News Slices:
Florida's Schools Among Top in the Nation
Governor Crist Recommends Education Budget
U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings Visits Tallahassee
The Attorney General's Office and the Department of Education Announce CyberSafety Challenge
Haithcock New K-12 Chancellor
Hazardous Weather Week
Best-selling Novelist Lisa See Will Speak at Valencia Community College
 

Seeds of Success:
Lakeland High Teacher is State English Teacher of the Year
Clay County French Teacher Honored
Alachua County Counselor Receives State Recognition
 
 

Branching Out:
Florida 21st Century Community Learning Centers - 2008 Spring Conference
Heart of Florida Math and Science Conference
League of Environmental Educators in Florida Annual Conference

 


January 18, 2008

Vol. 2, Issue 2

News Slices

Florida's Schools Among Top in the Nation
According to the 2008 Quality Counts report - a national comparison of state education systems - Florida ranked among the top 15 in the country. Since last year, Florida schools have jumped from 31st place in the nation to 14th. Florida was recognized for:

  • Outstanding participation in Advanced Placement (AP) programs, specifically more students taking AP courses and passing AP exams
  • Academic gains on the National Assessment of Educational Progress
  • Closing the achievement gap between white and minority students
  • Preparing, attracting and recognizing quality teachers
  • Preparing our students for the future by setting high standards and measuring progress

For more information, visit http://www.fldoe.org/news/2008/2008_01_09.asp


Governor Crist Recommends Education Budget
Governor Charlie Crist recently recommended $33.5 billion in funding for all phases of education. Included in this amount is $138 million to fully fund any K-12 reductions that would occur as a result of voter approval of Amendment 1 and a 5.46 percent increase in per-student funding - up $394, for a total of $7,606 per student. The proposed budget also includes funds for middle school physical education, reading coaches, virtual tutors, bonuses for outstanding teachers and prevents a tuition increase for community colleges and state universities. For more information, visit http://www.flgov.com/release/9781


U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings Visits Tallahassee
U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings marked the sixth anniversary of No Child Left Behind (NCLB) in Tallahassee. Secretary Spellings, Commissioner Eric J. Smith and Leon County Superintendent Jackie Pons toured Sabal Palm Elementary meeting with students and educators to congratulate them on their achievement. The school met national Adequate Yearly Progress requirements, and received school grades of an A and B for the last two years. The school visit was the second stop on Secretary Spellings' national tour regarding the NCLB Act.


The Attorney General's Office and the Department of Education Announce CyberSafety Challenge
Attorney General Bill McCollum and Education Commissioner Eric J. Smith announced a statewide CyberSafety challenge to superintendents and principals to sign their schools up for the Attorney General's CyberSafety Education presentations. The challenge is part of Attorney General McCollum's goal to reach every middle and high school in the state with his CyberSafety presentation.

Two challenge winners will be announced in May - the district that signs up the largest total number of schools for presentations and the district that signs up the highest percentage of its schools for presentations. The winning districts will receive special CyberSafety presentations hosted in person by Attorney General McCollum and Commissioner Smith next fall. For more information, visit http://www.safeflorida.net/safeschools.


Haithcock New K-12 Chancellor
Education Commissioner Eric J. Smith recently appointed Dr. Frances Haithcock as the new Florida K-12 Public Schools Chancellor.

Chancellor Haithcock has more than 30 years of experience in Florida's education system. She began her career as a Plantation High School classroom teacher before she worked her way up to principal. While in Florida, she served six years as Deputy Superintendent and six years as North Area Superintendent for Broward County Public Schools. Most recently, she served as the Senior Director of EXCELerator Schools for The College Board, a program funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation that is dedicated to prepare all students for college. For more information, visit http://www.fldoe.org/news/2007/2007_12_19.asp.


Hazardous Weather Week
Florida's annual Hazardous Weather Awareness Week will take place Feb. 2-9, 2008. The week's activities include the announcement of the winners of the statewide essay contest for high school students conducted by the Department of Education's Just Read, Florida! office in partnership with the Division of Emergency Management. In addition, the annual Statewide Tornado Drill will take place Feb. 6, 2008, from 10-10:30 a.m.

If you have any questions or need additional information regarding the statewide essay contest, poster contest, statewide tornado drill or other statewide activities, please contact Jill Jackson in the Just Read, Florida! office at (850) 245-0503 or visit www.justreadflorida.com/hwaw/.


Best-selling Novelist Lisa See Will Speak at Valencia Community College
Los Angeles-based writer Lisa See is coming to Valencia Community College's East Campus on Jan. 24, 2008. See, whose novels include Dragon Bones, Snow Flower and the Secret Fan and Peony in Love, will speak at 2:30 p.m. in the Performing Arts Center, followed by a book sale and signing.

Her novel, Snow Flower and the Secret Fan, is currently number 24 on the New York Times Best Selling Paperback Trade Fiction list. It spent 23 weeks on the Fiction Paperback list in 2006 following its publication. For more information, please contact Wendy Givoglu at 407-582-2218.



Seeds of Success


Lakeland High Teacher is State English Teacher of the Year
Lynn Fite, English teacher at Lakeland High, was recently named English Teacher of the Year at the annual Florida Council of Teachers of English conference. Lynn is certified by the National Board of Professional Teaching Standards, and is an organizer and facilitator of the Polk County Student Poetry Contest. She also leads trainings and workshops for English teachers and worked in the areas of curriculum and English teacher certification. For more information, please visit http://www.fldoe.org/SuccessStories/2007/12-04.asp.


Clay County French Teacher Honored
Orange Park High School teacher Cheryl Thingvold was recently selected as French Teacher of the Year by the Florida Foreign Language Association (FFLA). During her 30 years at Orange Park High School, Thingvold has taught French, Spanish and Latin. Presently, she is the vice-president of the 100-member Foreign Language Educators of Northeast Florida and will be named president next year.

The FFLA is a non-profit educational organization dedicated to the study and teaching of languages and cultures. For more information, please visit http://www.fldoe.org/SuccessStories/2007/12-10.asp.


Alachua County Counselor Receives State Recognition
The Florida Association of School Counselors has named Monica Bayer from Buchholz High School the 2007 High School Counselor of the Year. Mrs. Bayer began her career as a French teacher and currently is in her 34th year as an educator, 23 of them with Alachua County Public Schools. Before going to work at Buchholz in 1982, she worked as a counselor at both Eastside High School and J.J. Finley Elementary School. For more information, please visit http://www.fldoe.org/SuccessStories/2007/12-10-2.asp.



Branching Out


Florida 21st Century Community Learning Centers - 2008 Spring Conference
March 25-28, 2008
Daytona Beach

The western-themed 2008 Spring Conference is open to anyone wishing to develop, enhance, or research outstanding after-school programs for students between kindergarten and 12th grade. All educators, school administrators, community-based organizations, and other interested individuals from around the world are welcome to participate.

Attendees will experience Florida's after-school programs through seminars, workshops and videos prepared and presented by educators from across the state; navigate the complexities of financial policies and fiscal management; enhance abilities in data collection and evaluation; learn the art of writing external grants for after-school funding and simplify the task of writing continuation applications for 21st Century Community Learning Centers (CCLC) grants.

In addition, specialized sessions have been developed to guide CCLC providers and stakeholders through some of the unique challenges associated with operating CCLC programs.

Go to http://www.fldoe.org/curriculum/21century/21events.asp to learn more or register today.


 

Heart of Florida Math and Science Conference
March 1, 2008
Gainesville

The Alachua County Teachers of Mathematics will be hosting the Heart of Florida Math and Science Conference at Kanapaha Middle School in Gainesville on Mar. 1, 2008.

This one-day mini-conference for all K-12 teachers will begin with registration from 8:00 - 8:45 a.m. Sessions will begin at 9:00 a.m. and will run until 3:00 p.m. A continental breakfast and lunch will be included in the $35 registration fee.

Please visit www.sbac.edu/~actm for registration and conference information.



League of Environmental Educators in Florida Annual Conference
March 27-30, 2008
Camp Crystal Lake
Clay County

Join park naturalists, outdoor educators and K-12 teachers at the 28th League of Environmental Educators in Florida Annual Conference, held at Camp Crystal Lake in North Central Florida. Various speakers and breakout sessions will provide attendees with a greater understanding of environmental education.

Please visit www.leef-florida.org/net/content/default.aspx?s=0.0.110.37432 for registration and conference information.


 
 
 
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