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WEST PALM BEACH -Representatives from more than 150 colleges, universities, trade schools and the armed forces will be providing families with information on a wide variety of postgraduate programs and opportunities available to students during the School District of Palm Beach County’s College and Career Fair Wednesday.

WHAT: 2017 College and Career Fair
WHEN: Wednesday, October 18 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
WHERE: South Florida Fairgrounds, Concourse Buildings 6-10
        9067 Southern Blvd., West Palm Beach
        Free Parking is available at Gate 8.
To view the list of institutions that will be represented at the College and Career Fair, click here.
Parents are encouraged to attend one of the “How to Start Your FAFSA” sessions to learn about the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. Sessions will be offered every 15 minutes throughout the evening.

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WEST PALM BEACH -Parents and students have an opportunity to learn about the 310 Choice Programs offered through the School District of Palm Beach County at the annual Showcase of Schools.
 
WHAT: 2017 Showcase of Schools
WHEN: Tuesday, October 17 from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.
WHERE: South Florida Fairgrounds Expo Center
                9067 Southern Blvd. in West Palm Beach.
Representatives from 114 different campuses will be available to answer questions about the strengths and educational opportunities offered at each of their schools.
Families with students entering Pre-Kindergarten through Grade 12 can choose from a range of programs at the elementary, middle, and high school levels that provide innovative and rigorous academic instruction by specially trained teachers.
Choice applications for the 2018-2019 school year will be accepted starting November 1 at www.mypbchoiceapp.com. Deadlines for applications will vary depending on the program selected.
For deadlines and other important information, visit www.mypbchoiceapp.com or the Department of Choice and Career Options at www.palmbeachschools.org/choiceprograms.

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RIVIERA BEACH - The School District’s highest needs schools are getting a huge hand thanks to a collaboration between Publix Super Markets and the United Way of Palm Beach County. Supplies from the annual Tools 4 Schools campaign will be distributed to 113 schools Saturday.
WHAT: Tools 4 Schools school supply distribution
WHEN: Saturday, October 14 from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.

*The best time for visuals will be from 9:00 a.m. to noon. Publix, United Way and School District leadership will be on-site and available for interviews.
WHERE:  Riviera Beach Preparatory and Achievement Academy
7071 Garden Rd.,  Riviera Beach
Seventy Publix volunteers will distribute more than four tractor trailers full of school supplies to local high-need schools. The school supplies were donated through Publix’s Tools 4 Schools campaign and will enable Palm Beach County Title I schools to have enough supplies for teachers and students throughout the remainder of the school year.

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WEST PALM BEACH - The Instructional Materials Department is providing an opportunity for public viewing of all programs chosen by adoption committees for K-12 Science courses during the 2018-2019 school year.
Materials can be accessed online or in print at our District Support Center at 1400 N. Florida Mango Road, in West Palm Beach.  Digital access information can be requested by emailing tina.sparks@palmbeachschools.org.  Click here for a list of courses and programs being considered.
The District encourages anyone interested in providing input regarding the selection of these textbooks to review student content and submit feedback by February 1, 2018.  After all input is reviewed and considered, committees will submit their recommendations for adoption to the School Board for approval.
Florida Statute 1006.283 requires school districts give the public access to student editions online at least 20 calendar days before an open, noticed school board hearing in order to receive public comment on the recommended instructional materials.

However, because the School District understands that community input is vital to the success of choosing the best possible instructional materials for its students and teachers, it is providing access to materials at this time.

For more information contact Tina Sparks at (561) 684-5127 or email tina.sparks@palmbeachschools.org.

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WEST PALM BEACH- For high school students, now is the time to start thinking about their post-graduate plans, and The School District District of Palm Beach County will host its 2018 College and Career Fair from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Wednesday, October 18, to provide an opportunity for students learn about  the many college and career options available to them.  
Representatives from more than 150 colleges, universities, trade schools and the armed forces will be in at the South Florida Fairgrounds to provide families with information on a wide variety of postgraduate programs and opportunities available to students. 
 
To view the list of institutions that will be represented at the College and Career Fair, click here. This list is updated daily.
 
Parents are encouraged to attend one of the “How to Start Your FAFSA” sessions that will be offered every 15 minutes throughout the evening.  For many, completion of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form is the first step toward securing federal financial aid for college. 

The South Florida Fairgrounds are located at 9067 Southern Blvd. in West Palm Beach.  The event is being held in Concourse Buildings 6 – 10. Free parking will be available at Gate 8.

MEDIA RELEASE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT: Kathy Burstein, 561-357-1114

October 10, 2017

 
Media Release: College and Career Fair to Help Students Plan for Postgraduate Success, Learn about Financial Aid 

WEST PALM BEACH- For high school students, now is the time to start thinking about their post-graduate plans, and The School District District of Palm Beach County will host its 2018 College and Career Fair from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Wednesday, October 18, to provide an opportunity for students learn about the the many college and career options available to them.  
Representatives from more than 150 colleges, universities, trade schools and the armed forces will be in at the South Florida Fairgrounds to provide families with information on a wide variety of postgraduate programs and opportunities available to students. 
 
To view the list of institutions that will be represented at the College and Career Fair, click here. This list is updated daily.
 
Parents are encouraged to attend one of the “How to Start Your FAFSA” sessions that will be offered every 15 minutes throughout the evening.  For many, completion of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form is the first step toward securing federal financial aid for college. 

The South Florida Fairgrounds are located at 9067 Southern Blvd. in West Palm Beach.  The event is being held in Concourse Buildings 6 – 10. Free parking will be available at Gate 8.

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WEST PALM BEACH - Parents and students will soon have an opportunity to learn about the 310 Choice Programs offered through the School District of Palm Beach County at the annual Showcase of Schools.
On Tuesday, October 17 from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. in the Expo Center at the South Florida Fairgrounds, representatives from 114 different campuses will be available to answer questions about the strengths and educational opportunities offered at each of their schools.
Families with students entering Pre-Kindergarten through Grade 12 can choose from a range of programs at the elementary, middle, and high school levels that provide innovative and rigorous academic instruction by specially trained teachers.
Choice applications for the 2018-2019 school year will be accepted starting November 1 at www.mypbchoiceapp.com. Deadlines for applications will vary depending on the program selected.
For deadlines and other important information, visit www.mypbchoiceapp.com or the Department of Choice and Career Options at www.palmbeachschools.org/choiceprograms.

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WEST PALM BEACH -   College application season is here, and so is the 2018-2019  Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). For millions of high school students across the country, completion of the FAFSA form is the first step toward securing federal financial aid for college.

“It’s very important to submit (FAFSA) forms as soon as possible, because some need-based aid is on a first-come, first-served basis,” said Eunice Vivar, the District’s High School Counseling Program Planner. “Once they run out of money, it’s gone.”

The FAFSA form provides students with access to the largest source of financial aid to help them pay for college or career school. In addition, many states and colleges use FAFSA data to determine students’ eligibility for state and school aid.
To prepare students for the next stage in their education, The District will host its 2018 College and Career Fair from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Wednesday, October 18, at the South Florida Fairgrounds, Concourse Buildings 6 – 10.
Representatives from more than 150 colleges, universities, trade schools and the armed forces will be in attendance to provide families with information on a wide variety of postgraduate programs and opportunities available to students.
Parents are encouraged to attend one of the “How to Start Your FAFSA” sessions that will be offered every 15 minutes throughout the evening.

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WEST PALM BEACH – The first Advisory Boundary Committee (ABC) Meeting of this year’s boundary cycle will be held on Tuesday, October 3, 2017 at 6:30 p.m. in the Board Room at the Fulton-Holland Educational Services Center.

Due to the re-purposing of Odyssey Middle School for the 2018-2019 school year, the ABC will discuss a boundary change proposal which would shift middle school students residing in the Odyssey Middle attendance zone to other area middle schools.

The ABC will discuss this proposal at tomorrow’s meeting and then vote on whether or not to take the proposal out for community input.

The 10/3 agenda and boundary change proposal are available on the Boundaries website: https://www.palmbeachschools.org/planning/boundaries/.

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Three previously scheduled professional development days for teachers in the School District of Palm Beach County have been proposed as make-up days for Hurricane Irma.

These days – October 16, November 3 and January 8, 2018 – will be presented to the School Board for approval at Wednesday’s regular Board meeting. All Palm Beach County schools were closed seven school days to prepare for and clean up after Irma.

Two of the days were waived by Florida Education Commissioner Pam Stewart. The District will have met the instructional requirements without the additional two school days lost to Irma.

The decision to make up the days was made after consulting with an advisory group of principals, teachers and other community stakeholders.

The Board agenda item can be found here.

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LAKE PARK – Burlington Stores, Inc., through its partnership with AdoptAClassroom.org, is donating $10,000 to Lake Park Elementary School in celebration of its new store opening in the city.

WHAT: Representatives from Burlington Stores will present the check to Lake Park Elementary School principal Michelle Fleming during an assembly

WHEN: Friday, September 22, at 2:15 p.m.

WHERE: Lake Park Elementary School Cafeteria
410 3rd St., Lake Park

According to Fleming, every teacher will receive funding to purchase much-needed, new materials for each classroom.

“On behalf of the Lake Park Lions, I would like to thank Burlington and AdoptAClassroom.org for adopting our entire school,” said Fleming. “Our teachers look forward to using the funds to enhance learning in our school and in their classrooms. We are thankful for the support we received from Burlington and AdoptAClassroom.org.”

Burlington, in partnership with AdoptAClassroom.org, makes a donation to a local school in each Grand Opening market to celebrate a new store location. The Burlington store will open at 1220 Northlake Blvd., in Lake Park.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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JUPITER-  Jupiter High School is opening its one-acre landscape nursery for its fall plant sale – offering trees, vines and fruit trees.
WHAT: Jupiter High School Horticulture Department’s Fall Plant Sale
WHEN: Saturday, Sept. 23 from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. (rain or shine)
WHERE: Jupiter High School
500 N. Military Trail, Jupiter
        Nursery - Entrance is off of Toney Penna Dr. just west of Military Trail
All of the plants are grown and cared for by Jupiter High School Horticulture students, in an effort to better educate and to help fund the program.
For more general information, please contact the Jupiter High School Horticulture Department at (561) 745-3452.

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WEST PALM BEACH - The Exceptional Student Education Department of the School District of Palm Beach County invites parents of students with special needs to its annual Special Education Parent Universities to provide instructional opportunities and information on services available to their families through the District.
WHAT: Special Education Parent Universities
WHEN: Session 1: Saturday, September 23 from 8:30 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Palm Beach State College/Palm Beach Gardens Campus
3160 PGA Blvd., BB Building
      Session 2: Saturday, September 30 from 8:30 a.m. to 12 p.m.
      Palm Beach State College/Lake Worth Campus
      4200 Congress Ave., BA Building
This is a free event for parents of students with special needs to participate in workshops on practical strategies and resources such as Navigating the Individual Education Plan (IEP) (available in Spanish and English), Technology Tools for Struggling Learners, Behavior Strategies for Families, Speech/Language Strategies (available in Spanish and English) and an Overview of Services for Pre-Kindergarten.
Parents can register online by clicking here or by calling 561-434-8393.

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WEST PALM BEACH - The School District of Palm Beach County, in collaboration with the Florida Department of Education, is recognizing Wednesday, September 27, as “Dads Take Your Child to School Day.”
Fathers, stepfathers, grandfathers, brothers, uncles and father figures are encouraged to take their child to school to make a positive influence and show support for the importance of education.
WHAT: Dads Take Your Child to School Day
WHEN: Wednesday, September 27, before the start of school

WHERE: Schools across Palm Beach County

 

Research shows that having a father or active male role model increases a child’s self-esteem and academic success, however, the event is not limited to male role models. Mothers or female role models may also participate.

 

Schools will be hosting a variety of activities during arrival. Please contact news@palmbeachschools.org for what is planned for a specific school or area.

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WEST PALM BEACH- All Palm Beach County School District students are eligible to receive free breakfast and lunch through Friday, October 20 due to the impact of Hurricane Irma on the District and state.

 

Breakfast is always free in Palm Beach County, but for the next month, the School District will also be providing lunch at no cost..  These meals are still claimed under the National School Lunch Program, and complete meals must be selected in order to be provided at no cost. Snack items will be available at normal prices.
For more information on the District’s food service program, menus and what is included in the meals, please visit www.palmbeachschools.org/sfs.

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WEST PALM BEACH-  All Palm Beach County Public Schools and District offices will close Thursday, September 7, and Friday, September 8, to allow families to prepare for Hurricane Irma.

All afterschool activities, including sports and school meetings, are canceled for Wednesday, September 6, in advance of schools closing on Thursday and Friday.
All after-school aftercare programs will remain operational through Wednesday at 6 p.m.
Wednesday’s School Board workshop and budget public hearing will continue as scheduled.
“We have been watching Hurricane Irma closely before making our decision to close schools,” said Superintendent Robert Avossa. “While landfall is not expected until Sunday, we have a responsibility to ensure our personnel have ample time to prepare before tropical force winds arrive in the area.”
Palm Beach County’s Department of Emergency Management determines when emergency shelters are open. It is important to remember that not all emergency shelters will be open at the same time – make sure to monitor local media or check the Department of Emergency Management’s website, ReadyPBC.com, for more information. A list of 2017 shelters and evacuation zones is available at ReadyPBC.com, on the Public Shelters link.
School District leaders will continue to work closely with County, State and Federal emergency management officials to assess Irma’s impact on the District, and determine when it is safe for schools and offices to reopen.
Parents, students and district employees should monitor local media as well as the District’s social media accounts for updates on the District’s operations.
Employees will be notified when they should report back to work, based on whether they are in Category A, B, C or D. Updates also will be provided through the District’s main phone number, (561) 434-8000 or toll-free at (866) 930-8402.
The District will determine if and when the missed day will be required to be made up at a later date.

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William T. Dwyer HS Students to Participate in Cyber Crime, Identity Theft and Cyber Bullying Program with Expert
PALM BEACH GARDENS - Approximately 100 students from the Academy of Finance, JROTC and Early Childhood Education programs at William T. Dwyer High School will attend a Ted Talk-style presentation about financial cyber crime, online identity theft and online bullying associated with social media, hosted by Kevin Rosen.

WHAT: Financial cyber crime, online identity theft and cyber bullying program
WHEN: Tuesday, September 5 from 8 to 9 a.m.WHERE: William T. Dwyer High School – Media Center

                13601 N. Military Trail
                Palm Beach Gardens
Rosen is a member of the Florida Securities Dealers Association and a partner in the West Palm Beach office of Shutts & Bowen, where he is a member of the Financial Services Practice Group and the Cybersecurity and Data Privacy Taskforce. Rosen focuses his practice on cybersecurity, privacy, data security, securities regulation, and financial regulation.

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In preparation for the total solar eclipse on Monday, August 21, the School District of Palm Beach County has created a one-stop shop with resources for safe viewing of the eclipse, links to lesson plans and other information about the eclipse.

The site, www.palmbeachschools.org/solar-eclipse, also includes the District’s guidance to schools and to parents regarding the total solar eclipse – the first since 1918 that will be visible across the continental United States.

The moon will pass between the Earth and the sun, beginning at 1:30 p.m. The height of the eclipse will occur around 3 p.m., when 80 percent of the sun’s surface will be covered. It will take another 80 minutes for the moon to move out of the way, with the event concluding by 4:30 p.m.

Parents should take note of the following:

  • Parents or guardians who choose to sign their children out early on Monday, August 21 should be signed out no later than noon. Students whose parents or guardians choose to keep them home on Monday will have an excused absence.
  • Parents should speak with their children about the dangers of looking directly at the sun and the potential damage this can cause to their eyes.
  • Many elementary and middle schools may alter dismissal times or procedures on Monday to ensure the safety of students. Parents will hear from their student’s school directly with any change in dismissal times or procedures.
  • All outdoor activities between the hours of 1:30 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. – including physical education classes, recess, athletic practice, band practice and aftercare programs – must be moved indoors. Outdoor activities can resume after 4:30 p.m.
  • Students at District schools may participate in structured eclipse observation activities, using eyewear that comply with the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) 12312-2 international safety standards. These activities must have prior approval from the school’s principal.
  • Students whose teachers have planned solar eclipse viewing activities will have permission slips sent home for parent or guardian signature.
  • Distracted drivers and pedestrians are a likelihood on the day of the eclipse.  Make sure to use additional caution during parent pick-up and dismissal of student walkers and bus-riders.

Safety messages will be sent home to families in English, Spanish, Haitian Creole and Portuguese, followed up with reminders by telephone, email and on social media.

Parents and guardians should contact their child’s school with questions about specific outdoor practice schedules or potential changes in locations or times of after-school outdoor activities.

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GREENACRES – Fourteen students in the International Spanish Academy (ISA)  at Okeeheelee Middle School were given the opportunity this May to take the Advanced Placement (AP) exam in Spanish Language and Culture — and all 14 of the eighth graders passed.

“Even better,” said Okeeheelee MS principal Dr. David Samore. “It was with flying colors.”

Of the 14 students, one scored a 3, eight scored a 4 and five scored a 5 on the college-level exam that allows students to earn college credit or receive advanced placement in college courses.

“This is a result of growth mindset, no doubt.” Samore said. “The talented teacher, Veronica Sibajas, teamed with dedicated students and took performance to a new height.”

This year’s exam was the first time a middle school in the School District of Palm Beach County had students take an AP test of any kind, and the students were able to successfully pass the rigorous test with less than a semester of AP-focused preparation.

With of the success of the program, Okeeheelee Middle School is offering three sections of AP Spanish Language and Culture to more than 60 students during the 2017-2018 school year.

According to the Advanced Placement Program website, the AP Spanish Language and Culture course emphasizes communication (understanding and being understood by others) by applying the interpersonal, interpretive, and presentational modes of communication in real-life situations. This includes vocabulary usage, language control, communication strategies, and cultural awareness. To best facilitate the study of language and culture, the course is taught almost exclusively in Spanish. [It is taught exclusively in Spanish at Okeeheelee Middle School.]

The AP Spanish Language and Culture course engages students in an exploration of culture in both contemporary and historical contexts. The course develops students’ awareness and appreciation of cultural products (e.g., tools, books, music, laws, conventions, institutions); practices (patterns of social interactions within a culture); and perspectives (values, attitudes, and assumptions).

About the Advanced Placement Program® (AP®): The Advanced Placement Program® has enabled millions of students to take college-level courses and earn college credit, advanced placement, or both, while still in high school. AP Exams are given each year in May. Students who earn a qualifying score on an AP Exam are typically eligible, in college, to receive credit, placement into advanced courses, or both.

About the International Spanish Academy:

The International Spanish Academies (ISAs) are Dual Language Programs that have signed a collaborative agreement with the Ministry of Education, Culture and Sports of Spain. The program is a Spanish two-way immersion program that allows students to develop proficiency in two languages by receiving classroom instruction in English as well as Spanish.

Okeeheelee Middle School was the first International Spanish Academy in the United States. The School District now has three elementary ISAs, one middle school ISA and one high school ISA.

For more information, please contact the Office of Communications at (561) 357-1114.

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LAKE WORTH- More than 900 eager new teachers and teachers new to Palm Beach County  will be treated like celebrities as they walk the red carpet, are greeted by ‘paparazzi’ and welcomed to the School District as part of TeacherFest at Park Vista High School on Friday, August 4, for a day of seminars and training to prepare for the start of the school year.

WHAT: TeacherFest 2018

 

WHEN: Friday, August 4, 2017
8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. (Registration and breakfast begins at 7:15 a.m.)

 

WHERE: Park Vista High School Gymnasium and Auditorium
7900 Jog Road
Lake WorthMedia is welcome to attend the welcome festivities and join the opening session at 8 a.m. in the auditorium with a welcome from District staff and the Classroom Teachers Association (CTA) and a presentation by the  2017 Beginning Teacher of the Year.

Participants will take part in several breakout sessions and meet area businesses and organizations. For more information on TeacherFest, click here, or download the TeacherFest App.

TeacherFest is a collaborative effort between the School District of Palm Beach County and the Palm Beach County Classroom Teachers Association (CTA). All new teachers hired on or after January 12, 2017 are required to attend TeacherFest.
PARKING: Media is advised to enter through the south entrance of the school off of Jog Rd. There is a Sheriff’s substation at that entrance. Please pull around to VIP parking  as there will be space reserved.

 

For more information, please contact the Office of Communications at (561) 357-1114.

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The School District of Palm Beach County will share a four-year grant with Prime Time Palm Beach County, a nonprofit intermediary organization that serves out-of-school time (OST) programs and practitioners. Through the four-year Partnerships for Social and Emotional Learning Initiative, they will focus on helping elementary school-aged children in Palm Beach County develop positive social and emotional skills, such as self-control, persistence, teamwork and goal-setting, which are linked to success in school, career and life.

The initiative supports school districts and afterschool organizations in six communities around the country that have previously decided to include social and emotional learning in their services to children. Programs will be provided to roughly 15,000 children in kindergarten through fifth grade through a phased approach involving up to seven pilot schools in each city.

At the same time, RAND Corporation will conduct independent research on the effort to understand benefits for children – and what it takes to generate them – as well as barriers in the way. This reflects Wallace’s dual goals of creating direct benefits for participating communities, as well as generating credible lessons for the field that can improve practice broadly.

Implementation grants for the initiative, which amount in the first year to between $1 million and $1.5 million shared by each district/out-of-school-time intermediary pair, are contingent on the successful negotiation of grant agreements this summer. In addition, the School District of Palm Beach County, Prime Time Palm Beach County and the participating OST programs will also receive other non-monetary support, such as inclusion in a professional learning community, regular convenings with other cities in the initiative, access to a continuous improvement system, communications counsel and other technical assistance.

“We are very excited about this collaboration with the Wallace Foundation and Prime Time Palm Beach,” said Dr. Robert Avossa, Palm Beach County Schools Superintendent. “The promotion of social and emotional learning echoes a key theme from the District’s Strategic Plan, which is to build a positive and supportive school climate. This grant will help us achieve that goal and also support the District’s mission to empower each student to reach his or her highest potential. We’re proud to partner with these organizations to provide a well-rounded education that meets each aspect of a child’s development”      

“We are thrilled to be part of the exciting Wallace Foundation initiative with the School District of Palm Beach County,” said Suzette L. Harvey, President/CEO of Prime Time Palm Beach County. “Social and emotional learning is at the heart of what we do with practitioners and youth during the hours after school and in summer, and we are delighted to have a vehicle to share and learn what works with school day professionals. Ultimately, our goals are the same – success in school, work and life for all youth.”

A growing body of research, including the Wallace-commissioned University of Chicago study Foundations for Young Adult Success, has linked social and emotional learning – which is also known by terms including non-cognitive skills, inter-/intrapersonal skills, soft skills and character development – to success in school, career and life.

However, it is not yet known how school and afterschool experiences can be strengthened, aligned and delivered in real-world, urban settings to help children develop these skills. The new initiative will explore how this kind of cross-sector alignment may benefit children in participating communities and ultimately lead to knowledge that can be applied to the broader field.

“We’re very excited to announce the selection of the implementation grantee pairs, all of which worked incredibly hard during the planning phase,” said Gigi Antoni, the director of learning and enrichment at The Wallace Foundation. “These entities have demonstrated the potential to work collaboratively and have created thoughtful, strategic plans intended to achieve real benefits for students. We’re looking forward to following their efforts and to sharing what we learn with educators and afterschool providers nationwide.”

During the planning-grant period, which began last fall, the School District of Palm Beach County and Prime Time Palm Beach County developed a plan to test and learn how to implement SEL in their communities using strategies such as providing professional development, implementing SEL programs and practices within a group of pilot schools, supporting continuous improvement, establishing policies and guidelines to support SEL, and communicating with and engaging stakeholders. They received technical assistance and guidance from national experts affiliated with the Weikart Center for Youth Program Quality, the Forum for Youth Investment and the Collaborative for Academic, Social and Emotional Learning (CASEL).

The new initiative builds on The Wallace Foundation’s years of work in youth development, including a dozen-year effort to encourage citywide coordination for afterschool that yielded more than 40 publications and found, according to a study by RAND, “that organizations across cities could work together toward increasing access, quality, data-based decision making and sustainability.”

About the School District of Palm Beach County
The School District of Palm Beach County is the 11th largest in the nation and the fifth largest in the State of Florida with 185 schools, serving more than 194,300 students who speak 154 languages and dialects. As the largest employer in Palm Beach County, the school district has 22,051 employees, including more than 12,729 teachers.

About Prime Time Palm Beach County
Prime Time Palm Beach County’s mission is to foster high quality in OST programs, which provide opportunities for children and youth to succeed. Prime Time oversees a system for reaching quality standards through assessment, program improvement planning and quality coaching. It also provides professional development, career advising, and networking opportunities to OST practitioners, and through partnerships, supports a range of enrichment activities available to OST programs countywide. On an annual basis, Prime Time impacts the lives of 20,000 children in 250 programs and serve more than 1,500 practitioners.

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Registrations are now being accepted for rising sixth graders to join the newly expanded kindergarten through 8th grade (K-8) program at Hidden Oaks Elementary School in Lake Worth in time for the 2017-2018 school year.

Hidden Oaks, a STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math) school, has 110 openings for sixth grade students. Applications can be submitted until September 1, and all eligible students will be accepted until the seats are full.

“We are ready to welcome the first students in this expansion, and we are working to make sure that this transition is a success for all of our students at every grade level,” said Hidden Oaks Principal Sari Myers.

Parents are encouraged to attend the school’s Open House on August 3 from 8:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. or individual tours can be requested by calling the school at (561) 804-3803.

The STEAM curriculum at Hidden Oaks incorporates science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics into all aspects of the classroom with hands-on learning experiments and experiences. The school also offers an opportunity for its students to earn multiple industry certifications in Information and Communication Technology which will prepare the students for high school and post graduate success.

Students in all grades will have the same school hours, from 8:00 a.m. to 2:05 p.m. The school’s transportation zone will expand to accommodate more students. Families who live outside of the transportation zone will be required to provide their own transportation.

This year, the expansion will only include sixth graders, and over the next two years, the school will include grades seven and eight.

Students who are on a waitlist for a Choice Program at another school will have to surrender their spot on the waitlist when they apply to Hidden Oaks. Acceptance confirmations will be sent within a week of applying.

“We are excited about our first K-8 expansion and will see the K-8 model grow to more schools in the coming years,” said Dr. Peter Licata, Assistant Superintendent for Choice and Innovation. “K-8 schools help students with the transition to middle school and ready them for high school while ensuring all of our schools are being utilized properly.”

For more information on the program at Hidden Oaks, call (561) 434-8755.

To register for the  for the sixth grade program at Hidden Oaks, fill out an application at: www.palmbeachschools.org/choiceprograms/steam

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WEST PALM BEACH- When school opens on August 14 for the 2017-2018 school year, students at ten schools throughout the District will be welcomed by new principals.

The schools with new principals are:

  • Boynton Beach High School: Guarn Sims
  • Forest Hill Elementary School: Scott McNichols
  • Freedom Shores Elementary School: Dan Smith
  • Jeaga Middle School: Anthony Allen
  • Jerry Thomas Elementary School: Jeff Eassa
  • Jupiter Elementary School: Patricia Trejo
  • Lake Worth High School: Elvis Epps
  • Turning Points Academy: Kevin Gatlin
  • Woodlands Middle School: Enrique Vela
  • West Riviera Elementary School: Robin Brown

The 2017-2018 school year will be Scott McNichols’ first year as a principal. He previously served as assistant principal of Barton Elementary School for the past five years. His wife, Deborah is an assistant principal at Jupiter Elementary School.

“Forest Hill Elementary has seen real improvements in student success while bringing impactful initiatives to the community,” McNichols said. “I hope to build upon those successes and continue to provide strong leadership that will keep our school moving in the right direction.”

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WEST PALM BEACH – The Washington Elementary School Sharks were celebrating on Wednesday, with the news from the Florida Department of Education that the school moved its grade from an F in 2016 to a B in 2017.

“It’s unbelievable,” said Washington Elementary Principal Sandra Edwards. “I’ve got a great staff, I’ve got great teachers here, and everyone played a part.”

Washington Elementary was one of three schools operated by the School District of Palm Beach County that improved by two or more letter grades, as part of the preliminary school grades released Wednesday by the Department of Education. The other two schools that raised their grades by at least two letters were Liberty Park Elementary, which improved from a D to a B, and Grove Park Elementary, which moved from an F to a C.

Edwards attributed her school’s success to “perseverance and dedication” by the school’s teachers, staff, students and parents. She and her team put a game plan in place last summer to boost the school’s grade, “and we never looked back.”

Washington Elementary strategy included “double-down instruction,” where students worked with two teachers in one classroom. If students were not working directly with a teacher, they were completing computer-based lessons that targeted students’ areas for academic improvement.

Overall, 30 schools operated by the School District of Palm Beach County improved by at least one letter grade. A total of 63 District-operated schools earned A’s from the state and 35 schools earned B’s, which equals 61 percent of traditional schools in Palm Beach County. No District-operated school received an F this year, and only eight District-operated schools received a D.

Twelve District-operated schools improved from a B to an A, including:

  • Allamanda Elementary School
  • Banyan Creek Elementary School
  • Boca Raton Community Middle School
  • Hammock Pointe Elementary School
  • Jerry Thomas Elementary School
  • Meadow Park Elementary School
  • Olympic Heights Community High School
  • Palm Beach Public School
  • Poinciana STEM Elementary Magnet School
  • Sandpiper Shores Elementary School
  • The Conservatory School at North Palm Beach
  • Woodlands Middle School

“We are very proud of our students, teachers and administrators for making Palm Beach County schools the highest performing large, urban school district in the state. We have the highest percentage of A and B rated schools in several years and no F-rated schools,” said Dr. David Christiansen, Deputy Superintendent/Chief of Schools for the School District of Palm Beach County. “This is a testament that our school district is delivering results aligned to our mission to provide a world-class education with equity and access for all students.”

Student performance on the Florida Standards Assessments (FSA) provides the foundation for state grades, based on a school grading system adopted by the State Board of Education.

Districts and schools are rated “A” through “F” based on a percentage of points earned. Schools that did not test at least 95 percent of students received an “I.” The School District of Palm Beach County received a B for the 2016-2017 school year.

The 2016-2017 school year is the second year of the state’s revamped accountability system, where FSA learning gains are included in school grades.

Click here to see specific school grades, and read the District’s Executive Summary provided to School Board members and other leaders for more detailed information.

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Stable credit ratings for the School District of Palm Beach County and other large school districts could be at risk because of a new state law requiring public school districts to share capital budget dollars with privately operated charter schools, according to an analysis released Friday by Moody’s Investors Service.

House Bill 7069 was signed into law by Governor Rick Scott on June 15. As part of that legislation, which takes effect July 1, school districts throughout Florida are now required to give privately operated charter schools a portion of the tax money set aside for capital expenses – which covers everything from construction, building repairs and maintenance to the purchase of classroom technology and school buses.

The estimated fiscal impact of HB 7069 to the School District’s capital budget is $10.6 million in Fiscal Year 2018, and more than $230 million in the next 10 years.

The School District of Palm Beach County currently has an Aa2 stable bond rating, among the highest for school districts in the state. The Moody’s report stated that “the mandate [of HB 7069] is credit negative for school districts with significant charter enrollment because they will have to transfer revenues that were previously earmarked for capital projects at traditional schools to charters within their district.”

Moody’s is one of the nation’s largest credit rating agencies. Moody’s evaluates the stability of bonds and other debt issued by government agencies, including school districts, and issues ratings that are used by potential investors. The School District of Palm Beach County’s long-term general obligation bonds and long-term certificates of participation have stable ratings from all three major credit rating agencies.

“This independent analysis by Moody’s highlights one of our real concerns with this new law – the financial effect that it will have on our District, and on school districts throughout Florida,” said Dr. Robert Avossa, Palm Beach County Schools Superintendent.

The Moody’s analysis noted that this is the Florida Legislature’s third reduction in school districts’ capital millage rates since 2008. The School District’s capital budget has been reduced by $865 million since 2008.

“As capital revenues follow students to charters, traditional schools’ ability to cut capital expenditures will be tempered by aging infrastructure and the need to attract and retain students,” the Moody’s analysis stated.

The School District of Palm Beach County is Florida’s fifth-largest school district, with more than 195,000 students enrolled in pre-kindergarten through grade 12. Charter school enrollment accounts for approximately 11 percent of that total.

According to the Moody’s analysis, “continued charter enrollment growth and the associated loss in capital funding for traditional schools may lead to a self-reinforcing cycle of decreased traditional public school enrollment and decreased revenues available for capital planning under the new legislation.”

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BELLE GLADE – High school students who are currently enrolled in grades nine through 11 can now apply for the Construction or Mechatronics academies offered at West Technical Education Center (West Tech). The construction academy provides training in carpentry, electrical, plumbing and air conditioning. The mechatronics academy allows students to gain technical skills in automation technology and apply those skills to manufacturing, engineering, and robotics.

Additionally, adults and students age 16 or older who have officially withdrawn from school can also attend West Tech for GED test readiness, ESOL and workforce development classes. Evening classes in welding, electrical, HVAC and construction are also available.

High school students enrolled in West Tech will attend their assigned high school for their core curriculum, and then attend intensive and focused career preparation in 100-minute blocks during the school day, allowing the students to participate in athletics and other after-school activities at their assigned schools. Transportation from the schools to West Tech is available.

High school students who wish to attend a career academy at West Tech must meet specific academic and disciplinary criterion to be considered. The academies will ready students to sit for the industry certification associated with their field of study.

Interested students should complete an interest application and submit it to West Tech between 7:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday through Thursday. West Tech is located at 2625 NW 16th Street in Belle Glade. For a list of frequently asked questions about the programs available, click here.  For more information call West Tech at 561-829-4620.

For the academy application (students currently enrolled in ninth grade through 11th grade), click here.

For the workforce development, GED and ESOL program (adults or students 16 and over who are not enrolled in a K-12 program), click here.