Florida Virtual School Educator Wins Nation's First Online K-12 Teacher of the Year Award
Teresa Dove, an educator with the Florida Virtual School, has been named the 2010 National Online Teacher of the Year by the two nonprofit organizations that founded the program - the Southern Regional Education Board (SREB) and the International Association for K-12 Online Learning (iNACOL). Dove and two other finalists were selected from among 50 nominations of online educators in public schools and state virtual schools in 24 states. For the past four years, Dove has been an online mathematics/Algebra II teacher for grades 6-12 and a Literacy Coordinator at the Florida Virtual School. Dove and the two other finalists were recognized during the SREB's joint annual meeting on Sept. 8, 2010. She was presented with an art glass sculpture designed by Hans Frabel and an all-expense paid trip to the Virtual School Symposium sponsored by iNACOL in Nov. 2010 in Glendale, Ariz. The Florida Virtual School was founded in 1997 and was the country's first state-wide Internet-based public high school. Today the school serves more than 125,000 students in grades K-12 and provides a variety of custom solutions for schools and districts to meet student needs. For more information about the Florida Virtual School, visit www.flvs.net. Congratulations Teresa!
New Book Selections for Literacy League Announced
The Florida Department of Education's Literacy League has announced the participation of authors Edward Bloor and Adrian Fogelin for this quarter's reading activities. Bloor's Taken and Fogelin's Crossing Jordan will serve as the next selections for Literacy League, the popular interactive book club that uses direct interaction with authors to promote a more active engagement in reading among Florida's middle school students. Each quarter a book is selected and students are able to submit questions via e-mail or video for the authors to answer through a recorded podcast. Students interested in submitting questions for Taken should send them to firstname.lastname@example.org by Oct. 1, 2010, and questions for Crossing Jordan are due by Nov. 3, 2010. For more information about Literacy League, visit www.fldoe.org/literacyleague.
"Find a Book, Florida" Helps Students Locate Books
Students now have an additional reading resource to help them find exciting new books tailored to their own interests or school assignments. The free online search tool, dubbed "Find a Book, Florida," allows users to build custom reading lists based on each student's individual interests from a growing database of fiction and nonfiction titles. The database also allows students to locate books that best complement their reading ability. Using Lexile® measures, the standard for matching readers with books, "Find a Book, Florida" aims to make it easier for students and families to select the right books and then locate these selections at their local public library. Since the program's inception in Florida this summer, "Find a Book" has scored more than 40,000 unique visits to the site, each averaging nearly 10 minutes in a book search. This joint project between the Florida Departments of Education and State, and Lexile-developer MetaMetrics® aims to encourage students to consistently read throughout the year. To use this resource today, visit www.fldoe.org or http://florida.lexile.com.
Navigating Your Financial Future Training Offered
The Florida Department of Education's (DOE) Office of Student Financial Assistance is proud to offer free training and support for individuals who advise students and their families on how to fund education beyond high school. Professional trainers present comprehensive up-to-date information about federal and state student financial aid programs, scholarship searches, and financial aid fraud. Participants also learn how to access free resources to help them help their students. For more information about this training opportunity, contact a member of DOE's Navigating Your Financial Future team at (800) 366-3475 or www.navigatingyourfinancialfuture.org/ContactUs/School_Rep.aspx.
NEXT Magazine Helps Students Plan For Life After High School
Florida Trend’s NEXT magazine is arriving at high schools across Florida at no charge to the schools or to students. The magazine is a valuable resource full of information that can help students make smart choices during their high school years about their plans after graduation. This year’s issue includes the Florida College and Career Planner™, a comprehensive guide about postsecondary options and preparing for college admissions; the Get Smart Guide™ that includes a list of Florida public and private colleges and universities, state and community colleges, and technical, trade and career schools with contact information and admission criteria; a higher education how-to that includes information on college testing, admissions essays, and articles from real college students sharing their own experiences; tips on money matters important to teens – from buying a car to learning how to spend less and save more; pointers on writing resumes, finding internships and preparing for the world of work; and articles on making the most of the high school years, both in school and through extracurricular activities. Check out Florida Trend’s NEXT website at www.FloridaNEXT.com.
Floridians Invited to Participate in Hispanic Heritage Student and Teacher Contests
As part of the Hispanic Heritage Month celebration Sept. 15 through Oct. 15, 2010, Florida students in kindergarten through 12th grade are invited to participate in student contests centered around the theme, “Recognizing Florida’s Hispanic Heritage: Past, Present and Future.” Parents, teachers, students and principals are also invited to nominate full-time educators in elementary, middle and high schools for the Hispanic Heritage Month Excellence in Education Award. Winners will be recognized at the Governor’s Hispanic Heritage Month celebration to be held in Tallahassee in October.
Two winners will be selected from entries submitted by students in grades K-3.
Three winners will be selected - one at elementary (grades 4 and 5), one at middle (grades 6-8), and one at high school (grades 9-12) - from among essays submitted by students in grades four through 12.
Excellence in Education Award
The Education Excellence Award is open to all Hispanic full-time educators at an elementary, middle or high school in Florida. Three winners - one each from elementary, middle and high school - will be selected. Nominations can be made by students, parents, or school principals.
All contest entries must be postmarked by Sept. 20, 2010, and each student is limited to one entry per contest. Winners will be notified the week of Oct. 4, 2010. Full details about the Hispanic Heritage Month contests, including guidelines and entry forms, can be found at www.FloridaHispanicHeritage.com.
Creative Ideas Sought to Promote Florida KidCare
Florida middle and high school students are encouraged to submit their ideas to promote Florida KidCare, the state's health insurance program for children under the age of 19. The Florida KidCare Act-Out For Health Contest asks students to produce a 30-second public service announcement (PSA) or design a billboard showing how children with health insurance tend to have healthier lifestyles and perform better in school. The grand prize winning PSA will air on television stations statewide and online. The grand prize winning billboard design will be placed in the winner's hometown or closest billboard location. Contest winners will also be awarded scholarships and their schools will receive an award. The deadline to submit entries is Dec. 1, 2010. For more information about the Act-Out For Health Contest, visit www.actoutforhealth.net/students/.
Aquaculture Resources Available for Teachers
The "Discover Florida Aquaculture" multi-media program developed by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services is available online for interested educators. The program is designed for middle and high school students and highlights the varied occupations associated with the seafood industry. Florida plays a major role in aquaculture production and occupations ranging from biologists, botanists, chemists and researchers to divers, business and operation managers, and sales and marketing professionals, and these individuals are integral to providing food for hungry consumers. To learn more about Florida Aquaculture, visit www.FL-Seafood.com and click on the "Info For Teachers" tab on the left to find out about free resources.
Statewide Online Tobacco Prevention and Intervention Teacher Training Project
Beginning Oct. 1, 2010, the School District of Palm Beach County will make available a statewide online tobacco prevention education course designed for K-12 teachers and guidance counselors. Through videos, quizzes, articles and discussion boards, this professional development opportunity will provide educators with increased knowledge, skills and classroom delivery strategies on tobacco prevention and intervention education. Participants will have access 24 hours a day to integrated approaches in delivering tobacco prevention instruction that encompass science, social studies, language arts, math, health and physical education. There is no charge for the online course and districts may award up to 60 inservice points toward teacher recertification. For more information, visit www.tobaccopreventiontraining.org.
World's Largest Rocket Competition Now Open
Registration for the 2011 Team America Rocketry Challenge is open through Nov. 30, 2010, for student teams in grades 7-12 from any U.S. school, home school or non-profit youth organization. The annual rocket contest, sponsored by the Aerospace Industries Association, challenges teams of three to 10 students to design and build a rocket that will climb to 750 feet with a raw egg payload and stay aloft for 40 to 45 seconds with the egg returning to Earth unbroken. Up to 750 teams can register. Contest rules and registration information are available at www.rocketcontest.org.
Department of Education Partners with Florida NFL Teams for Discounted Tickets
Florida educators can still take advantage of a new partnership with two National Football League teams - the Jacksonville Jaguars and the Miami Dolphins - that will allow all public school and district education personnel (pre-K through grade 12) to buy football tickets at discounted prices this fall. Each team has single-game discount tickets available to show their appreciation for education employees who make a difference in Florida's classrooms each and every day. More information about the discounts, including specific details about single game offers, can be found on the Just for Teachers website at www.fldoe.org/justforteachers/discounts.asp.
Volunteer USA Contest Offers Free Children's Books
Thanks to a generous donation from the Dollar General Literacy Foundation, classrooms, schools, libraries and other non-profit organizations are encouraged to post their story on Facebook about what makes them stand out and why they should receive the books. The books, which include "Monkey and Me" "Diego's Wolf Pup Rescue," "Duck for President," "When Dinosaurs Came With Everything," and "Romeo and Lou Blast Off," are suitable for children between the ages of four and eight. The deadline to post ideas at www.facebook.com/pages/Volunteer-USA/72766903352 is Sept. 30, 2010. The first 100 non-profit organizations to post will win 10 free books to add to their library.
Seeds of Success