Roberts officially named superintendent
Published: Wednesday, July 23, 2014 at 5:37 p.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, July 23, 2014 at 5:37 p.m.
New Alachua County Public Schools Superintendent Owen Roberts was sworn into office last Tuesday, two weeks into his term as the district’s schools chief.
Joined by his wife, Sheila, and daughter JoAnn, Roberts stood at the front of the board room at the Kirby-Smith Center and pledged to fight for access to a high-quality education for every student.
“I am very honored, as I have said before, and humbled,” Roberts said as he rejoined the School Board for its regular meeting. “I am truly your servant and I look forward to the work ahead and to solving problems in our school system, and to ensure each boy and girl in this school system will receive the highest quality education that can be afforded to them.”
Roberts said he also plans to regain the community’s trust in public education.
“Thank you very much for this opportunity,” he said.
One parent spoke during a public hearing on the Student Code of Conduct, which includes the dress code.
Proposed changes to the code this year called for an end to Alachua County’s requirement that students wear only solid-color shirts and added a ban on “distracting hairstyles.”
Sandon Flowers, a parent of two local public school students who happen to have red and blue streaks in their hair, asked the board for clarification on what qualifies as distracting.
Board chairman Gunnar Paulson said the board would press for clarification.
Next, the board approved changing a teacher workday in the 2014-2015 school calendar from Friday, April 3 to Monday, April 6. Although the Florida Standards Assessment, which will replace the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test next school year, has not yet been finalized, the state Department of Education recently released a proposed testing calendar, which prompted Alachua County’s calendar change.
The board also ended its charter contract with Hoggetowne Middle School, which voluntarily closed earlier this month after receiving failing marks according to the state’s school grading formula.
Erin Jester is a Gainesville Sun staff writer.