St. Petersburg Times
Special report
Video report
  • For their own good
    Fifty years ago, they were screwed-up kids sent to the Florida School for Boys to be straightened out. But now they are screwed-up men, scarred by the whippings they endured. Read the story and see a video and portrait gallery.
  • More video reports
Multimedia report
Print Email this storyEmail story Comment Letter to the editor
Fill out this form to email this article to a friend
Your name Your email
Friend's name Friend's email
Your message


Tarpon High to host arts magnet

The Leadership Conservatory will be available to students from throughout the county.

By THOMAS C. TOBIN, Times Staff Writer
Published January 23, 2008


LARGO - Just in time for the magnet application period, which begins Feb. 11, the Pinellas School Board launched a new magnet program Tuesday night.

Board members voted 7-0 to create the Leadership Conservatory for the Arts at Tarpon Springs High, which will be open to students across the county.

The program has been operating as an attractor since 2001, meaning students admitted to the school had the chance to participate. The magnet designation opens the program to a broader array of students.

The program will highlight the arts, but district officials said its focus on management and leadership skills would set it apart from an existing arts magnet at Gibbs High in St. Petersburg. Superintendent Clayton Wilcox said the program would not work to the detriment of the nine other high school magnets in the district, including Gibbs.

Music students at the conservatory participate in several ensembles and a marching band and learn music theory. They also take a leadership course that covers several topics, including communication skills, positive role modeling, personal responsibility and self motivation.

The new magnet initially will offer a choral and instrumental music curriculum. A theater curriculum will be added in 2009 and a visual arts curriculum in 2010.

Unlike the program at Gibbs, there will be no audition process.

The application process for magnet programs, fundamental schools and high school career academies begins Feb. 11 and ends Feb. 22. An information fair highlighting all of those programs will be held from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Feb. 2 at Pinellas Park High, 6305 118th Ave. N in Largo.

Schools will hold discovery nights from Feb. 4-11.

The process ends with the acceptance period March 10-16, when students who applied for a special program must call back to find out if they have been invited to a program and accept the invitation. Failing to call during the acceptance period will void a student's application.

More information on the application process is available at

In other action Tuesday, the School Board voted 6-1 to formally support renewing a special property tax that helps pay for teacher raises as well as reading, arts and technology programs.

The measure, which is on the Jan. 29 ballot, calls for continuing the tax of 50 cents on every $1,000 of assessed value. Pinellas voters first approved the tax in 2004.

Board member Nancy Bostock cast the lone no vote, saying she supported the tax but saw no need for the board to endorse it as a group.

Thomas C. Tobin can be reached at or 727 893-8923.


To learn more

For more on the application process, go to at

[Last modified January 23, 2008, 00:28:00]

Share your thoughts on this story

[an error occurred while processing this directive]
Subscribe to the Times
Click here for daily delivery
of the St. Petersburg Times.

Email Newsletters