News Slices:
New School Grades Web Page Launched
Class Size Web Page Now Available
Commissioner’s Summer Reading Adventure Soaring to New Heights
Literacy League Podcast Now Available
Florida KidCare
Public Invited to Comment on Arts Standards

Resources:
Kohl’s Cares Dream Big Act Now Contest

Seeds of Success:
Polk State College Gets Grant for Job Training Programs
Valencia To Offer New Security Program
Award Recognizes Excellence in Technology Education
Collaborative Curriculum Challenge Grants for Gifted Announced
Orange County Student Wins Second Place in National Speech Contest
Federal Grant To Study Effects of Advanced Coursework

Branching Out:
Components of a Quality Career and Technical Education Program Summer Institute
Florida Association for Career and Technical Education Annual Conference
Florida Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development Annual Conference

 


July 23, 2010

Vol. 4, Issue 16


News Slices


New School Grades Web Page Launched
The Florida Department of Education has created a web page to provide information and updates regarding the independent review process for the 2010 Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test (FCAT) results. The Department has initiated contracts with two independent assessment review organizations, the Human Resource Research Organization (HumRRO) and The National Center for the Improvement of Educational Assessment, to address concerns raised by school districts. Their reviews will be in addition to the previously conducted audits that were performed by the independent testing expert, The Buros Center for Testing. Complete accuracy of FCAT results is of the utmost importance, and school grades will not be released until that accuracy is confirmed. For more information about the independent review process, visit www.fldoe.org/schoolgrades.asp.



Class Size Web Page Now Available
The Department of Education has launched a revised web page that provides information on the implementation of the class size amendment in Florida. The site offers a historical perspective of Florida’s class size reduction efforts, frequently asked questions, state and district level budget information, and links to additional resources, presentations, and news articles about class size reduction in Florida. In addition, the site contains factual information on Amendment 8 which proposes to revise provisions in the state constitution relating to class size and will appear on the ballot in November. To view this new resource and learn about Florida’s class size reduction efforts, visit www.fldoe.org/classsize.



Commissioner’s Summer Reading Adventure Soaring to New Heights
Scores of enthusiastic readers throughout the state are now using a new search tool to choose books that best meet their interests and reading abilities. The free resource, called “Find a Book” utilizes Lexile® measures, or text complexity, and users’ specific interests to select a book and locate it at local public libraries. Studies show that students who read throughout the year are better able to retain their knowledge and continue to learn. “Find a Book,” part of a joint partnership between the Florida Departments of Education and State and Lexile-developer MetaMetrics®, promotes the retention and growth of students’ reading skills during the summer break and throughout the school year. For more information about “Find a Book,” visit www.fldoe.org or www.lexile.com/findabook.



Literacy League Podcast Now Available
The second installment of the Florida Department of Education’s Literacy League book club series featuring author Laurel Snyder, is now available for download from iTunesU. The Atlanta-based author answered questions from middle school students about her book, “Any Which Wall,” and shared her thoughts about how her childhood prepared her for a career as a writer and author. The Literacy League podcast can be downloaded from iTunesU which provides free multimedia content to schools, parents, students, administrators and teachers both in Florida and around the world. To view the Literacy League program, visit www.floridaitunesu.com. For more information about the Literacy League, visit www.fldoe.org/literacyleague.



Florida KidCare
Florida KidCare is the state of Florida's health insurance program for children that provides high-quality, low-cost health insurance for uninsured children under age 19. Studies show insurance coverage improves children's access to the medications and treatment they need to control childhood illnesses and may help decrease student absences. Being in good health helps children attend school regularly, and allows them to participate in classroom and recess activities-all essential parts of succeeding in school. Children enrolled in Florida KidCare receive comprehensive health care, including doctor visits, check-ups, shots, prescriptions, vision and hearing screenings, and more. To learn more about Florida KidCare or to apply online, visit www.floridakidcare.org today!



Public Invited to Comment on Arts Standards
The draft Next Generation Sunshine State Standards in the Arts are now available for public review and comment. The public is invited to read and share their thoughts on the new standards for Visual Art, Music, Theatre and Dance through Aug. 22, 2010. Visit www.flstandards.org to view the standards and submit your comments.



Resources


Kohl’s Cares Dream Big Act Now Contest
Schools have an opportunity to win $500,000 through the Kohl’s Cares for Kids program. The Dream Big Act Now contest is open to non-profit schools and must be used for programs focused on children’s health and education. School supporters can cast up to 20 votes by visiting the Kohl’s Facebook page and allow access to the Kohl’s Cares contest application. Winning schools will be required to outline the ideas they would like to fund and complete detailed paperwork, including a budget outline, related to the donation in order to receive the donation. Visit http://apps.facebook.com/KohlsCares/search to cast your vote before Sept. 3, 2010. Complete contest rules and eligibility requirements can be found at http://apps.facebook.com/KohlsCares/home/faq. To learn more about the contest, call 866-887-8884 or e-mail KohlsCares@Kohls.com.
Seeds of Success


Polk State College Gets Grant for Job Training Programs
The U.S. Department of Labor has awarded a $2.9 million Community-Based Job Training Grant to Polk State College to implement their Engineering Technology and Advanced Manufacturing (ETAM) initiative. Through a partnership of three colleges and the Employ Florida Banner Center for Manufacturing, the initiative will increase program capacity, create cutting-edge curricula and provide training for nearly 800 unemployed workers, dislocated workers, and incumbent workers who need training to improve their skills to remain employed and remain competitive in the marketplace. For more information about the ETAM project, contact Dr. Eric Roe at (863) 669-2838 or eroe@polk.edu.



Valencia To Offer New Security Program
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has contracted with Valencia Community College to participate in a training program for Transportation Security Officers (TSOs) employed with TSA. Valencia will deliver TSA training courses at Orlando International Airport and TSOs who complete the program will receive a TSA Certificate of Achievement. The officers will also receive college credits for the courses and be encouraged to apply them toward a degree from Valencia. The first courses will be offered in the fall of 2010. For more information, contact a Students Services Advisor or visit Valencia’s Student Advising website at www.valenciacc.edu/advising/



Award Recognizes Excellence in Technology Education
The Florida Advanced Technological Education Center (FLATE) – the National Science Foundation Center for excellence in high-tech manufacturing at Hillsborough Community College in Brandon – will receive the 2010 HI-TECH Innovative Program Award at the High Impact Technology Exchange Conference on July 28, 2010, in Orlando. The award recognizes a team of advanced technology education professionals who have designed and implemented a significant innovation that leads to a positive impact on student enrollment, retention or advanced technology education. FLATE is a national leader in reforming technical education to meet the needs of advanced manufacturers in Florida. For more information about FLATE, visit www.fl-ate.org or contact Dr. Marilyn Barger at barger@fl-ate.org.



Collaborative Curriculum Challenge Grants for Gifted Announced
Four Florida school district programs have been selected as part of the Collaborative Curriculum Challenge Grants for Gifted. The projects are intended to enhance the academic achievement of gifted students through the innovative redesign of instruction and collaboration. The focus this year is on collaboration with a university and meaningful professional development for teachers who work with gifted students.

The four grant winners are:

  • Florida State University School – Space Technology and Engineering
  • Miami-Dade County School District – The GPEX (Gifted Program Exploring Science Project)
  • Osceola County School District – Fostering Opportunity and Renewal in Gifted Education
  • Volusia County School District – Design Thinking: From Insights to Innovation

More information about the winning programs can be found at www.fldoe.org/successstories.





Orange County Student Wins Second Place in National Speech Contest
Gotha Middle School student Tianhoa “Tony” Wu placed second nationally in the prestigious Modern Woodmen of America Speech Contest. The topic for the contest was “If I Were President” and Tony delivered his speech “The Founding Father’s Dream” earlier this year as an eighth grader. Tony will receive a prize of $1,500 when he turns 18 years old. For more information about the Modern Woodmen of America Speech Contest, visit www.modern-woodmen.org/Public/MemberBenefits/YouthPrograms/YouthEducationalPrograms/SchoolSpeechContest.htm.



Federal Grant To Study Effects of Advanced Coursework
Professors at the University of South Florida (USF) will use a $1 million federal grant to study the mental health of students enrolled in International Baccalaureate and Advanced Placement courses. The three-year grant from the U.S. Department of Education’s Institute of Educational Sciences will enable Dr. Shannon Suldo, associate professor of school psychology, and Dr. Elizabeth Shaunessy, associate professor of gifted education at USF, to conduct the first large scale examination of the effect advanced coursework has on students’ social and emotional functioning. The study will take place in three phases that expands on the professors’ earlier work with smaller student populations. For more information about the study, contact Mary Beth Erskine at USF at (813) 974-6993.



Branching Out


Components of a Quality Career and Technical Education Program Summer Institute
Aug. 2 – 3, 2010
Clearwater Beach Hilton
Clearwater Beach, Fla.


Components of a quality career and technical education program is the focus of a Summer Institute offered by the Florida Department of Education’s (DOE) Division of Career and Adult Education. The Institute will be held Aug. 2 – 3, 2010, as a preconference to the Florida Association of Career and Technical Education’s (CTE) Annual Conference (more details below). Priority will be given to CTE teachers at identified struggling schools, but all CTE educators are invited to attend. Participant’s travel at the state rate and hotel expenses will be reimbursed. For more information or to register, contact Jodi Tillman with DOE at (850) 245-9439 or Jodi.Tillman@fldoe.org.


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


Florida Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development Annual Conference
September 24 – 25, 2010
Orlando, Fla.


“Creating Innovative and Technology Enriched Classrooms in 21st Century Schools” is the theme for the 50th Annual Florida Association for Curriculum and Development Conference in Orlando. The Sept. 24 meeting will take place at the Renaissance Orlando Airport Hotel and the Sept. 25 meeting will be held at Lake Nona High School, also in Orlando. Featured speakers are Dr. Eugene Carter, Executive Director for the International Association of Curriculum and Development, and Jim Warford, Executive Director of the Florida Association of School Administrators. For more information about the conference, visit www.fascd.org.


 
 
 
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