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Because of Pinellas Park's mid-county location, a variety of programs and services are available here. The Criminal Justice Academy is a magnet program for students who are pursuing law-related careers. We are one of the district centers for special education students who make up approximately 17% of our student body.

In 2001, Pinellas Park High School applied for and received a $500,000 federal grant to develop Small Learning Communities. We have a total of six Small Learning Communities that include the entire population of the school. Each year, approximately 150 students benefit from GOALS, a dropout prevention program. In addition, our ESOL students comprise 6% of our population, one of the highest in the county.

CJA: The Criminal Justice Academy is a four-year magnet program at Pinellas Park High School, which provides students with an extensive understanding of the American legal system and the wide variety of careers found in that system. Career opportunities as attorneys, paralegals, legal assistants, federal and local law enforcement officers, corrections officials, forensics experts, and other related criminal justice careers are fully explored. Admission to the Criminal Justice Academy is by application requiring students to meet criteria to be eligible for the program. Students take their required academic courses and their criminal justice classes with the teaching staff of the academy. The academy offers both honors and regular level courses. Electives are chosen from those courses available to the general student body of the high school. Currently, there are 462 students enrolled in the Criminal Justice Academy.

ESOL: There are 138 students receiving services from the English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) department, and 30 formerly LEP (Limited English proficient) students who are mainstreamed and monitored by the ESOL department. Our ESOL students come from 27 countries and speak 16 different languages. All students who enter Pinellas Park High School are tested for eligibility for ESOL at the time of registration if they indicate that another language is spoken at home. If a student qualifies for ESOL after being given the English proficiency test, he or she is placed into one, two, or three ESOL/English classes based on his/her level. ESOL students take the remainder of their classes…math, science, social studies, and electives…in mainstream classes. Our ESOL program has three teachers and three bilingual assistants. The aides provide language assistance to ESOL students in the mainstream classes and are valuable resources within the school.

ESE: There are 388 students receiving services from the Exceptional Students Education (ESE) department. 246 students are pursuing a regular diploma (63.4%) while 142 are pursuing a special diploma (36.5%). The different exceptionalities are: exceptionally mentally handicapped, orthopedically impaired, speech impaired, language impaired, visually impaired, emotionally handicapped, specific learning disabled, health impaired, and varying exceptionalities. A full range of instructional approaches is available in the Least Restrictive Environment (LRE) and determined by the needs of the individual student. These include: consultation resource classrooms, inclusion classes and full-time special classes. Social work services, psychological services, and vocational training are also offered. Students placed in the ESE program must qualify according to criteria established by the State of Florida and defined in the Pinellas County Special Programs and Procedures for Exceptional Students. Currently, there are 16 ESE teachers and 19 ESE assistants at Pinellas Park High School.

GOALS: The Graduation Options Alternatives to Leaving School (GOALS) program at Pinellas Park High School is a positive, success-oriented education experience which provides unsuccessful/unmotivated students with graduation options and reasons to continue in school. Students must have an average academic ability to participate in this program. GOALS is a voluntary program. Students must either initiate the application themselves or a referral can come from a parent or a school staff member. Once a student applies to the program, admission will be determined through an established selection process. Students take their required courses for English, mathematics, science, and social studies with qualified teachers in the GOALS program. There are also selected electives which students are expected to take as part of their participation in the program. The curricula include both general and college preparation tracks. A vital part of the GOALS plan is the intense involvement of parents. Enrollment remains at 100-150 students annually.

AVID:AVID stands for Advancement Via Individual Determination. AVID is an educational major at Pinellas Park for those students who show potential to succeed in higher-level courses. The program is designed so that students can enroll in rigorous courses and still have a support system at school to ensure their individual success. Eligible students will have the potential and desire to go to college and have average to high test scores, a 2.0 to 3.5 GPA, good discipline record, a good work habits. AVID students also meet at least ONE of the following criteria: first in the immediate family to attend college, historically underrepresented in four-year colleges or low-income. You must also be zoned for Pinellas Park High School. AVID students carry a binder in which they are required to keep materials from all academic classes. Students keep track of assignments on assignment sheets and are required to take daily notes in all academic classes. The notebooks are graded weekly for content and organization by college academic coaches. Led by academic coaches, students participate in tutorial groups in the AVID classroom. In addition, students are taught study skills, test preparation, time management, as well as the steps to the writing process.

FIRST RESPONDERS:The First Responders magnet is a unique and challenging program focusing on service to communities through a variety of careers in the emergency planning and response fields. Students will acquire leadership and team-building skills through project-based learning, mock disaster drills, disaster preparedness training and other hands-on experiences with state-of-the-art equipment.

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