News Slices:
Education Commissioner and State Board Chairman Announce School-Related Employee of the Year Launches ePEP with Major Areas of Interest
School Counseling Programs Recognized
Registration for Florida Virtual School

Seeds of Success:
FLVS Student Teams Receive Top Awards At 2007 State Science Olympiad
Tampa Student Wins State Geography Bee
Wilson Elementary Student Wins Grant

Branching Out:
Florida Engineering Education Conference
Florida Association of School Administrators Super Conference for Education Super Heroes


April 20, 2007
Vol. 1, Issue 7

News Slices

Education Commissioner and State Board Chairman Announce School-Related Employee of the Year
Education Commissioner Jeanine Blomberg and State Board of Education Chairman T. Willard Fair announced Rebecca Travers as the 2007 Florida School-Related Employee of the Year during the April 17 State Board Meeting. Ms. Travers is the Bookkeeper at Woodlawn Elementary School in Highlands County. The Florida School-Related Employee of the Year receives an award check of $1,000 from the Department of Education. Each finalist receives an award check of $500 and each district nominee receives an award check of $200. To see the full story, visit Launches ePEP with Major Areas of Interest
The Florida Department of Education student advising Web site recently released the 2007 version of the electronic Personal Education Planner (ePEP) which includes the Major Areas of Interest (MAI) and the new high school graduation requirements for students entering ninth grade in 2007-2008. The new ePEP allows incoming ninth graders to plan courses that emphasize an area they would like to explore. can also help students select one of four graduation plans, including college, career, standard high school, or a combination of college and career. For more details, visit

Polk Community College Gets Land Grant for Business College
The Polk Community College Foundation will receive $12 million and a 15 - 20 acre land donation from the Clear Springs Land Company. The school intends on using the money and land to establish a permanent foundation for its Corporate College in the Bartow section of the 18,000 acres the company owns in Polk County. For the full details, read the Community Colleges newsletter at

Lt. Governor Kottkamp Announces Ready to Work Credential Program
Lt. Governor Jeff Kottkamp recently announced Florida’s Ready to Work Program, which creates a job skill assessment-based training and credential program for students and adult learners. The program is administered by the Florida Department of Education and the Agency for Workforce Innovation. Following a competitive process, a contract was awarded to Worldwide Interactive Network (WIN) to provide the program’s instructional components and assessments. To see the full story, visit

School Counseling Programs Recognized
The American School Counselor Association (ASCA) announced that five Florida schools will be awarded the association’s Recognized ASCA Model Program (RAMP) designation during a special ceremony at ASCA’s annual conference in June.

The RAMP designation, awarded to schools that align with the criteria set in the ASCA National Model, recognizes schools that are committed to delivering a comprehensive, data-driven school counseling program and an exemplary educational environment. The following schools will receive this designation in June: Darnell-Cookman Middle School – Jacksonville; Freedom Shores Elementary School – Boynton Beach; Pinedale Elementary School – Jacksonville; Saint Clair Evans Academy Elementary School – Jacksonville; and Susie E. Tolbert Elementary School – Jacksonville.

Nationally, 81 schools were recognized for the RAMP designation.

Registration for Florida Virtual School
The registration period for Florida Virtual School (FLVS) courses is open. Students who need credit recovery options for the summer or want to start planning for the fall are encouraged to register for their online courses today. Although registration is open year-long at FLVS, students and parents should make plans now to ensure that all requirements are met. Parents have the right to choose educational options such as FLVS. A student’s full-time school may not deny access to courses offered by FLVS assuming that the desired online course(s) is an appropriate course placement based on the student’s academic history, grade level, and age. Details on registration are available at

Seeds of Success

FLVS Student Teams Receive Top Awards At 2007 State Science Olympiad
Students attending the Florida Virtual School (FLVS) recently won top awards at the 2007 State Science Olympiad held at the University of Central Florida in Orlando. Sixteen FLVS middle and high school students, who are also members of the FLVS Science Club, competed against more than 800 students from around the state in inter-scholastic competitions on topics related to biology, earth science, chemistry, physics, problem solving and technology. For the full story, visit

School Forms “Parknership” For Hands-On Education
The local environment is serving as Fort White High School’s (FWHS) laboratory of sorts. The school and Ichetucknee Springs State Park formed an Outdoor Service Learning “Parknership” for grades six through 12 to offer educational experiences by providing hands-on, field-based investigations that reinforce, enrich and make relevant classroom studies, as well as provide opportunities for service learning in the community. For the full story, visit

Hillsborough County Student Wins Chess Tournament
Logan McElvenny, a fourth-grader at FishHawk Creek Elementary School in Lithia, Fla., is the 2007 Florida State Scholastic chess champion. Logan placed first in his K-5 division, defeating 192 other fourth- and fifth-graders at the championship held in Miami this past March. For more on the story, visit

Tampa Student Wins State Geography Bee
Farnell Middle School student Michael Aquilia recently won first place in the State Geography Bee. He will now compete for the national championship May 21- 24, in Washington, D.C., hosted by Alex Trebek. To read more, go to

Wilson Elementary Student Wins Grant
Wilson Elementary fifth grade student Cassandra Underwood from Sanford, Fla., has been awarded a $950 grant from Start Something, an educational youth program created by Target and the Tiger Woods Foundation. To receive the grant, Cassandra completed several Start Something activities which included thinking about her goals, focusing on her interests, and developing an Action Project linked to her ideas. For the full story, visit

Branching Out

Florida Engineering Education Conference
May 4, 2007
Orlando, Fla.
The Florida Engineering Education Conference, hosted by the University of Central Florida, will take place on May 4, 2007, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at University of Central Florida's College of Engineering and Computer Science. All district, school, and community personnel who are interested in engineering education and engineering activities for K-12 students are invited to attend. There is no registration fee. This conference is sponsored by Northrop Grumman Laser Systems Inc., the Florida Space Grant Consortium, the Society of Women Engineers and the Florida Department of Education. To learn more about the conference visit If you have additional questions, contact Todd Clark at or (850) 245-0764.

Florida Association of School Administrators Super Conference for Education Super Heroes
July 20-23, 2007
Buena Vista Palace, Lake Buena Vista, Fla.
The Florida Association of School Administrators Super Conference is organized to provide professional development tracks for elementary principals, secondary principals, assistant principals, instructional leaders, support administrators, superintendents and school boards, Title I administrators, professional developers, and student services administrators. For registration or more details, visit

Correction: Florida Department of Education employees were recently honored with 25 Prudential Financial Davis Productivity Awards. The previous issue of The Core erroneously listed 24 awards. Go to for more details.

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