News Slices:
Florida's Graduation Rate Reaches New Heights
Student Astronaut Challenge
National Missing Children's Day Poster Contest
Time Running Out to Submit an Entry for the KidCare Act Out for Health Contest
Severe Weather Awareness Week Contests
Congress-Bundestag Vocational Exchange Scholarship
National STEM Video Game Challenge

Seeds of Success:
Valencia College Awarded with Aspen Prize; Miami-Dade College Noted as Finalist with Distinction
Seminole State College Gets $2 Million Donation
Polk County Named College Board 2011 Advanced Placement® District of the Year
Miami-Dade Superintendent Named Florida Art Education Association 2011 Superintendent of the Year
Hillsborough Middle School Named Exemplary Art School
Florida Educators Receive Engineering and Technology Manufacturing Awards

Branching Out:
Transitions 2012: High School to Higher Education

 


December 16, 2011

Vol. 5, Issue 26


News Slices


Florida's Graduation Rate Reaches New Heights
The Sunshine State's graduation rate is at the highest level ever, continuing an upward trend despite a challenging budget year. Overall, Florida's graduation rate rose more than one full percentage point to 80.1 percent, up from 79.0 percent last year and up nearly 10 percentage points since 2006-07. Hispanic and African-American students also continue to graduate at higher levels, with the Hispanic graduation rate at 77.3 percent, up two percentage points from last year and up 13 percentage points since 2006-07. African-American students remained steady from 2009-10 with a graduation rate of 68.4 percent, and up 11.5 percentage points since 2006-07.

Florida's dropout rate continues to decline for the sixth straight year to 1.9 percent, a drop of 0.1 percentage points. For the first time the rate has fallen below two percent, which also represents a decline of 1.7 percent since 2006-07. For more information on Florida's graduation and dropout rates, visit http://www.fldoe.org/eias/eiaspubs/pubstudent.asp.




Student Astronaut Challenge
The Florida Department of Education is proud to announce its first-ever Student Astronaut Challenge, a unique opportunity that offers high school students a chance to compete in aerospace science and be involved with a team that demonstrates knowledge and understanding in the field, problem solving and performance within a flight simulator. Eight five-person teams will be selected to compete from applications received by Jan. 27, 2012. Applications must include a scientific proposal for a zero-gravity experiment that will be conducted if that team is chosen. Selected teams will compete at the Challenger Learning Center in Tallahassee on May 19, 2012. Visit http://www.fldoe.org/JustForTeachers/ for official rules and an application form.



National Missing Children's Day Poster Contest
Fifth grade students throughout Florida are invited to submit an entry for the Missing Children's Day Poster Contest. Using the theme, "Bring Our Missing Children Home," students should design and draw a poster that reflects the theme and complete an application describing the importance of the theme. Each school can submit a poster for each 5th grade class that participates and the statewide winner will be chosen for entry into the national competition. The statewide winner will receive an all-expense-paid trip to Tallahassee for Florida Missing Children's Day in September 2012.

A complete packet of information can be found at: http://mecptraining.org/poster-contest/. If you have any questions or need additional information about this national contest, please send an email to mepic@fdle.state.fl.us or mc.day@fvtc.edu. Schools will need to submit their poster(s) to the Missing Endangered Persons Information Clearinghouse (MEPIC) by Jan. 31, 2012, for state-level judging to Jessica Davenport with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, Missing Endangered Persons Information Clearinghouse, 2331 Phillips Road, Tallahassee, FL 32308.




Time Running Out to Submit an Entry for the KidCare Act Out for Health Contest
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.



Severe Weather Awareness Week Contests
The Florida Division of Emergency Management and the American Red Cross have teamed up to sponsor Florida Severe Weather Awareness Week Jan. 30 - Feb. 3, 2012. The campaign includes poster and video public service announcement contests. Fourth and fifth grade students are eligible to compete in the Severe Weather Awareness Week Poster Contest and should submit a poster that relates to the theme and illustrates an example of natural hazards that affect Florida. The 30-second public service announcement contest is open to students aged 11-18 (grades 6-8 and 9-12), and must incorporate a safety or preparedness message about Boating Safety, Extreme Temperatures or Rip Currents, and include corrective actions or safety messages. The deadline to submit an entry is Jan. 9, 2012. Visit http://www.floridadisaster.org/swaw/ for complete contest details and requirements.



Congress-Bundestag Vocational Exchange Scholarship
The Congress-Bundestag Vocational Exchange Scholarship provides 25 graduating high school seniors the opportunity to spend one year in Germany exploring their career interests. Each high school may nominate up to three students who possess the maturity and commitment necessary to be successful in an international exchange program. Applications are available at http://www.fldoe.org/workforce/programs/cp_bundestag.asp and must be submitted by Jan. 31, 2012.



National STEM Video Game Challenge
The 2012 National STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) Video Challenge is a new initiative in partnership with President Obama's Educate to Innovate Campaign, the U.S. Dept. of Education and Digital Promise, and is designed to unlock breakthrough technologies to transform teaching and learning. The Challenge is a multi-year competition with the goal to motivate interest in STEM learning among America's youth by tapping into students' natural passion for playing and making video games. The contest is open to students and game designers in four levels: middle school, high school, college and graduate students, and educators. Entrants have until March 12, 2012, to submit their games and ideas. For complete details, visit http://stemchallenge.org/Default.aspx.


Seeds of Success


Valencia College Awarded with Aspen Prize; Miami-Dade College Noted as Finalist with Distinction
The first-ever Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence was awarded to Valencia College by the Aspen Institute on Dec. 12, 2011, in Washington, D.C. As the winner, Valencia received a $600,000 prize in recognition of its high completion rates, employment of graduates, commitment to low-income and minority students, and the best record of transfers to four-year schools than any other college in the nation. Miami-Dade College was among four colleges named as a finalist with distinction and was awarded a $100,000 prize. Congratulations!



Seminole State College Gets $2 Million Donation
Seminole State College of Florida has received $2 million from the Wayne M. Densch Charities to establish a scholarship program for first-generation college students. The Wayne Densch Scholarship will provide not only scholarships, but support programs for students who are the first in their family to attend college. The college expects to implement the scholarship in Fall 2012.


Polk County Named College Board 2011 Advanced Placement® District of the Year
Polk County Schools were honored by the College Board on Dec. 12 and 13, 2011, as the 2011 Advanced Placement® (AP) Equity and Excellence District of the Year. They were recognized during the two-day AP summit for being the nation's leader among large school districts in simultaneously expanding access to AP courses and improving AP exam performance. Polk had the added distinction of achieving the largest increase of any school district in the country in the number of traditionally underrepresented minority students earning a score of 3 or better on at least one AP exam.



Miami-Dade Superintendent Named Florida Art Education Association 2011 Superintendent of the Year
The Florida Art Education Association (FAEA) has named Miami-Dade County School Superintendent Alberto Carvalho as the 2011 Superintendent of the Year for his support of art education programs in public schools. The award was presented at an FAEA awards ceremony in November 2011. Also honored were three additional Miami-Dade educators: Norland Middle School Principal Eugene Butler, Jr., was named the 2011 FAEA Principal/Administrator of the Year, Dr. Carlos J. Finlay Elementary School art teacher and lead museum educator Linda Mangual was selected for the 2011 FAEA Distinguished Service Award, and 32-year veteran art educator Linda Stern from Jose Marti Middle School was named the 2011 FAEA Outstanding Middle Level Art Educator of the Year.



Hillsborough Middle School Named Exemplary Art School
Orange Grove Middle School in Hillsborough County has been designated as a 2011 Exemplary School by the Arts Schools Network, the nation's largest professional membership organization of specialized arts schools. Orange Grove was recognized for its commitment to excellence through the Network's Principles of Exemplary Practice in strategically evaluating its purpose, operations and educational programs.



Florida Educators Receive Engineering and Technology Manufacturing Awards
The Florida Advanced Technological Education Center (FLATE) recently recognized secondary and postsecondary Florida educators for their outstanding achievement, contribution and impact on Florida's manufacturing community. Greg McGrew, an engineering technology instructor at Lakewood Ranch High School in Manatee County was named the Manufacturing Secondary Educator of the Year and Robert Deckon, formerly director of engineering technology at Florida Gateway College and currently manager for operational excellence at Saddle Creek Corporation in Jacksonville, Fla. as the Manufacturing Postsecondary Educator of the Year. In addition, Mark Snyder, vice president of global operations and supply chain at ConMed Linvagtec received the Industry Distinguished Service award. Snyder formerly served on St. Petersburg College's Engineering Technology Advisory Committee and on FLATE's Executive Committee at Hillsborough Community College, St. Petersburg College and the University of South Florida. Through a partnership between St. Petersburg College, the College of Engineering at the University of South Florida and Hillsborough Community College, FLATE is a National Science Foundation Regional Center for Advanced Technological Education and is located on the Brandon Campus of Hillsborough Community College. For more information, visit http://www.fl-ate.org/.


Branching Out


Transitions 2012: High School to Higher Education
January 27, 2012
Lynn University
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.


 
 
 
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