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Pine Jog Elementary has been selected as one of the finalist for the 2010-2011 Florida Green School Awards. This recognition is organized by Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), the Florida Department of Education (DOE) and a host of community partners to highlight the environmental achievements of students, teachers, classes, schools and school districts.   

The Florida Green Schools Awards recognizes five different themes: Green Learning Environment which focuses on the facilities and schools grounds; Exemplary program in curriculum and teachers addresses the systematic efforts to use the local environment; Service learning emphasizes efforts that integrate service and learning; Policy and partnerships focuses on successful policies that establish a broader foundation for green schools; and the Recycling theme revolves around efforts to promote, enhance, sustain and increase recycling efforts. 

As one of three finalists representatives from Pine Jog Elementary are invited to the Florida Green School Awards Banquet and Ceremony on Thursday, November 10th, 2011 at the Marriott in Palm Beach Gardens. The awards will be hosted on the night preceding the Learn Green Conference and Expo

For more information contact Mr. Fred Barch at (561) 656-5401 or via e-mail at fred.barch@palmbeachschools.org.   

 

 

 

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The Joint Apprenticeship Program initiated in January 2008 with twenty-six employees.  Since then, seventeen employees have graduated from this 4 year program, which requires 576 hours of classroom instruction and 8,000 hours of OJT training. 

The program covers the trade areas of Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC), Electrician Maintenance, Plumbing, Carpenter Maintenance, and Sheet Metal.  The program training sponsors are the Florida Electrical Apprenticeship Association and the Florida Air Conditioning Apprenticeship Association. 

“Due to the relationship between the School District and Palm Beach State College and through the support of the training sponsors, the program has no cost to employees, other than the cost of their books,” said Mr. James Davis, Personnel Compliance Manager. 

The School District of Palm Beach County Facilities Services Department and the Service Employees International Union/Florida Public Services Union (SEIU/FPSU), in collaboration with Palm Beach State College, have developed this Joint Apprenticeship Program to provide classroom instruction and on-the-job training (OJT) experience to qualified employees. 

Program eligibility requires employees to obtain a minimum score of 60 out of 100 points on the interview, be in good-standing with positive evaluations, and reflect a positive attitude and eagerness to take one’s career to the next level.  Potential participants need to submit an application, along with three reference letters, one of which must come from their immediate supervisor.  

“The support provided by Palm Beach State College and both Department and Division leadership has been instrumental in the success of the program.  The Apprenticeship Program presents an excellent educational opportunity for non-instructional employees to increase their knowledge and skill set and advance their careers,” added Mr. Davis. 

Mr. Davis noted that “a lot of credit goes to Mr. Martin Mets Director/Facilities Services, Mr. Steve Backhus, General Manager/Facilities Services, and Mr. Joseph Sanches, Chief of Support Operations, for their vision and guidance; without which, this program would not be possible.” 

Students in the apprenticeship program work full-time at the District in their specific trade and attend classes in the evening at Palm Beach State College.  Upon successful completion of the State Registered Apprenticeship Program, students are awarded a Certificate of Completion recognized world-wide, and earn 27 credits toward an Associate of Science Degree in Industrial (Operations) Management. 

 For more information about the program visit http://www.palmbeachstate.edu/apprenticeships.xml or contact Kathleen Horowitz at (561) 868-3541 or Kent Hartwig at (561) 868-3871 at Palm Beach State College. 

Interested employees can also contact James Davis at (561) 688-7689 or via e-mail at james.davis.3@palmbeachschools.org

 

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

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Dr. Nicole Crane, an art teacher at Elbridge Gale Elementary School, has been named Florida’s 2011 Elementary Art Educator of the Year by the Florida Art Education Association (FAEA.)

Dr. Crane was honored to be named Elementary Art Educator of the Year saying, “My deepest gratitude goes out to my administration, colleagues, and fellow art teachers for their constant support and encouragement. Being an art teacher is an amazing opportunity to unlock the creativity of young individuals and create a personal lifelong love of art in our youth.  I absolutely love teaching art and the many rewards that come in being able to do what I love each and every day.”

Karen Nobel, Arts Integration Specialist and colleague states, “Dr. Crane was our county’s best kept secret until she emerged as a brilliant visual arts leader.  This award is long overdue.  Her contributions to our field extend to a state and national level, and I can say with confidence that she has only just begun to make her mark.  I am not sure if our school community truly understands how fortunate we are that Dr. Crane calls Palm Beach County her home.”

Dr. Crane moved to Palm Beach County in 2006 after receiving her Ph.D. from Florida State University.  She began teaching at Elbridge Gale Elementary School that same year. Dr. Crane has recently served as the President of the Palm Beach County Art Teachers Association and also works as an adjunct at Florida Atlantic University and the Armory Art Center.

The Florida Art Education Association serves visual art teachers, professors, administrators, museum educators and students, encourages research in art education; holds public discussions; sponsors institutes and conferences; publishes articles, reports and surveys; works with other related agencies in support of visual arts education and annually honors outstanding art educators and supporters in visual arts education.  FAEA’s rationale for presenting annual awards is to recognize individuals within the membership who have achieved the highest level of professionalism in art education.

Dr. Crane will receive her award recognition on Saturday, November 5th at the FAEA 2011 Conference in St. Petersburg.  This is the fourth year in a row that an elementary art educator from Palm Beach County has won this award.

For more information please contact Karen Nobel at karen.nobel@palmbeachschools.org

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High School students from public and private schools throughout Palm Beach County along with their parents will be attending the annual College and Career Fair Thursday, October 20th from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM at the South Florida Expo Center at the South Florida Fairgrounds.  175 post-secondary programs representing: colleges, universities, military academies and services, career schools as well as vendors providing college advising and tutoring, will be on hand. 

“College-Career Night 2011 is a great opportunity for students and their parents to explore post-secondary options and to speak directly to the admissions staff of the participating institutions,” according to Christie Ragsdale, High School Guidance Program Planner.  “They will share their expertise, experience and the most up to date information to help students in establishing educational and career goals.”

The FREE event is open to all high school students and parents, in both public and private schools.

For more information please contact Ms. Ragsdale at 561-357-7666 or christie.ragsdale@palmbeachschools.org .

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Construction began this summer on the “new” Galaxy Elementary School in Boynton Beach and the Quantum Foundation has given the project a tremendous boost forward.  The Quantum Foundation, Palm Beach County’s largest private foundation, has awarded a $750,000 grant towards the realization of a $2.3 million Capital Campaign. The fundraising is being managed by the Education Foundation of Palm Beach County.  The grant specifically focuses on the “Wonderment Center”, a two-story focal point of the school that will include two skills labs and lots of interactive learning to help Galaxy create and maintain exemplary programs in science and math.  That goal is consistent with the Quantum Foundation’s mission of improving science and health education countywide for all students.

Quantum Foundation President, Kerry Diaz said, “We are thrilled to help the students get the hands-on learning that will get them excited about science and turn that into better performance in the classroom. Research shows us that getting kids into science at this age helps them maintain an interest throughout their entire education.”

“The significance of The Quantum Foundation’s investment in education in this community at this time cannot be overstated.  In the current environment of budget reductions, there is no way we could have aspired to LEED Platinum Certification for Galaxy Elementary without their most generous assistance.  It gives us a great start toward the $2.3 million needed, and we are very grateful,” said Bill Malone, Superintendent, School District of Palm Beach County.

This exciting project started in 2009 when the School District heard the community’s plea to save Galaxy Elementary, a 52 year old school that was slated for demolition.  The School District’s application for a Federal low-interest loan was awarded and the plan was initiated to replace the aging buildings with a new 109,000 sq. ft. school, and an existing Boynton Beach park with a new neighborhood park.  This state-of-art campus will be the district’s 8th green school, and is the first public school in Florida to register for LEED® Platinum certification.  LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, and is the nation’s largest green building certification program.  The School District has a “pay it forward” attitude to constructing green schools as they bring long term operating cost savings, become more effective teaching tools, and provide connections with the surrounding businesses and cultural resources.  The completion of Galaxy Elementary School is considered an important part of the economic revitalization of Boynton Beach, according to community leaders.

“Our community is so excited to have this exemplary LEED school, which is in line with the city’s recent implementation of our Climate Action Plan.  All the hard work was well worth it.  I’m sure this is just the tip of the iceberg for our kids and the community.  This is really exciting.” said Mayor Jose Rodriguez, Boynton Beach.

While continuing to serve families from the immediate neighborhood, Galaxy Elementary is designed to become an E3 “Choice” or magnet school for Energy, Environment, and Engineering.  The school will offer the K-5th graders enhanced programs targeting improved performance in science and math that will be critical skills required in the workplace in the coming decades. 

The replacement school was funded with approximately $20,200,000 in a low interest federal loan.  The project’s $2.3 million goal for additional funding targets donors, grants and technology partnerships to augment the existing budget, and ensure that energy and environmental features become an integral part of the school’s curriculum, in addition to the enhanced operational cost savings.  A group of community leaders, the Galaxy All-Stars, has formed to lead the project’s fundraising success.  The Galaxy project has its own website, www.galaxygreen.org, which provides additional contact information and the ability to contribute online to the project. 

One of the most exciting features of the new Galaxy Elementary School Campus is the highly anticipated Wonderment Center.  This is a two-story educational space with two skills labs on each floor.  This is a campus focal point that will feature interpretive, interactive, multi-age work stations, and resemble a small science museum.  Sensory-based science and nature exhibits will be suspended overhead, wall mounted, and incorporated in the flooring and ceilings.  The Wonderment Center will be directly accessible from the courtyard, the dining/multipurpose room and the science skills labs.

Other features of the campus are planned but not yet funded, including the enhancement of an existing five acre Gopher Tortoise Preserve nature trails and interpretive signage; and the conversion of two existing buildings to a community-based environmentally-themed visitor’s center, where the area’s public and private schools will be able to tour additional hands-on educational displays when they visit the green school campus.  The school is scheduled to open with 500 students, and with the build-out of one floor of one classroom wing’s shell space, student population would go to approximately 650.  Space has been reserved on the site for a future addition that would take the student population to 960, for which the core spaces have been designed. 

The team led by Zyscovich Architects designed the green showcase campus and Pirtle Construction will oversee all aspects of the construction. (This is the same team that was responsible for Florida’s first LEED® Gold school, Pine Jog Elementary.)  The campus green design and construction features of the school include:  Native landscape throughout; Hydroponic teaching gardens; Bio-swales with landscape for storm water management; High-efficiency air conditioning system using ice produced off-peak hours for cooling;  Upgraded A/C filtration for improved interior air quality;  Solar Photovoltaic (PV) and Solar Hot Water panels for significant power contribution; Demonstration use of wind power – helical wind turbines; Monitoring of school’s energy and water use in real time online; Optimal use of natural daylight to reduce lighting loads; High-efficiency lighting fixtures and lighting controls;  The use of municipal  reclaimed water and rainwater harvested to large cisterns for irrigation;   Recycled construction waste – diverting 75% from landfill; Green roof area and white reflective roofs; Non-toxic, durable and recycled content materials; plus many more initiatives.

“Its location right off of I-95 and Boynton Beach Boulevard will make it visible to thousands of people everyday who will see the turning wind turbines, solar panels and a green roof.  Hopefully the school will inspire not only the children that attend the school, but it will uplift the neighborhood, and encourage everyone that drives by to think about the how they can help protect and preserve this fragile planet,” said Joseph Sanches, Chief of Division of Support Operations, School District of Palm Beach County.

For more information please contact Mary Kay Murray, Executive Director, Education Foundation of Palm Beach County at 561-357-7659 or marykay.murray@palmbeachschools.org .

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Fall is in the air and on Saturday, October 8th from 8:00 AM to 12 Noon, students in the Jupiter High School Agriscience Program will be holding a fall plant sale.  Over 100 varieties of plants will be on sale including many native plants such as Red Maple and Cocoplum. 

Proceeds from the plant sale go to fund student trips to competitions, leadership conferences, and help purchase supplies.  According to Agriscience teacher Derrick Crum, “The students love it when the community supports their hard work and efforts by buying their beautiful plants.”  Second year agriscience students will also compete in a plant display contest which the public is invited to vote on.

For more information please contact Mr. Crum at 561-744-7900 or derrick.crum@palmbeachschools.org .

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The award-winning Boca Raton Community High School Drama Department will open its season with a richly-staged production of the much loved and lauded Auntie Mame, by Jerome Lawrence and Robert Lee. With a lively cast of more than 30 students in vibrant period costumes and sets, Auntie Mame will run from November 3rd through 5th in the school’s Kathryn Lindgren Theatre.

With a rogue’s gallery of memorable characters, Auntie Mame tells the hilarious story of an eccentric socialite who finds her madcap Manhattan lifestyle turned upside down when she is appointed guardian of her orphaned nephew. Auntie Mame takes him on one whirlwind adventure after another, proving that “life is a banquet.” Highly successful in Broadway productions, in film versions, the play is based on the best-selling novel by Patrick Dennis.

The irreverent Auntie Mame has touched the hearts and tickled the funny bones of audiences everywhere,” said Drama Department Director, Mindy Clarke. “And our production is sure to entertain and delight all generations today.”

Boca Raton Community High School’s beautiful Kathryn Lindgren Theatre is located at 1501 NW 15th Court, Boca Raton (just east of 1-95 and just south of Glades Road, across from University Commons Shopping Center).

Show times are Thursday, Friday and Saturday, November 3-5, 2011 at 7:00 p.m., and a matinee on November 5 at 2:00 p.m.

Tickets for open seating are $8 in advance and $12 at the door. The house opens thirty minutes prior to curtain. Group rates (for twenty or more) are available on request for $7 each. This year, NEW VIP advanced reserved seating is available at $15 per person, limited to 150 tickets per show.

For more information, call (561) 338-1533 or visit www.bocadrama.com. To receive tickets, fill out and return the “Ticket Order Form” with your payment, and include a self-addressed stamped envelope.

The Boca Raton Community High School season’s second major production will be the popular Gershwin musical, Crazy for You. Scheduled for Thursday, Friday and Saturday, March 1-3, 2012 at 7:00 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday, March 3 & 4 at 2:00 p.m.

“Without the community’s generous support, Boca High’s drama program simply would not have the opportunity to be so successful,” said Clarke. “In addition to attending productions, our ‘Friends of the Arts’ program allows residents to contribute to our department and be recognized in the programs. We also invite local businesses to place ads in the programs.”

For more information, call 561-338-1533 or email bocadrama@gmail.com or visit www.bocadrama.com.

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The 2011 Learn Green Conference and Expo is one of the most successful events in the County and the only conference of its kind where teachers, administrators, students, staff, and field experts from around the state can share “green” initiatives that can benefit entire communities.

This year’s Learn Green Conference is set for Friday, November 11, 2011 from 8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. at Alexander W. Dreyfoos School of the Arts. Keynote speaker Rachel Gutter, Director of the Center for Green Schools for the United States Green Building Council (USCGBC) will share valuable information about green efforts that are happening around the country. Ms. Gutter came to the USGBC in 2007 to oversee the launch of LEED for Schools, a version of USGBC’s popular green building certification program that facilitates the design, construction and operations of high-performance, green schools.

Rachel Gutter’s professional experiences in the fields of green building consulting and interior architecture and her time with the Green Building Program of Montgomery County Public Schools have contributed to her in depth knowledge of green schools. However, it is her six years of teaching experience that fuels her commitment to educating a generation of sustainability natives. She received her Bachelor of Arts from Tufts University.

A variety of breakout sessions will take place throughout the day including: School Grounds Enhancement, Sustainability (Energy, Water, Waste), Youth Voices, Curriculum Integration, Community Involvement, Exhibit Hall with 100+ exhibitors, and much more…  The event is being combined with the 2011 Lessons Learned Workshop featuring best design and construction practices from some of our newest schools. 

Participants can also experience the excitement of City Place as well as take advantage of the special pre and post-conference activities such as the Florida Green Schools Awards Banquet that will take place on Thursday, November 10, 2011. On Saturday, November 12, 2011 attendants can get on the bus and take a tour of several of the area’s premier LEED Gold and Platinum schools and university buildings. 

Visitors from cities around the state can contact the Marriott in West Palm Beach directly at (561) 833-1234 to obtain the discounted rate of $109 per night. 

Visit the Learn Green Conference website to register and take advantage of the early-bird registration fee of $15.00 until October 11, 2011 after that the registration fee is $25.00!  

For more information contact Karen Aubry at (561) 686-6600 or via e-mail at   kaubry@fau.edu.

 

 

 

 

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

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The Rotary Club of West Palm Beach will honor district Elementary School Principals in West Palm Beach with a $1,000 gift from their Charity Fund.   They created the Principal Grant Program in 1999 for elementary school principals in their Club’s service area.

“This will be their 12th year awarding these grants to district schools in West Palm Beach,” said Kenyetta Haywood, District Administrator.  The Principal Grants will be distributed to fourteen elementary schools in the City of West Palm Beach to help benefit students in Palm Beach County.

The Rotary Club is inviting Principals to join them for lunch as their guests to receive their grant and personally tell the club members how the funds will help their schools on Tuesday, September 27, 2011.   Lunch will be served at 11:45 am in the Cohen Pavilion at the Kravis Center and the program starts at 12:15 pm.

To view a list of schools that will receive grants, please click here.

For more information please contact Missy Duffy, Club Manager Rotary Club of West Palm Beach at (561) 627-2267 or Greg Kissel at (561) 427-0195.

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Executives from Target recently visited U. B. Kinsey/Palmview Elementary School Of The Arts, encouraging students to go to college.  They also brought a check for $500, presenting it to Adrienne Harrell, Media Specialist, for the purchase of new books for the Media Center.

Jana Grounds, Executive Team Leader of the Human Resources Department of the Palm Beach Lakes Target store and Ashlyn Parker, Executive Team Leader-Assets Protection talked to the students about their college careers and their job responsibilities at Target. “It was so encouraging seeing young people talk about the value of hard work and starting on the ground level at Target and now having positions of leadership” states Sharon Campbell, Magnet Coordinator.

Adrienne Howard, U. B. Kinsey/Palmview Elementary School of the Arts Principal told the guests and students, “It is an honor to have a business partner like Target at our school.  We will be able to purchase 200 books for our Media Center. Reading is such a valuable part of your education.  One day, you can grow up to be college graduates like these young people and contribute to your community.”

For more information please contact Sharon Campbell, Magnet Coordinator at 561-671-6517 or sharon.campbell.1@palmbeachschools.org .

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A large group of faculty, staff, parents and students from Limestone Creek Elementary met at Carlin Park in Jupiter recently to participate in the International Coastal Cleanup, the world’s largest one day volunteer beach cleanup effort.  The group, called Cougars With Compassion, was organized by the school’s outstanding Parent Teacher Organization.   The mascot for the Jupiter elementary school is a cougar.

Throughout the year the group will be involved in many activities which benefit the community, representing the school’s awareness and support of the people and charities in the Jupiter area.

“I thought it was fun,” said Madeline Evans, “and we loved the long pinchers we used to pick up the trash.  It was like a helpful workshop but with no air conditioning!”    Madeline, a third grader at Limestone Creek, was just one of many enthusiastic students who participated in this worthy effort.   Limestone Creek is proud to support the community and help make our beaches better for everyone. 

For more information please contact Limestone Creek Elementary Principal Suzanne Gibbs at 561-741-9200 or gibbs@palmbeach.k12.fl.us .

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The Rotary Club of West Palm Beach has adopted the Dictionary Project that provides dictionaries to students to keep as their own personal reference books and enhance the teaching of literacy.

The Dictionary Project is a successful national program originating several years ago in South Carolina. Since 1995, millions of third-grade students have been given their own dictionary throughout the United States. “We believe a dictionary is an essential tool for a quality education,” said Kenyetta Haywood, District Administrator.

The Rotary Club of West Palm Beach is delivering dictionaries to a number of Palm Beach County Schools September 20, 2011 through September 23, 2011. They will give a dictionary to every third-grade student within the fourteen elementary schools that are in their club’s service area.

To view a list of schools that will receive dictionaries, please click here.

For more information please contact Missy Duffy, Club Manager Rotary Club of West Palm Beach, at (561) 627-2268, or Greg Kissel at (561) 427-0195.

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 While some people may be trying to catch up on their sleep Saturday morning, the students, staff, and families of Berkshire Elementary School will convene at 8:00 a.m. to plant a garden!  The West Palm Beach school has received generous funding from the Robert Wood Johnson Healthy Kids, Healthy Communities grant and will be planting over 200 vegetable and herb plants, seeds, and a small orchard of fruit trees. Second grade teacher Sarah Marshall is also one of the coordinators of the event. “Our goal is to reach out to our school and local community families to provide access to affordable fresh produce for pennies,” she stated. “ The proceeds of our harvests will go back into the garden to keep it up and running and to support education to our community on the benefits of eating fresh, healthy food she explained.

The team—including community supporters of the school, will also create a huge tile mosaic in the center of the garden.  Throughout the day volunteers will enjoy music and food. Saturday’s planting event includes a fundraiser carwash with proceeds benefitting the Safety Patrol’s annual Washington, D.C. trip.

The  school plans to host garden parties once the harvest is ready –expect a fun atmosphere of food, music, and an easy way for families to collect garden fresh produce and learn easy, family- friendly recipes to prepare at home.  For details, contact Sarah Marshall at  615-498-0908 or email Sarah.marshall@palmbeachschools.org.

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Every year, millions of adults and children gather on a single day to set a new reading record and to show their support for early literacy by joining Jumpstart’s Read for the Record.  The School District of Palm Beach County will be part of that challenge on Thursday, October 6th, 2011. The Pearson Foundation has donated the book, Llama Llama Red Pajama by Anna Dewdney, to Pre K’s and Kindergarten classrooms within the school district. 

This year, first and second grade teachers can enter the challenge of breaking a new digital reading record by taking a pledge to read the book online to their students at http://wegivebooks.org/webroot/pf/rftr/index.htm. 

Several officials will support the initiative. West Palm Beach Mayor, Geraldine  Muoio, will be reading at Pleasant City Elementary on October 6th at 10:30 am and School Board member Chuck Shaw will be reading at Pine Jog at 9:00 am and at Meadow Park at 10:30. One of the State Board of Education Members from the Florida Department of Education will also participate in reading in the school district.

“Last year about 12,000 students from the school district were part of the “Read for the Record” campaign. Besides breaking the record this year, the main goal is to demonstrate the importance of reading to children as an important step to increase literacy within our school district,” said Linda Golightly from the Department of Elementary Curriculum at the School District.

This initiative aligns with the established School District Key Result to assure that all students of each racial/ethnic group will be proficient in reading as measured by FCAT Reading 2.0.

For more information, contact Linda Golightly 561-434-8806 or email linda.golightly@palmbeachschools.org.

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Don’t miss the 12th Annual Education Foundation Professional Development Day on Saturday, October 15th at the historic Alexander W. Dreyfoos Jr. School of the Arts. 2012 Macy’s Florida Teacher of the Year, Alvin Davis, will present the keynote address and two workshops focusing on music education across the curriculum.

This year’s event, with the theme of “The Cutting Edge of Education” features sessions that incorporate Sunshine State Standards with a creative twist. There will be a variety of elementary, middle, and high school sessions to choose from, covering topics including science, math, language arts, writing, and the arts. Along with Florida Teacher of the Year Alvin Davis, presenters include Dwyer Award recipients, National Board Certified Teachers and accomplished national presenters.

“Teachers tell us every year that this event inspires them to be more passionate and creative educators,” says Mary Kay Murray, Executive Director of the Education Foundation of Palm Beach County. “It’s a unique event that shouldn’t be missed.”

More value for your money! Registration fee includes: Continental breakfast, lunch from “Field of Greens” restaurant in CityPlace, a variety of cutting edge sessions to choose from, gift bag, vendor displays, door prizes, in-service points, and ample free parking. Registration fee is only $25.00. First year and pre-service teachers can register for $20.00. Groups of 5 teachers from same school pay only $20.00 each.

The Education Foundation of Palm Beach County, Inc. is committed to advancing excellence in public education by increasing public awareness and sustaining community support for programs focused on Learning, Literacy and Leadership.

For information and to register: http://www.palmbeachschools.org/edfoundation/2011TeachersGuildConference.asp

CONTACT: Tracy L. Rudnick 561-434-8428

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Two years ago students from Todd LaVogue’s sixth grade World History class at Roosevelt Middle School in West Palm Beach participated in Amnesty International’s “Write a Letter, Save a Life” letter writing campaign to free prisoners of conscience. Students were provided a list of names with information about the prisoners.  They chose three people: Reginald Clemons of Missouri, Aung San Suu Kyi of Myanmar, and Majid Tavakkoli of Iran.  Letters of support were sent to each prisoner and to the respective governments.  Two of their choices have resulted in positive news about the prisoners.

Students received news that their letters helped in the release from house arrest of Myanmar’s pro-democracy leader, Aung San Suu Kyi.  Kyi was released Saturday, November 13, 2010, after nearly 21 years of house arrest.

The second response from their campaign came recently as students learned that Mr. Clemons received a federal stay of execution days before he was scheduled to die by lethal injection in Missouri.

Reginald Clemons was scheduled to be put to death on June 17, 2011, for the 1991 murders of two young women, Julie and Robin Kerry, who were pushed or ordered to jump to their deaths from the old Chain of Rocks Bridge spanning Missouri and Illinois in St. Louis. Supporters have insisted that while Clemons was present on the bridge, he did not commit murder. They contend his confessions were the result of a brutal police beating and the real killer is actually the Kerry sisters’ cousin Thomas Cummings who was the initial suspect.

Tavakkoli, who was arrested in Tehran after criticizing the government during a peaceful student protest, remains in prison.

According to Mr. LaVogue, “Students were encouraged that their letters gave comfort to those in prison and helped in their release.  They now realize that one voice added to other voices can make a difference in the world.”

For more information, contact Todd LaVogue, Advanced World History teacher at todd.lavogue@palmbeachschools.org

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The first-ever Communities In Schools Palm Beach County student of the month is Cornelius Murray from Gold Coast Community School in West Palm Beach. Cornelius was one of the first students to sign up for the Charting For Success class with Communities In Schools (CIS) at Gold Coast Community School.

While he was waiting for additional students to enroll, he volunteered his time to help paint the school’s teen parenting room. A 9th grader, he is also involved with the Student Government Association at Gold Coast, currently running for the office of Vice-President.  Cornelius likes football and is a fan of the Minnesota Vikings. Adrian Peterson, a running back with the Vikings, is one of Cornelius’ role models. Cornelius especially likes Mr. Peterson’s quiet demeanor, saying “He is not a talker, but a doer.”

Cornelius states that the CIS class has helped him take more efficient notes, develop better study habits, and stay organized. He plans to attend Louisiana State University after graduation.  His advice to his fellow students, “Stay in School.”

For more information please contact Margaret Bagley, at 561-471-9681 or margbagley@bellsouth.net .

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Have you ever wondered what you can do to make bedtime stories more meaningful?  If that’s the case, you need to attend the innovative literacy workshop Story Time Slumber Party on September 27, 2011, from 6:00 – 7:00 PM at Seminole Trails Elementary.  More than just teaching parents about reading, this workshop demonstrates ways parents can help their children get the most out of their nightly routine.  By the end of the evening, parents will have a variety of research-based strategies in their “reading toolkit” that they can use while working with their children at home.

During the Opening Session teachers will present an overview of the evening and the big ideas that prepare children for successful reading experiences.  Parents will then have the opportunity to participate in an interactive read-aloud and will walk away with strategies they can use with their children before, during and after reading.

A representative from the Palm Beach County Public Library will also be available so that families can sign up for a library card.

You don’t want to miss the sensational stories and splendid snack!  Don’t forget to wear your pajamas!

For more information please contact Seminole Trails Elementary Reading Coach Josie Sutton at 561-598-7019 or josie.sutton@palmbeachschools.org .

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Luke BaronThis started a grass roots effort with a young boy’s idea and has continued because of his tenacity and sense of social responsibility as a young man. For the past 7 years Luke has been helping children that are less fortunate in the community.  Friends4kids, the organization that he created has evolved and expanded with friends telling friends and each year Luke’s group fundraises and distributes over 600 toys and hundreds of new books to various Palm Beach County organizations. 

This year 2011 Friends4kids has already donated new books to Florence Fuller Library, Boynton Beach Charter School, Wayne Barton Community Center and DOT Success Program.

Recently, the DOT Success Program, Mr. Freedman has recognized Luke’s philanthropist spirit and has appointed him to the Teen Committee charged with improving Literacy in our community. 

2011-2012 is the year to create awareness in our community regarding literacy, we want to help supply several schools in our area with new books.

Based on his experience, Luke stated that:  

“You may have given a needy child an entirely different view of the world by providing them kindness when they needed it, sometimes all it takes is a smile and it can have a profound affect”.

“We are strangers coming into their lives for one day but that one act of kindness may have an everlasting effect, we’ll never know but we can only hope”.

“It’s not about me; this is truly an effort that takes lots of people to make it happen”.

This initiative is in line with the district key result of proficiency in reading for all students of each racial/ethnic group as measured by FCAT and FCAT Writes.

The organization is currently looking for donations of new toys for ages 3-6 year olds, if you wish to join our group please visit: www.friends4kids-operationhobo.com and email  norrablab@aol.com.

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Three Palm Beach County Social Studies teachers have been named as the 2011 Elementary, Middle, and High School “Outstanding Social Studies Teacher of the Year” by the Florida Council for the Social Studies (FCSS). U. B. Kinsey/Palmview Elementary School of the Arts teacher Dr. Lavinia “Holly” Draper, Tradewinds Middle School teacher Ms. Jennifer Blakeslee, and Boca Raton High School teacher Ms. Jonna Shutowick have been selected to represent the School District of Palm Beach County.

The FCSS Teacher of the Year Awards honor outstanding elementary, middle/junior high, and high school teachers from each of Florida’s school districts. Recipients of this prestigious award are exceptionally dedicated to closing the achievement gap and preparing students for success. Each honoree demonstrates a superior ability to teach social studies and inspire in students a love of learning, and inspire their colleagues and their school community to put students first in everything they do.

Dr. Draper, Ms. Blakeslee, and Ms. Shutowick will be honored at a luncheon during the 54th Annual FCSS Conference on Sunday, October 16, 2011 at the Hilton Bayfront in St. Petersburg, Florida.

To view the T.E.N. interview with our three “Outstanding Social Studies Teachers of the Year” please click http://vodcast.palmbeach.k12.fl.us/player.php?key=HYP4E5FC0DF189A6 .

For more information contact Secondary Social Studies Program Planner Laurie Cotton at 561-357-1160 or laurie.cotton@palmbeachschools.org .

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On Tuesday, September 27th, fifty-three Palm Beach County public school teachers will be awarded with a License for Learning Mini-Grant from the Education Foundation of Palm Beach County.  Grants range from $500.00 – $2,000.00 and will go towards programs that focus on Literacy, STEM, Career Education and the Arts. A reception honoring the awarded teachers will take place at B.B. King’s in CityPlace and will be hosted by the Education Foundation of Palm Beach County and UnitedHealthcare.

Funding for License for Learning Mini-Grants is made possible through the purchase of a Support Education license plate. For every Support Education license plate purchased or renewed in Palm Beach County the Education Foundation receives $20.00 which must be used to support teachers and classroom activities.

How do I purchase a Support Education license plate?

When you renew your registration at your local tax collector’s office, simply let them know you wish to replace your current license plate with a specialty license plate. Support Education license plates cost $20.00 (annually) above the standard Florida license plate. These additional funds go towards direct support of Palm Beach County public school teachers. 

The Education Foundation of Palm Beach County, Inc. is dedicated to advancing excellence in public education by increasing public awareness and sustaining community support for programs focused on Learning, Literacy and Leadership.

For more information contact Tracy Rudnick with the Education Foundation of Palm Beach County at 561-434-8428 or Tracy.Rudnick@palmbeachschools.org .

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A group of Riviera Beach Maritime Academy students and teachers recently participated in the International Coastal Cleanup on Munyon Island.  This is the fourth year that students have participated in the cleanup at this site. 

According to Assistant Principal Mariella Daniel, “A good time was had by all and we are anxiously awaiting our trash tallies to see who collected the most and the most unusual trash from that morning.  Students received community service hours as well as a commemorative t-shirt. We look forward to the next cleanup event but in the meantime…..RBMA is keepin’ it green!”

For more information please contact Ms. Daniel at 561-841-7600 or mdaniel@rbmaritime.org .

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Seniors from High School Finance Academies around the county got a bona fide lesson in economics when they took part in the annual School District Tax Anticipation Note Sale.  The event took place September 21 in the boardroom at Fulton-Holland Educational Services Center.

All the public finance professionals that work with the District (attorneys, investment bankers, advisers, commercial bankers) were invited to attend and interact with the students. There was a short presentation and career day talk.  A “mock-sale” was held with the students acting as bankers then the group observed the online competitive sale of the District’s $115 million note.

For more information please contact School District Treasurer Leanne Evans at 561-434-8142 or leanne.evans@palmbeachschools.org .

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Fans of the symphony should mark their calendars for the start of the Alexander Dreyfoos  School of the Arts concert season.  Philharmonic Concert I is set for Tuesday, September 27, starting at 7:00 p.m. at the school’s Meyer Hall.  The season’s inaugral performance selections such as the Overture to the “Abduction from the Seraglio” by Wolfgang Mozart, Symphony No. 2 in E minor, movement 1 by Sergi Rachmaninoff, and four dance excerpts from Rodeo, a ballet scored by American Aaron Copland based on American folklore.

This year’s head of the school’s Friends of the Orchestra support group Patti Rezakhani said her team will be working hard this year to promote attendance at all the upcoming concerts. “These students work so hard and practice so diligently to put on a great performance and hone their skills,” she stated.  Tickets cost $10 for adults; seniors and students pay $5.  For credit and debit card purchases, visit www.awdsoa.org.  Cash and check ticket purchases are available only at the door.  For more information or to get the full concert schedule, contact Conductor/instructor, Wendell Simmons, 561-802-6000 or email, Wendell.simmons@palmbeachschools.org.

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Maria Lloyd, Assistant Principal at Seminole Ridge Community High School has been selected by the Florida Department of Education as one of the two High School Literacy Leaders of the Year. These individuals are selected from district and school level administrators from around the state, who demonstrate superior leadership qualities and advance policies to foster excellence in literacy education at all levels. 

“I am honored to recognize these literacy champions for their commitment to the critical skill of reading and their efforts to make literacy a top priority in their schools and classrooms,” said Education Commissioner Gerard Robinson. “Their enthusiasm and dedication to students success is an asset to their schools and to Florida. 

Florida school districts were invited to nominate outstanding literacy leaders in four categories for consideration as a finalist. The top two individuals in each category were identified from the list of finalists and a winner from each category was selected. Each state finalist will receive a commemorative certificate and statewide winners will receive a plaque in appreciation of their literacy efforts. 

The categories included Literacy Leader of the Year, Reading Coach of the Year, Reading Teacher of the Year, and Reading Leadership Team of the Year. 

The Department of Education’s Just Read, Florida! Office actively works with community groups and volunteer organization throughout the state to support the goal of making reading a priority in Florida public schools. To obtain a list of all the winners, finalists and categories visit http://www.fldoe.org/news/2011/2011_09_19-2.asp   

For more information contact James Campbell, Principal at (561) 422-2600 or via e-mail at james.campbell.1@palmbeachschools.org.   

 

 

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