News Slices:
Education-Industry Partnerships
2007 West Point Bridge Design Contest

Seeds of Success:

Branching Out:



March 9, 2007
Vol. 1, Issue 4

News Slices

Department of Education Offers New Resources for Tracking Teacher Misconduct
Education Commissioner Jeanine Blomberg recently announced that beginning in the next school year, parents will be able to search an online database to see if any disciplinary action has been taken against an educator’s teaching certificate. The Web site ( is one of the new resources in development by the Department of Education to inform parents, school administrators and the general public about teacher certificate actions. Similar to other licensed professionals like physicians, accountants and pharmacists, teachers are subject to action against their certificate for wrongdoing. To view the resources now available to parents, teachers and school administrators, visit

Governor Crist State of the State
On Tuesday, March 6, Governor Charlie Crist spoke to Floridians and highlighted his priorities during the State of the State address. During his speech he focused on numerous issues, including increasing the education budget to meet the constitutional mandate of the class size amendment, recruiting and employing additional reading coaches, funding a virtual tutorial program, and increasing funding for state universities and community colleges, to name a few. To view his entire speech, visit

School Choice Parent Advisory Council
In an effort to become more responsive to the issues and concerns of parents and communities as they relate to school choice initiatives in Florida, the Florida Department of Education Office of Independent Education and Parental Choice is forming a statewide parental choice advisory council. While Florida continues to lead the nation in school choice options, there is still much work to be done. In order to have a well-represented statewide group, the Department is seeking assistance from school districts to gather nominations for parents to serve on this council. We are looking for parents that are actively involved in the local schools and communities, and who would be willing to serve on this statewide forum to openly discuss issues as they relate to education and school choice. If you have any questions, please contact Cyndi Holleman at (850) 245-0502 or e-mail her at

Black History Month Activities Around The State
Ingrid Nathan was the first student to integrate public schools in Seminole County in 1964. She recalls being escorted by police into Sanford Jr. High and receiving anonymous phone calls, as well as suffering insults. Through it all, she commented, “I did not lose my dignity or my courage.” She was the guest speaker at the Lake Mary School Black History Month program in February.

Poinciana Elementary will be celebrating diversity with the Palm Beach County community on March 12. The school created a mini Black-History Museum that includes such things as an interactive display, and a copy of Maya Angelou's "Pledge to our Youth" for adults to sign. For more information, contact the school at (561) 369-7094.

Principal Achievement Award for Outstanding Leadership
The Principal Achievement Award for Outstanding Leadership was established in 1988 to recognize exemplary principals for their contributions to their schools and communities. The program honors principals that have spearheaded initiatives to increase student performance, promote safe learning environments and establish partnerships with parents and community members. Districts are encouraged to nominate one principal from each of three school levels: elementary, middle or high school. To view past winners, or to download a nomination packet, visit

Education-Industry Partnerships
Education and business leaders recently discussed several ways to strengthen the connection between the classroom and the workplace at the Leon County Schools Adult & Community Education campus in Tallahassee. “Education-Industry Partnerships: Connecting the Classroom to the Workplace,” brought together industry and education in a partnership to address challenges and collaborate on solutions to shared concerns.

The seminar featured tours of local health care, manufacturing and information technology companies, a keynote address by Dr. Frank Fuller, Okaloosa County Schools' assistant superintendent for nontraditional schools, and panel discussions. The seminar was sponsored by the Tallahassee/Leon County Economic Development Council, Leon County Schools Adult & Community Education, Region 1 Regional Training Council and World Class Schools of Leon County.

2007 West Point Bridge Design Contest
The United States Military Academy third annual West Point Bridge Design Contest is designed to provide middle school and high school students with a realistic, engaging introduction to engineering. This contest gives students age 13 through grade 12 hands-on problem-solving experience applying math, science, and technology to create devices and systems that meet human needs. Interested teachers and students can visit for details on how to enter. By entering the West Point competition, Florida students are eligible to compete in a Florida competition sponsored by the Florida Section of the American Society of Civil Engineers. Top students from Florida will be invited to compete in a finals competition to be held August 16 at the Sawgrass Marriot in Ponte Vedra Beach. Prizes include two $1,500 first place awards and two $750 second place awards. For additional information regarding the Florida competition, please contact Brett Goodman at (352) 393-1613.

Seeds of Success

Volusia County Schools Recognized by the College Board
The School District of Volusia County recently received the Access to Excellence Award for Districts from the College Board. The award recognizes the district’s commitment to excellence for all students by closing the achievement gap among its students. For the full story, visit

Levy County Schools Foundation Raises $23,000 For Scholarships
Some students may be receiving financial scholarships from the Levy County Schools Foundation (LCSF). A recent LCSF Superintendent’s gala raised more than $23,000 in scholarship money for area students. Established in 1989, LCSF has raised money for scholarships and improvement projects such as the Chiefland High School Auditorium, Williston High School Auditorium, and others. See more at

Broward County Schools Receive Best Buy Teach Awards
Four Broward County schools received $2,500 Best Buy Teach Awards in recognition of their utilization of interactive technology in the learning process. Tamarac Elementary, Palm Cove Elementary, Margate Middle and South Plantation High received the recognition for implementing a variety of technology-related initiatives into their daily curriculum. For full details, visit

Branching Out

Florida’s Second Annual Bullying Prevention Conference
April 17–18, 2007
Wyndham Orlando Resort

Florida’s Second Annual Bullying Prevention Conference, sponsored by the Florida Department of Education, Office of Safe Schools, Safe and Drug-Free Schools, will be held April 17-18 to raise awareness and provide prevention information and tools about bullying.

Prevention specialists, school guidance counselors, teachers, principals, Safe and Drug-Free Schools Coordinators, school health educators, school psychologists/social workers, School Resource Officers (SROs)/law enforcement, staff development directors, etc., are encouraged to attend. To register, visit

2007 Just Read, Florida! K-12 Leadership Conference
Aug. 5 - 8, 2007
Rosen Shingle Creek Resort
Orlando, Fla.

This year’s conference offers a variety of opportunities for educators and administrators. More than 300 concurrent sessions will be geared toward providing essential information to school leadership in the area of reading and literacy. There will be numerous sessions presented by fellow principals, reading coaches, and district leaders, giving you the opportunity to hear about the great literacy initiatives taking place in schools throughout our state. Go to to learn more or register today!

Save the Date! 2007 K-12 Conference will be held October 2-5 in Orlando. More details to come.

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