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How A Private Middle School Is Preparing Students For High School Success

A private St. Petersburg middle school is finding success helping its students graduate.

It’s 7:30 a.m. and the fifth through eight graders at Academy Prep in midtown St. Petersburg are lined up outside to recite the school pledge. It’s a cool February morning and they’re a little fidgety until Head of School Gina Burkett raises two fingers above her head and all goes quiet. The pledge starts with [...]

How A Miami Middle School Added Speech And Debate Classes On A Budget

Veldreana Oliver has taught physical education for 28 years at Allapattah Middle School. More recently, her principal asked her to teach writing, speech and debate.

Last week StateImpact Florida told you how a middle school in Miami has added speech and debate courses this year to improve reading, writing and speaking. The school’s principal, Bridget McKinney majored in debate and thought the requirements for Florida’s new Common Core-based standards sounded a lot like her college classes. She needed a writing [...]

Why A Miami Middle School Is Teaching Debate To Conquer Common Core

Allapattah Middle School principal Bridget McKinney sits in on one of the speech and debate classes she's required her students to take. McKinney says the Common Core standards emphasis using evidence and making arguments.

Bridget McKinney, principal at Miami’s Allapattah Middle School, says her students struggle to pass the state’s reading and writing tests. So when McKinney first read the Common Core math and language arts standards used in Florida schools this year, what jumped out was the emphasis on answering questions and making arguments using examples and evidence [...]

What A Florida Middle School Has Learned So Far Teaching Common Core Standards

This story is part of a series from The Hechinger Report and StateImpact Florida looking at how Florida schools are getting ready for Common Core standards. Read — and listen to — the first story here. Monroe Middle School teacher Dawn Norris hears a difference in her language arts classes since she starting using Common [...]

Orange County Opting For More K-8 Schools

The popularity of K-8 schools is growing in one of Florida’s largest districts. Orange County Public Schools will add up to five kindergarten through 8th grade schools to the three already in place. These are traditional public schools, not charters or magnets. Kids will be zoned for them just like any other. “A growing body [...]

3 Florida Charter Schools Voluntarily Close 20 Days Into the School Year

Today marks 20 days into the school year in Broward County. For some students today will be the last day on their campus and with the teachers they started the year with. Three Broward charter schools have voted to close their doors: Touchdowns4life Charter, a middle school in Tamarac, Fla. Eagle Charter Academy, a 6-12 [...]

“Significant Gains:” How A Tampa Middle School Earned Its ‘A’ Grade

Mount Pleasant Standard Base Middle School principal Yolanda Capers. Mount Pleasant was the only state middle school to jump to an A from an F grade this year.

Last year Mount Pleasant Standard Base Middle School’s grade dropped to an F from an A. Principal Yolanda Capers says the grade stung because she saw her students improving. “It’s devastating because…our students were still learning,” she says. “58 percent of our students made learning gains in reading. That’s a lot of learning gains. However [...]

How A Florida School Told Sixth Graders About A Classmate’s Suicide

Sheri Leitch with her son Austin Beaucage, 16,  hold up a pictures of their son and brother Shayne Ijames, 13 who ommitted  suicide on May 2, 2012.

When a sixth grader at Southport Middle School hung himself at his Port St. Lucie home, his school made the announcement to some students the next morning. A crisis intervention team went to every class 13-year-old Shayne Ijames attended to tell sixth graders their classmate had committed suicide. His mom, Sheri Leitch, is outraged. “They [...]

The Truth About Bullying in Florida’s Schools

Freshman Austin Beaucage has been picked on his whole life. He’s small for his age and socially awkward. But the bullying was never like last month at Coral Shores High School in Key Largo, Fla. “Some senior locked me in a closet in my 6th period and he wouldn’t let me out,” he said. “And [...]

In-School Suspension: a Better Alternative or Waste of Time?

Keisha Campbell, a sixth grader at Norland Middle School, got in-school-suspension for 10 days.

There is a place on school campuses for students who break the rules. In some Florida schools, it’s called SCSI. Marcus Pryor, a junior at Miami Northwestern Senior High, thinks it stands for School Criminal Scene Investigation. SCSI actually stands for School Center for Special Instruction. And in Miami, it’s where students go when they [...]

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