News Slices:
Commissioner Blomberg Congratulates "A" and "B" Schools
State Board of Education Sets Minimum Kindergarten Readiness Rate for VPK Providers
Commissioner Blomberg Announces Recipients of National Math And Science Partnership Grants
Collaboration of Six State Agencies To Develop a Comprehensive Child and Adolescent Data Source
Monarch Butterflies Into The Classroom
Florida Department of Education/Macy’s Teacher of The Year Television Special To Air Statewide
Largest Teach-In Ever Brings Teachers To Florida
Florida Leads the Nation in Helping Low-income and Minority College-Bound Students Access Financial Aid
 

Seeds of Success:
Laura Bush Foundation for America’s Libraries Awards Grants to Florida Schools
Pinellas County Schools Win National Schools of Character Award
Clay County Student to Compete in SkillsUSA National Championship

Branching Out:
2007 Juvenile Justice Education Institute and Southern Conference on Corrections

 


June 29, 2007
Vol. 1, Issue 12

News Slices

Commissioner Blomberg Congratulates "A" and "B" Schools
Education Commissioner Jeanine Blomberg today announced that more than two-thirds of all graded public schools received “A” or “B” grades in this year’s grading calculation. School grades for Florida’s public schools included three new components, raising standards and increasing accountability.

“I congratulate the educators, administrators, parents and students of our high performing schools for their hard work and dedication,” Commissioner Blomberg said. “As we focus on meeting the educational needs of our students, we will continue to do all that we can to ensure that all of our students are achieving to the best of their ability. I am confident that our schools will rise to the challenge of higher standards as we persist in improving Florida’s schools.”

To see the results, visit www.fldoe.org.


State Board of Education Sets Minimum Kindergarten Readiness Rate for VPK Providers
The State Board of Education recently established the 2005-06 Voluntary Prekindergarten (VPK) Provider Kindergarten minimum readiness rate. All VPK providers that earned a readiness rate of greater than 200 (201 or higher) out of 300 possible points are considered satisfactory providers of the VPK program. Of the 3,772 VPK providers, 3,216 providers scored above the minimum rate. This is the first time the State Board has set a VPK minimum readiness rate. For the full details, visit www.fldoe.org/news/2007/2007_06_19.asp.


Commissioner Blomberg Announces Recipients of National Math And Science Partnership Grants
Education Commissioner Jeanine Blomberg recently announced the selection of eight Florida school districts as recipients of $10.9 million in grants, which are part of the U.S. Department of Education’s Mathematics and Science Partnership (MSP) program. In Florida, the MSP grants are expected to be funded for one year to support teacher professional development and innovative collaborations for K – 12 science education.

“Through the Mathematics and Science Partnership grants, Florida has been given an opportunity to strengthen our focus on these subjects and create new and exciting teacher development initiatives,” said Commissioner Blomberg. “These grants, combined with the newly created Office of Mathematics and Science help to ensure the continuance of teaching excellence across the state.”

For the full story, visit www.fldoe.org/news/2007/2007_06_25.asp.


Collaboration of Six State Agencies To Develop a Comprehensive Child and Adolescent Data Source
Six state agencies are collaborating on a state-of-the-art child and adolescent data profile effort. The participating agencies include the Department of Health, Department of Education, Agency for Health Care Administration, Department of Children and Families, Department of Juvenile Justice, and Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles.

The interdepartmental workgroup is developing an Internet-based, county level profile of children in the Pre-K to high school age groups to make data related to the health and well-being of Florida’s young people readily available to community leaders and the general public. The profile will provide information from cross-cutting areas such as youth risk behaviors, injuries and violence, social-emotional development, school and social environment, and access to care.

The data, which covers a span of 10 years, will be made available through the existing Department of Health Community Health Assessment Resource Tool Set (CHARTS) Web site at www.FloridaCHARTS.com. This data will facilitate the efforts of communities and the general public as they strive to develop programs to serve the needs related to children and adolescents. The release of this exciting new profile will be available Fall 2007.


Governor Proclaims July 12 Summer Learning Day
Gov. Charlie Crist issued a proclamation declaring July 12, 2007, Summer Learning Day in the state of Florida. In his proclamation, Gov. Crist recognized that summer learning programs have a meaningful impact on the education, health and safety of children, and that more young people need to be engaged in learning activities over the summer.

Summer Learning Day is a time for communities to celebrate the importance of high-quality summer learning opportunities in the lives of young people and their families. Events in Florida and around the country will showcase summer programs and raise awareness about how summer programs send young people back to school ready to learn, support working families, and keep children safe and healthy.

For more information about Summer Learning Day, visit the Florida Afterschool Network Web site at www.myfan.org.


Monarch Butterflies Into The Classroom
The Live Monarch Foundation Educator Outreach Program is providing funding for K-12 teachers and home schooling parents throughout the United States to enroll in a national campaign to bring monarch butterflies into the classroom. The program provides education and materials to strengthen the monarch’s 3,000 mile migratory route within North America by creating self-sustaining butterfly gardens and refuges. To learn more about this program, visit www.livemonarch.org.


Thousands of Florida High School Students Register for Advanced Placement Summer Camps
Thousands of Florida high school students have enrolled in the newly created Student Academic Summer Camps that were established for students entering Advanced Placement (AP) courses in the fall. The Summer Camps are intended to challenge students academically and prepare them for the advanced courses they will be undertaking in the new academic year.

This is the first year the College Board Florida Partnership and Department of Education have offered the Student Academic Summer Camps and, since mid-June, 2,015 students have registered in the 60 locations across the state. Some camps will run for one week and others for up to four weeks. Upon completion, students will be recognized by their schools in an assembly set for the fall. To read more on the story, visit www.fldoe.org/news/2007/2007_06_14.asp.


Florida Department of Education/Macy’s Teacher of The Year Television Special To Air Statewide
“Teacher Talk: An Inside Look at Florida Education,” a Department of Education produced monthly television show focusing on Florida teachers and their innovations, is highlighting the Florida Department of Education/Macy’s Teacher of the Year Program in a one-hour special airing now through the middle of July on the Florida Education Channel, Florida Knowledge Network and Public Broadcasting Stations (PBS). This episode focuses on the history of the program, the Department of Education’s partnership with Macy’s and the many ways in which Florida recognizes outstanding teachers across the state.

The one-hour special episode of “Teacher Talk: An Inside Look at Florida Education” features interviews with 2007 Florida Department of Education/Macy’s Teacher of the Year Conney Dahn, 2008 Teacher of the Year finalists, and K-12 Public Schools Chancellor Cheri Pierson Yecke.

For broadcast schedules and online viewing, visit the Florida Education Channel at www.fec.tv/week.asp?ID=6/14/2007&Zone=Eastern, the Florida Knowledge Network at www.floridaknowledgenetwork.org, or PBS at www.pbs.org/tvschedules. For more information on “Teacher Talk: An Inside Look at Florida Education,” visit the Department of Education’s “Just for Teachers” Web site at www.fldoe.org/JustForTeachers/TV.

The 2008 Florida Department of Education/Macy’s Teacher of the Year will be announced on July 12, 2007, at the Hard Rock Live at Universal Orlando Resort.


Largest Teach-In Ever Brings Teachers To Florida

The state’s one-stop job fair for teachers, the Great Florida Teach-In, took place June 22 at the Tampa Convention Center. The Teach-In has been held for more than 20 years and provides school districts and charter schools across the state with an opportunity to talk with, interview and, in some cases, offer contracts to prospective teachers from all over the country.

This year heralded the most participants ever, with 3,100 candidates registering in advance online and 1,800 individuals participating before noon. The Teach-In activities provided a forum where districts can make the perfect match of the right teacher to the right teaching position.

2007 Florida Teacher of the Year Conney Dahn and other speakers were on hand to provide a first-hand glimpse of the teaching profession to the various attendees. A representative from the Office of Student Financial Assistance was also available to discuss the state's tuition reimbursement and loan forgiveness programs that support teachers who wish to go into critical shortage teaching areas.

The Department of Education Bureau of Educator Recruitment, Development and Retention hosts the Teach-In annually. The event was spearheaded by Dr. Ian Barker, Director of Recruitment, and was sponsored by Teachers-Teachers.com and The American Board for Certification of Teacher Excellence.


Florida Leads the Nation in Helping Low-Income and Minority College-Bound Students Access Financial Aid
In only its second year, Florida’s College Goal Sunday program served more students from low-income and minority households than any other state participating in the national initiative.

Florida College Goal Sunday was held February 25th at 49 sites in urban and rural communities across the state to help college-bound students complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), a form needed to receive state and federal grants and loans for college tuition. The Florida Department of Education (DOE) received a grant from the Lumina Foundation to launch the program two years ago.

In its pilot year, approximately 900 people attended events held at 20 sites across the state. This year the program attracted more than 4,600 people, including approximately 2,000 students who participated, to access millions of dollars available in financial aid.

For more information about College Goal Sunday, visit www.fldoe.org/collegegoalsunday.


Seeds of Success

Laura Bush Foundation for America’s Libraries Awards Grants to Florida Schools
The Laura Bush Foundation for America’s Libraries recently announced that eight school libraries will be awarded grants of up to $5,000 to expand, update and diversify their library book collections for 2007. To see the list of Florida school recipients, visit www.fldoe.org/SuccessStories/2007/06-07.asp.


Tampa Teacher Named One of Nation’s Most Innovative Education Leaders
Mechelle De Craene, a special education and gifted education teacher at James Buchanan Middle School in Hillsborough County, was recently honored with the Cable’s Leaders in Learning Award for creating and implementing innovative ways to educate students and for making a substantial contribution to learning. To read more, visit www.fldoe.org/SuccessStories/2007/06-08.asp.


Pinellas County Schools Win National Schools of Character Award
The Pinellas County School District recently received the National Schools of Character award from the Character Education Partnership (CEP). It is the only school district in the United States to win this honor. Annually, 10 schools and districts are selected for the prestigious award by CEP. For the full story, visit www.fldoe.org/SuccessStories/2007/06-09.asp.


St. Johns County Junior Wins $20,000 Scholarship
Nease High School junior Nathan Georgette was recently awarded a $20,000 scholarship to the college of his choice at the International Science and Engineering Fair held in Albuquerque, N.M. Now in its 57th year, the world’s largest pre-college science competition had more than 1,200 projects and 1,500 students from 50 countries and territories. See the story at www.fldoe.org/SuccessStories/2007/06-09-2.asp.


Clay County Student to Compete in SkillsUSA National Championship
Victoria Waltrip, a recent graduate of Clay County’s Ridgeview High School, is headed to Kansas City, MO., to participate in the SkillsUSA State Championship for Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC). During the week-long event, more than 4,500 outstanding career and technical education state contest winners will compete in 87 different trade, technical and leadership fields. Students will work against the clock and each other, providing their know-how in occupations like electronics, computer drafting, precision machining, medical assisting and culinary arts. For the full story, visit www.fldoe.org/SuccessStories/2007/06-13.asp.


Branching Out


2007 Juvenile Justice Education Institute and Southern Conference on Corrections
Tampa Marriott Waterside Hotel & Marina
July 11-13, 2007

Sponsored by the Florida Department of Education Juvenile Justice Educational Enhancement Program and the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice, the Juvenile Justice Education Institute and Southern Conference on Corrections will be held at the Tampa Marriott Waterside Hotel & Marina in Tampa July 11-13. The Institute will provide important information concerning transition planning, career education, and effective instructional strategies in juvenile justice education.

Teachers, dropout prevention coordinators, juvenile justice private providers, student services personnel, workforce development professionals and other district administrators who work with juvenile justice student populations should attend this conference.

For more information on the conference, visit www.jjeep.org/jjedinst.asp.


No Child Left Behind School Choice Leadership Summit
July 25-27, 2007
Rosen Plaza Hotel, Orlando

The annual NCLB School Choice Leadership Summit will be held July 25-27, 2007, at the Rosen Plaza Hotel in Orlando by the Bureau of Public School Options in conjunction with the Florida Education Foundation. This year’s Summit will consist of many new topics and will prepare state-approved tutoring providers (Supplemental Educational Services) and school districts for a new and exciting year. The Summit will provide an opportunity for school districts and SES providers to highlight best practices and lessons learned. School districts are invited to participate in a forum to discuss new strategies and ways to partner with principals and community organizations to more effectively implement NCLB school choice for 2007-2008. For more information regarding the Summit, please contact Anna Moore at anna.moore@fldoe.org, or visit the Bureau of Public School Option’s Web site at www.fldoe.org/flbpso/nclbchoice/ses/ses_meeting.asp.


 
 
 
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