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Seventy-eight Acreage Pines Elementary students in 5th grade will graduate from the G.R.E.A.T. Program (Gang Resistance Education And Training).  During the graduation ceremony students will present ways they have improved in the community or in school from the knowledge they learned from the 6 week program. 

WHERE: Acreage Pines Elementary School (Cafeteria). 14200 Orange Blvd.,  Loxahatchee, FL. Office:  561/904-9500 

WHEN: Friday, November 2, 2012 at 1:00 p.m. 

G.R.E.A.T. is an evidence-based and effective gang and violence prevention program built around school-based, law enforcement officer instructed classroom curriculum. 

The Program is intended as an immunization against delinquency, youth violence, and gang membership for children in the years immediately before the prime ages for introduction into gangs and delinquent behavior. 

About the G.R.E.A.T. Program

The G.R.E.A.T. program is a six week course which the students successfully complete with proper attendance, participation, knowledge of the G.R.E.A.T. lessons, and have contributed to the improvement of their community and/or school. 

The course is compromised of the following lessons: 

  • G.R.E.A.T. Beginnings – Lesson Goal: Students will identify facts about the G.R.E.A.T. Program and various aspects about violence and prevention. 
  • To Do or Not to Do – Lesson Goal: Students will demonstrate decision-making skills and identify to whom they can talk if they need help making decisions. 
  • Loud and Clear – Lesson Goal: Students will demonstrate effective communication skills. 
  • Staying Cool When the Heat Is On – Lesson Goal: Students will practice controlling anger and develop strategies to manage their anger. 
  • We’re All in This Together – Lesson Goal: Students will identify individual and group differences and discuss respecting others. 
  • G.R.E.A.T. Days Ahead – Lesson Goal: Students will identify ways of being a G.R.E.A.T. citizen. 

For more information contact Dr. Colleen Iannitti at (561) 904-9503 or via email at





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

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Christopher Wan, a senior at the Alexander W. Dreyfoos School of the Arts has been named a semi-finalist in the Siemens Competition in Math, Science and Technology.  2,255 students submitted to the Siemens Competition this year and only 322 of them were named semi-finalists. There were 10 semi-finalists from Florida and Christopher was the only one from Palm Beach County.

Christopher was recognized for his paper: Modeling Estuarine Salinity Using Artificial Neural Networks: A Case Study of the Loxahatchee River.  In the last several years he has also earned 1st Place and Best in Show in the Palm Beach County Science Fair, 1st Place in the Florida State Science Fair, and 4th Place in the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair.

A piano major at Dreyfoos, Christopher has been playing the piano for almost 12 years and has won over $7,000 in scholarships and competitions. He recently submitted his application to Harvard and hopes to attend the Harvard-New England Conservatory dual degree program.  When asked about his passion for math, science and piano, Christopher said, “Math and science are ways for me to put on a serious face and a hard shell and work hard to make changes in the world. But music will always be my way to loosen up and to simply express myself.”

For more information please contact Dreyfoos School of the Arts, Dean of Science, Stephen Anand at 561 at 561-802-6000 or .

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Watson B. Duncan Community Middle School is sponsoring its twelfth annual Veterans Day program on Friday, November 9, 2012 at 9:45 a.m. in the gymnasium. The purpose of this program is to acknowledge and thank veterans and active duty military personnel for serving our country. The program will last one hour.

The Duncan chorus and band will provide musical selections throughout the event. Palm Beach Gardens High School Navy Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps will post and retire the colors as well as perform a drill exhibition.  Several veterans will attend representing different branches of the service and many dignitaries from the communities will be invited.

All veterans are welcome to attend.

Please contact Watson B. Duncan Middle School Band Director Tammy Roggen at 561-776-3518 for more details.

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The Kindergarten classes at Lighthouse Elementary School will be celebrating the 50th day of school “Fifties Style” on Monday, November 5th.  The children will come to school dressed as students would dress during the 1950s. 

The students will compare life now to what it was like in the 1950s through read alouds and using a Venn Diagram to compare the 50s to the 2010s.  They will learn to count to 50 by ones and tens and read and write stories related to the 50th day.  Culminating activities will include bubble gum blowing contests and a Sock Hop ending with a root beer float.  

For more information please contact Lighthouse Elementary Principal Leslie Bolte at 561-741-9404 .

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In honor of Veterans Day, students and School District employees will be recognizing our nation’s distinguished veterans the week of November 5th.  The School District of Palm Beach County will be honoring our veterans in numerous and different ways. 

Several schools are inviting veterans to attend ceremonies where they will be honored.  Some schools collect for Forgotten Soldiers while others write thank-you letters and deliver them to our local VA Hospital. Most schools invite guest speakers, and many have students interview faculty members or relatives of students who are veterans and showcase them on their in-school TV news programs.

School District employees at the Fulton-Holland Education Services Center and all other off-site administrative offices will honor administrative employees who are veterans at a Veterans Day Ceremony on November 9th.  The event will be held at 9:00 a.m. at the flag pole in front of the District’s headquarters building on Forest Hill Blvd. in West Palm Beach.

Students from the Boca Raton Community High School Navy Junior ROTC will present the Colors, students of Jupiter Middle School Band will perform several patriotic selections and Boynton Beach Community High School’s  Aunya May will sing the National Anthem and close with “America the Beautiful.”

Superintendent Wayne Gent will speak, read the names, and acknowledge veterans who now serve the students, parents, staff, and School District community.  Several veterans will share their experiences and talk about the meaning and importance of Veterans Day.

For more information, contact Jimmy L. Peterkin, Jr., at (561) 434-7323 or .

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Florida’s student filmmakers now have the opportunity to showcase their own movies and commercials to a crowd of top industry professionals and hundreds of fans, in addition to winning cash awards for their work through the Student Showcase of Films (SSOF). The Palm Beach International Film Festival (PBIFF), in collaboration with the Palm Beach County Film & Television Commission, has announced the official ‘Call for Entries’ for SSOF’s 2013 competition. Film students enrolled in Florida high schools and colleges are encouraged to submit their entries online no later than Thursday, January 10, 2013 for the chance to compete in what is Florida’s largest student film competition.  

This year, the Student Showcase of Films has launched a new digital submission process that is more convenient than ever. To enter through the online application program, view the awards breakdown and official rules and regulations, students are encouraged to visit The awards show will take place at the Keith C. and Elaine Johnson Wold Performing Arts Center at Lynn University in Boca Raton, FL on Friday, March 15, 2013 at 10 a.m.

Celebrating 18 years, the SSOF is the largest statewide film competition and awards show for Florida’s student filmmakers. The juried competition recognizes outstanding high school and college students by presenting more than $10,000 in scholarships and awards in six film categories: Feature/Shorts, Documentary, Animation, Commercial/PSA, Music Video, and an Audience Award, in addition to a poster competition. Honoring the legacy of Burt Reynolds, the festival also awards an annual scholarship bearing his name, plus a Sara Fuller Scholarship through Film Florida.

Each year, the submitted films are judged by top industry professionals and competition finalists are honored at a sizzling live awards show for more than 700 attendees from around the state. Past guests have included such notables as Steven Bauer, Amanda Bynes, Vincent Cecere, Clint Howard, Jonathan Krane, Louis Lombardi, Brett Loewenstern, Vincent Pastore, Burt Reynolds, Daniel Samonas, Al Sapienza, Tico Torres and Nick Zano. Winning student films will also be screened in their entirety on the “big screen” at the students’ own premiere during PBIFF, which runs Apr. 4 to Apr. 11, 2013.

For more information about the Student Showcase of Films, please visit or This program is funded by the PBIFF, the Palm Beach County Board of County Commissioners, the Palm Beach County Economic Development Office and the Palm Beach County Film & Television Commission.


About the Palm Beach International Film Festival (April 4-11, 2013)
The PBIFF is a not for profit 501 (c) 3 founded in 1996 with the vision of offering an exciting cultural venue for the community and to be a tremendous fundraiser for educational film and television programs. The festival hosts more than 15,000 filmgoers annually, has been recognized as one of the Top 10 Destination Film Festivals in the World by Moviemaker Magazine. The festival has screened more than 322World Premieres, 177 Student Films and 2,168 films from 65 countries.


The PBIFF has welcomed a bevy of top talent and filmmakers including: Academy Award® Winners Adrien Brody, Anthony Hopkins, Tommy Lee Jones, Faye Dunaway, Dennis Hopper, Louise Fletcher and Michael Caine; Academy Award® Nominees Salma Hayek, Edward Norton, Robert Evans, Sylvester Stallone, Woody Harrelson, Richard Jenkins and Burt Reynolds. Along with countless other legends, stars and filmmakers that have created movie magic for the past 80 years, including: Roger Moore, Faye Wray, Esther Williams, Anouk Aimee, Samuel L. Jackson, Cyd Charisse, Richard Zanuck, William Friedkin, Brett Ratner, Jacqueline Bisset, Michael Clarke Duncan and Rod Steiger.


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Barnes & Noble stores across the country, including the five stores in Palm Beach County, are enticing their customers to give the gift of reading to children in need during its annual Holiday Book Drive, taking place from November 1, 2012 to December 24, 2012.  

The Barnes & Noble Holiday Book Drive provides an opportunity for customers to donate books for at risk schools in Palm Beach County through local stores.

Barnes & Noble officials have worked closely with district staff to identify the schools where the books are needed the most. 

Holiday Book Drive recipients throughout the country include schools, libraries, literacy organizations, family social service agencies and homeless centers.  This year,Barnes & Noble stores in Palm Beach County, will be collecting books for The School District of Palm Beach County.

“The Holiday Book Drive is one of our most popular community partnerships,” says Sarah DiFrancesco, director of community relations for Barnes & Noble.  “Our booksellers and customers get to share the pure joy of giving a book to a child in need.  And because each Barnes & Noble store chooses its local non-profit beneficiary, the donations are very personal.”

To find out how to participate in the Holiday Book Drive, contact the Amanda Fuentes, Community Relations Manager at (561) 392-8478.


Barnes & Noble, Inc. (NYSE:BKS), the world’s largest bookseller and a Fortune 500 company, operates 704 bookstores in 50 states. Barnes & Noble College Booksellers, LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Barnes & Noble, also operates 635 college bookstores serving over 4.6 million students and faculty members at colleges and universities across the United States.  Barnes & Noble conducts its online business through (, one of the Web’s largest e-commerce sites, which also features more than two million titles in its NOOK Bookstore™ ( Through Barnes & Noble’s NOOK™ eReading product offering, customers can buy and read digital books and content on the widest range of platforms, including NOOK devices, partner company products, and the most popular mobile and computing devices using free NOOK software.

General information on Barnes & Noble, Inc. can be obtained via the Internet by visiting the company’s corporate

NOOK Simple Touch Reader, NOOK 1st Edition, NOOK 1st Edition Wi-Fi, NOOK Color, Reader’s Tablet, Fast Page,  NOOK Books, NOOK Bookstore, NOOK Newsstand, NOOK Magazines, NOOK Newspapers, NOOK Apps, PubIt! NOOK Kids, Read In Store, More In Store, NOOK Friends, LendMe®, NOOK Library, NOOK Boutiques,The Barnes & Noble Promise, NOOK Books en español, NOOK Study, Free Friday, Lifetime Library and Read What You Love. Anywhere You Like are trademarks of Barnes & Noble, Inc. Other trademarks referenced in this release are the property of their respective owners.

Follow Barnes & Noble on Twitter (, Facebook ( and YouTube (



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Herele Oakley, school counselor for Crystal Lakes Elementary School, is the Florida School Counselor Association’s (FSCA) Elementary School Counselor of the Year. This state-wide recognition is given to Ms. Oakley in recognition for her work in running a top-notch, comprehensive school counseling program as well as continuous commitment to professional development and advocacy.   Ms. Oakley has coordinated the school’s Power Cats, an afterschool reading remediation program that uses teachers to provide small group academic instruction and the school counselor to provide individual student planning and small group activities.   

She is proud of her role in establishing the Palm Beach School Counselor Association’s (PBSCA) School Counselor of the Year and Administrator of the Year award programs.  The program recognizes school counseling effectiveness, supports school counselors and highlights the importance of the administrator and school counselor relationship.   Her advocacy efforts at a local, state and national level for school counselors have in turn removed barriers to student academic, personal/social development and college/career readiness. 

According to Crystal Lakes Elementary Principal Diane Curcio-Greaves, “Herele takes on a leadership role and works collaboratively to carry out programs for the success of all students.  She effectively collects and analyzes data to implement programs so that our students can succeed academically.  Through collaboration and assisting students, parents, faculty, staff, and administrators, she is an advocate for all students.”  She believes that school counseling programs are essential to maximizing student achievement.   The school counseling profession has afforded her an opportunity to be the voice for students and make a positive difference in the lives students. 

This highly competitive acknowledgement of achievement will be awarded at the Florida School Counselor Convention on November 2 in St. Petersburg, FL. 

The District is proud of Herele Oakley, as well as the previous award winners who were recognized as being leaders in the field of school counseling:

2011 – Michael C. Kane, American School Counselor Association (ASCA) National Finalist School Counselor of the Year

2011 – Michael C. Kane, FSCA School Counselor of the Year

2010 – Alwynne Lamp, FSCA School Counselor of the Year

2008 – Janell Leatherman, ASCA National Finalist School Counselor of the Year

2006 – Janell Leatherman, FSCA School Counselor or the Year

For more information please contact Keith Oswald, Assistant Superintendent Division of Curriculum at 561-357-1113 or .

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Parents and students who will be entering sixth grade next year are invited to come and learn about the International Baccalaureate (IB) Middle Years Programme at Carver Middle School

WHO:  Middle school parents and students

WHEN: November 7, 2012, from 6:00 to 7:30 PM

WHERE: Carver Middle School - 101 Barwick Road, Delray Beach, 33445

Students and parents will learn about the program and the opportunities and challenges it offers students. They will have the opportunity to meet Carver IB staff and to interact with current IB students.

The IB program offers a challenging curriculum that is inclusive. It allows students to gain an international perspective and develop responsible citizenship in line with the District’s mission.

For more information, visit, email Tara Johnson at or call 561.638.2164

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Due to the fact that the School District of Palm Beach County will meet the Florida statute requirement, which stipulates school districts provide 900 instructional hours within the 180-day school year, the District will not be required to utilize emergency make-up days due to Hurricane Sandy. 
Additionally, the high school Learning Team Meeting (LTM), will occur as scheduled on November 1, 2012.

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The Palm Beach County Substance Awareness Coalition, the School District of Palm Beach County, Adobe Systems Incorporated, South Florida Fairgrounds, Acreage Loxahatchee Rotary Club, and the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office invites all students in grades K – 12 to participate in the 3rd Annual Alcohol Prevention Poster Contest “What can I be if I’m Alcohol Free?”  

Palm Beach County students in grades K-12 are invited to submit an alcohol prevention poster with a clear message that encourages an alcohol-free lifestyle for youth. The posters can be created using digital art media or freestyle media. 

Click to view the  Alcohol Prevention Poster Guidelines and Entry Form 2013

Winning entries will be posted on the inside of 1,000 Palm Beach County school buses. 

  • Adobe will award the top two elementary and two middle school students with Adobe Photoshop Elements and the top two high school students with the current version of Adobe Photoshop Creative Suite.
  • The top six entries also receive a $50 gift card.
  • Teachers of the top six winners receive a $100 gift card to be used towards classroom materials.
  • Principals of the top six entries receive a two “Any Day” Fair admission tickets.
  • Semi-finalists and the top entry from each school will be featured at the 2013 South Florida Fair. 

Posters must be received by 11:59 p.m., FRIDAY, DECEMBER 7, 2012 

Send completed entry forms and a hard copy of your poster to Natalia Arenas, Public Affairs B-102, 3300 Forest Hill Blvd. West Palm Beach, FL 33406. For digital submissions contact Alexa Lee at (561) 844-5952 or via email at    

For more information contact Alexa Lee at (561) 844-5952 or via email at





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

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Dr. Margarita Pinkos, the director of the Department of Multicultural Education, has been selected as one of only 17 candidates from across the nation to participate in the prestigious Superintendent Leadership Academy (SLA), created by the Association of Latino Administrators and Superintendents (ALAS). The leadership program is the first of its kind in the United States to focus on preparing the next generation of school system leaders with the skills necessary to close achievement gaps and specifically address the needs of English Language Learners and other disenfranchised groups. “The number of Hispanic students in public schools continues to grow, and many of them continue to lag behind in literacy, graduation, and college preparedness rates,” said Veronica Rivera, ALAS executive director.  “The Superintendent Leadership Academy is designed to ensure talented school administrators have the skills and information necessary to meet the challenge of educating not only Hispanic students, but all students, to create high-quality learning environments in their respective areas. Our country’s future depends on it.”

Dr. Pinkos is a life-long educator who has worked in the District for most of her 28- year career with the exception of nearly 3 years when she received a presidential appointment and worked for the U.S. Department of Education. As assistant deputy secretary and director of the Office of English Language Acquisition, the Wellington resident traveled around the country working to enhance educational achievement for English Language Learners and created appropriate effective policies for the U.S. Department of Education. In Palm Beach County, she has been a classroom teacher and a school and area office administrator. As a principal, she brought the first Dual Language Program to the District at Gove Elementary School  and raised the academic achievement of both the native Spanish-speakers and native English- speakers at the Belle Glade school.

“I am humbled by my selection for this illustrious cadre of educators, but also inspired by and committed to the vision of this Academy, knowing that I’ll be bringing what I gain back to the District to benefit the students in our community,” she stated.  The year –long program will cover Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment; Best Practices for Equity and Systemic Reform; Equity, Social Justice and Leadership; Instructional Technology and Management Systems; Leaders and Strategic Planning, and much more. Experienced superintendents and other educational experts will conduct the sessions.

 About the Association of Latino Administrators and Superintendents (ALAS)

The ALAS mission is to provide leadership at the national level that assures every school in America effectively serves the educational needs of all students, with an emphasis on Latino youth, by building capacity, promoting best practices, and transforming educational institutions. ALAS was established in 2003 in response to a lack of national advocacy and representation of Latino students.


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Powerful book-The Street Sweeper-examines Civil Rights struggles and Nazi crimes against humanity

The District’s  K-12 Holocaust Studies and K-12 African and African-American Studies offices have  received a generous grant from inSIGHT Through Education and are inviting staff throughout the District to participate in a read together of  The Street Sweeper by Eliot Perlman.   The inside cover states “From the Civil Rights struggle in the United States to the Nazi crimes against humanity in Europe, there are more stories than people passing one another every day on the bustling streets of every crowded city.  Only some stories survive to become history.”  The stories are powerful and compelling.  The Street Sweeper deals with memory, love, guilt, heroism, the extremes of racism and unexpected kindness, spans the twentieth century to the present, and spans the globe from New York to Chicago to Auschwitz” said Maureen Carter, Holocaust Studies program planner.

 An Edmodo page is being created for comments and two face- to- face  meetings are being arranged for discussion.  A chat with the author, who’s in Australia, is being planned for January. The chat with Mr. Perlman will follow a visit to Palm Beach Lakes High School and inSIGHT Through Education from Dr. Leon Bass, author of Good Enough, One Man’s Memoir on the Price of the Dream. Dr. Bass was a nineteen-year-old when he participated as a liberator of the concentration camp at Buchenwald.

Holocaust Studies and African and African –American Studies have a total of 48 books to distribute on a first come, first served basis. (After the read-together, the books will be re-cycled to high schools for student use.) Others are welcome to purchase the hard copy book, or an e-book version for their Kindle, Nook, or iPad.  

Contact Ms. Carter, 561.434-8933 or for more information.

inSIGHT Through Education is a not-for-profit organization  with a purpose of inspiring and educating through lessons learned from the Holocaust and Genocides to eliminate prejudice and encourage respect in schools and communities.

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  Seventh grade teacher Dana Silbersweig has been busy with more than teaching critical thinking this school year. The Christa McAuliffe Middle School teacher and her students raised over $1,000 to donate to the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America. In addition, the more than 70 students and their parents have created a team which they named Silbersweig Supporters to participate an upcoming walk, set for November 10th.  The Florida Chapter of the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America is hosting the West Palm Beach Take Steps Walk starting at 2:00 p.m. in CityPlace.

Ms. Silbersweig has personal knowledge of the impact of Crohn’s, she was diagnosed with the disease at the age of 10 and is among nearly 700,000 people in the U.S. who are hopeful that research will lead to a cure.  The team will participate in the walk and then volunteer afterwards.

For details, contact Ms. Silbersweig, 561.374-6600 or email

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Just seven days to the November 6th general election and students at Howell L. Watkins Middle School are ready to vote.  The school’s Social Studies Department, in cooperation with the Student Council, is implementing a project titled “WATKINS VOTES!  2012″.   All three grade levels, through their Social Studies classes, will be provided with lessons and instruction relating to our political process.  Relevant issues will be discussed and debated.   Students will then be “registered” to vote, to familiarize them with this voting requirement.  

Over a three day period students will be taken to a central voting location (media center) and registration forms or student ID’s will be checked by Student Council Members who will then permit them to vote.   The voting ballot was designed with a broken arrow, replicating the real ballot.  

Students can vote for the Romney/Ryan ticket or the Obama/Biden ticket. In addition, the ballot includes an Amendment Question about a future school-wide activity.   Howell L. Watkins Principal Dr. Don Hoffman has enthusiastically endorsed this amendment process and has committed to abide by the student body voting result.  

After voting students will receive an “I Voted” sticker and will return to class for focus group discussions and exit polling.  All results will be tallied by Student Council and will be revealed prior to Election Day, November 6, 2012.  

For more information please contact Dr. Hoffman at 561-776-3600 or .

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Nancy Reese, Single School Culture© Initiatives Assistant Director and lead administrator for School Counseling and Graduation Support for the School District of Palm Beach County, is the Florida School Counselor Association’s (FSCA) Advocate of the Year.  This state-wide recognition is given to Ms. Reese in recognition for her work in promoting and facilitating the role of school counselors and their work with students.  Her support of school counselors is exhibited through:

  • Planning, designing, and rolling out a comprehensive model for School Counseling reform, centered on college and career readiness and a reinvigorated relationship with school-based administration centered on student achievement data;
  • Influencing and securing Federal resources to support national demonstration projects that include renowned leaders in the field of school counseling, positioning the School District of Palm Beach County as a leader in college and career readiness;
  • Advocating for the school counselor’s role in college and career readiness through the College Board’s Own the Turf Campaign, NOSCA’s 8 Components of College and Career Readiness, localized partnerships with the higher education and workforce communities; and
  • Creating a focus on student achievement and school counselor-led data-driven practices through the implementation of resources and tools, e.g., the District’s Student Development Plan, Evidenced Based School Counseling and Making Data Work, as districtwide supports for all school counselors.

This highly competitive acknowledgement of achievement will be awarded at the Florida School Counselor Convention on November 2 in St. Petersburg, FL. 

According to Keith Oswald, Assistant Superintendent Division of Curriculum, “Nancy provides supportive leadership for all of our school counselors and maximizes opportunities to keep counseling and graduation support at the center of our work.”

The District identifies Student Work and Data and Positive Learning Environment as essential elements to the 2013 Strategic Plan.  With Ms. Reese’s support, school counselors are receiving the tools to implement data driven practices and to continue to support the instructional, behavioral and social/emotional development of all students.

For more information please contact Mr. Oswald at 561-357-1113 or .

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Engaging young people and encouraging their potential to be a powerful force in elections is key to a vital and vibrant democratic republic.  That’s why Jeaga Middle School’s Social Studies Department, Student Council Association, and the Pre-Law Academy are combining two great initiatives to involve students: Florida Student Mock National Election and the 2012-2013 Student Council Association Election.  

The mock national election and Student Council election will take place on Tuesday, October 30, 2012 through Wednesday, October 31, 2012.

With Election Day just days away, students at Jeaga Middle are learning how a democratic republic functions by taking part in a mock national election. Student will vote for the President and Vice President of the United States, United States Senators and Representatives in Congress, State of Florida Senators and Representatives; as well as their very own Student Council Association officers. 

Voting will be facilitated through all Social Studies classes.  Students will use a state-of-the art online voting system as they participate in a mock election program sponsored by the Florida Student Mock Election (, an internet-based, mock election systems provided by the  Lou Frey Institute of Politics and Government at the University of Central Florida, a division of the  Department of Political Science at the University of Central Florida. 

“Jeaga students will gain firsthand knowledge of how citizens make their voice heard in our democracy, and experience the power of their votes when they are joined by hundreds of Jeaga Middle School students and millions of citizens across the United States who will vote in the presidential elections this year,” added Mr. Shannon. 

The Palm Beach County Supervisor of Elections donated over 1,100 “I Voted” stickers. 

Results of the Florida Student Mock Election and the JMS Student Council Association Election will be available the morning of Thursday, November 1, 2012. 

For more information, contact Timothy Shannon, M.S. Ed., Social Studies Instructional Leader 561-242-8000 or via email at







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

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The Palm Beach County Council PTA is sponsoring a “PTA Day at the Park” Saturday, November 17th.  The fun begins at 11:00 AM and goes to 2:00 PM at John Prince Park, Osborne Pavilion in Lake Worth.

“Join us in a “Social Picnic” atmosphere as we get together, interact with other families, play some fun games and promote Health and Wellness,” said Palm Beach County PTA President Jen Martinez. This is a Statewide Florida PTA effort. Families all across the State will be at parks throughout the State participating.

Ms. Martinez concluded, “Bring your family and a picnic basket and spread the word. Let’s make this the largest statewide picnic ever! Mark your calendars “Family Picnic Play Date” as you and the kids will get together with friends and make some new ones.”

For more information please contact Ms. Martinez at .

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Eight students from John F. Kennedy Middle School went to the final presidential debate at Lynn University armed with video cameras, digital cameras, microphones, and questions for President Barack Obama and Governor Mitt Romney supporters. The interviews they were able to conduct and whom they were able to interview lead to an amazing night for the middle school students.

They interviewed Chris Matthews and Toure from MSNBC and many supporters from both sides of the aisle. They left that night with hours of video footage and over 500 photos.

John F. Kennedy Middle School Principal Corey Brooks, who attended the debate with his students, was amazed by what the students were able to achieve.  “They went out there with their gear and conducted their interviews with a level of professionalism that left many shocked,” said Mr. Brooks. “This event was just the start of what will be an eventful year at John F. Kennedy Middle School.”

To see a video collection of the interviews and a sampling of the photos that were taken, click on the links below.



For more information please contact Mr. Brooks at 561-845-4500 or .

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The Theatre Academy at Boynton Beach Community High School (BBCHS) presents The 5th Annual Evening of Monologues Written and Performed by Students on November 8th and 9th at 7:00 PM.

The Theatre Academy award-winning students will perform their own work in this humorous, moving and thought-provoking evening of theatre under the direction of Drama Director, Joe Ametrano.

The performances will take place at the BBCHS Black Box Theatre at 4975 Park Ridge Blvd, Boynton Beach, FL 33426.

Tickets are $10.00 for adults and $5.00 for students with valid ID. They are available for both performances.

The School District of Palm Beach County encourages student participation in fine arts.  Student performances throughout the School District play an important part in the overall academic success of our students.  A growing body of research indicates that students with more arts education have higher academic achievement across the curriculum when compared to students who have less exposure.

Please call 561-752-1295 for tickets and more information.

For more information contact Esther Rivera at 561-752-1526 or email

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All community members and supporters of the Habitat for Humanity House Project built by construction academy students at Seminole Ridge Community High School are invited to attend the moving of the house. 

On November 13, 2012 the house modules and roof segments will be rolled out of the school’s shop and craned onto awaiting flat-bed trailers.  Then, early on November 14, 2012 at 9:00 a.m. the trucks and trailers will pull out of the school in Loxahatchee and drive along Okeechobee Boulevard to the awaiting foundation at 2431 Saranac Avenue in the Westgate neighborhood of unincorporated Palm Beach County. 

Seminole Ridge Community High School is located at 4601 Seminole Pratt Whitney Rd., Loxahatchee, FL 33470.

The hammers are now quiet.  The drywall is in place.  Doors and windows installed.  Painting is finished.  The final installation of electrical, plumbing and cabinets is underway.  And the roof sections are now being assembled and dried-in to make ready for placement once the home is at its final location.

The 1,206 square foot house, built in its entirety by the students of the Seminole Ridge High School Construction Academy for Habitat for Humanity of Palm Beach County, is coming to completion. 

To see photos and read about this amazing project from start to finish, please visit

The four (4) modules will then be lifted through the air and set gently down onto the foundation.  As soon as the house modules are set and secured, the six (6) pre-assembled roof segments will be lifted on top of the modules.  Within the daylight hours of November 14, a unique and first of its kind house for Habitat for Humanity will have been born.

At the property, Habitat for Humanity of Palm Beach County staff and volunteers will make all final electrical and plumbing connections and install the siding and roof shingles.  The Royal Palm Beach High School Air Conditioning Academy will work with EDS Air Conditioning Contractors to install all of the ductwork and the air conditioning systems.  Habitat will build the front porch and the attached rear shed on-site. 

The Pine Jog Environmental Education Center, a division of the Florida Atlantic University (FAU) College of Education, has prepared an all-native landscape plan for the property and they will work with the Florida Native Plants Society (Palm Beach chapter), the house’s owner and Habitat volunteers to landscape the property.

Local architect and project manager David Porter noted, “There Is no greater ‘payback’ I can get from this project than to see the students grow, mature, enjoy and take personal pride in the work they are learning about and producing for a member of the community.”

The deserving owner, selected by Habitat for this property, is Tina Cromatie and her family.  Cromatie is a remarkable woman who, by life’s unfortunate circumstances, is now caring for her deceased twin sister’s two severely handicapped, wheelchair-bound sons.  She serves in the new role of “mom” while holding down a full-time job at a local hospital.

“Our partnership with Seminole Ridge High School and its Construction Academy has a great opportunity for our organization to provide another simple, decent and affordable home for a hard working family in Palm Beach County,” stated Bernard Godek, Executive Director of Habitat for Humanity of Palm Beach County.“But more importantly, it has given hundreds of students an opportunity to gain knowledge and learn skills that with help them better themselves after high school – whether that be through the state university system, the community college system, through local trade organizations, or through local job opportunities.”

To learn more about this Seminole Ridge project and Habitat for Humanity of Palm Beach County, please visit or call (561) 253-2080.


About Habitat for Humanity of Palm Beach County

Habitat for Humanity of Palm Beach County is a non-profit organization dedicated to the elimination of sub-standard housing by building simple, decent, safe, affordable houses for low income, hardworking qualified families in partnership with God, community volunteers and local organizations.  Each Habitat partner family is required to invest a minimum of 500 sweat equity hours of their own labor into the construction of homes before being eligible to purchase their home utilizing a 30-year, no-profit, no-interest loan. The affiliate’s service area extends from Hypoluxo Road in the south to the Martin County line in the north, and from Palm Beach to Lake Okeechobee.

For more information contact John Walker, Academy Coordinator at (561) 422-2600 or via e-mail at







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


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Golden Grove Elementary had the highest percent of their school population registered for the Summer Reading Program this year. Each year the Palm Beach County Library System keeps track of the schools attended by the children who sign up for the Summer Reading Program. The school with the highest percentage of their student population enrolled in the reading program gets a special program in November that is funded by the Palm Beach County Library System. 

Golden Grove will have a special visit the morning of November 2nd, 2012 by this year’s author of the book chosen as the 2012 Families Reading Together book, Artful Reading, Bob Raczka. 

“Golden Grove Elementary is very proud that so many students registered for the Summer Reading Program and enjoyed the love of reading over the summer. They are looking forward to their special visit,” said Kathryn Koerner, Principal. 

November 2012 marks the Palm Beach County Library System’s 9th Families Reading Together Campaign. This event serves to remind the community of the importance of sharing books with children and encouraging them to read on their own. 

This project is made possible by community partners, including the Palm Beach County School District. Golden Grove will be receiving special bookmarks and other materials from School Media Services for this campaign. 

For more information contact Melissa Ruddick at (561) 904-9700 or via email at






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


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Five schools from Palm Beach County have earned a National Recognition Award from the Alliance for a Healthier Generation. This year, the Alliance recognized Berkshire Elementary School and South Olive Elementary School with the Bronze National Recognition Award for transforming their campuses into healthy places for students and staff.  They join Hagen Road Elementary School that received the award in 2010 along with Banyan Creek Elementary and Crosspointe Elementary that received the award in 2011. 

Kimberly Sandmaier, District Wellness Coordinator, Karen Jones, Berkshire Elementary Wellness Champion and Ulrike Vernachio, South Olive Elementary Welness Champion along with other Florida school winners.

To earn this award, these schools worked hard to make significant changes in the areas of healthy eating, physical activity and staff wellness by meeting or exceeding stringent standards set by the Alliance for a Healthier Generation’s Healthy Schools Program, to help them reverse the national trend in childhood obesity. Representatives from Berkshire Elementary and South Olive Elementary participated in an award ceremony last weekend in Little Rock, Arkansas at the William J Clinton Presidential Center.

 “This recognition represents all the work that these schools, the School District, and its partners are doing to make our community healthier. We would like to especially thank our Wellness Champions, Karen Jones from Berkshire Elementary and Ulrike Vernachio from South Olive Elementary,” said Kim Sandmaier, District Wellness Coordinator. 

Schools are eligible for Bronze, Silver, Gold or Platinum National Recognition Awards based on their level of achievement. These National Recognition Award winners join 251 other schools from across the nation that are receiving this honor for their healthy achievements.  Twenty-five Florida schools received a National Recognition Award through the Healthy Schools Program, more than any other state. 

For more information contact Kim Sandmaier at (561) 434-8044 or via e-mail at


About the Alliance for a Healthier Generation

The goal of the Alliance is to reduce the nationwide prevalence of childhood obesity by 2015, and to empower kids nationwide to make healthy lifestyle choices. The American Heart Association and the William J. Clinton Foundation joined forces in May of 2005 to create a healthier generation by addressing one of the nation’s leading public health threats – childhood obesity. The Alliance works to positively affect the places that can make a difference to a child’s health: homes, schools, restaurants, doctor’s offices and communities. For more information please visit:



About the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation focuses on the pressing health and health care issues facing our country. As the nation’s largest philanthropy devoted exclusively to improving the health and health care of all Americans, the Foundation works with a diverse group of organizations and individuals to identify solutions and achieve comprehensive, meaningful and timely change. For more than 35 years the Foundation has brought experience, commitment, and a rigorous, balanced approach to the problems that affect the health and health care of those it serves. When it comes to helping Americans lead healthier lives and get the care they need, the Foundation expects to make a difference in your lifetime. For more information, visit







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

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Everyone knows the importance of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math Education. STEM education creates critical thinkers, increases science literacy, and enables our next generation to become innovators. Pine Jog Elementary is dedicated to STEM education and is holding its second annual STEM Family Night on Tuesday, October 30th from 6:00 – 7:30 p.m. 

Last year, there were over 20 different hands-on activities supporting STEM learning and drew 385 students and parents.   This year they will offer more activities and the level of excitement will be much greater.   The South Florida Fairgrounds brought in a chicken hatchling program earlier in the month so that chicks will be hatching shortly before, or even during STEM Night. 

Community organization such as the South Florida Science Museum, Health Teacher, and FAU/Pine Jog Environmental Center, and The Educators’ Resource Center of Kennedy Space Center supplied posters and brochures highlighting the most recent NASA missions.

Students from Royal Palm Beach High School will be assisting with creating some of the activities and will explain the science behind the activities to students and parents.

Hands-on materials, refreshments and prizes were supported by grants from Pine Jog Elementary PTA and a Florida Association of Science Teachers’ mini grant written by Linda Petuch.

For more information contact Fred Barch or Linda Petuch at (561) 656-5400 or via e-mail at






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



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Mr. Bennett, 5th grade teacher at Equestrian Trails Elementary wanted to bring social studies alive! This year, in honor of the upcoming presidential election, he decided to conduct a mock class election for president of Palm Beach County. 

The purpose was to give students hands-on experience to learn more about our country’s process for choosing a president. Students who wanted to become the next president of Palm Beach County wrote short speeches, a poll was conducted afterwards and the two winners became candidates for their class. The rest of the classes participated as media, financial, set design and debate question groups. 

There were interviews, articles and even a website created (  Candidates had a budget and with the advice of their financial group had to track spending. Debates were held for two days and even Mr. Chuck Shaw, School Board Member, stopped by to watch the debates. Students listened, took notes and asked questions. 

Each student was given a state and an electoral number and voting will take place on October 30, 2012 with the inauguration to follow on October 31, 2012. 

Mrs. Johnson, Principal of ETES, said, “I’m truly amazed at the learning that has taken place about our election process and impressed with how seriously each student took their role. It’s something they will never forget and I am so proud!” 

For more information contact Michele Johnson at (561) 904-9604 or via email at






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