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The wait’s almost over. Families can get ready to head to the South Florida Fair Grounds next week for the Showcase of Schools to get first-hand information on the magnet, choice program, or career academy that best suits the budding musician, doctor, lawyer or environmentalist in the house. The 16th Annual Showcase of Schools, set for *October 16, in the Expo Center will also be a collection site for non-perishable food items for the Bill Brooks’ Food for Families drive organized each year by WPTV News Channel 5. Showcase attendees are encouraged to bring one or more items to donate at the event. Food contributions will be distributed to local families in need during the upcoming holidays.

Students and parents who attend the Showcase of Schools will have access to representatives from over 200 magnet and choice programs, career academies and charter schools available in Palm Beach County for students in grades K-12. This exciting event is scheduled from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Participants will have the opportunity to learn about the choice options available as well as the eligibility requirementsto be considered for these programs.

The District, considered a leader in the quality and diversity of Choice programs offered, attracts students to schools by offering unique opportunities for in-depth experiences and study that emphasizes a specific theme such as International Business and Marketing, Culinary Arts, InformationTechnology, Engineering, Medical Sciences, Performing Arts, and many more! Over 33,000 students are currently enrolled in a district choice or magnet program or school, or career academy.

2013-2014 Choice booklets and applications, which are now available on the District’s website at, will also be available at this event. The deadline for submitting applications for the 2013-2014 school year is Friday, December 14, 2012.

For more information ,please contact the Department of Choice and Career Options at 561-434-8755.

*The severe weather make-up date is December 4th.

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Wellington Elementary School kicked off the school year with an Olympic sized book fair. The aptly titled “Going for the Gold” book fair was a fun filled week-long event inspired by the Summer Olympics. 

The Parent Teacher Organization (PTO) and volunteers transformed the media center into an Olympic stadium complete with an Olympic ring banner, sports memorabilia, and volunteers wearing team shirts.  The students also participated in a Reading Log Contest. 

“Our students took home the GOLD in Reading by reading 90,478 minutes!” said Mrs. Eugina Smith-Feaman, Principal. 

The closing ceremonies took place during the Book Fair Family Night.  All proceeds from the book fair benefit the school library.  Wellington Elementary will be hosting another book fair in February 2013. 

For more information contact Eugina Smith-Feaman at (561) 651-0600 or via email at






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

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On Thursday, October 4, 2012, the Pearson Foundation, a national sponsor of Jumpstart’s Read for the Record campaign,  is inviting students everywhere to read Jacky Davis’, Ladybug Girl and the Bug Squad. The Foundation hopes to set a new world record for the greatest number of people reading the same book on the same day.  Every time the story is read online or face-to-face, the Pearson Foundation will donate a new children’s book to a preschool classroom Jumpstart serves.

To participate in Read for the Record on October 4, 2012, teachers may visit  or click on the logo to register student groups and pledge to read to the new world record.  In addition Pearson will donate 1,000 books to the top ten school districts that have the most individual user registrations.   First and second grades may use the website to read the book online and register their classes also.

Activities and resources may be found on Learning Village.  Interested participants should go to Learning Village > Elementary > FY13Reading> K Reading or 01 Reading.  

For more information, contact Linda Golightly at (561) 434-8806 or email

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This Saturday, September 29th the Center for Green Schools at the U. S. Green Building Council is sponsoring the first, international Green Apple Day of Service.  Parents, teachers, students and advocates from around the world will work to make schools healthier, more sustainable places to learn.

Schools in Palm Beach County will be organizing school cleanups, planting a new garden or maintaining an existing garden, forming a school green team and creating conservation signage.  The School District of Palm Beach County received the first LEED Gold Certified Certification for school construction in Florida and it has more prestigious LEED Gold Certifications than any other school district in Florida. Plumosa School of the Arts, Pine Jog Elementary, Everglades Elementary, and Northboro Elementary earned the LEED Gold Certification. C. O. Taylor/Kirklane Elementary and Hope-Centennial Elementary have earned the LEED Silver Certification and Pahokee Middle School is Florida Green Building Coalition Certified.  

In anticipation of the first Green Apple Day of Service, Linda Smithe, Green Schools Chairman for Florida said, “If you believe that the test of the morality of a society is what it does for its children.  If you believe that the solution to adult problems tomorrow depends in large measure upon how our children grow up today.  If you believe that there is only one true investment in our future …Then join the Center for Green Schools at the U.S. Green Building Council on September 29 for the first-ever Green Apple Day of Service.”

At the September 19th Palm Beach County School Board meeting, School Board Members adopted a proclamation proclaiming September 29, 2012 as Green Apple Day of Service.  

For more information please contact School District Environmental Specialist Christina Crespo at 561-688-7602 .

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The Suncoast Community High School Girls’ Volleyball team is sponsoring the “2nd Annual Volley For the Cure” and “Senior Night” Tuesday, October 9, 2012.  “Volley For the Cure” t-shirts will be available to purchase for $10.00 and breast cancer ribbons will be on sale with proceeds being donated to “The Go Pink Challenge of Boca Raton Community Hospital Women’s Center.”  The Center is committed to the research and treatment of breast cancer.  

Seniors on the Girls’ Volleyball team will also be honored as Suncoast hosts the season’s last home game:

JV Lady Chargers vs. American Heritage at 5:00 pm

Varsity Lady Chargers vs. American Heritage at 7:00 pm

Admission: $5.00 for adults and $3.00 for students.

For more information please contact Suncoast High Director of Athletics Kelli Erianne at .

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Bobby Valcin literally works around the clock – as a security guard on the graveyard shift, as a student earning his bachelor’s degree in social work at night school, and as a site coordinator for Communities In Schools of Palm Beach County.  Now he has another feather to add to his cap. Valcin has been named one of five “Unsung Heroes” by the national Communities In Schools organization. He and the four other award recipients were honored on September 20th at a ceremony in Washington, D.C.

The award, first presented in 2007, recognizes members of the Communities In Schools national network who embody the core values of the organization and exemplify the commitment of Communities In Schools to surround students with a community of support.

Valcin says it’s his passion for supporting students that makes his daily grind worth it, and his faith plays a fundamental role in his approach to work. After an earthquake devastated Haiti in 2010, more than 625 students and their families sought refuge in Palm Beach County. Bobby, fluent in Creole, was enlisted to serve these students. Many had lost everything and were in desperate need of school uniforms, shoes, personal hygiene items, a translator and someone who could help them navigate their new school and life.

“Bobby has an excellent rapport with students and teachers,” said Danette Stevenson, guidance counselor at John F. Kennedy Middle School. “His ability to connect with students demonstrates his ability to serve the community.”

“Bobby is a young man with a heart for his students. It is not uncommon to see students seek him out in the hallways at JFK Middle School. The conversations always start out with a handshake and end with a high five,” said Margaret Bagley, Executive Director of Communities In Schools of Palm Beach County.

“Site coordinators are at the heart of the Communities In Schools network, and these Unsung Heroes award recipients go above and beyond to ensure the students we serve have the resources and support to be successful in school and in life,” said Communities In Schools President Daniel Cardinali.

In addition to Valcin, the other 2012 Unsung Heroes are:

  • Stephanie Armendariz, Communities In Schools of South Central Texas, who took over a parent engagement program targeted at fathers and recruited 300 fathers to attend.
  • Paul Fagen, Communities In Schools of Chicago, who saw that school violence was an issue at his school, so enlisted students to create a conflict resolution club that is now three years old and has helped resolve more than 150 conflicts in the last year.
  • Linda Shelley, Communities In Schools of Peninsula, Wash., who coordinated free dental care for a family of six children without health insurance and a family income of only $34,000.
  • Steven Weeks, Communities In Schools of Greenville, S.C., who not only takes care of the middle school students on his current caseload, but often visits the high school to eat lunch with and check in on the students he used to serve.

A video of Mr. Valcin and his work can be view here

About Communities In Schools

Working in nearly 2,700 schools, in the most challenged communities in 24 states and the District of Columbia, Communities In Schools serves nearly 1.26 million young people and their families every year. It has become the nation’s leading dropout prevention organization, and the only one proven to both increase on-time graduation rates and reduce dropout rates. 


By connecting at-risk students and their families to critical community resources, Palm Beach County’s CIS served 8,856 students and their families during the 2011-12 school year; 244 in its intensive program. Of those, none dropped out, 85% improved academic performance; 81% improved classroom behavior; 85% graduated and 88% were promoted.

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The Palm Beach County School Food Service Department is proud to announce that its “Power Up With Breakfast” campaign will now offer a free breakfast to ALL students beginning Monday, October 1, 2012.   

Students must select a free breakfast that complies with the USDA school breakfast program.  This program requires that students select food items from three or four of the following food groups; grains, protein, fruit, and milk. At least one of the choices must be from the fruit group. 

Studies continue to validate how important it is for students to start their day with a healthy breakfast and how a well-nourished student has more energy available for cognitive and social activities. This free breakfast program will support all our students in their efforts to best receive the quality education that is offered in Palm Beach County. 

Because the breakfast and lunch programs are self-supporting and do not use general revenue education dollars, there will be no fiscal impact on the school district’s budget and no money taken from the classroom. 

Breakfast is served daily usually 30 minutes prior to the start of the school day.  We hope that students will take this opportunity to enjoy a healthy breakfast at their school each day. 

For more information contact Steve Bonino at (561) 383-2000 or via email at






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

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Gove Elementary School celebrates diversity by inviting students, teachers, parents, and community to a “Walk to School” promoting their favorite wellness slogan. 

When? October 3, 2012 from 7:20 to 7:55 a.m. 

Where? Gove Elementary School – 900 S. E. Ave G, Belle Glade, FL 33430. 

The emphasis will be on encouraging families to walk together for wellness, healthy lifestyles and conservation of our environment.  The Wellness Student Council and participants will act as mentors to educate our parents, children and community on the importance of a proper regiment of exercise, practicing safety and making the right environmental and healthy choices. 

Students will also be encouraged to dream and dress in a career choice. 

For more information contact Ellen Smith at (561) 993-8700 or via email at






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


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A Family Comedy Exploring the Mishaps and Eccentricities of Life      

 Take a journey into a life of absurdity and improbability as Spanish River High School proudly presents its fall production of the 1970s comedy Jabberwock, running from November 2nd through November 4th.

You’ll laugh your way into the adolescent heart of James ‘Jamie’ Thurber, a famed author and cartoonist, as you relive his memoirs set in the fictional town of Columbus, Ohio during World War I.  Written by playwrights Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee, this zany and quick-witted script will keep you guessing as Jamie faces unexpected encounters with his hilariously dysfunctional family, yet still manages to find sense and sensibility among it all.  Jabberwock is recognized as a family comedy and is sure to keep you laughing and entertained.

“Jabberwock is a wonderful story of the adolescent struggle against wit and wisdom,” said Rocco D’Attolico, Program Director of Spanish River High School’s Theatre Arts and Drama Department.  “It presents with a large cast of characters which will give each of our students a chance to be a part of this nostalgic play.”

Performances begin at 7:00 p.m. on November 2nd and November 3rd, and at 2:00 p.m. for our Sunday matinee on November 4th at the beautiful state-of-the-art Countess de Hoernle Theatre. The theatre is located on the Spanish River Community High School’s campus at 5100 Jog Road, on the corner of Jog Road and Yamato Road in Boca Raton.  Ticket prices are $10.00 for Reserved Seating and may only be purchased online at  There is free parking onsite and handicapped access is available.  For your enjoyment, refreshments will be available at our concession in the lobby before the show and during intermission.

For more information, please contact Elena Doxey, Publicity Chair, at 561-271-4767.

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“Success begins at home” was the theme of this year’s first Title I District Parent Advisory Council (DPAC) meeting held Tuesday, September 11, at the Fulton-Holland Educational Services Center(FHESC). Parent and guardian representatives from the district’s Title I schools gathered to discuss family involvement and its role in raising student achievement. The enthusiastic group elected the following officers for the 2012-2013 school year:

Chairperson, Magda Dominique; Vice-Chairperson, Hazeltine McFarlane; Secretary, Maureen Crespo; Area Representatives, Jacqueline Bentancourt, Pearl Boodoo, Gregory Latimore, Pamela Lucas, and Steven Muckerman.

The Title I staff is committed to working with Title I schools to set high standards and expectations for all students. Schools which have a high percentage of children qualifying for free or reduced priced meals receive an allocation of federal dollars intended to Improve the Academic Achievement of the Disadvantaged. Central to this improvement is the federal and state requirement to ensure parent involvement. The DPAC is designed to facilitate parent and guardian participation in decisions regarding family involvement, student programs and activities, and district procedures. Each of the District’s  Title I schools has parental input into decisions about each School Improvement Plan (SIP) and Parent Involvement Plan (PIP).

The next meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, December 11, at the Fulton Holland Educational Services Center, Thurber A and B, from 6:00 P.M. to 8:00 P.M. All parents and guardians of students in Title I schools are eligible to attend the meetings. The DPAC meets quarterly each school year.

For more information, contact Ernesto Lontoc, Grant Compliance specialist of the Department of Federal and State Programs at or at 561-434-8037.









Front row (from left): Maureen Crespo, Pearl Boodoo, Jacqueline Bentancourt, Magda Dominque, and Pamela Lucas. Back row: Ernesto Lontoc, Gregory Latimore, and Steven Muckerman. Not in the picture, Hazeltine McFarlane.

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When Dr. Mae Hamlin first began working with children in New York in 1956, President Dwight D. Eisenhower was in the White House and a postage stamp was three cents.  Dr. Hamlin moved to Palm Beach County in 1970 to work as a School Psychologist and The School District was known as The Board of Public Instruction and a gallon of gas was 36 cents. 

Jupiter Elementary is proudly declaring Friday, September 28, 2012, as “Dr. Mae Day” to pay tribute to the lengthy and dedicated career of Dr. Mae Hamlin.  Dr. Hamlin started her career in our School District in 1970 as a School Psychologist after several years in the Commack Public Schools and Port Washington Schools, both in New York.  Here in Palm Beach County she worked in Instructional Services, the Department of Special Education, as a Guidance Counselor at Palm Beach Public, a School Psychologist in the South Area and in her present position as a Guidance Counselor at Jupiter Elementary.

“Dr. Mae,” as the students affectionately call her, counsels students, helps families, and has mentored countless professionals. According to Jupiter Elementary Principal Daniel Smith, “Although our staff at Jupiter Elementary will consider it a Mayday distress call to lose our gentle and compassionate guidance counselor, we are rejoicing with her by celebrating her retirement.”

For more information please contact Principal Smith at 561-741-5300 or 

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Come play on Saturday, October 6, 2012, at the Wellington Tennis Center from 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. for the Florida United States Tennis Association (USTA), 10 and under tennis festival. The Wellington Tennis center is located at 12150 Forest Hill Blvd.

Palm Beach County students are invited to attend, and be a part of the USTA Free Play Day in celebration of Nickelodeon’s World Wide Day of Play on Saturday, October 6th at the Wellington Tennis Center.  Nickelodeon asks all viewers to turn off their TV and go out and play.  USTA is asking all children 10 and under to play tennis from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. There will be on-court tennis activities, off-court games, and crafts, a DJ, bounce house, raffle prizes, and food.   

In 2011, the Florida USTA provided a tennis grant for eight elementary schools in the Wellington Community to teach the 10 and under tennis curriculum in physical education classes.  The schools that participated in the tennis grant are Binks Forest, Discovery Key, Elbridge Gale, Equestrian Trails, Everglades, New Horizons, Panther Run, and Wellington.  Each school received thousands of dollars in age appropriate tennis equipment and professional development.

This fun day is FREE for elementary school children and their families. This festival is sponsored by local vendors, such as, Whole Foods, TCBY, Tijuana Flats, Publix, Lowes, Sports Authority, and many more.

For more information please contact Debbie Ellsworth at .

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The school year’s first District Parent Leadership Council (PLC) meeting is set for Thursday, September 27, from 6:30-8:30 at multiple sites around the County. The Department of Multicultural Education is hoping more parents of English Language Learners (ELL students) will participate this year and has scheduled the meetings at various schools to make it easier for parent involvement. Meetings are scheduled for Grove Park Elementary, Palm Springs Middle, Lake Worth Middle, Carver Middle or Glades Central. Interpreters will be available for speakers of Spanish, Haitian-Creole, and Portuguese.

Department Specialist Connie Berry said the group’s focus this year includes the rights and responsibilities of English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) program parents. “Emphasis will be stressed on the different opportunities available for their youngsters, such as CHOICE and magnet programs and enrichment activities as well as strategies they can use at home to help their students succeed in school,” she stated. 

District Parent Leadership Council members are frequently those parents who have been effective in leadership capacities at their children’s schools.  Information on a variety of topics offered at District PLC meetings by educators and community service providers is taken back and shared with members of the individual schools’ Parent Leadership Councils. The Palm Beach County School District has approximately25,000 students enrolled in the ESOL program and thousands of students who have successfully exited and transitioned into the mainstream educational programs.

For more information, contact Ms. Berry, 561.434-7348 or




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The School District of Palm Beach County and Classroom Teachers Association (CTA) met this afternoon for a bargaining session regarding teacher salaries.  District officials presented the School Board’s salary proposal for the 2012-13 school year.  The Board’s proposal would provide the following: 

  • Teachers would receive an increase to their base salary for the 2012-13 school year ranging from three percent (3%) to two percent (2%). 
  • Under the Board’s proposal, teachers currently earning a base salary of less than $40,000 would receive a 3% salary increase.This group represents 5,675 teachers or 45% of the employee group; 
  • Teachers currently earning a base salary between $40,000 and $44,054 would receive a 2.5% salary increase.  This group represents 1,718 teachers or 14% of the employee group; 
  • Teachers currently earning a base salary between $45,370 and $66,700 would receive a 2.0% salary increase.  This group represents 4,290 teachers or 34% of the employee group; 
  • Teachers currently earning the longevity salary of $71,745 would receive a one-time salary bonus of $1,200. 
  • Under the Board’s proposal, teachers will receive an average increase of $1,096 for the 2012-13 school year. 
  • The Board’s proposal reflects a min/max salary schedule that will comply with State requirements scheduled to take effect July 1, 2014.  Under a min/max salary schedule, the Board and CTA may negotiate future across the board salary increases, cost of living adjustments, and pay for performance. 
  • The District has provided teachers with salary increases for three of the past four years without awarding steps.  For the 2008-09 school year, teachers received a 2% across the board salary increase.  No other employee group received an increase that year.  No raise was awarded to employees for the 2009-10 school year.  For the 2010-11 school year, all employees including teachers received a one-time $500 salary bonus.  For the 2011-12, teachers received a recurring across the board salary increase of $500.  No other employees received an increase last year.   
  • The total package represents a $15.8 million increase and impacts all 12,578 employees within the teachers bargaining unit. 
  • The School Board’s $15.8 million offer to teachers represents 73% of the funds available for employee salary considerations.  The teacher employee group currently represents 61% of the District’s workforce and 71% of the base payroll. 
  • The proposed salary increase will be retroactive to the start of the 2012-13 school year if accepted. 
  • Given the situation with the Florida Retirement System (FRS) lawsuit and related budget uncertainty for next year, the School Board’s salary proposal is guaranteed for the 2012-13 school year (FY2013) and includes a provision to provide some flexibility for FY2014.  Should employees recover their three percent (3%) FRS contribution and Florida school districts suffer a funding shortfall as a result of the lawsuit, it may be necessary to roll back any recurring salary increases beginning with FY2014.  The School Board and Superintendent hope exercising such a provision will not be necessary, but retaining this flexibility is very important given the magnitude of the potential financial impact associated with this lawsuit.  Rather than holding all available funds in reserve until the outcome and implications of the FRS lawsuit are known, the School Board and Superintendent feel it is important to move forward with negotiating employee salary proposals for this year. 
  • Throughout the funding reductions of the past five years our School Board has focused on avoiding layoffs, maintaining employee health insurance coverage and complying with stringent State class size requirements.  
  • Health insurance is an important component of employee compensation, and the District contribution now represents eighteen percent (18%) of employee salaries on average.  The health insurance program for employees and retirees is expected to exceed $190 million for the upcoming 2013 calendar year.  Over the past four years, the School Board’s contribution to health insurance premiums has increased $1,700 per employee on average. Efforts to reach an agreement with all employee groups through coalition bargaining are ongoing.  Although the existing employee contract language caps the District’s contribution at the current funding level, the School Board has proposed covering two-thirds of the rising cost rather than pass the entire increase on to employees for next year.



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The 2012 Palm Beach County School District College and Career Night will feature over 175 colleges, universities, career programs and military representatives to provide information regarding post-secondary options. 

When? Thursday, October 18, 2012 from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. 

Where? South Florida Expo Center and the South Florida Fairgrounds – 9067 Southern Blvd. West Palm Beach, FL 33411. 

The  College and Career  Night  is  one  of the  most valuable  resources for  all students  in  providing  them with pertinent college and career readiness information. 

“All high school students and their parents are invited to attend this event free of charge.  The opportunity to meet with college representatives is beneficial so our students can make informed decisions about their future and plan accordingly,” said Mrs. Greenfield, High School Counseling Specialist. 

Additionally, commercial vendors who provide tutoring and college search services will also be participating. 

For more information contact Eunice Greenfield at (561) 434-8820 or via email at






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


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We have until October 9 to register to vote in the November 6 General Election. The Palm Beach County Supervisor of Elections Office says, “The right to vote is one of the most fundamental liberties we enjoy as Americans and it is also one of our greatest civic responsibilities. Make freedom count, please register and vote.” 

Click here to view the “Register to Vote” video from The Education Network




Registration forms are also available in the main lobby of the Fulton Holland Educational Services Center, District Headquarters building. 3300 Forest Hill Blvd. West Palm Beach, FL 33406. Lobby hours Monday thru Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

For more information visit the Palm Beach County Supervisor of Elections website at .

On October 22, the final Presidential Debate will take place at Lynn University in Boca Raton.  The School District has been working closely with Lynn University on debate-related educational activities for our students.  A K-12 Debate Curriculum has been developed to give students specific instruction, aligned with the state standards, on the historical and political perspectives of the American political system and the role of Presidential Debates.

The Supervisor of Elections Office indicates that it has supplied each school with Voter Registration forms. If more are needed, contact Clarence Patterson, 561 656-6250, at the Supervisor of Elections Office.

For more information, go to:

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Pine Jog Elementary has always excelled and continues to be one of the best schools in Palm Beach County offering innovative and hands on experiences to their students. 

More recently, Parents Magazine asked state departments of education, charter-school associations, teacher groups, and Facebook fans to nominate innovative public elementary schools. More than 500 schools were nominated and Pine Jog Elementary was selected as one of the ten to be featured. 

Click here to read the Parents Magazine article. 

The school was chosen for its unique Environmental STEM program.   Pine Jog Elementary won the National Green Ribbon Award in May of 2012 and was just listed as the first Green Star School this month by the Green Schools National Network.  

The National Green Ribbon Schools information can be located at:

The Green Star Schools Award is listed on the Green Schools National Network website:

The school has partnered with Florida Atlantic University and the Pine Jog Environmental Education Center to create the first Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Certified Green Elementary School in Florida. 

The focus is environmental Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math. Students have the opportunity to engage in hand on learning experiences as they explore and discover the wonders of native vegetation and wildlife on the 150 acres of natural Florida habitat.


Among Pine Jog’s noteworthy achievements: 

  • The School’s staff has taken the green school model and continued to build upon sustainability concepts with a level of enthusiasm that is infectious.  Students make use of energy and water consumption information available on touch screens in various locations throughout the school.  The school is one of Florida’s most energy-efficient schools; Pine Jog has reduced energy use by 25 percent annually, which is enough to pay for one teacher’s salary each year. 
  • Approximately 135 acres of this campus, which is shared with Florida Atlantic University, are natural woodlands, featuring multiple outdoor learning labs and three miles of trails. As part of the United Nation’s Billion Trees Campaign, Pine Jog students planted 1700 trees in 2011. 
  • Students manage all aspects of a 4000-plant hydroponic garden, including its business plan.  The campus also has nine themed ground gardens, an outdoor butterfly garden learning area, an urban peach orchard, a pond, and beehive, as well as extensive nature trails.  Students created a YouTube video detailing how water is collected in cisterns and reused to irrigate the gardens.  They create artwork and musical instruments from items that would have gone to the landfill. 
  • The School’s Reuse Center allows the community to drop off clothing, books, and classroom supplies that they don’t need or to find treasures to reuse.
  • Students participate in the NASA Train like an Astronaut Program, through which they experience rigorous outdoor physical activities that are linked to the curriculum. 
  • All teachers are certified in the Florida Fish and Wildlife Federation’s Project Wild Curriculum, and study Richard Louv’s Last Child in the Woods. 
  • Each grade level has a unique long-term environmental project called Legacy Projects. 
  • The staff is committed to the green school movement and presents best practices at local, state and national conferences. 

This 2012 National Green Ribbon School’s commitment is to focus on children as agents of change who communicate green messages to their families and community, and eventually reach people all across the globe. 

For more information contact Fred Barch at (561) 656-5400 or via email at





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

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Atlantic High School senior Jessica McClintock was awarded a 2012 Nordstrom Ten4U scholarship.  Managers from all the Palm Beach County Nordstrom stores and Atlantic staff surprised Jessica in school with a $10,000 scholarship and an Apple MacBook. 

Jessica ranks in the top one percent of the competitive senior class.  She is an International Baccalaureate Diploma Candidate and a National AP Scholar.  Jessica is a National Merit Commended Scholar.  She is a member of the National Honor Society, vice president of the National French Honor Society, and treasurer of the National Art Honor Society. 

Jessica is an athlete.  She has been a captain of the varsity swim team for the past two years.  She is also a member of the varsity soccer and track and field teams.  Jessica is involved in her church where she has devoted over four hundred service hours.  Jessica also volunteers at a local soup kitchen and as a tutor to her peers. 

High school juniors in the 31 states Nordstrom operates a full-line or Rack store who demonstrate outstanding community involvement and scholastic achievement are welcome to apply for the scholarship.  Students must have an un-weighted GPA of 2.7 and must be eligible to attend a four year college or university in the United States during all four years for which the scholarship is awarded. 

To apply, students complete an online application ( that includes a personal statement, and an original essay.  Selected finalists are then interviewed in person or by video conference with a regional selection committee. 

Applications for the 2013 Nordstrom Scholarship awards will be available for eligible high school juniors beginning February 2013.  For more details about the program, visit

For more information, contact Kelly Bruce at

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The Norton Museum of Art’s Seventh Annual Chinese Moon Festival Celebration, also known as the Mid-Autumn Festival, is scheduled this year for 12:00 p.m. to 5:00  p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 29. This celebration of Chinese art and culture is filled with children’s games, family art projects, tours of the Museum’s world-renowned Chinese collections, as well as traditional Chinese moon cakes and tea. The afternoon highlight is a performance of Monkey King: Journey to the West, featuring renowned storyteller Diane Wolkstein.

The Mid-Autumn Festival is one of China’s most important holidays, (the others being the Chinese New Year and the Dragon Boat Festival). On this day, family and friends gather to admire the bright mid-autumn harvest moon and eat moon cakes. Steeped in tradition and legend, this centuries-old harvest celebration has become an annual all-ages event at the Norton. Typically District students, staff, and their families participate. During previous years district educators have presented workshop sessions.

“Each year, this event draws families, students, and adults to the Museum to experience different aspects of Chinese culture,” says Glenn Tomlinson, William Randolph Hearst Curator of Education. “This year, we are truly fortunate to have Diane Wolkstein perform Monkey King.” Through performances, teaching, books, and recordings, Wolkstein has played a major role in the renewed interest in mythology and the modern storytelling movement. New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg named June 22, 2007 “Diane Wolkstein Day,” in honor of the artist’s 40 years of storytelling in New York where she initiated America’s first graduate storytelling program, and pioneered a year–round storytelling program for parks and schools.

 Monkey King: Journey to the West is one of the three great Chinese epics. Written in the 16th century, the historically-based saga recounts the poignant and humorous adventures of the impetuous, determined, irascible and yet loveable, superhero Monkey King. Wolkstein has performed the story throughout the world to great acclaim, most recently in Singapore, Taiwan, Australia, and The Asian Museum of Art in San Francisco. The tale is appropriate for ages nine and older.

The Moon Festival is free with regular Museum admission, though the Norton is honoring Smithsonian magazine’s national Museum Day Live tickets, each of which is valid for two free adult admissions. (Saturdays are also free to West Palm Beach residents!)

 Moon Festival schedule:

 Noon- 3 p.m. – Chinese Character Writing Workshop with Bei Bei She; all ages welcome

Noon – 4 p.m. – Holiday Lantern and Monkey Mask art projects for children

Noon – 5 p.m.- Self-guided Treasure Hunts in the Chinese Collection galleries

12:30 p.m. – 1:15 p.m. – Docent-led tour and Q&A in the Chinese galleries

1 p.m. – 2 p.m. – Pottery demonstration: Artist Matt Fiske creates a Moon Jar.

(Fiske, an Artist in Residence at the Armory Art Center in West Palm Beach, says of his work: “In much the same way that a jazz musician brings his own unique improvisations to performances of old standard jazz tunes, I have always delighted in reinterpreting historical precedents with my own particular aesthetic sensibilities and concerns.”)

1 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. – Face Art by Daisy

2 p.m.-3 p.m.  – Curator’s Conversation with Laurie Barnes, Elizabeth B. McGraw Curator of Chinese Art

3 p.m. – 4 p.m.  – Monkey King: Journey to the West, featuring Diane Wolkstein. Seating is limited: Theater doors open one hour before performance.

4 pm. – 4:30 p.m. – Tea and Mooncakes Reception with Diane Wolkstein

The Seventh Annual Moon Festival Celebration is made possible in part by the generous support of John and Heidi Niblack.


About the Norton Museum

The Norton Museum of Art is a major cultural attraction in Florida, and internationally known for its distinguished Permanent Collection featuring American Art, Chinese Art, Contemporary Art, European Art and Photography. The Norton is located at 1451 S. Olive Ave. in West Palm Beach, FL., and  is open Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, 10:00 a.m. to 5:00  p.m.; Thursday, 10:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.; and Sunday, 11:00 a.m. to 5:00  p.m. (Closed on Mondays and major Holidays). General admission is $12 for adults, $5 for students with a valid ID, and free for Members and children ages 12 and under.  Special group rates are available. West Palm Beach residents receive free admission every Saturday with proof of residency. Palm Beach County residents receive free admission the first Saturday of each month with proof of residency. For additional information, please call (561) 832-5196, or visit

 For additional information, please call 561-832-5196, or visit


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Students at Liberty Park Elementary School have helped to set a new world reading record as one of the Top 20 schools in the world whose students read the most minutes in the annual Summer Challenge.   Students at the Greenacres school read and logged a total of 849,183 and finished #16 worldwide and #2 in Florida to help set a new world record of 95,859,491 minutes read by students in 20 schools.  

The free program encourages children to read books and log their minutes as they read for the world record during the summer to help avoid the ‘Summer Slide,’– the loss of reading skills during summer vacation.   This year, 4,446 schools representing 32 countries participated. The school has earned a listing in the 2013 Scholastic Book of World Records, which will be available through Scholastic Book Clubs, Scholastic Book Fairs, book stores nationwide and as an ebook on Storia™  this winter. Liberty Park Elementary will host a McDonald’s fundraiser in honor of this victory in the near future.

“We congratulate all the students who helped set a new Scholastic world record for summer reading,” said Francie Alexander, chief academic officer at Scholastic. “It is crucial for kids to read during the summer so they don’t lose any of the academic skills they gained throughout the school year.  We are so impressed by how many minutes the children read for. This summer, every child was a winner.”

Visit to learn more about the Scholastic Summer Challenge. For more details about Liberty Park’s win, contact Michaelina Oliva, 561.804.3400 or email

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WHAT :      Ribbon Cutting Ceremony for Del Prado’s New Science and Math Lab
                     and Library

WHEN :      Friday, September 28, 2012  at 9:00 AM

WHO :        Students and community members

WHERE :   7900 Del Prado Cir., Boca Raton, FL 33433

WHY :        to equip students with 21st century skills, such as critical thinking and problem solving.  Hands-on experiences in a science and math lab will enable them to actively participate in science and math explorations, helping them to be better problem solvers.

Community and families have been involved in this new project.  Students have enjoyed the opportunity to submit ideas for the lab’s name and later voted for their favorite name!  Community members helped paint, decorate the space and arrange for donations of teaching materials from NASA.

This lab and library were made possible through the generosity of the Boca Raton Chamber of Commerce Golden Bell Education Foundation, Advantage Testing, Inc., and our other Lab Partners, PC Professor and the Antonacci Family.

For more information, call Laura Fellman at (561) 544-1800.

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Boca Museum Awarding Field Trip Grants for 2012-2013 School Year


Boca Raton, FL – The Boca Raton Museum of Art is awarding a sixth round of Field Trip Grants to educators in the Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach counties.


The Field Trip Grant Program funds educational classroom visits to the Boca Raton Museum of Art between September 2012 and May 2013. Awardees for this school year include teachers at Addison Mizner, Bethune Elementary, Deerfield Park Elementary, Hammock Pointe Elementary, J C Mitchell Elementary, Lighthouse Elementary, Loggers Run Middle School, Orchard View Elementary, Plumosa School of the Arts, Polo Park Middle School, and Seminole Ridge High School.


The Boca Raton Museum of Art is still accepting Field Trip Grant Program applications for the 2012-2013 school year. Grant applications can be found at


Accredited K-12 public, private, or charter schools that maintain a 501(c)(3) or a 509(a)(1) tax-exempt status are eligible to apply. Educators, teachers, principals, or classified staff must be willing to plan and execute a field trip that will provide a demonstrable learning experience for students.



Boca Raton Museum of Art

The Boca Raton Museum of Art is one of the leading cultural institutions in South Florida, achieving international recognition as a world-class visual arts institution for its dynamic, changing exhibitions from acclaimed artists and distinguished permanent collection. The Museum’s many public programs include artist presentations, family activities, art films, the Annual Art Festival, and more than 100 classes per week at its studio Art School. Museum Auxiliaries include The Artists’ Guild, Friends Auxiliary, and Collectors’ Forum. For more information call 561.392.2500 or visit


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The Gerald A. Williams Legacy Foundation Charity Open Inaugural Golf Tournament will take place on Saturday, October 20, 2012 at The President Country Club, 2300 Presidential Way, West Palm Beach, FL. 

Proceeds from the Charity Open will benefit the Gerald A. Williams, Esq. Law Academy Scholarship Fund at the Community Foundation for Palm Beach and Martin Counties and the Gerald A. Williams Endowed Memorial Scholarship Fund at the University of Florida Levin College of Law. 

Mr. Williams was among the first African-American graduates of the University of Florida College of Law in 1975 and served in several  school district leadership positions, including General Counsel from 2005-2010. According to the foundation,  ”Mr. Williams’ life-long work in the areas of labor and employment law and public education helped to empower men and women throughout Florida. In a legal career spanning more than 30 years, he was an inspiration to many teachers and students. He advocated tirelessly for public education, serving as counsel to numerous school boards.”  
For more information, call 1 877 252-2577 ext. 222 or visit the website at www.GAWLF4CHARITY.ORG.


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“There are specific keys for keeping our students attentive and engaged,” according to Dr. Bill McBride—keynote speaker for the October 19th session of the 8th Annual Language and Culture Conference.  “Choice, variety, relevance, and challenge are the keys educators need to utilize effectively and consistently for student engagement,” he explained. The veteran educator added that both neuroscientists and educators seem to agree that while there are no differences in what boys and girls can learn, there are distinctly different ways to teach them.

The engaging and humorous presenter’s keynote on innovative teaching methodologies is part of a vast roster of creative, interactive educator training  opportunities to learn and practice powerful, proven strategies taught by (inter)nationally known speakers  and established local facilitators  at the 8th Annual Language and Culture Conference. Set for Friday and Saturday, October 19 (8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.) and 20 (8:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m.) at Boynton Beach High School, this year’s conference theme, Climbing to New Heights, reflects the Department of Multicultural Education’s efforts to “raise the bar” of expectation and outcomes for educators as well as students. “Everything an educator needs to know to be effective when teaching English Language Learner (ELL) and other students,” is the way Department Manager Kim Thomasson describes the jam-packed roster for the conference—which was moved this year from June to mid October.

On Saturday, Dr. Kenji Hakuta—co-chair of  the Understanding Language initiative and the Lee L. Jacks Professor of Education at Stanford University will focus on the role of language in subject-area learning—with an emphasis on helping English-language learners meet the new Common Core Sunshine Standards (CCSS) and Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). Dr. Hakuta said we owe ALL students, but especially English language learners, an instructional system that is tightly attuned to the language necessary to succeed in learning. “Our current education tends to obscure the role of language, and this initiative will make the language that kids need to succeed academically much more visible so that it helps guide what goes on in the classroom.”

Attendees can select from over 80 breakout sessions covering topics such as Common Core State Standards (CCSS), Strategies to Develop Strong Oral Language and Vocabulary Skills; Interventions Targeting Special Needs; Instructional Technology; and Guidance and Social services. Additional session titles include:  Welcome to the Wonderful Webcams; Legacy of the Maya  Continues, But I don’t Speak Their Language;  Bridges and Ladders for Teaching Students of Poverty; Solutions to Bullying and Harassment, and much more.  New teachers and experienced educators will add to their toolkit of instructional approaches, and receive resources to add to their stockpile.

Registration is still open but spots are going fast for the popular conference with a history of offering participants opportunities to network with each other and a wide range of educational vendors who showcase the latest research, books, DVDs,  technology, and other resources. Additional features include the announcement of this year’s Hispanic Heritage Contest winners and performances by students from different schools.

This year, organizers are offering the option of registering for and attending one or both days of the conference. Friday’s session includes breakfast and features a number of gourmet food trucks on site for participants to purchase lunch. Saturday’s event includes lunch and offers five areas of specialized targeted workshops such as Elements of Reading Vocabulary, Reading Instructional Goals for Older Readers (RIGOR) and a special session for administrators to discuss the challenges of implementing the new Common Core State Standards with local, state, and national leaders.

The list of door prizes continues to grow and are featured along with other conference information  at!/events/385772788143721/

To register, visit the conference website,

For further details, contact Steve Tata, Steve/

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The School District of Palm Beach County is partnering with the South Florida Science Museum to bring a unique and exciting experience to students who are in grades 3-12.  Select students and teachers will have the opportunity to speak with crew members aboard the International Space Station as it is orbiting over Florida during the week of October 22, 2012.  This space talk will take place through amateur radio. 

To select students for this 2012 NASA Mission Control event students and teachers will participate in an essay contest on the topic, “Why is space exploration important and what does it mean to me?”  Each school will select their most outstanding student and teacher essay to send to the South Florida Science Museum by Monday, September 24, 2012.   

The South Florida Science Museum’s panel of judges will include former astronauts, educators, scientists, and media from our local area.  They will select the winners (fifteen students and two teachers) who will participate in the Mission Control Event during the week of October 22. 

The winning students and teachers will also have the chance to be featured in local television broadcasts and newspaper articles and will be invited to a private event at the South Florida Science Museum prior to the Mission Control event.  

For more information, please visit the South Florida Science Museum web site  



About the Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) 

While aboard the International Space Station, crews participate in live amateur radio contacts, also known as ARISS contacts.  ARISS is a NASA Education activity that uses the unique environment of spaceflight to increase student interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.  ARISS radio contacts last approximately 10 minutes and provide students and educators the opportunity to interact with crew members through a question and answer session. 

For more information contact Greg Goebel at (561) 357-1128 or via email at or Kate Arrizza at the South Florida Science Museum at (561) 370-7706.






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