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Sarasota County Schools News

RESCHEDULED - Sarasota County Schools' Digital Town Hall

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SCS Digital Town Hall 11-8-18

We are pleased to announce that our Digital Town Hall has been rescheduled for 7 – 8 PM on Thursday, November 8.

Join Sarasota County Schools and TV personality Adam Cellini for an evening focused on mental and behavioral health. We will discuss the importance of civility, the value of preventative care like counseling and therapy, ways to reach emotional well-being and how the community and schools can partner together and provide wraparound care for Sarasota’s children and families. Viewers will be able to ask questions and join in the conversation LIVE through the district’s Facebook and Twitter (@SarasotaSchools).

“It is extremely important for us to engage in conversations about mental and behavioral health, not just to broaden our understanding as educational leaders, but to make sure we are connecting our children and their families to the best resources,” said Todd Bowden, superintendent of Sarasota County Schools. “Our professional and philanthropic partners in the community share our vision to reach families and work through these topics. We look forward to this meaningful conversation and hope students and parents will tune in and participate with us.”

Guest panelists: 
• Veronica Thames, Senior Vice President of Talent & Innovation and Chief Operating Officer, Gulf Coast Community Foundation
• Kristie Skoglund, COO of the Florida Center
• Kirsten Russell, Director of Community Investment, Community Foundation of Sarasota County
• John Annis, Senior Vice President of Collaboration & Impact and Chief Operating Officer, Barancik Foundation

Guests can tune in to the Digital Town Hall LIVE on Facebook, online at SarasotaCountySchools.net or via The Education Channel on Comcast 20 and Frontier 33. Email your questions ahead of time to SCSTownHall@sarasotacountyschools.net.

Sarasota County Schools Announces Strategic Realignment of School Safety and Security Department

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SCSPD Logo

SARASOTA COUNTY, October 31, 2018 – To better ensure the safety and security of students, staff and school communities, the Sarasota County School District today announced a strategic shift in school safety that will lead to improved security systems and greater collaboration with local law enforcement and school leaders. 

The first announcement is the appointment of Timothy Enos, current Captain and Emergency Operations Bureau Commander with the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office, as the school district’s new Executive Director of Safety and Security and Chief of Police, pending employee background checks and School Board approval. Captain Enos, who has a successful and longstanding tenure with the school district, will oversee all strategic safety functions of the Sarasota County Schools Police Department. His appointment coincides with Michael Andreas leaving the school district.

The second announcement is the reassignment of Police Chief Paul Grohowski to a senior administrative role working to improve school campus security systems throughout the district.

The school district will also task Sergeant Steve Kim of the Sarasota County Schools Police Department to serve as interim Chief of Police during the month-long transition. Sheriff Tom Knight is assisting the school district by providing an opportunity for Captain Enos to transition into his role throughout the month of November until his background check and School Board appointment are concluded.

“I am thrilled to have Captain Timothy Enos join the school district as its new Executive Director and Chief of Police,” commented Todd Bowden, superintendent of Sarasota County Schools. “Tim is homegrown. He is a graduate of Riverview High School and a product of the Sarasota County School District. He has previously served as interim Chief of Police and a School Resource Officer in Sarasota County Schools and really understands the important nuances between school principals, administrators and school safety personnel. I can’t think of a more qualified person in Southwest Florida to serve in this capacity, and we are fortunate to have Tim lead the next chapter of the Sarasota County Schools Police Department. Our thanks go out to Sheriff Tom Knight for supporting our police department and working with us during this transition. The school district remains deeply committed to our school-based police force and I also want to thank Michael Andreas and Paul Grohowski for their leadership standing up the police department these last three months. I am confident Captain Enos will further enhance the direction and productivity of the amazing men and women who serve as SROs in our schools who work diligently to keep our children safe.”

“I am deeply honored to be the next Executive Director and Chief of Police with Sarasota County Schools,” noted Timothy Enos. “Keeping our students and school communities safe is a top priority and I look forward to collaborating with other law enforcement agencies and the men and women of the Sarasota County Schools Police Department to ensure the safety and well-being of our children.”

“Tim’s passion for education, children, and his community is evident from the work he has done here at the sheriff’s office including his 15 years of service to our Youth Services Section,” said Sheriff Tom Knight. “Superintendent Bowden has selected a very capable professional to assist him as the district continues its transition into a fully functioning police department. I am happy to support Tim during this next phase of his career and feel confident he will be a strong asset to the Sarasota County School district, its parents, and students.” 

“There is something unique and special about School Resource Officers and the superhero status they have with students every day,” said Jeff Maultsby, COO of Sarasota County Schools. “Timothy Enos’ tenure with Sarasota County Schools, his management roles with the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office and leadership roles with numerous school-based police officer associations make him an ideal candidate to lead the future of the Sarasota County Schools Police Department. We are fortunate to have someone like Tim who comes with built-in trust, dedication and passion for making a difference leading the future endeavors of our police department. Tim’s remarkable track record stands for itself, and I look forward to collaborating with him and our local law enforcement partners to make our schools even safer going forward.”

Captain Enos has served with the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office for more than 15 years and is currently responsible for the overall operation of the emergency operations bureau. Prior to his role as Captain, Enos served in numerous positions in the Sheriff’s Office Youth Services Section, working with the school district to develop departmental policies and procedures for School Resource Deputy programs. He is well-versed in providing counseling to students and leading workshops with school district staff on criminal justice matters that emphasize preventative intervention strategies. Captain Enos also serves as the current Executive Director of the Florida Association of School Resource Officers and is a senior national instructor and advisory Board member of the School Safety Advocacy Council. His thorough knowledge of school-based policing makes him an ideal candidate to assume the role of Executive Director and Chief of Police.

Captain Enos holds a bachelor’s degree from Florida State University and is a graduate of the Command Officers Development Course at the University of Louisville/Southern Police Institute. Earlier this year, Enos graduated from the Sarasota Chamber of Commerce Leadership Sarasota program and the Florida Sheriff’s Association Commanders Academy. Captain Enos is a recipient of the Drug Free Youth Monica Beckett Leadership Award, the National Association of School Resource Officers Model Agency Award, the Los Angeles School Police Officers Association Leadership Award and a recipient of the School Safety Advocacy Council Presidential Citation. Enos currently lives in Sarasota and enjoys being a part of the Riverview High School baseball coaching staff.

About Sarasota County Schools

Sarasota County Schools is committed to providing unrivaled academic, emotional and civic growth to every student, every day. As one of the leading employers on the Suncoast, Sarasota County Schools boasts 53 schools that expertly cater to the diverse needs of over 43,000 students. We are one of two Florida school districts to consistently earn an A-grade every year since 2004. Our passionate educators empower students to take charge of their academic and personal success, a practice we believe fosters lifelong growth and achievement. We actively maintain the district’s tradition of excellence and ensure that tradition extends to all students. Our commitment to our students extends beyond graduation to make sure they not only graduate on time but do so college and career ready. Want to take your student’s education to the next level? Connect with us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, or visit www.SarasotaCountySchools.net

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First-Quarter Report Cards Now Available on the Family Access Portal

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Family Access Portal

First-quarter report cards are now available on the Family Access Portal.

You can use your phone, tablet or computer to access your child’s grades. Go to the district website at www.sarasotacountyschools.net, click on the Students and Parents section and click again on the Family Access Portal Login. If you do not already have an account, you can follow the easy instructions on the page to create one.

Parents and guardians are strongly encouraged to create a portal account. The Family Access Portal can also be used to keep you up-to-date with student attendance, assignment grades and other important information. Please sign up today!

If you do not have an account, a paper copy of your child’s report card will be sent home on November 7th. f you have questions, please contact your child’s school.

Sarasota County Schools Encourages Students to Use the Newly Created FortifyFL APP to Report Suspicious Activity

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FortifyFL app

SARASOTA COUNTY, October 26, 2018 – Sarasota County Schools is one of several school districts across the State of Florida to integrate FortifyFL, a comprehensive reporting tool, into its overall school safety program. The application was designed to provide students and school communities a fast and easy way to report suspicious activity to appropriate public safety agencies and school officials. The application is free and is available for download for both Android and Apple devices. All tips and messages are shared with district employees and local law enforcement to assess and address each concern. The application was developed by the Florida Department of Education, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and the Florida Attorney General’s Office for school districts across Florida to fulfill requirements set forth by the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Act. In addition to dialing 9-1-1 and calling the school district’s 24/7 tip line, 941-966-SAFE, FortifyFL is another way for students to report issues concerning their safety and security using their mobile or digital devices.

“We have been waiting for the Florida Department of Education to complete work on the application, and we’re glad it’s now available for use,” noted Todd Bowden, superintendent of Sarasota County Schools. “FortifyFL is easy to download and use to send important messages to school officials and local law enforcement. We are pleased our school communities have yet another way to report potentially harmful activity to those who can immediately help them.”

“With so many students using mobile devices, having an application like FortifyFL integrated into our overall school safety plan makes sense,” commented Michael Andreas, executive director of Public Safety. “The Sarasota County Schools Police Department will work with school officials and local law enforcement to immediately assess and address every tip we receive. We are hopeful that students, parents and staff continue to employ the “If You See Something, Say Something so it Means Something” mantra and utilize the app when they need to.”

Students, staff and parents are encouraged to download the reporting tool using their mobile or digital devices. Just look for the garnet and white FortifyFL logo and megaphone found in all Android or Apple app stores.

About the FortifyFL APP

FortifyFL was created and funded by the 2018 Florida Legislature as part of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas Public Safety Act. The application was named by students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and developed by AppArmor. The Office of Attorney General, Department of Education and Florida Department of Law Enforcement coordinated its development and roll-out.
 

About Sarasota County Schools

Sarasota County Schools is committed to providing unrivaled academic, emotional and civic growth to every student, every day. As one of the leading employers on the Suncoast, Sarasota County Schools boasts 53 schools that expertly cater to the diverse needs of over 43,000 students. We are one of two Florida school districts to consistently earn an A-grade every year since 2004. Our passionate educators empower students to take charge of their academic and personal success, a practice we believe fosters lifelong growth and achievement. We actively maintain the district’s tradition of excellence and ensure that tradition extends to all students. Our commitment to our students extends beyond graduation to make sure they not only graduate on time, but do so college and career ready. Want to take your student’s education to the next level? Connect with us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, or visit www.SarasotaCountySchools.net.

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Pine View School Teacher Awarded by Florida Literacy Association

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Freda Williams

SARASOTA COUNTY, October 26, 2018 – Pine View School is proud to announce that Freda Williams has been selected as the 2018 Florida Literacy Association (FLA) Teacher of the Year.  Ms. Williams will be formally recognized at the 2018 FLA Annual Conference in Orlando on November 4.

The FLA is committed to leading the way for reading and literacy gains for students in Florida. The organization is primarily comprised of educators who seek creative and innovate ways to promote reading comprehension, fluency and critical thinking. In addition to the Teacher of the Year award, the association also issues a Children’s Book award and holds a Poster Contest for students.

“We are excited to celebrate Ms. Williams and all she does for her students,” noted Dr. Stephen Covert, principal of Pine View School. “Freda has committed great time and effort into her innovative approach to enhancing learning and expanding literacy gains for her students. She is a dynamic asset to her team and we are pleased that FLA has recognized her talents with this award.”

“It is an honor to receive this recognition,” said Freda Williams. “Fluency and reading comprehension are important for students to grasp early on. I want my students to gain valuable insights and draw parallels among their various subjects. By bridging content and connecting topics through reading, the potential for learning is limitless. I look forward to conferring with other educators at the FLA conference to learn more best practices that will benefit my students and the school.”       

About Sarasota County Schools

Sarasota County Schools is committed to providing unrivaled academic, emotional and civic growth to every student, every day. As one of the leading employers on the Suncoast, Sarasota County Schools boasts 53 schools that expertly cater to the diverse needs of over 43,000 students. We are one of two Florida school districts to consistently earn an A-grade every year since 2004. Our passionate educators empower students to take charge of their academic and personal success, a practice we believe fosters lifelong growth and achievement. We actively maintain the district’s tradition of excellence and ensure that tradition extends to all students. Our commitment to our students extends beyond graduation to make sure they not only graduate on time, but do so college and career ready. Want to take your student’s education to the next level? Connect with us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, or visit www.SarasotaCountySchools.net.

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A Statement from Superintendent Todd Bowden on the School District's Gender Diverse Student Guidelines

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SCS News

Today, the Sarasota County School District officially released guidelines that serve as a framework for school leaders to ensure a safe and productive learning environment for all students – particularly LGBTQIA students. The guidelines function as an extension of the existing student anti-discrimination policy as set forth by the School Board and were thoughtfully created by a committee comprised of school administrators, program specialists, students and community partners. The committee utilized best practices from other school districts, including Hillsborough and Broward counties and recent legal outcomes from St. Johns County to develop a unified practice throughout the school district. The guidelines emphasize the ability to recognize students who consistently assert a gender identity and meet the social and emotional needs of individual students. The guidelines are adaptable to provide each school community the ability to maintain student confidentiality and establish a level of trust among their student population. The guidelines also work to protect the civil rights of Sarasota County students and comply with Title VI, Title IX, Section 504 and ADA Title II discrimination policies.

“I am proud of the work the committee has done to ensure a safe and open learning environment for all our students,” noted Todd Bowden, superintendent of Sarasota County Schools. “It is vitally important that our schools represent a safe place for our students – no matter what their needs and concerns are. After observing many of our schools over the last year, I am comfortable with the decision to commit our existing practices to a series of written guidelines that allows our school leaders to serve as trusted advocates for our students. We all have an obligation to ensure our children are treated with respect and these guidelines offer a thoughtful approach to accomplish this goal.”

The guidelines are available on the school district’s website:  http://bit.ly/SCSGenderDiverseStudentGuidelines

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Sarasota County Schools Set to Celebrate National School Lunch Week

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NSLW 2018

SARASOTA COUNTY, October 12, 2018 – Sarasota County Schools is serving up a special opportunity in observation of National School Lunch Week from October 15-19. VIP Guest Servers, comprised of district staff and guests from the community, will once again be making special appearances in schools throughout the district to serve lunch to students. This year’s national theme, “Lots 2 Love”, encourages students and school nutrition professionals across the country to share what they love most about school lunch programs.

“Our Food and Nutrition Services team does an excellent job of providing delicious and nutritious meals for our schools,” said Todd Bowden, superintendent of Sarasota County Schools. “The reality is many of our students depend on these meals as a primary source of nourishment during the day. We want all our students to have every advantage possible to help them focus on learning. Serving filling and balanced meals is a passion for our team, and we support them in all their efforts to nourish the minds and bodies of our students.”

“School lunches are healthier than ever,” commented Jeff Maultsby, assistant superintendent and chief operations officer of Sarasota County Schools. “National School Lunch Week helps us educate parents, students and staff about all the benefits of our lunch program and the appealing choices we offer. It is valuable for our team members to literally serve a day in the life of their colleagues. What better way to appreciate the collective effort we all put forth to care for our students than to see this particular service in action.”

“We serve about 32,000 meals each day,” noted Dr. Beverly Girard, director of Food and Nutrition Services. “It is a privilege to be charged with nourishing our school communities. We take great pride in offering a variety of meal choices that address a range of dietary and health needs. For us, health and nutrition is a lifelong pursuit and we want to make sure our future leaders have a foundation built on wellness. National School Lunch Week is our way of spreading awareness to the programs we support all year. Approximately 50% of our students currently receive free or reduced-price meals. We encourage all eligible families to apply online through our website at: https://scsfr.sarasota.k12.fl.us/fma.”

 

About the National School Lunch Program

The federally-funded National School Lunch Program (NSLP) provides nutritionally balanced, healthy meals to students every day. The program, which has been serving the nation’s children for more than 70 years, requires school meals to meet federal nutrition standards like offering fruits and vegetables every day, serving whole grain-rich foods, and limiting fat, calories, and sodium. The “Lots 2 Love” campaign is made possible by the nonprofit School Nutrition Association. Parents and students can follow the fun using the hashtags #NSLW18, #SchoolLunch and #Lots2Love. For more information on National School Lunch Week, visit https://schoolnutrition.org/nslw.

About Sarasota County Schools

Sarasota County Schools is committed to providing unrivaled academic, emotional and civic growth to every student, every day. As one of the leading employers on the Suncoast, Sarasota County Schools boasts 53 schools that expertly cater to the diverse needs of over 43,000 students. We are one of two Florida school districts to consistently earn an A-grade every year since 2004. Our passionate educators empower students to take charge of their academic and personal success, a practice we believe fosters lifelong growth and achievement. We actively maintain the district’s tradition of excellence and ensure that tradition extends to all students. Our commitment to our students extends beyond graduation to make sure they not only graduate on time, but do so college and career ready. Want to take your student’s education to the next level? Connect with us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, or visit www.SarasotaCountySchools.net.

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Tatum Ridge Teacher Receives Reading Recovery Council of North America Scholarship

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Rachel Chappell rev Final

SARASOTA COUNTY, October 11, 2018 – Tatum Ridge Elementary School is proud to announce that Rachel Chappell has received a Teacher Leader Training Scholarship from the Reading Recovery Council of North America (RRCNA). Mrs. Chappell will be attending National Louis University for a year of full-time studies focusing on how best to help first graders who are struggling with beginning reading and writing. The studies are part of a training program that will qualify Mrs. Chappell to be a Reading Recovery teacher leader.

Teacher Leader Training Scholarships are awarded to school districts that have demonstrated a commitment to Reading Recovery and have selected a suitable teacher leader candidate for the program. The scholarships provide support for the initial training of teacher leaders, which consists of full-time study at Reading Recovery training centers in the United States and Canada. Teacher leaders train and coach Reading Recovery teachers in their districts and teach children having extreme difficulty learning to read and write.

“We are extremely proud of Rachel and all she does for our students,” said Barry Dunn, principal of Tatum Ridge Elementary School. “She is highly experienced and has a proven track record when it comes to delivering reading results. Mrs. Chappell is well-respected by our teachers and will serve as an excellent leader and trainer upon completion of this program. She is an asset to the Tatum team and her students will thrive with this enhanced instruction.”

“I am thrilled to receive this opportunity and cannot thank the RRCNA enough,” commented Rachel Chappell. “Control of the foundational skills of reading and writing is important for our emergent readers. Early readers must understand how the world of print works and ultimately be able to understand the messages found in text. Extending language and meaning through reading and writing continuous text builds confidence in young readers and deepens their understanding of how to approach print. I look forward to sharing my training with my colleagues and am excited to see the positive impact these practices will have on our students.”

Six $15,000 scholarships were awarded to train teacher leaders during the 2018-19 training year. Funds were generously provided by The James P. Verhalen Family Foundation, Hameray Publishing Group/Yuen Family Foundation, Pioneer Valley Books and MaryRuth Books. The awards are administered by the RRCNA.

Sarasota County Schools has been a Reading Recovery site for four years and has 34 Reading Recovery teachers in 23 elementary schools.

   

About the Donor

The Hameray Publishing Group/Yuen Family Foundation has now supported the training of 20 Reading Recovery teacher leaders through this scholarship program. The Hameray Publishing Group is dedicated to publishing innovative literacy materials for today’s educators. Combining a sound research-based approach with cutting-edge classroom solutions, Hameray has developed literacy materials for struggling readers as well as those reading at grade level. The Yuen Family Foundation is a private charitable organization. In addition to supporting her training, the scholarship offers Rachel $1,000 worth of the publisher’s books.

About the Reading Recovery Council of North America

The Reading Recovery Council of North America (RRCNA) is a not-for-profit association of Reading Recovery professionals and partners. The Council provides a network of professional development opportunities and is an advocate for Reading Recovery in the United States and Canada.

About Reading Recovery

More than 2.4 million struggling first-grade readers and writers in North America have benefitted from the one-to-one teaching expertise of Reading Recovery professionals. The intervention, introduced to North America in 1984 by educators at The Ohio State University, has more research proving its effectiveness than any other beginning reading program.

About Sarasota County Schools

Sarasota County Schools is committed to providing unrivaled academic, emotional and civic growth to every student, every day. As one of the leading employers on the Suncoast, Sarasota County Schools boasts 52 schools that expertly cater to the diverse needs of over 43,000 students. We are one of two Florida school districts to consistently earn an A-grade every year since 2004. Our passionate educators empower students to take charge of their academic and personal success, a practice we believe fosters lifelong growth and achievement. We actively maintain the district’s tradition of excellence and ensure that tradition extends to all students. Our commitment to our students extends beyond graduation to make sure they not only graduate on time, but do so college and career ready. Want to take your student’s education to the next level? Connect with us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, or visit www.SarasotaCountySchools.net.
 

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Flu Shot Clinics

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Flu Shot Clinic

October 9, 2018 –  Flu season is fast approaching and Sarasota County Schools wants to make sure our students and staff are as healthy as possible. The Center for Disease Control recommends the flu vaccine as the first line of defense, especially for children, the elderly and those with weakened immune systems.

The district has partnered again with Healthy Schools LLC to provide no-cost flu shots at all our schools. Flu shot clinics will be held on October 29 & 30 and November 1 & 2. Families are encouraged to sign their children up by logging onto:  fight.sarasotaflu.com.

A few fast facts & points of interest about flu shots and flu season:
● Flu vaccines do not cause the flu
● Flu shots typically protect against four flu strains
● They do not contain any harmful chemicals
● Flu shots are preservative and Thimerosal free
● The 2017 - 2018 Flu Season was the worst in a decade
● 85% of pediatric flu deaths occurred in unvaccinated children

We recommend registering your child online or returning your child’s paper consent form to your school. If you have any questions, please contact the School Health Office at 941-927-9000 x32101.

Oct. 10 Activities CANCELLED - SCS UPDATE: Hurricane Michael

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Hurricane Michael

Noon - October 10, 2018 UPDATE:

Digital Town Hall originally scheduled for tonight at 7pm has also been cancelled.

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10:30am - October 10, 2018 UPDATE:

Due to the possibility of inclement weather this afternoon because of the hurricane, all after school events, activities, competitions and practices will be cancelled today except for elementary after-care which will continue as usual. 

The safety and well-being of our students is paramount to all we do, and we appreciate your partnership in keeping our students safe during stormy weather conditions such as Hurricane Michael. 

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4:30pm - October 8, 2018 UPDATE:

This is a message from Sarasota County Schools regarding Hurricane Michael. At this time, the storm is anticipated to have minimal impact in our area and schools throughout our district will continue to operate under normal hours on Tuesday, October 9 when the storm bands are expected to affect Sarasota County. Likewise, we anticipate after school activities will continue as planned.

As with any hurricane, the current path can change at any moment. We will update you as soon as possible should this plan change. Please be aware that the National Weather Service is predicting 1-3” of rain with wind gusts between 25-30 miles per hour tomorrow. In low-lying areas, a 1-2’ storm surge is anticipated as well. 

We care about the safety and well-being of our staff and students at all times. Please be sure to show patience on the road during the storm and be safe coming to and from school. 

Sarasota County Schools Police Department Welcomes Six Officers at Oath of Office

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Oath of Office October 5

SARASOTA COUNTY, October 5, 2018 – The Sarasota County Schools Police Department (SCSPD) welcomed six more Police Officers into its ranks this morning after holding an Oath of Office ceremony at Lakeview Elementary School. The event was well attended by students, parents and guests from the community. After the ceremony, attendees enjoyed an informal meet and greet with the new Officers.

“We are very pleased to welcome these new additions to the Sarasota County Schools Police Department,” said Todd Bowden, superintendent of Sarasota County Schools. “Collectively, these six officers have a total of 103 years of law enforcement experience. Their knowledge and skills will be extremely valuable to our school communities. We are thankful that these talented men and women answered the call to serve our schools and students.”

“We have assembled an incredible team and it keeps growing stronger with each new officer we add,” commented Sarasota County School District Chief of Police Paul Grohowski. “Our department is a family and all of us have families of our own. That is what drives and inspires us to protect our children and schools. I am appreciative of the sacrifices and commitments to service my officers have made, and look forward to seeing our newest recruits become a part of the fabric of each of their schools.”

Please join us in recognizing the six newest members of the SCSPD:

  • Marc Arnold
    • Officer Arnold is from the Brunswick, Maine Police Department and has over 30 years of law enforcement experience. He has served as a Communications Dispatcher, a Field Training Officer and a SWAT Team Member, among other assignments. Officer Arnold is highly-decorated, having earned 37 Superior Performance Commendations for bravery and excellence, 6 Personal Career Achievement Commendations and numerous letters of appreciation.
  • Brian Cranmer
    • Officer Cranmer served in the United States Coast Guard for three years before joining the Camden County, NJ Sheriff’s Office, where he served for 27 years. He has served as a Field Training Officer, Bicycle Officer, advanced DWI Officer and provided Courtroom Security. Officer Cranmer notably worked in the Park Police Unit, where he was credited with apprehending a violent suspect who attempted to drive his vehicle into a county park with a crowd of over 75,000 people during a concert event.
  • Isven Chavez
    • Officer Chavez was originally born in Puerto Rico but moved to Sarasota at age two. He is a product of Sarasota County Schools, attending Tuttle Elementary, Brookside Middle and graduating from Booker High School in 2006. Officer Chavez began his law enforcement career with the Sarasota Police Department in 2013 where he first served as a Patrol Officer. Earlier this year, he was selected to be the School Resource Officer at Brookside Middle School. Officer Chavez’s passion for school-based policing drove him to join the SCSPD to continue serving school communities.
  • Devin Epps
    • Officer Epps began his life of public service by joining the United State Navy. He achieved the rank of E-5, Second Class Petty Officer and was recognized by the Captain of the USS Essex for being the youngest E-5 on board the vessel. Officer Epps served with the Department of Corrections as both a member and Team Leader of the Corrections Emergency Response Team. He joined the Sarasota Police Department in 2015 and worked in the Patrol Division before transferring to the School Resource program, where he served as the School Resource Officer at Sarasota High School.
  • Lenhard Oechsner
      • Officer Oechsner began his life of service with the New York Police Department in 1991, where he served with distinction for over 27 years. He has served as a Patrol Officer, Sergeant, Lieutenant and Detective Lieutenant, among other assignments. Officer Oechsner notably served as the Commanding Officer of the Staten Island Homicide Squad in March 2014, where he conducted all investigations of shootings/homicides and all major newsworthy incidents.
    • Mayra Oliva
      • Officer Oliva began her life of public service with the Village of Pinecrest Police Department in Miami-Dade County in 2006 as a 911 Dispatcher. She went through the police academy and joined the Pinecrest Police Department in 2008. Officer Oliva was selected to work as a School Resource Officer in 2009, and served as a DARE Program Instructor from 2009 to 2018. She has served in one large high school, a large middle school and two elementary schools. Officer Oliva has a passion for community engagement and promoting online safety and awareness.
       

    About Sarasota County Schools

    Sarasota County Schools is committed to providing unrivaled academic, emotional and civic growth to every student, every day. As one of the leading employers on the Suncoast, Sarasota County Schools boasts 53 schools that expertly cater to the diverse needs of over 43,000 students. We are one of two Florida school districts to consistently earn an A-grade every year since 2004. Our passionate educators empower students to take charge of their academic and personal success, a practice we believe fosters lifelong growth and achievement. We actively maintain the district’s tradition of excellence and ensure that tradition extends to all students. Our commitment to our students extends beyond graduation to make sure they not only graduate on time, but do so college and career ready. Want to take your student’s education to the next level? Connect with us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, or visit www.SarasotaCountySchools.net

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    Venice High School Coach Inducted into Florida High School Athletic Association Hall of Fame

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    Coach Faulkner - Florida High School Athletic Association Hall of Fame Induction

    SARASOTA COUNTY, October 5, 2018 – Venice High School is proud to announce that its longtime baseball coach, Craig Faulkner, has been inducted into the Florida High School Athletic Association (FHSAA) Hall of Fame. Coach Faulkner was recently honored along with seven other honorees at the organization’s induction ceremony in Gainesville. Coach Faulkner is the second coach from Venice High School to be inducted into the FHSAA Hall of Fame, the first being Coach Brian Wheatley.

    The FHSAA Hall of Fame was founded in 1991 to recognize and preserve the heritage of high school athletics in Florida. The origination aims to keep the tradition and spirit of high school athletics alive, and honors those who have excelled in one or more high school athletic programs. Honorees include coaches, administrators, contest officials and sports writers, among others, who have raised the level of awareness of high school athletics through their dedication, efforts and achievements. In a recent announcement regarding the induction ceremony, FHSAA executive director, George Tomyn commented, “We are delighted to pay tribute to these eight extraordinary individuals. Their positive contributions to our Association and the students we serve truly exemplify the finest qualities of education-based athletics.”

    “This achievement is well-deserved and we could not be more proud,” said James Slaton, director of athletics for Sarasota County Schools. “Coach Faulkner has an established history of excellence. He leads with integrity and has taken the Venice High School baseball program to great success. Coach Faulkner is a role model for his athletes, and for the culture of high school athletics in general. We look forward to seeing him lead the Indians to more achievements in the future.”

    “I am very honored and humbled to receive this designation,” commented Craig Faulkner. “It is a privilege to coach and train such dedicated and focused athletes. I try to lead by example and help these kids reach their goals. Together we have built a solid team focused on character, discipline and camaraderie. The athletic victories are important achievements, but I am most proud of the diligence and heart I see our athletes exhibiting in the community – that is the real legacy of a program.”

    Coach Faulkner is a five-time state championship baseball coach who has won more than 400 games, including 15 20-win seasons. Starting in 2012, he helped Venice High School become the first FHSAA public school in 60 years to make five consecutive trips to the State Final Four. In 23 years of coaching, he has never been ejected from a game and is highly regarded by student athletes and the Venice High School administration and coaching staff.

    About Sarasota County Schools

    Sarasota County Schools is committed to providing unrivaled academic, emotional and civic growth to every student, every day. As one of the leading employers on the Suncoast, Sarasota County Schools boasts 53 schools that expertly cater to the diverse needs of over 43,000 students. We are one of two Florida school districts to consistently earn an A-grade every year since 2004. Our passionate educators empower students to take charge of their academic and personal success, a practice we believe fosters lifelong growth and achievement. We actively maintain the district’s tradition of excellence and ensure that tradition extends to all students. Our commitment to our students extends beyond graduation to make sure they not only graduate on time, but do so college and career ready. Want to take your student’s education to the next level? Connect with us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, or visit www.SarasotaCountySchools.net

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    Dr. Laurie Breslin Appointed Interim Principal at Sarasota Middle School

     Permanent link

    Dr. Laurie Breslin

    SARASOTA COUNTY, October 5, 2018 – Sarasota County Schools announces the appointment of Dr. Laurie Breslin as interim principal at Sarasota Middle School where she will serve for the remainder of the school year. She takes on the role as current principal, Janel Dorn, will be reassigned to a high school as an assistant principal working to help students further their academic success by considering college or career-ready choices upon graduation. 

    Dr. Breslin currently serves as an assistant principal at Booker High where was an influential part of the team to boost the school’s 2017-18 grade by 85 points, advancing from a C to B grade, according to the Florida Department of Education. Her commitment to academic success and lifelong learning makes her an ideal candidate to assume the role of interim principal at Sarasota Middle School. An avid proponent of technology in the classroom, Dr. Breslin will continue the tradition of academic excellence throughout the Panther school community.

    “We are pleased that Dr. Breslin will take on the role of interim principal at Sarasota Middle School for the remainder of the school year,” noted Todd Bowden, superintendent of Sarasota County Schools. “Her commitment to academic excellence, as evidenced by the improved test scores at Booker High, will be a tremendous asset to the students and instructional staff at Sarasota Middle School. She is an excellent candidate to extend the important work Mrs. Dorn fulfilled during her tenure, and we look forward to lasting success at Sarasota Middle School.”

    “I am overwhelmed by the opportunity to serve the students and staff at Sarasota Middle School,” commented Dr. Laurie Breslin. “The school’s community is filled with pride and accomplishment, and I look forward to making a continued difference in the hearts and minds of these students who are eager to learn and find their unique paths toward success.”

    “Dr. Breslin is a natural choice to serve as interim principal at Sarasota Middle School,” said Steve Cantees, executive director of secondary schools. “Her tenacity to make a difference and improve academic outcomes for students is impressive. She will make a terrific interim principal, and we are excited for her to grow and learn in her new role.”

    Prior to her tenure with Sarasota County Schools, Dr. Breslin served as an assistant principal at Palmetto High School from 2016 – 2017 and Manatee High School from 2010 – 2016. She is a leader in curriculum and instruction and has a proven track record of improving student achievement. Dr. Breslin earned her bachelor, masters and specialist degrees from the University of Florida before completing her doctorate degree from Argosy University. She enjoys spending time with her husband, Todd Breslin, and four children, Tyler, Colin, Caden and William.

    About Sarasota County Schools

     Sarasota County Schools is committed to providing unrivaled academic, emotional and civic growth to every student, every day. As one of the leading employers on the Suncoast, Sarasota County Schools boasts 53 schools that expertly cater to the diverse needs of over 43,000 students. We are one of two Florida school districts to consistently earn an A-grade every year since 2004. Our passionate educators empower students to take charge of their academic and personal success, a practice we believe fosters lifelong growth and achievement. We actively maintain the district’s tradition of excellence and ensure that tradition extends to all students. Our commitment to our students extends beyond graduation to make sure they not only graduate on time but do so college and career ready. Want to take your student’s education to the next level? Connect with us on FacebookInstagram and Twitter, or visit www.SarasotaCountySchools.net.

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    Sarasota County Schools Receives Recognition from Florida Department of Education for Five Star and Golden Schools

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    Five Star & Golden School

    SARASOTA COUNTY, October 3, 2018 – Sarasota County Schools is proud to announce that the Florida Department of Education (FDOE) has given 18 schools with the Five Star School Award and 41 schools with the Golden School Award for the 2017 – 2018 school year. These prestigious awards are given to public, specialty and charter schools statewide.

    “We are grateful to have such an involved community committed to supporting our students and schools,” said Todd Bowden, superintendent of Sarasota County Schools. “Our students are thriving because of their dedicated teachers and quality curriculum, but also because of additional volunteer and business support. The district implements its yearly budget thoughtfully and carefully – the many volunteer hours and extra fundraising efforts from our business partners are an invaluable resource for our schools.”

    “Our district is honored to receive this recognition from the Florida Department of Education,” stated Lyndsey Cantees, coordinator of the Office of Community Involvement. “The volunteers have a huge impact on the overflow success of our schools. Even just a few hours a week really makes a difference over the course of the year. This is a powerful example of civic engagement and our students take notice. A lot of our parents are business owners and we truly appreciate their support as community partners.”

    2018 Five Star School Award recipients:

    • Ashton Elementary School – 23 years
    • Atwater Elementary School – 8 years
    • Bay Haven School of Basics Plus – 24 years
    • Cranberry Elementary School – 15 years
    • Englewood Elementary School – 22 years
    • Fruitville Elementary School – 21 years
    • Glenallen Elementary School – 20 years
    • Lakeview Elementary School – 22 years
    • Lamarque Elementary School – 11 years
    • Laurel Nokomis School – 13 years
    • Phillippi Shores Elementary School – 19 years
    • Pine View School – 11 years
    • Sarasota Academy of the Arts – 5 years
    • Sarasota School of Arts and Sciences – 7 years
    • Tatum Ridge Elementary School – 13 years
    • Taylor Ranch Elementary School – 23 years
    • Toledo Blade Elementary School – 21 years
    • Venice Elementary School – 24 years
     

    2018 Golden School Award recipients:

    • Alta Vista Elementary School – 32 years
    • Ashton Elementary School – 37 years
    • Atwater Elementary School – 9 years
    • Bay Haven School of Basics Plus – 34 years
    • Booker High School – 35 years
    • Booker Middle School – 34 years
    • Brentwood Elementary School – 37 years
    • Brookside Middle School – 29 years
    • Cranberry Elementary School – 16 years
    • Emma E. Booker Elementary School – 27 years
    • Englewood Elementary School – 37 years
    • Fruitville Elementary School – 38 years
    • Garden Elementary School – 37 years
    • Glenallen Elementary School – 34 years
    • Gocio Elementary School – 25 years
    • Gulf Gate Elementary School – 36 years
    • Lakeview Elementary School – 31 years
    • Lamarque Elementary School – 12 years
    • Laurel Nokomis School – 37 years
    • McIntosh Middle School – 36 years
    • North Port High School – 6 years
    • Oak Park School – 37 years
    • Phillippi Shores Elementary School – 37 years
    • Pine View School – 36 years
    • Riverview High School – 33 years
    • Sarasota Academy of the Arts – 5 years
    • Sarasota Middle School – 29 years
    • Sarasota Military Academy – 14 years
    • Sarasota Military Academy Prep – 4 years
    • Sarasota School of Arts and Sciences – 7 years
    • Sarasota Suncoast Academy – 13 years
    • SKY Academy of Englewood – 3 years
    • Southside Elementary School – 38 years
    • Tatum Ridge Elementary School – 13 years
    • Taylor Ranch Elementary School – 28 years
    • Toledo Blade Elementary School – 26 years
    • Tuttle Elementary School – 38 years
    • Venice Elementary School – 38 years
    • Venice High School – 19 years
    • Venice Middle School – 36 years
    • Wilkinson Elementary School – 37 years

    The Five Star School Award is presented annually by the FDOE Commissioner's Community Involvement Council to schools that have demonstrated in-depth community involvement. In order to earn this designation, a school must prove that it has achieved 100 percent of the established criteria in business partnerships, family involvement, volunteerism, student community service and student advisory councils. Schools must also earn a grade of "C" or above, or school improvement rating of "maintaining or improving" for the year of nomination.

    Similarly, the Golden School Award is issued annually. The award recognizes elementary, secondary and adult schools that report a minimum of 80 percent of school staff participation in training related to school volunteerism. Recipients must also designate a school volunteer coordinator for recruitment, placement, training and supervision of school volunteers. Additionally, the total number of hours of volunteer service of the school must equal twice the number of students enrolled in the school. Any volunteer activity that contributes to student improvement may be counted, including fundraising.

    About Sarasota County Schools

    Sarasota County Schools is committed to providing unrivaled academic, emotional and civic growth to every student, every day. As one of the leading employers on the Suncoast, Sarasota County Schools boasts 53 schools that expertly cater to the diverse needs of over 43,000 students. We are one of two Florida school districts to consistently earn an A-grade every year since 2004. Our passionate educators empower students to take charge of their academic and personal success, a practice we believe fosters lifelong growth and achievement. We actively maintain the district’s tradition of excellence and ensure that tradition extends to all students. Our commitment to our students extends beyond graduation to make sure they not only graduate on time, but do so college and career ready. Want to take your student’s education to the next level? Connect with us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, or visit www.SarasotaCountySchools.net.
     

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    SCF to Cease Dual Enrollment Coursework at Sarasota and Manatee County Schools

     Permanent link

    District Schools Bus

    Decision by the SCF Board of Trustees to impact hundreds of students across the region

     SARASOTA AND MANATEE COUNTIES, October 2, 2018 – Superintendent Todd Bowden of Sarasota County Schools and Superintendent Cynthia Saunders of the School District of Manatee County were both notified today by the State College of Florida (SCF) of the decision to cease dual enrollment (DE) coursework on high school campuses effective July 1, 2019. Instead, SCF will offer DE classes on SCF campuses only and online.

     “We are incredibly disappointed by the State College of Florida’s decision to reduce dual enrollment coursework to their campuses and online only,” noted Todd Bowden, superintendent of Sarasota County Schools. “This decision will negatively impact hundreds of students in our school districts who take accelerated coursework for high school graduation and need to compete academically for college.”

     Superintendent Saunders agreed.

     “I too am disappointed, and our district will collaborate with Sarasota County Schools to find alternative dual enrollment options so that our students will be able to continue taking dual enrollment courses on our high school campuses,” Ms. Saunders said. “Transportation and technology issues can present barriers to our students being able to take these courses at SCF or online and that limits opportunity. We will seek alternative avenues in these areas.”

     Overall, DE programs allow students to complete courses they need to graduate high school while also earning college credit. Research shows students enrolled in DE programs not only perform better academically than those students who do not take DE classes, they are also more likely to graduate high school. In addition to improved academics, taking DE coursework in high school saves students time and reduces the cost of going to college. For many students in the Sarasota and Manatee region, this decision will negatively impact their opportunity to excel academically and attend college.

     Sarasota County Schools will continue to offer college-level coursework in accelerated programs in schools across the district and work with the University of South Florida (USF) Manatee-Sarasota and the University of Florida to offer online coursework. Likewise, Manatee County Schools will also continue to offer accelerated classes and is currently working with USF Manatee-Sarasota on an agreement for dual enrollment classes.

     CONTACT:

    Tracey Long Beeker

    Sarasota County Schools

    tracey.beeker@sarasotacountyschools.net

    941.587.0373 cell

     

    Michael Barber

    Manatee County Schools

    barberm@manateeschools.net

    941.720.1734 cell

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    Search News Articles


    Communications and Community Relations
    Tracey Beeker, Director
    tracey.beeker@sarasotacountyschools.net

    Kelsey Whealy, Media Relations Specialist
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    Caroline Lee, Administrative Assistant;
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    caroline.lee@sarasotacountyschools.net 

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    Mina Ajrab, Manager
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    Phone: 941-927-4009 or
    941-927-9000 ext. 74009
    Fax: 941-927-2539
    1960 Landings Boulevard
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    Education Channel 20/33
    John Flowerree, Manager
    john.flowerree@sarasotacountyschools.net

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    Phone: 941-361-6355
    Fax: 941-361-6358
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    Community Involvement
    Lyndsey Cantees, Coordinator  
    lyndsey.cantees@sarasotacountyschools.net

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    Phone: 941-927-9000, ext. 31500
    Fax: 941-361-6539
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