November 29, 2021
As COVID-19 resurges, so does debate over masks in classrooms

Florida Trend Education

As COVID-19 resurges, so does debate over masks in classrooms

| 7/22/2021

As COVID-19 resurges, so does debate over masks in classrooms

As the United States again experiences a resurgence of COVID-19, many Florida families are looking ahead to reopening classrooms in August and wondering how the pandemic will affect another school year. The debate continues in social media groups and online forums as to whether the school district should reimpose a mask mandate for the 2021-2022 school year. More from WJXT], Bay News 9, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, and WPLG.

Florida Virtual School extends deadline

Florida Virtual School is extending a deadline to enroll kindergarten through eighth-grade students in its full-time attendance option as the 2021-22 academic year is set to begin in a matter of weeks. Families will now have until August 13 to enroll elementary and middle-school students in full-time online courses through the virtual school. The deadline to enroll full-time high school students fell on Friday. [Source: WINK News]

USF president Steve Currall is retiring two years into his tenure

University of South Florida president Steve Currall announced to the USF community Monday he would step down effective Aug. 2. Currall, who joined the university in July 2019, plans to take a professional development leave, after which he has the option to return as a tenured full professor and continue his research in organizational psychology. The board of trustees will consider granting him President Emeritus status. [Source: Tampa Bay Times]

Study: South Florida leads U.S. for diverse tech graduates

South Florida has more technology degree graduates from underrepresented racial and ethnic backgrounds than any other U.S. metro. At the same time, the tri-county area is one of the least diverse markets for women tech graduates with a bachelor's degree or higher, according to CBRE'S 2021 Scoring Tech Talent report. Sixty-eight percent of South Florida's 2,770 tech degree graduates in 2020 were from a minority background, the report said. [Source: The Business Journals]

Charter school decisions reversed after state pressure

The Hillsborough County School Board is reversing course on a decision to not renew contracts for four charter schools after pressure from the state's top education officials. The school board held a special meeting Tuesday and voted 6-1 to renew the four schools’ contracts, marking a win for supporters of school-choice programs and alleviating uncertainty for roughly 2,000 students who attend the charters. The reversal came after state Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran last week demanded during a meeting of the State Board of Education that the Hillsborough board approve the contracts or risk losing funding. [Source: News Service of Florida]

ALSO AROUND FLORIDA:

› FSU recognizes largest cohort of P.E.O. Scholar Award recipients
Six graduate students from Florida State University are among seven students in the state of Florida to earn prestigious Scholar Awards from the Philanthropic Educational Organization (P.E.O.). The P.E.O. Scholar Awards are one-time, competitive, merit-based awards intended to recognize and encourage academic excellence and achievement by women in doctoral-level programs. The awards include up to $20,000 to support study and research.

› A look at the teacher shortage in Southwest Florida
After a grueling school year during the pandemic, schools in Southwest Florida are once again just weeks away from the start of a new year. While our schools are promised a return to what should be a more normal year, the pandemic has still left its mark on our teachers. Dr. Beth Elliott who is the department chair for teacher education at Florida Gulf Coast University (FGCU), says this past year discouraged a lot of students from becoming teachers.

› Florida Coastal School of Law sues U.S. Department of Education
Florida Coastal School of Law has filed a federal lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Education and Education Secretary Miguel Cardona. The lawsuit comes after News4Jax reported in May that DOE blocked FCSL from getting back into the Title IV student loan program. In the lawsuit, FCSL says that without access to the loan money, it will be forced to close, students will have to find alternatives to finish law school and faculty/staff will lose their jobs.

› Edward Waters University joins NCAA Division II, to enter SIAC
A. Zachary Faison got the call, and immediately, the flood of emotions came through. "Sheer enthusiasm, excitement, just exhilaration," the Edward Waters University president said. After 86 years, Edward Waters University and the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference are reunited at last. Edward Waters University officially joined the ranks of NCAA Division II on Monday, announcing the Tigers' new affiliation at a press conference at the Adams-Jenkins Sports and Music Complex.

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