Megan Reeves, Pinellas Schools, USF Reporter

Megan Reeves

Pinellas Schools, USF Reporter

I write about K-12 schools in Pinellas County, the University of South Florida and how state education policy affects them both. I’ve been a Sunshine State resident since I was 4 and will likely never leave, though my favorite season is whenever it’s coldest. I’m a proud graduate of the University of Florida, where I decided I wanted to work for this newspaper and make St. Petersburg my home. Now, I can be found thrifting along Central Avenue, snuggling with my cat, Fran, in my mid-century living room or having coffee at my favorite spot: Black Crow in the Old Northeast. Want to talk about a story? Meet me there for a cup, my treat.

A 7:25 a.m. start time at most Pinellas high schools will have to do — for now.

Pinellas County school officials say a 7:25 a.m. start at all but four high schools is the best they can do for now, given the school system’s limited transportation resources. The district already spends $34 million to bus students, superintendent Mike Grego said, and there’s no room in the budget for more. Classes start Aug. 14. [Times (2007)]
That first bell will ring five minutes later this year on most campuses. Some hope for an even later start in the future, but money and logistics stand in the way.

Does Pinellas school leader Mike Grego want to be Hillsborough’s superintendent? He’s not saying no.

Pinellas County school superintendent Mike Grego talks with Amy Liu during a meeting of student leaders last year in Tampa. Grego said in an interview that he hasn’t considered applying for the superintendent’s job in neighboring Hillsborough County, but he didn’t rule it out. “At the appropriate time, I will give it thought,” he said. [Times (2018)]
He said he hasn’t thought about applying for the top schools job in neighboring Hillsborough County. But he will “at the appropriate time.”

Florida school grades improve statewide, results mixed in Tampa Bay

Among the results from Thursday's release of school grades by the state Department of Education: Two-thirds of Florida schools saw no change in their grade from this time last year, while 22 percent improved and 13 percent performed worse. [DIRK SHADD   |   Times]
More schools this year earned A and B grades than in 2018, and fewer received an F.

Florida education news: school security concerns, class disruption, learning Chinese and more

At Marjory Stoneman Douglas High in Parkland, students wear clear backpacks, one of a number of security measures that came into play after last year's shooting at the school. Another measure -- a state database designed to flag troubling patterns among students -- is being criticized by civil rights groups as too invasive. [Associated Press]
A roundup of stories from around the state.

The new USF president is here — and he brought ideas

Steve Currall, the University of South Florida’s new president, intends to keep improving the metrics that have raised the school to “preeminent” status. But as he does that, and as USF’s three campuses consolidate, it will be harder for low-income and minority and students to get in. “I have, I think, a healthy respect for the complexity of that,” Currall says, adding he wants to maintain preeminence and improve diversity at the same time. [MONICA HERNDON   |   Times]
Steve Currall sat down with the Tampa Bay Times to describe his plans for this year and beyond.