News Slices:
Governor Crist Proclaims “Kids Get A Plan Month”
Commissioner Smith Kicks Off Advanced Placement Summer Institute
Florida Agencies Join Together to Improve Educational Opportunities for Foster Youth
Parent and Family Involvement Programs Recognized
Florida Districts Garner Grants For Teaching American History Project
Indian River State College Reaps $3.9 Million Grant
Miami Dade College Awarded STEM Grant
College Students Benefit From New Scholarships
Florida Keys Community College Hosts Diveheart Retreat

Seeds of Success:
Florida Students Recognized at National Leadership Conference

Branching Out:
Florida Reading Association 47th Annual Conference
Florida Association for Staff Development Leadership Conference
Florida Council for the Social Studies' 52nd Annual Conference
2009 37th FAME Annual Conference: Connecting to the Digital Literacy Hub
Leadership of Mathematics & Science Curriculum, Instruction & Assessment Statewide
Florida School Counselor Association 2009 Annual Convention
Florida Council of Teachers of English Professional Development Institute

 


August 07, 2009

Vol. 3, Issue 15


News Slices


Governor Crist Proclaims “Kids Get A Plan Month”
Governor Charlie Crist has proclaimed August “Kids Get A Plan Month” to highlight the creation of a new online tool for Florida’s students and the importance of disaster preparation. The new Web site, www.KidsGetAPlan.com, was developed for Florida students by the Division of Emergency Management and features various interactive tools and resources to help all residents prepare for a disaster. Using the Web site, students can assemble virtual supply kits, learn how to stay safe during a thunderstorm, learn how to prepare their homes for severe weather and how to protect themselves from hazards such as tornadoes.

State and local education and emergency management agencies will be hosting events around the state during the month of August to help increase awareness of potential disasters like dangerous weather, man-made or security hazards.

For more information about “Kids Get A Plan” Month, visit www.KidsGetAPlan.com.


Commissioner Smith Kicks Off Advanced Placement Summer Institute
More than 650 Advanced Placement (AP) teachers from around the state gathered in Tampa recently to learn and share exciting teaching plans and strategies to help energize AP students and prepare them for success at the college level. Education Commissioner Dr. Eric J. Smith kicked off the Institute with an inspiring message about the importance of AP courses and the positive effect teachers can have on a child’s education. Florida’s efforts to expand AP offerings are already yielding significant results with striking increases in the number of minority students and students in rural areas participating in advanced coursework.

In 2007-08, approximately 130,000 Florida students took at least one AP exam, and over the last five years, the number of exams taken by Florida students increased by 93 percent compared to 62 percent for the nation. Florida had the greatest one-year increase (30 percent) in the number of African-American public school AP exam takers and the third greatest increase (14 percent) in the number of Hispanic exam takers, when compared to all other states. Additionally, one out of every eight African-American AP exam-takers and one out of every seven Hispanic AP exam-takers nationwide who were awarded a passing grade or higher were from a public high school in Florida. To learn more about the Advanced Placement Summer Institute visit http://professionals.collegeboard.com/prof-dev/workshops/summer-institutes.


Florida Agencies Join Together to Improve Educational Opportunities for Foster Youth
The heads of five Florida government agencies strengthened their bond on July 30 pledging to work more closely to make certain children in state care receive an appropriate, high-quality and stable education.

Signing the Interagency Agreement to Coordinate Services for Children Served by the Florida child welfare system were the heads of the Departments of Children and Families, Education, Juvenile Justice, the Agency for Persons with Disabilities, and the Agency for Workforce Innovation. Signers say that the agreement will go a long way toward ensuring that foster children receive the coordinated services and the stability they need to succeed in school and beyond.

The agreement sets 11 basic goals, requires specific actions, and assigns responsibilities to each agency so that no child “falls through the cracks.” It covers the sharing of information among agencies and collaboration on educational stabilization, dependency case planning, early identification of disabilities, independent living skills, post-secondary educational opportunities, and employment training and support services. The agreement also requires representatives to meet regularly to develop interagency strategies and initiatives that enhance the coordination and quality of services.

For more information about the Interagency Agreement, visit http://www.dcf.state.fl.us/news/20090730fivefloridaagencies.shtml.


Parent and Family Involvement Programs Recognized
The Department of Education, Florida PTA and business sponsor Washington Mutual acknowledged exemplary parent and family involvement programs recently at the PTA annual Leadership Conference in Tarpon Springs. Education Commissioner Dr. Eric J. Smith was on hand to highlight the extraordinary efforts of PTA members and to focus on the shared mission of Florida’s parents and educators to prepare Florida’s next generation of leaders.

The Parent Involvement Awards program recognizes various categories of family involvement including learning at home, parenting/nurturing, volunteering, community collaboration, communicating with the school, as well as policy making and advocacy. The award program offers an opportunity to share successful programs and best practices that can be implemented throughout the state. To see the full list of winners, visit http://www.fldoe.org/news/2009/2009_07_20.asp.


Florida Districts Garner Grants For Teaching American History Project
Ten Florida school districts were recently awarded more than $9.6 million dollars in grants to help schools improve the teaching of American history. The Teaching American History grant program is designed to improve student achievement by enhancing teachers’ knowledge of traditional American history through intensive ongoing professional development in both content and research-based teaching strategies. The five-year grant will fund projects collaboratively developed by organizations with extensive knowledge of American history such as libraries, museums, nonprofit or humanities organizations and institutions of higher education.

For a list of grant awards, visit http://www.fldoe.org/successstories/2009/07-31.asp. For more information about the Teaching American History grant program, visit http://www.ed.gov/programs/teachinghistory/index.html.


Indian River State College Reaps $3.9 Million Grant
The U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration recently awarded a $3.9 million grant to Indian River State College to develop a new Center for Competitive Economics and Entrepreneurship (CCEE) that will focus on new high-tech jobs related to the emerging green industry. The CCEE will serve as an economic development engine, preparing a skilled workforce for new business, industry and innovation in the fields of alternative energies, photonics and robotics. The grant is one of the largest ever received by Indian River State College and is estimated to create 1,050 jobs and generate $101 million in private investment.

For more information about the grant, visit http://www.eda.gov/xp/EDAPublic/NewsEvents/PressReleases/PRFTPierceFL072209.xml.


Miami Dade College Awarded STEM Grant
The Miami Dade College (MDC) North Campus recently received a three-year $865,519 grant from the U.S. Department of Education’s Minority Science and Engineering Improvement Program to support its Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Connections Program. STEM Connections is a cooperative effort between MDC’s North Campus and St. Thomas University aimed at increasing the transition of high school minority students, particularly women, into STEM majors; increasing enrollment and retention of declared STEM majors; and developing mentoring networks to assist and support both STEM students and faculty from these institutions. MDC North Campus will also partner with six Miami-Dade County high schools to develop and align math and science programs that connect high school minority students with postsecondary STEM career-related disciplines, mentors and tutors.

For more information, visit http://www.ed.gov/programs/iduesmsi/index.html


College Students Benefit From New Scholarships
College students across Florida’s Big Bend may soon get some help with tuition and books this fall thanks to a new grant for students interested in computers and information technology. Florida’s Great Northwest, a regional economic development organization located in Florida’s Panhandle, has announced a $1.15 million investment to be used as scholarships for certificate and degree programs in information technology and engineering at seven colleges and universities in northwest Florida. Chipola College, Gulf Coast Community College, Northwest Florida State College, Pensacola Junior College, Tallahassee Community College, Florida State University and the University of West Florida are participating in the scholarship program.

For more information, visit http://www.floridasgreatnorthwest.com/proposals/7_13_09-FGNW_Post-Secondary%20Awards-FINAL.doc.


Florida Keys Community College Hosts Diveheart Retreat
Florida Keys Community College (FKCC) was recently the destination for a group of inspirational adventurers seeking to overcome disabilities through the healing powers of diving. Diveheart, a Chicago-based non-profit organization, planned the trip to FKCC’s James E. Lockwood Jr. School of Diving and Underwater Technology to help build confidence and independence in children, adults and veterans with disabilities through the sport of scuba diving.

FKCC faculty and staff worked with Diveheart to introduce divers with disabilities, particularly wounded veterans, to their diving course curriculum which includes underwater archeology and coral reef restoration. Enthusiastic participants from the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago enjoyed scuba diving and snorkeling in the dive lagoon/underwater classroom, helping them discover that scuba diving is an activity that they can easily participate in that may lead to exciting and productive careers in marine biology, oceanography, underwater archeology, photography and more.

For more information about FKCC’s Dive program, visit www.fkcc.edu. For more information about Diveheart, visit www.diveheart.org.


Seeds of Success

Florida Students Recognized at National Leadership Conference
More than 135 Florida students were recognized during recent Students Taking Action with Recognition (STAR) events hosted during the Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) National Leadership Conference. More Florida students placed in FCCLA’s STAR events than students from any other state.

Jessica Hagood of Lakewood Ranch High School in Manatee County was also recognized at the conference for being elected to FCCLA’s 2009-2010 National Executive Council. FCCLA is a national organization for career and technical students that develops character and teaches students career and leadership skills through a variety of projects, competitions and events. For a list of winners by state, visit http://www.fcclainc.org/assets/files/results_for_website.pdf. For more information about FCCLA, visit http://www.fcclainc.org/.

Congratulations to all the winners!


Branching Out


Florida Reading Association 47th Annual Conference
Sept. 10 – 13, 2009
Shingle Creek Resort
Orlando, Fla.


The Florida Reading Association’s 47th Annual Conference, Reading Rockets You to the Future, will be held Sept. 10 –13, 2009, at the Shingle Creek Resort in Orlando, Fla. Topic areas will span PreK-12 grade and will cover all aspects of literacy. Literacy leaders Dr. Janet Allen, Dr. Richard Gentry, Dr. Judith Irvin, and Dr. Dorothy Strickland will be presenting sessions. To learn more, visit www.flreads.org.


Florida Association for Staff Development Leadership Conference
September 21 – 23, 2009
Tradewinds Island Grand Resort
St. Petersburg Beach, Fla.


The annual Florida Association for Staff Development (FASD) Leadership Conference will be held at the Tradewinds Island Grand Resort in St. Petersburg Beach, Fla., Sept. 21 – 23, 2009. Educational personnel who have an interest in receiving, delivering or supporting high-quality professional development are invited to join FASD members to participate in professional learning surrounding issues related to implementing professional development; teacher and school leadership principles which align with high quality professional development; and structures for supporting new educators. The conference will offer a blend of learning opportunities from experts as well as school-based practitioners. For more information, please visit www.fasdonline.org.


Florida Council for the Social Studies' 52nd Annual Conference
Sept. 24 –27, 2009
PGA National Resort and Spa
Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.


The Florida Council for the Social Studies' 52nd Annual Conference, Go For Broke! will be held Sept. 24-27, 2009, at the PGA Resort and Spa in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. Supervisors’ meetings will be held September 24-25. Pre-conferences will be held September 25, and will focus on literacy, economic and financial literacy, technology, and civic education. To learn more, visit www.fcss.org.


2009 37th FAME Annual Conference: Connecting to the Digital Literacy Hub
September 30 – October 2, 2009
Marriott Orlando World Center Resort
Orlando, Fla.


The 37th Florida Association for Media in Education (FAME) Annual Conference is a professional development opportunity for those in the education field and a chance for educational professionals to freely exchange educational information and ideas. Media specialists, teachers, reading coaches, administrators, public librarians, and support staff are encouraged to attend. To learn more about the conference, please contact the FAME Offices at or call (850) 531-8351.


Leadership of Mathematics & Science Curriculum, Instruction & Assessment Statewide Conference
Oct. 20 – 22, 2009
Schultz Center for Teaching and Learning
Jacksonville, Fla.


The Florida Center for Research in Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (FCR-STEM) has teamed up with the Duval County School District to host a three-day statewide conference for district instructional leaders, school principals/assistant principals, and district mathematics/science coordinators. To learn more, or to register, visit www.lsi.fsu.edu.


Florida School Counselor Association 2009 Annual Convention
October 29 - 31, 2009
Renaissance Orlando Resort at SeaWorld
Orlando, Fla.


The 2009 Florida School Counselor Association Convention will be delivered by leaders from Florida and throughout the United States. Topics in student academic advancement, career and vocational awareness, as well as counselor education and development will be explored by industry advocates, state officials, counselor educators and professional school counselors. To learn more or to reserve your hotel, visit http://www.fla-schoolcounselor.org/.


Florida Council of Teachers of English Professional Development Institute
Oct. 15 – 17, 2009
Renaissance Orlando Hotel Airport
Orlando, Fla.


The 2009 Florida Council of Teachers of English Annual Professional Development Conference, “Balancing Reading and the Language Arts,” will be held Oct. 15 – 17, 2009, in Orlando. This year’s theme will inspire educators and help them explore ways of balancing the curriculum to meet the diverse needs of their students. For registration and more information, visit www.fcte.org.


 
 
 
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