Education

If you’re a student at the University of West Florida, you’ll be staying home and firing up the computer beginning later this month.

All classes are going straight online after Thanksgiving, and while it coincides with a rise in coronavirus cases here and elsewhere, it’s actually a pre-planned move.

“When we put together our plan for reopening – that was approved by the Board of Governors – that included how we were going to spend the fall semester,” said UWF President Martha Saunders.

Florida Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran
News Service of Florida

Florida students will be able to continue to learn remotely through the second half of the school year as the state grapples with the COVID-19 pandemic, Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran said Wednesday.

As more students identify as transgender and gender non-conforming, colleges are changing housing policies to accommodate them. In Tallahassee, one student group is pushing Florida State University to be more inclusive.

Jay Galante is a senior at Florida State University who's president of Gender Odyssey, a transgender and non-binary student social group. They're pushing FSU to be more proactive in reaching out to transgender and gender non-conforming students who apply to live on-campus.

FAMU Opts Out Of Football Amid COVID-19 Concerns

Nov 16, 2020

Florida A&M University has chosen to forego the 2021 spring seasons for football, indoor track and field, and volleyball. The announcement leaves softball, baseball, and men’s and women’s basketball as the remaining sports. The Rattlers rival Bethune Cookman University made the decision to forego all its sports last month, leaving the football team with only 4 remaining games.

The school cites health and safety concerns due to COVID-19 as reasons for canceling the season.

Tuesday morning screenshot of the DCPS COVID-19 dashboard.
Duval County Public Schools

The Duval County Public Schools district has launched a new, more comprehensive COVID-19 dashboard to replace the previous public tool.

DCPS Superintendent Diana Greene
CYD HOSKINSON / WJCT NEWS

Duval County voters last week approved a half-cent sales tax to improve Jacksonville’s public schools, and work is already underway among the district's administration to implement the change.

COVID-19 testing photo
Marcio Jose Sanchez / Associated Press

Reversing historical trends during economic downturns, state college enrollment has dropped dramatically as the coronavirus pandemic continues to plague Florida.

The Hillsborough County Public School District announced a tentative plan Tuesday to raise starting pay for new teachers, just a week after saying that hundreds of teacher jobs would be cut.

Under the district’s proposal, 4,478 new teachers in traditional schools will be paid an annual salary of $46,900, up from $40,000 previously.

Last week, Hillsborough School Superintendent Addison Davis said the district would eliminate some teachers' jobs.

The Florida Times-Union

Fletcher High School will remain closed until at least next Wednesday following a cluster of COVID-19 cases, according to WJCT News partner The Florida Times-Union.

The Hillsborough County School District announced plans Wednesday to cut more than 300 teaching positions in an effort to ease budget restrictions.

In a letter to parents and staff, Superintendent Addison Davis said the moves were made "in a way that protects the classroom experience for our students and minimizes the impact on our teaching staff."

The moves will save the financially strapped school district about $45 million in payroll, Davis wrote.

The University of South Florida College of Education is being eliminated because of budget cuts.

A Graduate School of Education is being established in its place.

In a letter sent to faculty and staff Wednesday, Judith A. Ponticell, professor and interim dean for the College of Education, said the move was being made in an effort to reduce the college's budget by $6.8 million — or 35% — over the next two years.

USF will continue to offer graduate courses in education, she said.

Fletcher High Moves All Teaching Online Due To 'Multiple Cases Of COVID-19'

Oct 14, 2020
Picture of school bus
News4Jax

Beginning Thursday, students of Fletcher High School will be learning at home through at least Monday, according to a message from the school's principal.

Ribault High Football Player Arrested In School Shooting

Oct 13, 2020
Ribault High School
News4Jax

A Ribault High School football player faces dual charges following Friday's shooting incident that left a teammate injured in the campus field house, according to the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office.

Ribault High Using Metal Detectors For All Students Following Shooting

Oct 12, 2020
Ribault High School
News4Jax

Ribault High School began using walk-through metal detectors for all students Monday to ensure the safety of students and staff after a student was shot Friday,

Picture of books and apple.
News Service of Florida

Saying that “nothing in the emergency order requires any teacher or any student to return to the classroom,” a state appeals court Friday overturned a ruling that said Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran violated the Florida Constitution when he issued a July order aimed at reopening schools amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

USF Changes Spring Break Dates

Oct 5, 2020

After making adjustments to fall semester and Thanksgiving break, the University of South Florida is now changing its academic calendar for the spring 2021 semester in an effort to reduce the possible spread of COVID-19.

USF’s spring break, which was originally scheduled for March 15-21, is being moved to April 12-18.

Gov. Ron DeSantis said Friday that closing school campuses in the spring as the coronavirus pandemic took hold might have been one of the nation’s biggest “public health mistakes.” And, while appearing on the Drew Steele radio show, DeSantis equated people fighting the return of students to classrooms as the “flat earthers of our day.”

USF Announces $36.7 Million In Budget Cuts

Oct 2, 2020

The University of South Florida has announced a series of cost-cutting measures after saying the state is reducing its funding by about $36.7 million.

The cuts reflect an 8.5% reduction in state funds for the current fiscal year, which ends June 30, 2021.

The Florida Board of Governors had earlier requested the state's 12 public universities make plans reflecting such cuts due to declining state tax and lottery revenues because of the coronavirus pandemic, as well as a 10% adjustment for fiscal 2021-2022.

JON SUPER / ASSOCIATED PRESS

The public is invited to help determine the way forward for the Duval County public school system.

A view of  Jacksonville University's Downtown campus.
Jacksonville University

Jacksonville University is offering a new information technology certificate program in partnership with SkillStorm, which trains and hires technology workers.

COVID-Related Suspensions at FGCU

Sep 28, 2020

Two fraternities at Florida Gulf Coast University have been suspended for the rest of the semester, the university has reported. Phi Delta Theta and Sigma Chi were found responsible for holding an off-campus event that was not compliant with the university’s COVID-19 guidelines.

Sorority Delta Delta Delta has been placed on an interim suspension and is going through the school’s conduct process, also for allegations of holding an non-compliant event.

The Florida Department of Education (DOE) is distributing $2 million in CARES Act funding to increase K-12 students' access to virtual counseling and online psychiatry.

DEO Chancellor Eric Hall says leaders want to make sure there’s no gap in mental health services with more students enrolled in distance learning during the pandemic.

“It helps to give them access to that same level of support and engagement with these professionals using these online platforms, so that there’s no breakdown in service.”

Schools across the state are back in session with some students in brick and mortar classrooms and others attending online.

But when it comes to music education, federal and state policy makers don't have much to say.

So these teachers are turning to organizations like the National Association for Music Education for guidance on how to safely move forward with extracurriculars that could contribute to spreading the coronavirus.

Florida A&M University’s Developmental Research School is sending students home for two weeks after several positive cases of COVID-19 on its campus.

The university says one teacher and one non-teaching staffer tested positive for the virus, along with two students. More than half a dozen teachers are being asked to quarantine and volleyball and football games set for this week have been postponed.

The school is also suspending in-person classes for two weeks.

School buses
J. Scott Applewhite / Associated Press

Students will be dismissed 50 minutes earlier on Wednesdays beginning October 14 in the St. Johns County School District.

FSU COVID-19 Rule Breakers Now Subject To Suspensions

Sep 21, 2020

Thrasher sent a statement via email to students today. In it, he thanks those who have been wearing face coverings and practicing social distancing. But he also says students who ignore COVID-19 safety guidelines are putting everyone at risk.

"The choices you make don’t just impact you. They affect your friends, families, professors, FSU staff, and the Tallahassee community at large, as well as our ability to hold in-person classes and future events and provide campus services," Thrasher says.

Hungarian Jews on the ramp at Auschwitz II-Birkenau in German-occupied Poland, around May 1944.
Anonymous photographer / Auschwitz Album

A recent survey of U.S. adults under 40 shows a glaring lack of basic knowledge about the Holocaust.

Arial view of the University of Florida campus.
UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA VIA TWITTER

The University of Florida has moved up while Florida State University drops down in U.S. News & World Report’s annual ranking of public universities released Monday.

Michelle Corum/WJCT News

The Duval County public school district has received approval from the Florida Department of Education for a modified reopening plan.

Charles Krupa / Associated Press file photo

Duval County Public Schools reported seven new confirmed COVID-19 cases for Tuesday, September 8, among three students and four staff members across the district.

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