Posted by on

When Leah Silverman decided to emulate Home and Garden Television (HGTV) host David Bromstad’s style as part of her Third Grade Masterpieces project assignment earlier this school year—she never dreamed she’d actually get to meet him. The assignment given by teacher Karin Haligas required that students select a favorite artist and then re-create one of that artist’s paintings. The third grade gifted student and her mom, Dawn, had enjoyed watching segments of the Miami-based Color Splash show together. Designer David Bromstad is known for transforming ho-hum rooms into works of art with his use of dynamic colors and also creates a painting for each transformation. Leah decided to create a painting using Bromstad’s style for her project—and a second painting to give to the HGTV host.

Leah’s mom got in touch with the producers of the show to see if the West Palm Beach family could present the artwork in person—and received a resounding “yes!.” Since the HGTV Design Star personality headed to California in late Spring for a taping…plans were set for the presentation of Leah’s painting to occur in June. Potential complications developed with the possibility that heart surgery for Leah’s younger brother—also set for June—might result in a cancellation of the opportunity for Leah to meet her idol. Mr. Bromstad’s staff worked their magic and the meeting was held late last month.  He immediately wrote in his blog about the meeting; read his post at  For more details contact Dawn Silverman at


Posted by on

The School District of Palm Beach County Summer Graduation will take place on Thursday, July 26, 2012 at 3:00 p.m. in John I. Leonard High School Gymnasium. 

Students that participate in the summer graduation ceremony have successfully completed the requirements to obtain their high school diploma and will continue with their future plans.   

For more information contact Eric Stern at (561) 434-7450 or via email at






 Public Affairs Contact: Natalia Arenas – (561) 357-7662 –

Posted by on

The School District of Palm Beach County Food Service Department announces its policy for Free and Reduced Price Meals for students under the National School Lunch and Breakfast Programs. Any interested person may review a copy of the policy by contacting Jussara B. de Souza (JB) / 3661 N Interstate Park Rd, suite 100, Riviera Beach, FL 33404. Phone Number (561) 383-2025. 

Household size and income criteria will be used to determine eligibility. Children from families whose income is at or below the levels shown may be eligible for Free or Reduced Price Meals.  An application cannot be approved unless it contains complete eligibility information. Once approved, meal benefits are good for an entire school year. You need not notify the organization of changes in income and household size.

To ensure applications are processed by the first day of school, they need to complete by August 05, 2012. Families can go to to complete their application starting July 25, 2012. 

Additional hard copies are available at the principal’s office in each school. Families need to complete one application per household, even if the siblings attend different Palm Beach County schools.  The information provided on the application will be used for the purpose of determining eligibility and may be verified at any time during the school year. Applications may be submitted at any time during the year.  

Florida Income Eligibility Guidelines for Free and Reduced Price Meals

Effective July 1, 2012 to June 30, 2013






Twice Per Month

Every Two Weeks


















































For each additional family member, add












Twice Per Month

Every Two Weeks


















































For each additional family member, add







To determine annual income: The total income before taxes, social security, health benefits, union dues, or other deductions must be reported.

  • If you receive the income every week, multiply the total gross income by 52.
  • If you receive the income every two weeks, multiply the total gross income by 26.
  • If you receive the income twice a month, multiply the total gross income by 24.
  • If you receive the income monthly, multiply the total gross income by 12.    

Households that receive Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) or Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) are required to list on the application only the child’s name, SNAP / TANF case number, and signature of adult household member. 

Foster children will receive free benefits regardless of the child’s personal income or the income of the household.  If the foster family chooses to apply and the foster family is not eligible for free or reduced price meals, it does not prevent a foster child from receiving free meal benefits. 

Household with children who are considered homeless or runaway should contact Kim Williams (561) 494-1589. Migrant students and families please contact the district liaison, Debbie Battles at (561) 357-5949. 

For the purpose of determining household size, deployed service members are considered a part of the household. Families should include the names of the deployed service members on their application. Report only that portion of the deployed service member’s income made available to them or on their behalf to the family. Additionally, a housing allowance that is part of the Military Housing Privatization Initiative is not to be included as income. 

All other households must provide the following information listed on the application: 

  • Total household income listed by amount received and type of income and how often the income is received (wages, child support, etc.) received by each household member;   
  • Names of all household members;
  • Signature of an adult household member certifying the information provided is correct; and
  • Four last digits of Social Security number of the adult signing the application or check the box for “NSSN” for this household member if he or she does not have a social security number. 

If a household member becomes unemployed or if the household size changes, the school should be contacted. Children of parents or guardians who become unemployed should also contact the school. Such changes may make the student eligible for reduced price or free meals if the household income falls at or below the levels shown below. Under the provisions of the Free and Reduced Price meal policy the Chief Operating Office will review applications and determine eligibility.  If a parent or guardian is dissatisfied with the ruling of the official, he or she may wish to discuss the decision with the determining official on an informal basis.  If the parent wishes to make a formal appeal, he or she may make a request either orally or in writing to Michael Burke, 3340 Forest Hill Blvd. West Palm Beach, FL 33406. Phone number (561) 434-8510. 

Unless indicated otherwise on the application, the information on the Free and Reduced Price Meal application may be used by the school system in determining eligibility for other educational programs. 

For more information contact Susan Franklin at (561) 383-2058 or via email at






 Public Affairs Contact: Natalia Arenas – (561) 357-7662 –


Posted by on

For the first time, parents and students are able to view their child’s State and District assessment results through Edline.  Edline is the School Board-approved communication service to provide access for students and parents, via the Internet, to school and classroom information. 

Parents and students may view their student’s Individual Student Assessment Results by clicking on the “My Edline” button located at the top of every Edline page.  Choose “Private Reports” from the drop-down menu.  Choose “View As” and select your student’s name.  Click “View” next to the report labeled “Student Assessment Report”.  

The new Individual Student Assessment Results report includes the most recent student results from the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test (FCAT), FCAT 2.0, and End-of-Course (EOC) and the District’s Diagnostic and EOC Diagnostic assessments. 

A Technical Assistance Paper (TAP), Assistance with Understanding this Report, provides an explanation of the assessments and color coding.  It is available through a link in the Edline report. 

The report is modeled after the District’s Educational Data Warehouse (EDW) reports, which are available to all administrators and teachers.  It color codes the results to assist parents and students in understanding whether or not the student scored above, at, or below proficiency. 

The Departments of Educational Data Warehouse, Educational Technology, and Information Technology collaborated with Edline to produce the Individual Student Assessment Results report in Edline. 

For more information contact Sandra Raymond at (561) 357-7649 or via email at






 Public Affairs Contact: Natalia Arenas – (561) 357-7662 –

Posted by on

Chris Skerlec, Director of Environmental & Conservation Services at the School District of Palm Beach County has been selected as the recipient of the Outstanding Community Partner award by the American Lung Association.

Mr. Skerlec has partnered since 2000 with the American Lung Association in the Asthma Friendly Schools Program in efforts to reduce asthma triggers and allergens in Palm Beach County schools thus creating a healthier environment for students and staff. 

One of the initiatives that he developed is a checklist inspection report and provided basic Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) training for American Lung Association and Health Department personnel. In addition, Mr. Skerlec partnered with the American Lung Association and the PBC Health Dept. to publish a pamphlet entitled “IAQ Tips for Teachers”, educating teachers regarding good practices to improve indoor air quality in schools. 

He was recognized at the annual meeting that recently took place in the Lung Association’s headquarters in West Palm Beach.   

“It was certainly an honor to be selected at their annual meeting as an Outstanding Community Partner,” added Chris.

Mr. Skerlec accepting his award from representatives of the American Lung Association

About the American Lung Association
Now in its second century, the American Lung Association is the leading organization working to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease. With your generous support, the American Lung Association is “Fighting for Air” through research, education and advocacy. For more information about the American Lung Association, a Charity Navigator Four Star Charity and holder of the Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Guide Seal, or to support the work it does, call 1-800-LUNG-USA (1-800-586-4872) or visit

For more information contact Lisa Mead at (561) 357-7573 or via email at   






 Public Affairs Contact: Natalia Arenas – (561) 357-7662 –


Posted by on

Bobby Valcin, site coordinator at JFK Middle School, is one of the five winners of the Community In Schools (CIS) Unsung Heroes Award.

 This award celebrates the amazingly dedicated individuals who bring to life CIS’ core values exemplified by personalism, coordination, accountability, persistence, equality, and by connecting with children every day to prove that people and their unique gift of building life-long relationships transform lives.

 The award will be presented at an event to be held in Washington D.C. this fall. The winners will receive a monetary stipend.

 “Since Bobby came to work for Communities In Schools Palm Beach County Inc., I knew I had hired a very special person. He participated in many special projects and initiatives including the coordination of the Haiti Disaster Recovery efforts after the devastating earthquake of January 12, 2010, the CISPBC/United Way grant for school supplies drive, the Superintendent’s Graduation and Suspension Reduction Task Force Initiatives, etc.” said Margaret Bagley, the Executive Director of Communities In School of Palm Beach County, Inc., in a letter of nomination.

 “We are thrilled and honored to offer Bobby this award for being a shining example to others in our network, as well as to the children of our nation. His hard work and commitment help students stay in school and prepare for life,” say Gary Chapman, the Executive Vice President of the CIS’ National Network.

For more information, contact Ashlee Crabb at (703) 518-2572 or email


Posted by on

Students from South Intensive Transition joined more than 300 students, parents, community leaders and members of the public who recently welcomed notable entrepreneur Russell Simmons to Palm Beach County.                                                                       

Principal Voncia Haywood worked with Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ)/Youth Services Graduation/Career Coach Alma Horne and Pyramids Bookstore owner Akbar Watson to facilitate access for the students to meet the entrepreneur, philanthropist, musician, strict vegan and yoga enthusiast. USA today recently named Mr. Simmons one of the Top 25 Most Influential People of the Past 25 Years, calling him a “hip-hop pioneer” for his groundbreaking vision that has influenced music, fashion, finance, television and film.

He engaged the students in topics and subtopics from two books: Do You! 12 Laws to Access the Power in You to Achieve Happiness and Success - which combines effective business practices with a spiritual foundation to be the best you can be, and Super Rich: Inside and Out- which emphasizes the power of inner strength and reflection as a means of achieving human aspirations.   Dr. Haywood said you could hear a pin drop when the native New Yorker shared tales of his social activism– to include the plight of animals and the state of the environment, as well as his long- time support of equal rights for all.

Even after two and-a- half hours the students weren’t ready for the program to end. Some of the South Intensive Transition students were among those who asked the media and fashion mogul questions. Mr. Simmons made an effort to answer all of the questions and then took time to take photos and sign his books.

For more details,  contact Dr. Haywood at 561-644-2791 or email


Posted by on

Several students from the South Intensive Transition School recently found themselves in the midst of nearly 1,000 participants of the Men of Excellence Awards Gala in West Palm Beach which featured celebrity social justice activist Reverend Al Sharpton. The Convention Center event featured awards to outstanding men for going above and beyond providing extraordinary service to the community. South Intensive Principal Dr. Voncia Haywood collaborated with College/Career Readiness Coach Alma Horne to facilitate student participation at the event with the keynote presentation by the notable Reverend Sharpton.

His remarks emphasized the importance of education and serving the community; staying true to and loving “self” but extending that love to family and others; the crucial need to be a registered voter and fulfilling the responsibility to actually vote; and finally the importance of having a foundation of faith and a spirit of forgiveness. Dr. Haywood said it was clear from remarks students made after the gala that Reverend Sharpton made quite an impact. “They commented on his intelligence and used words such as ‘profound, prolific, and dynamic orator’ and clearly they wanted more,” she stated. The school administrator added that the students were also impressed by the number of men present who were noted professionals and volunteers in Palm Beach County.

The Delta Sigma Theta, Sorority, Inc., in partnership with the Delta Heritage Foundation partnership, recognized the following outstanding men of the community –most of whom have had a variety of involvement with schools and students around the District:  1)The Arts Award- Reginald Asberry, vocalist and pianist, Director of Music, Orthodox Zion Church; 2)The Business Executive Award-Bruce N. Lewis, principal, L.B. Limited & Associates; 3)The Education Award- Bradley G. Harper, Esq., Olds, Stephens & Harper, P.A.; 4)The Health and Wellness Award- Avery T. Siders, community liaison, Hospice of Palm Beach County; 5)The Humanitarian Award- Paul A. Nunnally, founder, Black Chamber of Commerce of Palm Bch County; 6)The Social Action Award- Reverend Kevin Jones, minister for Youth and Young Adults, Tabernacle Missionary Baptist Church; 7) Keeper of the Torch Award -Organization Award- The Knights of Pythagoras Mentoring Network.  

 For more information, please contact Dr. Haywood at 561-644-2791  or email


Posted by on

Eighteen students completed high school and graduated from the Palm Beach Juvenile Correctional Facility (PBJ) during recent ceremonies.  Keynote speaker Bradley J. Harper of Olds, Stephens, and HarperLaw Firm used his unique talents and knowledge to inspire the graduating students with words of wisdom marked by a challenge to continue an upward path. Attorney Harper specifically told the students about the importance of continuous learning. “Find your passion and continue to believe in yourselves,” he stated. “Don’t let anyone else define you, but maintain your integrity, and above all—use your creativity and dream big—but always remember to  give back to society,” he added. He told them they don’t have to be perfect to be  meaningful participants in the community.

Palm Beach Juvenile Correctional Facility is one of 51 high schools in the Palm Beach County School District.  The 118- bed residential treatment facility for male offenders between the ages of 13-18 is operated by Youth Services International (YSI) for the Department of Juvenile Justice.  The average length of stay for the youth is 9-12 months.  YSI offers many services to residential youth with the educational services provided through the District. While in this facility, students can complete applicable requirements and receive either a Standard High School diploma or a Performance Based Exit Option Diploma.

Families and friends joined District dignitaries who were on hand at the ceremony to celebrate the students achievement.  For further details, contact Graduation/Career Coach Alma Horne, 561-681-5937 or .


Posted by on

WHAT :      Free GED Orientation

WHEN :      June 28, 2012 from 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM

WHO :        Delray Full Service Center Staff

WHERE :   Delray Full Service Center, Media Center

301 Southwest 14th Avenue

Delray Beach, Florida 33444

WHY :        There is no question about it, having your high school diploma will open many doors for you throughout your life.  Come to this free seminar and find out what the GED Test is all about.  With your State of Florida high school diploma you can realize your dreams of going to college, technical school, and the military and even get a better job.

There is a new GED Test on the horizon that will be academically challenging and more expensive. 

For more information, call (561) 266-1200.

Posted by on

Costco, Office Depot Foundation and Wells Fargo were touted last week as three of the top businesses in the state for supporting and advancing Florida’s public education system. The recognition occurred as a part of the 2012Commissioner’s Business Recognition Awards ceremony, held by the Florida Department of Education and the Florida Education Foundation.  Florida’s Education Commissioner Gerard Robinson, along with members of the Florida Education Foundation and leaders from the business community, were on hand to present awards to Costco, Office Depot Foundation and Wells Fargo and more than 70 other outstanding education business partners.

“I am honored to recognize the outstanding commitment of our business partners to public education in Florida,” said Commissioner Robinson. “Their pledge to student academic success through business partnerships embodies the fundamental relationship between education and the workforce. As students prepare for postsecondary education and careers, the skills they learn today through these partnerships will ensure they are ready to compete for the jobs of tomorrow.”

TheCommissioner’s Business Recognition Awards are administered by the Florida Department of Education and the Florida Education Foundation to encourage successful alliances within the business community and among local school districts for the benefit of Florida’s students. The 2012 awards program was sponsored in part by Wells Fargo, Infinity Software Development, and Florida Trend Magazine.

Costco’s partnership with Palm Beach County schools has helped support the goal of achievement for all. The company has sponsored various events at schools across the county by providing food, supplies, backpacks and student incentives. Costco also supplies food and drinks for the School District Teacher of the Year, School Related Employee of the Year, and Retiree Celebration.

The Office Depot Foundation has been an exemplary partner to the School District for a number of years through its annual award winning National Backpack Program.  In the past five years, Office Depot and the Foundation have provided more than 70,000 backpacks for children in Palm Beach County.  The Office Depot Foundation has reached approximately 2.5 million students through its National Backpack Program since 2001.

Wells Fargo generously provides grants and sponsorships through the Education Foundation of Palm Beach County, Inc.  to help benefit district projects such as Winner Scholarships, Distinguished Alumni Awards, Awards for Excellence in Education, and Kids Read, Run and Recycle Marathon Mile.  The School District also received a $50,000 donation from Wells Fargo to establish a partnership with Adopt-A-Classroom to increase community support and contributions for classrooms. 

To learn more about the Florida Education Foundation, or to see the full list of winners for the Commissioner’s Business Recognition Awards, visit

Posted by on

A video created by KEC/Canal Point Elementary’s KEC TV news club placed 2nd in the 2012 Florida School Boards Association’s Video Contest. Placing in this contest is one of the biggest accomplishments for the school’s video production program since this was the first time the school entered a video contest where they competed against Middle Schools and High Schools. The first place winner was a high school club. 

Click here to view on the video 

The theme of the FSBA contest was “What’s Super About Public Schools”. KEC/Canal Point Elementary’s video titled “Super Student and his Super Public School” was about a superhero named Super Student. The video showed that all of Super Student’s super powers came directly from all of the super things happening at his public school. 

Super Student was played by 5th grader Anthony Bowie. Anthony has been a part of the KEC TV news since he started in third grade as Damon Weaver’s (student who interviewed President Obama) protégé.  

KEC/Canal Point Elementary has been awarded $2,500 for winning 2nd place. The money will be used to improve the school’s television studio (replace broken and old equipment) and to cover travel expenses for events that the school covers off campus. 

This has been a very successful school year for KEC/Canal Point Elementary’s KEC TV news club since they created videos that placed in all four statewide/nationwide video contests that they entered.

 The video can also be watch in the KEC/Canal Point Elementary’s KEC TV news club You Tube Channel at:

For more information contact Brian Zimmerman at (561) 924-9800 or via email at   






 Public Affairs Contact: Natalia Arenas – (561) 357-7662 –

Posted by on

Three years ago, 4th Grade Hammock Pointe Elementary School teacher Julie Belford applied for a NASA artifact via a website that she received from her Principal Carol Crilley.  It was unknown whether Ms. Belford and her school in West Boca Raton would receive the item.  She applied to receive a “leading edge” which protects the tiles on the outer part of the shuttle from getting over heated. 

Teacher Julie Belford and NASA Space Item

The Hammock Pointe Elementary School family found out last year that they would be given the item but needed to wait for all shuttles to be dismembered and inspected.  Ms. Belford said it is an honor for Hammock Pointe and the community to have the NASA artifact, “I am so honored to have been given this valuable NASA space item.  I believe that our school was chosen as the leading edge’s new home because NASA values the future impact that this will have on our students.” 

Ms. Belford continued, “A child being able to go home and say that they touched a real piece of a shuttle peaks an interest to become involved in science. That is the most amazing gift that can be given back to me in return for acquiring this item.”

A display case to hold the NASA space item will soon be completed at Hammock Pointe Elementary School.

For more information please contact Hammock Pointe Elementary Principal Carol Crilley at 561-477-2200 or .

Posted by on

The Sunshine State School Public Relations Association (SUNSPRA) announced its annual winners of Sunshine Medallion awards, in Tampa on June 13. The presentations were made at the opening session of the 2012 Florida Association of School Administrators by SUNSPRA President Dylan Thomas (Orange County) and President-elect Joe Landon (Collier County).

Twenty awards were given, of which four were proclaimed Best of Show winners. They were:

  • “Expanding Our Reach: Collier County Public Schools District Website” for the Publications and PR Tools District-Based category.
  • “Stingrays Online” by Palm Springs Middle School for the Publications and PR Tools School-Based category.
  • “2011-2012 Orange County Public Schools’ Basketball Family and Friends 4-Pack Sponsorship Packages” for the Programs and Projects District-Based category.
  • “Warrior Dads Program” by Okeeheelee Middle School for the Programs and Projects School-Based category.

Sunshine Medallion Awards are judged in two categories. In the Publications and Public Relations Tools Category, the winners were:

Annual Report – School District of Palm Beach County, Wellness Promotion Policy Annual Report.

Broadcast, Medium District – Marion County Public Schools, Classroom Connection – Golden Apple Episode.

Brochures and Flyers, Medium District – Marion County Public Schools, “Attracting Attention – Magnet Brochure”

Newsletter, Medium District – Marion County Public Schools, FASTFacts E-Newsletter.

Poster/Calendar, Medium District – Marion County Public Schools, 2011-2012 School Calendar.  

Promotional Videos:

  • Small District – Citrus County, “Citrus County Festival of the Arts: A showcase of Student Talent”.
  • Medium District – Collier County Public Schools, Engaging Our Students and the Community Career Academy.
  • Large District – Orange County Public Schools, “New Schools, New Spirit: School Construction Promo.”

Special Purpose Publication:

  • Medium District – Collier County Public Schools, “Enhancing Communication: 2011 Report to the Community.”
  • Large District – Orange County Public Schools, “Community Resources Recognition Event, Anniversary Year.


  • School – Palm Springs Middle School (Palm Beach County Schools), “Stingrays Online.”
  • Medium District – Collier County Public Schools, “Expanding our Reach.”  

In the Programs and Projects category, the winners were: 

Overall Image, Large District – Duval County Public Schools, “Read It Forward Jax!” 

Parent and Community Involvement:

  • School – Okeeheelee Middle School (Palm Beach County), “Warrior Dad’s Program”.
  • Medium District – Marion County Schools, “Be There” Campaign.
  • Large District – Orange County Public Schools, “Change Starts With Me, Character Development Initiative.”

Fund Raising Campaign/Special Events, Large District – Orange County Public Schools, “2011-2012 Basketball Family & Friends 4-Pack Sponsorship.”

Other Programs & Projects, Large Districts (tie) –

  • Lee County High Tech Center, “Edison Festival of Light Parade Float.”
  • Orange County Public Schools, “Code of Student Conduct: Cell Phones.” 
  • Orange County Public Schools, “What’s News.”

Judging was conducted by nine Manatee County business people unaffiliated with any school or district.

Posted by on

The distinction of “Master Board” is being awarded to The School District of Palm Beach County leadership team – School Board  Members and Superintendent E. Wayne Gent – by the Florida School Boards Association (FSBA) at  its Annual Spring Conference,  June 13 through June 15, 2012, in Tampa.
The School District’s leadership team follows previous District leadership teams in earning the distinction and is one of only thirty two (32) school districts in Florida to currently hold this prestigious award.

School Board Members Chuck Shaw, Marcia Andrews, Karen Brill and Jennifer Prior Brown

“With the FSBA facilitator, we came together as a team and participated in some challenging and rewarding team building exercises that enabled all of us to grow together as leaders,” said Board Chairman Frank Barbieri. “We pursued Master Board training because each of us is committed, individually and collectively, to doing the very best job we can for the students, parents and staff of the school district, and we wanted to make sure that we are as well trained and prepared to lead as a unified team as possible. The twenty two (22) intensive hours of Master Board training was invaluable to us,” he said.
According to FSBA, “The Master Board Program is a voluntary program which provides opportunities for the leadership team… to engage in training that enhances its capacity to provide visionary leadership for the school district.”
“The Master Board Program concentrates on the leadership team’s governance roles for enhancing student achievement, fostering connections and empowering collaboration between schools and the community, and creating a learning organization to advance excellence in public education,” FSBA says.  
For more information, contact Nat Harrington, 561 434-8227.

Posted by on

Limestone Creek’s Fairy Tale Principal Reading Challenge was held earlier this month.  The yearly, Reading Challenge goal was 78,000 Reading Counts points.  Students, kindergarten through fifth grade, finished the school year with 87,282 Reading Counts points. 

Top readers from each grade level raced against the fairy tale villains, Principal Sue Gibbs or Vice Principal Kelly Mullen, around the Limestone Creek bus loop on tricycles.  The students won every race against the fairy tale villains.

“What a wonderful event to celebrate an exciting year of reading,” said Limestone Creek Elementary Media Specialist Jill Sherpitis.  “I can’t wait to see what Principal Reading Counts challenge the students dream up for next year.”

For more information please contact Ms. Sherpitis at 561-741-9200 or .

Posted by on

With Plumosa School of the Arts achieving LEED Gold Certification, the School District now has more schools that have earned this designation than any other school district in Florida. Pine Jog Elementary, Everglades Elementary and Northboro Elementary have also achieved the prestigious LEED Gold Certification. C. O. Taylor/Kirklane Elementary and Hope-Centennial Elementary have been awarded LEED Silver Certification and Pahokee Middle School is Florida Green Building Coalition Certified.

Plumosa School of the Arts Principal Sally Rozanski said, “Plumosa promotes active citizenship. Being recognized for the efforts of our staff, community, and students, in combination with the expertise of the School District, Tercilla Courtemanche Architects, and Suffolk Construction is a great honor and very rewarding.”  The “new” Plumosa was built on the old campus of Atlantic High School.

In addition to addressing energy conservation and using recycled materials LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification recognizes schools for classroom acoustics, master planning, mold prevention and sustainable use of the site. 
For more information please contact Joseph Sanches, Chief of Division of Support Operations at 561-357-7573 or .

Posted by on

The world-renowned Juilliard School partnered with the Middle School of the Arts (MSOA) Foundation at Bak for a Jazz Residency in June of 2011. In response to the program’s tremendous success Juilliard is repeating, and expanding its programming at the award winning Bak MSOA.

In November of 2011 Juilliard’s TOOMAI quintet offered a Strings Residency at Bak MSOA providing participants  with small group instruction, sessions on technique, performance components and a Q&A session for both parents and students on problem solving,  chamber dynamics,  professionalism, etiquette,  auditioning  and avenues of opportunity. The Strings Residency was facilitated by Bak Strings Teacher Nancy Beebe.

Carl Allen

Juilliard is currently repeating and expanding on last summer’s successful Jazz Residency at Bak. Two separate one-week programs offer Jazz students week-long residencies based on skill level. The Jazz Residency was facilitated by Bak Band Director Cleve Maloon and program instructors include Ron Blake and Carl Allen.

Bak MSOA offers arts concentrations in eight art areas: Band, Communications, Dance, Keyboard, Strings, Theatre, Visual arts and Vocal Music. The Foundation’s goal is to raise support for quality

Ron Blake

programs of this caliber in all art areas.

Juilliard’s residencies at Bak MSOA were made possible by donations to the Middle School of the Arts Foundation. Oxbow Corporation, a long time and generous supporter of the MSOA Foundation at Bak contributed $20,000.00 in program support. Additional donations are needed.

Partner in excellence with the MSOA Foundation by donating to quality programs like the TOOMAI Strings Residency and Juilliard Jazz Residency at Bak Middle School of the Arts. To donate, or with questions, please contact Executive Director Jody Dragon at (561) 882-3828 or email, “friend” us on Facebook at Bak Middle School of the Arts Foundation (groups), or visit our web page at


Press are invited to cover the second week of the residency at Bak MSOA June 19-21, 2012 between  8am to 2pm by contacting Jody Dragon in advance.

Contact info:

Jody Dragon, Executive Director, Middle School of the Arts Foundation at Bak

Office (561) 882-3828, Email and

Posted by on

Florida DOE, Education Week Publish Graduation Rates


“It is gratifying to see the hard work of our teachers, staff and Board pay off for our students in one of the highest graduation rates in the nation. Closing the achievement gap and raising graduation rates of our African American, Hispanic and all students have been key focus areas of our district for years.  While we still have a lot of work to do to reach our goal of having all of our students graduate college and career ready, it’s good for our students, teachers, parents and community to see that we are making steady progress.”

 Superintendent E. Wayne Gent




(850) 245-0413


– Minority graduates in the Sunshine State lead the U.S. across the board –

Tallahassee, Fla., June 7, 2012 – Hispanic and African American students in Florida are much more likely to graduate from high school than their counterparts in other states according to a new national report. Education Week today released the 2012 Diplomas Count report highlighting Florida’s graduates compared to the nation. The report, which is based on data from the graduating class of 2009, shows that Florida’s Hispanic and African American students outpace the national graduation rate average by 9.6 and 3.5 percentage points, respectively. Hispanic female graduates top the nation with 77.5 percent of female students graduating, more than 10 percentage points higher than the national average of 66.1 percent. The Florida Hispanic graduating class ranks second in the nation overall. Additionally, Florida’s African American male students exceed the national graduation rate average by 4 percentage points.

“Florida is a leader in many areas of education, and I am incredibly proud of our students for this outstanding achievement. When we truly embrace diversity, it contributes to the great progress of our children,” said Education Commissioner Gerard Robinson. “I want to thank Florida’s teachers for their hard work to prepare our learners for graduation, college and future careers. Our state is a great example of what happens when we work together for our students.”

Florida ranks third in the nation for the largest increases in graduation rate during the past decade, rising from 52.5 percent in 1999 to 70.4 percent in 2009 (an increase of 18 percentage points), surpassing Maryland, Massachusetts, and Texas. Among the nation’s largest public school systems, Broward County (78.3) and Palm Beach County (75.4) graduation rates rank among the top ten in the country. Lee County ranked eleventh (74.6).

Diplomas Count 2012

Graduation Rates      �
        Florida National Average       
Hispanic        72.6    63.0  �
Hispanic males  66.8    58.1  �
Hispanic females        77.5    66.1  �
African American        62.0    58.7  �
African American males  55.7    51.9  �
African American females        68.0    65.3  �
All Students    70.4    73.4  �
Male    66.8    69.6  �
Female  75.9    76.4   

Diplomas Count is published by Education Week; the same organization that produces theQuality Counts national report on education. The focus of Diplomas Count is high school graduation rates and policies, as well as college standards. Diplomas Count uses a graduation rate index called the Cumulative Promotion Index (CPI).The CPI includes students receiving standard high school diplomas as graduates. For more information about the CPI and Education Week’s Diplomas Count 2012 report, visit


About the Florida Department of Education: The department’s mission is to increase the proficiency of all students within one seamless, efficient education system by providing them the chance to expand their knowledge and skills through world-class learning opportunities. Serving more than 3.5 million students, 4,200 public schools, 28 colleges, 188,000 teachers, 47,000 college professors and administrators, and 318,000 full-time staff throughout the state, the department enhances the economic self-sufficiency of Floridians through programs and services geared toward college, workforce education, job-specific skills and career development. Florida ranks first in the nation for teacher quality, first in the nation in advanced placement participation, and first in the southern region for graduation rate and degrees awarded by the Florida College System. For more information, visit


Posted by on

Palm Beach County School District transportation officials will conduct a Western Area Evacuation Plan Exercise on Friday, June 8, 2012, at 7:00 a.m.  This annual exercise is designed to simulate functions associated with evacuating the western area communities of Palm Beach County in the event of a breach of the Lake Okeechobee Dike. 

Transportation officials will utilize approximately 30 buses from the six (6) transportation facilities to participate in this exercise.  The buses will be required to travel to assigned pick-up locations in the west area and return to the South Florida Fairgrounds.  Also, Movement Control Teams will be strategically staged on State Road 80 to monitor this process.  

It is estimated that 18,000 people will depend on public transportation for evacuation.  Contingency plans, will allow for much greater numbers of potential evacuees. 

The School District has approximately 821 buses, located at six (6) transportation facilities throughout the county.  The West Transportation Facility located in Belle Glade, FL has 50 school buses permanently assigned to the Glades area with seating capacity ranging from 50 to 84 passengers.  This facility has an overall carrying capacity of approximately 3,000 passengers.  The carrying capacity will be reduced based on personal effects being carried by individuals.  

Additional buses from other transportation facilities will augment the evacuation process as required. Drivers and buses from other facilities can be mobilized in approximately one (1) hour and can reach pick-up areas in the Glades area in approximately one additional hour, assuming local law enforcement officials close one lane of traffic on SR 80, as called for in the Evacuation Plan developed by the Palm Beach County Emergency Operations Center (EOC). 

For more information, contact George Pratt, West Area Manager, Transportation Services, at (561) 242-8364 or via email at  







 Public Affairs Contact: Natalia Arenas – (561) 357-7662 –

Posted by on

Students in the Medical Academy at John I. Leonard High School received a trophy recently for literally giving of themselves: they donated a total of 183 pints of  blood to the Community Blood Centers of  Florida. The organization honored them for holding the largest blood drive of the school year and named them Student Committee of the Year.  Jackie Burgess, Medical Academy coordinator, was also recognized as the Contact Person of the Year.

The following students in the Medical Academy were awarded college scholarships with funds received from the Community Blood Centers of Florida:

Kristen Pittman

Yariann Vargas

Kayla Tobiassen

Danielle Irizary

Jeff Jean

Nephatalie Jen

Melanie Sanchez

Victor Medina

Jonathan Navas

For more information, contact Principal, Terry Costa, at 561- 641-1200 or



Posted by on

Suncoast High School Senior Emana Sheikh took first place ($500) in the first annual “Make a Difference” poster contest sponsored by Florida Public Service Union (FPSU).

The contest awarded $1,000 to three students for artwork centered on how non­-instructional employees like bus drivers, custodians and food service workers make a difference. Park Vista High School Senior Erik Guzman won second place ($300) and Dreyfoos School of the Arts Sophomore Jordan Lane Palmer won third place ($200).

“Students understand that our schools are dynamic communities that rely on great teachers, leaders, drivers, custodians, and food service workers,” said Alphonso Mayfield, President of the Florida Public Service Union. “I was so impressed with all of the artwork – a testament to the maturity and creativity of these young adults.”

Finalists’ artwork will be on display at the Fulton-Holland Educational Services Center at a later date. To view winning artwork and honors visit:

First Place

Emana Sheikh

Suncoast HS

Grade 12


Second Place

Erik Guzman

Park Vista HS

Grade 12


Third Place

Jordan Lane Palmer

Dreyfoos School of the Arts

Grade 10


Honorable Mention

Bradley Cash

South Tech Academy


Honorable Mention

Stephen McDow

Jupiter HS

Grade 9


Honorable Mention

Jessica Blazas

Jupiter HS

Grade 12


Honorable Mention

Barbara Tong



Honorable Mention

Dariell Bethel

South Tech Academy

Grade 10


Honorable Mention

Krystal Khemkaran

Palm Beach Lakes HS

Grade 10


Honorable Mention

Chyanee Turey

South Tech Academy

Grade 9


Honorable Mention

Isabella Pezzulo

Dreyfoos School of the Arts

Grade 10


Honorable Mention

Jordan Kallam

South Tech Academy

Grade 10


Honorable Mention

Molly Ramsay

Spanish River HS

Grade 11


Honorable Mention

Megan Lasnick

Jupiter HS

Grade 10


Honorable Mention

Jocky Jimenez & Alexandra Reyes

South Tech Academy

Grade 11


For contest questions email:



The Florida Public Service Union is pleased to partner with The School District of Palm Beach County. FPSU represents the bus drivers, custodial and maintenance staff in the PBC schools. We stand committed to continually improving the quality of our schools.

Posted by on

Thanks to the support of local businesses, Jupiter Elementary School was able to paint a “Native American-Loxahatchee River Mural”.  The mural was drawn and painted by fifth grade students under the supervision of Melody DePasquale, Art Teacher. A young boy delightfully finds a tortoise while his sister gently cradles a baby rabbit.  Their mother admires them while she multi-tasks by carrying a bundle of freshly picked oranges and a precious papoose securely harnessed to her back.  Raccoons, armadillo’s, deer, Florida panthers, pelicans, alligators and much more wildlife are intricately woven throughout the landscape.

Melody DePasquale, Art Teacher, Daniel K. Smith, Principal, Janet Reyes, Isabella Morcote, Samuel Gracia, Ronnie Worley-Williams, Austin Jaffres, Allison Reeves, Hailey Perez, Ashley Giles, Erika Wesch, Brayan Diaz, Brenda Oliver of "Dreamscape Designs of Jupiter" and Gwenn Rives, Assistant Principal.  Not pictured:  Devin Schmidt from Sherwin Williams of Jupiter.

Melody DePasquale, Art Teacher, Daniel K. Smith, Principal, Janet Reyes, Isabella Morcote, Samuel Gracia, Ronnie Worley-Williams, Austin Jaffres, Allison Reeves, Hailey Perez, Ashley Giles, Erika Wesch, Brayan Diaz, Brenda Oliver of "Dreamscape Designs of Jupiter" and Gwenn Rives, Assistant Principal. Not pictured: Devin Schmidt from Sherwin Williams of Jupiter.

Jupiter Elementary hopes that this mural will inspire children to care about our natural environment and make wise decisions when disposing of waste.  Jupiter Elementary is a “Green School” and recycling bins are conveniently located throughout the campus to promote our “Reduce, Reuse and Recycle” campaign.  Parents, teachers and staff earnestly support this effort knowing that educating our children is essential to preserving our precious resources.

Jupiter Elementary School would like to thank Daniel K. Smith, principal and Gwen Rives, assistant principal for enthusiastically supporting this arduous project.  Devin Schmidt from Sherwin Williams of Jupiter generously donated paint and Brenda Oliver of “Dreamscape Designs of Jupiter” also donated her time, talents and materials to assist with this project.  Art Teacher Melody DePasquale said, “Most importantly, however, are the amazing talents of the fifth graders who painstakingly worked on this mural for several weeks.  Jupiter Elementary school proudly recognizes Erika Wesch, Brayan Diaz, Allison Reeves, Hailey Perez, Janet Reyes, Samuel Gracia, Ashley Giles, Austin Jaffres, Isabella Morcote and Ronnie Worley-Williams.  We are very proud to showcase the talents of such incredible young artists in a mural that will inspire children to preserve our natural resources.”

For more information please contact Ms. DePasquale at 561-741-5300 or .

Posted by on

Superintendent Wayne Gent, Karrah Duvall - Boca Raton Elementary, Latricia Santana - Turning Points Academy, Danielle D'Amico - Wellington Landings Middle

The Annual Beginning Teacher of the Year and Mentor Teacher of the Year Awards Ceremony took place at Fulton-Holland Education Services Center June 5th. The Department of Professional Development and the Education Foundation of Palm Beach County, Inc. co-sponsored the event in support of first year teachers and mentors.

The awards were presented to elementary, middle, and high school first year teachers and mentors employed by the School District of Palm Beach County, who have been recommended by their principal for demonstrating excellence.

The Beginning Teacher of the Year Award winners are:
Karrah Duvall – Boca Raton Elementary School

Danielle D’Amico – Wellington Landings Middle School

Latricia Santana – Turning Points Academy

Kenlynn Dalton– Elbridge Gale Elementary, Lisa McAndrews– Seminole Trails Elementary, Superintendent Wayne Gent, Lynne Getch– Eagles Landing Middle, Leslie Sommer- Boca Raton Community High

The Mentor Teacher of the Year Award winners are:
Kenlynn Dalton– Elbridge Gale Elementary
Lisa McAndrews– Seminole Trails Elementary
Lynne Getch– Eagles Landing Middle
Leslie Sommer- Boca Raton Community High

Each award recipient received $500 to be used for planning lessons and/or supplies for their classrooms.

For additional information about the awards or the ceremony please contact Dr. Gina Stafford at (561)776-3663 or .

Posted by on

In preparation for the upcoming school modernization project, North Palm Beach Elementary will be temporarily located at the previous site of D. D. Eisenhower Elementary. Transportation will be provided for all K-5 students.  The temporary site is located 4 miles north of the current site.

The move will be facilitated by the School District Facilities Services Department.  All North Palm Beach Elementary staff will be going with the school, re-establishing the school family at the temporary site.

At this time the temporary site building is being prepared to provide the necessary technology and classroom environment to support the school. 

An open house for parents is planned for early August 2012.  Parents will be notified via the call-out system and by mail.

The North Palm Beach Elementary Instrumental Music Choice program will be fully operational during the temporary location of the school at D. D. Eisenhower Elementary.

The “new” North Palm Beach Elementary will reopen in the summer of 2014.

For more information please contact North Palm Beach Elementary Principal Teresa Stoupas at 561-494-1800 or .