Project Lead the Way

Recently we learned Pine View School is involved in a collaboration with “Project Lead The Way” (PLTW), a technical program for K-12 and beyond. We learned that the SCSB has PLTW programs in place at Sarasota Polytechnical High School, Riverview High School, McIntosh Middle School, and Heron Creek Middle School.

After recent inquires to Dr. Covert regarding PLTW, he responded by email on May 9, 2016:

“Project Lead the Way is a program already in existence, and has a proven track record of success.  The first course we anticipate offering will be Introduction to Engineering Design.  Dr. Todd Bowden is the Executive Director of Career and Technical Education (CTE) and we will be working with him and Mr. Cantees on the program design and training aspects.  As soon as a timeline is developed, I will be happy to share that with parents. STEM and STEAM approaches are two of many options which our students at Pine View access within our mission statement.  Pine View is not changing or modifying our focus in any way on meeting the needs of every gifted learner.”

We would like to know more about this program and what it means for Pine View, as well as the timeline for implementation and costs. In the meantime, we will refer you to this FAQ link for PLTW implementation.

We look forward to learning more about what our principal stated in the May 2016 issue of Pine Views;

“Pine View students and parents in the coming year will notice changes and improvements on campus- from buildings and infrastructure to curriculum and content programming.”

It would seem that “Project Lead The Way” is one of those new changes. What are your thoughts about Pine View School for the Gifted offering a technical program?

If you feel stakeholders should have input, send us an email so your voice can be heard.

PVA has announced that they will be hosting a forum for students, teachers, parents, and the community to give input; we hope this occurs before Pine View takes any unilateral action.  

 

What is a magnet school?

Since Pine View became a magnet school on December 14, 2015, without any stakeholder input, we thought it made sense to define “magnet school.”

At the May 3, 2016 SCSB meeting, chairwoman Shirley Brown, read from a Wikipedia article, the definition of a magnet school. We will use the U.S. Department of Education’s definition, as follows:

Magnet schools are designed to attract students from diverse social, economic, ethnic, and racial backgrounds. They focus on a specific subject, such as science or the arts; follow specific themes, such as business/technology or communications/humanities/law; or operate according to certain models, such as career academies or a school-within-a-school. Some magnet schools require students to take an exam or demonstrate knowledge or skill in the specialty to qualify to go to the school, while others are open to students who express an interest in that area.

The Florida Department of Education goes on to further state:

Magnet schools and magnet programs offer a specialized curriculum to students outside the school’s normal attendance boundaries. These programs may include a particular theme or focus such as mathematics, science, technology, communications, international affairs, business or performing arts. A magnet school is defined as an elementary, middle, or high school that offers, to all students enrolled in that particular school, a special curriculum capable of attracting substantial numbers of students of different social, economic, ethnic, and racial backgrounds. Magnet programs differ slightly from a magnet school as the special curriculum is offered to a cohort of students as opposed to the entire school.

Despite what administration says and SCSB echoes, Pine View does not have a “specialized curriculum,” it does not attract “substantial numbers of students of different social, economic, ethnic, or racial backgrounds,” nor does it offer a “cohort of students as opposed to the entire school.”  Riverview High School has a magnet program via their IB program, as does SHS with their AICE/MAST program, and Booker High School with their VPA program.

However, Pine View does not have a specialized curriculum, yet. Pine View offers Honors, AP, and DE, but so do all the other district high schools. Pine View course numbers are identical to the courses provided at the other district schools.

Some believe that Pine View offers an accelerated curriculum, but is this true?

Is offering one year acceleration in math, considered accelerated curriculum? We think not! Every student in the state, whether gifted or not, has the ability to be accelerated if they meet eligibility criteria according to the Florida ACCEL legislation in 2012.

Do you feel Pine View should have been changed to a magnet school after 46 years as a traditional public school, without any stakeholder input?  Write your school board member or sign this petition to have a voice!

What Kind of School is Pine View?

What kind of public school is Pine View School for the Gifted?

Pine View refers to itself as a gifted school of choice. This language appears on the district website and is often used by administration employees to distinguish Pine View as a "choice option."

If you want to change your schedule, change a teacher, or maybe take a dual enrollment course or online FLVS course, you will hear the "school of choice" language. Administration might say something along these lines - "Pine View is a gifted school of choice. As you exercised your choice to attend Pine View, then you have agreed to our policies. If you don't wish to comply, you can go to your district school."

If you hear something often enough, you tend to believe it. School of choice sounds logical and official sounding and since everyone uses it, it must be true, right?

According to the Florida Department of Education, there are three types of public schools as follows:

  1. Traditional public school (schools that offer students basic courses and possibly Honors, Advanced Placement, and/or Dual Enrollment level courses).
  2. Magnet public school (not defined in law, but defined on FLDOE as "Magnet schools and magnet programs offer a specialized curriculum to students outside the school’s normal attendance boundaries. These programs may include a particular theme or focus such as mathematics, science, technology, communications, international affairs, business or performing arts. A magnet school is defined as an elementary, middle, or high school that offers, to all students enrolled in that particular school, a special curriculum capable of attracting substantial numbers of students of different social, economic, ethnic, and racial backgrounds. Magnet programs differ slightly from a magnet school as the special curriculum is offered to a cohort of students as opposed to the entire school."
  3. Charter public school (school with own charter and board of directors defined on FDOE as "Charter schools are public schools of choice. They are very popular—and among the fastest growing school choice options in Florida. Charter schools are largely free to innovate, and often provide more effective programs and choice to diverse groups of students."

So, back to our original question, Pine View is a traditional public school.

Actually, "School of choice" has no statutory meaning and is not clearly defined. Check out this Florida Department of Education memo, which says,

On October 4, 2013, the department informed school districts of the legislative changes that measured class size compliance at the school average for schools of choice. This communication is attached. Because no statutory definition of schools of choice currently exists, school districts determine which of their schools are designated as schools of choice.

The idea of school of choice began when parents were given the right to choose to take their children out of schools that were failing. It also was used as a loophole for districts to use to avoid penalties associated with the state's class size amendment. From there, the language has been twisted in this district to mean you have no choice since you exercised it already, but as we have explained this is completely untrue.

Check out these news articles on the widespread use of school of choice in Florida and what it's true purpose is - avoiding class size amendment penalties.

School of choice - it's not what they say it is.