The College Board’s district report card on SAT and Advanced Placement exams showed more participation in college-level Advanced Placement courses and more exams passed, especially among minority groups. The total number of exams passed increased by 5.7%.
Participation by African American students in Advanced Placement exams increased 18.7%, far outpacing state and national rates.
The 2015 mean SAT scores surpassed state and national scores on each section of the SAT college entrance exam. African American and Hispanic students increased their participation in the SAT, and their mean scores exceeded state and national scores in several areas.
The U.S. Department of Education selected Pinellas County Schools as one of nine district finalists from across the nation, and the only district in Florida, as a Future Ready district. The honor showcases the role leaders play in leveraging technology to create transformational learning environments.
27 Pinellas students earned prestigious Cambridge Outstanding Learner Awards in the categories of Top in World, Top in Country and Scholar based on the June 2015 Cambridge International Examinations. The Cambridge Advanced International Certificate of Education Diploma program is available to students at Clearwater, Dixie Hollins and Tarpon Springs high schools.
Since its inception in 2012, more than 1,000 7th grade students have taken the SAT college entrance exam through the school district’s own Talent Identification Program. Participation more than doubled from 2014 to 2015.
Approximately 3,000 middle school students participate in National History Day. Five hundred participate in Model United Nations.
As part of a districtwide effort to expand the learning day, more than 3,600 students in grades 3-12 participate in before- and after-school Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Academies established at schools throughout the district since 2013. Schools grew the number of these teacher-led academies from 56 to 180 in three years.
Summer Bridge, a summer learning program established in 2013, offers an engaging hands-on curriculum to prepare students for maximum success during the school year. In 2015, the program served more than 14,500 students across 65 sites. Academic gains were seen at every grade level for reading, math and science.
In 2015, the new Freshman Transition Committee developed new programming and support for schools to help 9th grade students successfully transition to high school.
The district’s third International Baccalaureate program for high school students, established at Largo High School, graduated its first senior class in 2015. International studies programs for elementary and middle school students expanded with new programs at Mildred Helms Elementary, John Hopkins Middle School and Largo Middle School.
The Center for Advanced Technologies (CAT) at Lakewood High School was selected as a 2015-2016 Microsoft Showcase School. The honor recognizes CAT for transforming its learning environment to deliver more personalized education to students to better prepare them for success in the workplace.
Nine Pinellas schools were recognized with bronze, silver and gold awards by the national Alliance for a Healthier Generation for fostering healthy school environments. John M. Sexton Elementary was one of only 12 schools in the country to earn Gold for its incorporation of health-focused activities into the school day.
32 schools partner with local business leaders through the Council for Educational Change’s Executive PASS program. The partnerships bring additional support and resources to increase student achievement and family engagement.
Pinellas County Schools has been named a Ford Next Generation Learning (Ford NGL) Model Community for its successful implementation of high school career academies. High school career academies are a proven national model in which students learn in an environment that makes their education more relevant and engaging. Pinellas County is the second region in the country to be named a Ford NGL Model Community. More than 19,000 high school students participate in career academy courses.
In celebration of excellent teaching throughout the district, more than 120 teachers were nominated for the 2016 Outstanding Educator of the Year award. All nominees are honored at the Pinellas Education Foundation’s annual Evening of Excellence.