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News Story
Updated: 07/24/2013 08:02:04AM

BMS to have Leadership Academy

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Christine Roslow

Carolyn Bridges

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Bartow Middle School this year is offering a Leadership Academy for eighth-graders, BMS principal Pam Henderson said. Students will take a preparatory class for ROTC and Chinese at Summerlin Academy. The plan is that each student will be walked over to Summerlin for the last period of the day.

Gerald Tucker, a dean at BMS, will work with Sgt. Jackson to transport students. There are 24 openings in the academy. Orientation for the academy will be from 9-10:30 a.m. and 6:30-8 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 15.

Early release days

Early release days will change this year. There are five early release days where students will be let out of school two hours and 30 minutes earlier than their proposed times.

This year there will be five days for early release. In previous years there were 10 early release days that were an hour earlier. The early release days will all take place on Wednesdays.

The early release days for students in elementary, middle and high schools are Oct. 9, Dec. 4, Feb. 5, April 9 and May 7. The times for the early release are not known yet as the school district is changing the start and end of school days and that is not completed yet.

Four of the five early release days are to allow teachers to have additional planning time. The remaining early dismissal day — April 9 — is designated as a staff development day for teacher preparation for standardized tests, such as for FCAT and End-of-Course Assessments. To print the most up-to-date School Calendar click the following link:

Magnet school director featured in article

Carolyn Bridges, senior director of the Office of Magnet, Choice and Charter Schools, was cited in an article in the academic journal, Education Next.

The article — Charter Authorizers Face Challenges — delved into the importance of quality control in the charter school system in the face of challenges such as budgetary restrictions, workload and legislative changes that impact a state’s charter law.

Bridges was noted as the founder of the Florida Association of Charter School Authorizers whose members include 36 of the state’s 42 authorizers. The organization is mentioned in reference to its contribution to authorizer quality for the role it played in creating a statewide and shared renewal process, application process and model contract, the building of a best practices website and the creation of uniformity in practices.

Education Next is a quarterly academic journal published by the Hoover Institution at Stanford University and sponsored by the Thomas B. Fordham Foundation and the Program on Education Policy and Governance at Harvard University. The publication is geared towards an audience of educators, academics, policymakers and the informed public. To read the article online visit

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