News Slices:
Top Performing Districts and Schools Recognized
Department of Education Launches YouTube Channel
Latest Literacy League Podcast Now on YouTube
New Education 360 Videos Posted on YouTube
Florida Virtual School To Host Virtual Open House
Agriculture in the Classroom Teacher Grants Available
Model Content Frameworks Available for Public Comment

Seeds of Success:
Hillsborough Orchestra Sets World Record
National Science Foundation Center of Excellence Receives Best Practice Award
Orange County Educator Earns National Award

Branching Out:
Florida Virtual School's 2011 Open House
Florida Reading Association Annual Conference
Florida Association for Staff Development Leadership Conference
Florida Distance Learning Association Annual Conference
National Career Pathways Network Annual Conference

 


August 5, 2011

Vol. 5, Issue 16


News Slices


Top Performing Districts and Schools Recognized
The Florida Department of Education recently recognized the state's highest performing school districts for either maintaining or improving their district grade to an "A" or having all "A" or "B" graded schools in 2011. Thirteen school districts have earned an "A" grade since the inception of district grades in 2004, and 21 districts this year have no schools graded lower than a "C." In addition, 12 school districts had schools that dramatically improved their grades, moving up to an "A" from either a "D" or "F" grade last year. For more information and to view these districts and schools, visit http://www.fldoe.org/news/2011/2011_07_28.asp.



Department of Education Launches YouTube Channel
A new education-centered YouTube channel focused on providing a variety of informative videos is now available. The Florida Department of Education launched the new channel to help teachers, parents, students, and other education stakeholders enhance their connection to, and understanding of, Florida's education system. The channel joins the Department's other social media presence that includes Facebook, Twitter and education blogs for specific audiences. To visit these sites or to learn more about the Department's social media presence, go to www.fldoe.org.



Latest Literacy League Podcast Now on YouTube
Florida resident and author M.C. Finotti answers student questions about her book The Treasure of Amelia Island, in the latest podcast from the Florida Department of Education's Literacy League book club. The podcast features students asking questions about the popular book inspired by one of Florida's well-liked destinations along the state's East Coast. Throughout the year, the Literacy League book club connects prominent authors with Florida middle school students through a podcast question-and-answer session about a featured book. Upcoming book selections include Zora and Me by Victoria Bond, with questions due from students by Oct. 31, and The Spy Who Came from the Sea by Peggy Nolan, with questions due from students by Jan. 30, 2012. To view the podcast, visit the Department's new YouTube channel at http://www.youtube.com/user/educationfl. For more information about the Literacy League book club, visit www.fldoe.org/literacyleague.



New Education 360 Videos Posted on YouTube
As a way to communicate important changes to Florida's education system, the Florida Department of Education (DOE) has added new episodes of the Education 360 video series to its recently launched YouTube channel. The episodes, hosted by DOE Teacher Liaison Kelly Seay, feature short, straightforward discussions with independent stakeholders including teachers, principals and school district leaders who are directly involved with the education reform process. Major topics focus on new guidelines being developed to train future school leaders, fairly and accurately measuring student learning growth, and creating common materials that districts can use to gauge student knowledge in hard-to-measure subject areas. To view the new episodes, visit www.youtube.com/educationfl and click on the "Educators" playlist.



Florida Virtual School To Host Virtual Open House
Registration is now open for participants to learn about the benefits of virtual education at the Momentum 2011 Virtual Open House sponsored by the Florida Virtual School (FLVS). Participants will step into a virtual world featuring exciting technology, avatars, presentations and information sessions by FLVS teachers, counselors and students - all from the comfort of their own home. The open house is available at no cost to all interested individuals. To find out more about the Momentum 2011 Virtual Open House or to register, visit www.FLVS.net.



Agriculture in the Classroom Teacher Grants Available
Certified Florida K-12 teachers wishing to integrate agricultural concepts into non-agricultural curricula have until Oct. 1, 2011, to apply for a Florida Agriculture in the Classroom, Inc. Teacher Grant. The program funds classroom projects that teach Florida students about the importance of agriculture and introduce them to agricultural producers and representatives in their area. For more information and to download an application packet, visit http://www.flagintheclassroom.com/grants.html.



Model Content Frameworks Available for Public Comment
The Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) has provided a draft of the PARCC Model Content Frameworks in English Language Arts/Literacy and Mathematics for public review and feedback. These frameworks have been developed through a collaborative state-led process between PARCC state experts and members of the Common Core State Standards writing teams. The Model Content Frameworks serve several purposes: They help identify the big ideas in the Common Core State Standards for each grade level; help determine the focus for the various PARCC assessment components; and will support the development of the PARCC assessment blueprints.

While educators and experts from many states have helped bring the Model Content Frameworks to this point, the public review period (August 3 - August 17) is an opportunity for all education stakeholders to provide feedback on the frameworks, including the introductions and the grade level analyses, which contain suggested areas of emphasis and priority. By following this link, http://www.parcconline.org/parcc-content-frameworks, users will be able to review the draft Model Content Frameworks and provide feedback through an online survey.




Seeds of Success


Hillsborough Orchestra Sets World Record
A combined student-alumni orchestra played for a Guinness World Record on May 11, 2011, at Williams Middle Magnet School in Hillsborough County. Led by music teacher Robert Halczyn, the 858-member orchestra played Johann Pachelbel's Canon in D in an attempt to set a world record for the largest performance by a string orchestral ensemble. The performance has since been confirmed by Guinness. Congratulations!



National Science Foundation Center of Excellence Receives Best Practice Award
Florida Advanced Technological Education (FLATE), the National Science Foundation Regional Center of Excellence in Manufacturing at Hillsborough Community College in Bradenton, was recently recognized by STEMflorida, Inc., for their outreach efforts to launch a national STEM-focused credential system that meets the educational and workforce needs of local manufacturers. The "Best Practice Award for Excellence Integrating Needs of STEM-Enabled Programs into Engaging Curriculum and Educational Outreach Programs" was presented at the STEMflorida Think Tank on June 24, 2011.



Orange County Educator Earns National Award
Deborah Wasylik, a biology teacher at Dr. Phillips High School in Orange County, was honored with the Life Sciences Educator Award from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in partnership with the Christopher Columbus Fellowship Foundation and Caliper Life Sciences, Inc. Ms. Wasylik is one of only three secondary teachers chosen across the country for excellence in the field of life sciences, and received a $10,000 cash award.


Branching Out


Florida Virtual School's 2011 Open House
August 24 - 25, 2011

Save the date for the Florida Virtual School's (FLVS) Momentum 2011 Virtual Open House. Learn about the benefits of virtual education from current students and families, find out about the variety of clubs and activities, and get answers to all your questions about the Florida Virtual School. For more information about the open house or to register, visit www.FLVS.net.



Florida Reading Association Annual Conference
Sept. 8 - 11, 2011
Shingle Creek Resort
Orlando, Fla.

The Florida Reading Association Conference on Sept. 8 - 11, 2011, is an opportunity for educators to build potential partnerships that help expand their educational and professional network. In addition, the conference features pre-conference institutes as well as a host of speakers and authors. Registration is now open at http://www.flreads.org/.



Florida Association for Staff Development Leadership Conference
Sept. 19 - 21, 2011
Tradewinds Resort
St. Petersburg Beach, Fla.

The Florida Association for Staff Development (FASD) Leadership Conference will provide attendees with a full-day general session with nationally-known speaker Marcia Tate, and a variety of break-out sessions on current topics in education. For more information or to register, visit www.fasdonline.org.



Florida Distance Learning Association Annual Conference
Sept. 23 - 24, 2011
Nova 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 distance education in the state and nation. For more information or to register, visit www.fdla.com or contact Conference Program Coordinator Tara Kobel at tleconsultants@aol.com.



National Career Pathways Network Annual Conference
Oct. 12 - 14, 2011
Orlando Marriott World Center
Orlando, Fla.

The National Career Pathways Network conference provides opportunities for administrators, teachers, counselors and business partners to learn and network with the goal of creating and sustaining partnerships to reduce dropouts, increase transitions to college, and create high-wage, high-tech careers. For more information about the conference, visit https://www.ncpn.info/2011-ncpn-conf.php.


 
 
 
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