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Booker High to break ground on new building today

Booker High to break ground on new building today

Sarasota, FL - According to a press release circulated by the Sarasota County School District, a groundbreaking ceremony to mark the beginning of a two-year project to rebuild Booker High School has been scheduled for this morning at 9 a.m. at the school. The event will include presentations by community members, school district officials, students, representatives of city government, architects and contractors.

The $58-million project is scheduled to be completed in 2013. Although vertical construction is not yet under way, site work began in August to re-route Orange Avenue around the Visual and Performing Arts Theater. That change will unify the campus by allowing students to reach any building without having to cross a street.

Booker High School has been an important center of community life in North Sarasota for more than 50 years. For most of its history, the district added individual new structures to replace aging buildings or to respond to growth in student population. The current project was the first time school officials had an opportunity to develop a comprehensive design for a new school.

'Race to the Top' awards Sarasota County schools $3.5 million

'Race to the Top' awards Sarasota County schools $3.5 million

Sarasota, FL -- This week, Sarasota County schools are getting some good news. The Florida Department of Education announced yesterday that $3.5 million in federal funds will be awarded to the county's school district over the next four years.

Similar funds, which will come from Florida's Race to the Top initiative to implement locally developed education reforms state-wide, have been awarded to 29 districts so far.

A total of 65 districts are expected to be approved by the end of January, each receiving a portion of the program's $700 million budget.

Approved districts will be given a portion of their funds each quarter during the next four years.

Pine View student wins national math contest

Pine View student wins national math contest

Osprey, FL -- Anthony Grebe, a junior at Pine View School, won $6,000 in the math game Who Wants to Be a Mathematician, Friday Jan. 7 at the Joint Mathematics Meetings in New Orleans. Anthony finished in second place among ten contestants.

According to Sarasota County Schools, Anthony plans to use the money for college. He also won a TI-Nspire graphing calculator donated by Texas Instruments. Of the $6,000 prize, Anthony will get half with the other half going to the math department at Pine View.

Pine View School student competes in semi-finals of "Want to be a Mathematician?"

Pine View School student competes in semi-finals of "Want to be a Mathematician?"

Osprey, Florida -- A Pine View School 11th grader will participate in the semi-finals of the American Mathematical Society's national competition, Friday, January 7th in New Orleans.

For more information, read the following press release sent out by the Sarasota School District:

OSPREY - Anthony Grebe, a junior at Pine View School, is one of 10 high school students from across the U.S. who will compete in the semi-finals of the American Mathematical Society's national competition, "Who Wants to Be a Mathematician." The event will take place from 10:30 a.m.-noon, Friday (Jan. 7) at the 2011 Joint Mathematics Meetings of the AMS and the Mathematical Association of America, an annual conference of about 6,000 mathematicians. This year's event will be held in New Orleans.

Sarasota County teachers awarded grants

Sarasota County teachers awarded grants

SARASOTA, Florida -- Seven Sarasota County teachers are among the 206 educators across the District's 16-county region who were awarded Splash! school grants on Dec. 20 through the Southwest Florida Water Management District.

Mary Margaret Hull, lead communications coordinator, attributed the effectiveness of the grant program in Sarasota County to the strong partnership with Sarasota County Schools, which helped get the word out to teachers. Susan Puchalla, Sarasota County science program specialist, serves as the District’s liaison to teachers.

“These teachers are receiving a small amount of money but are able to accomplish so much,” Hull said in a statement. “Grant recipients also use the District’s collection of curriculum materials and other free educational resources.”

Venice High gets $95M construction project underway

Venice High gets $95M construction project underway

Venice, FL - As high school students head into holiday vacations, Venice High School is getting ready for some major construction in the first week of the new year. The 50-year-old landmark in Venice will be almost entirely rebuilt during a $95 million construction project, which is scheduled to be completed in 2014.

At 9:00 a.m. on Thursday, Jan. 6, staff, students, and community members will gather to mark the official start of the project in a groundbreaking ceremony. While site work is already underway, the event will allow the Sarasota County School District and City of Venice to celebrate the occasion. Guests will congregate on the new practice field, located at 1 Indian Ave. in Venice.

The event will include remarks from school district officials, Venice Mayor John Holic, members of the design and construction teams responsible for the new building as well as presentations and performances from students.       

Virtual P.E. to helps keep kids energized and motivated

Virtual P.E. to helps keep kids energized and motivated

Venice, Florida-The school day at Taylor Ranch Elementary in Venice begins with a virtual workout in the classroom for a group of 5th graders. It's a half hour of heart pumping and calorie burning dance moves and high stepping kids to hip-hop music.

Students say the exercise keeps them motivated to stay fit. Three months into the 30 minute workout 3 times a week and students say they feel stronger and more energetic.

A YMCA instructor steps in the classroom using video conferencing technology. Instructor Jennifer Tucker helped create the program called "Fit Cast" after learning 30 to 40 percent of Sarasota 6th graders are overweight or obese. " The overall goal is to reduce childhood obesity in Sarasota County," says Tucker.