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Staff changes possible at 5 Pinellas schools

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PINELLAS COUNTY, FL (WFLA) -

The Pinellas School District is about to take drastic action at five f-rated schools, deciding whether everyone, from the principal down, will stay next year. " We want to make sure every adult in front of these children is the best," said Charlene Einsel,Ph.D., Pinellas Schools Turnaround Officer.

Dr. Einsel presented the Superintendent's plan to School Board members at a workshop today. The schools affected are: Azalea Middle School, Pinellas Park Middle School, Fairmount Park Elementary, Melrose Elementary, and Maximo Elementary School. In all, about 315 teachers are affected.

Those rated effective or highly effective will be asked to stay, the others will face involuntary transfers.

Bruce Proud, Executive Director, Pinellas Classroom Teachers Association said he believes the teacher rating system is new and flawed. "I'm not sure there's an evaluation system in place that's fair and equitable for teachers to feel comfortable that it's a fair assessment of their performance," said Proud, adding the teachers at schools in low-income areas must work harder with children who often have issues with hunger and stability at home.

Teacher turnover is also an issue. For example, 44% of the teachers at Fairmount Park Elementary were new to the school last year. To recruit good teachers and keep them, the district will offer a $3000 pay bonus. The first step next week, is for the district to determine which principals will stay at the schools,

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