Escambia County School District

usda.gov

Question: how do you feed more than 40,000 children two to three meals per day, five days a week, for 180 school days? WUWF’s Dave Dunwoody recently visited the Escambia County School District to find out.

Lunch time at Ferry Pass Middle School is where more than 1,000 students are served daily. The kids come to the cafeteria in separate waves – rather, shifts.

Sandra Averhart / WUWF Public Media

In the aftermath of the deadly mass shooting last year at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in south Florida, school safety and security has been pushed to the forefront.

The February 2018 shooting in Parkland left 17 people, students and staff, dead. Seventeen people were injured.

With the new school year now underway, district officials here in Northwest Florida provided an update on some of the measures they’ve taken to improve campus safety.

Sandra Averhart / WUWF Public Media

Summer is over for students in Northwest Florida, as they head back to class Monday for the start of the 2019-2020 school year.

There is a lot of optimism for the new year, and offiials have been checking off a long list of things that had to be done to get ready. 

Clip Art

A review of school grades issued by the Florida Department of Education for 2018-19 shows increases in student achievement across northwest Florida.

Escambia County School District

After five previous defeats, a narrow majority of voters in Escambia County finally approved a 2018 referendum to switch from an elected school superintendent to an appointed one.

The Escambia County School District is now laying the groundwork for hiring the district’s top administrator by next fall.

To help with the process, board members have hired a search team from the Florida School Boards Association; the estimated cost is $25,000.

Sandra Averhart / WUWF Public Media

The statewide push to increase the number of graduating high school seniors who complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) wraps up soon.

Already, this year’s Florida FAFSA Challenge has been a great success in the Escambia County School District.

Sandra Averhart / WUWF Public Media

Achieve Escambia recently released its 2018 report card and set some audacious community goals for improvement, beginning with school readiness.

Clip Art

Students across Northwest Florida are heading back to school. The first day of classes is this Monday, August 13.

To get an update on readiness in the Escambia County School District, WUWF caught up with Superintendent Malcolm Thomas last Friday as preparation for the new school year were wrapping up.

General Readiness

Clipart by Scout

Education officials across Florida are digging into the details of their school and district grades for the 2017-18 school year to see where they can make improvements when classes resume this fall.

The Florida Department of Education released the grades on June 27.

Florida now has more than 1,000 “A” schools (1,027 schools) up from 987 in 2017 and 763 in 2016. The percentage of schools earning an "A" increased to 32 percent, up from 30 percent in 2016-17.

Dave Dunwoody, WUWF Public Media

Students whose families live in the Navy Federal area of Escambia County are gearing up to attend two brand new schools.

Members of the media gathered at Beulah Middle School’s main lobby area on Wednesday, taking in that “new school smell.”

The school is 205,000 square feet under one roof  and cost $45 million, funded by the Local Option Sales Tax. Eventual student capacity will be around 1,200.

The first stop on the tour – led by Assistant Principal Marietta McCaskill – was a state-of-the art gymnasium for the Beulah Bears.

Sandra Averhart / WUWF Public Media

Second grade students from four Escambia County elementary schools were invited to the University of West Florida Aquatic Center recently to get a lesson in basic water safety skills.

What they learned could potentially save their life or someone else’s.

Governor's Press Office

After Governor Rick Scott signed new gun restrictions into law Friday, in response to last month's massacre that took 17 lives at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, the legal challenge was not very far behind.

Three weeks of pressure from relatives and friends of the students slain in the in the February 14 massacre provided momentum for the legislation. Scott said the bill balances individual rights with need for public safety, and conceded that it’s not perfect, and may not satisfy everyone. But he added it will make a difference.

An event this Friday in Pensacola showcases services and opportunities for special needs students and graduates in Escambia and Santa Rosa Counties. It’s called the Transition Services Information Fair, and it will be held from 9:00 a.m. until noon at the Marcus Pointe Baptist Church, Building A, door number four.

Bob Barrett / WUWF News

If you drive by the Cordova Mall in Pensacola before 7 p.m. on Tuesday you’ll see a big Mayflower Moving van parked out front. It’s there for the annual Fill The Mayflower Food Drive for Manna Food Pantries. For the last decade the Monday and Tuesday before Thanksgiving has been dedicated to this campaign. Manna’s Executive Director De De Flounlacker says this year they are asking for quality as well as quantity. "We're hoping to fill up this Mayflower truck, that's [about] 15,000 - 20,000 pounds of food, and that's wonderful.

In the third and final installment of our “Back to School” series, we take a look at the Escambia County District.

With more than 40,000 students, Superintendent Malcolm Thomas oversees the largest district in the western Panhandle. And he adds there’s always a special enthusiasm at this time of year, just before the first class bell rings.

Pages