News Slices:
Governor Crist Announces Florida’s High School Graduation Rate on the Rise
Commissioner Blomberg Announces Just Read, Florida! Recommended Holiday Reading List
Department of Education Releases FCAT Lessons Learned Publication
International Red Cross Selects Hillsborough Training Material

Seeds of Success:
Two Osceola Schools Named as CHILD National Sites for Innovative Methods for School Improvement
Baker County Team Wins at State Forestry Contest
Carol McDonald Connor Receives 2006 Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers
Blountstown High School FFA Captures National Titles
Niceville Senior is National Finalist in Wendy High School Heisman

Branching Out:
2007 Florida Charter School Conference
FMEA In-Service Clinic-Conference
2008 Effective Strategies Institute

 


November 30, 2007

Vol. 1, Issue 23

News Slices

Governor Crist Announces Florida’s High School Graduation Rate on the Rise
Governor Charlie Crist and Education Commissioner Jeanine Blomberg today announced that Florida’s graduation rate rose to 72.4 percent in 2006-07, an increase of 1.4 percent compared to last year’s rate (71.0 percent) and an overall increase of 12.2 percent since 1998-99 (60.2 percent). Meanwhile, Florida’s annual high school dropout rate declined from last year, dropping 0.2 percentage points to 3.3 percent, a decrease of 2.1 points since 1998-99. For the full story, visit www.fldoe.org.


Commissioner Blomberg Announces Just Read, Florida! Recommended Holiday Reading List
Commissioner Jeanine Blomberg encourages Florida families to share the gift of reading during the holidays by visiting the 2007 Just Read, Florida! Recommended Holiday Reading List. Research indicates that children who do not continue to read while on holiday breaks and vacations risk losing progress made during the school year.

The Just Read, Florida! Recommended Holiday Reading List can be found at www.justreadfamilies.org/holidays/reading.asp. This recommended reading list provides an excellent source of suggested books, by grade level, for children of all ages and will provide families numerous opportunities to enjoy reading together during the holidays. The Web site also offers parents the tools they need to nurture a reading-friendly environment at home. Resources available online include links to county and municipal public libraries, and tips for parents on reading with children.


Department of Education Releases FCAT Lessons Learned Publication
The Department of Education recently announced the release of FCAT Reading Lessons Learned: 2001-2005 Data Analyses and Instructional Implications and FCAT Mathematics Lessons Learned: 2001-2005 Data Analyses and Instructional Implications, providing educators with detailed trend analyses of student reading and mathematics performance in grades three through 10. The publications include summaries, observations and statistical trends that provide a comprehensive study of student performance by grade. For more details, visit www.fldoe.org/news/2007/2007_11_20.asp.


International Red Cross Selects Hillsborough Training Material
The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies in Geneva, Switzerland, recently chose to use Hillsborough Community College’s (HCC) Outlook e-mail program training materials because it felt the information was extremely useful. When the Red Cross came across the information available on the Professional Development and Web Services (PDWS) Web site, it contacted the college to obtain more information.

“We are very pleased that our training materials were selected by an internationally renowned organization like the International Federation,” said PDWS Director Dr. Celeste Fenton.


Seeds of Success


Two Osceola Schools Named as CHILD National Sites for Innovative Methods for School Improvement
The Institute for School Innovation in Tallahassee, Fla., has selected two Osceola schools as CHILD national sites for the 2007-08 school year. Partin Settlement Elementary has been named one of two CHILD National Demonstration Sites, and Reedy Creek Elementary as one of six Exemplary Visitation Sites throughout the nation.


Baker County Team Wins at State Forestry Contest
The Baker County High School Senior Future Farmers of America (FFA) Forestry team recently won second place in the Florida Division of Forestry state contest. The competition’s purpose is to stimulate student interest in forestry, to promote forestry instruction in the agricultural education curriculum, and to provide recognition for those who have demonstrated skill and competency as a result of forestry instruction. For the last three years, the school’s team has placed sixth. The team will be recognized for their efforts during the state FFA convention in June.


Carol McDonald Connor Receives 2006 Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers
Carol McDonald Connor, a faculty member of the Florida Center for Reading Research, a Just Read, Florida! partner at Florida State University, recently received a 2006 Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, the nation's highest honor for professionals at the outset of their independent scientific research careers.

Connor received her award during a ceremony presided by John H. Marburger III, science advisor to President Bush and director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.


Blountstown High School FFA Captures National Titles
Blountstown High School senior Will Leonard captured the National Championship title in the Future Farmers of America (FFA) Prepared Public Speaking Competition in Indianapolis, Ind. Leonard competed against the best FFA members from 45 other states. He presented an eight-minute speech on private property rights and how they are being debated.


Niceville Senior is National Finalist in Wendy High School Heisman
Niceville High School senior Jennica Hagberg has been named one of six female finalists for the Wendy's High School Heisman award. The award is given to student athletes who excel academically and devote themselves to community service. More than 32,000 students applied for the honor this year.

Hagberg is in the top one percent of her graduating class and plans on attending Stetson University on a full volleyball scholarship next year.


Branching Out

2007 Florida Charter School Conference
Dec. 3-4, 2007
Hilton, located in the Walt Disney World Resort
Orlando, Fla.

The 2007 Florida Charter School Conference will take place Dec. 3-4, 2007, at the Hilton located in the Walt Disney World Resort. This year's theme "Charters: A Choice for Excellence," will focus on leadership and the pursuit of excellence. The program is designed to provide information needed to continue offering a high-quality educational choice for Florida's students and parents. If you are interested in the success of charter schools and the options they give students in Florida, you should attend. Sessions are targeted at authorizers, administrators, educators and charter school stakeholders.

For more information on this conference, visit www.charterschoolconference.com.


FMEA In-Service Clinic-Conference
Jan. 9 – 12, 2008
Tampa Convention Center

Districts are invited to send music teachers to participate in the upcoming conference sponsored by the Florida Music Educators’ Association (FMEA) in cooperation with the Florida Department of Education. Conference activities begin at the Tampa Convention Center on January 9, and end with a series of All-State concerts on Jan. 12, 2008.

The FMEA In-Service Clinic-Conference is the largest professional development conference for music educators held in any state east of the Mississippi River. The FMEA conference will offer more than 200 individual workshops and seminars for a variety of topics ranging from FCAT skills to assessment in the classroom and issues related to special learners.

The conference is designed so every music educator – new or experienced – will find sessions of high interest. Sessions are also designed to support the issues foremost on every school campus in the state, particularly those related to literacy and other FCAT goals. The Elementary, Middle School, and High School All-State rehearsals and concerts are also an exciting and instructional part of the conference.

Information about registration and lodging is available online at www.flmusiced.org. Online pre-registration deadline is Dec. 3, 2007.


2008 Effective Strategies Institute
Jan. 15-18, 2008
Hilton Daytona Beach Oceanfront Resort
Daytona Beach, Fla.

The 2008 Effective Strategies Institute will be held Jan. 15-18, 2008, at the Hilton Daytona Beach Oceanfront Resort in Daytona Beach, Fla. The Institute is sponsored by the National Dropout Prevention Center/Network (NDPC), the Florida Department of Education, 21st Century Community Learning Centers of Florida, the University of Florida, Communities in Schools of Florida, Inc., and the Florida Association of Alternative School Educators.

The Institute will feature three nationally renowned keynote speakers, including Dr. Krystal Kuykendall and U.S. Army Lieutenant Colonel (Retired) Consuelo Kickbush. There will be more than 60 workshops representing district, state, and national research-based instructional strategies and best practices in dropout prevention and Exceptional Student Educational programs.

District administrators, teachers, student services personnel, and program coordinators who provide services to students at risk of not graduating from high school are encouraged to attend.

To register and submit proposals for presentation, please visit the National Dropout Prevention Center Web site at www.dropoutprevention.org/ndpcdefault.htm, and click on “2008 Effective Strategies Institute.” The registration fee is $195.00 before Dec. 21, 2007. After that date, the registration fee will be $225.00. Institute attendees are encouraged to make room reservations at the host hotel by Dec. 31, 2007, to obtain the conference rate of $134.00 per night.


 
 
 
To subscribe or unsubscribe to The Core, click here.
For more information on this electronic newsletter, please e-mail thecore@fldoe.org.