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November 14, 2014                

Latest School News

Osceola School District Receives $2.27 Million Grant for Partnership to Improve STEM Teaching and Learning

The Florida Department of Education has awarded the Osceola School District a competitive grant in the amount of $2.27 million to improve STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) teaching and learning.  The Year 1 amount is for $567,543.58, under the 2014-2017 K-12 Mathematics and Science Partnership (MSP) for STEM. The grant project’s comprehensive budget reflects a Year 2 sum of $819,036.85 and Year 3 sum of $883,368.00 for a three-year total of $2,269,948.43. The MSP program is intended to increase the academic achievement of students in mathematics and science by enhancing the content knowledge and teaching skills of classroom teachers through partnerships between high-need school districts and the STEM faculty in Institutions of Higher Education (IHE).

Osceola’s project partners include two Florida school districts, Okeechobee County School District and Volusia County Schools. The IHE/University partners are Dr. Yiping Lou and Dr. Luanna Prevost, University of South Florida; Dr. Pamela Blanchard, Louisiana State University; and Dr. Brad Gemmell, University of Texas at Austin. The project will:

• Help science teachers form Professional Learning Communities (PLCs) that can help teach students content through the process of inquiry-based activities in multiple content areas;

• Facilitate lesson study for science teachers in PLCs;

• Provide professional development to science teachers on using technology to assess students on their inquiry skills and to remediate struggling students;

• Assist teachers in increasing student engagement and incorporating cooperative learning strategies;

• Partner science teachers with scientists from the three collaborating universities to improve the science teachers’ content knowledge;

• Use existing tools to develop an Inquiry Skill Analyzer (iSA) to assist teachers in analyzing their own and their students’ science inquiry skills to identify areas of need and/or strength and to monitor progress; and

• Develop and share a bank of rigorous STEM model lessons and professional development modules that are aligned to Florida’s Standards for Science and Mathematics, as well as the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) Standards.

Expected outcomes include a technology-enhanced, inquiry-based process for science learning and remediation through formative assessment and cooperative learning that will better engage middle and high school students, leading to higher student success on standardized science tests. The project will also yield lesson plans and assessments that help teachers understand which science areas cause students to struggle. The Middle School Curriculum and Instruction Department, under the leadership of Michael Allen, Assistant Superintendent, will oversee the project.  Leah Torres, Science Resource Specialist, who co-wrote the proposal with Heather Wright, Research and Evaluation Specialist in the Research, Evaluation, and Accountability Department, will serve as project lead.

This school year marks the beginning of the sixth year of the IB program at Celebration High School.  The second IB Diploma Class graduated this past May, and collectively earned an estimated 783 college credits for their IB exams.  The IB class of 2014 was offered $5 million in scholarship money as a result of their academic achievements. 

The IB Pinning Ceremony will be Wednesday, November 19, at 6:30 p.m. in the school’s theater.  Sixty-one juniors will receive the pins which signify their commitment to the Academic IB Diploma.

 Osceola School District Receives $658,766 for Career and Technical Education in 2014-2015

The Florida Department of Education awarded the Osceola School District two grants under the “Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Improvement Act of 2006.” These grants are the Perkins Secondary ($521,694) and Postsecondary ($137,072) Continuations. The purpose of these projects is to develop more fully the academic, career, and technical skills of secondary and postsecondary students who elect to enroll in career and technical education programs.

The Project activities will aim to:

(1) Strengthen the academic and career and technical skills of participating students by bolstering the academic and career and technical education program components.

(2) Link secondary and postsecondary career and technical education by offering/coordinating the relevant elements of at least one career and technical program of study.

(3) Provide students with strong experience in and understanding of all aspects of an industry, which may include work-based learning experiences.

(4) Develop, improve, or expand the use of technology in career and technical education.

(5) Provide professional development programs (consistent with Section 122) to secondary and postsecondary teachers, faculty, administrators, and career guidance and academic counselors who are involved in integrated career and technical education programs.

(6) Develop and implement evaluations of the career and technical education programs, including an assessment of how the needs of special populations are being met.

(7) Initiate, improve, expand, and modernize quality career and technical education programs, including relevant technology.

(8) Provide services and activities that are of sufficient size, scope, and quality to be effective.

(9) Provide activities to prepare special populations for high skill, high wage, or high demand occupations that will lead to self-sufficiency.

Belynda Pinkston, Executive Director of Secondary and Postsecondary Education, will oversee implementation of these projects. Additional information about CTE is available online at http://www.cte.osceola.k12.fl.us/.

School Psychology Awareness Week

School psychologists from the Osceola School District are raising awareness of their profession around the district during School Psychology Awareness Week (SPAW), November 10-14, 2014. Activities to help increase knowledge about their many contributions to students, families, and schools include:

 -distributing brochures and posters in teachers’ lounges and secondary school career centers;

 -presenting to high school students in Psychology courses;

 -presenting a proclamation to members at the School Board meeting;

 -displaying department photo on the television in Parent Center lobby; and

 -creating an informational display in the district office lobby window.

The theme of SPAW this year is "Gratitude." The National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) is encouraging school psychologists to teach and support "works of gratitude" during the week (i.e., gratitude letters, journals, etc.).   For more information about School Psychology Awareness Week, school psychology, or Psychological Services, please contact Patti Vickers at vickersp@osceola.k12.fl.us or 407-870-4897, extension 65580.

District Theatre Performance Assessments

Osceola County Thespians performed at the District XI Theatre Performance Assessments on November 1 after they hosted at St. Cloud High School. The results are as follows:  

 Celebration High School - Barbara Bowers, Director

Runner-up Best of Show - Costume Construction

State-selected Student – Directed Scene

Student Scholarship Winner - Liam Munn - one of only two winners in the district

13 Superior Ratings

13 Excellent Ratings

8 Good Ratings

Gateway High School - J. Marie Bailey and Donald Rupe, Directors

Best of Show - Monologue A

Best of Show - Monologue B

Best of Show - Ensemble Acting

Runner-up Best of Show - Large Group Musical

Runner-up Best of Show - Solo Musical

18 Superior Ratings

2 Excellent Ratings

Harmony High School - Diane Sherman, Director

6 Superior Ratings

18 Excellent Ratings

 Liberty High School - Nathan Uhrig, Director

Best of Show - Small Group Musical Category

Best of Show - Costume Construction Category

11 Superior Ratings

13 Excellent Ratings

 Osceola High School - Jay McBride, Director

Runner-up Best of Show - Duet Acting Category

7 Superior Events

14 Excellent Events

Osceola County School for the Arts - April Isaacs and Lamont Clegg, Directors

Best of Show - Duet Acting Category

Best of Show - Student-Directed Choreography Category

Runner-up Best of Show - Student-Directed Choreography

Runner-up Best of Show - Monologue

Runner-up Best of Show - Small Group Musical

21 Superior Ratings

12 Excellent Ratings

 Poinciana High School - James Thompson, Director

5 Superior Events

5 Excellent Events

2 Good Events

 St. Cloud High School - Nina Cochran and Randy Cochran, Directors

Critic’s Choice - Overall Winner of the District Festival-Large Group Musical

Best of Show - Large Group Musical Category

Best of Show - Ensemble Acting

Best of Show - Pantomime

Best of Show - Set Design

Runner-up Best of Show - Ensemble Acting

Runner-up Best of Show - Monologue

Runner -up Best of Show - Student-Directed Scenes

23 Superior Ratings

6 Excellent Ratings

 Celebration High School – Storm Run

Celebration High School’s Storm Run is a school-wide charity event held to enhance school community and unity by showing students that they can make a difference in the world. The third Celebration High School Storm 5K Run will take place on Friday, December 19, starting at 7:00 a.m.  The Storm Run has raised over $17,000 for charity in three years, and the goal this year is to raise over $10,000 to build homes and playgrounds for impoverished communities in the southern region of the Dominican Republic. 

One hundred percent of donations will go directly to project costs. To meet this goal, the Storm Run needs the help of local sponsors.  All gifts are tax deductible.  Visit the Storm 5K link on the school’s webpage or contact Kathy Feliz at 407-625-1691 or  kfeliz2014@gmail.com. Sponsors of $800 or more will have their logo on the Storm Run shirt.  Logo requests are due by December 1.

 Liberty High School – Men’s Cross Country Team Headed to State Championships

Liberty High’s Men’s Cross Country is heading to the State Championships as a team for the first time in school history.  The men finished runner-up in the Region 2 3A this past weekend in Gainesville.  They will be traveling to Tallahassee this Friday, November 14.  The men were led once again by Rogelio Araiza who was second overall.  Josh Figueroa was also first team All-Region as he finished 15th.  The men have been working hard, and they are currently ranked as the 11th best team in Florida.

 Bellalago Academy – Family Night

Family Night for Bellalago Academy will be on Thursday, November 13, from 3:30 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. at the McDonald’s at The Shoppes of Bellalago on Pleasant Hill Road. A percent of the sales will be donated to Bellalago Academy, and will be used to purchase new technology for the school.

 Bellalago Academy – Upcoming Events

 -December 8 – SAC meeting from 6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. in the media center

 -December 12 - Middle School Science Fair in the media center from 6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.

 Bellalago Academy – Parent Night

Parent Night for the Florida Standards Assessments will be held on Thursday, November 13, from 5:30 p.m. - 6:30 p.m. in the media center at Bellalago Academy.  Parents can come and get first-hand information about the test their third through fifth grade children will be taking in the spring. 

 Bellalago Academy – Food Drive

Bellalago Academy’s National Junior Honor Society will be conducting a can food drive on Friday, November 13. Students are asked to bring in a donation. All proceeds will benefit families in the school’s community.

Bellalago Academy – Pictures with Santa

Bellalago Academy’s Technology Committee will be hosting “Pictures with Santa” on Thursday, December 4. This event is for students in kindergarten through fifth grades. The cost is $10.00, and the money will go towards the school’s technology fund.

Boggy Creek Elementary - Turkey Trot

Boggy Creek Elementary will host a Turkey Trot on November 20. Students will participate in activities where a boy and girl from each grade level will have a chance to win a turkey for their family.  This is an activity for students and their teachers.

Boggy Creek Elementary - Pasta for Pennies

The Pasta for Pennies fundraiser at Boggy Creek Elementary will end on November 21. Students will continue to collect money to benefit the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society until that date.  The class that collects the most money will receive a complete lunch from the Olive Garden. 

Boggy Creek Elementary - Positive Behavior NUT Day

On November 21, students at Boggy Creek Elementary may purchase a NUT sticker (no uniform today) for $1, and wear clothing of their choice.  Students must still wear appropriate clothing, but do not have to be dressed in white, navy, or khaki.  Stickers are purchased the day of the event only.

Boggy Creek Elementary- Food Drive

Boggy Creek Elementary began a food drive on November 12, and it will run through December 2.  Please help the school help those in need by sending a can good in with your child to donate.  The class with the most donations will be treated to a pizza lunch.

Boggy Creek Elementary - Family Math Night

Boggy Creek Elementary will be hosting a Title 1 Family Math Night on November 20 from 5:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.  Fifteen math stations will be available for fun, hands-on activities.  Come and discover the wonders of math.

Central Avenue Elementary - Title I Parent Resource Center Liaison

Karen Serrano, District Parent Resource Liaison, will be available to parents at Central Avenue Elementary on every first and third Tuesday of each month from 1:30 p.m. - 3:30 p.m. 

Central Avenue Elementary - OASIS School Volunteers

Central Avenue Elementary encourages anyone interested in volunteering in any of these following categories at the school to please visit caes.osceola.k12.fl.us, click on website links then parent, and complete an online OASIS school volunteer application: class volunteer, PTO/SAC member, office/health volunteer, field trips/school activities chaperone, Bookmark Buddies mentor, or media center helper. Whether you are new or a returning volunteer, everyone must complete an online application.

Central Avenue Elementary - Bookmark Buddies Mentoring Program

Central Avenue Elementary is looking for individuals who wish to make a difference in the life of a child by helping a third grade student improve his/her literacy skills.  If you can commit to volunteering at least 30 minutes once a week at the school, then visit caes.osceola.k12.fl.us and click on school volunteer, and complete an application for Bookmark Buddies at Central Avenue Elementary. 

Central Avenue Elementary SAC/PTO Meetings

Central Avenue Elementary’s monthly SAC/PTO meeting will be held on Tuesday, December 2, starting at 3:00 p.m. in the media center.  All parents and business partners are encouraged to attend.  The PTO meeting will follow directly afterwards. Meetings will be held on the first Tuesday of each month. 

Chestnut Elementary School for Science and Engineering – Career Event

Members of the business community will be on the campus of Chestnut Elementary School for Science and Engineering during STEM labs for the Kaleidoscope of Career Event on Thursday, November 13.  Guests will share their careers with students, as well as the college or career training required and job responsibilities. Students will be able to ask questions they prepared for the speakers.

Chestnut Elementary School for Science and Engineering – Upcoming Events

 -Week of November 17 - PTO Food and Warm Coat Drive

-November 15 - Fall Festival from 10:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. This PTO-sponsored event will have various activities for families to complete, as well as food and fun for all ages.

-November 18 - SAC meeting in the media center from 3:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.

-November 21 - "BEAT" STEM fundraiser from 2:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. Students pay $5.00 to bring in their own electronic devices to use the last hour of the day.

East Lake Elementary – Upcoming Events

 -November 19 - Fifth Grade Dress Down Day

 -November 20 - Turkey Trot

 -November 21 - Tech Day for $5 donation

 -Food Drive- Now through Winter Break

Kissimmee Elementary - Upcoming Events

November 18 - Math Matters Parent Night

November 20 - Progress Reports

November 21 - Picture Retakes

November 21 - Swamp Site Field Trip

November 24-28 - Thanksgiving Break - No School

Koa Elementary - Fall Festival

Koa Elementary will have its Fall Festival on Saturday, November 15, from 10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. There will be bounce houses, games, and prizes, and food will be on sale.

Lakeview Elementary – Field Trip

First grade students at Lakeview Elementary will be going to Gatorland on Friday, November 14, from 9:00 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.  Students will be learning about native Florida animals.

Lakeview Elementary - Osceola County East Region Olympics

Coach Pinkerton will be taking 16 Lakeview Elementary students to participate in the Osceola County East Region Olympics. The 16 students, ages 8-12, will compete at Harmony Community School against other East Region schools. This event will culminate the hard work students have put in while completing Fitnessgram testing.

Lakeview Elementary - Ensemble Performance

Mr. Burns’ ensemble students at Lakeview Elementary will be performing at The Osceola Fall Art Festival on Saturday, November 15, from 12:30 p.m. - 2:30 p.m.

Lakeview Elementary - Second Grade Walk-a-thon

Lakeview Elementary's second graders will having a walk-a-thon on Thursday, November 13, to learn about wellness, counting money, and graphing, and to help offset field trip expenses. They will be walking around the school for this event.

Lakeview Elementary - Parent/Child Book Club

Lakeview Elementary teachers Mrs. Coughlin, Ms. Colavita, Mrs. Ziemer, Ms. Searles, and Ms. Ratliff will be hosting a Parent /Child Book Club. It will be held in their classrooms from 5:30 p.m. - 6:30 p.m. The teachers will lead a discussion of a book that parents and children have read together. There will be different activities that are related to the books.

Mill Creek Elementary – Volunteer Opportunities

Mill Creek Elementary’s most valuable resources and assets are its volunteers; they give the best gift - themselves.  The school is looking for volunteers to help students in the classrooms, to serve as Bookmark Buddies, to read to students, to work with ESOL students if bilingual, and in other volunteer capacities. Interested individuals can log on to http://www.osceola.k12.fl.us/dept/OASIS/OASIS.asp to register as a new school volunteer or as a returning volunteer.  If you don't have a computer at home, please feel free to come to Mill Creek Elementary and someone will assist you with the online registration.

Mill Creek Elementary - Box Tops For Education and Labels For Education

Mill Creek Elementary is collecting Box Tops for Education and Labels for Education to help raise money for the school.  Box Tops can be found on everyday items, such as fruit snacks, cereal boxes, and more. Labels for Education can be found on Campbell's Soup products.  Students will receive prizes from the PTO for their Box Tops and Labels for Education.  They can be dropped off at the front office or mailed to Mill Creek Elementary, 1700 Mill Slough Road, Kissimmee, FL  34746.

Mill Creek Elementary - Wendy's Jr. Frosty Key Tag Fundraiser

Mill Creek Elementary is selling Wendy's Jr. Frosty key tags for $1.00 for a free Wendy's Jr. Frosty per transaction, per visit with any purchase.  One hundred percent of the proceeds from the sale of the key tags will go to Mill Creek Elementary School. 

Mill Creek Elementary - PTO Yard Sale Collection

Mill Creek Elementary’s PTO Yard Sale Collection will be going on through December 12.  The school is looking for your gently-used clothes, toys, and small items for an upcoming yard sale on Saturday, December 13.  Donations will be accepted during school hours.  Please place any donated items in the yard sale containers located outside the front office.  Items can be picked up if needed.

Narcoossee Elementary School - Upcoming Events

 -November 17 - Boy Scouts meeting from 6:00 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.

 -November 18 - SAC/PTO meeting from 5:30 p.m. - 6:30 p.m.

 -November 24- 28 - Thanksgiving Break

Narcoossee Elementary School – Volunteer Link

Narcoossee Elementary School now has a volunteer calendar link on its website, which can be accessed through NCES News or under Parent Resources. Visit www.nces.osceola.k12.fl.us

Partin Settlement Elementary - Fall Concert

Partin Settlement Elementary’s Fall Concert will be held on Thursday, November 20, at 7:00 p.m.  Please make a note that the venue has changed from St. Cloud High School to Partin Settlement. There will be a $3 donation per adult and students who do not attend Partin Settlement Elementary, which will be collected at the door.

St. Cloud Elementary – Spirit Night

St. Cloud Elementary will be hosting its first Spirit Night at Chick-Fil-A on Tuesday, November 18, from 5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. There will be games, prizes, and loads of fun. Chick-Fil-A will graciously donate a percentage of all sales back to the school. It is a great way to spend time having fun, eating delicious food, and supporting the school as well.

Thacker Avenue Elementary School for International Studies – Reading Night

The Thacker Third Thursday Reading Night will be held on Thursday, November 20, at 5:00 p.m. in the cafeteria at Thacker Avenue Elementary School for International Studies.  The special guest will be Shades, the mascot, and Scott Tanski, a player, from the Orlando Solar Bears. All participants will make their own sunglasses for the night and enjoy an evening of reading and games. The school will also be selling tickets for the December 27th game as a fundraiser for the school.

Thacker Avenue Elementary School for International Studies – Turkey Trot

Thacker Avenue Elementary School for International Studies will have its 10th annual Turkey Trot on Friday, November 21, during Block.  The top three boys and girls in each grade level will receive a ribbon and certificate.  The top boy and girl in each grade level will receive a turkey.

Thacker Avenue Elementary School for International Studies – Food Drive

Beginning Thursday, November 6, and running through Tuesday, November 18, the Wildcat Service Learning Club at Thacker Avenue Elementary School for International Studies will be hosting a food drive to benefit the school’s families and the food bank at Calvary Assembly. If you would like to make a donation of food, Publix gift cards, or laundry baskets, the school would graciously accept these donations at the front office. 

Thacker Avenue Elementary School for International Studies – Upcoming Events

November 12 and 13 – Dental exams for first and second grades

November 13 – Picture retakes

November 14, 17-18 – Sealants for first and second grades

November 20 – Thacker Third Thursday Literacy Night from 5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.

November 21 – I. Believers – Inquirer recognition

November 21 - Turkey Trot

December 4 – SAC meeting at 5:00 p.m.

Discovery Intermediate – Get Real Mentoring

The Girl Scouts Get Real Mentoring Program is set to begin on November 14 at Discovery Intermediate.  Mentors will be at the school to meet with girls to discuss topics such as: self-esteem, responsibility, honesty, conflict resolution, peer pressure, abstinence, substance abuse, hygiene, love, goals and dreams, and more.  This is a free mentoring program for all girls.

Discovery Intermediate - Scholastic Book Fair

Discovery Intermediate’s Book Fair will run from November 6-14.  Students and families are encouraged to check out the great books for sale this year. Family Night will be on Thursday, November 13, from 5:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. 

Discovery Intermediate - Title 1 Family University

Parents and families at Discovery Intermediate are invited to attend the Title 1 Parent University Night on Thursday, November 13, from 4:30 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. in the media center.  Parents and students will learn about how TeenBiz impacts students’ achievement. 

Discovery Intermediate - 21st Century Zumba Family Fitness Night

Families of 21st Century after-school students at Discovery Intermediate are invited to a fun evening of Zumba on Tuesday, November 18, at 5:30 p.m. in the cafeteria.  Fitness has been the focus of the 21st Century program this year, and families are welcome to join in the fun.

Discovery Intermediate – Fall Band Concert

Discovery Intermediate’s fall band concert will be held on Thursday, November 20, at 7:00 p.m. in the cafeteria.  We invite all families to attend this musically-filled evening.

Discovery Intermediate – Sports

Volleyball Schedule – All games begin at 4:30 p.m. unless stated otherwise:

November 13 – Kissimmee Middle at home

November 17 – Discovery at Westside

November 19 – Discovery at Horizon

December 3 – Four Corners at Home

December 8 – Semifinals girls’ game at 5:30 p.m.

December 9 – Semifinal boys’ game at 5:30 p.m.

Horizon Middle School – Upcoming Events

 -November 13 - Internet/Social Media Safety Program for parents hosted by Osceola County Sheriff's Department and Title I from 5:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. in the media center.

 -November 15 - "Muffins with Mom" from 8:00 a.m. – 9:00 a.m. Come with your mom, sister, aunt, grandmother, or favorite female role model for muffins, tea, coffee, juice to learn exciting literacy strategies.

Kissimmee Middle – Tutoring

Jaguar Jumpstart at Kissimmee Middle is currently accepting students for their free morning tutoring and homework help program. Students will meet in the cafeteria at 7:30 a.m. to receive additional help in their studies.  The program is open daily, and TeenBiz tutoring is also available at this time. Ms. Hirschhauer will be tutoring interested math students from 8:30 a.m. - 9:00 a.m. in the courtyard.

Kissimmee Middle’s Math Coach is also offering math tutoring during homeroom from 8:30 a.m. - 9:00 a.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays in the courtyard outside the cafeteria.

Kissimmee Middle – Achievers Program

The YMCA is starting a Middle School Achievers Program on Tuesdays and Thursdays after school at Kissimmee Middle.  The club will host student guest speakers from high schools, colleges, and technical schools, as well as professionals from many different careers.  By attending these meetings and participating in projects through the club, members of the MAP club will have the opportunity to go on high school and college tours, as well as a field trip to Sea World. All Kissimmee Middle students are welcome to join the MAP Club. 

Kissimmee Middle – Food Drive

Mr. Jones' students at Kissimmee Middle are doing a food drive to help the Kissimmee Salvation Army. They are collecting both canned goods and boxed foods. The food drive will run through November 19.

Kissimmee Middle – Sports

 -November 13 - Volleyball game at Discovery at 5:30 p.m.

 -November 17 - Volleyball game at home vs. Four Corners at 5:30 p.m.

 -November 18 - Family and Alumni Reunion and fundraiser at Abracadabra Ice Cream at 6:00 p.m.

Neptune Middle School – Castaways Team News

Students from the Castaways team at Neptune Middle School will have the opportunity to chat via Safari Montage with their Classroom Champions Olympic mentor Christian Taylor on November 19 at 8:00 a.m. Students will get a chance to converse with Mr. Taylor live about his goals, dreams, Olympic medals, and college experiences. Classroom Champions is a mentoring program that only 45 teachers are chosen in the USA to participate in. Mrs. Kristina Jasmin's class participates weekly by learning about monthly topics and doing a virtual pen pal with Christian Taylor.

The Castaways team will be having a Community Collection Night on December 8 from 3:30 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. Parents are invited to attend with their student in the Castaway classrooms. Students will be asked to bring in a canned food item for the school’s food closet or a jacket they have outgrown but is still in good condition to be donated to students in need. In addition, students will have the opportunity to participate in service learning by making cards for Meals on Wheels, making no-sew fleece blankets for Project Linus, and by making paracord bracelets for care packages for the Military with Operation Gratitude.

Neptune Middle School - AVID

Door Decorating winners by staff for the year are as follows: Ms. West, alumni from Wright State University, Mrs. Mottola, alumni from Syracuse, and Mrs. Brooks from UCF.  All three teachers received a gift card for their college and career focus at Neptune Middle. 

Neptune Middle School – Autism Speaks Grant

Autism Speaks announced the establishment of the Autism Speaks Scholarship Fund for Swimming and Water Safety on February 14, 2015. The grant program provides scholarships for swimming and water safety lessons for individuals with autism.

A 2012 study reported 49% of people with autism are prone to wandering. Water poses a significant threat to the safety of those with autism. From 2009-2011, accidental drowning accounted for 91% of the total U.S. deaths reported in children with autism ages 14 and younger subsequent to wandering incidents according to the National Autism Association.

“The ability of individuals with autism to swim and to understand the importance of water safety is a major factor in efforts to prevent the heartbreaking drowning incidents that are far too common in our community,” said Lisa Goring, Executive Vice President of Family Services at Autism Speaks. “Everyone in the autism community should have access to these critical services. By removing a significant financial barrier for families, the Autism Speaks Scholarship Fund for Swimming and Water Safety will allow more people with autism to acquire these skills and will better ensure their safety as a result.”

Programs were selected based on a successful history of supporting individuals with autism and providing services to financially disadvantaged children and adults on the autism spectrum. Mermaid Aquatics, LLC of Osceola County is a recipient of the Swimming and Water Safety Scholarship Fund. The program, OCEAN (Osceola Children Embracing Autistic Needs), provides swim lessons and water safety instructor at the Bob Makinson Aquatic Center. “The program begins at six months of age and provides instruction for adults too,” said Kimberly Lytle, owner of Mermaid Aquatics. Participants are taught safety skills such as proper entries and exits, when and where to swim, and how to call for help. Survival skills include learning how to blow bubbles, bobbing to safety while getting a breath, back floating, and rolling over. These lessons are designed to help children and adults with ASD enjoy water activities safely

Parkway Middle School – Upcoming Events

 -November 15 – Academic Saturday at 8:45 a.m.

 -November 18 - Spirit Night at Checkers at 1939 E. Osceola Parkway from 5:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

 -November 20 - Progress Report Night from 5:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.

 -December 3 – Picture retakes

Parkway Middle School – Volleyball Season

All games begin at 5:30 p.m.  Girls’ games are followed by the boys’ games:

 -November 14 vs. Denn John – away game

 -November 18 vs. Kissimmee Charter at home

 -November 20 vs. Harmony at home

 -December 4 vs. Neptune – away game

Parkway Middle School – Parent Portal Assistance

Parents may come to the front office to receive assistance with signing on to the new Parent Portal.  Hours are:

 -Tuesday & Thursday from 9:30 - 11:30 a.m.

 -Monday, Wednesday, & Friday from 1:00 - 3:30 p.m.

The portal will provide the parent access to information about your student’s grades and assignments.

Parkway Middle School – Morning Tutoring

Parkway Middle students receive additional support in the content areas of Individuals & Societies, language arts, science, and mathematics Monday through Friday from 7:20 a.m. – 8:20 a.m. Permission forms must be completed by a parent /guardian for students to participate

New Beginnings Education Center – 14 Days of Fruit

New Beginnings has created "14 Days of Fruit" for the staff to show that fruits can be consumed in more than one way.  The wellness committee at New Beginnings is trying to encourage the staff to make healthy choices.

New Beginnings Education Center – Upcoming Events

 -November 20 - Progress reports go home

 -November 20 - Thanksgiving lunch will be served to students and staff. First Baptist Church donated six turkeys.

 -November 24 - Closed the week of November 24

Osceola County School for the Arts – Recycle Program

Osceola County School for the Arts has partnered with Green Hippo e-Waste fundraiser program.  Why recycle?  The answer is to preserve the environment, educate students and the community, and make money.  The school is collecting donated laser/ink cartridges, cell phones, iPads, tablets, cameras, and laptops (even broken ones).  Please contact Judi Lowell to donate at 407-931-4803.

Osceola County School for the Arts – Fall Dance Concert

The Osceola County School for the Arts Dance Department’s annual fall concert will be held on Thursday, November 20, at 6:30 p.m. Admission is $10 at the door.

Osceola County School for the Arts – Toy Drive

From now through December 20, The Osceola County School for the Arts is having an ongoing toy drive for the upcoming Osceola County Christmas for Kids.  Drop off is in the front office.

Zenith – Herff Jones 

A representative from Herff Jones will be on Zenith’s campus on Friday, November 14, at 12:45 p.m. to meet with seniors in the cafeteria.  At the appropriate time, a staff member will come to each of the high school classrooms to release the potential graduates to the cafeteria.The following week on Thursday and Friday, November 20 and 21, a representative from Herff Jones will be on campus during both of the high school lunches to collect money and answer questions.  

Zenith – ASVAB

The Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery Test (ASVAB) is the most widely used multiple aptitude test battery in the world.  Zenith will offer this test to students interested in pursuing a career in the military.  The test will be given on November 18 at 8:00 a.m.  Please contact Mrs. Konieczny to sign up for the test  

Zenith – School Advisory Council

A School Advisory Council (SAC) meeting at Zenith will be held on Thursday, December 4, in the media center at 2:30 p.m.  Parents, students, and staff members are welcome to attend. 

Gateway High School – Upcoming Events

November 14 - SHS Induction Ceremony at 2:00 p.m.

November 14 - Boys’ Soccer vs. Lake Nona JV/V at 6:00 p.m. (home)

November 15 - Cross Country State Meet at FSU at 9:00 a.m. (away)

November 15 - Baseball at 2:00 p.m. (home)

November 17 - Boys’ Basketball vs. University JV/V at 6:00 p.m. (away)

November 18 - Boys’ Soccer vs. Haines City JV/V at 6:00 p.m. (home)

November 19 - Boys’ Basketball vs. St. Cloud JV/V at 6:00 p.m. (away)

November 20 - National Honor Society Inductions at 7:30 a.m. (PAC)

November 20 - Girls’ Soccer vs. Harmony JV/V at 6:30 p.m. (home)

November 24 - Boys’ Basketball vs. Trinity Prep JV/V at 7:00 p.m. (away)

Gateway High School – SAC Meeting

The next SAC meeting at Gateway High School will be held on November 18 at 6:30 p.m. in the media center. All parents and local community members are welcome to attend. 

Gateway High School – Theatre Department

On Saturday, November 1, 2014, Gateway High’s Theatre Department participated in the District Theatre Performance Assessments. 

There are several different rooms (Monologues, Duet Acting, etc.) and each performance receives a rating (Superior, Excellent, Good, Fair, Poor), and in each room, one performance receives "Best of Show" and then there is one "Runner-Up."  Gateway High earned the following awards:

Best of Show – Monologues - Fredd Joseph

Best of Show – Monologues - Felipe Caita

Best of Show - Ensemble Acting - Opus directed by J. Marie Bailey

Runner-Up Best of Show - Large Group Musical - "Wash that Man" directed by J. Marie Bailey

Runner-Up Best of Show - Solo Musical - Deja Mack

18 Total superiors and two excellents were earned.

Gateway High School – Science National Honor Society Service Project

The Gateway High School Science National Honor Society students will be collecting pop tabs for Ronald McDonald House as an on-going community service project.  Tab donations can be sent to Dr. Marty Norris at Gateway High School, 93 Panther Paws Trail, Kissimmee, FL  34744

Gateway High School – After-School Tutoring

The Panther Success Program at Gateway High is an after-school tutoring program that provides students with additional support in reading (FSA and FCAT 2.0), Algebra 1/PERT, Biology, IMPACT, and lab time for the online course requirement.  The after-school program offers sessions for specific subjects on Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday from 2:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.  A snack is provided, as well as bus transportation to select stops.  Please check the school’s website for more information.

Gateway High School – YMCA Teen Achievers

YMCA Teen Achievers Career Readiness Sessions at Gateway High are held the second and fourth Saturdays from 10:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. in the cafeteria at the school. Lunch will be served.  YMCA Teen Achievers College Readiness Sessions are held the second and fourth Tuesdays from 3:00 – 4:45 p.m. in the cafeteria at Gateway. If your student is interested in joining the distinguished YMCA Teen Achievers program, they must register no later than November 28, 2014, to be considered.  Please contact Ms. Sonya Santana at 407-935-3600 for more information.

Liberty High School - Upcoming Events

November 17 - Blood Drive

November 18 - SAC meeting at 6:00 p.m. in the cafeteria

November 19 - Chess Club - Chess Tournament in the media center from 2:30 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.

November 20 – Boys’ basketball Parent Meeting in the media center from 5:30 p.m. - 6:30 p.m.

December 6 - SAT testing

Liberty High School - The Addams Family, a New Musical Comedy

Liberty Theatre presents The Addams Family, a New Musical Comedy at Liberty High School this November.  Evening and matinee performances for the general public will be on the following dates:

November 14 at 7:30 p.m.

November 15 at 2:00 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

November 16 at 2:00 p.m.

November 20 at 7:30 p.m.

November 21 at 7:30 p.m.

November 22 at 2:00 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

November 23 at 2:00 p.m.

Visit www.seatyourself.biz/libertytheatre to reserve your seats.

Poinciana High School – Upcoming Events

November 17- Troy University on campus from 9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.

November 17 -   Senior Athlete Day from 12:15 p.m. - 2:00 p.m.

November 17 - Girls Basketball vs. Osceola 5:30 p.m./7:00 p.m.

November 18- Girls Basketball vs. Lake Gibson at 6:30 p.m.

November 18 - Boys Soccer vs Hardee at 7:00 p.m.

November 19 - Senior Surveys All Day

November 20 - B/G Basketball vs. Lake Region at 6:30 p.m.

November 20 - B Soccer vs Tenoroc at 7:00 p.m.

November 21 - FAMU Educational Fair from 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

ALCO – Citizenship Class Offered

This 18-hour class is designed for immigrants who seek instruction that will prepare them to pass the Citizenship Interview and Examination.  Students who wish to enroll in this class should have a date scheduled by USCIS to take the test before enrolling in the course.  Students must also take a state-approved placement test and achieve a Low-Intermediate level (ESOL 4). Classes will be held from December 2—18 on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 5:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.  New student cost is $85, and current or returning student cost is $30.  A Level 4, 5, or 6 in English is required to take the class. You must register in person at the Adult Learning Center Osceola, located at 2320 New Beginnings Road in Kissimmee.

ALCO – Adult Basic Education and GED Classes

The less educated you are, the more likely it is that you’ll be unemployed or underemployed.  If you, or someone you know, are looking for a career change, ALCO offers a variety of instructional programs to help students improve their basic education skills or prepare to take the GED test.

The Adult Basic Education (ABE) program at ALCO provides instruction in reading, math, and language for individuals wishing to improve basic skills for higher academic or vocational training. The General Educational Development (GED) program provides instruction in writing, social studies, science, reading, and mathematics leading to a State of Florida diploma.

Even with your busy schedule, ALCO offers flexible class schedules in the day or evening, online, and, at three locations in Osceola County.  ALCO also offers counseling to help you plan, prepare, and succeed.

Don’t miss this chance to turn one small step into your big opportunity in life. You’re almost there!  Come visit to learn more or to register at the Adult Learning Center Osceola, 2320 New Beginnings Road in Kissimmee, or by phone at 407-518-8140.

ALCO – Online Training Academy

Can’t make it to ALCO’s campus to take a class?  ALCO also offers a wide variety of instructor-led, online classes available through the ALCO Online Academy at www.ed2go.com/alco.  New sessions begin monthly, and the next session starts on December 10.  Each online course is six weeks in length, and the cost of most classes is $89.

ALCO – Traffic School

Adult Learning Center Osceola offers Traffic Safety and Driver Improvement courses.  The online courses are now available, and classroom courses will be coming soon.  The following courses are now available online:

  • 4-Hour Basic Driver Improvement (BDI)—$24.99
  • 8-Hour Intermediate Driver Improvement Course (IDI)—$59.99
  • 12-Hour Advanced Driver Improvement Course (ADI)—$89.99

To register for these courses, go online to alco.osceola.k12.fl.us and click on the Traffic School tab at the top of the page. 

ALCO – Test Proctoring Services Available

ALCO offers test proctoring services for adult students enrolled in internet-based college classes. The fee for this service is only $25.  Tests may be paper/pencil or online.  Students are encouraged to visit ALCO’s website for more information at www.alco.osceola.k12.fl.us.