfere with campus speakers or protestors, under a bill approved Tuesday by the Senate Education Committee. “This is to address a flourishing of the limitation of free speech, particularly across the country. Many of our universities...
BREAKING: Gun found at Greenacres elementary school

BREAKING: Gun found at Greenacres elementary school

A gun was found Tuesday morning at Cholee Lake Elementary School in Greenacres, according to the Palm Beach County School District. The student claimed to have found the gun on the way to the school on Dillman Road just east of Okeeheelee Park. The recorded call sent to parents indicated the gun was in the student’s backpack. School authorities stressed that seriousness of having a gun at school...
PBC schools superintendent Robert Avossa to resign for publishing gig

PBC schools superintendent Robert Avossa to resign for publishing gig

Palm Beach County Schools Superintendent Robert Avossa will resign in June to take a position at a Palm Beach Gardens publishing company, a move that he said will allow him more time to spend with family. In a letter to school board members Monday, Avossa said he had accepted a job as senior vice president at LRP Publications. His resignation is effective June 12. “This opportunity...
JUST IN: Forest Hill High student arrested for carrying loaded gun

JUST IN: Forest Hill High student arrested for carrying loaded gun

A Forest Hill High School student was arrested Friday after being found in possession of a loaded handgun. It’s the third known case involving a gun at a Palm Beach County School in a week. Parents received a recorded call Friday from school principal Mary Stratos informing them of the incident and the student’s arrest. According to the message, administrators and school district...
NEW: Wellington High student latest to have assault recorded on video

NEW: Wellington High student latest to have assault recorded on video

For the second time in about a month, a video surfaced on social media showing a Palm Beach County student getting beaten while someone recorded the attack. This time, it was a 15-year-old Wellington High School student who is shown getting pummeled Jan. 23 by another student’s fists inside a bathroom stall at a McDonald’s. The video ended up on Snapchat, leading to the arrest ...
Teachers blast House GOP putting school policy issues in budget bill

Teachers blast House GOP putting school policy issues in budget bill

In a replay of last year, the Florida House on Wednesday attached a major education policy bill to the state budget, spurring a debate on controversial issues such as a voucher-like program for students who are bullied and an effort to weaken teachers’ unions. The House Appropriations Committee voted 20-8 for the 198-page budget “conforming” bill (HB 7055), which contains more than...
Ex-women’s basketball coach sues PBSC over feud with men’s baseball team

Ex-women’s basketball coach sues PBSC over feud with men’s baseball team

In a lawsuit that turns on allegations of an ugly feud, a former women’s basketball coach at Palm Beach State College claims she was fired after voicing concerns that the men’s predominantly white baseball team was harassing her players because most were black or biracial and gay. Despite racking up one of the best records in the school’s history, basketball coach Kris Ruffo claims...
Church gun bills teed up in Florida House, Senate

Church gun bills teed up in Florida House, Senate

Measures that would help clear the way for people with concealed-weapons licenses to carry guns at churches and other religious institutions are ready to go to the House and Senate floors. The Republican-controlled Senate Rules Committee voted 7-5 on Thursday for the Senate version of the measure (SB 1048). Earlier in the day, the House Judiciary Committee voted 13-6 along party lines to approve the...
Dreyfoos photography teacher puts students in focus

Dreyfoos photography teacher puts students in focus

MEET YOUR NEIGHBOR: Peter Stodolak, 63 He’s been a photographer for 40 years and a teacher for 37 years — 18 at Dreyfoos School of the Arts in West Palm Beach. Peter Stodolak’s proudest accomplishment? Encouraging his students to experience the many opportunities photography provides for personal expression. “I motivate my students to capture the moment and believe in what...
Port Salerno Elementary student tops the field in annual spelling bee

Port Salerno Elementary student tops the field in annual spelling bee

PALM BEACH COUNTY SCHOOLS ALLAMANDA ELEMENTARY The South Florida Science Center and Aquarium will present 20 interactive STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) activities, experiments, projects and demonstrations for students to get their hands on from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Wednesday. Safety Patrols will be selling popcorn. Before or after the program, dine at Five Guys at Legacy Place, mention Allamanda...
Puppies go to school at Cardinal Newman, raise funds for rescue group

Puppies go to school at Cardinal Newman, raise funds for rescue group

ALEXANDER W. DREYFOOS SCHOOL OF THE ARTS Two senior dance students placed in the Youth Grand Prix 2018 held recently in Tampa. Dylan Amsterdam placed third in the Classical Category and the Contemporary Category. Evan Gorbell placed second in the Contemporary Category for men. Gorbell also received automatic acceptance into the University of North Carolina School of the Arts. CARDINAL NEWMAN HIGH...

Boca Raton High School drama students to stage ‘Sweet Charity’

BOCA RATON HIGH The Drama Department will present the romantic comedy “Sweet Charity” at 7 p.m. March 1-3, and 2 p.m. March 3-4. General admission tickets are $10; VIP reserved seating is $15. A group rate for 20 or more is available at $9. For more information, call 561-338-1533 or go to www.bocadrama.com. SOMERSET ACADEMY CANYONS A High School Curriculum Fair will take place 6 to 7:30...
LATEST: Middle school student suspended after claims of gun on campus

LATEST: Middle school student suspended after claims of gun on campus

A Boynton Beach middle school student recently was suspended after allegedly bringing a gun to school, parents were told Monday. A recorded telephone call made by an administrator at Congress Middle School said that no weapon was found, but the student was suspended because “we believe that the claims of a gun on campus are true.” The name of the student and the type of gun brought...
Believers Academy: School’s graduation rate belies its success

Believers Academy: School’s graduation rate belies its success

When 2017 statewide graduation numbers were reported this month, Believers Academy celebrated rather than lamented its 21 percent graduation rate. Granted, that 21 percent falls well below the district’s average of 85 percent, and is even low for charter schools, which on average saw a 50 percent rate. But that’s because Believers Academy is not a traditional school...
Gov. Scott extends help to Puerto Rico, talks to PBC Hispanic chamber

Gov. Scott extends help to Puerto Rico, talks to PBC Hispanic chamber

Several members of Palm Beach County’s Hispanic Chamber of Commerce sat with Florida Gov. Rick Scott Thursday to take inventory of the successes and struggles they’ve had helping their brethren in Puerto Rico and those who have left the island and headed to the county in Hurricane Maria’s wake. It is estimated that 215,000 Puerto Ricans have at least temporarily relocated to the...
High-poverty PBC schools twice as likely to give teachers low ratings

High-poverty PBC schools twice as likely to give teachers low ratings

Palm Beach County public school leaders admitted Wednesday that their system for evaluating teachers is rife with disparities and disproportionately gives low ratings to teachers at high-poverty schools, resulting in smaller salaries for those teachers. Responding to reports showing tremendous differences in how schools rate their teachers, School District leaders acknowledged that principals...
Florida House unveils higher education budget

Florida House unveils higher education budget

Florida House leaders unveiled a proposed higher-education budget Tuesday that includes cuts designed to spur state universities and colleges to spend some of their reserve money. The proposal also would not expand the Bright Futures merit-scholarship program to cover 75 percent of the tuition and fees for “medallion scholars.” House Higher Education Appropriations Chairman Larry Ahern...
While some PBC schools give all teachers top marks, others give none

While some PBC schools give all teachers top marks, others give none

They were two high-rated public schools, separated by only a mile drive and a single letter grade on their state ratings. But in the view of their administrators, the schools’ teaching staffs could scarcely have been more different. While A-rated Royal Palm Beach Elementary gave each of its teachers the highest possible rating in 2016, nearby B-rated Crestwood Middle School did nearly the...
Crystal Lake Elementary assistant principal named award finalist

Crystal Lake Elementary assistant principal named award finalist

ALLAMANDA ELEMENTARY The third annual health and wellness expo, “Fitness, Food, and Friendship Around the World,” takes place 5 to 7 p.m. Jan. 31 in the cafeteria. Dozens of vendors, including Triumph Kids, Team XTreme, Kidding Around Yoga, 9Round, Digital Vibez and North Palm Beach Tennis, will be on hand. Fifth-graders will present interactive country displays they have created. Call...
Saint Joseph Episcopal students celebrate diversity on Unity Day

Saint Joseph Episcopal students celebrate diversity on Unity Day

SAINT JOSEPH’S EPISCOPAL SCHOOL Unity Day was celebrated recently with a morning prayer service and afternoon rally. Middle school students wrote and performed skits, while students in grades three to five performed “One Day.” Students wore blue to show their support of loving one another for their diversity and to demonstrate kindness, acceptance and inclusion. BRIEFLY Palm Beach...
Equestrian Trails Elementary School students spread holiday cheer

Equestrian Trails Elementary School students spread holiday cheer

CARDINAL NEWMAN HIGH Families of eighth-graders are invited to an open house breakfast at 8 a.m. Tuesday in the media center. To RSVP, contact the Director of Admissions Allie Kleisley at 561-683-6266 or email Allison.kleisley@cardinalnewman.com. The next placement test for incoming freshmen will be 8:45 a.m. to noon Feb. 16. Call 561-683-6266 for more information. Finalists in the Knights of Columbus...
Florida Senate committee backs school vouchers for bullied students

Florida Senate committee backs school vouchers for bullied students

Students who are victims of bullying or sexual harassment would be eligible for voucher-like scholarships to attend private schools under a bill approved Monday by the Senate Education Committee. Sen. Bill Galvano, a Bradenton Republican who is sponsoring the legislation (SB 1172), said the “Hope Scholarship” program is designed to “empower” families when they find their children...
Friday’s deadline to apply for PBC school choice pushed back a week 

Friday’s deadline to apply for PBC school choice pushed back a week 

  The deadline to apply for a seat in one of Palm Beach County’s school choice programs has been extended by a week, giving students until Friday, Feb. 2 to apply, the school district announced Tuesday.   The district made the move in consideration of a boundary change for about 1,900 middle schoolers in the Boynton Beach region that was formalized only last week and the impending...
JUST IN: PBSO won’t charge man accused of trying to lure kids into car

JUST IN: PBSO won’t charge man accused of trying to lure kids into car

A man who allegedly tried to lure middle-school students into his car Jan. 12 in suburban Boynton Beach has spoken to law-enforcement authorities about the incident and is not facing any charges, according to the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office. Students from Somerset Canyons Middle School told PBSO that the man approached them in a silver, four-door vehicle after school and asked them to...
Gardens music teacher gets bond, house arrest in child molestation

Gardens music teacher gets bond, house arrest in child molestation

A former music teacher once crowned “Teacher of the Week” at a private school is expected to be released from the Palm Beach County Jail soon, after a judge set his bail at $50,000 in a case where he is accused of molesting an 8-year-old student. Circuit Judge Glenn Kelly on Monday also ruled that Terrence Gervin Dwarika will have to remain on house arrest until he goes to trial....
West Boca High students turn in math teacher who gave them all A’s

West Boca High students turn in math teacher who gave them all A’s

When confronted nearly two years ago, high school math teacher Courtney Sheetz told investigators she changed the grades of 100 students to an A in a fit of frustration with an assistant principal who told her “no senior could fail,” according to district documents. West Boca Raton High’s principal said Sheetz’s students turned her in. She admitted the deed and corrected...
50 percent graduation rate belies PBC charter schools’ successes

50 percent graduation rate belies PBC charter schools’ successes

The 50 percent graduation rate posted by Palm Beach County’s 14 charter high schools may sound abysmal, but it is a 10 percentage-point gain over the year before and proved to be the rising tide that helped to raise the district’s overall graduation rate to a record high. The number also belies what’s happening at the individual schools. Five charter schools got more than 90...

Money for Gardens storm shelter, Glades roads clear early hurdles

Bills that would provide millions of dollars for several projects in Palm Beach County on advanced out of two House appropriations subcommittees on Thursday. “It was a successful week for Palm Beach County,” said Rebecca de la Rosa, the county’s legislative affairs director via email. “I am appreciative of the collaboration between the Palm Beach County Delegation.” »...
Bill to create state community colleges board advances in Senate

Bill to create state community colleges board advances in Senate

A bill that would create a new governance board for the state college system and impose a limit on the number of four-year degrees awarded by the colleges advanced in the Senate on Wednesday. In a 6-1 vote, the Senate Higher Education Appropriations Subcommittee approved the bill (SB 540), sponsored by Senate Education Chairwoman Dorothy Hukill, R-Port Orange. The bill, in part, would create a 13-member...

PBC school board reassigns students of soon-to-close Odyssey Middle

The Palm Beach County School Board gave final approval Wednesday to a plan to reassign 1,900 Odyssey Middle students to new schools when the school closes this summer. The reassignment plan for the closing Boynton Beach school was approved unanimously without debate, the final procedural step in what will be the first closure of a traditional county public school in more than 25 years. For years,...
Bill would require intellectual freedom survey at Florida universities

Bill would require intellectual freedom survey at Florida universities

Adding a mandate for an annual survey of “intellectual freedom” on state university campuses, a House panel Wednesday approved a wide-ranging higher education package that would expand Bright Futures merit scholarships. The bill (HB 423), approved on a 12-1 vote by the Post-Secondary Education Subcommittee, is similar to legislation (SB 4) passed unanimously by the Senate last week. RELATED...

SouthTech Preparatory Academy hosts open house Wednesday

SOUTHTECH PREPARATORY ACADEMY An open house is planned at 6:30 p.m. Jan. 24 on the campus at 1325 Gateway Blvd., Boynton Beach. The tuition-free charter school serves students in grades six through eight. School staff will be on hand to provide information on academic and student support services, clubs and organizations. Admissions assistance also will be available. The school educates students in...
Palm Beach Gardens Elementary wins district’s Technology Challenge

Palm Beach Gardens Elementary wins district’s Technology Challenge

SUNCOAST HIGH The school is partnering with Southeast Honor Flight to offer a Virtual Honor Flight for veterans on Saturday. The veteran roster includes 25 World War II veterans, 24 Korean War veterans and a Vietnam veteran. Student videographers traveled to Washington, D.C. last year on an Honor Flight and captured the day on video to create a virtual experience of visiting the memorials from a veteran&rsquo...
Second-graders at Wellington Elementary School help with chimps’ gifts

Second-graders at Wellington Elementary School help with chimps’ gifts

SUNCOAST HIGH The school is partnering with Southeast Honor Flight to offer a Virtual Honor Flight for veteran on Saturday. The veteran roster includes 25 World War II veterans, 24 Korean War veterans and a Vietnam veteran. Student videographers traveled to Washington, D.C. last year on an Honor Flight and captured the day on video to create a virtual experience of visiting the memorials from a veteran&rsquo...
Bill hikes pension contributions for state agencies, local governments

Bill hikes pension contributions for state agencies, local governments

Florida counties would have to contribute an additional $66 million to the state pension fund in the new budget year, according to legislation that has started moving in the Senate. As a result of a decrease in the assumed rate of investment return on the $160 billion pension fund, counties, school boards, state agencies, universities, state colleges and other government entities will have to increase...
Reservoir to curb algae outbreaks adds to Everglades puzzle, conflict

Reservoir to curb algae outbreaks adds to Everglades puzzle, conflict

An ambitious project to protect Treasure Coast waterways from rashes of damaging algae reached its first benchmark last week, meeting a deadline as tight as a gator’s bite, but now faces critics who decry it as shortsighted and discriminatory against the Miccosukee Indian Tribe. The billion-dollar plan, slated for state-owned land in western Palm Beach County, includes sending Lake Okeechobee...
Judge rejects PBC school board request to halt payments to charters

Judge rejects PBC school board request to halt payments to charters

A judge on Friday rejected the Palm Beach County School Board’s request to temporarily block a new state law requiring the school board to give an extra $9 million to the county’s charter schools by Feb. 1. At a court hearing in Tallahassee, Leon County Circuit Judge James Shelfer denied the school board’s request, meaning that the board will have to distribute the money by next...
Palm Beach County graduation rate hits new high

Palm Beach County graduation rate hits new high

Palm Beach County’s high school graduation rate jumped nearly 3 percentage points in 2017, a leap so large that it was remarkable the first time it happened in 2016 and one that now brings the county’s graduation rate to an all-time high of 85 percent, according to newly released state figures. The increase mirrors a rise to new heights at the state level, with Florida reporting an...

POINT OF VIEW: Community colleges lower-cost alternative for taxpayers

The Palm Beach Post editorial, “Senate wants to fix colleges but they’re not broken,” (Sunday ), examines a vital topic — the access to affordable education for our taxpayers and their children, and the equitable distribution of our tax monies for our benefit as citizens of Florida, not for the benefit of the university college system at the expense of the community college...
Cold front to bring sunny skies, double-digit temp drop

Cold front to bring sunny skies, double-digit temp drop

A charging winter storm making its way across the country is forecast to clear the clouds from South Florida skies this weekend and drop temperatures by double digits. Ice and snow will spread from the Mississippi Valley to the lower Great Lakes before the storm’s trailing cold front whips through Florida late Friday into Saturday. “We could see the metro areas with low temperatures in...
Palm Beach County grad rates jump 3 percentage points, hit new high

Palm Beach County grad rates jump 3 percentage points, hit new high

Palm Beach County’s high school graduation rate jumped by nearly 3 percentage points in 2017, a leap so large that was remarkable the first time it happened in 2016 and one that brings the graduation rate in the county to an all-time high of 85 percent, according to newly released state figures. The increase mirrors a rise to new heights at the state level, with Florida reporting a overall...
Women of the Moose make holidays happy for Allamanda Elementary family

Women of the Moose make holidays happy for Allamanda Elementary family

PALM BEACH COUNTY SCHOOLS ALLAMANDA ELEMENTARY The school and Athleta are teaming up to launch the new GIRL line of Athleta athletic wear Saturday at The Gardens Mall center court. A fashion show featuring Allamanda students begins at 11 a.m. Nespresso will be serving coffee samples prior to the show, and Brio Tuscan Grille serve finger foods. Glittering Gypsies will style complimentary “fairy...
U.B. Kinsey/Palmview Elementary dance students entertain for holidays

U.B. Kinsey/Palmview Elementary dance students entertain for holidays

SEMINOLE RIDGE HIGH English teacher Eric Jourgensen was designated a Google for Education Certified Trainer. Immanuel Wilson, a junior, was accepted as a web development intern with Palm Beach Tech Space, a nonprofit membership association building and connecting innovative entrepreneurial and technology industries throughout the county. Wilson was recommended, interviewed, and selected through the...
St. John Paul II Academy students share spirit of Christmas with needy

St. John Paul II Academy students share spirit of Christmas with needy

SOUTHTECH PREPARATORY ACADEMY An open house is planned at 6:30 p.m. Jan. 24 on the campus at 1325 Gateway Blvd., Boynton Beach. The tuition-free charter school serves students in grades six through eight. School staff will be on hand to provide information on academic and student support services, clubs and organizations. Admissions assistance also will be available. The school educates students in...
Sex-scandal issues cloud pomp of Florida Legislature’s opening day

Sex-scandal issues cloud pomp of Florida Legislature’s opening day

On Tuesday, Florida’s outgoing Republican governor detailed a wish list costing millions while the House speaker laid down the gauntlet against tax increases. Meanwhile, the Senate president put forth a hard stance against sexual harassment just as a fresh sex-related scandal involving two members of his chamber was unfolding. The 2018 Florida Legislature officially is in session. Opening day...
Chorus director’s former students surround him in song on death bed

Chorus director’s former students surround him in song on death bed

Wes Rainer loved Christmas and song and his students, so much so that few were surprised when they discovered the 63-year-old had checked himself out of the hospital against doctor’s advice to take some of his Seminole Ridge High chorus to perform at Epcot’s Candlelight Processional over the holidays. Weeks later, it brought his hospice nurses to tears — and again surprised...
Palm Beach County officials looking for small legislative wins in 2018

Palm Beach County officials looking for small legislative wins in 2018

When the Florida Legislature convenes on Tuesday, Palm Beach County government leaders will have their fingers crossed. It might be a good practice, if the flurry of activity before the session – including the resignations of Democrat Jeff Clemens and Clearwater Republican Jack Latvala – is any indication of the ride that’s ahead. » RELATED: More Florida government news With...
Editorial: Senate wants to fix state colleges, but they’re not broken

Editorial: Senate wants to fix state colleges, but they’re not broken

At the end of last year’s legislative session, Gov. Rick Scott sent a shock to Florida higher education by vetoing a bill aimed at boosting the universities’ national esteem. Scott wielded the ax because he thought the universities were being favored at the expense of the state’s community college system. Well, as it turned out, higher ed weathered that shock, and then some. The...
LATEST: FAA says 11 violated flight zones during Trump Palm Beach stay

LATEST: FAA says 11 violated flight zones during Trump Palm Beach stay

After enjoying clear skies earlier last month, authorities had to deal with 11 violations of restricted air space during President Donald Trump’s recent 11-day holiday stay at Mar-a-Lago, his Palm Beach “Winter White House,” the Federal Aviation Authority confirmed Tuesday. The agency didn’t break down the violations either by day or type of aircraft. The Colorado-based North...
Human trafficking opponents eager to take lessons to schools, students

Human trafficking opponents eager to take lessons to schools, students

The president of the Human Trafficking Coalition of the Palm Beaches had a sobering message for Park Vista High School students: Teens like them are among the most likely to fall victim to the crime her organization is fighting. “There are students in this country that are being trafficked on their lunch hour, or that go to school during the day and they’re being trafficked at night...
NEW: Jupiter High mural honors Perry Cohen, Tequesta teen lost at sea

NEW: Jupiter High mural honors Perry Cohen, Tequesta teen lost at sea

Perry Cohen was “extremely excited” to start at Jupiter High School as part of the Jupiter Environmental Research and Field Studies Academy, said his mother, Pamela Cohen. Cohen, who disappeared at sea in 2015, is now memorialized at the high school he never got to attend by a mural that also features the Jupiter Lighthouse and heron that also appear in the academy’s logo. The...
Editorial: 2018 is time to move from all talk to more action

Editorial: 2018 is time to move from all talk to more action

If talking is the measure of tackling a major issue, 2017 was a year of progress in Palm Beach County. For example, the economic perils of a lack of workforce housing — helped by ever-tightening supply and Millennials’ complaints of sky-high rents — is no longer a tabled discussion. And overdose deaths, thanks in part to The Palm Beach Post’s own coverage, have moved from unheard...

Community partnership schools help economic development

Economic development is often in the headlines, and is rarely defined. At its core, economic development is about empowering an entire community to create its own opportunities, allowing its citizens – regardless of the hand life has dealt them – to fulfill their ambitions. With education as a keystone to our strategy, Palm Beach County can achieve sustainable economic development that...
JUST IN: Where is Leah? Royal Palm woman now missing for four months

JUST IN: Where is Leah? Royal Palm woman now missing for four months

Today marks four months since anyone has seen Leah Rose Altmann, and her mother can’t help but fear what has happened to the 27-year-old who grew up in Royal Palm Beach and graduated from G-Star School of the Arts. “I have two children and each have half my heart,” Lynda Santamaria said Wednesday amid tears from her Royal Palm Beach home. “I literally feel like I&rsquo...
More Stories