Escambia County School District

Sandra Averhart

Escambia County School Superintendent Malcolm Thomas is looking for more than a few good men and women. He says between Escambia and Santa Rosa Counties there's a need to hire five to six hundred new teachers for the next school year. And to get that process started, the district is holding a Teacher Fair this Saturday for anyone interested in becoming a teacher in the county. "If you've thought in the back of your mind 'I'd like to be a teacher I wonder what's expected of me?

National Writing Project

In 1974 The University of California Berkeley established a program for teachers called the Bay Area Writing Project. In just two years it expanded to 14 sites in six states. That was the beginning of the National Writing Project. Now the University of West Florida has become one of the Project’s newest sites.  

Photo via Flickr// Allan Chatto / https://flic.kr/p/9PBUZ3

High School graduation rates in Florida for the class of 2015 were the highest in 12 years, according to figures released by the state Department of Education.

That 77.8% statewide graduation mark is up more than 18 points since the 2003-04 school year, and nearly two percent higher than last year. The Escambia County district's 2014-15 graduation rate came in at 72.7%, up from 66.1% in 2013-14, and 15 points from 2010-11.

Photo via Flickr// dhendrix73 / https://flic.kr/p/bwjp7D

Poor vehicle maintenance, shoddy record keeping and a host of code violations were uncovered during an investigation of G.B. Green Construction, after its dump truck hit a school bus in late August.

Sixteen students and driver Harriet Collins were injured in the crash when the dump truck – driven by Abraham Larry Jr. – ran a red light at Pace Boulevard and Jordan Street, striking and overturning the bus.

fldoe.com

Florida’s new standardized test for public-school students is valid according to a new study. The state Department of Education says that paves the way for the exam to be used in teacher evaluations and school grades.

The study on the Florida Standards Assessment was conducted by Alpine Testing Solutions and edCount, LLC, and gets a thumbs-up from Education Secretary Pam Stewart.

Escambia School District

  

The Escambia County School District is calling for an investigation of the firm that owns the dump truck which hit a school bus on Thursday. Sixteen students and the bus driver were injured.

According to the Florida Highway Patrol, the dump truck ran a red light at West Jordan Street and Pace Boulevard, striking the bus on the rear left side and causing it to flip over and hit a utility pole.

ACLU

Efforts are underway in Escambia County to address what’s known as the "school-to-prison pipeline." The issue was the subject of a panel discussion on Monday, Aug. 31 at Franco’s Restaurant, 523 E. Gregory St., Pensacola.

North Escambia.com

  

Thursday’s school bus accident in Pensacola – which injured 16 students and the bus driver -- is sparking renewed interest in school bus safety, from both inside and outside the vehicle.

According to the Florida Highway Patrol, a dump truck ran a red light at West Jordan Street and Pace Boulevard around 3:20 p.m., striking the bus on the rear left side and causing it to flip over and hit a utility pole.

Rob Doss, Transportation Director for the Escambia School District, says the accident report questions the state of the dump truck.

On at least five occasions dating back to 1967, voters in Escambia County have rejected the idea of switching from an elected school superintendent to an appointed one. But, there’s now a renewed discussion about the topic in the run up to the 2016 General Election.

“I am just a concerned citizen with a tremendous passion for education,” said Pensacola businessman Robert de Varona, who’s behind the latest push to make the change to an appointed superintendent in the Escambia County School District.

U.S. Department of Education

The new school year starts next week and area educators are hoping this year’s innovations will turn last year’s disruptions into distant memories. "We're looking forward to a very vanilla year, this year" said Santa Rosa Country School Superintendent Tim Wyrosdick. It's not that he has anything against the other flavors in the ice cream aisle, it’s just that last year had a little more flavor than educators were expecting.

Photo via Flickr// woodleywonderworks / https://flic.kr/p/8Jkhjr

The Escambia County School Board voted Tuesday to spend about $2 million for property, on which to build a new middle school in the western part of the district. The plan was set in motion last month.

Superintendent Malcolm Thomas says the land, currently an abandoned airfield on West Nine Mile Road, is the school district’s answer to the booming population growth in that part of Escambia County.

Photo via Flickr// Apotek Hjartat / https://flic.kr/p/nK5jct

Schools are still a month away from the being in session, but health officials are already reminding parents to make sure their child’s vaccinations are up to date. Sherry Smith, the Director of Student Services for the Santa Rosa County School District says the disctrict's school had a 98% vaccination rate for the last school year

Photo via Flickr// More Good Foundation
https://flic.kr/p/8PQ7Cj

Florida’s Department of Education is out with a video, asking residents to mentor a student in their local school district. Such programs are alive and well in the western Panhandle.

The “Why I Mentor” video highlights what just one hour each week can make in helping a child succeed in school and, ultimately, in life. In Santa Rosa County, Superintendent Tim Wyrosdick says they orchestrate a mentoring program in a couple of different ways.

Governor Rick Scott last week cut $461 million in spending from the new budget that takes effect on Wednesday, including $82 million for the Panhandle. But there’s still a substantial chunk of change heading this way.

Northwest Florida will get an estimated $678 million for projects in areas such as transportation, economic development, the environment, the arts, and education.

Photo via Flickr// U.S. Department of Education / https://flic.kr/p/fCP7RM

The United Way is looking for volunteers to serve as “Reading Pals” to area preschoolers. Andrea Krieger, the President and CEO of United Way of Escambia County, says the Reading Pals program looks to pair at risk preschool children with mentors to help them with reading skills before they enter the school system.

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