Citrus Schools state of the District Part III

State of the District IIICitrus Schools state of the District Part III

This past week’s school board workshop was the last of a three part series report on the Citrus Schools state of the District.  During these presentations staff gave updates and reports on Clinic Procedures, professional development, the district Wellness Center, SRO curriculum and some student safety statistics.

Last year due to new legal opinions the school district found it necessary to no longer carry Epinephrine pens (a.k.a. EpiPen) that did not have a specific prescription for a specific student.  In the past the school health clinic would keep on hand EpiPens in case a student or staff member had an unexpected allergic reaction. EpiPens can be an important lifesaving tool to have.  The school board, preferred to have them in the clinic and we were disappointed when we could not.  This past legislative session Senate Bill 284 was passed and signed into law permitting schools to have on hand EpiPens. Citrus School’s Student Services department worked out an arrangement with our Wellness Care Program here and their physician to have the new necessary paperwork on hand at each school.  Student Services also obtained a grant through the “EpiPen 4 Schools” program to pay for the pens.  Now our schools have all of these important tools on our school campuses and in our clinics should they be needed for our students and staff.

Director of Professional Development, Belinda Woythaler, shared information with us about the Professional Development Department Mission.  The mission of the Professional Development Department is to foster academic and social growth of all students through promotion, support, and communication of continuous improvement strategies and the facilitation of high-quality professional development for all staff.  Ms. Woythaler explained that High Quality Professional Development includes a focus on content that Develops pedagogical knowledge and skill.  Those skills then align with standards, curriculum, and assessments. Teachers become active learners through participation and applying the context of teacher practice with participatory and collaborative skills.

The Citrus County Sherriff’s Office and the Citrus County School District have an important working arrangement for student safety through the use of School Resource Officers (SRO) at our schools. This is done through the critical curriculum they teach and the safety they provide at our schools. The SRO supervisors Sgt. Ron Frink and Sgt. Scott Farmer gave a presentation explaining the SRO program and curriculum.   An SRO is a law enforcement officer who is assigned to elementary, middle, and/or high school.  The main goal of the SRO is to prevent juvenile delinquency by promoting positive relations between youth and law enforcement. The SROs programs include the FOCUS, Junior FOCUS, Child Lures, Explorer Program, Teen Driver Challenge and more.  These officers are one of the first lines of defense in protecting and helping our students.

Student Services director, Regina Allegretta, shared some positive information about the Citrus County School Board’s bullying policies and procedures, as well as some encouraging district statics. Ms. Allegretta shared that the Florida Department of Education: Office of Safe Schools (OSS) recently performed an audit on Citrus’s bullying policies and procedures.  Following that we were notified that CCSB was in full compliance of all mandatory items.  The Office of Safe Schools complementary letter of commendation CCSB by saying, “…you on your extensive outreach, trainings, promotions, etc. to parents, teachers, students (Compliance Item #6). You compiled quite a comprehensive list of bullying-related activities and trainings going on at the district. This should be shared with other districts.”  Afterwards Ms. Allegretta updated the board on the district’s bullying policies reporting process and reviewed the annual ‘Reported Incidents’ for Citrus schools which is sent to the state. While any number of inappropriate behaviors by one students towards another is one too many it is encouraging to learn that of the approximately 15,600 plus students in 23 schools in Citrus School Districts that this year (2013-2014) to date, 4-Substantiated and 8-Unsubstantiated bullying cases have been reported in all Citrus schools. During the 2012-2013 school year, 12-Substantiated and 8-Unsubstantiated, and in 2011-2012 school year, 8-Substantiated and 0-Unsubstantiated bullying cases have been reported in all Citrus schools. For additional information on the district’s bullying policies can be reviewed CCSB Student Code of Conduct, and the CCSB policy 5.321: Bullying and Harassment.

I always encourage the State of the District workshops as it gives board members and better opportunity to learn about the detailed working of our districts and its programs.

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