October 2, 2009
Vol. 3, Issue 19
New High School Grading Formula Approved by State Board
The State Board of Education recently approved enhancements to Florida’s high school grading formula. Beginning this school year, the new formula will now include both Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test (FCAT) performance and new measures such as participation and performance on advanced coursework, graduation rates and the college and career readiness of students.
The changes were created as a result of Senate Bill 1908 to better represent the accomplishments of Florida’s high schools. Fifty percent of a high school’s grade will be based on FCAT performance and the remaining 50 percent will be based on factors that include the following:
- The school’s graduation rate;
- The performance and participation of students in Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, Dual Enrollment, Advanced International Certificate of Education, and industry certification courses;
- The postsecondary readiness of the students as measured by the SAT, ACT, or College Placement Test;
- The high school graduation rate of at-risk students; and
- Growth or decline in these data components from year to year.
For more information on the changes to high school grades, visit http://www.fldoe.org/board/meetings/2009_09_15/109981presentation.pdf.
Florida Department of Education Announces Web Re-design Contest
A contest to re-design the student portion of the Florida Department of Education’s Web site was recently unveiled by Lieutenant Governor Jeff Kottkamp at Tallahassee Community College. The re-design competition challenges students to apply the knowledge and skills they have learned in their Career and Technical Education (CTE) courses to a real-world project.
The contest is open to any Florida student who is enrolled in one or more of the CTE courses that prepare students for a career in Information Technology, Multimedia, Web Page Design and/or Digital Design. Student submissions will be judged by a panel of technology and design experts, as well as communications and public relations professionals. The winning student submission will be incorporated into the Department’s existing Web site design to be deployed in 2010.
Entries must be submitted via CD and include the name of the student, the student’s high school name and address, the teacher or advisor who assisted in the project and the name of the school district. Submissions must be postmarked by Nov. 20, 2009, and sent to the Florida Department of Education, Office of Communications, 325 W. Gaines St., Suite 1524, Tallahassee, FL 32399-0400. Students can also contact the Department of Education’s communications office at (850) 245-0413 or firstname.lastname@example.org if they have any questions.
21st Century Community Learning Center Grants Awarded
The Florida Department of Education recently awarded more than $59.5 million in federal 21st Century Community Learning Center (21st CCLC) grants to fund afterschool support programs for low-income students. Approximately 81,000 students statewide will have opportunities for academic enrichment, personal growth, and other activities designed to complement their regular academic curriculum, while also offering literacy and other educational services to their families.
To learn more about Florida’s 21st CCLC initiative, visit http://www.fldoe.org/curriculum/21century/.
Online College Textbooks Now Available
Florida postsecondary students will now have online access to free textbooks through University Press of Florida’s Orange Grove Texts Plus (OGT+). Through a partnership with the Florida Distance Learning Consortium, the initiative addresses the rising cost of textbooks by providing students and researchers with high-quality textbooks and manuscripts that are affordable, accessible and adaptable to reader preferences.
OGT+ delivers access to more than 120 textbooks and scholarly monographs free online with more titles being added on a continuing basis. Students can read, download and print some or all of the pages in the textbook or they can choose to purchase a copy of the book for prices lower than typically found in campus bookstores and other online sources. For more information about Orange Grove Texts Plus, visit http://www.upf.com/.
Florida Colleges Benefit From Nursing Scholarships
The Foundation for Florida’s Community Colleges distributed $273,882 in September for nursing and allied health scholarships, with more than one million dollars awarded since 2006. The Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida Endowed Scholarship for Nursing and Allied Health works to increase the number and diversity of individuals going into the nursing and health fields. The scholarships were awarded to Florida’s 28 colleges and matched with support from local communities. Scholarship recipients were selected by the community college where they are enrolled.
For more information about The Foundation for Florida’s Community Colleges or the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida Endowed Scholarship for Nursing and Allied Health, visit http://www.fldoe.org/CC/foundation/.
Green Your School Contest
The Student Conservation Association’s Green Your School contest recognizes conservation service projects designed by high school students that improve, restore, beautify or preserve their high school environment. To be eligible, projects must have been started after August 1, 2008. Entries must be completed by a student and may be submitted online at http://www.thesca.org/green-your-school-form and must be received by Oct. 9, 2009. Visit the Student Conservation Association at http://www.thesca.org/green-your-school for more information.
President’s Environmental Youth Awards
Students from all 50 states and the U.S. territories are invited to submit projects for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) President’s Environmental Youth Awards (PEYA). Since 1971, the program has recognized young people across America for projects which demonstrate their commitment to the environment. Past projects submitted include recycling programs in schools and communities; construction of nature preserves; major tree planting programs; student videos, skits and newsletters focusing on environmental issues; and environmental science projects. To be eligible, students must submit a completed application and evidence of a complete project to their local EPA regional office by Dec. 31, 2009. For more information or to download an application, visit http://www.epa.gov/peya/. Students can also get in touch with regional youth program contacts at http://www.epa.gov/peya/contacts2.html.
Siemens We Can Change the World Challenge
The Siemens Foundation, Discovery Foundation, and the National Science Teachers Association are again partnering to educate, empower and engage students and teachers nationwide to improve their communities through the Siemens We can Change the World Challenge. The challenge invites kindergarten through eighth grade students to team up with their classmates to create reproducible solutions to environmental issues in their classroom (grades K-2), school (grades 3-5), and community (grades 6-8). The deadline for elementary students is Jan. 31, 2010, and March 15, 2010, for middle school students. Visit http://www.wecanchange.com for more information or to register.
Toyota TAPESTRY Grants for Science Teachers
Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A., and the National Science Teachers Association recently partnered to create the Toyota TAPESTRY Grants for Science Teachers program which offers grants to kindergarten through 12th grade science teachers for innovative projects that enhance science education. A total of $550,000 is available for 50 large grants and a minimum of 20 mini-grants this year. The program is open to all U.S. middle and high school science teachers and elementary teachers who teach some science in the classroom or are teaching specialists. To apply for funding, qualified teachers must write a proposal and complete an online application by Jan. 18, 2010. For complete information on the Toyota TAPESTRY grant, visit http://www.nsta.org/pd/tapestry/.
PROMiSE Leadership in Mathematics and Science Instruction Project
In partnership with the Florida Center for Research in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (FCR-STEM), the PROMiSE Leadership in Mathematics and Science Instruction (LMSI) professional development project for elementary school leaders is currently accepting registration for training that will begin in January 2010. The LMSI project was designed to help Florida educators align their instruction in mathematics and science to the Next Generation Sunshine State Standards. The professional development takes place over the course of a year with groups of 75 teacher leaders and their principals attending four two-day face-to-face sessions, focusing on math and science content, instruction and assessment. Participants travelling more than 50 miles from the regional training sessions will have hotel, lodging and incidentals paid through PROMiSE.
Elementary principals are encouraged to register online at http://survey.lsi.fsu.edu/TakeSurvey.aspx?PageNumber=1&SurveyID=741H6m2 prior to Nov. 1, 2009. If selected, principals will be asked to identify a teacher leader who will participate in the training with them. For more information about PROMiSE, visit http://www.flpromise.org/. For inquiries about the project, contact Christi Moss at email@example.com.
Partners in Education Academy Launched
The Florida Department of Education’s Bureau of Family and Community Outreach, in collaboration with the Florida Association of Partners in Education, and Panhandle Area Education Consortium recently announced the training, Partners in Education Academy, via the Florida Education Channel. The trainings are designed for school districts, schools and individuals interested in enhancing student learning by building and maintaining effective community and school partnerships. For more information about the training, visit http://www.flpie.net or contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lake City Community College Awarded $2 Million Grant
The U.S. Department of Education recently awarded Lake City Community College (LCCC) a $2 million Title III Strengthening Institutions Grant for its “Project Excel” student success initiative. The grant is closely aligned with the college’s Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Quality Enhancement Plan to help increase both retention and success for students taking developmental coursework. The funds will also be used to boost learning lab resources and launch a new tutoring and advising program for at-risk students. For more information about the “Project Excel” initiative, contact LCCC Vice President Charles E. Carroll at email@example.com. For more information on the Strengthening Institutions Grant, visit http://www.ed.gov/programs/iduestitle3a/index.html.
Fifteen Florida Schools Named to Participate in Butterflies in Space Program
Space Florida, in collaboration with BioServe of Colorado, announced earlier this month that 15 Florida elementary schools have been selected to participate in the Butterflies in Space program. Classrooms will create a butterfly larvae habitat and compare development of their habitat to that of another test group of larvae flying aboard STS-129, which is headed for the International Space Station in November.
Due to increased interest from elementary schools and enthusiastic teachers, Space Florida and BioServe will soon expand the program so that any elementary school in Florida wishing to participate in the experiment can access the BioServe Web site and follow the space-based version of the experiment via daily downlinks from the International Space Station.
For more information about the Butterflies in Space program, visit Space Florida at http://www.spaceflorida.gov/news/9_22_09.php. For information about BioServe of Colorado, visit http://www.colorado.edu/engineering/BioServe/. For a list of schools selected to participate in the program, visit http://www.fldoe.org/SuccessStories/2009/09-25.asp.
Chipola College Honor Society Promotes Literacy with Free Books
The Chipola College Nu Chi Chapter of Phi Theta Kappa is promoting literacy by reading and donating books to students in Jackson County. Members of the honor society recently purchased the children’s novel The One and Only Magnificent Me and will visit classrooms over the next several weeks to encourage reading and present each student with their own copy of the book. For more information about the project, contact project coordinator Jessica Bradley at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lee County High School Earns Prestigious Automotive Certification
South Fort Myers High School recently earned the esteemed Automotive Service Excellence Certification through the National Automotive Technical Education Foundation. Teacher James Moss guided the four-year process that required the purchase of specialized mechanical tools in addition to the verification and demonstration of procedural competencies. Students in the Automotive Academy at the school can earn one of eight automotive certifications through documentation of lab time and passing specific exams. For more information about the Automotive Academy at South Fort Myers High School, visit http://sfm.leeschools.net/PDFs/AutomotiveWebpage.pdf. For further information on the Automotive Service Excellence Certification, visit http://www.natef.org/.
Pensacola Junior College Culinary Team Wins Bronze Medal
A Pensacola Junior College student culinary team won a bronze medal at the American Culinary Federation Florida State Championship Sept. 11, 2009 in Orlando. The students competed with 16 other culinary teams, including six from other countries, to show off their culinary skills by preparing and serving a four-course menu to three judges in 90 minutes. The student team championships were designed to raise the standards of culinary excellence and professionalism among students, promote camaraderie and educational opportunities, and act as a staging area for research and development of culinary concepts.
For more information about the Culinary Management Course at Pensacola Junior College, visit http://www.itech.pjc.edu/therr/ or contact Chef Travis Herr at email@example.com. For more information about the American Culinary Federation, visit http://www.acfchefs.org.
Apple Training Center Established at Florida State College at Jacksonville
The Florida State College at Jacksonville (FSCJ) is now an Apple Authorized Training Center, delivering Apple’s official curriculum on Apple hardware, Mac OS X, pro applications and other key Apple technologies. Courses are offered at the college’s Deerwood Center in a state-of-the-art educational environment equipped with workstations to accommodate up to 18 students and a training schedule that meets the needs of employers and professionals without the added expense of out-of-region travel. For registration or more information on available courses, visit https://aatc.fscj.edu, call (904) 997-2636, or e-mail AppleTraining@fscj.edu.
Florida Art Education Association 57th Annual Conference
Oct. 15 – 17, 2009
The Florida Hotel and Conference Center
The Florida Art Education Association presents its 57th annual conference for visual art educators in Orlando. With more than 130 workshops, general sessions and special events, it is the largest professional development event and networking opportunity for visual art educators in Florida. For more information, visit http://www.faea.org or call (850) 345-6284..
Florida Council of Teachers of English Professional Development Institute
Oct. 15 – 17, 2009
Renaissance Orlando Hotel Airport
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 more information or to register, visit http://www.fcte.org.
Florida Association of School Psychologists 2009 Annual Conference
Oct. 28 – 31, 2009
Hilton St. Petersburg Bayfront
St. Petersburg, Fla.
The 36th Annual Conference of the Florida Association of School Psychologists will address topics and issues related to the role of psychologists in a school setting. The keynote address entitled School Psychologists: Promoting Competence, Capacity and Opportunities for Children, Families and Schools will be given by the President of the National Association of School Psychologists, Dr. Patti L. Harrison. For more information, visit http://www.fasp.org/Conferences/Annual_Conference.html.
Florida School Counselor Association 2009 Annual Convention
Oct. 29 – 31, 2009
Renaissance Orlando Resort at SeaWorld
The 2009 Florida School Counselor Association Convention will cover topics in student academic advancement, career and vocational awareness, as well as counselor education and development. Industry advocates, state officials, counselor educators and professional school counselors are encouraged to participate. To learn more or to reserve your hotel, visit http://www.fla-schoolcounselor.org/.
Florida Charter School Conference
Nov. 16 – 18, 2009
DoubleTree Hotel at the Entrance to Universal Orlando on International Drive
Charters – Not just Another Public School! is the theme of this year's charter school conference in Orlando. The two-day conference will provide Florida charter school authorizers, administrators and teachers the opportunity to network, share best practices and gather information during breakout sessions and while meeting exhibitors who offer goods and services designed for the charter school community. Early registration is available until Oct. 30; on-site registration will be available thereafter. Visit http://www.charterschoolconference.com/ for conference and registration information.
Florida Counseling Association 60th Anniversary Convention
Nov. 19 – 21, 2009
Doubletree Miami Mart/Airport Hotel and Exhibition Center
The Florida Counseling Association will hold its annual convention in Miami in November. The theme, Celebrating All Facets of Counseling, promises continuing education, networking opportunities and renewal for counselors in Florida public schools. To register, or for more information, visit http://www.flacounseling.org/index.cfm.