February 19, 2010
Vol. 4, Issue 4
Advanced Placement Performance Continues to Climb
Florida is tied for fifth in the nation on the percentage of 2009 graduating seniors earning a 3 or better on an Advanced Placement (AP) exam in high school according to the College Board. The jump from last year’s ranking of tenth was due to a 3.1 percent increase in the passing rate, nearly double the increase of the next closest state. Florida also leads the nation in the percentage of 2009 graduating seniors who took an AP exam in high school.
Florida’s minority students continue to demonstrate improvement as well with African-American and Hispanic 2009 graduating seniors experiencing increases in both the percent taking and the percent passing AP exams. Florida is also the only state in the nation with a significant number of Hispanic students that has eliminated the AP achievement gap for Hispanic 2009 graduating seniors.
The College Board report also highlighted seven Florida public schools that lead the nation in increasing AP access and participation for 2009 graduating minority students. No other state in the country has as many public schools recognized. The highlighted schools are:
- Barbara Goleman Senior High School, Miami
- Coral Reef Senior High School, Miami
- Cypress Bay High School, Weston
- Design and Architecture High School, Miami
- Miami Coral Park Senior High School, Miami
- Miami Killian Senior High School, Miami
- Stanton College Preparatory School, Jacksonville
For more information on the latest AP results, visit www.collegeboard.com/apreport.
To The Core Podcast Series Launched
Earlier this week, the Department of Education (DOE) announced the launch of To The Core, a new podcast series hosted by Florida’s Department of Education/Macy’s 2010 Teacher of the Year Megan Allen. Through interviews hosted by Megan Allen, issues that directly impact the teaching profession are explained by DOE leadership and will be housed on Florida’s iTunesU site. The first four interview installments are now available and include topics such as Race to the Top, high school grades and the FCAT. The new podcast series is one of many tools available for educators on Florida’s iTunesU site.
Florida’s iTunesU site, an area of the iTunes Store, provides free multimedia content to schools, parents, students, administrators and teachers through audio, video and text files that are designed to enhance when and where individuals learn. To download the To the Core podcast, visit http://deimos3.apple.com/WebObjects/Core.woa/Browse/inFlorida.edu.3353724031.03353724037. To learn more about Florida on iTunes U, visit www.floridaitunesu.org.
Career and Technical Education Prepares Students for the Workforce
In support of the efforts and importance of career and technical educators throughout the state, February is celebrated as Career and Technical Education Month in Florida. The month-long recognition highlights the real-world learning opportunities and advantages students receive when participating in career and technical education courses. Florida’s career and technical education programs now encompass more than 6,337 different courses serving more than 50,000 students, and focuses on areas that are forecast to experience the largest and fastest growth in the next decade. Career and technical education programs are offered in all 67 Florida school districts, all 28 members of the Florida College System, and 44 technical centers located throughout the state. For more information about Career and Technical Education in Florida, visit www.fldoe.org/workforce/programs/.
Black History Month Comes Alive Through Kinsey Collection
The newest addition to Florida on iTunesU is an exciting new curriculum project based on The Kinsey Collection: Shared Treasures of Bernard and Shirley Kinsey - “Where Art and History Intersect” currently on display at the Mary J. Brogan Museum in Tallahassee. The project contains an 18-image virtual excerpt of the full Kinsey Collection, along with links to informative and interactive documents that students can use to gain first-hand knowledge about the renowned art exhibit. To learn more about Florida on iTunesU, visit www.floridaitunesu.com. For more information about the Kinsey Collection, visit www.thekinseycollection.com or www.thebrogan.org.
Time To Send Questions To Literacy League
There is still time for middle school students to send in their questions to the featured author of Literacy League, the Department of Education’s new interactive reading initiative for students in grades six through eight. Literacy League gives young readers a platform to read selected books and communicate directly with participating authors through a podcast series housed on Florida’s iTunesU site. The new statewide book club starts off with author Julianna Baggott, writing under the pen name N.E. Bode, and her award-winning book, The Anybodies.
Each quarter the Department will connect prominent authors with students through a podcast question-and-answer session about the featured book. For the first session, students have until March 1, 2010, to send their questions in text or video format to LiteracyLeague@fldoe.org, or mail their questions to the Department of Education’s Communications Office at 325 W. Gaines Street, Suite 1524, Tallahassee, Florida 32399-0400. The next book selection will be announced in April.
For more information about the Department of Education’s Literacy League, visit www.fldoe.org/literacyleague. Florida’s iTunesU site provides free multimedia content to schools, parents, administrators and teachers both in Florida and around the world. To visit Florida on iTunesU, visit www.floridaitunesu.com.
Students Encouraged to Go Higher, Get Accepted
Twenty-seven Florida colleges and more than 270 high schools are participating in the 2010 Go Higher-Get Accepted statewide campaign this year. Go Higher-Get Accepted is designed to increase the number of high school seniors enrolling in college by offering guidance and support to students throughout the application process.
As part of the campaign, colleges around the state are sponsoring events in the coming months to help students examine specific college majors and programs. A key focus will be providing parents and students with hands-on assistance with admission applications, finding and paying for financial aid and workshops to assist students and families with completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Colleges sponsoring Go Higher-Get Accepted events will also offer a $500 scholarship, supplied by the Foundation for Florida Colleges, to an eligible high school senior who attends an event and enrolls at the participating college.
For more information about Go Higher-Get Accepted and a list of events and participating schools, visit www.FACTS.org.
Florida KidCare Act-Out For Health Contest Winners Announced
The Florida Healthy Kids Corporation recently announced the state and regional winners of the Florida KidCare Act-Out for Health contest. The contest challenged middle and high school students throughout the state to create television public service announcements (PSA) or billboard ads promoting Florida KidCare, the state and federally supported health insurance program for children under the age of 19.
State winners are:
- PSA: "I've Got Everything" by Luke and David Consolo, Osceola County School for the Arts, Osceola County
- Billboard: Michael Cardona, South Tech Academy, Palm Beach County
Regional winners are:
- Region 1 (Tallahassee/Panama City/Pensacola)
- PSA: “Perfect 10” by Austin Smith, Tyler Fatkin and Darsak Patel, Lincoln High School, Leon County
- Billboard: Onoriode Onokpise, Godby High School, Leon County
- Region 2 (Gainesville/Ocala/Jacksonville)
- PSA: “Breaking News” by Kiondre Boone, Colby Cranney and Kane Parks, Dunnellon Middle School, Marion County
- Billboard: Whitney Wellmaker, Oakleaf Junior High School, Clay County
- Region 3 (Orlando/Daytona/Melbourne)
- PSA: “KidCare for All of Us” by Brittany Skeels, Allison Tate-Cortese and Hyung-Jin Kim, Oviedo High School, Seminole County
- Billboard: Michelle Morrison, Deltona High School, Volusia County
- Region 4 (Tampa/St. Petersburg/Lakeland)
- PSA: “I’m Insured Thanks to Affordable Florida KidCare” by Caleb Oostarling, Austin Kassin and Derek Mort, John Long Middle School, Pasco County
- Billboard: Cornelius O’Donoghue, Clearwater High School, Pinellas County
- Region 5 (Miami/Fort Lauderdale/West Palm Beach)
- PSA: “Putting a Price on Healthcare” by Grant Grillo and Hailey Mears, Seminole Ridge Community High School, Palm Beach County
- Billboard: Sebastian Spencer, South Tech Academy, Palm Beach County
- Region 6 (Fort Myers/Naples)
- PSA: “That’s a Bad Idea” by Kelsey Congress, Casey Wexler and Jillian Richter, The Sanibel School, Lee County
- Billboard: Maria Mullis, Cypress Lake High School, Lee County
To view all of the winning billboards and television PSAs, visit www.ActOutForHealth.net. For more information about Florida KidCare, visit www.floridakidcare.org.
Orange County Technical School Recognized for Contributions to Community
Winter Park Tech in Orange County was named “Community Organization of the Year” by the Winter Park Chamber of Commerce. The school was recognized for its high-quality career training programs and involvement in the community. Winter Park Tech serves more than 4,000 students each year and offers technical training and career certificate programs in 22 clusters in Business, Information Technology, Arts and Design, and Health Sciences. For more information about courses offered at Winter Park Tech, visit www.wpt.ocps.net.
Palm Beach State College Commended for Hispanic Outreach
Excelencia in Education, a national organization that promotes education policies and institutional practices that support Latino academic achievement, has recognized Palm Beach State College as one of four Emerging Hispanic-Serving Institutions in the nation for their efforts in serving Latino students. The school was commended for their mentoring programs, diversity awareness, cultural training for staff, accessible financial aid information and programs designed to improve the retention and graduation of Latino students. For more information, view the full report at www.edexcelencia.org/research/emerging-hispanic-serving-institutions-hsis-serving-latino-students.
Miami-Dade College Student Wins Top State Service Award
Stephanie Del Pino, a student in Miami-Dade College’s (MDC) Kendall Campus Honors College, has won the 2009 Excellence in Service Award from Florida Campus Compact. Along with MDC Wolfson Campus Honors student Amanda Balareza, Del Pino dedicated more than 900 hours toward organizing and directing the first-ever college-wide initiative All-Nighter for Haiti which raised more than $23,000 last year to build tilapia farms and plant fruit trees in the island nation. For more information about Florida Campus Compact, a coalition of colleges and universities committed to promoting community service, service-learning and civic engagement, visit www.floridacompact.org. For more information about MDC’s Honors College, visit www.mdc.edu/honorsCollege/.
American Heart Association Honors Lee County School
Lee County Schools has been recognized as a Platinum-Level Start! Fit-Friendly Company by the American Heart Association’s Start! program. The school district won accolades for incorporating numerous physical activities and programs into the workday that help employees live a healthy lifestyle and reduce medical problems such as obesity, high blood pressure and diabetes. For more information about Start!, visit http://startwalkingnow.org/
Black, Brown and College Bound: Meeting the Challenge of Higher Education
Feb. 24 – 26, 2010
Renaissance Hotel International Plaza
Students, parents, college and university administrators, community leaders – anyone interested in empowering students to overcome barriers to success – are invited to attend the Black, Brown and College Bound: Meeting the Challenge of Higher Education summit Feb. 24 – 26, 2010, in Tampa. The theme, “Reality Check: Status Quo or Route to Change for African or Latino Males,” will examine the academic, socioeconomic, political and personal factors impacting routes to higher education for underrepresented students. Early registration has been extended until Feb. 23, 2010. For more information about the summit, visit www.BlackBrownCollegeBound.com, www.hccfl.edu/bbcb.aspx, or contact Hillsborough Community College at (813) 253-7068 or via e-mail at email@example.com.
National Conference on Transporting Students with Disabilities and Preschoolers
March 17 – 20, 2010
Sheraton Sand Key Resort
Clearwater Beach, Fla.
The Supporting Young Children’s Social Emotional Development conference, sponsored by the National Training Institute on Effective Practices, will provide intensive workshops on practical strategies for supporting a positive approach to the social and emotional development of young children, including behavior challenges in early childhood settings. For more information about sessions, presenters, travel and registration, visit www.addressingchallengingbehavior.org.
University of Central Florida (UCF) College of Education Literacy Symposium
April 2, 2010
UCF College of Education Gymnasium
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 (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Vicky Zygouris-Coe (email@example.com) with UCF at (407) 823-0386.
University of Central Florida Book Festival
April 16 – 17, 2010
University of Central Florida Arena
The University of Central Florida (UCF) will be hosting 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 http://www.bookfestival.ucf.edu or call (407) 823-2835.
Florida Association of Staff Development Spring Forum
April 19 – 20, 2010
Crowne Plaza Melbourne Oceanfront
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 http://www.fasdonline.org.
2010 Florida Literacy Conference
May 5 – 7, 2010
South Seas Island Resort
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.