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:
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:
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 firstname.lastname@example.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.
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