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Janet Valentine Headlines 44 Retirements From Flagler Schools as Oliva Era Begins in Earnest

| June 4, 2014

Former Superintendent Janet Valentine mad a rare appearance at a board event since suffering a stroke before Thanksgiving as the district celebrated its retirees. Later, the School Board approved Oliva’s contract, valued–between salary and compensation–at $173,000.

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.

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.

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.

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.

School District, County’s Largest Employer, Starts Health Clinic Experiment With Florida Hospital Flagler

| October 30, 2013

The $288,000 annual contract with Florida Hospital Flagler’s Prompt Care Clinic will allow 1,400 of the school district’s 1,700 employees to seek out primary care at no cost, but with some restrictions. The district hopes it will lower the annual increases in premiums that employees and taxpayers have been bearing.

Easter Seals Becomes Latest Charter Applicant Rejected by Defensive Flagler School Board

| October 17, 2013

Counting Easter Seals, which planned to open two small charter schools for disabled 3 and 4 year olds, no fewer than eight applications for charter schools have been filed in Flagler in the last two years. Six were withdrawn, and two were rejected by the school board, which also forced once charter to close and saw another fail in mid-year and close shop.

Flagler School District Lauds “Culture of Innovation” in State of Education Address

| October 1, 2013

Tuesday evening’s State of Education Address highlighted what the district survived through the last few years of contraction, where it is today, what challenges it is facing in the next few years, and how it intends to tangle with those challenges.

Jacob Oliva All But Appointed School District’s Next Superintendent as NAACP Objects

| August 21, 2013

The Flagler County School Board will forego a state or national search and advertise locally for a new superintendent even as a majority of the board is ready to appoint Jacob Oliva, the former FPC principal, to replace Janet Valentine, a decision the NAACP calls “cronyism” in light of internal issues the organization says won;t be addressed by hiring from within.

Replacing Valentine: Flagler School Board Will Decide Scope of Search for New Superintendent

| August 20, 2013

Janet Valentine will end her tenure as Flagler School Superintendent in June. To ensure a smooth transition, the Flagler County School Board will take a significant first step tonight as it decides whether to conduct a local, statewide or national search for her replacement. Jacob Oliva, the assistant superintendent and ex-FPC principal, is a front-runner.

James Wolfe, Popular English Teacher and Coach at Matanzas, Accused of Sex With a Student

| August 17, 2013

James Wolfe, a successful cross country coach at Matanzas, was arrested and charged with seven counts of unlawful sexual activity with a minor, whom he allegedly drugged, based on allegations dating back to between August 2010 and May 2011, when the alleged victim was 16.

Two of Flagler District’s Newer School Buses, Valued at $200,000, Stolen From FPC Depot

| August 5, 2013

The two 84-seat Bluebird buses were stolen the night of July. 27, but the theft was uncovered only today–Aug. 5. School officials say none of the bus routes will be affected when school resumes on Aug. 19. The district’s insurance will reimburse the loss. The Flagler County Sheriff is investigating the theft.

Flagler District Shelves School-Cop Posting in All Elementaries, Reverting to Previous Plan

| July 10, 2013

Not expecting another case of a parent privately paying for a school cop, the Flagler County School Board Tuesday evening gave its approval to the district’s new contract with the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office to provide six school resource deputies at high and middle schools only, and seven crossing guards, for the duration of the school year.

FPC Graduates Are Urged: Don’t Just Show Up. Know the Why of Your Life’s Purpose.

| May 30, 2013

For Flagler Palm Coast High School, a day that began with a bomb scare ended with the graduation of some 450 seniors at the Ocean Center in Daytona Beach Thursday evening, with Katie Young delivering the Commencement Address and Lynettt Shott watching her first graduating class as FPC’s new principal.

11th Grader Admits to Bomb Threat at Flagler Palm Coast High School

| May 30, 2013

An employee who’d been off Tuesday and Wednesday heard a phone message Thursday that referred to a bomb threat on the FPC campus, but the threat was for last Tuesday. The sheriff’s office recommended against evacuating the school and treated the matter as a “suspicious incident,” through the school was to be searched and a bomb squad called in.

Flagler’s School Tax Referendum: An Opposing View

| May 15, 2013

Adding to a growing debate over the June 7 Flagler County School Board tax referendum, Brad West argues against the levy, saying the district taxes constituents enough as it is, while the “cup-of-coffee-per-month” argument is a more expensive proposition than the board claims.

Ending 3rd Budget Drag-Out in 8 Days, School Board Settles on $1.8 Million in Cuts

| May 14, 2013

After 13 hours of at times harrowing debate, the Flagler County School Board by Tuesday evening settled on $1.8 million in cuts, sparing most programs but not Everest alternative school. The cuts will be restored should voters approve a tax referendum on June 7.

As Closing a School Emerges as an Option, District Calls for Emergency Meeting Thursday

| May 7, 2013

Despite some confusion about budget numbers described as a “moving target,” the Flagler school board was spending a day-long workshop to find some $1.7 million in cuts, many of them affecting educational programs directly.

Flagler Schools Gets $5.3 Million in New State Dollars and Still Ends Up in the Hole

| April 30, 2013

The Flagler school district is looking at next fall’s budget from a $1.4 million deficit despite a substantial increase in state dollars, because the state’s new revenue is attached with so many strings as to strangle the school district. Meanwhile, board members are looking to convince voters that a new property tax is necessary for needs beyond that deficit.

Flagler School District Celebrates Silver Medals for Matanzas and FPC in U.S. News Rankings

| April 23, 2013

Matanzas High School ranked 72nd in Florida, out of 777 schools. Matanzas was 1,523rd in the nation, out of 21,000 schools. Flagler Palm Coast High School ranked 87th in the state, and 2,242nd in the nation.

Flagler Youth Center’s Shannon Diamond Is Again Arrested on Drunk Charges

| April 22, 2013

Shannon Diamond was arrested on a DUI charge last year but kept his employment, supervising students. He was arrested at McCharacter’s Sunday after allegedly refusing to pay his bill and trying to flee. He is on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation.

Flagler School District Is Glowingly Re-Accredited, a Timely Validation Ahead of Levy Push

| March 13, 2013

The Flagler County school district was re-accredited for the next five years by the nation’s leading accreditation agency, a boon to the district as it makes the case to voters that they should approve a levy raising property taxes modestly to preserve programs and improve security.

Risks, Cautions, But Mostly Needs as Flagler School Board Readies for Tax Referendum

| March 12, 2013

The Flagler County School Board Tuesday evening will approve going to a tax referendum in June, asking voters to increase their property taxes modestly to preserve programs and add security in schools, but the proposal doesn’t have the unanimity two similar proposals had in the last three years.

For Flagler County Students, a New Tech Academy Without Borders, or Traditional Walls

| March 1, 2013

Instead, the academy will be on the Flagler Palm Coast High School campus and students will also be enrolled at the high school. Dual enrollment will also be offered, which offers students a chance to earn college credits at Daytona State College while in high school.

Flagler School Board Approves Posting Cops at All Elementary Schools Through Year’s End

| February 5, 2013

The doubling of cops to cover all of Flagler County’s 11 public schools would bring the total school-cop program cost to between $1 million and $1.2 million. The district’s share would be less than half, but would still require dipping into savings–or cutting programs–because the district has no money budgeted for additional security.

School Security’s Buy-A-Cop Delusions

| February 3, 2013

The Flagler County School board this week will debate adoption of a new security plan that includes adding armed cops in elementary schools. The approach would be costly, ineffective, and more emotional than intelligent. Smarter approaches–and far greater priorities–abound.

With Stern Words on Process, Flagler School Board Ratifies Private Hire of Cop at Old Kings

| January 22, 2013

Board members Sue Dickinson and Colleen Conklin raised issues with the preferential message the private-pay guard at Old Kings Elementary may send to other schools, and the way the decision was made without the board’s knowledge. Three board members had no issue with the process. All five welcomed the check.

Parent at Old Kings Elementary Hires Full-Time Armed Guard at Her $12,000 Expense

| January 21, 2013

Laura Lauria put up $12,000 just for the first two months’ cost of a full-time sheriff’s deputy at Old Kings, an arrangement carried out without the school board’s knowledge and outside normal policy and legal oversight, though school and sheriff’s officials welcome it–with caveats.

Less Than 5 Months In, Charter School Closes, Upending Parents, District and County

| January 1, 2013

Global Outreach Charter Academy opened hurriedly at the Flagler County Airport in August, with generous lease terms from county government and accommodations from the school board, only to tell its 122 students and staff on New Year’s Day that the school was out of business.

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