January 16, 2009
Vol. 3, Issue 1
2009 Weather Survival Week – Deadline For Essay Contest Approaching
The Florida Department of Education Just Read, Florida! Office, in partnership with the Division of Emergency Management and several other partners, is conducting a statewide short essay contest aimed at high school students as part of the 2009 Kids Weather Survival Week, Feb. 1-7, 2009.
Students in grades nine through 12 in all school districts are invited to participate in the statewide essay contest to “Tell Us Your Story of Survival.” Six regional winners and one grand prize statewide winner will be selected from each of the seven emergency management (EM) areas in the state. Each regional student winner and their teacher will be awarded prizes and weather radios for their achievements.
- The Grand Prize State winner from one of the EM areas will receive Walt Disney World theme park annual passes for a family up to four and one NOAA “All-Hazards” All-Hazards Weather Radio;
- The Second Place Winner from one of the EM areas will receive Walt Disney World three-day tickets with the park hopper option for a family up to four and one NOAA “All-Hazards” Radio;
- The Third Place Winner from one of the EM areas will receive Walt Disney World one-day tickets with park hopper option for a family up to four and one NOAA “All-Hazards” Radio;
- Winning students in each of the remaining four EM areas will receive a Walt Disney World one-day single theme park ticket, and one NOAA “All-Hazards” All-Hazards Weather Radio.
Awards will be presented to the statewide winner at a ceremony on Jan. 31, 2009, in Lake Buena Vista. Each of the regional winners will also be recognized at their local schools.
One of the goals of Kids Weather Survival Week is to promote a culture of preparedness throughout all grade levels. The essay contest is part of an annual public awareness campaign that includes distribution of the "Florida Hazardous Weather Guide" to middle school classrooms, children's books in elementary school classrooms, and a poster contest for fourth and fifth grade students. Also, as a part of the campaign, there will be a statewide "tornado drill" conducted by the Florida offices of the National Weather Service tentatively scheduled for Wednesday, Feb. 4, 2009. If your school will be participating in the Tornado Drill, please provide your contact information at http://data.fldoe.org/cs/default.cfm?officeID=90. For more information about Weather Survival Week, visit http://www.justreadflorida.com/hwaw/.
Florida Education Ranked Top 10 In The Nation
Florida’s education ranking jumped from 14th to 10th in the nation, and its overall grade improved from a C+ to a B- according to the 2009 Quality Counts: Portrait of a Population report. The report, issued annually by Education Week, tracks state policies and performance across key areas of education and assigns each state with an overall letter grade to signify their education standing in the nation. For the full story, visit www.fldoe.org.
Art Builds Florida! Statewide Student Art Contest Deadline Approaching
The deadline for the Art Builds Florida! Statewide Student Arts Contest is Jan. 20, 2009. Citizens for Florida Arts, Inc., in collaboration with the Florida Department of State’s Division of Cultural Affairs, is sponsoring the contest that is open to all Florida high school students in grades nine through 12. Florida’s 67 counties have been grouped into four regions; each region representing one of the focus areas of the plan. Students can submit original, two-dimensional artwork to assist the Division in promoting the four key areas of Florida’s strategic plan, titled Culture Builds Florida’s Future. Finalists will be announced on the Division’s Web site in February. The four winners and their parent/guardian will be invited to Tallahassee for events recognizing their achievements in the contest. Simultaneously, an exhibition in the Division of Cultural Affairs’ Gallery for Innovation & the Arts will feature the work of the finalists in the spring. The top winner in each of the four categories, Learning and Wellness, Strengthening the Economy, Design and Development, and Leadership will be awarded a $1,500 cash prize. For further information on all contest rules and submission guidelines, visit the Florida Division of Cultural Affairs Web site at http://www.florida-arts.org/artcontest or contact Laura Stone, Arts In Education Manager, at (850) 245-6475.
North Florida Community College Instructor Named Florida Association of Community College Professor of the Year
North Florida Community College English instructor Susan Taylor has been awarded the 2008 Florida Association of Community College’s Professor of the Year Award for Instructional Excellence. Taylor received the award at the 59th Annual FACC Convention in Orlando.
Two Outstanding Florida High School Students Selected For U.S. Senate Youth Scholarship Program
Two outstanding Florida high school seniors have been selected to represent the state and will be able to witness federal government in action as part of the United States Senate Youth Program funded by the William Randolph Hearst Foundation. Troy Daly of Deerfield Beach High School in Broward County and Steven Waldorf of Fort Myers High School in Lee County will receive $5,000 scholarships to assist with their future college studies. The two Florida students selected for the program will join 102 other delegates March 7—14, 2009, for the program’s 47th Annual Washington Week. For more on the story, visit http://www.fldoe.org/SuccessStories/2008/12-17.asp.
Chipola Auto Tech Program Wins Exemplary Award
Chipola Junior College earned the National Automotive Training Education Foundation (NATEF) certification for its master automotive program. The program is a partnership with the school and local dealerships and automotive shops.
The Chipola automotive program has grown from 12 students in 2000 to 30 students and a waiting list in 2008. The year 2008 saw nine students complete the program with a 100 percent placement rate.
Leon County Elementary School Wins Technology Grand Prize
Samsung’s Hope for Education, Microsoft Corporation, and DIRECTV, Inc., along with teen music star Jordan Pruitt, presented Oak Ridge Elementary School in Tallahassee with more than $200,000 in technology products, software, cash grants and educational television programming packages at a special assembly for students, teachers and local dignitaries. Oak Ridge Elementary School won the grand prize in Samsung’s fifth annual Hope for Education essay contest. This year’s essay question addressed the environment, asking entrants, “How has technology educated you on helping the environment, and how or why has it changed your behavior to be more environmentally friendly?" The winning entry was submitted by Sally Feehrer, a second grade teacher at Oak Ridge Elementary.
Santa Rosa County Teacher Earns National Award
Jeri Martin is one of seven teachers in the United States to win an Educator Achievement Award from the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Foundation. Martin is an eighth-grade physical science teacher at Sims Middle School in Pace.
The award is given every two years to educators who have demonstrated exemplary efforts in energizing students about mathematics, science and technical studies. Ms. Martin will accept the award at a ceremony in Washington, D.C., in May 2009.
Educational Channel Wins National Award
The Florida Education Channel received the Platinum-Best of Show Aurora Award in the Educational Documentary category for their original documentary, Teachers Doing Real Science in the Real World. The international competition recognizes excellence in the film and video industries.
The Aurora Awards focus on non-national commercials, regional or special interest entertainment, and corporate sponsored film and video. The Aurora Awards are an independent film and video competition for commercials, cable programming, as well as documentary, industrial, instructional and corporate videos. For the full story, visit http://www.fldoe.org/SuccessStories/2008/12-22.asp.
America’s Promise Alliance Dropout Prevention Summit
Jan. 12-16, 2009
Belleview Biltmore Hotel & Spa
The Florida Department of Education is encouraging all stakeholders to register for and attend the America’s Promise Alliance Dropout Prevention Summit on Jan.12-13, 2009, in Clearwater. The Summit will bring governmental leaders, business owners, child advocates, school administrators, community-based organizations, students and parents together to develop workable solutions and action plans that will reduce the nation’s high school dropout rate and better prepare students for college, work and life.
The Summit requires registration (with no fee) and serves as a venue for stakeholders to come together and outline clear, actionable steps that will help increase student achievement and graduation rates in communities throughout the state of Florida. The two main goals of the Summit are: 1) to increase public awareness of the dropout issue and 2) to identify existing and encourage further collaborative efforts between the corporate, private, public, and school sectors in promoting student achievement and graduation.
Nationwide, nearly one in three high school students drop out before graduating. In total, approximately 1.2 million students drop out each year—about 7,000 every school day, or one every 26 seconds. By bringing together leaders in education, health, nonprofits, faith and business, we are ensuring that the entire community is aware of this issue and involved in solving it.
For additional information, and to register for the Summit, visit
2009 Request for Applications – Technical Assistance Meeting
Jan. 15, 2009
Caribe Royale Orlando All-Suites Hotel & Convention Center
The Florida Department of Education Bureau of Student Assistance will host the 2009-2010 Request for Applications (RFA) Technical Assistance Meeting on Jan.15, 2009, in Orlando at the Caribe Royale. This meeting is designed for potential applicants and current providers interested in becoming state-approved Supplemental Educational Services (SES) providers for the 2009-2010 school year.
Current state-approved SES providers must submit an application to become approved each year. The RFA will be announced through the Department’s paperless communication system and will include information regarding the deadline for submission.
For more information about the meeting, please visit http://www.fldoe.org/flbpso/nclbchoice/ses/ses_meeting.asp. If you have questions or need additional information, please contact Anna Moore via e-mail at email@example.com, or by phone at (850) 245.0479.