November 28, 2011
Vol. 5, Issue 24
$30 Million Fund Created to Grow High-Performing Charter Schools
The Florida-Charter School Growth Fund (CSGF) and the Florida Department of Education recently announced a $30 million fund to support the expansion of high-performing, high-quality charter schools in the state's highest need communities. By utilizing $20 million in Race to the Top funds and $10 million in private philanthropic funds, an expected 30 high-quality charter schools can grow to serve more students in neighborhoods of Florida's persistently lowest achieving schools. The CSGF will use a blind, rigorous and competitive examination process to determine the schools and organizations that will be funded through these investments. Particular emphasis will be placed on candidates with quality academic achievement, potential growth, and financial sustainability, with a focus on creating more high-quality charter schools in areas with a high concentration of low-achieving schools in both urban and rural Florida counties. For more information, visit http://www.chartergrowthfund.org.
Florida Charter Schools Continue to Flourish
According to a recent report by the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools highlighting the continuing growth of the charter school movement across the nation, Florida has two of the top 10 and eight of the top 50 school districts in the country for the number of charter school students in 2010-11. The report, titled A Growing Movement: America's Largest Charter School Communities," also indicates that Orange County Public Schools leads the nation with a 42 percent increase in the number of charter school students in 2010-11 from the prior year. For more information about charter schools in Florida, visit http://www.floridaschoolchoice.org/. To view the full report, visit http://www.publiccharters.org/data/files/Publication_docs/2011%20NAPCS%20Market%20Share%20Report_20111013T104601.pdf.
Florida Diploma Program Available for Veterans
Florida veterans of World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War who joined the military before completing high school can obtain their high school diploma through the Florida Veterans Diploma Program sponsored by the Florida Department of Education in partnership with the Florida Department of Veteran's Affairs. Veterans who were honorably discharged, are current residents of Florida, were inducted into military service prior to completing high school graduation requirements and meet additional criteria specific to each military action are eligible. For more information about the Florida Veteran Diploma Program, visit http://www.fldoe.org/workforce/veteran-diploma.asp. For assistance in navigating through the application process, interested veterans should contact Gayle Manley with the Dept. of Education at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling (850) 245-9057 or Ed Ortiz with the Florida Dept. of Veterans' Affairs at email@example.com or by calling (727) 319-7400.
Applications Sought for the Florida Student Education Policy Conference
Florida C.A.N. (College Access Network) is now accepting applications for college and university students interested in participating in the 4th Annual Florida Student Education Policy Conference Feb. 23-26, 2011, at the University of South Florida in Tampa. The conference provides Florida students with an opportunity to research, debate and develop ideas for improving the education system in Florida. All interested students currently attending a state college or university are encouraged to apply. The application deadline is Dec. 2, 2011. More information and the application are available at http://www.floridaeducationnetwork.org.
KidCare Act Out for Health Contest Accepting Entries
The annual KidCare Act-Out for Health Contest is still accepting student entries for television public service announcements, billboards and essays. Students in grades 4-12 are eligible to design a billboard, write an essay or create a 30-second commercial that promotes a healthy lifestyle. Lesson plans for teachers are also available. The deadline to submit an entry is Jan. 6, 2012. For more information, visit http://www.actoutforhealth.org.
St. Petersburg College President Named Citizen of the Year
St. Petersburg College President Dr. Bill Law has been named "Citizen of the Year' by the Eta Rho Chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. Dr. Law was honored for his outstanding efforts in the community and in the field of education. Of particular note is Dr. Law's work with Pinellas County Schools and Gibbs High School by offering full use of the college's resources such as support through a co-teaching model, classroom teaching theories and workshops on teaching strategies.
Palm Beach State College Wins Biotech Grant
The National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded a $200,000 grant to support the biotechnology program at Palm Beach State College. The grant, from the NSF Advanced Technological Education program, is designed to promote the education of technicians for high-technology biotech fields. The college will implement the grant proposal's multifaceted plan for improving enrollment, retention and graduation rates for its College Credit Certificate and Associated in Science degree programs in biotechnology, and expand opportunities for Associate in Arts transfer students in biotechnology fields.
Santa Fe College Awarded Bucks for Books Grant
The Division of Florida Colleges and The Florida College System Foundation have awarded $6,500 from USA Funds to Santa Fe College to support the Bucks for Books to Promote Pathways to Persistence program. The Bucks for Books scholarship funds will be used to supply books to 40 low-income, non-traditional GED (General Educational Development) completers who are seeking degrees at the community college level. The scholarship will also be used as "start-up" funds to establish a book loan program beyond the first cohort of students.
Miami-Dade College Awarded Grant From the Lumina Foundation
Miami-Dade College (MDC) has been named a recipient of a major grant from the Lumina Foundation to implement a Latino Student Success project aimed at increasing Latino college competition and the number of college graduates. Through the grant, MDC will expand its efforts to design and implement a pathway to Latino college completion through a partnership with Miami Dade County Public Schools and Florida four-year institutions.
Florida Virtual School Leader Receives Online Learning Award
President and Chief Executive Officer of the Florida Virtual School Julie Young has been honored with the Outstanding Individual Contribution to K-12 Online Learning Award by the International Association for K-12 Online Learning. The award was conferred for Young's insight and innovative approach to the advancement of K-12 online learning.
Music Educators Association Names Brevard Principal as Secondary Administrator of the Year
Robert E. Fish, principal of L.B. Johnson Middle School in Brevard County, has been named the 2012 Secondary Administrator of the Year by the Florida Music Educators Association. Fish was recognized for his support of the school's music department, with more than half the student body participating in band, chorus and orchestra. Principal Fish's support of the music program set the tone for flourishing student achievement and has allowed the school to maintain its status as a Florida Music Demonstration School since 2005.
Polk County School Receives Water Management Grant
Eagle Lake Elementary in Polk County was recently awarded a $3,000 Splash! mini-grant from the Southwest Florida Water Management District. The grant will allow the school to promote water conservation, water quality, watersheds, flood protection and natural systems through field trips, traveling exhibits and classroom resources such as books, science projects, puppets, games and videos.
Bay County Charter School Recognized for Work with Persons With Disabilities
Students from the Chautauqua Learn and Serve Charter School in Panama City earned a standing ovation recently during the Second International Conference for Youth Volunteerism in Barranquilla, Columbia, when it was announced that the school was selected by Peace Jam to work with a former Nobel Prize winner on their cause to advance the rights of people with disabilities. A delegation of students attended the conference to share ideas, network with other international volunteers, and celebrate volunteer movements in other parts of the world. Peace Jam brings young people together with Nobel Peace Laureates to tackle some of the most difficult issues facing the planet today.
Suwannee County Educator Honored with Leadership Award
Toni Greenberg, a Suwannee County School District Transition Specialist, was recently presented with the Leadership in Education Award at the Arc of Florida statewide conference. The award is given to an individual who has made significant contributions in the development of innovative programs and practices that result in positive educational outcomes for students with disabilities in Florida's public and private schools.
Dec. 2 - 4, 2011
Hilton Sandestin Beach Golf Resort & Spa
The Florida Center for Research in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (FCR-STEM) is hosting its second FCR-STEM Conference Dec. 2 - 4, 2011, in Destin, Fla. The conference is specially designed for K-12 educators who teach Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) subjects, and will feature dozens of speakers and more than 75 workshop sessions focusing on STEM and lesson study. Also scheduled are keynote addresses from prominent experts in education, including higher education and faculty researchers, practicing educators, working scientists and lesson study professionals. For more information on speakers, registration, accommodations and other details, visit http://www.lsi.fsu.edu/centers/fcrstem/conference/index.html.
Florida Virtual School WorldFest
Dec. 6 - 7, 2011
The Florida Virtual School (FLVS) is hosting a unique interactive virtual event that treks across the globe in an international showcase of art, music history, holidays fashion and more. In collaboration with Ayusa Global Youth Exchange, FLVS Global School students and FLVS student clubs will showcase how virtual learning eliminates boundaries in ways never before imagined. Join in anytime on Dec. 6 - 7, 2011, between 10:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. to hear inspiring speakers, meet your peers and find out about virtual learning around the globe. The event is free. To find out more or to register, visit http://www.flvs.net/areas/studentservices/worldfest/worldfest_2011.html.
Technical Assistance Meeting to Become a Supplemental Educational Services Provider
Dec. 9, 2011
The Florida Department of Education's Bureau of Federal Educational Programs will host the 2012-13 Request for Applications Technical Assistance Meeting Dec. 9, 2011, in Orlando. The meeting has been designed for potential applicants and current providers interested in becoming state-approved Supplemental Educational Services providers for the 2012-13 school year. For more information about the meeting or hotel accommodations, visit http://www.fldoe.org/flbpso/. If you have questions or need additional information, contact Samantha Love at (850) 245-9947 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Transitions 2012: High School to Higher Education
January 27, 2012
Boca Raton, Fla.
Join national experts to discuss tactics for helping students with learning differences transition from high school to higher education at the Transitions 2012 conference on Jan. 27, 2012. Renowned learning differences expert Rick Lavoie, Debbie Phelps, mother of Olympic gold medalist Michael Phelps, and Ellen Goosenberg Kent, producer of an HBO documentary on learning differences headline the day-long conference along with breakout sessions that include adaptive technology demonstrations and discussions about students with autism and other learning differences. For more information, visit http://www.lynn.edu/transitions. The conference is designed for guidance counselors, principals and administrators, special education teachers, parents and students.