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The Independence Middle School Band Department is holding its Annual Pancake Breakfast and Silent Auction at the school (4001 Greenway Drive, Jupiter) on Saturday, February 25, 2012 from 8:00 a.m.-12 noon. Entertainment will be provided by several Independence Middle School bands, Keep Flippin’ Gymnastics, and the Dwyer High School Jazz Band.

This year’s Silent Auction will include items such as golf outings, tickets to shows and concerts, hot air balloon rides, restaurant certificates, jewelry, automotive services, dance classes, spa treatments and much, much more! There will be something for everyone.

Pancake Breakfast tickets can be reserved in advance for $5 by calling the Independence Middle School Band office at (561) 799-7530 or by emailing Band Director Julie Murray at julie.murray@palmbeachschools.org

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The life of John Slattery, Computer Science Coordinator and Teacher, at Suncoast Community High School for over 19 years will be celebrated on February 26, 2012 at 3:30 pm at Suncoast Community High School Theatre.   According to Suncoast High Principal Dr. Linda Cartlidge, “John was an inspiration to everyone that was honored to meet him.  He tirelessly promoted career education resulting in the steady growth of the Computer Science Program as well as other Career Technical Education fields.   His classroom was filled with creativity and innovation.  His real world emphasis combined with the interactive lectures and hands on projects resulted in students achieving more than they ever thought possible.  Please join us in our celebration.”

A memorial fund is set up in his honor.  Donations can be made to the The Suncoast Community High School – John Slattery Memorial Fund.

For further information, please contact Dr. Cartlidge at 561-882-3418 or linda.cartlidge@palmbeachschools.org .

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Only the best (rated Superior) Middle and High School Jazz Bands, will compete in the semi-finals of the Battle of the Bands Palm Beach County. Four winning schools receive $1,000 each and go on to the finals. The event is sponsored by the Swing and Jazz Preservation Society (JSPS) in cooperation with District 14 of the Florida Bandmaster’s Association. 

Awards will be presented by Palm Beach County School Board member Karen Brill and SJPS President Rene Zerah.  Semi-finalists are:  Boca Raton – Don Estridge High Tech MS, Omni MS, Boca Raton HS, Park Vista HS, Olympic Heights HS; in Boynton – Christa McAuliffe MS; in Palm Beach Gardens – Dwyer HS; in Wellington – Palm Beach Central HS; in West Palm Beach – Dreyfoos School of the Arts.

The event takes place Friday, February 24, 2012 from 6:30 pm – 10:30 p.m. at Olympic Heights Community High School Auditorium, 20101 Lyons Road, Boca Raton, 33434.  There is no charge, and it is open to the public with first come, first seated.

The Swing and Jazz Preservation Society is a 501 (c)3 non-profit dedicated to keeping American swing Jazz alive by offering six concerts per year  of the finest musical entertainment in the genre and then donating money and instruments to public school music programs. This year is the first Battle of the Bands Palm Beach County and when it’s over a grand total of $22,100 will have been awarded to various schools from Jupiter to Boca.  The contest was developed in conjunction with District 14 of the Florida Bandmaster’s Association which recruited the judges and created the rules.  For ticket information or about the Society call 561- 499-9976.

For more information please contact Dreyfoos School of the Arts Band Director Evan Rogovin at 561-802-6045 or evan.rogovin@palmbeachschools.org .

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A group of Elbridge Gale Elementary students awoke early on a Saturday morning and made the concrete highway trek to the South West Miami Senior High School in Hialeah.  The All-Star team participated in the Florida Scholastic Chess League’s 2012South Regional Chess Tournament that was recently held. 

Over 40 schools were represented in this tournament and all public and private schools from Monroe, Miami-Dade, Palm Beach, Martin, St. Lucie, Indian River, Broward and Okeechobee counties were invited.  Players representing every grade level from Kindergarten to 12th played chess in five divisions and competed both individually and for their respective team honors.  

Their trip was made possible by hours of practice and tactical game-play coaching led by Mr. Antonis Loudaros, who is a remarkably dedicated math teacher and chess aficionado. His teaching career includes twenty-five years of promoting chess learning in schools, as a supplement to math and reasoning concepts.  Mr. Loudaros was recognized at the event and presented a plaque for “Coach of the Year” by Elizabeth Tejada, Commissioner of the Florida Scholastic Chess League, www.FSCLchess.org

Additionally, the Elbridge Gale teams were awarded 1st place trophies in three of the five team divisions.  “It’s been quite some time since any one school has won all three divisions”, said Captain McCue, a chess parent whose sons led wins in two of the divisions. 

These results reflect the efforts of Principal, Mrs. Pasterczyk and teachers at Elbridge Gale Elementary, who support a creative atmosphere for those interested in chess study and competition.  

The schools’ Chess Academy includes over sixty students in grades K-5 with forty students being members of the USCF.  Elbridge Gale Elementary is the first school to win K-1, K-3 and K-5, District and Regional Chess Championship team titles.  

For more information contact Antonis Loudaros at (561) 422-9300 or via e-mail at antonis.loudaros@palmbeachschools.org.

 

 

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 Public Affairs Contact: Natalia Arenas – (561) 357-7662 – natalia.arenas@palmbeachschools.org

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 The County Council of PTA/PTSA is urging everyone to come out for a day of celebrating family, fun, and fitness.  This collaboration of Palm Beach County PTAs is focused on raising awareness of the childhood obesity crisis.  Families for Fitness and Fun - set for Sunday March 11, from 2:00-5:00 p.m.– will be held at Eagles Landing Middle School in Boca Raton. The event will include: Family Boot Camp, Family Martial Arts, Family Obstacle Course, and Family Movement with Music.  Health and wellness grants will be available to participating PTAs.  The District’s School Food Service Department and K-12 Pysical Education and Health Program Planner Eric Stern are also collaborating with this event.

The following local PTA/PTSA’s are co-sponsoring the event with the Palm Beach County Council PTA:

  • Del Prado Elementary PTA
  • Omni Middle PTSA
  • Spanish River High School PTSA
  • Eagles Landing Middle PTSA
  • Hidden Oaks Elementary PTA
  • Binks Forest Elementary PTA
  • Calusa Elementary PTA
  • Equestrian Trails Elementary PTA
  • Plumosa School of the Arts PTA
  • Sandpiper Shores Elementary PTA
  • Whispering Pines Elementary PTA

For  information on how to participate or details about the event, contact the Palm Beach County Council of PTA/PTSA at palmbeachcountypta@yahoo.com . Eagles Langing is located at 19500 Coral Ridge Drive.

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The Wellington Parent Teacher Association/Parent Teacher Organization (PTA/PTO) has been selected as the winner of the FTI Great City Charity Challenge and will receive a $150,000, which will be equally divided between all particpating PTA/PTOs.

World class equestrian sports and Wellington schools are getting acquainted with each other for the benefit of Palm Beach County students!  In November 2011, Mark Bellissimo, managing partner of Wellington Equestrian Partners, expressed a strong interest in working with Wellington area schools to open the world of equestrian sports to students and their families.  As a result of this initiative, many Wellington area schools have been invited to showcase their talents to the thrill of international audiences at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) in Wellington.

“We are fortunate to have the involvement of the equestrian community and its sponsors to provide us this unique opportunity to raise essential money for all of our schools,” said Mr. Scott Blake, Principal at Polo Park Middle School.

The Wellington PTA/PTO was also paired with a team sponsor and a corporate sponsor. The Team Sponsor was the Spogli Family and Graffito Restaurant (they shared the team sponsor status) and the Corporate Sponsor was ESI footing (they build riding arenas including footing that the horses ride on). These organizations were instrumental as they were a part of raising $30,000 towards the GCC and they also picked the riders.

David Samore, principal of Okeeheelee Middle School, serves as point person in the collaboration between the School District of Palm Beach County and Wellington equestrian community.  After two initial meetings in December, the school leaders worked with their teachers, students and parents to organize their student groups to be showcased on the world equestrian stage.  Many school groups have performed such as chorus, band, cheerleaders, and dance teams.

During the course of the 12-week Winter Equestrian Festival, many schools have been showcased at the PBIEC.  The schools that have or will be on center stage are Wellington Landings, Okeeheelee, and Emerald Cove Middle Schools, as well as Binks Forest, Wellington, New Horizons, Panther Run, and Elbridge Gale elementary Schools.  Participating high schools are Wellington and Palm Beach Central.

The FTI Consulting Great Charity Challenge presented by Fidelity Investments started in 2010, generating over $400,000 for 24 local charities. Today, the event has grown to 32 local charities competing for a combined $1.5 million.

The Wellington PTO/PTA provides support to all schools in the area through numerous programs which serve the school’s pupils, parents, and staff.  Some of the activities and events that they support include community events, field trips, in-school enrichment programs, school supplies and much more.

“All the Wellington schools that participated will be coming up with individual plans of how the money will best assist them in reaching their academic goals for their students.  It is exciting to be part of such a great charity event,” added Mr. Blake.

For more information contact Dr. David Samore, Principal at Okeeheelee Middle at (561) 434-3260 or via email at david.samore@palmbeachschools.org or Scott Blake, Principal at Polo Park Middle School, at (561) 333-5500 or via e-mail at scott.blake@palmbeachschools.org.

 

 

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 Public Affairs Contact: Natalia Arenas – (561) 357-7662 – natalia.arenas@palmbeachschools.org

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Pierce Hammock Elementary was buzzing with excitement as 32 fourth and fifth grade students and their families assembled in the cafeteria for Pierce Hammock’s Annual Spelling Bee.  The students had been preparing for months and the competitors were strong spellers. 

After many rounds a winner shined through, Heven Kaufman a fifth grade student.  The first runner up was Graciella Leon and the second runner up was Alexis Bennett, both fifth graders.

Heven Kaufman and Graciella Leon will represent Pierce Hammock Elementary at the Local Area Spelling Bee that takes place on February 25, 2012 at St. Andrews School in Boca Raton. 

“The benefits of spelling bees extend beyond language: It helps develop self-confidence, communication and public speaking skills. We wish our spellers all the best!” said Dr. John Carvelli, Principal.

For more information contact Mary Gilbert at (561) 633-4504or via e-mail at mary.gilbert@palmbeachschools.org.

Lleft to right: Heven Kaufman, Graciella Leon, Alexis Bennett, (rear from left to right):  Ms. Schwab, Assistant Principal and Dr. John Carvelli, Principal

Lleft to right: Heven Kaufman, Graciella Leon, Alexis Bennett, (rear from left to right): Ms. Schwab, Assistant Principal and Dr. John Carvelli, Principal

 

 

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 Public Affairs Contact: Natalia Arenas – (561) 357-7662 – natalia.arenas@palmbeachschools.org

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The School District of Palm Beach County along with its community partners recently held the Project SMART Alcohol Prevention Poster Contest Awards Ceremony where the six District winners received their awards and were recognized for their talent.               

The top six posters (two each from elementary, middle, and high school) are being displayed on all district school buses. Winners received $100 each, in addition to Adobe Photoshop software. 

Project SMART Awards Ceremony Pictures

Over 770 Palm Beach County students from 67 schools submitted entries to the Second Annual Alcohol Prevention Poster Contest. Their posters promote a clear educational message encouraging an alcohol-free lifestyle for youth. 

ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS 

Zaniab Ali  5th grade Westward Elementary
Taika Gue 5th grade Plumosa School of the Arts

MIDDLE SCHOOLS

Alexis Berman 8th grade BAK MSOA
Chase Bomar 7th grade Congress Middle

HIGH SCHOOLS

Jasmine Quiles 12th grade Park Vista High
Jesse Pentz 12th grade Seminole Ridge High

 

Semifinalists and top posters from each school were featured at the 2012 South Florida Fair in the Bink Glisson Museum at Yesteryear Village and are being displayed in the District Headquarters until the end of March 2012. 

Elementary Finalists

Cooper Kennedy, 2nd Grade, Poinciana Elementary

Hannah Jutte, 4th Grade, Cypress Trails Elementary

Chandrea Baxter, 5th Grade, Plumosa School of the Arts 

Middle School Finalists

Vandi Allen, 7th Grade, Roosevelt Middle School

Valeria Osorio, 7th Grade, Christa McAuliffe Middle School

Amanda Reinharct, 7th Grade, Independence Middle School 

High School Finalists

Mia Fielding, 11th Grade, South Tech Academy

Casey Davis, 10th Grade, Seminole Ridge High School

Nicole Wellman, 10th Grade, Dreyfoos School of the Arts 

The contest is being sponsored by a collaboration of organizations: Student Intervention Services, Public Affairs, and Transportation Department in the School District of Palm Beach County; the Acreage Loxahatchee Rotary Club; Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office; Palm Beach County Substance Awareness Coalition; Adobe; and the South Florida Fair. 

For more information, contact Linda Salzman at (561) 366-6979 or via e-mail at linda.salzman@palmbeachschools.org.  

 

 

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 Public Affairs Contact: Natalia Arenas – (561) 357-7662 – natalia.arenas@palmbeachschools.org

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Over one hundred students participated in the 2012 Palm Beach County National History Day/Florida History Fair February 20th at West Boca Raton Community High School. Each year students nation-wide choose a historical topic related to the annual theme conduct primary and secondary source research, and present their findings in the form of original papers, documentaries, performances, exhibits, and  websites. The 2012 theme is “Revolution, Reform Reaction in History.”

To prepare for the fair competition students search libraries, archives and museums, conduct oral history interviews, and visit historic sites. After they analyze and interpret sources to draw conclusions about the significance of their topic, fair participants present their work before of a team of judges.

The School District of Palm Beach County supports the goals and mission of National History Day/Florida History Fair. Laurie Cotton, Social Studies district administrator stated that “National History Day is a program that can be integrated into any social studies or history classroom, as it helps teachers expand and enrich the existing curriculum through project-based learning.”

The following students were the overall district winners in the Senior Division:

PAPER:

  • Honorable Mention:  Park Vista High School  – Clarence Alexis
  • Second Place:   Park Vista High School – Austin Golia
  • First Place:  Palm Beach Central High School – Ricardo Remis

EXHIBIT (Individual):

  • Honorable Mention:  Spanish River High School –  Ian Tyger
  • Second Place:  Palm Beach Central High School –  Michelle Whitaker
  • First Place: Palm Beach Central High School – Amanda Liston

EXHIBIT (Group):

  • Honorable Mention: Park Vista High School- Akira Shigeta, Brianna Tringali, Du Truong
  • Second Place:  Palm Beach Central High School-  Zara Khan, Jennifer Vitani
  • First Place: Palm Beach Central High School – Margaret Helmus, Dara Kalish

WEBSITE (Individual):

  • Honorable Mention: Spanish River High School -  Grant Levins
  • Second Place:  Spanish River High School – Alena Blosfeld
  • First Place:  Spanish River High School – Olivia Guadree

WEBSITE (Group):

  • Honorable Mention:  Spanish River High School –  Chris Rivera, Jeremy Einhorn, Elliott Gafter,  Eli Kaplan, Joe Cabalona
  • Second Place: Oxbridge Academy –  Lee Pritz, Rachel Hyppolite
  • First Place:  Park Vista High School –  Ahmed Krecht, Patrick McHugh

DOCUMENTARY (Individual):

  • Honorable Mention: Spanish River High School –  Lauren Villanueva
  • Second Place:  Oxbridge Academy – Madi McDole
  • First Place: Oxbridge Academy – Tova Jones

DOCUMENTARY (Group):

  • Honorable Mention: Park Vista High School – Robert Floyd ,Carson Hausmann, Margaret Smith,  James Torrez, Neil Upadhyay
  • Second Place:  Spanish River High School – Jackie Coleman, Royce Ijac
  • First Place: Spanish River High School – Laina Kislin, Danielle Lamparelli

PERFORMANCE (Individual):

  • Honorable Mention: West Boca Raton High School – Angela Moran
  • Second Place: Spanish River High School –   Domonique McKenzie                         
  • First Place:  Spanish River High School –   Daniel Hopin             

PERFORMANCE (Group):

  • First Place: West Boca Raton High School –  Erin Locey, Caroline Silva, Emily Sterneck, Jade Zaroff , Danielle Gavish

The following students were the overall district winners in the Junior Division:

EXHIBIT (Individual):

  • First Place:  Omni Middle School – Yara Zbib

EXHIBIT (Group):

  • Honorable Mention:  Omni Middle School – Marly Bressler, Samantha Howard
  • Second Place:  St. Vincent’s Parish School –  Francesca Vilcnik, Grace Robbins, Melissa Weiss
  • First Place:  Omni Middle School –   Valerie Caminiti, Nyna Van Eps, Kaili Moran                  

WEBSITE (Individual):

  • First Place:  Omni Middle School – Juan Mendoz                

WEBSITE (Group):

  • First Place: Omni Middle School – Michael Spiro, Peter Dykas, Marc Schneiderman

DOCUMENTARY (Group):

  • First Place: St. Vincent’s Parish School –   David Kelly, Mark Robinson, Derek Neustadt, Matthew Weber

Congratulations to fair participants for embarking on their National History Day journey! First and second place award winners are eligible to compete at the state Florida History Fair competition April 30 – May 1, 2012 in Tallahassee. An awards assembly to recognize district fair finalists will be held Tuesday, March 6, 2012 at 5:00 PM at the Richard and Pat Johnson Palm Beach County History Museum and 1916 Courthouse, 300 North Dixie Highway West Palm Beach, Florida.

For more information, contact Laurie Cotton, Secondary Social Studies Administrator, at (561) 357-1160 or laurie.cotton@palmbeachschools.org.

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South intensiveMiddle and High School Students at South Intensive Transition School participated in their first Science Fair and Student Work Display on Friday, February 17, 2012. 

Student topics for Science Fair included:

  • Porosity and Permeability
  • The Effect of Temperature on Transpiration
  • The Effect of Irrigation Water on Soil PH
  • An Analysis of Sheep Brain through Dissections
  • The Effect of Water on Plant Growth

and display of science and math projects, writing samples and student work.

“I learned how DNA is used to solve crime and all the parts of DNA,” said Sarah Duncan, an 8th grade student whose project was about DNA.

“It was hard but we did it and finished it. I have learned a lot working on a project about the solar system,” said Darrell Bridgett, also an 8th grade student.

“This is our first Science Fair and we are very excited about it. This is an example of what we can do with the students to make them work or real-life experiences that will enhance their learning,” said Dr. Voncia Haywood, the school principal. “I am so impressed with the success of the fair,” she added. Ronnie Suddith, a middle school science teacher, and Sarah Loureiro, a high school science teacher, testify how excited the students were and how enlightened the experience has revealed itself to be.

A committee of judges reviews the projects and students will receive rewards for their accomplishments.

“Science Fair provides an opportunity to challenge students through an educational adventure where they work like a real-world research scientist, promote Reading and Writing across the curriculum and develop organizational and critical thinking skills. I am thrilled that our students in the alternative school setting experienced hands-on instruction with a strong academic focus on secondary benchmarks to ensure that they achieve success on standardized tests and also become college ready,” said Terrence Narinesingh, Science Instructional Specialist in the Division of Quality Assurance.

For more information, contact Terrence Narinesingh at 561.649.6032 or E-mail: terrence.narinesingh@palmbeachschools.org.

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Autism is the fastest-growing serious developmental disorder and every 15 minutes, another family receives the devastating news that their child has an autism spectrum disorder. The School District now has approximately 2,100 students with Autism Spectrum Disorder.

This year, a number of School District teams will be participating in “Walk Now for Autism Speaks”… a fun-filled, family friendly event which helps fund vital autism research.  The event takes place Sunday, March 4th at City Commons in West Palm Beach. Laura Pincus, School District Deputy Chief Counsel, is this year’s Walk Chair.

For more information please go to www.walknowforautismspeaks.org or contact Ms. Pincus at laura.pincus@palmbeachschools.org .

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 Forest Hill Community High School students, staff, and community supporters will pause during their day, Wednesday, February 22, for a Dedication Ceremony for the Military Monument scheduled at the school at 11:00 a.m.  Home to award-winning JROTC battalions, the ceremony is intended to pay homage to the monument that recognizes those in the armed services who protect the nation’s civil liberties—and many who have given their lives. Principal Mary Stratos said it’s appropriate to take time to reflect on the sacrifices made by so many people locally and around the nation. “It’s very easy to go about our daily lives, comfortably removed from the war that some of our family members and friends are in the midst of every day,” she stated.  “This monument will serve as a daily, physical reminder for all who see it.

The itinerary for the event includes the Presentation of Colors; the band performing the National Anthem; the chorus singing America the Beautiful; the Palm Beach Pipe Band offering Amazing Grace, and the playing of Taps by student Victoria Whitlock.

For more details contact Assistant Principal David Reilly, 561-540-2440 or email David.reilly@palmbeachschools.org.

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What happens when a local university, area businesses, governmental entities, and nonprofit organizations collaborate to benefit public school students? Almost any creative idea the group can imagine! The Parker Avenue Consortium is an example of the variety of possibilities for ensuring student academic success and teacher support.  Superintendent E. Wayne Gent, a member of the Consortium, said these kinds of initiatives fall in line with his vision for community involvement with and support of a dynamic, student-centered education for all students. “The Parker Avenue Consortium –which focuses on students and families served by Belvedere Elementary School  and Conniston Middle School—serves as a model I’d love to see replicated throughout Palm Beach County for ALL of our schools; these stakeholders recognize that their involvement is one way we can close the achievement gap,” he stated.

With a history of community outreach, Palm Beach Atlantic University (PBAU) along with public and private partners formed the Parker Avenue Consortium to bring additional resources into this West Palm Beach neighborhood. “The vision for this new community partnership, called the Parker Avenue Consortium, will benefit the families living in the vicinity of the Marshall and Vera Lea Rinker Athletic Campus between Southern Boulevard and Belvedere Road,” Interim President William M.B. Fleming, Jr. said. “The Parker Avenue Consortium is a means to mass resources to benefit students in Kindergarten through college and their families, and ultimately bringing vitality to the neighborhood.”

In addition to Mr. Gent, others participating in the Parker Avenue Consortium are:  Oscar Otero, Principal of Conniston Middle School;  Diane Mahar, Principal of Belvedere Elementary;        Jeri Muoio, Mayor of West Palm Beach; and Kettle Comfort, a not-for-profit organization whose mission is to deliver chef-inspired food to thousands of hungry or nutrition- deprived people each day.

Interim President Fleming outlined several recent and ongoing University initiatives taking place in the neighborhood. The AT & T Algebra Project with Conniston Middle School  is a  two-year pilot project which aims to help students learn algebra through new instructional methods and technology- Dr. Marsha Guntharp is the project director.   Book Boxes Project with Belvedere Elementary is a literacy development program for low-income youth and their parents funded by the Staples Foundation- Drs. Timothy Ladd and Chelly Templeton are the project directors.   Palm Beach County Cultural Council Arts Integration  targets sixth-graders at Conniston Community Middle School  who received arts instruction from faculty of the University’s School of Music and Fine Arts Preparatory Department through a grant from the Palm Beach County Cultural Council.  

The STEAM Project with Conniston Middle School will develop laboratory modules to be used in teaching specific Palm Beach County BIG IDEA science concepts to 6th, 7th, and 8th graders integrating the arts into STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math). This is funded by a PBA Quality Initiative Grant and Dr. Mireille Aleman is the project director.

Exciting new programs that are underway include:   Kettle Comfort and Palm Beach Atlantic University  bringing dinner and kid-friendly activities to neighborhood families hosted by Conniston Middle School. This will launch Thursday, February 23, at the school’ss FCAT Family Night.   In addition, a PBAU-led lacrosse program is being explored for Conniston Middle School students.

Palm Beach Atlantic University is a private, independent university offering undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees, with campuses in West Palm Beach, Orlando and Wellington. The University is dedicated to the integration of Christian principles to prepare students for learning, leadership and service.  For more information about Consortium activities, contact Becky Peeling, 561-803-2018 or email becky_peeling@pba.edu.

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The Suncoast High School Musical Theatre Department, under the direction of Stephanie Nixdorf, will present “Pippin” by Stephen Schwartz.  Mr. Schwartz is the Tony award winning composer of “Pippin,” “Godspell,” and the Broadway smash hit “Wicked.” 

The Suncoast production features a cast, pit and crew of over 90 students, in addition to a set design and over 100 costumes designed and built by the Suncoast Creative team.  

Performances will be held in the Suncoast Community High School Theatre at 1717 Avenue “S”, Riviera Beach on April 12th at 9:00 AM, April 13th at 7:00 PM and April 14th at 2:00 PM and 7:00 PM.  Tickets are $5.00-$15.00 and can be purchased by calling 561-882-3427 or by contacting stephanie.nixdorf@palmbeachschools.org .

For more information please contact Ms. Nixdorf at stephanie.nixdorf@palmbeachschools.org .

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Village Academy Feb 20Students at Village Academy School in Delray Beach are finding a new way to relate to each other, learn social skills and promote physical well-being. Dancing Classrooms Southeast Florida (DCSFL), under the direction of Founding Executive Director Deborah Briggs, vows to teach students confidence, self-esteem and respect for one another.  

The program is part of a national network of the same organization that reaches over 40,000 students each school year. The idea, according to Briggs, is to use ballroom dance as a tool to engage fifth grade students and to promote a sense of accomplishment, teamwork and social awareness.  

The Dancing Classrooms program is integrated appropriately with the 5th grade curriculum (with the school’s input); i.e. math (what are the beats in the dance?), geography (where does “meringue” come from?), history (what is the origin of the “waltz’?), language arts (can you write a poem about how it feels when you dance?), etc. 

Students are taught several dances, including swing, tango, meringue, rumba, salsa, waltz and foxtrot. 

Briggs said an important facet of the program is that students are required to switch partners several times throughout each dance so that they must engage with all of their classmates. 

Another big focus of the program is respect, and students are taught to be ladies and gentlemen by engaging in eye contact, which is often cited as one of the most difficult things for students, and being respectful, courteous and kind. 

Briggs said that fifth grade is a pivotal time for students. They are usually the oldest students within their school and are expected to be role models. “Developmentally this is the age that the program has its greatest impact,” she said.

The organization is also designed to influence a student’s family life, as many students take the skills they’ve learned home. At the end of the program’s 10-week residency, parents and family members are invited to attend a “culminating event,” where students perform the dances they learned and read from their journals.  Principal Guarn Sims stated, “Our fifth grade students are really excited and enjoying this experience.”

 

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 When the applause ended at the Palm Beach School Counselors’25th Annual Principal-Counselor Appreciation Breakfast—six District employees had received placques and the recognition of their peers for providing or supporting  outstanding counseling services to public school students.

Winners of the 2012 honors include:

 School Counselors of the Year

Herele Oakley, Crystal Lakes Elementary

Deborah Klein,  Boca Raton Middle

Nadilia Charles, Boynton Beach High

Site Based Administrators

Eric Gross, Principal, Grove Park Elementary

David Culp, Principal, Jupiter Middle

Mario Crocetti, Principal, Wellington High

 Association President Michael Kane said the significant roles of guidance counselors are often overlooked.  “Guidance counselors inspire students and provide a framework to pursue academic and career success,” he stated. “School principals who support the guidance function are also crucial to the formula and our purpose is to recognize stellar performers.”  Boynton Beach High School Guidance counselor Nadilia Charles has the additional distinction of being the first ESOL guidance counselor in the District to earn the Counselor of the Year Award.

 For more details, contact Mr. Kane, 561-804-3600 or email Michael.kane@palmbeachschools.org.

Winners of the Palm Beach Counseling Associations 2012 Counselor of the Year Awards

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Author James Patterson, the Palm Beach resident who holds the New York Times and Guinness World Book records for most hardcover fiction bestselling titles by a single author (75 total), addressed 800 John F. Kennedy Middle and Suncoast High students during a special visit. 

The author talked about his personal experiences growing up and his journey to become a writer. Mr. Patterson is on a mission to get the students of South Florida reading and encouraged the large group by giving a book to each of the 700 high school students and 100 middle school students. 

Students had the opportunity to ask questions about his books, career, and personal experiences as a writer among many other things.  After the student assembly he met with two reading teachers from Suncoast and one from JFK Middle and the discussed the importance of getting the students engaged in the world of reading. 

“It is important that our children develop a passion for reading because this helps them in every aspect of their lives. Whatever career path they choose reading will be an integral part,” said Mr. Patterson.

 Over the past few years he has started writing books for young readers.  James Patterson and his wife Sue were nervous about what a reluctant reader their son Jack (then 8, now 14) was.  Mr. Patterson decided to start writing books that Jack would find engaging, and he would say he’s found a new passion – getting kids reading.  

His mission to get kids reading has included writing several young readers series (with 4 new series launching in the next couple of years), and a campaign funded by Mr. Patterson himself to get kids reading.  That campaign includes donations of books to needy schools, scholarships for college-bound kids who love reading, and the creation of his website www.ReadKiddoRead.com , which is dedicated to helping parents and grandparents put the right books into kids’ hands. 

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For more information contact Dr. Linda Cartlidge, Suncoast Principal at (561) 882-3400 or via e-mail at linda.cartlidge@palmbeachschools.org.

 

 

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 Public Affairs Contact: Natalia Arenas – (561) 357-7662 – natalia.arenas@palmbeachschools.org

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The School District of Palm Beach County along with its community partners cordially invites all students, teachers and community members to the Alcohol Prevention Poster Contest Awards Ceremony.               

When? Monday, February 20, 2012 at 9:30 a.m. 

Where? Central Area Bus Facility – 3376 Summit Blvd. West Palm Beach, FL. 

Over 770 Palm Beach County students from 67 schools submitted entries to the Second Annual Alcohol Prevention Poster Contest. Their posters promote a clear educational message encouraging an alcohol-free lifestyle for youth. 

After a judging committee selected fifteen semifinalists and more than 6200 people participated in the online voting, the School District of Palm Beach County is proud to announce the winners of the Project SMART Alcohol Prevention Poster Contest. 

ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS

Zaniab Ali  5th grade Westward Elementary
Taika Gue 5th grade Plumosa School of the Arts

MIDDLE SCHOOLS

Alexis Berman 8th grade BAK MSOA
Chase Bomar 7th grade Congress Middle

HIGH SCHOOLS

Jasmine Quiles 12th grade Park Vista High
Jesse Pentz 12th grade Seminole Ridge High

 

Click here to see pictures of the winning posters 

The top six posters (two each from elementary, middle, and high school) will be displayed on all district school buses. Winners will receive $100 each, in addition to Adobe Photoshop software. 

Semifinalists and top posters from each school were featured at the 2012 South Florida Fair in the Bink Glisson Museum at Yesteryear Village. 

Elementary Finalists

Cooper Kennedy, 2nd Grade, Poinciana Elementary

Hannah Jutte, 4th Grade, Cypress Trails Elementary

Chandrea Baxter, 5th Grade, Plumosa School of the Arts 

Middle School Finalists

Vandi Allen, 7th Grade, Roosevelt Middle School

Valeria Osorio, 7th Grade, Christa McAuliffe Middle School

Amanda Reinharct, 7th Grade, Independence Middle School 

High School Finalists

Mia Fielding, 11th Grade, South Tech Academy

Casey Davis, 10th Grade, Seminole Ridge High School

Nicole Wellman, 10th Grade, Dreyfoos School of the Arts 

The contest is being sponsored by a collaboration of organizations: Student Intervention Services, Public Affairs, and Transportation Department in the School District of Palm Beach County; the Acreage Loxahatchee Rotary Club; Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office; Palm Beach County Substance Awareness Coalition; Adobe; and the South Florida Fair. 

For more information, contact Linda Salzman at (561) 366-6979 or via e-mail at linda.salzman@palmbeachschools.org.  

 

 

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 Public Affairs Contact: Natalia Arenas – (561) 357-7662 – natalia.arenas@palmbeachschools.org

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 The Conniston Middle School family is gearing up for a dynamic FCAT Family Night Extravaganza set for Thursday, February 23, from 5:00-7:30 p.m. The event includes recognition of students who made learning gains during last year’s  FCAT;  fun academic games developed by grade-level teams of teachers, performances by the school chorus, band, break dancers and more.  A highlight of the evening is the free dinner being served compliments of the co-founder of Outback Steakhouse—who has also created the nonprofit organization—Kettle Comfort. 

Tim Gannon, of Water Mill, New York and Palm Beach, has created Kettle Comfort: Cooking for America (www.kettlecomfort.org.)–a nonprofit organization committed to using kettle equipment and technology to feed 20-30,000 people per day. His intention:  to feed America. This collaboration is part of an ongoing partnership with Palm Beach Atlantic University designed to enchance the academic achievement of students at the school. Award-winning soccer and basketball players from PBAU are also expected to be on hand as an added incentive for Conniston athletes.

 Principal Oscar Otero said participation by business and community partners reinforces the idea that educating students is everyone’s job. “The success of this event is based on staff, students, parents, and community partners working together—and student academic success requires the same collaborative effort.” Mixing business with pleasure, the school’s department leaders will provide  information about available curriculum resources and the upcoming FCAT to parents . 

Also on the itinerary:  Barnum and Baily Clown walkabout, magic shows, Wii Dance Revolution, Karaoke sing-alongs, Kangaroo Dance demonstrations, and music by DJ Andrew.  The always popular Dunk Tank will feature some of the school’s popular staff ; and the PTO and Student Government will be selling pizza and popcorn. Mobil coffee service Coffee on Call will be serving free hot chocolate to students.

 For details about Conniston’s FCAT Family Night, contact Assistant Principal Doris Younce, 561-802-5423 or email Doris.younce@palmbeachschools.org.

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The semi-finalists in the Swing and Jazz Preservation Society (SJPS) sponsored Battle of the Bands Palm Beach County have been determined.  A total of nine public schools received the coveted Superior rating, allowing them to play on February 24 at Olympic Heights High School Auditorium, 5773 Jog Road, Boca Raton, 33496, starting at 6:30 pm.

Semi-finalists are: for Boca Raton – Don Estridge High Tech Middle School, Omni Middle School, Boca Raton High School, Park Vista High School and Olympic Heights High School, for Boynton – Christa McAuliffe Middle School, for Palm Beach Gardens – Dwyer High School, for Wellington – Palm Beach Central High School and for West Palm Beach – Dreyfoos School of the Arts.  At each stage of the competition schools receive prize donations from SJPS to their respective school music programs, so that when it is all over the total monies donated will be $21,100.

“We are committed to upholding the tradition of American jazz and swing,” explains SJPS President Rene Zerah, “Proceeds from our member supported concerts enable us to donate new instruments and funds to Palm Beach County public schools to help them purchase  sheet music, repair instruments, etc.” Only two Middle Schools and two High Schools will go on to the finals on March 30 at the Spanish River Auditorium to compete for the championship.  All competition concerts are free and open to the public on a first come, first seated basis.

“As district chair, I am thrilled not only to see our jazz band participation numbers increase district-wide, but also such great support from our communities,” remarked newly elected District 14 Band Masters Association Chairperson and Dreyfoos School of the Arts Director of Bands, Evan Rogovin. “We very much appreciate the generosity of the Swing and Jazz Preservation Society”.

The Swing and Jazz Preservation Society is a 501 (c) 3 not for profit corporation producing six concerts a year from November through April at the Spanish River Performing Arts Center, in Boca Raton. The mission of the Florida Bandmasters Association is to promote and support band programs in the state of Florida by providing opportunities for in-service growth, program evaluation, and student performance. As its guiding principle, the Association further believes that music holds a unique place in human existence and touches our lives in ways that no other experience can. 

For more information go to: www.flmusiced.org/fba    

For more information please contact Mr. Rogovin at 561-802-6045 or evan.rogovin@palmbeachschools.org .

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The Middle School of the Arts (MSOA) Foundation at Bak MSOA is hosting its third annual star studded Jazz Brunch at B.B. Kings in CityPlace from 11am-2pm on Saturday, February 25, 2012.

Bak students will perform in concert with Jazz legends: Grammy award winner Ron Blake of SNL, guitarist and educator Bobby Broom, renowned drummer Dion Parson and international recording artist Reuben Rogers, under the direction of Cleve Maloon.

Guests are invited to feast their ears on some hot jazz while bidding on the exciting silent auction. The silent auction features seven vacation packages (available for preview at MSOAFoundation.org) including international destinations, eco adventures, and once-in-a-lifetime experiences like “Fighter Pilot for a Day!” With over $60,000 in auction offerings there are packages for ever budget, from restaurant gift cards, to Disney and other theme park passes, to medispa services, and much more!

Concert Tickets are $15 for students 6-18 with school ID (must be accompanied by an adult ticket buyer), Adult tickets are $35, and limited sponsor and underwriting opportunities are still available. A menu and cash bar is available to concert guests for purchase. Concert seating is limited and is offered first come, first serve, as available.

The MSOA Foundation is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that raises support for Bak Middle School of the Arts. Bak is top ranked, public magnet-arts middle school, located in West Palm Beach, that serves over 1,350 talented artist-scholars from across Palm Beach County. Bak offers eight arts concentrations in Band, Communications, Dance, Keyboard, Strings, Theatre, Visual Arts and Vocal Music and offers residencies in partnership with world-class institutions including Juilliard Jazz, Juilliard’s TOOMAI String Quintet, and most recently, Brown University’s American Dance Legacy Institute.

Foundation events support arts and academics at Bak MSOA from funding the vital artist-in-residence program that provides for residencies, arts instruction and small arts and academic classroom needs.

For more information, please go to the web page at MSOAFoundation.org. Tickets may be purchased in advance with a credit card by calling Jody Dragon at (561) 882-3828. After 2.18.12 tickets may be purchased at the door, as available, with cash, check or credit card.

Event Chairs are Francine Mantyh and Lisa Weger. Auction Chairs are Stephanie Stoloff and Cheryl Taylor.

For more information please contact Jody Dragon, Executive Director, MSOA Foundation at (561) 882-3828 or msoafoundation@msn.com .

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Sunrise Park

Sunrise Park Elementary goes pink in an effort to raise money for the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure!  Throughout the month of January, the school community participated in a variety of fundraising events to raise money for this worthy cause.  The fundraising events included the following: 

  • Sunrise Park faculty, staff and students purchased wristbands with the logo “Sunrise Park Goes Pink!” 
  • Physical Education teacher, Ms. Marcela Mendoza, hosted “ A Zumba for Pink”  exercise class
  • Each Friday, students were encouraged to show their support of this cause by wearing their favorite pink articles of clothing. 
  • A team of thirty seven faculty, staff and family members participated in the Susan G. Komen event on January 28, 2012 in downtown West Palm Beach. 

This is a disease that hits very close to home as Sunrise Park Elementary has 6 staff members who have previously fought this disease and won.  These individuals are, without a doubt, courageous warriors and role models for everybody. 

Margaret Collier, the Assistant Principal and a breast cancer survivor stated the following, “The support from the school means so much when going through the treatment for Breast Cancer.”   The day of the race was a powerful and team building event.  Ellen Budish, the Educational Technology Teacher and breast cancer survivor stated, “Being a part of the Sunrise Park Family has truly helped me through many bumps in the roads over the past 6 years.” 

To date, the SPES Goes Pink Team has raised over $3,000.00.  Sunrise Park is formulating plans to expand their support for this local charity through the establishment of a “Think Pink Club” during the 2012-2013 school-year.  The students are excited about getting more involved in such a worthy and important cause. 

For more information, contact Margaret S. Collier at 561-477-4300 or email margaret.collier@palmbeachschools.org.

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LOGOThis month ‘Fowòm Edikasyon Kominotè’,  the Haitian Creole TV show, will share information about the Next Generation Sunshine States Standards, the FCAT2 and its importance as an assessment tool.

The guest is, Lana St. Hilaire, Guidance Counselor at the School District of Palm Beach County.

‘Fowòm Edikasyon Kominotè’ will air from Sunday, February 19 through Saturday, February 25 on T.E.N. Comcast Digital Cable 234 at 12:30 PM and 8:30 PM. The show is available online on the District Web site Vodcast system. To watch it, please visit https://vodcast.palmbeachschools.org/player/DQ74J.

The show is also available throughout the month everyday at 8:30 AM at telelegliz.com.

‘Fowòm Edikasyon Kominotè’ is a TV series produced by the Department of Public Affairs and T.E.N. in Haitian Creole. The program provides information to the Haitian community about education issues, activities and opportunities at their children’s schools in order to promote parental involvement, a key factor to student achievement.

For more information, contact Bito David at david@palmbeach.k12.fl.us or call (561) 963-3820.

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Nya Jones PPMSNya Jones, 8th grade student at Polo Park Middle School was selected as the middle school recipient of Governor Rick Scott’s Black History Month Essay Contest, which is open to all 4th through 12th grade students in the state of Florida. 

As one of the three winners in the State, Nya Jones will receive a 4-Year Florida College Plan scholarship provided by the Florida Prepaid College Foundation.  Nya along with her parents travelled to the Governor’s Black History Month celebration that was recently held in Tallahassee.

“Nya is an exceptional example of everything that is right and good in our middle school students at Polo Park.  We are extremely proud of her many accomplishments.  She is a gifted writer and an excellent student,” said Mr. Blake, Principal. 

The topic of the high school and middle school essays was: “Describe an African-American who made a significant achievement in science and technology and how has that achievement advanced American quality of life. How has this person inspired you to become interested in science and technology and how do you plan to use this inspiration to advance America?” 

“The art and essay contests are a great chance for the children of Florida to express their creativity while learning about the African-American leaders who have enriched our state,” said First Lady Mrs. Ann Scott. 

Nya Jones Black History Month Essay

 

Nya Jones, Mrs. and Mrs. Jones with Governor Rick Scott and Mrs. Scott

Nya Jones, Mrs. and Mrs. Jones with Governor Rick Scott and Mrs. Scott

Nya Jones, Governor Rick Scott, Mrs. Scott and Lt. Governor Jennifer Carroll

Nya Jones, Governor Rick Scott, Mrs. Scott and Lt. Governor Jennifer Carroll

Nya Jones along with her parents at Governor's Mansion

Nya Jones along with her parents at Governor's Mansion

For more information contact Mr. Scott Blake at (561) 333-550 or via e-mail at scott.blake@palmbeachschools.org

 

 

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 Public Affairs Contact: Natalia Arenas – (561) 357-7662 – natalia.arenas@palmbeachschools.org

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Pahokee Elementary cordially invites all students, teachers and community members to the 2nd Annual Reading Conference: Building a Community of Readers, One Family at a Time. During this family event local educators and family literacy experts will come together to share with families and children fun creative ways to grow family literacy and prevent summer reading loss. 

When? Saturday, March 3, 2012 from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. 

Where? Pahokee Elementary School – 560 E. Main Place, Pahokee, FL. 

Family literacy is the foundation of lifelong learning that helps individuals and communities grow and prosper. Parents and community members are welcome to come out and learn about how they can help their child become a better reader and how we can build a community of readers. 

Pre-register by February 29th to win a prize for your child and be entered in a drawing to win a Kindle.  Participants will also receive free books to help build their home library. 

This conference is sponsored by: Children’s Services Council, Bridges at Pahokee, Americorps, Literacy Coalition of Palm Beach County, Mary & Robert Pew Foundation, The Mentor Center at Pahokee, Pahokee Youth Enrichment Academy and Pahokee Elementary International Baccalaureate World School. 

The School District of Palm Beach County encourages a collaborative environment in which the parents and families of our students are invited and encouraged to be involved. The School Board recognizes the vital role parents/guardians and family play in the education, welfare and values of its students, and that the education of each student is a responsibility shared by the school and the student’s parents/guardians and family members. 

For registration and information contact LaWanda Harper at (561) 924-9700 or via e-mail at lawanda.harper@palmbeachschools.org.

 

 

 

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Public Affairs Contact: Natalia Arenas – (561) 357-7662 – natalia.arenas@palmbeachschools.org