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Sarasota County Schools News

Sarasota County Schools Graduation Rates Increase in 2017-18

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Graduates

SARASOTA, December 19, 2018 — The Florida Department of Education reported today that the graduation rate for Sarasota County Schools for 2017-18 was 89.8 percent, up 4.1 percent from the previous school year. The district remained above the state graduation rate of 86.1 percent, which increased 3.8 percentage points from the previous year. The rising trend in graduation rates in schools throughout Sarasota County reflects the academic success the school district has achieved over the last year, including improved FSA test results and a four-percentage point increase in its overall district A-grade.

“I am excited for our students, who continue to excel in our district,” noted Todd Bowden, superintendent of Sarasota County Schools. “Ensuring that our students are graduating college and career-ready has been a top priority throughout our schools, and I am pleased we have achieved an overall 90 percent graduation rate this last year. The students, along with their teachers, guidance counselors and school leaders, work hard to achieve success, and this is another fine example of ways in which the school district continues to improve our community.”

“The drop-out prevention programs we’ve implemented throughout the Sarasota County School District have been instrumental to improving our overall graduation rates,” commented Stephen Cantees, executive director of secondary schools. “We have to give credit to our school staff who work collaboratively with district teams to ensure that every student is receiving the attention they need to be successful towards their graduation goal. To see our students walk across the stage and achieve academic and personal success is incredibly gratifying as an administrator, and we are elated that our students continue to thrive in Sarasota County.”

In 2017-18, the state of Florida is calculating and reporting the Federal Uniform Graduation rate. Federal regulations require each state to calculate a four-year adjusted cohort graduation rate, which includes standard diplomas but excludes general equivalency diplomas, known as GEDs, both regular and adult; and special diplomas. The U.S. Department of Education adopted this calculation method in an effort to develop uniform, accurate and comparable graduation rates across all states. The Federal Uniform Graduation rate is currently used in Florida’s school accountability system in the high school grades calculation.

The graduation rate is calculated by tracking the number of students who start in a school as ninth graders to the number in the same class who graduate four years later. Individual high school results are displayed in the table below:

2015-16, 2016-17 and 2017-18 graduation rates by school:

 
School

Graduation rate

2015-16

 

Graduation rate

2016-17

Graduation rate

2017-18

Booker High 75.9% 80.4% 82.0%
Imagine School at North Port 78.8% 89.1% 92.1%
North Port High 83.8% 84.0% 87.7%
Pine View School 99.5% 100% 99.5%
Riverview High 84.3% 85.7% 91.4%
Sarasota High 81.9% 81.4% 84.6%
Sarasota Military Academy 94.1% 96.7% 94.8%
Suncoast Polytechnical High 97.6% 92.7% 99.2%
Venice High 92.6% 89.2% 93.6%
Sarasota County School District 85.4% 85.7% 89.8%
State 80.7% 82.3% 86.1%
 

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 and 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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Sarasota County Schools Cancels Activities Due to Severe Weather on Thursday

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Weather notice 12-19-2018

December 19, 2018 – The National Weather Service has announced the potential for severe thunderstorms with a forecast of 2-3” of rain, possible hail and wind gusts up to 60mph. Showers and storms will begin to affect the area Wednesday night, with the main line of storms expected to move through the area on Thursday. Showers and cloudiness will linger through Friday.

In an abundance of caution, Sarasota County Schools has cancelled all after-school and extra-curricular activities and field trips planned for Thursday, December 20. Please note that after-care child care has not been cancelled. We are asking our school communities, staff and parents to be extra watchful during arrival and dismissal on campus tomorrow, as the forecast could change suddenly. The district will continue to monitor the weather and send out additional updates to our school communities as-needed.

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Students from North Port High School achieve top results in Outstanding Cambridge Learner Awards

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SCS News

This news release is from Cambridge Assessment International Education:

December 18,2018 - A total of 72 students from North Port High School have received prestigious awards from Cambridge Assessment International Education to acknowledge their outstanding performance in the June 2018 Cambridge examination series.

The Outstanding Cambridge Learner Awards program celebrates the success of learners taking Cambridge examinations in over 40 countries around the world. Cambridge places learners at the center of their international education programs and qualifications which are inspired by the best in educational thinking.

North Port High School’s most distinguished award was received by Edward Behr. His score on the Cambridge AS Chemistry exam placed him in the category of Top in the Country. Edward is a senior at North Port High School and plans to apply to Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Columbia and Stanford to study engineering. This award, combined with his exceptional SAT score of 1410, will place him in a competitive position with admissions committees.

Of the 72 students receiving awards, four were recipients of Scholar Award with Distinction, 17 were recipients of Scholar Award with Merit, and 51 were recipients of Scholar Award.

North Port High School principal, Mr. Brandon Johnson, said that the awards recognized the talent, dedication and commitment of both learners and staff. He said, “I am so proud of our students and staff for their level of achievement in our AICE program.  It takes hard work and dedication, in such a rigorous program, to achieve this level of success.”

Top performing learners have been recognized in their classrooms and will receive their Outstanding Cambridge Learner Awards at the Senior Night Awards Ceremony or the Cambridge AICE End of the Year Banquet. Ann Brandenberger, Cambridge AICE Coordinator, said, “It is extremely rewarding to congratulate Cambridge learners and teachers at North Port High School who have worked so hard to achieve tremendous success in Cambridge AICE examinations. The results are a reflection of the enormous talent in the Sarasota School District, not only amongst learners, but also within the teaching profession. Learners from North Port High School have a bright future ahead of them, and I wish them every success in their future.”

North Port High School’s Cambridge AICE program is a highly rigorous, college preparatory program in which students earn college credit through coursework and exams. Students develop deep subject knowledge, conceptual understanding, and higher order thinking skills that will be needed for success at school, university and employment. North Port High School offers 15 Cambridge AICE courses that provide a direct pathway to the prestigious Cambridge AICE diploma.

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2017-18 Promotion Retention Report

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student testing class

Each year, students are either promoted to the next grade level, or retained depending on their FSA score and overall academic performance. The following is a report on how students performed comprehensively throughout Sarasota County. Per Florida statute, school districts are required to report on the following:

  • State reading achievement levels for students in grades 3-10
  • The number and percentage of students retained in grades 3-10
  • The number of and reasons for good-cause promotions
    

FSA Reading Levels

GradeNumber of students testedPercent of students at each achievement level
    12345
03 3305 11.26% 20.51% 30.68% 22.97% 14.58%
04 3256 13.42% 20.21% 28.29% 25.49% 12.59%
05 3244 12.76% 21.24% 26.76% 25.59% 13.66%
06 3327 14.70% 22.57% 22.30% 25.70% 14.73%
07 3207 16.56% 21.39% 22.89% 21.30% 17.87%
08 3366 13.31% 16.90% 25.25% 22.82% 21.72%
09 3262 15.73% 19.07% 21.98% 26.30% 16.92%
10 3011 13.05% 21.92% 22.58% 26.93% 15.51%
                                                       
GradeNumber of students testedCount of students at each achievement level
    12345
03 3305 372 678 1014 759 482
04 3256 437 658 921 830 410
05 3244 414 689 868 830 443
06 3327 489 751 742 855 490
07 3207 531 686 734 683 573
08 3366 448 569 850 768 731
09 3262 513 622 717 858 552
10 3011 393 660 680 811 467
 

Promotion/Retention report

Grade

Number

Promoted

Percent

Promoted

Number promoted for Good Cause*

Percent

Promoted for Good Cause*

Number

Retained

Percent Retained
KG 2893 96.92% N/A N/A 92 3.08%
01 2981 96.47% N/A N/A 109 3.53%
02 3030 98.12% N/A N/A 58 1.88%
03 2946 87.24% 262 7.76% 169 5.00%
04 3315 99.82% N/A N/A 6 0.18%
05 3321 99.91% N/A N/A 3 0.09%
06 3399 99.59% N/A N/A 14 0.41%
07 3275 99.70% N/A N/A 10 0.30%
08 3410 99.85% N/A N/A 5 0.15%
09 3307 96.19% N/A N/A 131 3.81%
10 3028 95.55% N/A N/A 141 4.45%
 

Sarasota County Schools Police Department Conducts District-Wide School Safety Drill

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Police logo

December 14, 2018 – On Friday morning, the Sarasota County Schools Police Department conducted its first district-wide lockdown safety drill for all traditional public elementary, middle and high school campuses. Students and staff were given verbal prompts over their intercom systems, safety alert lights were activated and participants discussed and practiced protocols for a lockdown. Media was invited to Wilkinson Elementary School to experience elements of the drill in real-time.

“Though we are very pleased with how everything went, there is always room for improvement,” said Todd Bowden, superintendent of Sarasota County Schools. “As a district, we will continually enhance our approach to school security. Chief Enos and the Sarasota County Schools Police Department are highly cognizant of the best practices for drills and reinforcing our school security plans. The goal is for our students and staff to feel as in-control of their surroundings during an emergency as possible, and for them to gain comfort from having a proactive plan exclusively focused on their safety. We greatly appreciate our local law enforcement, first responder, community and media partners who all contributed to the widespread awareness around this drill. Our hope, in time, is that our school communities will adjust to these procedures and these measures will become a source of life-saving guidance in the event of an emergency.”

“We unfortunately live in a world where drills like this are necessary,” commented Sarasota County Schools Chief of Police Tim Enos. “The tragic incident that occurred six years ago today at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, among others, has shaped the way our nation strives to protect its school communities today. There have been far too many school shootings, and collective analysis of all these incidents consistently points to enhanced protocol and drills in addition to strengthening preventative measures and resources. The district actively works with many community partners to extend wraparound services that address mental and behavioral health concerns. A particularly meaningful partnership is with Sandy Hook Promise on their Say Something and Safety Assessment and Intervention initiatives. We hope that our students, school leaders, staff and community members alike make a point to utilize these practices to increase their safety and awareness, both on and off school grounds. It will take all of us working together to keep our children safe, and I have great confidence in our community.”

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Oak Park School's Shane Swezey named district’s 2019 Teacher of the Year

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2019 OVERALL Teacher of the Year2019 OVERALL Teacher of the Year 22019 OVERALL Teacher of the Year 3

This news release is from Sarasota County Schools and the Education Foundation of Sarasota County:

Alumni of Distinction and Ignite Innovation Teacher awards also announced

Sarasota, Fla. (Dec. 13, 2018) – Shane Swezey, a music teacher at Oak Park School, was named the 2019 Sarasota County Teacher of the Year at the Dec. 12 Ignite Education celebration hosted by the Education Foundation of Sarasota County.

Sarasota County Schools’ Superintendent, Dr. Todd Bowden, made the announcement to a crowd of over 330 guests, thanking all 44 nominees for the work they do in their classrooms each and every day.

Swezey will represent district educators at events throughout the 2019 calendar year and will serve as the district’s nominee for state Teacher of the Year. His fellow finalists, Tessa Healy, of Wilkinson Elementary School, and Ashlee Middleton, of Sarasota High School, also were honored onstage at the annual awards ceremony, and 41 Teacher of the Year designees representing local schools were recognized.

Swezey has provided music education and therapy services to students ages 5 to 22 at Oak Park School, the district’s center school for special needs, since 2013. He originally studied aerospace engineering at Florida State University but a change of heart led him to pursue a bachelor’s degree in music therapy and later a master’s in music from the University of Kentucky. He is a board-certified music therapist and earned his teaching certification from State College of Florida.

“Music is an engaging, motivating and accessible medium that I can use to buttress the communication, motor, social-emotional and unique academic goals my students have,” Swezey said.

As a staunch advocate for students with special needs, Swezey encourages building on students’ abilities instead of dwelling so much on disabilities.

Known for being able to quickly build rapport and engage with children, Swezey uses highly creative methods to motivate students and encourage learning gains such as increasing eye contact and interacting with peers.

“It’s an honor and a privilege just to be recognized and more importantly, for Oak Park School to be recognized,” Swezey shared while accepting his award. “A lot of great things happen in that school every day and many don’t know about them.”

“Whether you’re a student, teacher, principal, successful business person or stay-at-home mom,” he continued. “Don’t forget to look around and love those you see every day because it can make an eternal difference.”

The Education Foundation presented Swezey with a $2,500 cash award and Healy and Middleton with cash awards of $1,250 each. Sunset Automotive Group sponsored the cash awards.

The Ignite Innovation award was given to Todd Brown, civics teacher at Sarasota Military Academy Prep. The award recognizes a Teacher of the Year who is creative in their approach, willing to think outside the box and able to connect students with learning in unique ways.

Brown, who has a doctorate in computational sociology, creates experiential learning opportunities in his classes and was creator of The Inspire Project, a lecture/presentation series about student leadership-based initiatives of local and global impact.

“What drives me to do what I do is human connection and trying to open the eyes of our students to what’s out there in the world,” Brown said while accepting his award.

Sarasota attorney Dan Bailey received the Alumni of Distinction award that honors a graduate of Sarasota County Schools who has distinguished themselves in their field and in community service. Bailey, a sixth-generation Floridian who graduated from Sarasota High School in 1964, is a partner in the Williams Parker firm. He is a civic and community leader who has received numerous awards for his leadership and involvement in charitable organizations.

While accepting his award, Bailey shared, “I am very proud of all of our schools and the hard work they do. Our teachers are the heroes of this community.”

Jennifer Vigne, president of the Education Foundation, thanked teachers in closing remarks: “Your dedication for your profession, love for your students and pride in your schools are incredibly admirable qualities. You truly go the distance every day, and it is our hope that our community continues to recognize your value and lift you up.”

This year’s Ignite Education awards ceremony, held at Art Ovation in Sarasota, was hosted by the Education Foundation of Sarasota County and produced in partnership with the Sarasota County School District. 

About the Teacher of the Year Program

The Teacher of the Year program is produced by the Education Foundation of Sarasota County in partnership with Sarasota County Schools and is made possible through the funding and support of many corporate and community partners. Each of the three finalists will receive a cash award from the Education Foundation.

About the Education Foundation of Sarasota County

The Education Foundation of Sarasota County is an independent partner working to advance philanthropic support for Sarasota County Schools. Its mission is to enhance the potential of students, promote excellence in teaching and inspire innovation in education. Guided by the belief that education changes lives, the Education Foundation strives to match each donor’s passion with high-impact projects created to ensure students graduate with purpose and are prepared for a postsecondary pathway. The Education Foundation of Sarasota County and its philanthropic investors are champions for students, teachers and schools. For more information on how to be a champion for education, visit EdFoundationSRQ.org.

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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PHOTO CAPTIONS (Photo 1 Courtesy of Sarasota County Schools. Please include this credit for Photo 2 and Photo 3: Photos by Cliff Roles)

1. 2019 Sarasota County Teacher of the Year Shane Swezey with Education Foundation President Jennifer Vigne and Sarasota County Schools Superintendent Dr. Todd Bowden.

2. 2018 Alumnus of Distinction James Tollerton presents 2019 Ignite Education Alumni of Distinction award to Dan Bailey, graduate of Sarasota High School Class of 1964.

3. Robb Wolf, 2018 Ignite Innovation award recipient passes the torch to 2019 Ignite Innovation award recipient, Todd Brown of Sarasota Military Academy Prep.

Sarasota Film Festival & Sarasota County Schools Announce REEL TALK! Student Film Contest

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REEL TALK!

Sarasota, Florida – December  13, 2018 – The Sarasota Film Festival and Sarasota County Schools announced a new partnership today to kickoff the “REEL TALK! Student Film Contest,” to inspire students to craft positive digital entertainment through the production of public service announcements (PSAs). With the new generation of students using social and digital media on a consistent basis, the contest aims to encourage students to leave a lasting, positive digital legacy by creating their own shorts that engage with their community. The Sarasota Film Festival, now in its 21st year, running April 5-14, 2019, will create a new category in the Young Filmmaker Showcase for this initiative.

“We are thrilled to partner with the Sarasota County Schools to launch this exciting new contest for the next wave of storytellers and filmmakers and help these students to create a long-term, artistic digital footprint,” said Mark Famiglio, President of the Sarasota Film Festival. “Engaging with the Sarasota Film Festival community and the next generation is a priority and we hope our efforts to involve students in the arts industry will help encourage stimulating use of social and digital media.”

“We are delighted to partner with the Sarasota Film Festival to teach our students about positive ways to use social and digital media,” noted Dr. Laura Kingsley, chief academic officer, Sarasota County Schools. “This contest provides an opportunity for our students to showcase their creativity while promoting social good. I am hopeful many of our students will enter the contest and create public service announcements that truly make a difference in our community.”

The contest will be open to students at the traditional Sarasota public schools, where students will be provided with social and digital tutorials, while the festival will provide film screenings in the school as well as a filmmaking workshop and boot camp. Four winners will be selected, one in the Middle School category (grades 6-8), two in High School (one in freshman and sophomore grades, and an overall school district winner. In addition, the public will vote for their favorite PSA or People’s Choice Winner, at a special screening.

Registration for the contest opens on December 18th, 2018 through January 9th, 2019. Students can register online at www.sarasotafilmfestival.org/reeltalk. Submissions will be due February 11, 2019, with reviews and voting happening throughout February and March. The People’s Choice winner will be announced March 7th, 2019, followed by the official contest winners on April 4th, 2019 prior to the festival, April 5 - 14, 2019.

Additional information on the festival can be found on the Sarasota Film Festival website at: https://www.sarasotafilmfestival.com/

Please find art for the contest available here.

ABOUT THE SARASOTA FILM FESTIVAL

Held annually in Sarasota, FL, The Sarasota Film Festival emphasizes the best in cinema alongside exciting programs and events, with more than 100’s of films screened each year including features, documentaries, shorts, and kid-friendly picks. Entering our 21st year, we're proud to bring the best new and established independent filmmakers to our Festival with local and kid-friendly programs that showcase our idyllic Gulf Coast community. The festival also offers a year-round educational program, which reaches thousands of local students through classic film showcases, film contests, summer camps and instructional workshops. This year the festival will take place April 5th – 14th, 2019.

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

Press Contacts

FRANK PR | 646.861.0843

Bess Donoghue | bess@frankpublicity.com

Emily Maroon | emily@frankpublicity.com

SARASOTA COUNTY SCHOOLS | 941.927.9000 x31148

Kelsey Whealy | kelsey.whealy@sarasotacountyschools.net

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Sarasota County Schools Police Department Welcomes Three Officers at Oath of Office Ceremony

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SCSPD Oath of Office 12-10-18

SARASOTA COUNTY, December 12, 2018 – The Sarasota County Schools Police Department (SCSPD) welcomed three more police officers into its ranks yesterday after holding an Oath of Office ceremony at Venice City Hall before the School Board meeting. The event was well attended by district personnel, guests from the community and media. After the ceremony, attendees enjoyed a brief meet and greet with the new officers.

“Our police department is expanding and I could not be more pleased with the men and women we have recruited into the Sarasota County Schools Police Department,” said Todd Bowden, superintendent of Sarasota County Schools. “The diversity of experience and high-level expertise of these law enforcement professionals is nothing short of impressive. Our school communities are in good hands.”

“I am honored to be at the helm of such a flourishing department,” commented Sarasota County School District Chief of Police Tim Enos. “The Sarasota County Schools Police Department is committed to delivering on the promise to keep our school communities safe. Our new officers each take this responsibility to heart and are equally passionate about their service. We look forward to growing even stronger as a department with their added talents and skills.”

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

  • Michael Clarkson
    • Officer Clarkson has 32 years of law enforcement experience. He started his career as a Military Police Officer and after being Honorably discharged, served as a Special Police Officer for Seaside Heights Police in New Jersey. Officer Clarkson has also served as a Field Training Officer, Anticrime Officer, Patrol Sergeant, Communications Sergeant and a K9 Unit Lieutenant/Handler, among other assignments. He will be the School Resource Officer at Alta Vista Elementary School.
  • Ronnie Hadley II
    • Officer Hadley’s law enforcement career includes serving as a Shift Team leader and a S.W.A.T. operator. While with the Alamosa Colorado Police Department, he distinguished himself as a defense tactics instructor, taser instructor and restorative justice representative for the Police Department. Officer Hadley has earned 2 lifesaving awards and was recognized as the Restorative Justice Volunteer of the Year. He will be the School Resource Officer at Brentwood Elementary School.
  • Joseph Wolleon
    • Officer Wolleon recently relocated from New Jersey, where he enjoyed a 28-year career with the Bayonne New Jersey Police Department. His law enforcement experience includes service in the Patrol Division, Community Orientated Policing Unit and the Housing Uni. Officer Wolleon retired as a Sergeant and upon moving to Sarasota, began working as an Exceptional Student Education aide in the district. He immediately knew he needed to be a part of the district’s important endeavor to protect its school communities and applied as a School Resource Officer. Officer Wolleon will be the School Resource Officer at Gulf Gate Elementary 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

Photo Caption: From left to right: Sergeant Oakes, Officer Hadley, Officer Wolleon, Officer Clarkson and Sergeant Kim

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Sarasota County Schools Conducts Voluntary Water Testing

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Water testing

Throughout the fall, the Sarasota County school district proactively conducted tests to identify possible lead in drinking water above the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommended allowance of 15 parts per billion. The district began to test after lead was found in the drinking water in Flint, MI and in nearby school districts in Florida. Although there is not a mandate that requires schools to test for lead in the water, Sarasota County Schools believed it was important to take the initiative to identify any potential issues, especially given the age of some school buildings and water systems in the district.

Sarasota County Schools contracted with OHC Environmental Engineering to conduct the sampling and selected schools built before 1986, when using lead fixtures became prohibited in public water systems.

The first round of water testing took place in the following schools:

  • Alta Vista Elementary
  • Booker High School
  • Gocio Elementary
  • Sarasota High School
  • Triad Alternative School
  • Riverview High School
  • Garden Elementary
  • Southside Elementary
  • Wilkinson Elementary
  • Venice High School
  • Bay Haven Elementary
  • Fruitville Elementary
  • Ashton Elementary
  • Lakeview Elementary
  • Brentwood Elementary
  • McIntosh Middle School
  • Englewood Elementary
  • Venice Middle School
  • Glenallen Elementary

Preliminary results found three test sites with lead levels above the EPA recommendation, including McIntosh Middle School, Venice Middle School and Englewood Elementary School.

In both McIntosh and Venice middle schools, minute traces of lead were found in pot fillers – fixtures like a faucet used to fill large pots with water in school kitchens. The school district has removed these fixtures from use to minimize contact to staff and students and they are being replaced with new fixtures. At Englewood Elementary School, small traces of lead were found in drinking fountains in Building 6, which was already slated for demolition this summer. Water supply to all fountains in the building have been disabled and bottled water is now available for drinking purposes. The school district will begin construction of a replacement building over the next school year and students will be in portable classrooms until the construction of the new building is complete.

OHC is finalizing reports for many of the school sites. Should additional traces of lead be found in the water, Sarasota County Schools will move swiftly to remove contaminants. To date, there have been no reports of lead-poisoning illness by staff, students or visitors throughout the school district. Going forward, Sarasota County Schools will conduct an annual sampling of water systems and fixtures, including all drinking fountains, in all buildings constructed prior to 1986 to ensure the continued safety and well-being of its students, staff and visitors.

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Sarasota County Schools to Host Multi-Department Substitute Job Fair on Tuesday, December 11, 2018

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HR Sub Job Fair

District actively seeking instructional, custodial, food and nutrition and transportation substitutes

Please join Sarasota County Schools from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on December 11 for a recruitment fair dedicated to substitute positions in a variety of fields. Computers will be on-hand for use, so all applicants, regardless of which field, are advised to come prepared with identification (driver’s license and social security card), a resume, a high school diploma and transcripts. Even if you do not have your application assets handy, please consider attending to start the application process and connect with our Human Resources team. We look forward to answering your questions!

*Please note, a Bachelor’s Degree is required for an applicant to qualify as an instructional substitute. To learn more about the instructional substitute requirements, please click here.

Location & Time:

Tuesday, December 11:  10 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Suncoast Technical College

4445 Career Lane, North Port, FL 34289

Contact Information:

Please contact Human Resources at 941-927-9000, ext. 31200 with any questions.

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Booker Middle School Teacher Receives a 2018 Penguin Random House Foundation Grant

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Joanna Fox

SARASOTA COUNTY, December 4, 2018 – Booker Middle School is proud to announce that Joanna Fox has been selected as the recipient of the Penguin Random House Foundation‘s 2018 Maya Angelou Teacher Award for Poetry, one of the organization’s annual “Teacher Awards for Literacy”.

These awards aim to recognize the nation’s most dynamic and resourceful teachers who use creativity to inspire and successfully instill a love of reading in their students. The competition is open to both full and part-time teachers in public schools across the United States. The winners are awarded grants to help further their innovative reading programs and to help disseminate them to other teachers around the country. Fox, who was awarded a $10,000 grant for her Dragon Fly Café program, was recently honored at the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) Annual Convention in Houston, Texas.

“These awards celebrate the creativity, innovation and passion to further the work these teachers do each day,” commented NCTE President Jocelyn Chadwick. “Their students benefit, their schools benefit and we in the profession benefit whenever a light is shined on the brilliance of teachers.”

“We are so proud of Joanna,” said Dr. LaShawn Frost, principal of Booker Middle School. “She is a visionary educator committed to the academic, civic and emotional success of all her students. I am thrilled that teachers across the country will benefit from Ms. Fox’s creativity and passion for student achievement.”

“I am very honored to receive this distinctive award,” said Joanna Fox, creative writing teacher. “I want all my students to feel inspired and valued, not only in the classroom but also in everyday life. Exposure to poetry, and other forms of the written word, enables young people to connect with others beyond their own individual experiences. It is exciting to think that the Dragon Fly Café could bring joy and understanding to even more students ahead.”   

About Penguin Random House

Penguin Random House, the world’s largest trade book publisher, is dedicated to its mission of nourishing a universal passion for reading by connecting authors and their writing with readers everywhere. The company, which employs more than 10,000 people globally, was formed on July 1, 2013, by Bertelsmann and Pearson, who own 75 percent and 25 percent, respectively. With nearly 275 independent imprints and brands on five continents, Penguin Random House comprises adult and children’s fiction and nonfiction print and digital English- and Spanish language trade book publishing businesses in more than 20 countries worldwide. With over 15,000 new titles, and close to 800 million print, audio and eBooks sold annually, Penguin Random House’s publishing lists include more than 60 Nobel Prize laureates and hundreds of the world’s most widely read authors.   

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

Kelsey Whealy, Media Relations Specialist
kelsey.whealy@sarasotacountyschools.net

Caroline Lee, Administrative Assistant;
Public Records Custodian, Peachjar eflyers    
caroline.lee@sarasotacountyschools.net 

Digital Communications
Mina Ajrab, Manager
mina.ajrab@sarasotacountyschools.net

Torie Ewald, Social Media Strategist
torie.ewald@sarasotacountyschools.net

Katy Ellis, Social Media Producer
kathryn.ellis@sarasotacountyschools.net

Phone: 941-927-4009 or
941-927-9000 ext. 74009
Fax: 941-927-2539
1960 Landings Boulevard
Sarasota, Florida 34231
Green 3rd Floor

Education Channel 20/33
John Flowerree, Manager
john.flowerree@sarasotacountyschools.net

TBA, Engineer

Phone: 941-361-6355
Fax: 941-361-6358
4748 Beneva Road
Sarasota, Florida 34233

Community Involvement
Lyndsey Cantees, Coordinator  
lyndsey.cantees@sarasotacountyschools.net

Jennifer Anderson, Administrative Assistant
CommunityInvolvement@sarasotacountyschools.net
Phone: 941-927-9000, ext. 31500
Fax: 941-361-6539
Green 1st Floor

Staff Listing