Escambia County School District

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.  Dave Dunwoody reports

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.

About half a million students across the state took Math tests this year that will end up not counting towards their final grade. WUWF’s Bob Barrett spoke with Escambia County School Superintendent about this latest situation involving testing in Florida.

The end of the K-12 school year traditionally means the start of hiring new teachers for next fall. Escambia County is taking that search to a higher level.

Superintendent Malcolm Thomas says they’re opening to bring 200-400 new teachers aboard for the 2015-16 term, to make up for those leaving the district, leaving the vocation, or retiring. And the search, he says, is across the academic board.

Sacred Heart Health Systems

  Sacred Heart Health System is teaming up with a pair of Escambia County elementary schools, to promote healthy behavior and lifestyle habits.

Using a $50,000 grant from Sacred Heart’s parent firm Ascension Health, the “Healthy Schools” program involves Holm and O.J. Semmes. Director Janice Hall says the two schools were picked according to student need, school ranking and prior relationships with the hospital.

Office of Rick Scott

Gov. Rick Scott visited Pensacola Monday, to present a check to the Escambia County School District from the Florida Department of Education. The money is for sustained or significantly improved student achievement at individual schools. 

“It’s because you’ve worked hard,” said Gov. Scott. He was at Blue Angels Elementary School, speaking before a backdrop of students, teachers and administrators.

After a very shaky roll out last week, the first round of writing tests for the new Florida Education Standards have been taken by 8th, 9th and 10th graders. But confidence in the new system is still pretty low.

Bob Barrett / WUWF News

Christmas came a week early for Manna Food Pantries this year as a well known family made a six figure gift to the non-profit.

Sandy Sansing, along with members of his family and auto dealerships delivered a big end of the year gift to Manna Food Pantries Wednesday afternoon. A check for $100,000.

Jay Bradshaw, the president of Manna's Board of Directors represented the board at the check presentation. He called it the largest gift to Manna since he has been on the board and "one of the largest the pantry has seen in the history of the pantry".

Photo via Flickr//Matteo Bagnoli

The Florida Department of Health has established that flu season has a head start this year. As a result, school districts are reminding parents to keep infected kids at homed.

Escambia County School Superintendent Malcolm Thomas says we can expect to see an ebb and flow of influenza over the next few months. To that end, letters are being sent home after the state Health Department announced the early season, especially when it comes to children. The key, says Thomas, is fever.

Concerned about cyber bullying, Escambia County School District officials are alerting parents and taking steps to cut off student access to a new and highly offensive social media application.

The “app” is called “After School – Funny Anonymous School News For Confessions and Compliments.” Described as ‘an anonymous and private message board for your school,’ the app can be downloaded to an iPhone, iPod, through Apple’s web browser Safari and via Facebook.

Escambia County School District

  When almost 70% of voters approved renewal of the half-cent sales tax for the Escambia County School District last week, they also opened the door to construction of a new middle school in a growing part of the county.

Superintendent Malcolm Thomas says they’re looking around for land in the northwest Pensacola area for the new school, which would serve about 1,100 students. He says the location reflects the current migration of people to the middle of the county, around the Nine Mile Road corridor.

Bob Barrett / WUWF News

  Manna Food Pantries has taken the next step in finding a new permanent home.

If you stopped by Manna's long time location in Pensacola, you'd see the non-profit operating out of a few construction trailers in front of its warehouse. But that may soon be changing. De De Flounlacker, the Executive director of Manna Food Pantries, says the food bank has closed on a 4.5 acre parcel of land  at the site of the former Escambia County School District textbook depot between N. Hayne Street and N. Tarragona Street in Pensacola.

Campaign for Youth Justice

The Escambia Youth Justice Coalition (EYJC), in conjunction with the youth organization Str8 Up Pensacola, is holding a youth advocate training workshop this evening in Pensacola. The event is being held in observance of Youth Justice Awareness Month.

The Youth Justice Coalition is made up of a broad base of members, who’ve come together to advocate for juvenile justice reform in the Escambia County school system.

The Escambia County School District is hosting a workshop with the Florida High School Athletic Association on Monday, to conduct training on athletic eligibility rules for middle and high school students.

Bob Barrett

  Three months after losing its building and most of its inventory to April's flood Manna Food Pantries is set to resume service later this month.  Dee Dee Flounlacker, Executive Director of Manna Food Pantries announced that service will resume on Monday, July 28 just a few days short of the three month anniversary of the flood.

Escambia School District

Escambia County School Superintendent Malcolm Thomas is asking voters to extend the half-cent sales tax, in order to fund construction of three new public schools next year.

The levy – which expires in 2018 – raises about $20 million per year. It’s on the ballot this November for another ten-years after that. The half-cent tax has been the main funding source for the school district’s capital outlay since 1997. Thomas says voter approval is vital to their plan covering the next 10-15 years.

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