August 15, 2008
Vol. 2, Issue 17
Record Number of Florida High School Graduates Take ACT
More Florida high school graduates took the American College Test (ACT) than ever before according to the ACT results. This year, 93,884 of Florida's 2008 high school students took the ACT, representing an increase of 15 percent (12,357 test takers) compared to 2007. Nationwide, the number of ACT-tested students increased only nine percent. Additionally, the percentage of minority test takers in Florida increased two percentage points to 53 percent this year, compared to 32 percent nationally. For more details, visit www.fldoe.org.
Florida’s Online Advising System Retooled
FACTS.org, Florida’s online advising system for students, has recently been retooled and re-released. The site features straightforward navigation, new content, simplified language, updated graphics, and enhanced tools.
The site offers Florida students everything they need to plan their career and academic future from middle school through college and beyond. The electronic Personal Education Planner (ePEP) helps students plan their high school courses based on goals they set for themselves, such as attending college or a career technical center, or graduate from high school with the minimum requirements. As graduation requirements vary, the ePEP is designed to present each group with the requirements specific to the year they enter ninth grade.
Incoming eighth graders must build an ePEP as part of a Career and Education Planning course. Transcript information, including grades and FCAT scores also appear on the ePEP. Students can track their personal progress toward graduation, college admission, and Bright Futures Scholarships using the high school evaluations tool. It provides students with their weighted GPA and a list of the requirements they have met and those they have not, making it very clear what remains to de done to achieve their goals.
For more information, visit www.FACTS.org.
Florida PROMiSE Principal Project
The Florida PROMiSE (Partnership to Rejuvenate and Optimize Mathematics and Science Education in Florida) Principal Project is now accepting registration for secondary assistant principals, while continuing to accept registration for principals of all levels. School leaders must commit to attend four, two-day sessions over the course of a year and complete school-based activities as assigned. The training sessions and related activities focus on mathematics and science content, student achievement and communities of practice. Ongoing collaboration with colleagues will be a part of the professional development. Travel, lodging, meals and materials will be provided. Participants will be randomly selected from the pool of responders and assigned to a group for training in 2009 or the 2010-11 school year. Please register online at www.lsi.fsu.edu/principals by Aug. 31, 2008. For more information about the Florida PROMiSE Principal Cohorts, please contact Christi Moss via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Disability Mentoring Day
Disability Mentoring Day (DMD) activities will begin in Orlando, Fla., Oct. 2, 2008, with a Kickoff Celebration and Career Fair for high school and college students with disabilities at the Rosen Centre Hotel. The free statewide career fair will provide educational sessions and hands-on interview and resume-building workshops as well as networking opportunities with state and national employers. Disability Mentoring Day will be officially commemorated across Florida and the nation on October 15, where students and job seekers with disabilities can connect with volunteer mentors at their place of business for a one-day job shadowing experience.
DMD helps students and job-seekers with disabilities develop the necessary skills and experiences they’ll need to compete in today's competitive workforce. For additional information, visit www.floridadmd.org.
Middle School Science Initiative
The Florida Department of Education (FLDOE), the Florida and the Islands Comprehensive Center (FLICC), and the Florida Association of Science Supervisors (FASS) are launching a new initiative designed to build capacity of districts to implement the new science requirements. The Middle School Science Initiative (MSSI) will bring district leadership teams together to examine research, explore instructional practices, and design lesson plans which incorporate rigorous and relevant instruction in the area of middle school science. A special emphasis will be placed on seventh grade science in which the concept of biological evolution is introduced. The aim is to promote content instruction that incorporates grade-level appropriate content benchmarks and nature of science benchmarks from the Next Generation Standards for Science, in the design of the instructional units on evolution, as recommended by the National Research Council.
Twenty district teams from throughout the state will have an opportunity to participate in the MSSI during the 2008-2009 and 2009-2010 school years. District leadership teams will be invited to attend a series of regional trainer-of-trainers workshops to be held throughout the state. Facilitators will include nationally recognized leaders from the International Center for Leadership in Education (ICLE), leaders from FLDOE, FLICC, and FASS. All costs for materials and conference registrations will be provided by FLICC. Travel expenses and any costs for substitute teachers will be the responsibility of the districts. Interested districts should complete the application located at http://info.fldoe.org/docushare/dsweb/Get/Document-5074/k12-2008-106a.pdf and
http://info.fldoe.org/docushare/dsweb/Get/Document-5075/k12-2008-106b.pdf and return it to FLICC by Sept. 5, 2008. Districts will be notified of their acceptance by Sept. 22, 2008. The first institute will be scheduled for early November.
If you have questions about this initiative, please contact Todd Clark, Bureau of Instruction and Innovation, via e-mail at email@example.com or John Lockwood, MSSI Project Lead, at (800) 756-9003; e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Miami Dade College and National Science Foundation Team Up to Help Low-Income, Minority and Female Students Pursue Degrees in the Sciences
Miami Dade College (MDC) and the National Science Foundation have formed an alliance that will provide scholarships to assist low-income, minority and female students while they pursue associate degrees in the biological sciences, physical sciences, mathematical sciences, computer and informational sciences, geosciences and engineering. The scholarships are part of the college’s Advancing Careers of Excellence (ACE) program, funded by the National Science Foundation. The ultimate goal of ACE is that it allows students who have successfully completed the program to transfer to upper-division schools and/or enter the workforce by getting a job in their chosen field of study.
Statewide Recycling Goal
The Department of Environmental Protection is seeking input for a new statewide recycling project. Recent legislation requires the state recycling goal of 75 percent to be achieved by the year 2020. Interested individuals are invited to attend a public meeting for the purpose of sharing ideas and exchanging information. The meeting will take place Sept. 22, 2008, 1:00 - 5:00 p.m., at the Orlando City Hall, 400 South Orange Avenue. For more information, contact Ron Henricks at Ron.Henricks@dep.state.fl.us or (850) 245-8717.