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School News
ST. PETERSBURG - Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority and St. Petersburg College have formed a partnership to provide a Universal Pass to provide free bus rides to students and staff.

PSTA and SPC announced the news at a press conference Aug. 21 at SPC’s Gibbs campus in St. Petersburg.

According to Franco Ripple with Kevin Cate Communications, SPC is paying $75,000 to PSTA for a one-year contract. In exchange, more than 32,000 students and staff will be able to ride free on any of PSTA’s 200 buses on 40 routes.

Students, faculty and other employees can get the free rides by showing their SPC ID cards when boarding the bus.

“We couldn’t be happier to partner with St. Petersburg College to provide their students and faculty with the transit options they needed,” said PSTA Board member and Pinellas County Commissioner Janet Long in a press release. “This has been a long time coming, and SPC’s students and faculty now have a new way to get to class, home, work and all around Pinellas County, at no cost to them. It’s great for our students, it’s great for our teachers and it will only get better with the improvements under Greenlight Pinellas.”
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ST. PETERSBURG - Utica College, a leading provider of higher education, recently launched its Accelerated Second Bachelor’s Degree Nursing program in St. Petersburg to address the rising shortage of nurses in the region and across the state of Florida.

“This is an exciting time for the Tampa Bay area as well as for Utica College, and we are eagerly anticipating the launch of our Accelerated Second Bachelor’s Degree Nursing program in St. Petersburg in August,” said Dr. Todd S. Hutton in a press release. Hutton is the president of Utica College. “There is so much opportunity for students pursuing nursing careers today. As our population ages and the demand for nurses grows, it is critical to provide the latest educational advancements required to improve the delivery of health care. We are committed to giving our nursing students a curriculum that is in step with those advances and helping them to successfully complete their bachelor’s degree program in just four semesters. We are confident they will graduate with the necessary leadership and clinical skills to excel anywhere in the health care industry.”

Headquartered in northeast St. Petersburg and centrally located to all area hospitals, at Utica College, students can earn a baccalaureate degree in nursing in just 16 months through a combination of online and classroom learning and complete clinical hours at top healthcare facilities under the supervision of registered nurse educators. The program is a full-time plan of study designed for compassionate and dedicated professionals who already hold a bachelor’s degree in a non-nursing field and are motivated to become a nurse.
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PALM HARBOR - Curlew Creek Elementary School PTA and its fifth-grade students are collaborating with Angel Bins to collect 10,000 pairs of shoes to raise $5,000 for class shirts, class trips, graduation ceremony and an end of the year celebration.

They are asking that new or gently used athletic shoes, dress shoes, boots and sandals be dropped off at the school in the bins at the front office between now and Friday, Oct. 10. Donors are asked to pair shoes by tying laces or with rubber bands.

For more information or to arrange a shoe pick-up, please contact ccepta@gmail.com or call us at 724-1423.
 ... Read More 
Sunday, August 24
ST. PETERSBURG - Months of efforts to get students enrolled this fall at St. Petersburg College have paid off, as enrollment for the term is up 2.2 percent over fall 2013.

As of Aug. 18, the first day of fall classes, 32,350 students were enrolled in 276,620 semester hours at SPC.

“We’re in good shape and I’m very glad to present these numbers because it’s been a few years since I’ve been able to report enrollment gains,” Patrick Rinard, associate vice president for enrollment services, told SPC’s Board of Trustees on Tuesday. “A number of our sister institutions across the state are reporting enrollment declines” the first day of classes.
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The Pinellas County Youth Advisory Committee invites local students in grades nine to 12 to attend an open house Wednesday, Aug. 27, at 3 p.m., in the fifth floor Commissioners’ Conference Room in the Pinellas County Courthouse, 315 Court St., Clearwater.

Teens will learn about leadership opportunities, including ways to participate in local government. Interested students may RSVP to 582-2656.

The Youth Advisory Committee, established in 2001, was developed as a vehicle for high school students to provide input and assistance to the Pinellas County Board of County Commissioners. The committee assists the commission by helping to identify the needs of youth, to organize youth-based activities that benefit the local community, to suggest services needed by teens within Pinellas County and to become active participants, with their adult counterparts, in county programs.
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Wednesday, August 20
ST. PETERSBURG - The Juvenile Welfare Board of Pinellas County and its partners opened the Lew Williams Center for Early Learning Aug. 18.

The center is a multi-agency partnership between JWB, R’Club, Pinellas County Schools, Early Learning Coalition and Lutheran Services Florida Early Head Start/Head Start.

The center will provide high quality early childhood education to 104 children, ages 1 to 4, who reside in south St. Petersburg. Named in honor of former Pinellas School Board member Lew Williams who was a staunch advocate for early childhood education, the center is located on the campus of pTEC South in St. Petersburg and features eight classrooms: two classrooms each for 1-, 2-, 3- and 4-year-olds (VPK). The center will open on Aug. 18 to serve children who have registered for the program.
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LARGO - The Kiwanis Club of Largo/Mid-Pinellas will offer two of its programs to Frontier Elementary School starting this school year: a K-Kids Club and a BUG program.

K-Kids is a student-led community-service organization for elementary school students. Funded by the Kiwanis club and guided by a school faculty adviser, the students will learn how to conduct meetings, plan, organize and carry out service projects.

The BUG, or Bringing Up Grades, program is designed to help students raise grades from one grading period to the next. The sponsoring Kiwanis club funds the promotional materials and hosts parties for the students, giving prizes to the ones who successfully raised one or more grades while maintaining the rest of their grades. Students sign a contract with their teacher, who will remind them of their goal. Mentors will then help the students to achieve their goal.
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Craig Fugate, Federal Emergency Management Agency administrator, recently appointed 12 new members and reappointed two current members to FEMA’s National Advisory Council.

Christopher Littlewood was one of the 12 new NAC members. Littlewood is project coordinator for the Center for Public Safety Innovation at St. Petersburg College, Seminole.

The NAC is an advisory committee established by federal law to ensure effective and ongoing coordination of federal emergency management activities. Members represent the whole community and include representatives from a wide array of backgrounds and communities involved or affected by the emergency management profession
 ... Read More 
Wednesday, August 13
CLEARWATER - Throughout the month of August, The Salvation Army is accepting donations of new school supplies for children, as well as those who come to their social services offices seeking financial and food assistance.

Needed items include pencils, paper, three-ring binders, composition books, backpacks, glue sticks, crayons, colored pencils, erasers and rulers. Items can be dropped off, Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., at The Salvation Army, 1625 N. Belcher Road.

The community’s support will help ensure that local children in need will start the school year off prepared and confident.
 ... Read More 
Thursday, August 7
ST. PETERSBURG - To help strengthen the skills of Tampa Bay’s future workforce, St. Petersburg College will award $520,000 in scholarships through a National Science Foundation grant to academically talented and financially disadvantaged students who pursue degrees in STEM - science, technology, engineering and math.

The initiative will support students as they earn a degree and find employment in STEM fields. The grant will target women and minorities, who have been historically underrepresented in those areas. The program, called Tampa Bay SEEDS (Scholarships for Education & Employment Development in STEM) also will help fill a crucial gap in skilled workers in the Tampa Bay area, Florida and the United States.

“This grant demonstrates SPC’s deep commitment to accessible, learner-centered instruction and STEM education,” said SPC president Bill Law. “The program will ensure a diverse applicant pool for potential STEM scholars at our college. It is very exciting for me personally because the project harmonizes with a student success initiative called The College Experience.”
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Tuesday, July 29
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As summer draws to a close, I am optimistic about the journey ahead for Pinellas County Schools. It promises to be an exciting school year for our district as we strive to meet the needs of students and respond to the changing landscape of the 21st century.

This spring our district was awarded a Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Next Generation Systems Initiative grant to expand personalized learning opportunities for students. Personalized learning tailors what, when, how and where students learn to each student’s individual needs and interests.
 ... Read More 
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As we approach the 2014-15 school year, the Pinellas Educuation Foundation has provided a list of to-do items each parent, teacher and community member should consider. Our children become successful adults when we work together and provide them with opportunities for growth and achievement. Information on the items listed below can be found on the Pinellas Education Foundation’s website at www.pinellaseducation.org.
 ... Read More 
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9911 Seminole Blvd.,
Seminole, FL 33772
Phone: (727) 397-5563
Fax: (727) 397-5900
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