Wednesday June 23, 2021

The Florida Department of Education announced the initial English Language Arts (ELA) results of the Grade 3 Florida Standards Assessment (FSA). Findings showed that districts with higher rates of in-person instruction had more consistent learning outcomes between 2019 and 2021. Achievement gaps also narrowed for Florida’s African American and Hispanic students, who experienced less of a decline than White students. Throughout the year, leaders, parents and school districts had access to state-of-the-art progress monitoring systems to provide almost real-time feedback. Florida’s advancements with progress monitoring this school year, are seen as a potential game-changer in the future, that will allow districts to access valid and reliable data, to predict student achievement and academic progress.

The Clewiston City Commission held their regularly scheduled meeting Monday at City Hall. Amongst other discussions were talks of possibly reopening the Splash Pad for limited summer hours on a flexible schedule. Financial impacts aside, the concern is that, since the pool and the youth center will not open this summer, there will be no supervision to address issues that may arise.  City Manager Randy Martin brought the subject before the board, and all members agreed to reopen the Clewiston Splash Pad, pending a schedule and some sort of monitoring procedure. Details will be posted on the City’s website and social media pages.

The Sugar Express announced Scott Ogle as Operations Manager of U.S. Sugar’s future excursion steam engine line. Ogle’s role will include overseeing the department’s day-to-day operations, maintenance, and facilitation of outreach programs. Locomotive no 148 has been restored recently in anticipation of this expansion.

Kelly Lynch of the Sugar Express reports that, Ogle will be heading to Clewiston with over 30 years of tourist-steam and short-line railroad experience. Before joining Sugar Express, Ogle worked for The Dollywood Company in Pigeon Forge as senior supervisor of their railroad and machine shop.

The Sugar Express will welcome passengers in the future and allow them to experience South Florida’s farming communities by rail. The excursion train experience will help educate passengers about modern-day, sustainable farming practices while also providing passenger service, to limited areas throughout South Florida. More details about future bookings and destinations are expected to be available soon. Sugar Express Welcomes New Operations Manager to America’s Sweetest Town – Sugar Express

With Palm Beach County schools closing for the summer on Friday, parents have been trying to get their children into summer camps, but it’s been hard with summer camps having waitlists and limited capacity. And that not the only concern because the price of after-school programs and summer programs are not even affordable for many residents in the area, with some camps starting at of $250 a week. A report by the Afterschool Alliance says for every child in an afterschool program in Florida, three more children are waiting to get in. The report also says there are now nearly 25 million children who aren’t able to access afterschool programs.

Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a bill that will require high-school freshmen and juniors to take one hour of CPR instruction. Under the measure, school districts will be required to provide one hour of “basic training in first aid, including cardiopulmonary resuscitation” to all students in ninth and eleventh grades. A House staff analysis said CPR, when started immediately, can double or triple a person’s chance of surviving cardiac arrest. The measure will go into effect July 1. Of course, anyone at any age can learn CPR. To sign up for classes, visit https://www.Redcross.Org/take-a-class.