About 8,600 Monroe County public school students will head back to class Aug. 16 joined by about 20 new teachers, 11 paraprofessionals and a new principal at the charter high school.
Thomas Rompella will take the helm at the Key West Collegiate Academy, on the Stock Island campus of Florida Keys Community College, where he has been a teacher.
“I look forward to putting a heavy emphasis on character development and building career skills,” Rompella said in a statement.
Drivers should remember to come to a complete stop if behind a school bus that is stopping to drop off or pick up kids. If a median — not a turn lane — separates the lanes of traffic and a bus is stopping on the other side of the median, you can proceed. Also remember that at bus stops, kids might be playing and run out into the road.
Monroe County schools will change school start times at two of 10 schools that were reviewed this past year but can’t do more due to a lack of bus drivers on the payroll, School Board members said.
Starting next week, Poinciana Elementary in Key West will run from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Horace O’Bryant School, also in Key West, will be open from 8:45 a.m. to 3:45 p.m.
Teachers, who began reporting on Monday, will all report to schools today.
The Florida Department of Health in Monroe County is providing free immunizations for eligible children who are entering school for the first time and those who are returning to class when school starts Aug.14.
Vaccines help develop immunity to many serious infectious diseases by enabling the body to recognize and fight vaccine-preventable diseases. The following vaccines are required for children entering preschool and kindergarten through grade 12: Diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis (whooping cough), measles, mumps, rubella, polio, varicella (chickenpox) and hepatitis B.
Students entering college should check with the health services at their college regarding immunization requirements.
A program called Florida SHOTS is a free, statewide, centralized online immunization registry that helps health-care providers, parents and schools keep track of immunization records to ensure that students of all ages receive the vaccinations needed to protect them from dangerous vaccine-preventable diseases.
Florida SHOTS makes it easier to keep up with your child’s immunization history even when moving or switching doctors. The registry is endorsed by the Florida Academy of Family Physicians, Florida Association of Health Plans Inc., Florida Medical Association, Florida Osteopathic Medical Association and the Florida chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics.
Call (305) 293-7500 or visit Monroe.floridahealth.gov for vaccination locations and hours.
The Florida Keys Area Health Education Center is providing no-cost school and sports physicals for all new students and student athletes.
Physicals will be provided on a rotating schedule at the eight school health center sites throughout Monroe County. To schedule an appointment please (305) 743-7111, Ext. 210.
Gwen Filosa: @KeyWestGwen