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Category archives for: Flagler County School Board

As Baker Acting of Children Soars, Flagler School Board Grapples With Perceptions of “Outrage”

| April 3, 2014

Baker Acts involving children in schools has reached 32 so far this year, three times more than last year, prompting one school board member to call herself “outraged” at the police-led manner in which most such Baker Acts are carried out, even with teens and younger children.

As Flagler District Prepare to Offer Voluntary Pre-K at all 5 Elementary Schools, Board Questions Raising $60 Fee

| March 19, 2014

The half-day VPK programs are free, but many parents opt to leave their children for longer hours that coincide with extended-day care before and after school, at a cost of $60 a week. District administrators are looking to raise that fee to accommodate the expansion of VPK.

Girl, 15, Uses School-Issued Macbook to Record Alleged Sex Assault by 22-Year-Old Man

| March 10, 2014

Keith Foreman III, an R-Section resident, is in jail this morning on $11,000 bond, on charges of lewd and lascivious battery and marijuana possession following an incident his alleged 15-year-old victim video-recorded on the Macbook Air issued by the Flagler County School District.

A 7-Year-Old Girl Is Baker Acted at Belle Terre Elementary; It’s Not Punishment, District Says

| March 4, 2014

The Baker Acting of a 7-year-old girl at Belle Terre Elementary last week, following a report of her allegedly lacerating the dean of students with thumb tacks, is one of three or four Baker Acts of students in the district every month, though they’re usually older. The district defends the Baker Acts as a necessary last resort that addresses underlying issues, and that must not be seen as retribution or punishment.

A Matanzas High Teacher Reveals Her Evaluation Scores, and the Absurdity of Florida’s “VAM” Scam

| February 26, 2014

What do my almighty “VAM” scores reveal about me, my students, the quality of my instruction or what goes on in my classroom? Absolutely nothing, writes JoAnn Nahirny, who deconstructs Florida’s new teacher-evaluation scores, hers among them, and shows why they have little basis in reality, though they may well define a teacher’s fate.

Bitter Criticism and Some Caution from Flagler School Officials on State’s Teacher Rankings

| February 25, 2014

The Flagler and Florida Education Association, the state’s teachers union, is criticizing the state’s so-called “value-added model” that presumes to rate teachers’ effectiveness, calling the data “flawed.” Many teachers and a Flagler County School Board member are also critical of the data, but for varying reasons, while Flagler’s superintendent cautions against making too much of the numbers.

“Massive Expansion” of School Vouchers Would Fund Private Education at Public Expense

| February 20, 2014

Under the proposal, retailers could divert sales-tax payments to the system; middle-class families would qualify for partial scholarships; and each scholarship would cover more of the cost of attending a private school.

Matanzas and Flagler Palm Coast High Learn Of Suicide of Senior Alexandria Rodriguez

| February 19, 2014

On Tuesday, the grandfather of Alexandria Rodriguez, an 18-year-old senior who’d attended Matanzas High School last year and Flagler Palm Coast High School until Thanksgiving, came to FPC to retrieve her two younger sisters and inform the administration that Alex, as she was known, had committed suicide that morning.

Ronald Reagan Republicans Launch Campaigns In Every Local Flagler Race, Signaling Insurgency Against GOP Incumbents

| February 18, 2014

Six candidates introduced themselves Monday evening, including two for school board, two for the Palm Coast City Council, and two for the Flagler County Commission. Six of the seven are running against incumbent Republicans, suggesting that the Triple-R’s are looking to be the insurgent candidates of this election cycle—against their own party.

In a 1st, Flagler Requires All Juniors to Take SAT, Raising Concerns About County’s Image If Grades Drop

| February 12, 2014

On February 26, almost 1,000 juniors–double the usual number–will take the SAT at Matanzas and FPC, but School Board member Colleen Conklin worried that the resulting drop in average results may send the wrong message to families and businesses looking to relocate to Flagler County.

No Surprise: Flagler School Board Votes 5-0 To Appoint Jacob Oliva Superintendent

| February 4, 2014

The initial tally, reflecting how board members ranked the two candidates, was actually 4-1, with Collen Conklin voting for Pam Tapley of Osceola County schools, but the vote to actually appoint Oliva superintendent was unanimous, to reflect the board’s unanimity.

Jacob Oliva, In Commanding Performance Through Superintendent Interview, Describes Gains and Promise of Innovations

| January 30, 2014

Acting Flagler Superintendent Jacob Oliva was second and last in the school board’s interviews Thursday. Surprising board members by challenging existing norms such as zero-tolerance policies, Oliva projected a strong command of his administrative leadership while outlining a series of recent innovations and more to come.

In Day’s 1st Interview, Superintendent Candidate Pam Tapley of Osceola Projects Bubbly Personality, Passion and Generalities

| January 30, 2014

First of two interviews for school superintendent Thursday, Pam Tapley proved immediately personable, well-spoken, occasionally funny and comfortable with herself and the board, but she was less in command of specifics when answering probing questions by the board.

Yet Another Candidate For Superintendent Withdraws, Reducing Interviews to Two

| January 27, 2014

Kevin Perry, an assistant superintendent in St. Lucie County schools, is the latest candidate to withdraw from contention, which means only acting superintendent Jacob Oliva and Osceola Assistant Superintendent Pamela Tapley will be interviewed on Thursday.

Board Picks 3 For Superintendent Interviews, But 2 Will Have To Travel on Their Own Dime

| January 23, 2014

The Flagler school board elected to interview Jacob Oliva–its current acting superintendent–James Parla of New Jersey and Pamela Tapley of Osceola County, but the board was bitterly divided over whether to pay for candidates’ accommodation and travel. A 3-2 split decided against paying.

Fulfilling Pledge, Rep. Travis Hutson Files Animal Cruelty Bill Inspired By FPC Student

| January 23, 2014

Animal abuse may cost abusers far more in penalties and punishment if a bi-partisan bill inspired by Flagler Palm Coast High School student Morgan Purtlebaugh and filed by Rep. Travis Hutson last week becomes law.

Cindy Moore and Jill Espinosa Earn School District’s Top Honors for 2013

| January 20, 2014

Cindy Moore, a testing coordinator and secretary at Flagler Palm Coast High School, was named the 2014 Employee of the Year, and Jill Espinosa, a kindergarten teacher at Belle Terre Elementary, was the Teacher of the Year.

Superintendent Application Window Closes With Just 20 Applicants, Several of Whom Are Already Disqualified

| January 18, 2014

It is an unusually low number for superintendent postings across the state, but not a surprising one considering the circumstances in Flagler, where Jacob Oliva is a heavy favorite, his front-runner status broadly publicized. All the applications are included.

With 3 Days To Go, Flagler Superintendent Job Draws Just 13 Applicants and Fewer Serious Contenders

| January 14, 2014

Candidates may have been turned off by the school board loudly and repeatedly telegraphing its favoritism for Assistant Superintendent Jacob Oliva, with the job posting straddling the holidays and the abbreviated search process likely not helping. The applications are published in full.

Superintendent Search Committee Signs Off on Applicant Pool Criteria, But Questions Speed

| January 9, 2014

The 40-odd questions aim to provide as objective a set of criteria as possible to weed through the pile of superintendent applicants and reduce it to a short list of four to six names that will be passed on to the school board as recommendations.

Board May Forego Buying Out Superintendent Valentine’s Contract, Saving her $18,000

| January 7, 2014

School Board Attorney Kristy Gavin is recommending that the board not buy out the $75,000 and six months remaining on Superintendent Janet Valentine’s contract, since the board would owe her benefits through July, and Assistant Superintendent Jacob Oliva is running the district with no plans of having the permanent position filled until July 1.

A Flagler Farewell to 2013: The Local Year in Review

| January 1, 2014

A tornado, plane crashes and mishaps, Flagler County going bonkers for clunkers, a spate of murders in Palm Coast, Flagler Beach’s firehouse follies, Bunnell’s reality show: 2013 is ending not a moment too soon. But first, a review.

Matanzas High Community Awakens to Suicide of One of Its Own, 9th Grader Dalton Coxwell

| December 19, 2013

Dalton Coxwell, a 9th grader at Matanzas High School, hung himself at his home in Palm Coast the afternoon of Dec. 18. The school is responding to students’ grief with a stepped-up presence of administrators and counselors while a school board member asks that social media be monitored.

With 78% of High Schools Rated A or B, Tougher Standards Will Kick In Next Year

| December 18, 2013

Matanzas maintained its A, making it the third A since the school opened in 2006. FPC improved from a B, earning an A for only the second time in 13 years. But a state rule calls for automatically tougher standards when more than 75 percent of schools in the state earn an A or a B.

Superintendent Valentine Will Not Return to Work; “Expedited” Search Will Continue

| December 17, 2013

The Flagler County School Board will look to buy out Janet Velentine’s contract, which runs through June. An attempt to appoint Jacob Oliva superintendent fell short as the board decided to stuck with an expedited search and a Feb. 4 appointment.

Flagler Schools Improve Graduation Rate For 5th Year in a Row, to 76.6%; Black Rate Lags

| December 13, 2013

Flagler’s rate improves from last year’s 74.8 percent, and is up significantly from the 2008-09 rate, when it was 65.1 percent. But the graduation rate of 67.9 percent among black students continues to lag, adding to pressure on the district that it’s not doing enough to address a vast gap between white and black achievement.

Inquiry Into 4th Grader’s Suspension at Palm Harbor Charter School Raises Concerns of Arbitrary Discipline and Due Process

| December 12, 2013

The Flagler County school district is investigating the case of a fourth grade girl who was suspended from Palm Harbor Academy, the Palm Coast charter school, for two days in late November without documented due process, and in apparent violation of school policy and safety standards.

As Superintendent Search Committee Meets, A Ringer for Board’s Favorite Leads the Way

| December 10, 2013

If there was any doubt left that the Flagler County School Board intends to leave little to chance as it steers its way to the appointment of Jacob Oliva as its next superintendent, that doubt was dispelled Tuesday afternoon when the board’s 15-member search committee met for the first time.

School Board Honors John Winston, Tireless Advocate of Flagler’s African-American Mentor Program

| December 6, 2013

At 76, John Winston has continued to be the leading force behind the Flagler school district’s African-American Mentor Program, which pairs young boys and men in need of solid direction with adults who take on the role of father figures. Winston is himself the patriarch of a family of seven children and three dozen grandchildren.

Superintendent Jacob Oliva: School Board Frames a Near-Certainty In Pro-Forma Search

| December 5, 2013

It is almost a certainty that come Feb. 4, Jacob Oliva will be named Flagler County’s new school superintendent, but the school board has appointed a 15-member search committee to broaden public input, vet Oliva and avoid accusations of reaching a pre-determined conclusion. Nevertheless, Oliva’s favored status has rankled some members of the black community.

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