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October 21, 2020
‘It's wild here': Universities grapple with large parties, defiant students on campus

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Florida Trend Education

‘It's wild here': Universities grapple with large parties, defiant students on campus

| 9/24/2020

‘It’s wild here’: Universities grapple with large parties, defiant students on campus

There's a growing problem on campuses across Florida as university officials try to navigate a safe reopening, while many young adults crave the quintessential college experience amid the pandemic. In recent weeks, various university campuses have reported hundreds of new coronavirus cases as university officials have tried to clamp down on large gatherings and threaten students with suspensions if they defy social distancing guidelines at parties or football games. More from the Tampa Bay Times and the Miami Herald.

With deadlines looming, Florida districts work to boost base teacher pay

Florida school districts have until Oct. 1 to send the state Department of Education approved plans for increasing their minimum teacher salaries toward $47,500. Many of them aren’t ready, having yet to reach agreements with their local teacher unions on how to distribute the money lawmakers set aside for this purpose. Several won’t be able to reach the level that Gov. Ron DeSantis and state lawmakers set as the goal when declaring 2020 the “year of the teacher.” [Source: Tampa Bay Times]

Rural schools in Florida to receive money to expand student telehealth services

Monday, during a mental health roundtable at the Governor’s Mansion, First Lady Casey DeSantis announced that the Florida Department of Education (FDOE) is issuing grant funding to 18 rural Florida school districts to increase students' access to mental health and student support services and to enhance access to school and community-based providers. [Source: Florida Trend]

Florida Trend Exclusive
UF startup Cannabix working on a 'pot breathalyzer'

With more states allowing some form of legal marijuana use, the race is on to develop a breath test that law enforcement can use to determine the drug's levels in drivers who may be under the influence. University of Florida chemistry professor and inventor Richard Yost is working with Cannabix Technologies, a Canada-based, UF startup with operations in Vancouver and Gainesville, on a breath test based on inventions and research from Yost’s group at UF. [Source: Florida Trend]

In Florida school reopening lawsuit, sides find little agreement

In their battle over the Department of Education’s July school reopening order, lawyers for the Governor’s Office and the Florida Education Association have concurred on one point: Both wanted to see the appeal of the trial judge’s ruling go directly to the state Supreme Court. The 1st District Court of Appeal didn’t send the case along as requested. Since then, the sides have returned to their regular disagreements on points large and small, as the state tries to get the case thrown out while the union pushes to get its injunction complaint back on track. [Source: ]

ALSO AROUND FLORIDA:

› Florida Board of Education meeting at Holocaust Museum after survey shows lack of Holocaust knowledge
The Florida Board of Education met Wednesday at the Florida Holocaust Museum in St. Pete. It was its second in-person meeting since the start of the pandemic. Budget cuts and student safety were up for discussion, but also making sure Holocaust education is a priority this school year. An alarming national survey found 63% of adults under 40 do not know that six million Jews were murdered during the Holocaust -- the world’s worst genocide.

› Florida State sets school record with nine Fulbright Scholars
Nine Florida State University faculty members have been selected as U.S. Fulbright Scholar Program award recipients, setting a new FSU record for most Fulbright Scholars in one year. The faculty chosen plan to teach and conduct research as part of opportunities funded by the U.S. Fulbright Scholar Program during the 2020-2021 school year.

› UF proposes to nix spring break out of COVID-19 concerns
The University of Florida is en route to join other higher education institutions across the country in forgoing traditional spring break next year out of concern for COVID-19 transmission. In a Faculty-Senate meeting last week, officials overwhelmingly voted to cancel the week-long vacation in March and fold the time into a longer winter break.

› Florida Gulf Coast University verifying that students on campus complete a daily health screening app
Adayshia Roman and Steven Gutierrez snuck in some resistance training Tuesday before their afternoon classes at Florida Gulf Coast University. But before the students could break a sweat, they had to show proof they filled out a health screening app that is part of the Fort Myers-based school’s COVID-19 health protocols.

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