News Slices:
Department of Education Launches Commissioner’s Summer Reading Adventure
Access To Summer Reading Books Available Through Sylvan Dell
2010 School-Related Employee of the Year Finalists Named
Distinguished Title I Schools Honored
2010 Literacy Leaders Announced
Florida Awarded Federal Grant For Data System
Digital Literacy Gets Boost From Public-Private Partnership
Deadline For Input On The Florida Educator Accomplished Practices Coming Soon
School Resource Grant Available
ThinkQuest International Competition 2011

Seeds of Success:
Fire Training Center at Indian River State College Ranked First in State
Aerospace Academy Aims High
Florida Educator Named Regional Educator of the Year
Lee County School Wins Chef Demo Contest
Orange County Teacher Named Florida Economic Educator of the Year
Florida Schools Named SunSmart Schools
Healthy School Districts Awards Announced

Branching Out:
Workshop for Teachers of the Gifted
Working With the Experts for Speech-Language Pathologists
12th Annual Family Café Conference
Summer Dance Workshop at Pensacola Junior College
Project Archaeology: Investigating Shelter
Florida School Counselor Association Summer Academy
Summer Academy for Teachers of Health Education
Interdisciplinary Center for Ongoing Research/Education (ICORE) Summer Institute
Americans With Disabilities Act 20th Anniversary March for Opportunity
Florida Association for Career and Technical Education Annual Conference

 


May 28, 2010

Vol. 4, Issue 11


News Slices


Department of Education Launches Commissioner’s Summer Reading Adventure
A partnership between the Florida Department of Education and the Florida Department of State will give students looking to gain a head start to the 2010 school year a new tool to help them broaden their imaginations, stay engaged and learn throughout the summer. The Commissioner’s Summer Reading Adventure encourages students to use an interactive resource called “Find a Book,” a free online book search developed by MetaMetrics® that will help them create reading lists based on their interests and reading ability, and make it easier to locate their selections at local public libraries. Tens of thousands of fiction and nonfiction books, including titles from this year’s Just Read, Florida! Recommended Summer Reading List, are available in “Find a Book.” The book search is unique in that it matches a book’s text complexity with a student’s reading ability using Lexile measures, the country’s most widely adopted reading metrics.

For more information about Lexile measures and to search for books using “Find a Book,” visit www.Lexile.com. To borrow books found in “Find a Book” – and to participate in summer reading activities – use the WorldCat link in the book search or locate your nearest public library at www.flelibrary.org using the “Find a Library” search tool. For the Department of Education’s Just Read, Florida! Recommended Summer Reading List, visit http://www.justreadfamilies.org/.



Access To Summer Reading Books Available Through Sylvan Dell
Sylvan Dell, publisher of children’s books, is now offering free online access to selected titles on the 2010 Just Read, Florida! Summer Reading List. Children can enjoy the e-books from their home computer or in a classroom environment. Interested schools, districts and teachers have two levels of e-Book access which feature English and Spanish text and audio – access to the six Sylvan Dell books on the recommended reading list or access to the complete 50-title eBook site license. To view the six recommended reading list titles, log on to www.sylvandellpublishing.com/sitelicense.php?sc=JXPYI3. For more information about Sylvan Dell’s eBooks, visit www.sylvandellpublishing.com.

2010 School-Related Employee of the Year Finalists Named
Five inspiring employees have been named as finalists for the 2010 Florida School-Related Employee of the Year Award. Each finalist was chosen for their unique ability to help their schools be successful and the outstanding service they provide to the teachers and students they work alongside. The statewide winner will be announced next month by Education Commissioner Dr. Eric J. Smith.

The finalists are:

  • Lorena Bruneau, Bookkeeper from Horizon Middle School in Osceola County
  • Susan Campbell, Guidance Secretary from Niceville High School in Okaloosa County
  • Christina Guhl, Education Paraprofessional from Lancaster Elementary School in Orange County
  • Margaret Tidmore, Title I Parent Liaison from New Horizons Learning Center in Bay County
  • Johnny Weeks, Building Supervisor from Bonita Springs Middle School in Lee County

The Florida School Related Employee of the Year Program recognizes outstanding education support personnel for the significant contributions they make to their schools and district school systems. Award selection is based on the nominees’ efforts go beyond the basic requirement of their duties and that contribute to the academic success of students. The statewide winner receives an award of $1,000 from the Department of Education. Each finalist receives $500 and each district nominee receives $200.



Distinguished Title I Schools Honored
At its meeting on May 18, 2010, the State Board of Education recognized nine Title I schools for their superior performance in raising student achievement and promoting academic progress for all students. Each of the schools met 100 percent of federal Adequate Yearly Progress requirements and achieved the school performance grade of “A” or “B” for five consecutive years. Title I Distinguished Schools serve as models for and provide support to other Title I schools, especially those in need of improvement. For more information on these special schools, including student achievement data and a description of the strategies that led to their improvement, visit www.fldoe.org/board/meetings/2010_05_18/covercommreport.pdf (PDF).

2010 Literacy Leaders Announced
The Florida Department of Education’s Just Read, Florida! office recently announced the winners of the 2010 Literacy Awards. Fifteen statewide winners were chosen from 164 district nominations based on their commitment to literacy and their proven ability to promote and teach others about the fundamental skill of reading. Florida school districts were invited to nominate outstanding literacy leaders in four categories for consideration as regional finalists. After a comprehensive selection process, the top two in each category were interviewed and a winner selected. Each regional winner received a commemorative certificate and statewide winners received a plaque in appreciation of their enduring commitment to literacy. For details about the 2010 Just Read, Florida Literacy Awards, including the statewide and regional winners, visit www.justreadflorida.com/literacy-awards.asp. Congratulations to the winners!

Florida Awarded Federal Grant For Data System
The U.S. Department of Education has awarded Florida $10 million to expand the state’s longitudinal data system to include links to pre-K, postsecondary and workforce data. The grant, funded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, supports the development and implementation of data systems that allow states to examine student progress from early childhood through postsecondary education or a career. For more information about the grant, visit http://nces.ed.gov/programs/SLDS/fy09arra_announcement.asp.

Digital Literacy Gets Boost From Public-Private Partnership
A new partnership between Microsoft and Workforce Florida, Inc., will provide free technology training and certification through the state’s 24 Regional Workforce Boards. The Microsoft Elevate America initiative complements Workforce Florida’s ongoing efforts to bolster digital access and literacy, and provides resources for individuals and employers seeking talent development resources. The program is expected to provide up to one million vouchers nationwide for Microsoft e-learning courses and select Microsoft certification exams at little or no cost to recipients. For more information about the Elevate America initiative, visit http://elevateamerica.floridajobs.org.

Deadline For Input On The Florida Educator Accomplished Practices Coming Soon
Education professionals, teachers and parents are urged to offer their suggestions for revising the Florida Educator Accomplished Practices (FEAP). The standards form the core basis for all Florida teacher preparation programs. The revisions will further refine the state’s standards for effective instructional practice and establish the core practices for teacher appraisal systems under the state’s Race to the Top plan. Visit www.fldoe.org/profdev/FEAPSRevisions/ to view the draft and submit your feedback by June 15, 2010.

School Resource Grant Available
A grant that provides a one-year free trial of e-books for schools and libraries is available from Sylvan Dell publishers. The grant gives access to 50 book titles, each of which come with auto-flip, auto-read and selectable English and Spanish text and audio. Participating users are given a desktop icon that can be placed on all building computers and secure school or library websites, as well as a six-digit site code for easy access, and schools are encouraged to send set-up options home with children to enable families to have access from home. Applying for the grant is easy – interested libraries and schools, including private schools and homeschool groups, only need to complete the short online application for the one-year free site license that provides unlimited access to all eBooks. For more information about the grant, visit www.sylvandellpublishing.com/ResourceGrant.htm.

ThinkQuest International Competition 2011
The ThinkQuest International Competition challenges teams of between one and six students to solve a real-world problem by applying their critical thinking, communication and technology skills. Participants may enroll in the following competition events: ThinkQuest Projects, Digital Media, and Application Development.

In the ThinkQuest Projects event, participants will:

  • Use ThinkQuest Projects, a hosted environment where students produce web-based learning projects to create their entry.
  • Define the problem they intend to solve and create a ThinkQuest Project that presents their solution and the process they followed to develop their solution.

In the ThinkQuest Digital Media event, participants will:

  • Use digital media tools to produce a blog/journal, website, animation, public service announcement, photo essay, video, or some combination of these items.
  • Define the problem they intend to solve and produce an entry that presents their solution and the process followed to develop their solution.

In the ThinkQuest Application Development event, participants will:

  • Develop a web-based application using their choice of programming language(s), software, and development environment.
  • Define the problem they intend to solve, produce an application that elegantly solves that problem for users, and present the process they followed to develop their solution.

The competition is tentatively scheduled to run from August 2010 through April 2011. For more information about the competition, age divisions, evaluation guidelines, and prizes, visit the ThinkQuest Competition portal at www.thinkquest.org/competition/.


Seeds of Success


Fire Training Center at Indian River State College Ranked First in State
The fire training center at Indian River State College’s (IRSC) new Public Safety Training Complex was named best in Florida by the state fire marshal’s office. The Bureau of Fire Standards selected the IRSC facility in an annual competition from among certified firefighter training centers throughout the state. For more information about the Fire Safety Training program at IRSC, visit http://www.irsc.edu/portal/layout_web1.aspx?AdminEdit=False&PortalPageID=217.

Aerospace Academy Aims High
Science-minded students in Polk County have a new opportunity to reach for the stars through the Central Florida Aerospace Academy (CFAA). The CFAA program, funded by a $1.4 million grant from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, is one of several career academies developed by the Polk County School Board’s Workforce Education Department in partnership with Polk State College, Traviss Career Center, University of South Florida Polytechnic, Sun ‘n Fun, Gulf Coast Avionics, and the Lakeland-Linder Regional Airport to inspire students to study aviation and aviation-related fields in college. High school students earn college credit through Polk State College while they improve their technical knowledge and prepare for rewarding careers. Students leave the program prepared for the Federal Aviation Administration certification in various technical areas and can transfer their credits to associate’s and bachelor’s degree programs at colleges and universities. For more information about the Central Florida Aerospace Academy, contact CFAA Assistant Principal Chad Smith at (863) 647-4761 or by e-mail at chad.smith01@polk-fl.net.

Florida Educator Named Regional Educator of the Year
Dr. Kevin Coggins, lead teacher at the Pasco Regional Juvenile Detention Center, has been named the 2010 Southeastern United States Region VIII Educator of the Year by the Correctional Education Association. Dr. Coggins was selected from among professionals in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Puerto Rico for his dedication to students in correctional settings. For more information about the Correctional Education Association, visit http://www.ceanational.org/index2.htm.

Lee County School Wins Chef Demo Contest
Heights Elementary School in Lee County recently participated in the Florida Department of Agriculture’s Xtreme Cuisine Cooking School and came away a winner in the “Be Great” category of the Chef Demo Contest. The contest prize is a chef visiting the winning school and instructing students in advanced cooking techniques. The school’s cafeteria manager, Mary Ann Bucceroni, entered the school in the contest after students attended an Xtreme Cuisine Cooking School workshop in the Healthy Living Lab. The contest winner was chosen based on the school with the most students attending the workshop. For more information about the Xtreme Cuisine Cooking School, visit http://www.florida-agriculture.com/xtreme.htm.

Orange County Teacher Named Florida Economic Educator of the Year
William Daniel, Director of the Academy of Finance Magnet program at Boone High School in Orange County, was named the Florida Economic Educator of the Year by the Florida Council on Economic Education. The award was presented earlier this month at the 31st Governor’s Awards for Excellence in Teaching Economics. Daniel teaches Advanced Microeconomics and Macroeconomics, financial accounting and information technology. His selection is based on his involvement with the Florida Council on Economic Education, leadership, participation in conferences, creativity and ability to motivate students.

Florida Schools Named SunSmart Schools
Ninety public schools in Florida have been selected to participate in the SunSmart Schools E-Shelter (Emergency Shelter) program administered by the University of Central Florida’s Florida Solar Energy Center (FSEC). Each school will receive a solar electric system with battery backup – complete with installation, educational resources and materials, training for school personnel and professional development for teachers. The 10-kilowatt solar electric system will provide power to the shelter during outages for critical energy needs such as lighting, communications and essential medical equipment. Grant money for the $10 million state program was from federal stimulus funds. For more information about the SunSmart program, including a list of schools, visit www.fsec.ucf.edu/go/sunsmart.

Healthy School Districts Awards Announced
Eight Florida school districts have been presented with the 2010-2012 Florida Healthy School District award. The award is sponsored by the Florida Coordinated School Health Partnership and recognizes school districts’ efforts to support school wellness policies, services and activities that improve student health and increase learning capacity. School districts that have earned the designation are Brevard, Broward, Hillsborough, Nassau, Osceola, Palm Beach, Pinellas and Polk. For more information about the Healthy School District award, visit www.fldoe.org/BII/CSHP/h-districts.asp.

Branching Out


Workshop for Teachers of the Gifted
June 12, 2010
Pancetti Bay Middle School
St. Augustine, Fla.


The annual Workshop for Teachers of the Gifted will be held June 12, 2010, at Pancetti Middle School in St. Augustine, Fla. The workshop will focus on sharing information for teachers of the gifted, particularly those new to the field. Jodi O’Meara, an Exceptional Student Education Curriculum Specialist and Gifted Endorsement Instructor in Manatee County, is the keynote speaker. The workshop is free of charge for participants and is co-sponsored by the Florida Department of Education and the Working on Gifted Issues project. Pre-registration by June 4, 2010, is required. Contact Donnajo Smith with the Department at (850) 245-0937 or donnajo.smith@fldoe.org for more information or for assistance with pre-registration. More information about the workshop can be found at www.unfwogi.com/giftedworkshop.html.


Working With the Experts for Speech-Language Pathologists
June 18 – 19, 2010
Renaissance Resort at World Golf Village
St. Augustine, Fla.


The fourth in a series of four Working with the Experts for Speech-Language Pathologists will be held June 18 – 19, 2010, in St. Augustine, Fla. Dr. Julie Masterson with Missouri State University will present Spelling, Reading and Writing: Putting the Pieces of Literacy Together, designed to increase participants’ knowledge of strategies of assessment and instructional interventions specific to students struggling in the area of literacy. Interested individuals must register by June 4, 2010, through the online registration system at www.flwwe.net. For assistance with registration or if you have questions, contact Sandy Grider at sgrider@mail.ucf.edu or (407) 823-1349.


12th Annual Family Café Conference
June 18 – 20, 2010
Disney Coronado Springs Resort
Orlando, Fla.


The Family Cafe Conference, featuring the Summit on Disabilities, is a free conference for individuals with special needs or disabilities and their family members. It promises to be another memorable, informative event with plenty of resources, activities, and opportunities to connect with other families. For more information about the conference, including resources for financial assistance, visit www.familycafe.net. If you have questions or need further information, contact Lori Fahey at (888) 309-2233 or by e-mail at info@familycafe.net.


Summer Dance Workshop at Pensacola Junior College
June 22 – 26, 2010
Pensacola Junior College
Pensacola, Fla.


The 29th annual Summer Dance Workshop will be held June 22 – 26, 2010, at Pensacola Junior College. Top dance instructors will teach classes and present seminars for beginning, intermediate and advanced dancers in a wide variety of genre. The deadline for mail-in applications is June 7 and walk-ins are accepted at the college through June 18. Cost of the workshop varies by class selection. For more information, contact Summer Dance Workshop Coordinator Dianne Robbins at (850) 484-1956, drobbins@pjc.edu, or visit www.pjc.edu/danceworkshops.


Project Archaeology: Investigating Shelter
June 24 – 24, 2010
June 24 – 24, 2010


Teachers and heritage educators in Southwest Florida are invited to attend the two-day Project Archaeology: Investigating Shelter teacher training workshop June 24 – 25, 2010, at Newton Beach Park on Fort Myers Beach. Teachers will learn how to use archaeological concepts to teach third through fifth grade social studies and science skills as they investigate human shelter through time and across cultures, using primary data sources such as maps, artifact illustrations, historic photographs and oral histories. The materials fee of $25 includes the curriculum guidebook and online support. For more information about the workshop, visit www.projectarchaeology.org or contact Matthew Schuld or Steve Archer with the town of Fort Myers Beach at (239) 765-0202, ext. 152 or by e-mail at matt@fortmyersbeachfl.gov.


Florida School Counselor Association Summer Academy
June 25 – 27, 2010
The Renaissance Resort at World Golf Village
St. Augustine, Fla.


“School Counselors: Preparing for a New Decade,” is the theme for this year’s Florida School Counselor Association Summer Academy. The Academy will provide relevant and quality professional development for school counselors on topics that include data, accountability, the electronic Personal Education Planner (e-PEP) and more. For more information about the conference, visit www.fla-schoolcounselor.org/2010Academy/.


Summer Academy for Teachers of Health Education
July 7 – 9, 2010
University of Florida, College of Health and Human Performance
Gainesville, Fla.


The Florida Department of Education’s Office of Healthy Schools is sponsoring this three-day workshop for classroom teachers, certified health educators, physical education teachers, guidance counselors and educators responsible for teaching any health education topic. The workshop will focus on professional development in health-related areas such as substance use and abuse, injury prevention and safety, family life, prevention and control of disease, mental and emotional health, personal health and nutrition. The workshop fee of $132 includes lodging, parking, meals and workshop sessions. Registration closes June 2, 2010; visit www.fldoe.org/BII/CSHP/h-events_training.asp for more information. If you need registration assistance or have any questions, contact Dr. Antionette Meeks with the Office of Healthy Schools at (850) 245-0480 or antionette.meeks@fldoe.org.


Interdisciplinary Center for Ongoing Research/Education (ICORE) Summer Institute
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 www.cpet.ufl.edu/ICORE/default.html or contact Julie Bokor at julie@cpet.ufl.edu or (352) 392-2310.


Americans With Disabilities Act 20th Anniversary March for Opportunity
July 26, 2010
Tallahassee, Fla.


Florida citizens are invited to celebrate the state’s 20th anniversary of the Americans With Disabilities Act on July 26, 2010, in Tallahassee, Fla. Participants will gather at 10:00 a.m. to march to the state Capitol and hear celebratory speeches in the Capitol Courtyard. For more information about the celebration, visit http://www.rehabworks.org/ or contact Rachel Smith with the Department of Education’s Division of Vocational Rehabilitation at (850) 245-3415 or Rachel.Smith@vr.fldoe.org.


Florida Association for Career and Technical Education Annual Conference
Aug. 2 – 5, 2010
Hilton Clearwater Beach Resort
Clearwater Beach, Fla.


“Providing the Skills Necessary to Navigate a Successful Voyage,” is the theme for the 44th Annual Florida Association for Career and Technical Education Conference on Aug. 2 – 5, 2010, in Clearwater Beach, Fla. Career and technical education teachers and administrators can take advantage of opportunities to share best practices, receive updates on state and federal initiatives, and attend a variety of workshops geared toward improving student performance in technical programs during pre-conference sessions and at the general conference. Register by mail, fax or e-mail. For complete information about the conference, visit www.facte.org.


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