News Slices:
Florida Named a Race To The Top Finalist
College Week, Live Connects Students With Colleges and Universities
Cover the Uninsured Week Celebrate
New Civics Education Program Launched

Seeds of Success:
Orange County School Featured on National Television
Polk County Students Win Business Awards
Lee County Assistant Principal Named Administrator of the Year
Miami-Dade College President Named Chair-Elect of National Organization

Branching Out:
School Choice Regional Parent Town Hall Meetings
University of Central Florida (UCF) College of Education Literacy Symposium
Phi Theta Kappa All-Florida Academic Team Awards Ceremony
Promising Pathways: The Road to Best Practices in Autism Conference
University of Central Florida Book Festival
Florida Association of Staff Development Spring Forum
2010 Florida Literacy Conference
Interdisciplinary Center for Ongoing Research/Education (ICORE) Summer Institute

 


March 19, 2010

Vol. 4, Issue 6


News Slices


Florida Named a Race To The Top Finalist
Florida has been named a finalist in the $4.35 billion federal Race to the Top education reform competition, one of 16 finalists selected from a pool of 41 applications to proceed with the next stage of the competition. A delegation led by Gov. Charlie Crist presented the state’s proposal to federal officials on March 16, 2010, and answered questions on how to accelerate student learning and improve the quality of education in Florida. Through the federal Race to the Top competition, the U.S. Department of Education challenged all 50 states to propose bold education reforms focused on helping struggling students, elevating the effectiveness of teaching professionals and education leaders, building internationally-recognized education standards and assessments, and improving state education data systems. Winners of the competition are expected to be announced in early April. For more information about the Race to the Top competition, visit www.fldoe.org/ARRA/RacetotheTop.asp.

CollegeWeekLive Connects Students With Colleges and Universities
CollegeWeekLive is a free online college admissions event that provides an opportunity for high school students to connect with college and university admissions representatives throughout Florida and the nation to learn about their postsecondary education options. Attendees can watch keynote presentations from leading experts on admission topics such as application essays and financial aid, and participate in webcam sessions with current students on their perspective of college life. Register for free at www.collegeweeklive.com/. For a list of participating postsecondary institutions, visit www.collegeweeklive.com/en_CA/guest/app-colleges.

  • CollegeWeekLive Spring – March 24 – 25, 2010, 10:00 a.m. through 10:00 p.m. Meet with hundreds of schools online and participate in presentations that cover the entire range of college admissions topics.
  • CollegeWeekLive Florida Day – May 6, 2010, 12:00 p.m. through 10:00 p.m. Meet with over 20 Florida colleges and universities online and participate in presentations covering Florida-related topics.

Cover the Uninsured Week Celebrated
In recognition of Cover the Uninsured Week March 14 – 20, 2010, the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration urges all uninsured Floridians to consider their health care insurance options. The following programs are available:

  • Florida KidCare – The state’s low or no-cost health insurance program for children under the age of 19. The program provides health care benefits for uninsured Florida families regardless of their income and includes regular doctor visits, immunizations, dental checkups and prescriptions. For more information about Florida KidCare, visit www.FloridaKidCare.org.
  • Cover Florida – Health care coverage for Floridians between the ages of 19 to 64 who have been without insurance for at least six months or are recently unemployed. Two plans are offered – one with catastrophic and hospital coverage and one without – and includes preventive services, screenings, office visits, office surgery, urgent care, emergency care, prescription drugs, diabetic supplies and durable medical equipment. Plans are available for individuals or employers and monthly premiums vary depending on the plan selected. For more information about Cover Florida, visit www.CoverFloridaHealthCare.com.

Uninsured Floridians can also visit www.FloridaHealthFinder.gov to find resources available to cover the cost of medical care, prescription drugs, health insurance and more under Medical Help Resources.


New Civics Education Program Launched
The Museum of Florida History, the Florida Historic Capitol and the Florida Supreme Court in Tallahassee have joined together to create a new civics education program for seventh grade classes focused on voting rights and responsibilities. The “Making My Vote Count” program introduces the history and process of elections in Florida and the United States and the importance of becoming involved, engaged citizens. Groups of up to 30 students will participate in activities at all three locations in Tallahassee and become familiar with the election process. Groups larger than 30 will be divided into smaller groups.

  • “Establishing Your Voting Rights” – At the historic Florida Capitol, students debate and vote on a legislative issue that once was considered by the Florida House of Representatives.
  • “Protecting Your Voting Rights” – At the Florida Supreme Court, students role play an oral argument and vote to determine the Court’s decision.
  • “Exercising Your Voting Rights” – At the Museum of Florida History, students learn about events and laws related to voting rights and conduct mock elections.

More information about the “Making My Vote Count” civics program, including available dates, can be found at www.floridasupremecourt.org/education/civics.shtml. Contact Tricia Knox with the Florida Supreme Court Public Information Office, at knoxt@flcourts.org or (850) 921-9446 for program availability.


Seeds of Success

Orange County School Featured on National Television
Ocoee Middle School in Orange County received national attention from The Oprah Show after the school’s video “Gotta Keep Reading” was featured on the March 5 program. With permission from the Black-Eyed Peas to change lyrics to their song, “I Gotta Feeling,” the video was created to inspire students to read and was posted on the school’s Web site. The Oprah Show discovered the video and subsequently aired a “flash mob” video of the students and staff dancing and singing while holding books in the school’s courtyard. As a result, the Ocoee Middle School library will get a “wall-to-wall” makeover that includes new furniture, new computers and 2,000 books provided by The Oprah Show and Target stores. The inspiring flash mob video can be viewed on SchoolTube.com at http://www.schooltube.com/video/e9bd79d29b4d0e6a2345/Gotta-Keep-Reading--Ocoee-Middle-School.


Polk County Students Win Business Awards
Five students enrolled in the business technology program at Travis Career Center in Polk County won awards at the Business Professionals of America (BPA) State Conference in Orlando. They will now compete in the BPA National Conference May 5 – 9, 2010, in Anaheim, Calif. Congratulations to the following winners:

  • Myra Bravo – Administrative Support (second place), Financial Math (first place), and Fundamental Word Processing (first place).
  • John Meyer – Administrative Support (first place), Information Technology (second place), Insurance Concepts (first place), Management/Marketing/Human Relations (first place), and Medical Office Procedures (first place).
  • Donna Miranda – Legal Office Procedures (second place).
  • Sanquinitta Sconiers-Johnson – Administrative Support (third place), Desktop Publishing (first place), Federal Income Tax (first place), and Fundamental Spreadsheets (first place).
  • Laura Walden – Administrative Support (fourth place), Basic Office Procedures (first place), Information Technology (first place), Legal Office Procedures (first place), and Management/Marketing/Human Relations (second place).

For more information about the business technology program at the Travis Career Center, visit www.traviss.edu/. For more information about Business Professionals of America, visit www.bpa.org/.


Lee County Assistant Principal Named Administrator of the Year
Assistant Principal Shelly Thimlar of Cypress Lake High School Center for the Arts in Lee County has been selected as the State Thespian Arts Administrator of the Year by the Florida State Thespians Association. Thimlar started her career as an art teacher at Cypress Lake High School and currently oversees the Center for the Arts and all arts activities at the school, not missing an art opening, vocal performance, orchestra or band concert, play or performance while also carrying out her school maintenance and attendance duties. Cypress Lake is an Arts Achieve Model School as determined by the Florida Alliance for Arts Education and offers intensive programs of study in dance, media, music, theatre, and visual arts. For more information about Cypress Lake High School Center for the Arts, visit http://cyh.leeschools.net/pages/home.htm.


Miami-Dade College President Named Chair-Elect of National Organization
Dr. Eduardo J. Padrón has been elected as Chair-Elect of the Board of Directors of the American Council on Education. The Council provides leadership and a unifying voice on key higher education issues and is the major coordinating body for all the nation’s higher education institutions. Dr. Padrón will assume his duties in 2011. For more information about the American Council on Education, visit www.acenet.edu/AM/Template.cfm?Section=Home.


Branching Out


School Choice Regional Parent Town Hall Meetings
March 23, 2010 – Public School Choice Options in Florida
April 27, 2010 – Parental Involvement
May 25, 2010 – Stop the Summer Slide


A series of town hall meetings beginning March 23, 2010, will provide parents with information about the variety of public school choices available for their child’s education and ways they can partner with schools to support academic success. The meetings, sponsored by the School Choice Parent Advisory Council in coordination with school district representatives and staff from School Choice Parent Resource Centers, will be held regionally in Quincy, Jacksonville, Orlando, Miami and Tampa. For further information about the town hall meetings, including locations, visit www.floridaschoolchoice.org/Information/vpsc/.



University of Central Florida (UCF) College of Education Literacy Symposium
April 2, 2010
UCF College of Education Gymnasium
Orlando, Fla.


Educators from across the state are invited to attend the 12th Annual University of Central Florida College of Education Literacy Symposium on April 2, 2010, in Orlando. Literacy coaches, library media specialists, reading specialists, and administrators can participate in a day of professional development and fun focusing on how best to engage and motivate students for the literacy demands of subject area disciplines. Admission and parking are free but online preregistration is required. For more information about the symposium, visit http://education.ucf.edu/litsymposium or contact Paige Venturino (pventuri@mail.ucf.edu) or Vicky Zygouris-Coe (vzygouri@mail.ucf.edu) with UCF at (407) 823-0386.


Phi Theta Kappa All-Florida Academic Team Awards Ceremony
April 8, 2010
Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Hotel
Orlando, Fla.


As part of the Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) Annual Conference, Florida’s College System Chancellor Dr. Will Holcombe, in partnership with PTK Florida Region, will host an awards ceremony on April 8, 2010, in Orlando to recognize members of the PTK All-Florida Academic Team. Students will be honored for their academic achievement, leadership and service to the community. This year’s team includes 103 students who represent Florida’s state, community and junior colleges, one independent college and one independent university. For more information, including registration for the annual conference and the awards ceremony, visit www.fldoe.org/cc/Students/PTK_team/.


Promising Pathways: The Road to Best Practices in Autism Conference
April 10, 2010
Florida Gulf Coast University
Ft. Myers, Fla.


National experts in the research and study of autism and autism spectrum disorders will address a variety of topics such as the causes of autism, evaluation and treatment, early identification and intervention, and treatments for symptoms associated with autism. There is no charge for the conference and Continuing Education Units (CEUs) are available. For complete details, including registration information, visit www.fgcu.edu/events/promisingpathways/.


University of Central Florida Book Festival
April 16 – 17, 2010
University of Central Florida Arena
Orlando, Fla.


The University of Central Florida (UCF) will host its inaugural book festival April 16 – 17, 2010, at the UCF Arena in Orlando. The festival will bring more than 60 renowned local and national authors for exhibits, meet-the-author forums, book signings and sales, and a wide variety of activities especially for children. The event is open to the public and admission and parking are free. For more information on the UCF Book Festival, visit www.bookfestival.ucf.edu or call (407) 823-2835.


Florida Association of Staff Development Spring Forum
April 19 – 20, 2010
Crowne Plaza Melbourne Oceanfront
Melbourne, Fla.


The Florida Association for Staff Development (FASD) Spring Forum will be held at the Crowne Plaza Melbourne Oceanfront in Melbourne April 19 – 20, 2010. All educational personnel are invited to join FASD members to participate in a variety of learning opportunities related to improved professional development that support student achievement. For more information, visit www.fasdonline.org.


2010 Florida Literacy Conference
May 5 – 7, 2010
South Seas Island Resort
Captiva, Fla.


The Florida Literacy Coalition will hold its 2010 Conference in Captiva on May 5 – 7, 2010, with the theme of Open Books Open Minds. Concurrent sessions will provide practitioners and volunteers with tools and resources that enhance literacy programs throughout the state. Dr. Brenda Dann-Messier, Assistant Secretary for Vocational and Adult Education for the U.S. Department of Education, will deliver the keynote address at the opening general session. For further information about the conference, visit www.floridaliteracy.org/floridaliteracyconference.html.


Interdisciplinary Center for Ongoing Research/Education (ICORE) Summer Institut
July 11 – 23, 2010
University of Florida
Gainesville, Fla.


The University of Florida Center for Precollegiate Education and Training is now accepting applications for an exciting new professional development opportunity for Florida high school teachers. The Interdisciplinary Center for Ongoing Research/Education (ICORE) partnership aims to engage teachers in hands-on research with scientists to identify, understand and manage emerging pathogens, incorporate the ideas into classroom-ready modules, and present the results of their experiences to colleagues at professional meetings. There is no registration fee, however seats are limited. For further information, visit http://www.cpet.ufl.edu/ICORE/default.html or contact Julie Bokor at julie@cpet.ufl.edu or (352) 392-2310.


 
 
 
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