Celebrate Literacy Week, Florida!
Today kicks off Celebrate Literacy Week, Florida! and events are scheduled throughout the state to highlight the importance of reading as the foundation for academic success. The Florida Department of Education’s Just Read, Florida! office works closely with schools and districts and their partner organizations – from community groups and regional agencies to state and local government – to share in the joys of literacy. Join in the fun and attend exciting literacy events in your area that reinforce the value of reading.
Florida’s Education System Named Fifth in the Nation
The Sunshine State has received a fifth place national ranking on the 2011 Quality Counts: Uncertain Forecast report issued by Education Week. The annual report tracks state policies and performance across key areas of education and assigns each state with an overall point total to signify their education standing in the nation. This year’s move to fifth, up from eighth last year, 10th in 2009 and 14th in 2008, rests prominently on Florida’s continuing improvements in student achievement. According to the report, Florida is one of the best states in the country in terms of improvement in National Assessment of Educational Progress scores and narrowing the achievement gap between low-income students and their peers. The report also indicates that Florida’s improvement in its graduation rate and the number of students passing Advanced Placement exams is outpacing almost every other state in the nation. Thank you Florida teachers for your hard work and dedication to student success! For more details about Florida’s performance on the 2011 Quality Counts report, visit http://www.edweek.org/ew/qc/index.html
New Web Tool Launched to Help Increase Writing Achievement
Florida K-12 teachers have a new website designed to help increase their students’ achievement in writing. The site, “FL WIN: Florida Language and Writing Network,” contains mini lessons, rubrics and assessment resources, as well as links to state and national research and reports. Many are linked to one or more grade-level Florida writing benchmarks and are aligned with the state’s curriculum standards. To utilize the new FL WIN site, visit www.fldoe.org/bii/fl-win.
College Goal Sunday Helps Students Find Money for College
Florida high school seniors and their families are invited to attend College Goal Sunday on Feb. 20, 2011, to get free help with completing financial aid application forms. Held at 46 locations through Florida, the one-day event features higher education leaders and organizations assisting with completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, commonly referred to as the FAFSA, which is required to determine eligibility for some state and all federal financial aid such as Pell grants, work-study aid and loans. Visit www.collegegoalsundayflorida.org for a list of locations.
18th Annual NASA Great Moonbuggy Race
Registration is now open for the 18th Annual NASA Great Moonbuggy Race competition. High school and college students are invited to design and build a vehicle that addresses a series of engineering problems similar to those faced by the original lunar-roving vehicle team. Each school may enter up to two teams and international teams are limited to 10 teams per country. Registration for U.S. students is Feb. 1, 2011, and the race will take place April 1 – 2, 2011, in Huntsville, Ala. at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center. For more information and to register online, visit http://moonbuggy.msfc.nasa.gov/index.html.
Free Math and Financial Education Lessons Available
Teachers of students in grades three through five have an opportunity to learn about a fun and engaging family workshop on financial literacy. Volunteer USA Foundation’s Financial Education Program for Families, sponsored by SunTrust Foundation, involves parents and teachers to help kids understand the value of money and promotes wise spending and saving habits for life. “What’s on the Menu? Financial Education for Families” is an education program for both students and their parents that uses core math skills to guide families through the basics of banking, budgeting and saving. Volunteer USA will train teachers to present the workshop at their school or send a professional trainer to the school. Materials are limited to the first 100 schools that sign up for a workshop at http://www.ounce.org/whatsonmenu. In the near future, teachers will be able to download free lesson plans, worksheets and a classroom poster.
Florida Agriculture in the Classroom Training
In partnership with the Florida Department of Education (FDOE), Florida Agriculture in the Classroom will host five regional Gardening for Grades training workshops throughout Spring 2011 in Broward, Escambia, Hillsborough, Orange and Palm Beach counties. The program is appropriate for students in grades K-8 and includes how-to information for teachers to help students learn about and create school gardens through activities correlated to the Next Generation Sunshine State Standards in multiple academic content areas. Districts interested in hosting a Gardening for Grades training workshop should contact Katie Rainka with FDOE at (850) 245-5094 or Katie.Rainka@fldoe.org.
“Love the Bus” Shows Appreciation for School Bus Drivers
The American School Bus Council (ASBC) encourages school districts throughout the nation to show their appreciation for school transportation professionals through a unique program called “Love the Bus.” The program is celebrated throughout February to raise awareness and appreciation for school bus drivers who safely transport more than 26 million school children nationwide to and from school each day. It is also an opportunity for parents and children to learn more about the safety and environmental benefits of school bus transportation. Ideas abound at the ASBC website at www.americanschoolbuscouncil.org.
Panhandle Area Educational Consortium Offers Online Training
Finding solutions to professional development needs may be easier than expected. The Panhandle Area Educational Consortium (PAEC) offers cost effective professional development modules that meet or exceed Florida’s Professional Development System Evaluation Protocol. Working in conjunction with the Florida Department of Education, PAEC’s Florida Learns Academy has developed the Electronic Professional Development Connection to deliver professional development through web based on demand training modules. Visit www.PAEC.org to learn more.
|Seeds of Success