News Slices:
School-Related Employee of the Year Named
Florida Colleges Chosen to Compete for Prestigious Aspen Prize
Virtual Career Fair Connects Students With STEM Experts
Students Win College Goal Sunday Scholarships
ID Cards for Children
Florida Green School Award Nominations Due
Robotics Summer Camps Offered for Middle and High School Students
Florida House of Representatives Offers Helpful Resources
District Data Leader Nominations Sought

Seeds of Success:
Hillsborough Middle School Wins World Robotics Championship
Polk County Student-Athlete is National Runner-Up in Sportsmanship Essay Contest
Seminole State Student Invited to Help NASA Develop Robotic Rovers

Branching Out:
National Physical Education and Sport Week
Florida Association for Staff Development Spring Forum
2011 Florida Literacy Conference
International Reading Association Convention
Engineering Technology Summer Institute
Florida Alliance for Arts Education Leadership Summit
National Agriculture in the Classroom Annual Conference
National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Seminar
Florida Association for Pupil Transportation Summer Symposium
Panhandle Area Educational Consortium/FloridaLearns Foundation 44th Annual Leadership Conference
Florida Distance Learning Association Annual Conference

 


April 29, 2011

Vol. 5, Issue 9


News Slices


School-Related Employee of the Year Named
Rachel Melson, a 21st Century Site Coordinator at Bond Elementary in Leon County is the School-Related Employee of the Year for 2011. Melson was selected from among four other finalists based on their unique ability to help their schools be successful while also providing outstanding service to the teachers and students they work alongside. As this year's winner, Melson will receive an award of $1,000 from the Florida Department of Education, and each finalist receives $475. Congratulations Rachel!

The finalists for the 2011 School-Related Employee of the Year are as follows:

  • April Stage, Instructional Paraprofessional from Staton-Weirsdale Elementary School in Marion County
  • Michelle Muniz, Home-School Liaison from J.D. Parker School of Science, Math & Technology in Martin County
  • Pamela Paone, Instructional Assistant from Hudson High School in Pasco County
  • Charles Derexson, Secretary/Bookkeeper from Ridgecrest Elementary School in Pinellas County

For more information about the School-Related Employee of the Year program, visit http://www.fldoe.org/profdev/yearemp.asp.



Florida Colleges Chosen to Compete for Prestigious Aspen Prize
The Florida College System leads the nation with 14 colleges eligible for the Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence. They will compete for a part of $1 million to reward excellence at two-year institutions that have outstanding academic and workforce outcomes. The selected colleges must demonstrate that students in their schools gained knowledge and skills, completed degree or certificate programs, and obtained jobs with competitive wages. Finalists will be named in Sept. 2011, with the final prize winner and up to three runners-up announced in December.

The Florida colleges eligible to compete for The Aspen Prize are:

  • Brevard Community College
  • Broward College
  • Central Florida Community College
  • Chipola College
  • Daytona State College
  • Lake City Community College
  • Lake-Sumter Community College
  • Miami-Dade College
  • Northwest Florida State College
  • Santa Fe College
  • St. Johns River Community College
  • South Florida Community College
  • Tallahassee Community College
  • Valencia Community College

More information on the Aspen Institute and a full list of the 120 community colleges eligible to apply is available at http://www.aspeninstitute.org/policy-work/aspen-prize.



Virtual Career Fair Connects Students With STEM Experts
Middle and high school students from across Florida learned what it takes to be tomorrow’s science researchers, technology gurus, math whizzes and engineers extraordinaire on April 27th during the second annual Science, Technology, Mathematics and Engineering (STEM) Virtual Career Fair hosted by the Florida Department of Education, the Florida Virtual School and Elluminate Technology. STEM experts, including transportation engineers, marine biologists and a nurse anesthetist were on hand to share the work they do within their respective industries and answer student questions about pursuing careers in these exciting fields of study. In case you missed it, the STEM Virtual Career Fair was recorded and is available for download at http://www.fldoe.org/students.



Students Win College Goal Sunday Scholarships
Eighty-two lucky high school seniors who participated in College Goal Sunday Florida and completed the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) during the event won more than $20,000 in scholarships sponsored by USA Funds. Each student who filled out the online application during the event was eligible to enter a $250 scholarship drawing. A completed FAFSA is required by the U.S. Department of Education and many higher education institutions to determine student eligibility for need-based financial aid. College Goal Sunday Florida is coordinated by Florida College Access Network in partnership with the National YMCA, Lumina Foundation for Education, and USA Funds.



ID Cards for Children
Did you know that children aged five and up are eligible to get a State of Florida Identification Card? The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles sponsors the Florida Licensing on Wheels - also known as the FLOWmobile - that will come to your school so parents can sign up for the ID cards. The cost is only $25 and parents must have their child's birth certificate and other important documents on hand. Visit http://flhsmv.gov/offices/FLOW.htm to request a FLOWmobile at your next school event. For information on the documents required to obtain an ID card, visit http://www.GatherGoGet.com.



Florida Green School Award Nominations Due
Public or private K-12 students, teachers, classrooms, schools and districts throughout Florida that are committed to green school efforts are encouraged to submit an application for the Green School Awards. The program recognizes the work of students, teachers and school administrators to enhance learning by implementing green school initiatives in Florida. Last year, applicants saved $5.2 million through their green school efforts, and the money saved can be used to support teachers or to purchase school supplies like books and computers. The application deadline is June 21, 2011, and packets will be reviewed over the summer by a select panel of judges convened by the Sustainable Florida Program of the Collins Center for Public Policy. Finalists will be invited to attend the formal awards ceremony as part of the "Learn Green" Green Schools Conference and Expo in Palm Beach in Nov. 2011, and the statewide winners will be announced. For more information about the Green School Awards, including an application, visit http://www.dep.state.fl.us/secretary/ed/schools/about.htm.



Robotics Summer Camps Offered for Middle and High School Students
The Florida Advanced Technological Education Center (FLATE), a National Science Foundation Regional Center of Excellence in advanced technological education, is offering several robotics camps for middle school students this summer, including the first ever "industrial boot camp" for high school students. The weeklong camps, each with its own theme, will be held at the Hillsborough Community College Brandon Campus. The first three camps, including a Just for Girls camp, are introductory level camps designed for middle school students and involve reconfiguring/programming Lego® Mindstorms® robots to follow specific commands. The fourth camp is an advanced level camp for middle-schoolers based on the successful completion of the Lego® Mindstorms® introductory camp, and the fifth camp for high school students will offer higher level challenges such as operating the HAS-200 automated production line, the ZeissCoordinate Measuring machine, the Labvote5-axis micro robotic arm, and team-based challenges creating original solutions for real world problems with Lego® Mindstorms® robots.

In a wider effort, FLATE has partnered with the College of Central Florida (formerly Central Florida Community College) and Florida Gateway College (formerly Lake City Community College) to offer similar camps in Lake City and Ocala. For more information, visit http://www.madeinflorida.org/camps-workshops or contact Dave Gula with FLATE at (813) 259-6581 or gula@fl-ate.org.



Florida House of Representatives Offers Helpful Resources
The Florida House of Representatives has updated its website with enhanced smart phone capabilities that allows access to helpful legislative resources such as Session and Committee schedules, bill tracking, House member searches and more. The site also includes instructions on how to save this resource to your smart phone.

The House is also offering for sale the Clerk's Manual, a guide to the 2010-2012 Florida Legislature, and The Guide to Florida Government. Visit http://www.myfloridahouse.gov/ for more information about these helpful resources.



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. 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.



Seeds of Success


Hillsborough Middle School Wins World Robotics Championship
The McLane Middle School robotics team, the Vibots, won the 2011 VEX Robotics World Championship Educate Award earlier this month at Disney's Wide World of Sports Complex in Orlando. More than 600 robotics teams from middle schools, high schools and colleges from around the world competed in a showdown of the best robotics and student skills. The Educate Award is given to the team that best engages students in STEM education through robotics. This is the second consecutive time the Hillsborough County school has won the award.



Polk County Student-Athlete is National Runner-Up in Sportsmanship Essay Contest
Kathryn Krebs, a student athlete at Polk County's George Jenkins High School, was named the runner-up in a national essay contest coordinated by USA Today and the Rhode Island-based Institute for International Sport. Kathryn's essay was selected from approximately 300 national submissions in the high school category and described how she established a club at her school that promotes sportsmanship, leadership and character among the school's athletes, and how she hopes to expand the club to a national level.



Seminole State Student Invited to Help NASA Develop Robotic Rovers
Brian Webb, a student in the Art & Phyllis Grindle Honors Institute at Seminole State College, will have the opportunity to join other science buffs as they design robotic mars rovers at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas, May 12 - 14, 2011. Webb is one of 80 students selected to take part in NASA's National Community College Aerospace Scholars program. He will participate as part of a team to form a fictitious company to pursue Mars exploration and develop and design a prototype rover.


Branching Out


National Physical Education and Sport Week
May 1 - 7, 2011

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. For more information, including how to register for a Let's Move in School event, visit http://www.aahperd.org/letsmoveinschool.

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.


Florida Association for Staff Development Spring Forum
May 2 - 3, 2011
Crowne Plaza Melbourne Oceanfront
Melbourne, Fla.

Education personnel are invited to attend the Florida Association for Staff Development Spring Forum May 2 - 3, 2011, in Melbourne, Fla. Attendees will have the opportunity to participate in a variety of learning experiences related to improved professional development that supports student achievement. For more information, visit http://www.fasdonline.org.



2011 Florida Literacy Conference
May 4 - 6, 2011
Orlando Marriott Lake Mary
Lake Mary, Fla.

Educators from across the state are invited to attend the 27th Annual Florida Literacy Conference May 4 - 6, 2011, hosted by the Florida Literacy Coalition. The conference includes more than 75 general and concurrent sessions, and features keynote speakers Pat Williams from the Orlando Magic and literacy pioneer and Presidential Medal of Honor recipient Ruth Colvin. For more information, visit http://www.floridaliteracy.org/floridaliteracyconference.html.



International Reading Association Convention
May 8 - 11, 2011
Orange County Convention Center
Orlando, Fla.

The International Reading Association will host its 2011 Convention in Orlando on May 8 - 11, 2011, with the theme "The Power of Literacy." The conference includes numerous workshops, symposia and concurrent sessions, and features former NFL coach Tony Dungy and actress Goldie Hawn. Conference participants who register by March 11, 2011, will automatically be entered to win two free roundtrip domestic airline tickets to Orlando for the conference. For complete conference details, including how to register for free airfare, visit http://www.iraconvention.org/.



Engineering Technology Summer Institute
June 15 - 17, 2011
St. Petersburg College, Clearwater Campus
Clearwater, Fla.

The Florida Advanced Technological Education Center (FLATE), a National Science Foundation Center of Excellence for high-tech manufacturing, is hosting an Engineering Technology Summer Institute for educators June 15 - 17, 2011, at the Clearwater Campus of St. Petersburg College. The two-day professional development opportunity will focus on additive manufacturing (3-D printing) and 3-D modeling and design, as well as sessions on student recruitment and retention. The Institute is open to all full-time faculty in secondary or postsecondary public institutions who teach engineering technology, engineering, or related courses in Florida. There is no charge for the Institute and a $250 stipend may be available to eligible participants. The deadline to submit an application is May 1, 2011. For more information, visit http://www.fl-ate.org or contact Dr. Marilyn Barger at barger@fl-ate.org or (813) 259-6578 or Brad Jenkins at jenkinsb@spcollege.edu.



Florida Alliance for Arts Education Leadership Summit
June 16 - 18, 2011
Sonesta Hotel
Orlando, Fla.

The Florida Alliance for Arts Education will host its annual Leadership Summit in Orlando on June 16 - 18, 2011, with the theme, "Arts Education is 21st Century Education." The summit features breakout sessions by and for educators, administrators and advocates, the Arts Achieve! Model Schools Recognition, the Digital Media Festival Exhibit and much more. For more information, visit http://www.faae.org or contact Susan Burke, Executive Director of FAAE, at (407) 488-9951 or susan@faae.org.



National Agriculture in the Classroom Annual Conference
June 22 - 25, 2011
Marriott Harbor Beach Resort
Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.

Language arts, math, nutrition, social studies and science teachers will benefit from the 2011 National Agriculture in the Classroom conference June 22 - 25, 2011, in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. Engaging interactive workshops and tours will showcase unique agricultural operations in South Florida and illustrate how educators can incorporate real-life agriculture applications into their lesson plans. Visit http://www.conference.ifas.ufl.edu/aitc/ for more information and conference registration.



National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Seminar
June 26 - July 29, 2011

Educators are invited to apply to attend the Summer Seminar offered by the National Endowment for the Humanities June 26 - July 29, 2011. During the five-week program, participants will study the economy of the North Sea region in northwestern Europe. The seminar will meet at the Institute for Historical Research at the University of London for the first week and at the Netherlands Institute for Advanced Studies in Wassenaar, The Netherlands, for the remaining four weeks. For an application and a full description of the seminar, visit http://www.umassd.edu/euro/neh_prosp_app.cfm.



Florida Association for Pupil Transportation Summer Symposium
June 28 - 29, 2011
Ocala Hilton
Ocala, Fla.

Student transportation professionals and others from across the state are invited to attend the 63rd Florida Association for Pupil Transportation Summer Symposium June 28 - 29, 2011, in Ocala. The symposium comprises two full days of general and concurrent sessions and includes workshops on bullying prevention, school bus stop selection and safety, serving charter schools effectively, and using benchmarking and key transportation performance indicators to measure and improve performance. For more information, visit http://www.faptflorida.org/FAPT%20Summer%20Symposium.htm.


Panhandle Area Educational Consortium/FloridaLearns Foundation 44th Annual Leadership Conference
July 13 - 14, 2011
Bay Point Marriott Resort
Panama City Beach, Fla

Educators from across the state are invited to the 2011 Panhandle Area Educational Consortium/FloridaLearns Foundation Leadership Conference July 13 - 14, 2011, in Panama City Beach, Fla. Participants will hear what education experts have to say, discover fresh approaches and find solutions to challenges facing schools and districts, connect with peers to discover best practices, and become motivated to begin another academic year with renewed enthusiasm. For more information, call (877) 873-7232 ext. 2260 or ext. 2320, or visit http://www.paec.org/leadershipconference/.


Florida Distance Learning Association Annual Conference
Sept. 23 - 24, 2011
FNova Southeastern University Orlando Campus
Orlando, Fla.

The Florida Distance Learning Association will host its annual conference at the Orlando campus of Nova Southeastern University Sept. 23 - 24, 2011, with the theme "Distance Learning: Best Practices and Beyond." The conference seeks to raise awareness of the best practices in distance learning, promote greater participation in dialogue and exchange, and strengthen district education in the state and nation. For more information or to register, visit http://www.fdla.com or contact Conference Program Coordinator Tara Kobel at tleconsultants@aol.com.


 
 
 
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