Education

Plan would extend Bright Futures into Summer

By LLOYD DUNKELBERGER
THE NEWS SERVICE OF FLORIDA

THE CAPITAL, TALLAHASSEE, September 20, 2016.......... The state university system's Board of Governors this week will debate expanding the Bright Futures scholarship program to cover summer classes.

The proposal, which could cost up to $46.7 million, is a top priority for Gov. Rick Scott, who sees broader use of the merit scholarship program as a way to help students graduate in four years from state universities.

West Hernando Middle School Grounds and Waterfall Renovated

Volunteers recently completed the renovation of West Hernando Middle School fountain

The act of giving without the expectation of something in return is the true definition of kindness,” quoted West Hernando Middle School Principal Lori Lessley. During a recent visit to the school, Board Member Mark Johnson and Lessley discussed the student-built fountain which has not been running for years. The school has not had funds to repair the fountain.

Superintendent's Update 9.9.16

Public Information Officer Karen Jordan shared these recent accomplishments at the 09.06.16 School Board meeting:
• The Hernando County School District Finance Department was awarded the highest honor in governmental accounting, the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting (CAFR).

• JoAnn Forcino, who has 32 years of experience as an educator at various levels, has been named Supervisor of Student Services.
• Hurricane Hermine

Updating Citizen Comment Time

Citizens’ comments are welcomed during HCSB meetings. While board members agree that the public has the right to air grievances, they feel recent negative comments have detracted from the recognition of outstanding teachers and students.

During the HCSB workshop on 09/06/16, Public Information Officer Karen Jordan presented challenges of the current process: misinformation being presented, assumptions of why the Board does not respond directly, and issues the Board cannot resolve.

2016 School policy changes include updates on bullying

Deputy Superintendent Gina Mikalicka and Cathy Dofka, Director of Exceptional Student Support Services, and JoAnn Forcino, Supervisor of Student Services, presented the district’s Anti-Bullying and Harassment Policy, and the Special Policies and Procedures which addresses the needs of exceptional students. Dofka explained some of the changes were a result of direction from the State’s Department of Education, along with input from the district’s cabinet-level directors.

Alternatives to restraining students

The school district typically updates policies in accordance with changes in the legislation or to follow requirements from the DOE. With regard to interventions, the district is also required to provide the number of restraints used and compare them with the previous years. According to information provided to the board members, in 2013-2014 there were 4 incidents involving restraints. These were limited to a residential facility. In 2014-2015, there were 19 incidents, with 16 incidents occurring at schools, and only 3 at a residential facility.

Informal school board meeting focuses on Hermine response, election and upcoming legislation

The Informal School Board Meeting is a time for board members to discuss concerns with one another that are not necessarily brought to the regular board meeting. This week’s meeting touched on thankfulness for staff who pulled together during Hurricane Hermine, the recent election, and proposals for the legislature.

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