News Slices:
Hispanic Heritage Month Recommended Reading List
More Florida Students Taking College Entrance Exam
Valencia and Miami-Dade Colleges Named as Finalists for The Aspen Prize
First Lady's Art Contest
Florida Agriculture in the Classroom Mini-Grants Available
Bonnie Plants 3rd Grade Cabbage Program
Mentors Needed for Florida Disability Mentoring Day
Statewide Online Tobacco Prevention and Intervention Teacher Training Project
Elementary Schools Encouraged to Sign Up For Free Program on Math and Money Skills
Deadline Soon For Hispanic Heritage Month Student and Educator Contests

Seeds of Success:
Pensacola State College Named a Military-Friendly School
Miami-Dade College Awarded Energy Grant
Florida Virtual School Selected for Pilot Initiative
Chipola College Automotive Program Earns National Accreditation
Hillsborough County Principal Named American Heart Association's Principal of the Year

Branching Out:
Florida Distance Learning Association Annual Conference
National Career Pathways Network Annual Conference
Florida Council of Teachers of English Annual Conference and Professional Development Institute
Florida Foreign Language Association 42nd Annual Conference
National Association of Charter School Authorizers Annual Leadership Conference
Florida Dance Education Organization Annual Conference
Florida Association of School Psychologists Annual Conference
Florida School Counselor Association 2011 Convention
Florida Art Education Association 59th Annual Conference
2011 Learn Green: A Green Schools Conference and Expo

 


September 16, 2011

Vol. 5, Issue 19


News Slices


Hispanic Heritage Month Recommended Reading List
As part of the Hispanic Heritage Month celebration, students across Florida are encouraged to learn more about Hispanic culture by choosing to read a book from the Just Read, Florida! Recommended Reading List. This year's literary selections honor the rich legacy and many contributions Hispanic Americans have made to Florida's unique culture and way of life. The Just Read, Florida! Hispanic Heritage Month Recommended Reading List provides a wide variety of suggested books by grade level and includes selections for adult readers. To view this year's suggested reading list, visit www.justreadflorida.com.





More Florida Students Taking College Entrance Exam
More Florida public school students than ever before took the SAT exam last year according to data released by The College Board on Sept. 14, 2011. An increase of nearly 12,000 students over the previous year highlights the dedicated work of districts to introduce students to the rigors of college-level coursework. Florida also has the most diverse group of SAT test-takers in the nation, with more than half of all public school students taking the test indicating they are a minority and 31 percent reporting that English is not their first language.

Education Commissioner Gerard Robinson had this to say about this year's SAT results, "As the state moves forward with ensuring students have the knowledge and skills they need to be successful at the next level, some temporary decreases in overall performance may occur as more students become accustomed to higher standards and increased rigor. This is the case with Florida's average SAT scores this year, which declined significantly in all three tested subject areas. Although performance decreases are never welcome, the transition to higher standards is critical if students are to graduate from high school prepared for success in postsecondary education or a career."





Valencia and Miami-Dade Colleges Named as Finalists for The Aspen Prize
The Aspen Institute has named Miami-Dade College and Valencia College as two of the 10 finalists for the prestigious Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence. Schools were selected based on solid academic performance and workforce outcomes. Following a rigorous review process, the winner and three runners-up will be announced in December and will share the $1 million prize fund.



First Lady's Art Contest
Students in grades K-8 are invited to submit colorful, original works of art that depict healthy Florida lifestyles for First Lady Ann Scott's Florida, Fun & Sun Student Art Contest. A wide range of images depicting favorite Florida places, outdoor activities, foods and state symbols, as well as families having fun together can serve as inspiration for student artwork. Selected artwork may be featured in a variety of First Lady projects, including her upcoming Love. Read. Learn! Florida Baby Journal that will promote the importance of families reading, learning and enjoying a healthy lifestyle together. Once completed, the Baby Journal will be provided at no cost to parents of newborns at Florida hospitals and birthing centers. The grand prize winner will receive a personal visit by First Lady Ann Scott to their school. Entries must be postmarked by Oct. 11, 2011. For complete contest information, including guidelines and parental consent form, visit http://www.volunteerusafoundation.org/. If you have questions, contact Elizabeth Hirst with the Volunteer USA Foundation at elizabeth.hirst@folunteerusafund.org or (850) 562-5300.



Florida Agriculture in the Classroom Mini-Grants Available
A new grant program designed to help Florida students learn about the importance of agriculture is now available. All Florida certified general education and agri-science educators who teach students in kindergarten through grade 12 and wish to create fruit and vegetable gardens to enhance students' understanding of agriculture are eligible to apply for the Florida Agriculture in the Classroom School Garden Mini Grant. More than 200 of the $500 mini-grants will be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis until the funds are depleted. Those who receive funding will also receive a copy of Gardening for Grades, a new book for teachers to help them get the most out of their school gardens, including tips on securing funding, planting Florida fruits and vegetables, and using the garden to teach more than a dozen lesson plans and activities in math, science, nutrition, language arts and social studies. For more information or to submit a proposal, visit the Florida Agriculture in the Classroom website at http://www.flagintheclassroom.com/gfgminigrant.html. If you have any questions about the application process, please contact Florida Agriculture in the Classroom directly at (352) 846-1391 or faitc@ifas.ufl.edu.



Bonnie Plants 3rd Grade Cabbage Program
Teachers have until Feb. 1, 2012, to enter their class for the Bonnie Plants 3rd Grade Cabbage Program. Through this program students will learn about gardening and the value of growing food by planting free cabbage plants provided by Bonnie Plants. Also available are lesson plans on measurement using the metric system, analyzing and interpreting data, and plotting data to compare and contrast. Florida teachers are encouraged to register early for plants to be delivered in the fall. Visit http://bonniecabbageprogram.com for more information. If you have questions about the program, contact Jamie Culpepper with Bonnie Plants at (334) 738-3104 or jamie.culpepper@bonnieplants.com.



Mentors Needed for Florida Disability Mentoring Day
If you are interested in mentoring students with disabilities, then Florida Disability Mentoring Day on Oct. 19, 2011, is for you. This unique, one-day job-shadowing opportunity gives students with disabilities the chance to learn hands-on skills, observe day-to-day responsibilities, and get a better understanding of the workplace environment. Mentors also introduce the students to the business world while sharing their experiences and advice. If you are interested in becoming a mentor, contact your local liaison through The Able Trust at (850) 224-4493 or visit www.floridadmd.org. Mentor forms must be submitted by Sept. 30, 2011.


Statewide Online Tobacco Prevention and Intervention Teacher Training Project
In the continued effort to reduce and prevent tobacco use among school-aged children, the Florida Department of Education (DOE) and the School District of Palm Beach County are partnering to again provide a statewide online tobacco prevention education course. The course is provided at no cost for all public K-12 educators and guidance staff, which includes 24-hour access seven days a week. Participants learn effective teaching strategies and integrated approaches to delivering tobacco prevention education in science, social studies, language arts, mathematics, health and physical education, and lesson plans are included for teaching six tobacco prevention lessons to students. School districts may award participants who complete the course up to 60 inservice points toward educator recertification. For more information, visit www.tobaccopreventiontraining.org. If you have questions, contact Lee Keller with the School District of Palm Beach County at (561) 366-6953 or lee.keller@palmbeachschools.org. Registration continues through May 11, 2012.


Elementary Schools Encouraged to Sign Up For Free Program on Math and Money Skills
What's on the Menu? Financial Education for Families, Volunteer USA Foundation's free program to teach elementary students how math and money go hand-in-hand is back. The restaurant-themed program targets families as well as students in grades three through five. The program also uses fundamental math skills to teach the basics of banking, budgeting and saving, and fun family-friendly games to practice skills at home. In addition, free teaching materials, including lesson plans, classroom posters, worksheets and more, are available for educators 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. The deadline to sign up for a skilled trainer to provide the workshop at your school is Sept. 30, 2011. To sign up your school or get more information, contact Teecy Matthews with the Volunteer USA Foundation at teecy.matthews@volunteerusafund.org.


Deadline Soon For Hispanic Heritage Month Student and Educator Contests
There is still time to submit artwork, essays and teacher nominations for the Hispanic Heritage Month Student and Educator Contests. Florida students in kindergarten through grade 12 are invited to participate in student contests centered on the theme, "Celebrating Hispanic Leaders in Business - Past, Present and Future." Students, parents, teachers and principals are also invited to nominate full-time Hispanic educators in elementary, middle and high schools for the Hispanic Heritage Month Excellence in Education Award. All contest entries and nomination forms must be postmarked by 5:00 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time, Sept. 23, 2011.

Student Contests

  • Art Contest for Grades K-3
  • Two winners will be selected from entries submitted by students in grades K-3.

  • Essay Contest for Grades 4-12
  • Three winners will be selected - one from elementary (grades 4 and 5), one from middle (grades 6-8), and one from high school (grades 9-12). Winners will receive a four-year Florida College Plan scholarship provided by the Florida Prepaid College Foundation.

Excellence in Education Award
Students, parents, teachers and principals can nominate any Hispanic full-time educators at an elementary, middle or high school in Florida for the Excellence in Education Award. Three winners will be selected - one each from each level - and will receive a check for $1,500.

For full information about the Hispanic Heritage Month student and teacher contests, including complete guidelines and entry forms, please visit www.FloridaHispanicHeritage.com.




Seeds of Success


Pensacola State College Named a Military-Friendly School
Pensacola State College has been named a 2012 Military Friendly School by G.I. Jobs Magazine, placing them in the top 20 percent of all U.S. colleges, universities and trade schools doing the most to embrace the nation's veterans as students. The college was recognized for its programs, policies and financial commitment to recruiting and retaining military and veteran students.



Miami-Dade College Awarded Energy Grant
The School of Engineering and Technology at Miami-Dade College has been awarded a $3 million grant by the U.S. Dept. of Energy, joining top institutions around the country. The grant will be used to attract high quality undergraduate students into nuclear science and engineering programs by offering fellowships and scholarships. Graduates will help fill the ongoing need for personnel equipped to develop and maintain the nation's nuclear power technology.



Florida Virtual School Selected for Pilot Initiative
The Florida Virtual School is one of 10 schools nationwide, and the only virtual school, to be named part of a grant to create standards for a smooth integration of Ko's Journey, a learning game, into an online curriculum. The grant, funded by Next Generation Learning Challenges, will support enhancements and improve the transfer of learning from the game environment to the classroom.



Chipola College Automotive Program Earns National Accreditation
The automotive training program at Chipola College has earned national accreditation from the National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation (NATEF) and the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE). The program underwent a rigorous evaluation by NATEF using nationally accepted standards of excellence. As a result of the evaluation, NATEF recommended accreditation by ASE, which tests and certifies repair technicians in addition to accrediting automotive training programs.



Hillsborough County Principal Named American Heart Association's Principal of the Year
Karen Bass, principal of Mary E. Bryant Elementary School in Hillsborough County, has been named the American Heart Association's (AHA) Principal of the Year. Mrs. Bass was recognized for her unwavering support of the AHA's Jump Rope for Heart program at the school. Since the school opened in the 2003-2004 school year, students have raised $196,166. Mrs. Bass was selected from among the principals at 40,000 schools nationally that participate in the AHA's Jump Rope for Heart or Hoops for Heart programs.


Branching Out


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.



Florida Council of Teachers of English Annual Conference and Professional Development Institute
Oct. 13 - 15, 2011
Renaissance Orlando Hotel Airport
Orlando, Fla.

English teachers are invited to attend the Florida Council of Teachers of English Annual Conference and Professional Development Institute Oct. 13 -15, 2011, in Orlando, Fla. The conference is packed with authors and educators who will engage participants in sessions designed to inspire and motivate. For more information about the conference, visit http://www.fcte.org/.



Florida Foreign Language Association 42nd Annual Conference
Oct. 13 - 15, 2011
Oct. 13 - 15, 2011
Cape Canaveral, Fla.

The Florida Foreign Language Association Annual Conference will bring together educators, administrators, legislators and business leaders from throughout the state for collaborative professional development and panel discussions that highlight the importance of language and intercultural knowledge in a global society. For more information, visit http://www.ffla.us/index.php?page_id=29.



National Association of Charter School Authorizers Annual Leadership Conference
Oct. 24 - 27, 2011
Omni Amelia Island Plantation Resort
Amelia Island, Fla.

The National Association of Charter School Authorizers will hold its annual Leadership Conference Oct. 24 - 27, 2011, in Amelia Island, Fla. The conference offers a mix of professional development and unique networking opportunities for all charter school authorizers. For more information and to view a video about the upcoming conference, visit http://www.qualitycharters.org/events/2011-annual-leadership-conference.



Florida Dance Education Organization Annual Conference
Oct. 27 - 29, 2011
New World School of the Arts
Miami, Fla.

The Florida Dance Education Organization will hold its 10th Annual Conference Oct. 27 - 29, 2011, in Miami with the theme "Dance Education: Legacy and Literacy." Florida-based dance authors, the American Dance Legacy Institute and other dance educators, administrators, and teaching artists will present aspects of dance literacy and legacy. In addition, Bill Evans, internationally renowned choreographer, performer, teacher, author and movement analyst is the keynote presenter. For more information, visit http://www.fdeo.org.



Florida Association of School Psychologists Annual Conference
Nov. 1 - 5, 2011
Omni Orlando Resort at ChampionsGate
ChampionsGate, Fla.

Join with school professionals from around the state at the Florida Association of School Psychologists Annual Conference Nov. 1 - 5, 2011, in ChampionsGate, Fla. The conference features multiple sessions on current topics of professional interest including autism, bullying, prevention and intervention, working with memory deficits and more. Also, keynote addresses will be delivered by Department of Education Chief of the Bureau of Exceptional Education and Student Services and President of the National Association of State Directors of Special Education Bambi Lockman, LL.D., and President, National Association of School Psychologists Phil Lazarus, Ph.D. For more information or to register, visit http://www.fasp.org/Conferences/Annual_Conference.html.



Florida School Counselor Association 2011 Convention
Florida School Counselor Association 2011 Convention
Hyatt Regency Pier 66
Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.

The Florida School Counselor Association will host the most focused program in school counseling in Florida at the 2011 Convention Nov. 3 - 5, 2011, in Ft. Lauderdale. The most relevant and up-to-the minute topics will be explored by leading industry advocates, state officials, counselor educators and professional school counselors. For more information, visit http://www.fla-schoolcounselor.org/convention2011/.



Florida Art Education Association 59th Annual Conference
Nov. 3 - 6, 2011
Hilton St. Petersburg Bayfront
St. Petersburg, Fla.

Art educators are invited to attend the Florida Art Education Association's 59th Annual Conference in St. Petersburg, Fla., Nov. 3 - 6, 2011. There's something for everyone, from a wide variety of half- and full-day studios and the Member Artist Bazaar to keynote speeches by Dr. Craig Roland and Ken Veith. For more information about the conference, visit http://www.faea.org/.



2011 Learn Green: A Green Schools Conference and Expo
Nov. 11, 2011
Alexander W. Dreyfoos School of the Arts
West Palm Beach, Fla.

Teachers, administrators, students, community members and anyone interested in learning how to make schools "greener" are invited to attend the 2011 Learn Green: A Green Schools Conference and Expo on Nov. 11, 2011, at the Alexander W. Dreyfoos School of the Arts in West Palm Beach, Fla. Sponsored by the Pine Jog Environmental Education Center at Florida Atlantic University and the School District of Palm Beach County, the exciting one-day conference provides a forum to share innovative and effective "green school" practices, facilitate professional development and encourage cooperative initiatives through a variety of sessions and exhibits. For more information visit www.ourgreenschools.com/learngreenconference or contact Natalia Arenas with Palm Beach County Schools at (561) 357-7662 or arenasm@palmbeach.k12.fl.us.



 
 
 
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