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Schools headlines

After losing court battle to 2 charters, school board wants another go

After losing court battle to 2 charters, school board wants another go

After years of fighting in court to stop two charter schools from opening, the Palm Beach County School Board wants to go another round. More than a year after losing their first appeal, board members voted unanimously Wednesday to file a second appeal of the state government’s decision that two charter schools should be allowed to open within the county. The move likely means at least another...

UPS finds Santaluces High’s wayward college credit exams in Canada

Score a victory for the United Parcel Service. After causing no small amount of angst in nearly 300 Santaluces students who learned this week that the folks in brown had lost their college credit exams, the UPS rallied Thursday morning. The box of tests was found in Canada. Montreal, to be exact — some 3,200 miles and several weeks off course from their destination at a grading center in the...
UPDATE: Santaluces students get reprieve; Missing college credit exams found

UPDATE: Santaluces students get reprieve; Missing college credit exams found

UPDATE Aug. 16, 2018: The United Parcel Service alerted officials Thursday morning that the exams have been found and are being sent to Cambridge to be scored.  About 260 Palm Beach County high school students who expected to get the results of the college credit exams they took last spring instead learned this week that their tests were lost en route by the United Parcel Service. Santaluces...
School board OKs $372K marketing push to support proposed tax hike

School board OKs $372K marketing push to support proposed tax hike

Palm Beach County public schools are preparing a big-ticket marketing push to educate voters about a proposed property tax increase on the ballot in November, one that would raise teacher salaries and provide extra school security. With three months until county residents vote on the proposal, school board members on Wednesday voted to spend up to $372,000 for a political consultant to advertise...
Stoneman Douglas students return: ‘A bittersweet day here for everyone’

Stoneman Douglas students return: ‘A bittersweet day here for everyone’

Diane Wolk-Rogers prepared for the first school bell of the year Wednesday morning in ways unlike any of her previous 33 years of teaching. Of course, there were lessons to be planned for her history students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High. Bulletin boards to be hung. Desks to be arranged. But a workshop on how to plug a bullet hole in a dummy? “It’s a different kind of workshop, that&rsquo...
School employees give sick days for Gardens High teacher’s cancer fight

School employees give sick days for Gardens High teacher’s cancer fight

World history teacher Robert Goodman burned so many sick days fighting colon cancer last spring that he was scheduling chemo around his classes this fall. But a spontaneous Facebook plea went viral, and nearly 60 other teachers and school employees from Jupiter to Boca donated their sick days so that Goodman can fight colon cancer full time. The 23-year Palm Beach Gardens High School veteran educator...
Rosarian Academy inducts new members to National Junior Honor Society

Rosarian Academy inducts new members to National Junior Honor Society

OXBRIDGE ACADEMY Henriete Purina participated as a delegate to the 2018 American Legion Auxiliary Florida Girls State conference, held in Tallahassee this summer. In the program, she was elected to the Supreme Court, where she proposed a bill on nursing home facilities that was passed in both houses of the legislature and signed by the governor. Girls State is a two-week program that provides citizenship...
South Fork student’s Eagle Scout project helps Humane Society store

South Fork student’s Eagle Scout project helps Humane Society store

ALLAMANDA ELEMENTARY The school is hosting its inaugural golf tournament Oct. 6 at Sandhill Crane Golf Club in Palm Beach Gardens. Drive For The Hive and Putt For The Dough will feature a scramble format with a shotgun start at 8 a.m. There will be a silent auction, raffles, prizes and a luncheon. Entry fees are $125 for a single player, $400 for a foursome. Sponsorships are available. For more information...
Principal named for new SouthTech Success Center

Principal named for new SouthTech Success Center

SOUTHTECH SCHOOLS Maynard Harvey was named as the first principal of the SouthTech Success Center, which opens in August 2019. Part of the SouthTech tuition-free, public charter schools system, the center takes an innovative educational approach to enable success of at-risk students who have struggled in traditional school settings. Harvey has 20 years of experience as an elementary and secondary...
POINT OF VIEW: Keep Martin County school taxes in Martin County

POINT OF VIEW: Keep Martin County school taxes in Martin County

Martin County is our personal paradise with idyllic vistas, soft sand beaches, distinct residential neighborhoods and bustling business centers. However, paradise comes at a price. As home values rise, so too do our property tax bills. Unfortunately, not all of that increase in tax revenue is staying here in Martin County. Sign up for The Palm Beach Post FREE weekly Opinion newsletter: Text Opinion...
Florida law requires 'In God We Trust' to be displayed in all schools

Florida law requires 'In God We Trust' to be displayed in all schools

A bill signed into law by Florida Gov. Rick Scott in March now means students will see “In God We Trust” displayed at all schools in the state. WPTV reported that the law requires the state motto to be shown in a “conspicuous place.” >> Read more trending news  According to state statute 1003.44, “Each district school board shall adopt rules...
JUST IN: Delayed FAU graduation ceremony joyous, defiant

JUST IN: Delayed FAU graduation ceremony joyous, defiant

Some people were angry. Some were sad. Some were defiant. Some were stoic. Many weren’t here at all. On Tuesday, Florida Atlantic University staged a belated re-do of a once-in-a-lifetime commencement someone had stolen on Aug. 7 with a threat on a note stuck to a mirror.  Of the 462 graduates who last week were moments away from taking their walk of pride, only 261 did so Tuesday...
JUST IN: FAU graduation back on after threat canceled ceremony last week

JUST IN: FAU graduation back on after threat canceled ceremony last week

BOCA RATON — It’ll happen in a basketball arena instead of an auditorium and a week later than planned, but Florida Atlantic University will host a make-up graduation Tuesday morning after cancelling a commencement ceremony last week. More than 400 students planned on walking the stage Aug. 7, but a “credible threat” prompted administration and police to evacuate...
‘I need to see your ID’ ... This Boca Raton middle school ramps up security

‘I need to see your ID’ ... This Boca Raton middle school ramps up security

BOCA RATON — An Omni Middle School administrator blocked the gated main entrance of the Boca Raton campus on the first day of school Monday, warmly greeting familiar faces while stopping strangers in their tracks. “I need to see your ID,” she said repeatedly to adults who approached the gate, even those with children in tow. Where administrators once checked identification...
Let’s roll: First day of school in Palm Beach County begins

Let’s roll: First day of school in Palm Beach County begins

The first day of the school year is well underway across Palm Beach County. While student drop-off lines linger on some of the district's more than 200 campuses, the traffic near schools appears to be thinning.  Certain schools saw longer backups than others. One such case: Malfunctioning traffic signals  at the entrance of Seminole Ridge High causes gave drivers  some grief about 7...
Police will be on patrol for first day of school Monday in Palm Beach

Police will be on patrol for first day of school Monday in Palm Beach

A contract between the Palm Beach County School District and the Palm Beach Police Department is expected to be presented to the Town Council Wednesday, laying out details for increased security at the town’s only public school. The contract comes months after the state passed a mandate requiring that an armed officer be placed in each public school by the first day of classes on Monday...
NEW: Schools asking parents about their child’s mental health history

NEW: Schools asking parents about their child’s mental health history

Tucked at the bottom of Palm Beach County’s student registration form, on the page that begins with who is permitted to pick up your child from school and just under the box to check if a student has life-threatening allergies, is a new question: Has the student ever been referred for mental health services? Yes? No? Not known? The question comes in the wake of the Parkland school shootings...
Six months after Parkland, students return to more fortified schools

Six months after Parkland, students return to more fortified schools

More armed officers. New fences and walls. Transparent backpacks. Student ID badges. Staggerd school dismissals. Many of Palm Beach County’s public schools will be more guarded and fortified than ever when classes begin on Monday, the result of months of changes to assuage parents’ fears and comply with new state requirements after February’s school shooting in Parkland. With...
195,000 students, 13,000 teachers head back to school Monday

195,000 students, 13,000 teachers head back to school Monday

Summer is officially in the rearview. About 195,000 students — pre-K through 12th grade — are headed to 179 Palm Beach County district-run and 48 charter schools Monday morning. This is the first opening day under Superintendent Donald Fennoy II, who landed the post in the spring. As the 2018-19 school year begins, 17 schools are starting with new principals. Some 60,000 students...

POINT OF VIEW: Building a talent pipeline to meet STEM demands

Florida’s economy is booming, yet, as other states also are experiencing, the talent gap persists in many of our targeted industries, particularly in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) occupations. The CareerSource Florida network and our strategic partners are working hard to address this challenge. As workforce developers, we know talent is key in continuing economic growth....
School Board 7: Ferguson aims to unseat Robinson

School Board 7: Ferguson aims to unseat Robinson

After 18 years on the Palm Beach County School Board, Debra L. Robinson is facing what could be the toughest re-election campaign of her career. A former activist, retired physician and the school board’s longest-serving member, Robinson is going head-to-head for the District 7 seat with Edwin Ferguson, a Riviera Beach attorney who grew up in the district and taught briefly in area high schools...
Edline dead; new parent grade-tracking tool is to die for, testers say

Edline dead; new parent grade-tracking tool is to die for, testers say

Edline, the online tool parents across Palm Beach County have used to stalk their children’s progress in school – and sometimes curse when teachers don’t update regularly – is dead. But administrators promise that its replacement, in use districtwide for the first time next week, will be easier to use and have perks only a parent could love as much as students may loathe. Grade...
School district seeks more minority gifted students

School district seeks more minority gifted students

The county’s education leaders say they are slowly chipping away at the factors that contribute to a disproportionately – and overwhelmingly — white enrollment in the school district’s gifted classrooms. Armed with a test to screen all second graders at selected schools and plans to eventually install full-time gifted programs at every elementary, Palm Beach County education...
Cerabino: Palm Beach County Schools has your name, but not your number

Cerabino: Palm Beach County Schools has your name, but not your number

The Palm Beach County School Board is considering streamlining its school-naming policy to allow wealthy, living individuals to have schools named after them in exchange for a “significant contribution.” These “legacy naming rights” would replace a policy that gives the school’s advisory council (SAC) a say on the name change, sparing a “substantial benefactor&rdquo...
School sales tax holiday starts Friday

School sales tax holiday starts Friday

Whether you are buying school supplies or dorm essentials, they can get fairly expensive, and who doesn’t like a good deal? School is around the corner and Florida’s annual back-to-school sales tax holiday is here — it kicks off Friday and runs through Sunday. Shoppers won’t be charged the state’s 6 percent sales tax or Palm Beach County’s 1 percent sales surtax...
Delray teacher loses license after graphic sex talk with 5th-graders

Delray teacher loses license after graphic sex talk with 5th-graders

A former teacher at Plumosa School of the Arts has been barred from teaching in Florida after state officials said he engaged his fifth-grade students last year in a graphic conversation about different kinds of sexual intercourse. Carlos Pena, a former Spanish teacher at Plumosa in Delray Beach, discussed with students anal and oral sex, masturbation, pornography and the meaning of the term &ldquo...
Eagle Arts’ last-minute plea fails; School Board ends charter

Eagle Arts’ last-minute plea fails; School Board ends charter

Fed up with protracted efforts to close Eagle Arts Academy that seemingly left the door open for the charter school to welcome students once again this fall, the Palm Beach County School Board ended the school in one vote Wednesday. Board members unanimously agreed with Superintendent Donald Fennoy’s assertion that the school’s financial woes, reports of pending eviction and questions...
A Wellington elementary is named for man who brought mangoes to U.S.

A Wellington elementary is named for man who brought mangoes to U.S.

As we approach the beginning of Palm Beach County’s school year — that’s Aug. 13 but no pressure, parents — it’s natural for people to start wondering more about their children’s schools. One curious parent who asked to remain anonymous emailed me last week to inquire about the origin of the name of her son’s school. Elbridge Gale Elementary sits behind the...
PBC schools chief calls for ‘immediate’ shutdown of Eagle Arts Academy

PBC schools chief calls for ‘immediate’ shutdown of Eagle Arts Academy

Frustrated so far in their attempts to close Eagle Arts Academy, Palm Beach County public school leaders are going for the nuclear option: an immediate shutdown of the troubled Wellington charter school. Schools Superintendent Donald Fennoy is proposing to close the school this week, arguing that its financial woes and evident lack of a campus or teaching staff make it unsafe for students. The school&rsquo...
Editorial: School board still needs Robinson’s experience, insight

Editorial: School board still needs Robinson’s experience, insight

The size and complexity of the Palm Beach County School District presents a myriad of challenges. Student achievement, school security and teacher pay being just a few of the issues being wrestled with by the School Board on a daily basis. Board member Debra L. Robinson has effectively fought on the front lines of this county’s education battles for 17 years. In that time, she has garnered a...
Safety call: Fennoy seeks student holiday on primary election day

Safety call: Fennoy seeks student holiday on primary election day

Schools Superintendent Donald Fennoy is seeking to close schools to students on Aug. 28, clearing the way for residents to cast their votes on Primary Election Day without risking the welfare of children. Of 478 polling locations in Palm Beach County, 118 are within schools, Elections Supervisor Susan Bucher said. Should the School Board vote in favor of Fennoy’s recommendation Wednesday...
Editorial: District right to push closing chronically troubled charter

Editorial: District right to push closing chronically troubled charter

For perspective on why the Eagle Arts Academy charter school should have been closed down long ago, consider the contrast: When the Palm Beach County School District last month announced its A-rated schools, the list included three top-notch high school charters: Inlet Grove in Riviera Beach, South Tech in Boynton Beach and the G-Star School of the Arts in West Palm Beach. Although privately managed...
Judge: School district must pay Eagle Arts $255,000 today

Judge: School district must pay Eagle Arts $255,000 today

An administrative law judge has restored, at least for now, cash flow to the beleaguered Eagle Arts Academy, which is battling district efforts to shut it down. The Palm Beach County School District has been seeking to close the Wellington-based charter school for a growing list of financial failings, but the termination proceedings begun in April weren’t moving quickly enough to stop the school...
Boca Raton cops to police elementary schools next year

Boca Raton cops to police elementary schools next year

BOCA RATON — Boca Raton police officers will monitor the city’s five elementary schools next year while the Palm Beach County School District hires and trains new officers. The school district will reimburse part of the cost to patrol Boca Raton’s elementary schools — Calusa, Addison Mizner, J.C. Mitchell, Verde and Boca Raton Elementary.  The city won&rsquo...
Lost Decade: How Palm Beach County public schools cut pay for veteran teachers

Lost Decade: How Palm Beach County public schools cut pay for veteran teachers

Palm Beach County public schools cut the pay for veteran teachers by thousands of dollars over the past decade, relegating the county’s most experienced educators to lower salaries than their predecessors even as the cost of living climbed. A typical 20-year teacher in Palm Beach County earns $3,000 less today than a typical 20-year teacher did in 2008, a Palm Beach Post analysis of school district...
Report: Seminole Ridge assistant principal changed 40 students’ grades

Report: Seminole Ridge assistant principal changed 40 students’ grades

An assistant principal at Seminole Ridge High in Loxahatchee changed 40 students’ grades in a credit recovery course intended to make up for courses they had failed once before, the school district’s Inspector General’s office has concluded. The investigation into the athletics program and staffers associated with it began with an anonymous letter in August 2017. By the time it concluded...
State fraud probe, dropped contracts plague school counseling service

State fraud probe, dropped contracts plague school counseling service

The Miami-based company that recently lost its contract to supply mental health counselors to Palm Beach County schools after a Palm Beach Post investigation appears to also be under scrutiny from the state’s top legal authority as it investigates Medicaid fraud. Motivational Coaches of America has billed itself as a top provider of mental health counselors to schools across the state, boasting...
Why are Boca schools so crowded? School district has a theory

Why are Boca schools so crowded? School district has a theory

Many have said Boca Raton’s schools are crowded because of incessant development, but the Palm Beach County School District dispelled that notion Tuesday. Boca schools — most of which enroll beyond their capacities — are teeming with students because of the city’s changing demographics, school board member Frank Barbieri told the City Council Tuesday. “There’s a...
Boynton Beach High principal removed from school amid investigation

Boynton Beach High principal removed from school amid investigation

Boynton Beach High School’s principal has been removed abruptly from the school after becoming the subject of a school district investigation. Principal Guarn Sims, a veteran educator who was appointed to lead the school last summer, was removed and temporarily reassigned pending the outcome of the investigation, less than three weeks before classes resume Aug. 13. In his absence, the school...
Tax-free weekend is around the corner. Here’s what you need to know.

Tax-free weekend is around the corner. Here’s what you need to know.

Whether you are buying school supplies or dorm essentials, they can get fairly expensive, and who doesn’t like a good deal? School is around the corner and so is Florida’s annual back-to-school sales tax holiday, which kicks off Aug. 3 and runs through Aug. 5. Shoppers won’t be charged the state’s 6 percent sales tax or Palm Beach County’s 1 percent sales surtax on certain ...
New Cypress Trails principal wants students to reach fullest potential

New Cypress Trails principal wants students to reach fullest potential

The new principal of Cypress Trails Elementary, Bruce Saulter, sees balance between his professional and family life one of his biggest challenges. Name: Bruce Saulter School Name: Cypress Trails Elementary School Location: 133 Park Road N., Royal Palm Beach Grades taught: Kindergarten to fifth Number of Students: Approximately 460 Capacity: Our capacity is large enough for our predicted enrollment...
New principal of Okeeheelee Middle sees challenges as opportunities

New principal of Okeeheelee Middle sees challenges as opportunities

Elizabeth Morales sees her role as principal not only as work, but as her passion. The Okeeheelee Middle School principal hasn’t been in the job long, but she faces the new position with enthusiasm. Name: Elizabeth Morales School Name: Okeeheelee Middle School Location: Greenacres Grades taught: Sixth through eighth Number of Students: 1,500 Where did you grow up? I come from a Cuban-Spanish...
Principal says learning student names one of his biggest challenges

Principal says learning student names one of his biggest challenges

For Banyan Creek Elementary School Principal Gerald Riopelle, a quote from Vince Lombardi is a form of motivation. Name: Gerald Riopelle School name: Banyan Creek Elementary Location: 4243 Sabal Lakes Road, Delray Beach Grades taught: VPK, pre-K through fifth Number of Students: 995 Capacity: 1,200 Where did you grow up? Michigan (southern Detroit) Where did you attend school? I attended Florida State...
Principal wants to build one-on-one relationships at new school

Principal wants to build one-on-one relationships at new school

In his new job as principal at William T. Dwyer High School, Corey Brooks aims to make success unavoidable for students and staff. Name: Corey Brooks School : William T. Dwyer High School Location: 13601 N. Military Trail, Palm Beach Gardens Grades taught: Ninth through 12th Number of Students: 2,700 How long have you worked in the education field? I’ve been an educator for 20 years...
Parents’ updated contact information essential

Parents’ updated contact information essential

What are your tips for parents before the start of school? In the two weeks prior to school starting, it is important for parents to begin setting an earlier bedtime so the child is well rested and ready to learn when school begins. Parents are also strongly encouraged to update the school of any changes to their contact information. Parents should make an appointment with their pediatrician during...
Nurse: Sick students must see a physician

Nurse: Sick students must see a physician

What are your tips for parents before the start of school? It has been a long and fun summer and kids are not usually ready to return to school. It is recommended that parents start a sleeping schedule at least a week prior to school so children can be well-rested and ready to learn. Good nutrition is also a vital component to a child’s focus and energy. Parents should give their children a...
Health supervisor tells how to get the children ready for school year

Health supervisor tells how to get the children ready for school year

What are your tips for parents before the start of school? I always tell parents that a rested brain is ready to learn. Therefore, at least two weeks prior to school reopening, try to re-instill the early bedtime habit, as it will be necessary to ensure at least an eight-hour night sleep prior to each school day. As important as rest is to learning, so is the need for adequate nutrition. To illustrate...
Nurse emphasizes how to live a healthy lifestyle

Nurse emphasizes how to live a healthy lifestyle

Oramari McCarthy RN, BSN, Boca Raton High School What are your tips for parents before the first day of school? Students’ immunizations should be up-to-date and their physicals completed if needed. Please encourage your child to start getting into a routine approximately five days before school starts. Try to change their summer schedule by going to sleep a little earlier each night and getting...
NEW: School district purging out-of-boundary students from Boca High

NEW: School district purging out-of-boundary students from Boca High

BOCA RATON — The Palm Beach County School District is verifying the address of every student enrolled at Boca Raton High School to “weed out” those who aren’t zoned for the crowded school, Superintendent Donald Fennoy said. When school resumes in three weeks, Boca High expects about 760 more students than it was built to hold, according to school district data. With...
Registration still open for magnet programs at five schools

Registration still open for magnet programs at five schools

The School District of Palm Beach County is still registering students for magnet programs at five schools. The five schools and grant-funded programs are: Carver Middle School, Delray Beach: IB Middle Years Programme with STEM infusion Congress Middle School, Boynton Beach: STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) Grove Park Elementary...
County prepares for back-to-school with drives, giveaways

County prepares for back-to-school with drives, giveaways

BACK-TO-SCHOOL DRIVES Many young children in our community can’t afford school supplies when they return to school. PGA Commons in Palm Beach Gardens is kicking off “Give Back, Get Back,” where shoppers can donate school materials and get something for themselves. Beginning Monday through Sunday, customers can donate back-to-school items and receive 10 percent off a purchase made...
‘It’s a brand-new school’: Penny tax gives updates to county schools

‘It’s a brand-new school’: Penny tax gives updates to county schools

The roof at Del Prado Elementary School was so bad in the cafeteria that the leaks sometimes made it feel like it was raining indoors. Any time the weather was bad, lunch had to be moved elsewhere. Principal Kathryn Morem said that was just one of the building’s issues — but it won’t be a problem anymore. She said she is thankful for the suburban Boca Raton school’s renovations...
Up-to-date vaccinations are required for school admittance

Up-to-date vaccinations are required for school admittance

Palm Beach County students are required by the School District to have up-to-date vaccinations prior to the beginning of the 2018-19 school year. The Florida Certificate of Immunization, Form DH 680, is the only document schools are allowed to accept as proof of immunizations. The form is available through the Palm Beach County School Health Division, Palm Beach County Health Centers and local medical...
School District food program sees to it kids can get meals in summer

School District food program sees to it kids can get meals in summer

School may be out for the summer, but the School District of Palm Beach County is aware that for many children, summer means no access to a nutritious meal. For that reason, the district’s Summer Food Service continues to offer meals at no charge during the summer break. There is no application necessary and any child age 18 or younger can simply come during meal times to receive...
Metal detectors to be used at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School

Metal detectors to be used at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School

Students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School will no longer have to use see-through backpacks, but they will have to pass through metal detectors when they return to class in a few weeks. The Sun Sentinel reports that the school where 17 people were fatally shot on Valentine's Day will be the first in Broward County to use metal detectors.   Officials haven't offered specifics on whether...
Health department aims to triple back-to-school shots in PBC

Health department aims to triple back-to-school shots in PBC

The ubiquitous van that has traversed the county doling out back-to-school shots every summer won’t be making its daily rounds for the first time since its inception some two decades ago. Instead, the Palm Beach County Health Department is aiming to triple the number of children it can immunize by expanding its hours and beefing up staff at three clinics, spokesman Tim O’Connor said...
POINT OF VIEW: Don’t deny fair funding to students in charter schools

POINT OF VIEW: Don’t deny fair funding to students in charter schools

If members of the Palm Beach County School Board had shared my experience with district schools, they would not have voted to exclude charter schools from benefitting from a proposed education tax. It was a heartless decision, and one that dismissed the needs of thousands of students in the county’s 48 charter schools. RELATED: PBC school board puts property tax increase on November ballot My...
Christie commentary: Charters don’t need specific piece of special tax

Christie commentary: Charters don’t need specific piece of special tax

It’s all over but the shouting. The Palm Beach County School Board is set to add a ballot measure that it will put before some wary and weary taxpayers in November. RELATED: PBC school board puts property tax increase on November ballot That measure, if approved by 51 percent of county voters, will add a special $1 of tax per $100,000 of property value. It will replace the 25 cents that has...
Update:Fennoy names 4 more principals for 2018-19 year; 17 schools involved in shuffle

Update:Fennoy names 4 more principals for 2018-19 year; 17 schools involved in shuffle

Upate Aug. 1, 2018: Superintendent Donald Fennoy introduced the School Board to four more principals:  Roosevelt Middle – Jeremiah Stewart, who steps in after serving as an AP at Bear Lakes Middle Osceola Creek Middle – Brian McClellan, from AP at Seminole Ridge to Principal Osceola Creek Freedom Shores Elementary- Michael Sabatino, who leaves AP spot at Coral  Glade View Elementary...
PBC school board puts property tax increase on November ballot

PBC school board puts property tax increase on November ballot

Palm Beach County residents will vote in November on whether to raise property taxes to provide more money for teacher salaries and campus safety in the county’s public schools, school board members decided Wednesday. By a 7-0 vote, board members agreed to place a proposed tax hike on the Nov. 6 ballot that would raise school property taxes by an estimated $150 million a year for four years...
Did Eagle Arts director steal church camera? Feud leads to theft probe

Did Eagle Arts director steal church camera? Feud leads to theft probe

Eagle Arts Academy’s executive director became the target of a theft investigation Monday after authorities say he took video cameras belonging to a church that rents space on the campus, the latest flareup at the charter school as its future becomes increasingly uncertain. After church leaders reported at least one camera stolen Monday, school director Gregory Blount admitted to taking...
Editorial: Court should strike misleading Amendment 8 from the ballot

Editorial: Court should strike misleading Amendment 8 from the ballot

Supporters of charter schools have pulled a fast one in getting a ballot question before voters in November that’s meant to ease the creation of charter schools without mentioning the words “charter schools.” Now comes the Florida League of Women Voters to perform the public service of asking a court to kill it. The proposed Amendment 8 was concocted by Florida’s Constitution...
Local students team-up with AT&T to improve STEM talent pipeline

Local students team-up with AT&T to improve STEM talent pipeline

“I wanted to be an artist, but in school I’m doing marine biology,” says Zoleecia, just moments after completing a STEM project with her other young, tech-savvy peers. “I’m going to try to do that in college.” Zoleecia, along with the rest of her hardworking grade-school classmates, knows that exploring career options and earning potential is no easy task...
Private polling boosted PBC schools’ push for a $150 million tax hike

Private polling boosted PBC schools’ push for a $150 million tax hike

Palm Beach County public school leaders decided last month to press ahead with a proposed $150 million tax increase after a poll suggested strong support for the proposal among county voters, newly obtained polling records show. The private poll, which surveyed about 400 county voters in early May, found that 59 percent supported raising a special property tax that provides extra money for public...
Editorial: Don’t like raising school taxes? Blame Florida Legislature

Editorial: Don’t like raising school taxes? Blame Florida Legislature

Any citizen unhappy that the Palm Beach County School District might ask voters to approve a boost in property taxes should take their complaint to the Florida Legislature. That’s because lawmakers — in particular, House Republicans — have taken their anti-tax ideology to an extreme. Not only have they refused to raise any taxes on what we’ll generously call principle, they...
Scientists say climate change will worsen these algae problems

Scientists say climate change will worsen these algae problems

Floating on oxygen molecules in a mucus-like blob, microcystis is most content in lazy water warmed to 86 degrees. Add sunlight to stimulate photosynthesis and nutrients for food, and — boom — it blooms. The single-cell organism, a type of cyanobacteria — more commonly known as blue-green algae — produces the toxin microcystin, which has been found in dangerously...
Ex-schools police chief keeps high pay to patrol elementary school

Ex-schools police chief keeps high pay to patrol elementary school

Former School District Police Chief Lawrence Leon will stay on the job as a captain in the department, patrolling the halls of a north county elementary school at the same base salary he earned in the top job: $137,732. The move makes him the second highest paid cop in the department, ranking behind only his replacement, Chief Frank Kitzerow, who took over the job July 2 at a $167,500 salary...
Will 5 percent raise lure more cops to schools beat, stem exits?

Will 5 percent raise lure more cops to schools beat, stem exits?

At a time when the Palm Beach County School District seeks to hire 75 additional officers to patrol its schools and is facing criticism that it doesn’t pay its police force enough, district leaders and police union negotiators have struck a deal that would give school officers a 5 percent raise. Under the agreement, the raise would be across the board and increase the base salary of a first-year...
Local debate team places fifth in national championship tournament

Local debate team places fifth in national championship tournament

U.B. KINSEY/PALMVIEW ELEMENTARY SCHOOL OF THE ARTS Visual arts teacher Rosemary Shaw was chosen as one of four educators chosen for the 2018 State Teacher/Artist Residency program, presented by the Hermitage Artist Retreat and the Florida Alliance for Arts Education. During a three-week summer residency at the Hermitage in Englewood, the teachers live and work as artists, without any expectation,...

Allamanda Elementary Health and Wellness program awarded $5,000 grant

ALLAMANDA ELEMENTARY Deborah Feinsinger, Health and Wellness Program coordinator, recently was presented a $5,000 grant to support the program from The CouTOURe Club through the Honda Classic Cares organization. The CouTOURe Club is an organization of women committed to developing the golf tournament’s mission of increasing charitable contributions for children of the community. The school is...
The school board can’t close Eagle Arts, so it’s cutting off its money

The school board can’t close Eagle Arts, so it’s cutting off its money

Palm Beach County public school leaders can’t seem to shut down Eagle Arts Academy, so they’re trying the next best thing: shutting off the school’s money. Frustrated in their efforts to close the controversial Wellington charter school, school district leaders have decided to stop paying it until a judge determines the school’s final fate. If successful, the move could...
In reversal, PBC schools chief says to exclude charters in tax push

In reversal, PBC schools chief says to exclude charters in tax push

Facing pushback from school board members and the teachers union, Palm Beach County Schools Superintendent Donald Fennoy has dropped his proposal to give charter schools a share of a $150 million-a-year property tax increase if voters approve it. The turnabout comes after board members declined last month to approve Fennoy’s last-minute recommendation that charter schools receive a slice...
A DAUGHTER’S GIFT

A DAUGHTER’S GIFT

Ronald Corbin is a living legend in Martin County. Before retiring in 2014, the Port St. Lucie resident spent 34 years as director of Martin County High’s internationally renowned OPUS choir. The gentle, soft-spoken music teacher made an impact on the lives of countless students and parents. He still keeps in touch with many of them — and is universally beloved in the community. So if...
State to school leaders: Where’s the crowd? 3 new schools not needed

State to school leaders: Where’s the crowd? 3 new schools not needed

State inaction has thrown the brakes on plans to build three new schools intended to relieve widespread crowding from Palm Beach County’s mid-section south. That doesn’t mean the plans for one high school, one middle school and one elementary school will be scrapped – yet. But Superintendent Donald Fennoy complained at the School Board’s most recent public meeting that with...
Editorial: Schools face obstacles in staffing for mental health

Editorial: Schools face obstacles in staffing for mental health

There’s been a lot of talk lately about the difficulties of staffing public schools with armed security. But staffing schools with mental health professionals will be just as tough. According to Palm Beach County Schools Superintendent Donald Fennoy, there’s a significant shortage of talent to draw from in the field of mental health. “Trying to find people to do that is a major challenge...
Some school cops actually live on campus, but not much longer for one

Some school cops actually live on campus, but not much longer for one

School Police Officer Alex Lopez has stopped burglars, vandals and graffiti artists from mischief at Dwight D. Eisenhower Elementary near Palm Beach Gardens — not because he walks its halls by day, but because he lives in a 2,000-square-foot mobile home on the school’s property at night, on weekends, through the summer, year-round. Lopez occupies one of the last remaining outposts in what...
POINT OF VIEW: PBSO is unfit to patrol our schools

POINT OF VIEW: PBSO is unfit to patrol our schools

If there was any doubt that the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office should not be in charge of patrolling our schools, the Legal Aid Society and Human Rights Defense Center’s lawsuit regarding the inhumane treatment of children in the Palm Beach County Jail should put an end that discussion. Under the leadership of Sheriff Ric Bradshaw, children are allegedly held in solitary confinement...
Palm Beach County public schools regain A rating from state

Palm Beach County public schools regain A rating from state

Palm Beach County’s public school system reclaimed its A grade from the state this year, as rising test scores buoyed it to the top mark and maintained the county’s title as Florida’s highest-rated large school district. State grades released Wednesday show that schools across the state benefited from improving student performance on state exams and higher graduation rates....
Wellinton Regional Medical Center Auxiliary presents scholarships

Wellinton Regional Medical Center Auxiliary presents scholarships

ALEXANDER W. DREYFOOS SCHOOL OF THE ARTS Galli Artistic Merit Scholarships were awarded to Nicholas Caggiani, B. Amico, Nicholas Abrahams, Emily Betts, Michael Bole, Joshua Boss, Hannah Butcher, Allen Cadet-Civil, Thea Celey, Gillian Dickinson, Mya Heavener, Paige Lewis, Giancarlo Llerena, Nava’da Lorick, Dylan Melville and Andrea Mish. Taubert Memorial Scholarships were awarded to Sage Albert...
Treasure Coast Music Teachers Association hosts annual Honors Recital

Treasure Coast Music Teachers Association hosts annual Honors Recital

EDNA W. RUNNER TUTORIAL CENTER Mary Hinton Scholarships were awarded to Jordan Elmaleh, Daniel Cuervo, Alvin Williams and Daisha McGraw. Joyce Ross was named Teacher of the Year for her 26-plus years of ongoing commitment to tutoring students in math studies. The Donald E. Hudson Volunteer of the Year award was presented to Missy Tschappat, who has served the center since 2009. The inaugural award...
Katz Yeshiva High students honored for Technion competition win

Katz Yeshiva High students honored for Technion competition win

SOUTHTECH ACADEMY Eileen Turenne was named as the school’s new principal. Turenne, who previously served the school as assistant principal of curriculum, will begin her tenure in July. BRIEFLY Jacob Givoni, of Boca Raton, was awarded the Congressional Award Gold Medal. Comcast Leaders and Achievers Scholarship Winners: Aide Aguilar Ayungua, Fort Pierce Central High; Sage Albert, Alexander W...
Editorial: District should continue to take the lead on school safety

Editorial: District should continue to take the lead on school safety

These days, Florida public school officials tend to define school safety in one of two ways: Before Parkland and After Parkland. RELATED: Video of Palm Beach County School District meeting with Post Editorial Board Palm Beach County Schools are no exception. Before the deadly Feb. 14 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School that killed 17 people — 14 of them students — an adequately...
Boynton Beach company targeted teachers in student loan scam, Pam Bondi says

Boynton Beach company targeted teachers in student loan scam, Pam Bondi says

A Boynton Beach debt relief company scammed public-sector workers in Palm Beach County by falsely promising to help borrowers qualify for student-loan forgiveness, Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi said in a suit filed Monday. In the suit, Bondi names as defendants Integrity Group US Inc., OnlineStudentLoan.org Inc., StudentsLoanServices.org Inc. and Thomas H. Rohan. The companies used breathless...
FEA union seeks politicians’ pledge on support for teacher pay hikes

FEA union seeks politicians’ pledge on support for teacher pay hikes

The state’s largest teachers union kicked off an election-year campaign Tuesday aimed at getting Florida politicians to sign a pledge vowing to boost the pay of educators to the national average over the next five years. The proposal could cost as much as $600 million, the Florida Education Association acknowledged. PBC schools chief calls for $150 million hike in school property taxes &ldquo...
10 schools closed for renovations; where to register instead

10 schools closed for renovations; where to register instead

Registering your child for the next school year is typically as simple as filling out forms at the school he or she will attend. But this summer, 10 campuses across Palm Beach County are closed while undergoing major renovations. Parents seeking to register students will have to head to alternative enrollment sites. The renovation work is being paid for by a sales tax hike — from 6 percent to...
NEW: Tests show norovirus was cause of illnesses at 4-H camp in Lake Placid

NEW: Tests show norovirus was cause of illnesses at 4-H camp in Lake Placid

Norovirus caused an outbreak of illness that sent several children at a 4-H camp in Lake Placid to hospitals last week, state health officials in Highlands County said Monday. The outbreak required 33 students and three adults to seek treatment Thursday. Children from Palm Beach County were among those attending Camp Cloverleaf, although it was not clear if any were among those needing medical...
Commentary: Teens talk Parkland impact; toddlers abused by separation

Commentary: Teens talk Parkland impact; toddlers abused by separation

Christie: Yes, separating migrant children from parents at U.S.-Mexico border is child abuse UPDATE: Days after the following blog post, President Trump signed an executive order reportedly fixing his own zero-tolerance immigration policy that had resulted in more than 2,300 migrant children being separated from their parents who had illegally crossed the U.S. southern border. Some children were reunited...
POINT OF VIEW: Grand jury recommendations will make our schools safer

POINT OF VIEW: Grand jury recommendations will make our schools safer

The day after the horrific mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, police arrested a student who brought two guns to Palm Beach Lakes High School, and a wave of local copycat threats frightened parents and frayed the nerves of our community. The law enforcement response was swift and certain: even if it was only a sick joke or a cry for attention, every threat against a...

POINT OF VIEW: Bring county teacher pay into the 21st century

Conditions have changed rapidly in the teaching profession over the past two decades. Once a desirable profession that came with a healthy dose of autonomy and creativity, some financial stability, and basic safety is now a radically different occupation. Sign up for The Palm Beach Post FREE weekly Opinion newsletter: Text Opinion to 444999 Florida’s legislative mandates, drafted oftentimes...
School police chiefs: Incoming, outgoing, retired under one roof

School police chiefs: Incoming, outgoing, retired under one roof

The Palm Beach County School Police Department has gone from one chief to three – one incoming, one outgoing and one former. And a major to spare – at least for now. In making over its in-house police department, school district leaders this week hired Jupiter’s Frank Kitzerow Jr. to preside over what will eventually be a much larger force. But the man he’s replacing,...
Use reserves to hire school cops? The district says it’s not so simple

Use reserves to hire school cops? The district says it’s not so simple

Everyone has ideas about how public schools should spend their money. Grand jurors are no exception. More police officers. Higher salaries. New police cars. Self-locking doors. More police dogs. More counselors. More psychologists. More training. Magnetized ID cards for every student. And impact-resistant glass in thousands of classroom doors. On Wednesday, a 21-person grand jury convened by Palm...

POINT OF VIEW: Combat societal vileness with ‘kindergarten rules’

Children today can hear or read horrifying reports about despicable things. They want to know what those unfamiliar words mean. Our society is trading in childhood innocence, a time of guilelessness and purity of emotion, in order for so-called adults to behave badly and licentiously in public. Some historians say Victorians invented childhood by coddling their children. Of course, that would refer...
School board cuts ties with counseling service that left kids in lurch

School board cuts ties with counseling service that left kids in lurch

The Palm Beach County School Board has severed ties with the company that promised free mental health counselors to hundreds of students in dozens of schools but whose services were constantly interrupted by rampant turnover, as a Palm Beach Post investigation revealed this month. The Wednesday night vote was swift and without comment. The Miami-based Motivational Coaches of America operates in several...
BREAKING: Former middle school teacher accused of sending sexually explicit text to student

BREAKING: Former middle school teacher accused of sending sexually explicit text to student

A former Congress Middle School social studies teacher has been arrested for reportedly sending a sexually explicit text to a 14-year-old student in September 2015, court records show. Eric Wakeley, 34, was booked Wednesday into the Palm Beach County Jail on a charge of lewd and lascivious behavior with a minor. He was being held there Thursday morning in lieu of a $100,000 bond.  Wakeley...
School board delays decision for month on property tax increase

School board delays decision for month on property tax increase

The Palm Beach County School Board on Wednesday night delayed by a month a decision to ask voters to raise school property taxes by $150 million a year. Specifically, they want to sort out whether the wording on the ballot should expressly give or deny charter schools a chunk of the proceeds. School leaders began contemplating a November ballot question in the spring. But a last-minute...
“Understaffed, underfunded, underpaid”: Grand jury blasts school police

“Understaffed, underfunded, underpaid”: Grand jury blasts school police

A grand jury convened to investigate school security lambasted Palm Beach County’s public schools for investing too few resources in keeping students safe, admonishing the school district to either “adequately fund” its police department or let the sheriff’s office take control. In a critical report released Wednesday by State Attorney Dave Aronberg, the grand jury accused...
PBC public schools may share $150 million tax hike with charters

PBC public schools may share $150 million tax hike with charters

Facing political pressure and a legal threat, Palm Beach County public school leaders are considering giving charter schools a slice of a $150-million-a-year property tax increase if it is approved by voters. After days of behind-the-scenes debate, school district officials this week quietly removed language that explicitly excluded charter schools from the proposed tax increase, clearing...

Editorial: Fake op-ed was our mistake; don’t let it cloud the issue

A “Point of View” op-ed titled, “I am a county teacher who’s not complaining about pay and benefits,” ran Saturday on The Palm Beach Post Opinion-Editorial page, written by “John Montezuma,” of West Palm Beach. We have subsequently been unable to confirm that such a person works as a Palm Beach County School District teacher, is licensed to teach in the state...
Schools set to split from counseling service suffering high turnover

Schools set to split from counseling service suffering high turnover

Palm Beach County school leaders are seeking to end their contract with the company that promised to put mental health counselors in the district’s 39 middle and seven alternative schools for free but failed to do it with consistency, as revealed by a Palm Beach Post investigation this month. The move comes two weeks after The Post reported that Motivational Coaches of America’s program...
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