Schools headlines

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. RELATED: Big Dog Ranch event, co-chaired by Lara Trump, pulls out of Mar-a-Lago Encouragingly, we’ve seen local citizen vigils and demonstrations...
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...
After Post report, PBC schools may be barred from pressuring students not to speak

After Post report, PBC schools may be barred from pressuring students not to speak

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 in January. He spoke anyway. “You don’t let anything stop you, especially fear,” he said later. Palm Beach County public school officials would be barred from discouraging people from speaking at public school board meetings...
After defeats, PBC school board readies new legal battle over charters

After defeats, PBC school board readies new legal battle over charters

Palm Beach County’s public school leaders have not shied away from battling charter schools in court. They also have not had much success. Yet despite a string of defeats in their taxpayer-financed tussles, the county school board is poised to dive into another one. This time, their sights are set squarely on state lawmakers. Board members last week gave unanimous support to a proposal to sue...
Negron: Need- and merit-based aid boosted for Florida college students

Negron: Need- and merit-based aid boosted for Florida college students

Despite the governor’s veto of a wide-ranging higher-education policy bill, Senate President Joe Negron said Wednesday that many of the initiatives embedded in the legislation, including an expansion of Bright Futures scholarships, will still benefit state university and college students as fall terms begin next month. In a memo to senators, Negron, R-Stuart, said a major benefit will be a &ldquo...

POINT OF VIEW: Don’t penalize charters in fight against education law

Palm Beach County Schools Superintendent Robert Avossa has asked the School Board to continue to penalize families who support school choice. The superintendent wants to join Broward County in a lawsuit to stop a new education law and funding formula that treats all public school students equally — whether they attend a district-run school or chose to attend a charter school. Instead of making...
PBC school board calls for suing state over charter-friendly law HB 7069

PBC school board calls for suing state over charter-friendly law HB 7069

Gov. Rick Scott signed House Bill 7069 into law last month. (Richard Graulich / The Palm Beach Post) The Palm Beach County School Board gave unanimous support Wednesday to a proposal to sue the state over charter school-friendly legislation signed by Gov. Rick Scott last month, authorizing its attorneys to study the best strategy for a legal challenge. Board members stopped...
State: Recess required, but it doesn’t have to be outdoors

State: Recess required, but it doesn’t have to be outdoors

Limestone Creek Elementary students hit the playground for recess. (Damon Higgins / The Palm Beach Post) Daily recess in Florida’s public elementary schools is now law. What will that look like when the first bell rings in August? It’s still unclear – but it doesn’t have to be outside, according to a one-page memo to superintendents that went out last ...
Lake Worth High principal asked teachers to do son’s math assignments

Lake Worth High principal asked teachers to do son’s math assignments

Lake Worth High School’s former principal asked teachers to do math assignments for his son, pressured teachers to change students’ grades and charged students $1 to attend pep rallies, a school district investigation found. During George Lockhart’s time as principal, Lake Worth High also suspended students without reporting the suspensions to the district and submitted erroneous...
Charter school advocate: With lawsuit talk, Avossa aims to “wage war” on charters

Charter school advocate: With lawsuit talk, Avossa aims to “wage war” on charters

Palm Beach County Schools Superintendent Robert Avossa (Lannis Waters / The Palm Beach Post) Palm Beach County Schools Superintendent Robert Avossa is expected today to ask school board members to consider suing the state government over a new law that requires county school districts to steer more money to charter schools. Lynn Norman-Teck One group, unsurprisingly, is not keen on the...
Ten students awarded Kovner Opportunity Scholarships

Ten students awarded Kovner Opportunity Scholarships

PALM BEACH COUNTY SCHOOLS THE WEISS SCHOOL An open house will take place at 9 a.m. Tuesday. RSVP to Pam Tripp at 561-209-2474. BRIEFLY The Palm Beach Gardens Police Foundation recently awarded its $2,500 Herb and Penny Wender Scholarships to Sabrina A. Snider, a graduate of The Kings Academy, and Nathaniel J. LeBlanc, a graduate of Community Christian Academy. Applications for free or reduced-price...
Ten students chosen recipients of Kovner Opportunity Scholarships

Ten students chosen recipients of Kovner Opportunity Scholarships

ALEXANDER W. DREYFOOS SCHOOL OF THE ARTS The Speech and Debate Team received recognition at the recent National Speech and Debate Association National Tournament in Birmingham, Alabama. Matthew Nadel was named National Champion in the category of Informative Speaking. Dreyfoos was recognized as one of the top schools in speech in the nation, receiving the Speech School of Excellence Award. Speech...

SouthTech academies host open house events on two campuses

SOUTHTECH PREPARATORY ACADEMY The academy, a tuition-free charter middle school, will host an open house at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at 1325 Gateway Blvd., Boynton Beach. The school educates students in the STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and math) disciplines and through career academies. School staff will be on hand to provide information on academic and student support services, clubs...
POINT OF VIEW State must rethink policy about minors, mental health

POINT OF VIEW State must rethink policy about minors, mental health

In September 2016, a 6-year-old child threw a temper tantrum at his elementary school in Jacksonville. Usually, the story would end with the child being sent to the principal’s office for discipline, but, sadly for Nicholas, the child from this story, his journey didn’t end there. Not knowing how to handle an unruly child, the school counselor contacted the local sheriff to pick the child...

This $21 million school is just 16 years old — and probably closing

Palm Beach County School Board members are expected to vote Wednesday to shut down Odyssey Middle School next year, officially pulling the plug on the half-empty school just 16 years after opening it. Superintendent Robert Avossa told board members in May that he wanted to close the school at the end of the upcoming school year and lease the campus to South Tech Academy, a charter school. The school&rsquo...
This $21 million PBC school is just 16 years old – and it’s probably closing

This $21 million PBC school is just 16 years old – and it’s probably closing

Odyssey Middle School (Palm Beach Post file photo) Palm Beach County School Board members are expected to vote Wednesday to shut down Odyssey Middle School next year, officially pulling the plug on the half-empty school just 16 years after opening it. Superintendent Robert Avossa told board members in May that he wanted to close the school at the end of the upcoming school ...
Editorial: School Board should join legal fight against education law

Editorial: School Board should join legal fight against education law

As decisions go, this is an easy one. On Wednesday, Palm Beach County School Superintendent Robert Avossa plans to ask the School Board whether the district should join Broward County in suing the state over the new, controversial education law. The board should indeed weigh it. Then say “yes.” RELATED: Gov. Scott just signed HB 7069. Here’s what it does. HB 7069 is a bit of a stinker...
Alfred Angelo closing: 3 tips to help you get your money back

Alfred Angelo closing: 3 tips to help you get your money back

Alfred Angelo’s abrupt shutdown has brides scrambling for ways to get their money back. Jack Gillis, a spokesman for the Consumer Federation of America, a non-profit research and advocacy group, offered these tips for brides and bridesmaids left without dresses: 1. Call your credit card company. Now. If you paid for your dress with a credit card, you may be able to get a refund, he said. &ldquo...
Judge hands PBC school board another defeat in its charter school feud

Judge hands PBC school board another defeat in its charter school feud

The Renaissance charter school franchise is fighting to build another campus in Palm Beach County. The Palm Beach County School Board overstepped its authority by imposing new rules on charter schools that require them to keep their distance from traditional public schools and prove that they are “innovative,” an administrative law judge has ruled. The ...
Avossa calls for suing the state over charter-friendly law HB 7069

Avossa calls for suing the state over charter-friendly law HB 7069

Palm Beach County Schools Superintendent Robert Avossa (Lannis Waters / The Palm Beach Post) Palm Beach County’s public school system has “an obligation” to join the growing legal fight against controversial pro-charter school legislation signed into law last month, Schools Superintendent Robert Avossa said today. In an interview this morning, Avossa called for joining...
An entire Suncoast High class had to retake an AP exam over cheating concerns

An entire Suncoast High class had to retake an AP exam over cheating concerns

Suncoast Community High School in Riviera Beach (File photo) Twenty-two Suncoast High School students were called back to campus last month to retake an Advanced Placement exam after concerns arose that some of the students may have cheated on the test on their first try. The school’s European history class sat for the exam in May, but several days later the students...
POINT OF VIEW: New curriculum-challenge law hides non-science agenda

POINT OF VIEW: New curriculum-challenge law hides non-science agenda

As a science teacher in Miami-Dade, I am disheartened by Florida’s CS/HB 989. This law extends citizens’ right to challenge what’s taught in their local schools. It may sound very democratic, but it is written to disguise a non-scientific agenda. It is a good thing that we are raised in this country thinking we should respect alternative points of view, but science is different....
Editorial: Focus services on kids, not bureaucracy

Editorial: Focus services on kids, not bureaucracy

Palm Beach County, one of the most affluent and beautiful in Florida, also struggles with one of the highest homicide rates in the state, a high rate of domestic violence and an astonishing degree of drug abuse, as any first-responder will attest. Unfortunately, thousands of children have become collateral damage to their parents’ dysfunction. Too many fall through the cracks, as they endure...
Open enrollment is drawing students back to PBC’s public schools

Open enrollment is drawing students back to PBC’s public schools

A mother walks into Galaxy Elementary School with her 3-year-old son. (Palm Beach Post file photo) When Florida lawmakers decided last year to mandate open-enrollment policies in public schools across the state, the move prompted a fair bit of unease. Among the worries of public school leaders: Would giving families more freedom to leave their local schools for campuses with ...
UF grads sue Florida, saying college cash wrongly diverted to tax cuts

UF grads sue Florida, saying college cash wrongly diverted to tax cuts

Two University of Florida alumni have filed a class-action lawsuit against the state, saying lawmakers and Gov. Rick Scott funneled money that should have gone to higher education into tax cuts and savings. The legal challenge, filed last week, is based on the Legislature’s decision not to provide matching funds for private donations to colleges and universities. State law creates four matching...
Florida man accused of using improv class to have sex with students

Florida man accused of using improv class to have sex with students

A former University of South Florida improv instructor is accused of using his position to force students into sexual acts with him and his wife. An investigation concluded that adjunct instructor Nicholas Riggs, 31, sexually assaulted one student and harassed at least one other, according to the Tampa Bay Times. Riggs and his wife, former graduate student Hannah Prince, are accused of working...
Dementia Prevention: Does FAU have an answer?

Dementia Prevention: Does FAU have an answer?

James Giarusso watched his 94-year-old father slide into the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease. Now he wants every tool available to him to ward off the neurodegenerative disorder that robs the mind of memory and takes family members hostage. So the part-time Boca Raton resident, after following his father’s care under Dr. James Galvin at Florida Atlantic University’s Comprehensive...
Florida’s evolution to complainer’s paradise for public schools

Florida’s evolution to complainer’s paradise for public schools

News item: A new Florida law allows any resident, regardless of whether he or she has children in the public school system, to instigate a formal challenge to any textbook, library book, novel, or other kind of instructional material used in a public school. The state law channels the resident’s complaint to an “unbiased and qualified hearing officer” who is empowered to determine...
HB 7069: PBC school board to consider suing over charter-friendly bill

HB 7069: PBC school board to consider suing over charter-friendly bill

Palm Beach County Schools Superintendent Robert Avossa (Lannis Waters / The Palm Beach Post) Palm Beach County School Board members will be asked this month to decide whether to sue the state over House Bill 7069, a controversial education bill that steers more money towards charter schools, the county’s schools superintendent said. Schools Superintendent Robert Avossa told The Palm...
Will 20 new programs spell the end of gifted clusters?

Will 20 new programs spell the end of gifted clusters?

Sorting thousands of gifted students into tailored, full-time classes at their home school has proven to be an impossible challenge for decades in Palm Beach County. So, for years, the school district has offered children at some schools a bus ride to another that could accommodate them. But the day of these cluster centers as they’re called may be numbered. This fall, 20 elementary schools...
Palm Springs mayor’s name scrubbed from Bak Middle investigation

Palm Springs mayor’s name scrubbed from Bak Middle investigation

Palm Springs Mayor Bev Smith is an office assistant at Bak Middle School of the Arts. Palm Springs Mayor Bev Smith was a key witness in a six-month investigation into the disappearance of $66,000 from Bak Middle School of the Arts, but you wouldn’t know it from the public record. The Palm Beach County School District invoked an obscure provision in state law to scrub Smith&rsquo...
Are safes safe? PBC schools burned twice recently by big heists

Are safes safe? PBC schools burned twice recently by big heists

Despite years of trying, Palm Beach County’s public schools can’t seem to stop employees from raiding the school safes. Six years after vowing to make it harder for school bookkeepers to steal from the $70 million river of money that pours each year through the county’s public schools, the school district is facing the fallout of what appear to be its two biggest heists...

Florida pension fund up 14 percent for fiscal year

Florida’s $155 billion pension fund is on track to show a positive gain for the eighth straight year, as the state’s fiscal year ended on Friday. Although the final number will not be calculated for some time, State Board of Administration officials said they expected the return to be near a Wednesday estimate showing the fund was up 14.24 percent for the fiscal year. RELATED: Read The...
Editorial: Board must act quickly, restore trust in school treasurers

Editorial: Board must act quickly, restore trust in school treasurers

There appears to be something terribly wrong in our Palm Beach County Schools. A school bus crisis, it is not. Nor is it the political firestorm of school funding. This is more insidious. In the span of one week, two former school treasurers were arrested on felony charges stemming from the alleged theft of a combined $89,000 from Bak Middle of the Arts in West Palm Beach and Boca Raton High School...
Hard-fought Florida budget finally takes effect Saturday

Hard-fought Florida budget finally takes effect Saturday

It took an extension to the Florida Legislature’s regular session and a special session on top of that to finally get a state spending plan for the new fiscal year, but the budget that tied up lawmakers for months finally takes effect Saturday. All told, the state will spend between $83 billion and $84 billion, scattered around several bills that have been signed by Gov. Rick Scott. The money...
Lyft, Uber regs among new Florida laws going into effect Saturday

Lyft, Uber regs among new Florida laws going into effect Saturday

Rideshare services, such as Lyft and Uber, will have to comply with statewide rules, and students and teachers will be allowed to express their religious beliefs at public schools, under new laws that will go into effect Saturday. The changes — including two bills from the special session — are among 125 revisions to Florida statutes that go into effect on July 1. RELATED: Read The Post&rsquo...
High school junior wins double gold at state Special Olympics

High school junior wins double gold at state Special Olympics

MEET YOUR NEIGHBOR: Hecly Hector, 18 The wheels of Hecly Hector’s black and neon green wheelchair fly down the 100-meter track at Florida’s Special Olympics. When he crosses the finish line, his time is 25.25 seconds. The 18-year-old Santaluces High School junior became a two-time gold medalist in the 100- and 200-meter races at the event held ESPN’s World Wide of Sports on May 20...
School grades: Palm Beach County logs improvements, retains B grade

School grades: Palm Beach County logs improvements, retains B grade

Palm Beach County continues to reign as Florida’s highest performing large urban school district, and held its B rating for a second year, but its lead is shrinking as districts such as Miami-Dade and Broward make bigger strides in student performance, according to data released Wednesday by the state’s Department of Education. State officials found much to boast about in the final tabulations...
Florida school grades released: PBC district keeps B rating

Florida school grades released: PBC district keeps B rating

The Florida Department of Education has released school grades for the 2016-17 school year,  and is touting “significant improvement over last year”. The number of  A- and B- rated schools statewide is up and the number of failing schools has been cut in half, DOE reports. Palm Beach County School District held on to its B rating, as did each of Florida’s other...
Editorial: School board makes good call on managing building boom

Editorial: School board makes good call on managing building boom

Anyone who’s ever had a home remodeling project knows how important the planning is. If the painter shows up before the plasterer, he’s wasted his time and you’ve wasted your money. If the tile installer suddenly becomes unavailable for a couple of weeks, your simple bathroom renovation stretches maddeningly into a month. Imagine dealing with logistical headaches like those for more...
Commentary: My third-grader thought she failed state standardized test

Commentary: My third-grader thought she failed state standardized test

On a bright, spring afternoon, one of my 8-year-old twins dragged her feet over the school’s sidewalk toward my car. She caught my eye and began to wail before even making it to the vehicle. “I failed my FSA, Mom,” she cried. “My teacher thinks I failed it.” The Florida State Assessment (FSA) test is our state’s version of the nationally required standardized testing...
Monday bill actions by Scott closes book on 2017 legislation

Monday bill actions by Scott closes book on 2017 legislation

Florida Gov. Rick Scott signed 29 bills late Monday, including measures boosting spending on education, tourism marketing and economic development. By signing the bills, and vetoing five more, Scott essentially closed the books on this year’s regular and special legislative sessions. RELATED: Read The Post’s 2017 Florida Legislature coverage The bills Scott approved included perhaps one...
Medical pot, drone and 5G wireless laws among 38 signed by Scott

Medical pot, drone and 5G wireless laws among 38 signed by Scott

Florida Gov. Rick Scott signed 38 bills Friday from the 2017 regular legislative session and special session. The highest-profile bill (SB 8A) provides rules for implementing the November constitutional amendment that broadened the legal use of medical marijuana in Florida, while others range in issues from setting guidelines for the use of aerial drones (HB 1027) to increasing the availability of...
‘Really do believe’ this is the end of my political career

‘Really do believe’ this is the end of my political career

TALLAHASSEE — Jeff Atwater, a former Florida Senate president, is leaving the statewide elected position of chief financial officer on June 30 with more than a year remaining in his second four-year term. A day later, the Republican will start a new job as a vice president at Florida Atlantic University, where he will manage finances and economic development. Atwater was briefly in the running...
Ex-Bak Middle School treasurer arrested on forgery charges

Ex-Bak Middle School treasurer arrested on forgery charges

A former Bak Middle School of the Arts treasurer suspected in the disappearance of more than $66,000 in school money was arrested Friday on check-forgery charges related to the case, nine months after authorities had ruled out criminal charges against her. Cathleen Spring, 53, was booked into the Palm Beach County Jail shortly after midnight Friday on charges that she forged signatures on two school...
NEW: Ex-Bak Middle School treasurer arrested on fraud charges

NEW: Ex-Bak Middle School treasurer arrested on fraud charges

A former Bak Middle School of the Arts treasurer suspected in the disappearance of more than $66,000 in school funds was arrested Friday on check-forgery charges related to the case, nine months after authorities ruled out criminal charges against her. Cathleen Spring, 53, was booked into the Palm Beach County Jail shortly after midnight Friday on charges that she forged signatures on two school checks...
How does a Pahokee rabbit hunt help kids become NFL football stars?

How does a Pahokee rabbit hunt help kids become NFL football stars?

Filmmaker Patrick Bresnan’s inside look at Pahokee High School’s prom got him his first invitation to the Sundance Film Festival in 2016. But it is his follow up, documenting a Pahokee family hunting rabbits as the critters flee burning cane fields, that has opened the door to competing for an Academy Award. “The Rabbit Hunt,” which runs just over 11 minutes with no narration...
PBC school board OKs paying $26M for help managing building projects

PBC school board OKs paying $26M for help managing building projects

Palm Beach County School Board members agreed Wednesday to hire a project-management company to help oversee an upcoming rush of building and repair projects made possible by an influx of money from this year’s sales-tax hike. California-based AECOM will earn an estimated $26 million over 10 years to help to organize, coordinate and oversee roughly $1.4 billion in new projects, including the...
Best of the Class 2017

Best of the Class 2017

Alyssa Moreno Hometown: West Palm Beach Parents: Francisco and Amy Moreno Director: Mary Joyner College I will attend: Palm Beach State College Biggest personal achievement: My most rewarding accomplishment so far has been getting high honors throughout my high school years, and also receiving valedictorian. Kathleen Fleming Hometown: Boca Raton Rank: Co-Salutatorian Parents: Jack and Beth Altizer...
5 things to learn from valedictorians

5 things to learn from valedictorians

You think valedictorians are smarter than you? Nope — brainpower’s not the key to being at the top of the class. Students who rise to the top are smart, sure, but they display other personal traits that fuel their success. Take a lesson from these three valedictorians, who impressed us with more than their intellects: Kristina Lemajic, who came to Palm Beach County from Serbia when she...
Jupiter council approves CineBowl in Abacoa

Jupiter council approves CineBowl in Abacoa

Despite concerns about parking, the town council on Tuesday night unanimously approved a $22 million plan for CineBowl & Grille, an Abacoa entertainment center with restaurants, bowling lanes, pool tables and a movie theater. “CineBowl will add to the vibrancy of the area,” said Josh Simon, the owner of Downtown Abacoa. The agreement calls for Rich Rendina, the owner of the Aries...
Palm Beach County schools might pay $26 million for help managing building boom

Palm Beach County schools might pay $26 million for help managing building boom

Palm Beach County’s public school system wants to pay a Fortune 500 company $26 million to oversee a decade-long school construction boom, one made possible by an influx of cash generated by voters’ decision in November to raise the county’s sales tax. Under a contract that school board members will consider Wednesday, California-based AECOM would work as the school district&rsquo...
Amid struggles, Boynton Beach High School gets new principal

Amid struggles, Boynton Beach High School gets new principal

Guarn Sims, has been tapped as Boynton Beach High School’s new principal. (Thomas Cordy / The Palm Beach Post) Boynton Beach High School’s principal is being replaced amid struggles at the school to raise student achievement and calls from community activists for a new leader.
LATEST: Student arrested in assault of Wellington High teacher

LATEST: Student arrested in assault of Wellington High teacher

A teenager is facing a battery charge after police say he physically and verbally assaulted a Wellington High School faculty member in April, according to the Palm Beach County School District police. Sebastian Escudero, 18, charged at the faculty member and said he was going to “beat him,” according to the affidavit for his arrest, made public Monday. Arrested Friday on a charge of battery...
Editorial: Scott’s double-whammy against public education in Florida

Editorial: Scott’s double-whammy against public education in Florida

With one stroke of his pen last week, Gov. Rick Scott set back progress for Florida’s public universities. And with another stroke, he did astounding damage to the state’s K-12 public schools. Nice work, Governor. In the first instance, Scott vetoed most of the policy initiatives sought by Senate President Joe Negron in hopes of catapulting Florida campuses into the nation’s top...
Palm Beach County students, armed with Beyoncé, will learn to save lives

Palm Beach County students, armed with Beyoncé, will learn to save lives

High school biology class in Palm Beach County just got a little more hands on: Every student in the course is going to learn Hands-Only CPR beginning next fall. That will put about 11,000 more life savers on the region’s streets in one year, and more each year that follows. It is another step in a national campaign to put a dent in the number of deaths and injury that result when...
Gov. Scott signs charter-friendly education bill HB 7069 into law

Gov. Scott signs charter-friendly education bill HB 7069 into law

Gov. Rick Scott at Galaxy Elementary School in 2015. (Richard Graulich / The Palm Beach Post) Gov. Rick Scott today signed into law a controversial education bill that shifts hundreds of millions of dollars from traditional public schools to charter schools, drawing protests from traditional educators and applause from school-choice advocates.
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