2/16/21 School Board Meeting Recap

Sarah Quackenbush, Student

This month’s Sarasota County School Board meeting started with Venice Highschool’s JROTC members: Cadet Macy J. Brown, Cadet Sarah M. Hanrahan, Cadet Lindsey M. Zimmerman, and Cadet Kayleigh A. Stellwagen. Venice high school student representative and school treasurer brought attention to the fact that listening to students’ concerns and issues while maintaining school and CDC guidelines is a struggle. He also talked about this month’s civility squad member.

The next thing on the agenda of the school board meeting tonight was a special presentation about the 2020-2021 k-12 English language art adoption project. The goal of this project is to “evaluate instructional materials for our district adoption…..supporting our purpose of providing the highest quality instructional materials for all of Sarasota County schools and teachers. This is an intense and very long process in which they have: 171 committee members and 1000 hours of work committed to this process of choosing new literary materials. The average cost of all of these materials for just language arts alone is on the higher end of 7.5 million dollars. The state only covers 3.5 of the million dollars needed, and the rest get to be paid by the county itself.

Next on the agenda, Sarasota county schools welcomed its new Director of construction, who used to work in manatee county. She and her husband graduated high school locally, and she got a degree in construction at the University of Florida. She contributes to the small percentage of women in construction. She can be seen as an inspiration to young girls in the county who can see a woman being represented building the schools we attend!

Lastly, Sarasota county’s first black principal Mrs. Dorthey Smith was celebrated by having a plaque with a portrait of herself put up in her honor. A heartwarming video was made capturing speeches focusing on what a difference she made as a teacher and a principal during her career.