November 7, 2008
Vol. 2, Issue 23
Florida’s Division of Blind Services Wins Recycling Leadership Award
The Florida Department of Education’s Bureau of Braille and Talking Book Library Services recently received the 2008 Regional Recycling Leadership Award from Call2Recycle®, the nation’s most comprehensive battery and cell phone recycling program. Administered by the Rechargeable Battery Recycling Corporation (RBRC), the award recognizes community and agency program participants for their efforts in rechargeable battery and cell phone recycling.
The Bureau of Braille and Talking Book Library Services was recognized as one of four regional and two national winners for their educational outreach services that include brochures, DVDs, CDs and posters to promote rechargeable battery recycling. The Bureau is one of the largest users of rechargeable batteries in the Southeast, and has had a significant positive impact on the environment by keeping more than 4,000 pounds of rechargeable batteries out of landfills in the past year.
Department Seeking Nominations For State Instructional Materials Committees
The Florida Department of Education is currently seeking nominations for the 2009-2010 State Instructional Materials Committees. The Committees will ensure that adopted instructional materials are aligned to Florida’s Next Generation Sunshine State Standards and to Florida's Workforce Education Curriculum Frameworks. Appointments for state instructional materials committees will be made in the areas of Business Technology Education, Computer Education, and Marketing and Mathematics Education. Classroom teachers must be certified in an area directly related to the academic area being considered for adoption. All committee appointments are for 18 months.
For more information, visit the State Instructional Materials Committee Web site at http://www.fldoe.org/BII/Instruct_Mat/Nominations.
Celebration of Teaching
The Foundation for Excellence in Education recently hosted the inaugural Celebration of Teaching, honoring 85 teachers in Florida as the 2008 Excel Award winners.
Created by the Foundation for Excellence in Education, Excellence in Teaching is a professional development and award program that recognizes the state’s most effective teachers and produces materials to share their “secrets of successful teaching.” Through this initiative, the Foundation recognized teachers whose students made significant progress in reading and math based on the results of Florida’s annual standardized assessment.
The 2008 Excel Award winners received a package of prizes, including cash and gifts, and their school will also receive an additional cash award. To view the award winners, visit http://www.excelined.org/Program/ViewPage.aspx?pr=3&pc=99.
New Teen Web Site Promotes Safe Driving
Car crashes continue to be the number one killer of teens in the United States. Every year, more than 6,000 teens die in traffic crashes, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
In Florida, car crashes are the leading cause of teen deaths, accounting for more than one-third of all teens who died last year. In 2007, more than 479 people were killed in a teen driving accident and more than 36,000 teen drivers were involved in crashes. Since teens are more likely to get into traffic crashes than any other group of drivers, more must be done to reach this age group.
The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles has launched an online initiative called "Teens Take the Wheel.” This Web site is geared toward teenage drivers, and the information on the site includes "scared straight" tactics as well as other information communicated in a way that will appeal to teens. It also includes an online survey where teens can answer questions that help them rate their safe driving practices. To view this Web site, please visit http://takethewheel.net/.
DOE Seeks Nominations For School-Related Employee of the Year Program
The School-Related Employee of the Year Program honors outstanding education support personnel for their exemplary service and contributions to excellence in our public schools and local communities. School-related employees enhance the educational experience for the children whose lives they touch, and are essential to the successful operation of schools and school district offices. The Florida Department of Education is currently seeking nominations for this recognition program.
The 2009 Florida School-Related Employee of the Year Nomination Packet may be obtained at http://www.fldoe.org/profdev/pdf/sreynomination.pdf. District nominations must be submitted no later than Feb. 9, 2009. For more information, please contact Bonita Hampton at (850) 245-0544 or Bonita.Hampton@fldoe.org.
First Ever WeatherFest In Tallahassee
The National Weather Service in Tallahassee and The Florida State University Department of Meteorology present the first ever WeatherFest on Saturday, Jan. 17, 2009, at the James J. Love Building on the main campus of Florida State University. Individuals who are interested in science and meteorology are invited to attend. Attendees will be able to enjoy tours of the National Weather Service (NWS) Office, view exhibits on physical science and meteorology as well as scientific experiments. Participants may also have an opportunity to witness the simulation of a severe weather event with a NWS Meteorologist to observe the warning decision and dissemination process. For more information, visit http://www.srh.noaa.gov/tlh/weatherfest.php.
National Education Award Honors Two Edison State College Professors
Professor of Arts and Sciences Dr. Ellie Bunting and Arts and Sciences Professor Mark Herman are the proud recipients of the 2008 National Institute for Staff & Organizational Development (NISOD) Excellence Awards.
NISOD is dedicated to the professional development of faculty, administrators, and staff. NIDSOD works toward the continued improvement of teaching and learning, with the ultimate goal of student success.
$11 Million Donation to Miami Dade College for Critical Nursing Shortage
In what is one of the largest single gifts ever made to Miami Dade College (MDC), the Mitchell Wolfson Sr. Foundation has donated nearly $11 million to MDC to address the region’s nursing shortage. The donation, which includes matching funds, is aimed in large part, at increasing the number of nurses who are trained at the college and placed into the local workforce.
The unprecedented donation will establish student scholarships and help with instructional costs and faculty salary incentives. In addition, the donation provides for technology initiatives to increase student retention and success. It also helps with licensure exam preparation to assist students with passing their required boards.
Seminole Community College Honored at UCDA Design Competition
The University and College Designers Association (UCDA) recently honored Seminole Community College (SCC) with an Award of Excellence in the 38th annual UCDA Design Competition.
The award was presented Oct. 5 at the UCDA Design Conference in Savannah, Ga., and distinguished SCC’s Multimedia and College Relations and Marketing departments for their Web site video “Future Student.”
Miami Teacher To Be Member of Aquarius Undersea Laboratory
Miami’s MAST Academy high school science teacher Mark Tohulka will be embedded as a crew member of the Aquarius Undersea Laboratory as part of the Teacher Under the Sea Mission. Owned by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and operated by the University of North Carolina at Wilmington, the station serves as a platform for research on coral reefs, developing undersea technology, and as a training facility for students, scientists, astronauts, and Navy divers. Typically, about eight missions are carried out annually, each with a crew of six people submerging for periods from one to two weeks. This November, an ongoing study on fish behavior is being used for a special mission which combines scientific research with education and outreach.
Mark will be performing scientific research and outreach to classrooms via the Aquarius Web site at www.uncw.edu/aquarius. During the mission, teachers, students, and other members of the public will be able to access the Aquarius Web site to view broadcast events, download lesson plans, contribute to blogs, and read supporting information about the station in general and about this mission in particular.
Miami Springs Middle School Ranked as One of America’s Healthiest Schools
Miami Springs Middle School in Miami Springs, Fla., was one of 10 schools in the nation to be named one of America’s Healthiest Schools by Health magazine. The average American child spends nearly 12,000 hours in school, from kindergarten through 12th grade.
Healthy reform at this large, urban middle school started in the cafeteria, which eliminated all white-flour products, according to former principal Gail Quigley, Ed.D. Sugary cereals have been banned from breakfast, and all à la carte items meet the stringent criteria of the Alliance for a Healthier Generation, an organization devoted to ending childhood obesity.
The teachers at the school have also set up a gym in their lounge, and attend on-site Weight Watchers classes and participate in a walking club.
59th Annual Florida Counseling Association Conference
Nov. 13-15, 2008
The Plaza Resort & Spa
Daytona Beach, Fla.
The 59th Annual Florida Counseling Association Conference, Florida Counselors: Riding the Wave of Change, will be held November 13 - 15 in Daytona Beach at the Plaza Resort & Spa. For more information or to register, visit www.flacounseling.org.
12th Annual Charter School Conference
Nov. 20-21, 2008
The 12th Annual Charter School Conference will be held November 20-21, at the DoubleTree Hotel at the Entrance to Universal Orlando. This year’s theme: “Charters: Providing Choice, Creating Change,” will enable those who are interested in the success of charter schools and the choice they give students in Florida an opportunity to learn firsthand about the importance of charter schools. For additional information, visit http://charterschoolconference.com/index.php.
2009 Effective Strategies Institute & Florida Summit
Jan. 12-16, 2009
Belleview Biltmore Hotel & Spa
The 2009 Effective Strategies Institute & Florida Summit will be held Jan. 12-16, 2009, at the Belleview Biltmore Hotel & Spa in Clearwater, Fla. The Summit will bring governmental leaders, business leaders, child advocates, school administrators, community-based and faith-based organizations, students and parents together to develop workable solutions and action plans for improving Florida’s graduation rate. The event 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, America’s Promise Alliance, and State Farm Insurance.
To register and submit proposals for presentation, visit the National Dropout Prevention Center Web site at http://www.dropoutprevention.org/ndpcdefault.htm.