Thursday, Nov 27, 2014

Pinellas schools leaders to discuss strategic plan

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Published:   |   Updated: July 15, 2013 at 09:21 PM

CLEARWATER - School Board members will field suggestions from principals and other administrators during their review of next year's strategic plan at a workshop today.

Hundreds of principals and staff members have spent the summer coming up with new goals and school improvement plans, and first-year Superintendent Michael Grego said the school district as a whole should share the same priorities.

"Some of our goals are stretch goals, but that's OK," Grego said. "It's better to stretch ourselves instead of being conservative and saying 'We're going to increase this by 1 percent, so by the time I'm 85 years old we have a graduation rate of 90 percent.' "

The wish list includes goals such as increasing the percentage of students who progress to the next grade to 95 percent and boosting the graduation rate to 88 percent by next school year. By 2017, all 11th grade students should take the Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test to increase the number of students who qualify for scholarships.

This year was the first time area superintendents have met with every principal to discuss how they spend money, said Director of Strategic Planning and Policy Mary Beth Corace.

"I'm thrilled that principals will have a more active voice in these discussions," said School Board member Linda Lerner. "For a lot of these budget decisions and priorities, I think schools should be able to make decisions, and then lets see what happens."

School Board members are also expected to sign off on four new principal appointments today.

Linda Burris, assistant principal at Thurgood Marshall Middle School in St. Petersburg, will become principal of Clearwater Fundamental Middle School; and Antonette Wilson, assistant principal at Leila Davis Elementary School in Clearwater, will become principal of Eisenhower Elementary School in Clearwater. Burris has worked in the school district since 1997, and Wilson since 2001.

Lisa Austin, assistant principal at New Heights Elementary School in St. Petersburg, will become the school's principal, and Jessley Hathaway, assistant principal at Lynch Elementary School in St. Petersburg, will become principal of Walsingham Elementary School in Largo. Austin has worked in the school district since 1992 and Hathaway since 1997.

The School Board workshop begins at 1:30 p.m. in the Cabinet Conference Room of the School Administration Building, 301 Fourth Street S.W. in Largo.

adawson@tampatrib.com

(727) 215-9851

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