September 21, 2007
Vol. 1, Issue 18
Family Day A Day To Eat
Dinner With Your Children
Research by the National Center on Addiction and
Substance Abuse (CASA) at Columbia University consistently finds that
children who often eat dinner with their families are less likely to smoke,
drink or use drugs. Florida Family Day, a day to eat dinner with your
children, will be celebrated on Monday, Sept. 24. Family Day emphasizes
the importance of regular family activities and encourages Americans to
make family dinners a regular feature of their lives.
CASA created Family Day in 2001 as a national effort
to promote family dinners as an effective way to reduce substance abuse
among children and teens. Family Day is celebrated annually on the fourth
Monday in September.
For more information on Family Day or to find tips on
how to talk to your children about drugs, visit www.casafamilyday.org.
State Board of Education Update
The State Board of Education met in Tampa on Tuesday,
Sept. 18, and discussed a number of topics, including exclusive authority
relating to charter schools, approval of proposed revisions to mathematics
Sunshine State Standards, approval of district Assistance Plus Plans for
repeating F schools and teacher retention and vacancies. The Board also
voted to accept three applicants from a pool of seven as finalists for
the Florida Commissioner of Education position - Dr. Joseph Marinelli,
Dr. Eric Smith, and Dr. Cheri Yecke. The three finalists were chosen following
in-depth interviews on Monday, Sept. 17, which addressed the candidates
commitment to public education/student-first philosophy, knowledge of
standards-based education and successful education reform efforts, experience
with diverse populations, leading and managing a complex organization
and commitment to stakeholder engagement/partnerships. For the latest
updates from the State Board of Education, visit www.fldoe.org/board.
2008 Sunshine State Scholars Program
Each school district is invited to select the District
Scholar(s) who will represent them in the Sunshine State Scholars program
(SSSP), a competition that provides the opportunity for every district
in Florida to showcase excellent student performance in mathematics and
science. Scholars must be graduating seniors who are distinguished in
math and science. Districts may set up their own procedures to select
their scholar(s). District Scholars must be available to participate in
the regional competition on Jan. 9, 2008, and if selected as a Regional
Scholar, to compete in the state competition in Tallahassee March 8-11,
On Jan. 9, 2008, the District Scholars in each region
of the state will participate in a common mathematics/science assessment,
which will identify the 10 Regional Sunshine State Scholars. A team of
mathematics and science professors from universities throughout Florida
will develop and administer the assessment. Assessment activities will
become available through the Sunshine State Scholars Web site at
and will be shared with educators throughout the state. The top scholar
from each of the six regions who performs highest in their regional competition
will be designated a Regional Scholar. In addition, the highest performing
four from the remaining 89 District Scholars participating in the regional
competition will also be designated as Regional Scholars. This year, the
SSSP is developing an online system for designating District Scholars,
and superintendents will be notified of how to use the system as soon
as it is available (operational by Nov. 1, 2007). District offices should
submit their District Scholars information by Nov.16, 2007.
If you have questions or need clarification about this
program, please contact Lance King at firstname.lastname@example.org or (850) 245-0667.
You may also contact Dr. William Caldwell at email@example.com or (904)
Holcombe to Assume Interim Community Colleges Chancellor
Post in October
Dr. Willis N. Holcombe has been appointed Interim
Chancellor for the Division of Community Colleges by the State Board of
Education. Holcombe has more than 30 years of experience in educational
leadership and administration in Floridas Community College System.
Holcombe completed his undergraduate studies at Baldwin-Wallace
College and earned both his masters degree in Education and Ph.D.
in College Administration from the University of Florida. A former U.S.
Marine Corps Captain, Dr. Holcombe began his teaching career at Ford Junior
High School in Brook Park, Ohio. Holcombe later joined Floridas
Community College System, serving as an English professor at Santa Fe
Community College and Broward Community College, where he eventually became
president in 1987. Holcombe has also served as Vice President of Brevard
Community College, provost and academic dean for Browards Central
Campus and assistant to the President for Broward Community College.
National School Lunch Week
National School Lunch Week (NSLW) will be celebrated
nationwide Oct. 15-19. To raise public awareness about the nutritional
value of the federally-funded lunch program available at schools and to
involve students in school lunch during this week, children are invited
to vote for their favorite school lunch at www.VoteForSchoolLunch.org.
A winner will be selected on October 22.
The Florida Department of Education Food and Nutrition
Management section administers and provides financial oversight of the
federal Child Nutrition Programs in Florida, including the National School
Lunch Program, the School Breakfast Program, and the Special Milk Program.
In Florida, the school lunch program serves an average of 1.28 million
lunch meals daily to Florida students.
For more information about food and nutrition in Florida
schools, visit www.fldoe.org/FNM.
National School Bus Safety Week
The Department of Education School Transportation
Management Section will celebrate National School Bus Safety Week Oct.
22-26, 2007. This years School Bus Safety Week theme, Be Aware-Cross
With Care, will include special events throughout the nation. The
Department will kick-off the week with a complimentary bus ride to Bond
Elementary in Tallahassee, Fla., to participate in a training program
for students that will include Buster the Bus and Bob the Builder.
Buster the Bus, a miniature, robotic school bus equipped
with the functions of a real bus, will discuss rules and safety tips with
students in kindergarten through third grade.
For more information about National School Bus Safety
Week, contact Kay Kanupp at (850) 245-9795.
2007-2008 Career Cruiser
The Florida Department of Education Division of
Workforce Education recently distributed the 2007-2008 Career Cruiser,
a career and education magazine to all middle schools. The Career Cruiser
includes information on occupations, personal assessment activities, and
career planning. Students can learn more about themselves and how to match
their interests and abilities to career and education options. A Teachers
Guide is only available on the Workforce Web site at www.fldoe.org/workforce/ced.
Additional resources for the career and education planning course include
the Educators Toolkit at www.fldoe.org/workforce/ced, CHOICES Planner
or CHOICES Explorer at www.flchoices.org, and FACTS
NBC News Archives Released in Digital Learning
NBC News recently opened its video vault of more
than 60-years of historic news archives and supplemental resources. NBC
News and HotChalk, a K-12 focused learning management system, have partnered
to offer this resource of educational content specifically created for
classroom instruction to teachers in every school.
More than 5,000 video resources provided by NBC through
HotChalk can be used to supplement instruction in a wide range of courses,
including history, science, government, international relations and so
Teachers of all grades can sign up to use the new education
resource free of charge at www.HotChalk.com for the fall 2007-2008 semester.
Continued use requires a school building subscription through HotChalk
for interested users.
For more information about this resource, visit www.hotchalk.com/nbc.html.
CPR Training Seeks to Save Lives
The Florida Department of Education Office
of Healthy Schools encourages school districts to provide Cardiopulmonary
Resuscitation (CPR) training to faculty and staff. Recently, the Department
worked with the American Heart Association (AHA) to provide CPR training
and materials to employees. The training included guidance on providing
CPR and choking assistance to adults and children in a safe, timely, and
effective manner, and also included instruction on how to use an Automated
External Defibrillator (AED). Materials to provide AHA trainings are available
by loan at no cost from the Office of Healthy Schools. For more information,
contact Kari King at Kari.King@fldoe.org or call (866) 312-6497.