Sarasota County Schools News

Booker Middle to hold 2nd annual Science for Every Student Day Oct. 26

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Booker Middle STEM Day 2015

BUILDING A BETTER ROBOT: Pictured from left, Steve Ortiz and Anthony Reyes work on a robot on Science For Every Student Day 2015 at Booker Middle School.

SARASOTA, Oct. 21, 2016 – To help get students excited about science, technology, engineering and math, Booker Middle School will hold its second annual Science For Every Student Day, Wednesday, Oct. 26.

Representatives of a wide range of organizations from throughout the Sarasota-Manatee area will engage 900 Booker Middle students in activities and experiments. Fifth-graders from Bay Haven School of Basics Plus will be special guests. Participants will include Suncoast Technical College, State College of Florida, University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee, MOTE Marine Laboratory and Aquarium, Save Our Seabirds and the Sarasota Police Department.

Booker Middle teachers and students will demonstrate robotics, 3D printing and other scientific and technological equipment to show students how STEM principles and concepts are used in everyday work and play.

Booker Middle School is located at 2250 Myrtle St., Sarasota.

District to hold job fair for substitute teachers, support-staff subs Oct. 24

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SCS News

NORTH PORT, Oct. 19, 2016 – The Sarasota County Schools Human Resources Department will hold a job fair for substitute teachers and non-instructional support staff from noon-5 p.m., Monday, Oct. 24, in the North Port High School Career Center.

“We need substitute teachers and non-instructional substitutes throughout the district,” said Human Resources Director Roy Sprinkle. “Many of our full-time employees have started as subs, and other substitutes simply enjoy working at schools as opportunities arise and their schedule permits. We encourage anyone who is interested to come to the job fair and learn more about it.”

Representatives from HR will be on hand to answer questions and computers will be available so attendees can complete their applications with assistance on site. Qualifications for substitute teachers include a bachelor’s degree or higher from a fully accredited college or university, resumé and two references from supervisors.

For prospective substitute teachers, more information about how to apply and the online application is available by clicking here. Those who wish to apply to be support-staff (non-instructional) substitutes can click here for more information.

North Port High School is located at 6400 W. Price Blvd. in North Port. 

Public input sought for 2017-18 and 2018-19 school year calendars

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SCS News

SARASOTA COUNTY, Oct. 18, 2016 – The proposed calendars for the next two school years were presented at the regular meeting of the Sarasota County School Board Oct. 18. They are being advertised to the public via the school district website. Members of the public are encouraged to comment on the proposed calendars via email to The deadline for submitting comments is 4:30 p.m., Friday, Nov. 11. 

Click here to see the proposed calendars.

The 11-member Sarasota County Schools calendar committee that developed the proposed calendars will consider any public comments and present final proposed calendars to the School Board, which is expected to vote on whether to approve the calendars at its meeting at a regular meeting at 3 p.m., Tuesday, Dec. 6, in School Board Chambers at 1980 Landings Blvd. in Sarasota. The calendar committee is made up of teachers, parents, school and district administrators and support staff.

The committee recommended that school in Sarasota County start Monday, Aug. 14, 2017, and end Thursday, May 24, 2018. The following school year, the start day would be Monday, Aug. 13, 2018, and the last day of school would be Friday, May 24, 2019.

In both years, the earlier start date would mean that first semesters and related exams at high schools will be completed before the winter break. The schedule for both years also would end the school year before the Memorial Day weekend. 

School Board names internal candidate Todd Bowden next superintendent

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Todd Bowden Sept 2016

NEXT DISTRICT LEADER: The School Board of Sarasota County has named Todd Bowden as the next superintendent of schools. He will start March 1, 2017.

SARASOTA, Oct. 18, 2016 – The School Board of Sarasota County voted at its regular meeting today to name Todd Bowden, the district’s executive director of Career, Technical and Adult Education and the director of Suncoast Technical College, as the next superintendent of Sarasota County Schools.

Board members cited widespread community support for Bowden as well as his collaborative work with businesses, organizations and individuals throughout the county. Chairwoman Shirley Brown voted first for Brennan Asplen III, deputy superintendent for Academic and Student Services at St. Johns County Schools, citing several comments from people who attended the Oct. 13 public reception that noted his strengths in academics and early childhood education. But she subsequently made a motion to make the vote unanimous for Bowden, a motion which passed 5-0.

Although there were no votes for the third finalist — Mark Porter, superintendent of Monroe County Schools — Board members cited the strength of all three finalists. Frank Kovach said, “Any one of the three of the finalists could be successful here,” but said he is a “huge believer in promoting from within,” citing the success of current superintendent Lori White and former superintendent Wilma Hamilton, both of whom rose from the ranks in the district. Board member Jane Goodwin agreed, saying Bowden will “hit the ground running.”

All the Board members thanked the Florida School Boards Association, which consulted on the process; the Education Foundation of Sarasota County, which facilitated public forums, a public reception for the finalists and other opportunities for public input; and the advisory community which reviewed 49 applications and recommended eight semi-finalists for superintendent.  

Bowden said, “I am extremely grateful to the School Board for the confidence they have placed in me.” He credited White for being “responsible in large part for my success in this district. It is such a well-run, respected district and I want to perpetuate that trust the community has in us.”

Before coming to work for Sarasota County Schools in 2007, Bowden served in various roles at the Hillsborough County School District, including principal of Gary Adult High School, principal of Aparicio-Levy Technical Center and assistant principal for curriculum at Bloomingdale High School. He holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting from the University of South Florida, a master’s in business administration from Florida State University, and a master’s and doctorate in educational leadership from the University of South Florida.

A Florida native, Bowden grew up in Brandon and Valrico and attended Bloomingdale High. He and his wife Janene have two children who attend McIntosh Middle School in Sarasota: son Bobby, a sixth-grade student; and daughter Johnna, an eighth-grader.

The next step is the School Board’s negotiation of a contract with Bowden, a process that is expected to begin at the Board’s next regular meeting at 6:30 p.m., Tuesday, Nov. 1. White is set to retire Feb. 28, 2017. After an approximately two-week overlap starting in mid-February, Bowden will begin as the next superintendent March 1.

Click here for supporting documents about the Sarasota County Schools superintendent search.



‘Lowe’s Heroes’ building outdoor space for Booker Middle School

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Mooker Middle outdoor space-BEFORE-Oct 2016Booker Middle garden-Lowes Heroes Oct 2016Booker Middle garden-AFTER-Oct 2016

HEROES AT WORK: Top photo-The outdoor garden space at Booker Middle prior to renovation. Middle photo-Volunteers from Lowe’s known as Lowe’s Heroes build an outdoor garden space at Booker Middle School. Bottom photo-The completed outdoor garden space at Booker Middle. Students will plant vegetables in the raised beds at left and right.

SARASOTA, Oct. 17, 2016 – Volunteers from Lowe’s are building an “outdoor classroom” at Booker Middle School. The group, dubbed “Lowe’s Heroes” by the home improvement company, works on projects to support schools and other local organizations.

At 10 a.m., Wednesday, Oct. 19, the school and the crew will unveil the completed projects, and students will begin working in the new area.

The volunteers are sprucing up the school garden and creating a space to raise vegetables and live chickens, among other activities. Students will maintain the new learning environments.

Science teachers will engage their students to ensure that the outdoor lessons and activities are relevant to the curriculum, teaching life skills through projects that are fun for the children.

Booker Middle School is located at 2250 Myrtle Street in Sarasota. 







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