Posted on

Do you know a graduate of the Palm Beach County public school system who is deserving of a Distinguished Alumni Award? If so, we encourage you to submit your suggestions along with any relevant information to the Education Foundation of Palm Beach County, Inc.

The Education Foundation started the Distinguished Alumni Awards four years ago to honor graduates who have achieved excellence in their profession and made a significant contribution to Palm Beach County or the broader community.

Past honorees have included:

Dr. Ed Eissey, Retired Educator

Karen Marcus, County Commissioner

Tiffany Kenney, Senior Anchor, WPBF News 25

Anquan Boldin, Wide Receiver-Baltimore Ravens

Jeffrey Colbath, Circuit Court Judge

This program is a wonderful way to show the strength of the Palm Beach County School District and the outstanding graduates who have made their mark in professional endeavors and affected their community for the better.

We appreciate your support of the Foundation and our exemplary graduates. Please go to to complete and submit an Alumni Award nomination prior to the November 9, 2012 deadline.

A  dinner and awards ceremony will be held Thursday, February 28, 2013 at the West Palm Beach Marriott. Sponsorship opportunities and tickets are available and can be purchased through the Education Foundation. For additional event information, or contact Tracy Rudnick at 561-434-8428.

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.

Posted on

The S.T.A.R.S. (Start Transition And Realize Success) Conference is a FREE event presented by the School District of Palm Beach County’s Council for Transitioning Youth and the United Way of Palm Beach County.   The event will take place Saturday, October 20, 2012 from 8:30 AM to 12:30 PM at John I. Leonard High School.  It is open to all Palm Beach County youth with disabilities, age 14 – 22, their families, educators and agency staff.  Those who plan to attend can register online at .  Registration will be open through October 18th.

The mission of the S.T.A.R.S. Conference is to help students with disabilities and their parents utilize school and agency services to transition from high school into adulthood, and to reach their post-secondary goals.  The day-long conference will feature targeted workshops to guide students and their families through a successful transition as well as fun activities to provide a break for the students. Workshops include School District and local agency services, preparing for college and other post-secondary education opportunities, employability skills, cyber-bullying and health safety issues facing today’s teens. A continental breakfast is provided at no cost to participants.

More than 350 students with disabilities, parents, professionals and supporting agencies attend this event each year.  There are approximately 34,000 students with disabilities enrolled in the Palm Beach County public school system that can benefit from the S.T.A.R.S Conference.  As all students, they need guidance to help them achieve in school, post-secondary planning, acquiring employment and living a productive, independent life. 

For more information please contact Iris Neil, ESE Program Planner for Secondary Transition Services, at 561-434-8367 .

Posted on

Come celebrate International Walk Your Child to School Day with the students, faculty, parents and community members at Diamond View Elementary School on Wednesday, October 3, 2012. The walk will begin at 7:30 a.m. as the Palm Beach County Safe Kids coalition strives to educate students about pedestrian safety and examine the traffic dangers surrounding their school.

Since 2000, an average of 355 unintentional pedestrian fatalities among children ages 14 and under has occurred each year. Children in low-income, densely populated, urban residential areas are at a substantially higher risk of pedestrian-related injury. To combat this national problem, the Safe Kids Worldwide, and program sponsor FedEx have developed Safe Kids Walk This Way,a multifaceted project designed to enhance safety for our children when walking to school. 

A news conference will be held at the school immediately following the walk at around 8:30 a.m. The news conference will highlight parent and child participation in Walk to School Day and the creation of a new school safety committee that will meet following the event to decide on objectives for improving pedestrian safety near the school.

We encourage you to become involved in this program!  In the meantime, here are some helpful tips for walking safely with your child:


  • Never allow children under age 10 to cross streets alone. Children need to be old enough to develop the skills to cross streets safely.
  • Always model and teach proper pedestrian behavior.
  • Instruct children to look left, right and left again when crossing streets, and to continue looking as they cross.
  • Make sure children don’t run into streets or dart from between parked cars.
  • Require children to wear retro reflective materials and carry a flashlight at dawn, at dusk, and in bad weather.

Diamond View Elementary School is located at 5300 Haverhill Rd., Greenacres, FL 33463. Directions: I-95 to Lantana Rd. Go west to Haverhill Rd, and turn north. Diamond View is located on the east side of Haverhill 1/2 mile north of Lantana Rd.

Contact Kelly Powell, Program Director, Safe Kids Palm Beach County at 561-727-1048 or for more information regarding this event.

Posted on



As a member of a School Advisory Council (SAC), you and your fellow council members are entrusted with the improvement of your public school. Together, you will help your school and its children become more successful.

You may view SAC meeting dates at (Dates & times are subject to change. Please contact your school to confirm.) School Directory:

Interested in becoming a SAC member? Visit or call Dianna Weinbaum at (561) 357-7667.

Posted on

Sculpture-Installation artist returns to inspire visual arts students

Kim Holleman, an award-winning artist who grew up in Palm Beach County and had her first piece of artwork displayed at the Norton Museum of Art at the age of eight, will be a featured Hearst Artist in the Dreyfoos Hearst Masterclass series this fall.  Ms. Holleman will present to visual arts sculpture and architecture students October 2, 3 and 4 during the school day on the school campus adjacent to CityPlace in Downtown West Palm Beach. Holleman, who currently resides in Brooklyn, NY, is a sculptor and installation artist.   She was born in Tampa, Florida and grew up in suburban Palm Beach Gardens, attending Palm Beach Gardens High School.  She fondly recalls her first experience as a showing artist when she was selected to show her work at the Norton Museum of Art in second grade. 

Kim went on to graduate from The Cooper Union for The Advancement of Science and Art in New York in 1995 and then attended the Rietveld Academie in the department of Autonomous Sculpture in Amsterdam, Holland. Holleman’s first solo exhibition in NY: Law of the Land was chosen ‘Best in Show’ in The Village Voice, while her second solo show, Circa: 2012, received a record breaking 1,000 visitors. Holleman’s award-winning work, Trailer Park: A Mobile Public Park debuted at The Storefront for Art and Architecture (‘06), The Supreme Court of NY (‘08) and The Cooper Union (‘10), Sculpture Center (‘12), and will exhibit at the upcoming World Maker Faire at the New York Hall of Science (’12). Holleman was a finalist in the international ONE Prize interdisciplinary architectural competition and has presented her work at The Cooper Union for a TEDx conference, which can be viewed at Holleman’s work has been featured in the NY Times, The Metro, Next American City Magazine, and has been profiled in depth on and

Holleman was selected as a guest artist for Dreyfoos because of the connections of her work to that of the art and architecture students at Dreyfoos studying under the guidance and instruction of long -time sculpture/architecture instructor, John Griffin.


The School of the Arts Foundation, which supports the arts and academic curriculum at the internationally-acclaimed Dreyfoos School of the Arts, received its first grant of $75,000 from The William Randolph Hearst Foundation In July 2007.  Every year since the Hearst Foundation has awarded that same amount to fund the Hearst Guest Artist Masterclass Series at Dreyfoos.

The Guest Artist Program has opened many doors for Dreyfoos students. The artists expose students to a wide array of art disciplines and cultures that enable them to expand their repertoire of experiences and abilities.  Many of the guest artists are affiliated with post secondary educational institutions and professional companies.  These connections are crucial to students’ acceptances into summer institutes, colleges, conservatories and dance companies. 


The Alexander W. Dreyfoos School of the Arts was founded in 1989 as the premier arts high school in the School District of Palm Beach County, the nation’s eleventh largest school district which serves a county geographically larger than Rhode Island or Delaware.  This Choice Program school accepts students based upon a competitive audition process from all public and private middle and high schools in the county.  With a current enrollment of 1,300 students, the Alexander W. Dreyfoos School of the Arts offers its students intensive study within their art area and a rigorous college preparatory academic curriculum.  The innovative program has led to the school receiving a multitude of awards and recognitions on all levels, local to international, including a 2007 No Child Left Behind-Blue Ribbon School Award, a rank of 37 in Newsweek’s ranking of America’s best high schools (2012), and the 2008 Palm Beach County Cultural Council Muse Award for Arts or Cultural Organization / Budget more than $500,000.


Posted on

School plans to honor alumni at opening of football game

 If you attended Forest Hill Community High school (even when it was known as The Hill), the staff and students are looking for you. They’re hoping to honor alumni at the opening of the football game scheduled against Okeechobee High School, Friday, October 5– kick-off is 7:00 p.m.

Although this is an “unofficial” alumni night and there is no “tent” for reunions, officials are hoping that all current and past students will turn out to support the Falcons by sitting together and holding banners reflecting the year they graduated during the kick-off  of the game. Organizers said representatives of the classes of ’87 and ’93 have already checked, in but they’re waiting to hear from other classes. Alumni are being asked to indicate their class when they purchase their ticket for the game, which will be played at Bobby Riggs Stadium at Kettler Field. Fans are being encouraged to meet for dinner at Bradley’s next door to the West Palm Beach Golf Course before or after the game.

For more information, contact Coach Kurt Van Valkenburgh, 561.540.2400 or email

About Forest Hill Community High School

The school opened in 1959 and is located next to the West Palm Beach County Club. The original structure was replaced by a larger building on the same site in 2004.  The school currently has about 1800 students enrolled in one of several Choice/magnet programs such as Information Technology, International Baccalaureate, Environmental Science, Engineering, Tourism and Hospitality and the award-winning JROTC. The school is one of the oldest schools in Palm Beach County.

Posted on

Eleven District students are among more than 1,600 Black American high school seniors who have been designated Semifinalists in the 49th annual National Achievement Scholarship Program.  The announcement was made by National Merit Scholarship Corporation (nmsc) officials. These scholastically talented young men and women now have an opportunity to continue in the competition for approximately 800 Achievement Scholarship® awards worth more than $2.5 million that will be offered next spring.

The students and schools are:


Alexandre, Toree E.

Brown, Melina C.

McCoy, Breana D.


Myrthil, Jenny


Walters, Matthew A.


Sharpe, Roxsian F.


Huggins-James, Dara M.


Abu, Yaw O.

Coates, Thomas Jewell

Elie, Uriel J.

Picart, Jamila K.

Posted on

The School District of Palm Beach County invites all job seekers and members of the community to attend a Job Fair and open house of their new Area 3 office (formerly known as West Area). 

When? Friday, October 12th, 2012 from 1:00 – 6:00 p.m. 

Where? Area 3 Administrative Office – 2625 State Road 715, Belle Glade, FL 33430 

Attendees will have the opportunity to apply for jobs available in the Transportation Department as well as tour the new office and departments.

In addition to exceptional retirement benefits, competitive pay and health insurance the School District offers the Commercial Driving License (CDL) training for free to those who qualify. 


  1. Safe licensed driver for 5 years
  2. Excellent driving record
  3. Pass the Department of Transportation (DOT) physical examination
  4. Pass the bus driver training course
  5. Communicate effectively in English
  6. Enjoy working with students 

Follow this link to apply online or call (561) 242-6500 

For more information contact LaTangela McCauley-Lewis at (561) 996-4600 or via email at   








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


Posted on

Cutting-edge Mindstorm and Vex robots will take H.L. Watkins Middle School by storm as FPL, together with School District of Palm Beach County officials, unveil the first state-of-the-art robotics facility in the County, along with a solar array and learning station. The new science facility provides needed resources to ramp up STEM education for the County’s students, helping prepare them for the highly-skilled science, technology, engineering, and mathematics jobs of the future. FPL is one of Florida’s largest employers in these fields.

The new robotics equipment represents a major revamp of the school’s existing resources. H.L. Watkins will be the only middle school in the county with this level of sophistication in robotics equipment and software.

In addition to the robotics center, H.L. Watkins’ Next Generation Solar Education Station features solar panels similar to those operating at FPL’s DeSoto Next Generation Solar Energy Center in Arcadia, Fla. The school array will provide students a hands-on tool to learn about renewable energy.


WHO:   School District of Palm Beach County Superintendent Mr. Wayne Gent, FPL energy experts, H.L. Watkins students, H.L. Watkins administrators, and lead robotics teacher Cory Perry working with students to demonstrate the new equipment.


WHEN:          Oct. 3, 2012

                        9:45 a.m.


WHERE:       H.L. Watkins Middle School

                        9480 MacArthur Blvd.

                        Palm Beach Gardens, FL


Media must check in at front office to gain entrance to school property.

VISUALS:       School children manipulating new state-of-the-art robotics equipment and software; students experimenting with solar panels to learn how they convert the sun’s power into electricity; County school officials touring the new facilities.

Interviews with school officials, teachers and FPL representatives are available.

CONTACT:    Julia Wakefield, rbb Public Relations (305) 445-9750

Florida Power & Light Company

Florida Power & Light Company is the largest rate-regulated electric utility in Florida and serves the third largest number of customers of any electric utility in the United States.  FPL serves approximately 4.6 million customer accounts and is a leading Florida employer with approximately 10,000 employees as of year-end 2011. During the five year period ended December 31, 2011, the company delivered the best service reliability among Florida investor-owned utilities, while its typical residential customer bills, based on data available in December 2011, are about 25 percent below the national average. A clean energy leader, FPL has one of the lowest emissions profiles and one of the leading energy efficiency programs among utilities nationwide. FPL is a subsidiary of Juno Beach, Fla.-based NextEra Energy, Inc. (NYSE: NEE). For more information, visit

Posted on

Principals and School Representatives Receiving $1,000 Grants

The Rotary Club of West Palm Beach recently distributed $1,000 grants to Principals of 14 West Palm Beach Elementary Schools. The $14,000 grants were presented to the Principals at a luncheon held in their honor at the Kravis Center’s Cohen Pavilion.    

Fittingly, this was the 14th year that the Principal Grants Program gave grants to 14 Elementary Schools.  These Schools have high-need students and the grants have been used to provide these students with a plethora of items and services; i.e. academic incentives, eyeglasses, uniforms, and fulfilling emergency students’ needs.

Following is a list of the 14 elementary schools that each received a $1,000 grant:

Belvedere Elementary, Principal Diane Mahar Palmetto Elementary, Principal Gladys Harris
Berkshire Elementary, Principal Maria Bishop Pleasant City Elementary, Principal Moneek Scott-McTier. Ed.D.
Egret Lake Elementary, Principal Christine Rick Roosevelt Elementary, Principal Glenda Garrett
Gold Coast Community, Principal Willie Jo Young South Olive Elementary, Principal Hank Smith
Meadow Park Elementary, Principal Pamela Arnette UB Kinsey Elementary, Principal Adrienne Howard
Northboro Elementary, Principal Gayle Harper Westgate Elementary, Principal Patricia Ordonez-Feliciano, Ph.D.
Northmore Elementary, Principal Nancy Robinson Westward Elementary, Principal Bobbie Brooks

The Rotary Club of West Palm Beach is a 93-year old community services organization.   The Rotary Motto is “Service Above Self”.   

For more information contact Pete Bozetarnik, Club Manager at (561) 254-4789.

Posted on

Think of the last object you recycled.   Many of us recycle, and of course recycling more objects, more often, is a great way for Floridians to be sustainable. However it isn’t the only way, and it doesn’t need to be the only step in the “lifecycle of trash.”

Reuse, the practice of giving items a second, third or even fourth life before they are recycled, is what Resource Depot hopes to encourage, with an added educational and creative twist.  They collect items that are clean, safe and reusable, items that would have otherwise gone to a landfill or straight to a recycling center, and distribute them freely through membership to local teachers for use in creative projects.  Viewed in a new light, these items can inspire both students and teachers alike, as well as help supplement already stretched supply budgets in area schools. Everyone – the donor, the teacher, and the student, and our environment – benefits through the practice of reuse.

Recognizing its work to creatively keep reusable materials from the landfill, Resource Depot was acknowledged by Sustainable Florida with a Best Practices Award for a Non-Profit at their September 13th Annual Awards Dinner, held at the PGA National Resort and Spa.

Each year, Sustainable Florida appoints a panel to evaluate nominated individuals, businesses and organizations who exemplify their values of sustainable practices that are attainable as well as economically beneficial.  This is Resource Depot’s first time of both being nominated and recognized as the winner in the non-profit category.

“We are thrilled and humbled to be recognized for our efforts in education and environmentalism,” Executive Director, Jennifer O’Brien, said.

 O’Brien is already thinking ways the organization can continue to reach a greater number of teachers and students in Palm Beach County.  “In the coming year, we plan to continue to expand our reach into the community to encourage others towards sustainability and conservation of resources to benefit our education system.”   Last year alone, Resource Depot kept over 300 tons of materials out of the landfill through reuse.

Now think of that last object you recycled again. What could it become?

Resource Depot offers memberships to local educators, student field trips, and teaches public workshops on creative reuse, as well as accepting a variety of donations. Visit to learn more.

Posted on

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

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

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

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

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

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

Posted on

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

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

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

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

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






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

Posted on

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

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

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

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

Posted on

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

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

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

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

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

Posted on

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

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

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

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

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

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

Posted on

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

About Communities In Schools

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


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

Posted on

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

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

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

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

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

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






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

Posted on

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

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

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

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

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

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






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


Posted on

A Family Comedy Exploring the Mishaps and Eccentricities of Life      

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

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

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

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

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

Posted on

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

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

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

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

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









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

Posted on

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

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

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

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

Posted on

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

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

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

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

For more information please contact Debbie Ellsworth at .

Posted on

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

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

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

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




Posted on

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

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