District Data Leader Nominations Sought
The Florida Department of Education is seeking nominations for the second annual District Data Leader of the Year Award Program to recognize the state’s top school district superintendent who shows exemplary leadership in using data to increase student achievement. The award was launched last year to recognize school superintendents who continually employ innovative data research strategies and incorporate new methods and opportunities to improve the use of data. The 2010 winner was Putnam County Superintendent Tom Townsend for the creation of the Learning Gains Index that quantifies teacher effectiveness in terms of student growth and helps to better inform educators about their work in the classroom by examining average student growth per teacher using FCAT scores.
School districts wishing to nominate their superintendent have until Aug. 1, 2011, to submit a nomination packet. Visit http://www.fldoe.org/districtdataleader for more information.
Florida College System Honors Outstanding Students
Kicking off Florida College System Month, the 2011 Phi Theta Kappa All-Florida Academic Team was honored for their exceptional academic achievement, leadership and community service during an award ceremony at the Florida State University Center Club on April 7, 2011, in Tallahassee. Florida College System Chancellor Dr. Will Holcombe hosted the event that also recognized the Coca-Cola Scholars. As part of the ceremony, team members were presented with Phi Theta Kappa and Coca-Cola Scholars medallions and certificates. The 109 students represented Florida’s 28 state and community colleges and one independent university, and were also recognized on the floor of the Florida House of Representatives. For a complete list of the 2011 Phi Theta Kappa All-Florida Academic Team, visit http://www.fldoe.org/CC/Students/PTK_team/Newsletter/voltwo.asp. To learn more about the Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society, visit: http://www.ptk.org/. To learn more about the Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation, visit: https://www.coca-colascholars.org/cokeWeb/index.jsp?navigation=1.
New Teacher Talk Television Available for Download
The latest Teacher Talk television show is now available for download through the Florida Knowledge Network and on the Just for Teachers website. This segment focuses on summer reading and literacy, and provides various ways for families to get involved in the educational process. Viewers can also hear of the upcoming Teacher Treasures registration window for an opportunity to win one of three weekend getaways. Educators should be on the lookout for the Just for Teachers newsletter that includes important education news as well as an updated list of available discounts and offers. Teacher Treasures is a monthly contest designed to help show appreciation for Florida’s dedicated educators. To view the latest Teacher Talk show or to learn more about Just for Teachers or Teacher Treasures, visit http://www.fldoe.org/justforteachers.
2nd Annual STEM Virtual Career Fair
The Florida Department of Education is proud to partner with the Florida Virtual School and Elluminate Technology to host the 2nd Annual Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Virtual Career Fair. This FREE one-day event is open to all Florida middle and high school students and provides an opportunity to learn directly from featured speakers about what it takes to be successful in STEM-related careers. Instead of having a job fair in a physical location – we are offering this great opportunity through a virtual forum! Various speakers will be presenting throughout the day, including a cancer research scientist, marine biologist, nurse anesthetist, and digital marketer, just to name a few.
Students are invited to participate in this exciting event on April 27th. For more details, visit http://www.fldoe.org/students. Any questions about the upcoming event can be directed to Hue Reynolds at firstname.lastname@example.org or (850) 245-9670.
Spanish Version of Success Measures Launched
The Florida Department of Education has developed a Spanish version of the popular Success Measures web resource to help Spanish-speaking families better understand the information being taught and tested in the state’s classrooms. The Success Measures application enables users to learn about Florida’s curriculum standards and the specific exams that test that particular standard. The tool provides information that includes the anticipated school year, the grade level and courses in Reading/Language Arts, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies, Health or Physical Education. For more information, visit http://www.fldoe.org/successmeasures.
Public Comment Invited for Draft Standards on School Readiness and Voluntary Prekindergarten Programs
The public is invited to provide input on the draft educational standards for Florida’s four-year-olds participating in either the School Readiness or Voluntary Prekindergarten (VPK) programs. Although educational standards for the VPK program have been in place since 2005, the new draft standards combine the school readiness standards and VPK standards that are designed to prepare children for success in kindergarten. To share feedback, comments and suggestions, three options are available:
The deadline for public comment is April 25, 2011.
National Physical Education and Sport Week
Schools are encouraged to celebrate Let’s Move in School during National Physical Education and Sport Week, May 1 – 7, 2011. Let’s Move in School is a national initiative to increase physical activity before, during and after school. The first 10,000 schools to register an event will receive a Let’s Move in School poster, and one lucky school will win a visit from a President’s Council on Fitness, Sport & Nutrition member. Schools can choose from a variety of fun activities that get students moving and bring attention to the importance of physical activity for a lifetime. To review the list of potential activities your school can choose from, please visit http://www.aahperd.org/letsmoveinschool/events/national_pe_sport_week.cfm. To register a school celebration and access promotional videos, tools, and more, please visit http://www.aahperd.org/letsmoveinschool/events/school_signup.cfm.
Glazer Family Foundation Grant
Nonprofit organizations in the Central Florida area are encouraged to apply for a grant through the Glazer Family Foundation. The grants are awarded to programs that support positive social and economic development within communities and applications are accepted year round. Visit http://www.glazerfamilyfoundation.org/our-programs/grant-program for more information about the grants and how to apply.
Citizens Encouraged to Register Emergency Contact Information
As the school year winds down and students celebrate prom and post-graduation parties, now is an ideal time to take advantage of a free service offered by the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV). Anyone who has a Florida driver license or identification card can register their emergency contact information with DHSMV using their license or ID card number. This free service provides law enforcement agencies with the names and contact information of people you want them to notify in case of an emergency. The information is secure and only law enforcement officers can access it. Visit http://www.flhsmv.gov/eci for more information.
We Give Books to Share Free Books with Florida Classrooms
Read for My School Florida, a new campaign from Penguin Books and the Pearson Foundation that encourages children to read and earn free books, kicked off in Tallahassee recently and will continue through May 9, 2011. The new program, which is part of the We Give Books initiative, challenges students to read as many as 50,000 books during the campaign. For each book read online during the campaign, the Pearson Foundation will donate a book to the school designated by readers. For more information about We Give Books and Read for My School Florida programs, visit http://www.wegivebooks.org.
Tampa’s First “Virtual Learning Center” Opens
The Tampa area’s first Virtual Learning Center, an innovative learning environment for children in grades K-12, is now open at the Bob Gilbertson Central City Family YMCA. The learning center was developed in coordination with the Florida Virtual School Foundation, Everest University Online, and the Tampa Metropolitan YMCA to enhance the high-tech resources available to students in the community. The Center is open to all area students, is equipped with computers furnished by Everett University, Internet access and other resources, and has on-site instructors from the Florida Virtual School.
Volunteer USA Offers Free Financial Literacy Course
A free program that helps parents and students understand the importance of household budgeting and saving skills while boosting math skills is now available from the Volunteer USA Foundation with support from the SunTrust Foundation. For a limited time, the “What’s on the Menu?” Financial Education for Families program is available for FREE to elementary schools in Florida. The program includes four free lesson plans for teachers to use in the classroom and a fun after-school workshop so families can experience how the fundamentals of math apply to things like calculating restaurant tips, opening checking and savings accounts, and how interest can help them save even more. To find out more and to register, visit http://www.ounce.org/whatsonmenu/ or contact Teecy Matthews with Volunteer USA at Teecy.Matthews@volunteerusafund.org. Free lesson plans can be downloaded at http://www.volunteerusafoundation.org/vusa/What-We-Do/Training-for-Families-Teens/Financial-Education-for-Families-Program/What-s-On-The-Menu-Financial-Education.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers Seeking Student Ambassadors
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are recruiting enthusiastic, motivated students to be part of the 2011-12 Buccaneers Student Ambassadors program (formerly Student Advisory Board). Ambassadors serve as liaisons between the team and their schools by attending monthly meetings, participating in community service projects, and supporting the Buccaneers at all home football games. Students entering their sophomore, junior or senior year of high school in West Central Florida can apply by visiting the “Community” section at http://www.Buccaneers.com by Friday, June 10, 2011. For more information, call (813) 870-2700, ext. 2274.
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