News Slices:
Florida’s Minority Students Rank Top of The Nation In 2007 NAEP Writing Results
Florida Selected To Join Prestigious Schools To Watch Program
Florida Department of Education Launches New Web Site
Florida Offender Alert System
Miami-Dade County Public Schools and Broward County Public Schools Named 2008 Finalists for $1 Million Broad Prize
2008 Florida History Fair
Connections Conference To Feature Lieutenant Governor

Seeds of Success:
Brevard Robotics Teams Lead Regional Competition
Oviedo High School Wins State Marksmanship Team Competition
School Administrator Honored for Contributions to Health
Marion Technical Institute Named Model School
Duval County Teacher Receives Target Grant

Branching Out:
Raising Your Voice for Service Learning
Florida's 3rd Annual Bullying Prevention Conference
Advanced Placement Summer Institute for Administrators
7th Annual Just Read, Florida! K-12 Leadership Conference

 


April 11, 2008

Vol. 2, Issue 8

News Slices


Florida’s Minority Students Rank Top of The Nation In 2007 NAEP Writing Results
Education Commissioner Eric J. Smith recently announced that Florida’s Hispanic students rank second in the nation, and African-American students fourth, in the number of students scoring at or above Proficient on the 2007 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) Grade Eight Writing assessment. Overall, Florida improved its ranking to ninth in the nation for students scoring at or above Proficient; two places higher than in 2002 and 16 places higher than in 1998.

The results also indicate that Florida is now equal to or above the national average in nearly every scoring category and student subgroup. In comparison, Florida’s 1998 NAEP Writing performance placed it equal to or below the national average in these same measures. For the full story, visit www.fldoe.org/news/2008/2008_04_03.asp.


Florida Selected To Join Prestigious Schools To Watch Program
Florida was selected to participate in the National Forum to Accelerate Middle-Grades Reform’s Schools to Watch® (STW) program. The program provides national recognition for exceptional middle schools throughout the nation that demonstrate superior academic performance, a strong focus on student development and a socially equal learning environment.

Launched in 1999, STW began as a national program that initially identified four middle-grades schools. The program mobilizes state-level partners to identify effective schools that will serve as models for the rest of the country. To date, more than 50 percent of the nation's middle-schoolers are now in 16 STW states with over 160 schools designated STW. Florida’s selection makes it the 17th state to participate in the program. For more on the story, visit www.fldoe.org.


Florida Department of Education Launches New Web Site
The Florida Department of Education recently unveiled its new Web site at www.fldoe.org. The redesigned site offers portals for students, educators, administrators and staff, families and communities. The site features the same useful information but offers a fresh look and feel that is more relevant and focused for its users. Based on user input, the site also provides subject headings relating to public schools, colleges, workforce education and testing, to name a few. Other tools include an enhanced Google search and frequently asked questions for the many services offered by the Department. To view the site or to offer your comments and feedback, go to www.fldoe.org.


Florida Offender Alert System
The Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) and local law enforcement partners recently unveiled a new addition to the state’s Sexual Offender / Predator Web site – the Florida Offender Alert System.

The system allows you to sign up to receive e-mail alert notifications when a registered sexual offender or predator moves to your neighborhood, or within a radius of any other designated address – all for free. FDLE encourages you to register your home address, as well as locations such as your child’s school, your workplace, and any locations that you and your family frequent. You can also opt to track address changes reported by specific registered offenders or predators. You can monitor an unlimited number of addresses or offenders/predators.

To sign up, go to www.flsexoffender.net.


Miami-Dade County Public Schools and Broward County Public Schools Named 2008 Finalists for $1 Million Broad Prize
The Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation recently announced that Miami-Dade County Public Schools and Broward County Public Schools are among five school districts that have been chosen as finalists for the 2008 Broad Prize for Urban Education, an annual $1 million award that honors urban school districts across the country that are making the greatest progress in raising student achievement.

The Broad (rhymes with "road") Prize for Urban Education honors urban school districts that demonstrate the greatest overall performance and improvement in student achievement while reducing achievement gaps among ethnic groups and between high- and low-income students.

The winner of The Broad Prize, to be announced on Tuesday, Oct. 14 at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City, will receive $500,000 in scholarships for graduating seniors. Each of the four finalist districts will receive $125,000 in scholarships.


2008 Florida History Fair
The Florida History Fair competition will be held May 2, 2008. Approximately 750 middle and high school students who won their county competition will travel to Tallahassee to compete in the state contest. Winners of the state competition will represent Florida at the National History Day Competition in College Park, Md., in June. This year marks the 20th anniversary for the Museum of Florida History and its coordination of the Florida History Fair.

Sponsored by the Florida Department of State and coordinated by the Museum of Florida History, the annual state contest is held on the campus of Tallahassee Community College. Participation in the History Fair allows students to strengthen critical thinking, research, reading and personal skills that are useful throughout life. They also learn new approaches to more effective ways of communication and expression. The students compete in five categories: historical papers, Web sites, exhibits, documentaries, and performances. To learn more, visit www.museumoffloridahistory.com.


Connections Conference To Feature Lieutenant Governor
The Department of Education Division of Community Colleges will present the 3rd annual Connections Conference May 14-16, 2008, in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. Lieutenant Governor Jeff Kottkamp, an Edison College graduate, will serve as keynote speaker. Dr. Mark David Milliron, former President and CEO of the League for Innovation, and Dr. Robert McCabe, President Emeritus of Miami Dade College and Senior Fellow at the League for Innovation, will be guest speakers.

The Connections Conference is part of the Achieving the Dream initiative, which aims to improve the success of underrepresented students at community colleges in Florida and 14 other states. The event is sponsored by the Division of Community Colleges with funding from The Lumina Foundation. Administrators, staff and faculty at each of Florida’s 28 community colleges are encouraged to submit proposals for concurrent sessions. For more information or to register, visit www.fldoe.org/cc/connections.




Seeds of Success

Brevard Robotics Teams Lead Regional Competition
Eight Brevard public high schools recently competed in the FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Robotics Florida Regional Competition. Winners in the district included the following:

Team 233 – Pink Team (Rockledge High, Cocoa Beach Jr./Sr. High, Viera High): Regional Winner #1, Regional Engineering Inspiration Award
Team 801 – Horsepower (Merritt Island High, Edgewood Jr./Sr. High, Jefferson Middle, Merritt Island Christian School, Divine Mercy Catholic School): Imagery Award
Team 1592 – Bionic Tigers (Cocoa High): Underwriters Laboratory Industrial Safety Award
Team 2023 – PiraTech (Palm Bay High): Web site Award

For more on the story, visit www.fldoe.org/SuccessStories/2008/03-19.asp.


Oviedo High School Wins State Marksmanship Team Competition
The Oviedo High School Navy Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps (NJROTC) recently won the state championship as the best NJROTC Marksmanship Team. This is the third straight year the team has been recognized for this achievement. Team members range from sophomore to senior cadets. Additionally, the team has earned the third place ranking nationally among junior ROTC programs representing the Navy, Marine Corps, Army and Air Force. For the full story, visit www.fldoe.org/SuccessStories/2008/03-24.asp.


School Administrator Honored for Contributions to Health
Pinellas County Schools Pre K-12 Health Education Supervisor Peggy Johns was recently honored at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Steps Program’s Action Institute for her extraordinary contributions in improving the health and well-being of Americans in school, worksite, healthcare or community settings. The "Steps Community Heroes Award-2008," sponsored by the YMCA of the USA, recognizes contributions made by individuals in support of CDC’s Steps Program, which provides funding to communities across the country to create models for how local initiatives can reduce the burden of chronic diseases. For full details, visit www.fldoe.org/SuccessStories/2008/03-26.asp.


Marion Technical Institute Named Model School
Ocala’s Marion Technical Institute (MTI) has been selected as a Model High School by the International Center for Leadership in Education. Open since August 2005, MTI is one of only 25 high schools nationwide to be chosen. For more on the story, visit www.fldoe.org/SuccessStories/2008/03-26-2.asp.


Duval County Teacher Receives Target Grant
Mai D. Keisling, an art teacher at Paxon School for Advanced Studies in Duval County, was recently selected to receive a $1,000 Target Field Trip Grant. She was one of 1,600 educators out of 16,000 applicants to receive the grant created to fund field trips for students across the country. Funds may be used to cover field trip-related costs such as transportation, ticket fees, resource materials and supplies. For details, visit www.fldoe.org/SuccessStories/2008/03-26-3.asp.


Branching Out

Raising Your Voice for Service Learning
April 21-22, 2008
Florida Museum of History – R.A. Gray Building Auditorium
Tallahassee

The Florida Department of Education and its Florida Learn & Serve program is recognizing and celebrating Service-Learning Month this April. The “Raising Your Voice for Service Learning” Conference will be held in Tallahassee April 21-22, 2008, at the Florida Museum of History (R.A. Gray Building – Auditorium).

The conference will provide training for teachers, students, partners, and community organizations engaged in service learning. Service-learning is a teaching and learning strategy that integrates meaningful community service with instruction to enrich the learning experience, teach civic responsibility and strengthen communities. Training will focus on communication and presentation skills, and working with the media, public and elected officials to increase awareness of service-learning projects conducted by students to meet identified community needs.

The conference is an opportunity for students, teachers, and others to showcase their service-learning projects and experiences, gain additional training, and share the impacts of service learning. The conference will also be a valuable experience for other program planners, teachers, administrators, state-level leaders, and business partners to learn more about service learning.

If your school, district, or organization participates in or implements service learning, contact Mary Matthews at Florida Learn & Serve at (850) 488-2687 or mmatthews@admin.fsu.edu for more information about the conference or to display a service-learning project. To register for the conference visit www.surveymonkey.com/s.aspx?sm=5hEdfSrnG46sKj6Wv_2b8_2fKA_3d_3d.

Whether you attend the above conference or not, April is a great time to promote and highlight service-learning activities in your district, school or organization.


Florida's 3rd Annual Bullying Prevention Conference
April 24-25, 2008
Orlando

Florida's 3rd Annual Bullying Prevention Conference, sponsored by the Florida Department of Education, Office of Safe and Drug-Free Schools, will be held April 24-25, 2008, at the Rosen Centre Hotel in Orlando, to raise awareness and provide prevention information and tools about bullying.

Prevention specialists, school guidance counselors, teachers, principals, Safe and Drug-Free Schools Coordinators, school health educators, school psychologists/social workers, School Resource Officers (SROs)/law enforcement, staff development directors, etc., are encouraged to attend. To register, please visit https://www.aceofflorida.org/Register/Register01.cfm?lngEventDateID=238&lngEvent=132.


 

Advanced Placement Summer Institute for Administrators
June 25-27, 2008
Clearwater Beach

The Advanced Placement (AP) Summer Institute for Administrators will take place at the Hilton Clearwater Beach Resort on June 25-27, 2008. Teachers, principals and district personnel are invited to participate to discuss a variety of topics about AP programs. This year's institute will focus on building equity in AP programs, teaching strategies and the relationship of the course to the AP Exam. For more information, please e-mail sro@collegeboard.org.


 

7th Annual Just Read, Florida! K-12 Leadership Conference
June 29 - July 2, 2008
Orlando

The Just Read, Florida! office is pleased to announce the 7th Annual Just Read, Florida! K-12 Leadership Conference to be held June 29 - July 2, 2008 at the Orlando World Center Marriott.

This year's Leadership Conference will combine forces with the Office of Mathematics and Science to present a strand of curriculum sessions focusing on innovative best practices for K-12 curriculum and implementation of the new standards (in lieu of the annual fall K-12 Conference). This year's conference is expected to be the largest ever with an audience of more than 5,000 educators.

Registration and additional information on the conference is available at www.justreadflorida.com/conference/.


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