Students Help Students Get Innovative at Sarasota County Schools

The Venice High School students sitting at their desks during a special presentation on November 7 looked just about how you’d expect a room of teenagers to look at 7:45 a.m. Chins cradled in hands on desktops, faces void of emotion, listening politely but without much engagement. Fast-forward 20 minutes and those same students are electric with excitement, laughing, smiling, engaged. What changed? The students were seeing their newly remodeled Intensive Language Arts (ILA) classrooms for the very first time.

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Girls Inc. Flips the Switch on Largest Solar Array in Sarasota County

What if kids were put in charge of the Environmental Protection Agency? “If only,” says Girls Inc. of Sarasota County.This month the youth-serving organization activated the largest private canopy of solar panels in Sarasota County. Their facilities now operate fully on renewable energy, and the switch will save the organization more than $20,000 in utility expenses each year.

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Partnership Rises to Address Disruptive Learning

Walk into a classroom today and you will see that teachers do much more than teach. Often, a teacher is a social worker and first-responder. A seven-year old should never be literally ripping their hair out or throwing chairs in class due to stress at home. However, it’s happening right here in our community, and schools can’t keep up.

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What Do You Wonder About This Giant Jar of Skittles?

That’s how a math lesson at a local elementary school started. Fun. Creative. Engaging. A partnership between Barancik Foundation and Sarasota County Schools has reinvented elementary math instruction so that every lesson includes these elements. The multi-year initiative, Maximizing Math Mentality, trained every single elementary teacher on ways to bring math to life through creative hands-on scenarios. The math teacher training was part of the district’s plan to help students think algebraically early on in their academic careers. What wasn’t part of their plan, was how the initiative would completely transform the way professional development is delivered.

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Reading Recovery: A Playbook to Improve Literacy in First-Grade

Reading Recovery helps struggling first-grade students achieve grade-level reading in just 12 to 21 weeks. The internationally acclaimed literacy intervention program is in its third year in Sarasota County and over 400 students have completed Reading Recovery. Thanks to a rapid growth plan funded by the district and philanthropy, all 23

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