The School District of Osceola County, Florida

March 20, 2015            

Latest School News

No Early Release On Three Wednesdays During Statewide Testing - April 15, April 22, and April 29, 2015

The Osceola County School District is planning ahead for the upcoming spring administration of the Florida Standards Assessment by allowing students to have a full day of school on the Wednesdays when the test will be administered.  As such, parents should be advised that there will be no early release of students on the following Wednesdays:

  • April 15, 2015
  • April 22, 2015
  • April 29, 2015

Students will be dismissed from school those days as they normally would on a Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday.

The testing requires extended online assessments. "By lengthening the Wednesdays during testing, it allows more flexibility of the school-wide testing schedule. Schools will now have options to build in more opportunities for breaks between the different testing sessions to allow students to stretch, relax, and refocus," said Superintendent Melba Luciano.  "We want to provide every advantage to our students."

Kelly Cotton Named Osceola School District's 2016 Teacher of the Year

In recognition of her accomplishments as both a model teacher and an instructional leader, Kelly Cotton, an Advanced Placement and Honors U.S. History and Government teacher at Celebration High, has been named as Osceola School District's 2016 Teacher of the Year at an awards ceremony on March 19. Ms. Cotton has distinguished herself as one of Osceola’s most dynamic and well-respected teachers, as she develops quality lessons that engage students in superior levels of learning and shares her successes with other teachers. As a teacher leader, she has shown the ability to inspire both new and veteran teachers in the field. She continues to share best practices for strengthening the social science curriculum and instruction across the district, and facilitates professional development on implementing technology strategies that teachers can take back to the classrooms for immediate and effective use.

"Ms. Cotton’s teaching indicates her dedication to academic excellence," said Superintendent Melba Luciano. "She works well with students at all levels because she incorporates hands-on lessons that encourage student participation and problem solving. For example, her Haunted Florida History activity has students traveling all around campus to uncover clues embedded in QR codes to discover important Floridians in history. Through seamless integration of such creative lessons, the use of new and emerging technologies, and the application of teaching best practices, Ms. Cotton creates a learning community that promotes teamwork and student engagement."

Ms. Cotton also seeks out opportunities to encourage students to be leaders across campus and throughout the community. She instills in her students the value of giving back to others and the importance of compassion and understanding. Her students actively participate in school-wide charitable activities, such as writing thank you letters to fellow educators and veterans of the armed forces in recognition of their accomplishments.

Ms. Cotton will now represent Osceola County at the state level in the Florida Department of Education/Macy's 2016 Teacher of the Year judging.

Jennifer Neumann Named Osceola School District's 2015 School-Related Employee of the Year

In recognition of her dedication, professionalism, and commitment to the students in her care, Jennifer Neumann, an Exceptional Student Education (ESE) paraprofessional at Celebration K-8 School, has been selected as the 2015 School-Related Employee of the Year for the School District of Osceola County. Throughout the past 17 years that she has been employed by the school district, she continues to demonstrate exemplary job performance in a variety of ways, including building positive relationships with students and parents, promoting student learning, and supporting community events such as Special Olympics which reflect her passion and dedication to exceptional students.

Throughout her many years at the school, Ms. Neumann has worked with a tremendous variety of individual students with special needs, including behavioral needs, Downs Syndrome, Autism, and physical disabilities, with the goal of improving each child’s situation. She addresses self-care, academics, communication with parents and teachers, and the children’s social/emotional needs. She brings humor and a smile to her interactions with the students and models how a caring heart can make a handicap manageable in a regular-education setting. Jennifer’s current assignment is in a self-contained middle school ESE class for the mild/moderate intellectually disabled. She works with a student who requires assistance with the restroom, feeding, and needs help with taking medicine through a GI tube. "Each day, Ms. Neumann takes pride in helping her students succeed," said Superintendent Melba Luciano. "She anticipates hurdles that others don’t see to support her children."

Superintendent Luciano will now proudly forward Ms. Neumann's nomination on to the Florida Department of Education for consideration for the State's 2015 School-Related Employee of the Year Award.

Osceola School District’s Education in the Park

Date: Saturday, April 18, 2015

Time:10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Location: Outside of Osceola Heritage Park in Kissimmee

Free Family Fun To Celebrate Osceola education and students!

Over 100 interactive booths showcasing Osceola’s public and charter schools, along with district-wide programs and community youth organizations featuring:

•Hands-on exhibits in “Arts in the Park” section;

•Non-stop student entertainment; and

•FREE Family fun – KUA Kids’ Area, moon walks, Games2U, Rock Climbing Wall, Face Painting, Balloon Artists, Zip Line, and more.

The Food Truck Craze Is Coming Back To Education in the Park!

Discover fabulous eats with Food Truck Crazy. Fifteen food trucks will be in attendance offering something different, something delicious. Bring some cash to experience the area’s best food trucks and carts. Come hungry . . .just think of it as one large movable food court.

Thanks to the generous donations of sponsors, no tax dollars are used to put on this event. The event is open to the public, and parking and admission are free of charge. There will be a charge to eat from the food trucks. For more information about the event, call 407-870-4007.

Student Government Students Travel to Tallahassee

Last week, four District Student Government Association students from St. Cloud High School, Poinciana High, and the Osceola School for the Arts traveled to Tallahassee to see politics in action. Students attended the League of Women's Voters Capitol Impact Day events and visited with many state legislators. They also had the opportunity to visit with Representative John Cortes on Wednesday. Gloria Niec and The Celebration Foundation sponsored the trip. The students will discuss their experiences at the Osceola County School Board meeting on April 21 and at the Osceola County Commissioners’ meeting on May 18.

Discovery Intermediate – P.E.A.R.L.S.

Pursuing Empowerment And Reclaiming a Love for Self is a newly-founded organization on the campus of Discovery Intermediate. The vision of this group is to empower middle school girls to shape their futures through research-based educational programs and collaborative relationships with public and private partners to remove barriers and develop opportunities to enable the girls to reach their full potential. Faculty and staff members recommended over 40 sixth, seventh, and eighth grade girls who have now made a commitment to the organization, which hopes to inspire all girls to capitalize on their respective strengths as a key factor to improving their lives. Several female faculty/staff members act as mentors to the girls, and meet regularly with them to discuss a variety of topics to include self-respect, making good choices, goal setting, personal hygiene, self-esteem, teamwork, and so much more. As the girls make improvements in any area, they are given a strand of pearls during a Pearl Positive ceremony. For more information on how you can support this organization or if you have any questions, please contact Shakelia Henderson at 407-343-7300.

Celebration High School – Band/Music News

Celebration High School Band students worked hard last week at MPA to earn the following recognition:

--Symphonic Band - Overall “Excellent” rating with a “Superior” in Sight Reading

--Concert Band - Overall “Superior” rating with a “Superior” in Sight Reading

--Wind Ensemble - Straight “Superior” rating in all captions

Members of the Celebration High School Music Department will be participating in a tour of New York City over the spring holiday. They will tour Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, and the Apollo Theater, in addition to seeing a Metropolitan Opera Performance and NY Philharmonic Concert. Students will also have a live talkback with the actors of "Les Miserables."

Koa Elementary - Digital Learning Day

Koa students participated in Digital Learning Day on Thursday, March 12, and Friday, March 13. Teachers discovered a new way to receive instant feedback from students by using the Plickers web/app tool. Students designed a biography project using Animoto, a video-making tool. Mrs. Langford (1st grade), Ms. Carter (2nd grade) and Mr. Morganelli (4th grade) had their very own Digital Learning Day in the classroom. The most impressive was the "Past Technologies" table with record players, radios, cameras, computer storage devices, portable CD and cassette players, typewriters, a viewmaster, gaming system, telephone/cell phones, calculator, and VHS players all brought in by Koa staff.

Mill Creek Elementary – All-Day School-Wide Read-In

Mill Creek Elementary will participate in an all-day school-wide Read-In on April 29, 2015. This is a collaborative event organized by the Literacy Council to promote literacy and a love of reading in students in prekindergarten to fifth grade. The school is seeking community involvement in this as well. The goal is for students to view police officers, fire fighters, military officials, local business personnel, technical students, and even area mascots as readers. Students will engage in read-alouds, peer reading partnerships, and independently read to reach the school-wide goal of 10,000 books to be read on campus that day. There will also be class competitions and interactive reading displays. Students will be permitted to be out of uniform and invited to wear cozy reading clothes for the day. If you are able to donate your time April 29th, please complete the form with your availability at If you are unable to donate your time but would like to help motivate students, the school is also seeking incentives to reward classrooms for their participation.

Bellalago Academy – Upcoming Events

-March 31 - Softball Parent Meeting at 4:30 p. m.

-April 3 - First grade field trip to Sea World

-April 7 - XL 106.7 will be hosting the students vs. teachers’ basketball game at 7:30 p.m.

-April 10 - Class pictures for kindergarten – fifth grade only

-April 13 -SAC meeting at 6:30 p.m. in the media center

Bellalago Academy – Math Competition

Congratulations to Bellalago’s Mathletes Team for placing second in the district for the sixth grade division, third place for seventh grade division, and third place for eighth grade division. Luis Suriel, a sixth grader, placed fifth in the individual competition, and Grace Thaxton, an eighth grader, placed second in the individual competition.

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, click on website links then parent, and complete an online OASIS school volunteer application. Whether you are new or a returning volunteer, everyone must complete an online application.

Central Avenue Elementary SAC/PTO Meetings

Central Avenue Elementary’s monthly SAC/PTO meeting will be held on Tuesday, April 7, 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.

Central Avenue Elementary – Upcoming Events

-April 2-3 - Grade 3 and Grade 4 FSA Reading Exam

-April 6 - 7- Grade 3 and Grade 4 FSA Math Assessment

-April 14-16 - Grade 5 FSA Reading Assessment

-April 21-23 – Grade 5 FSA Math Assessment

-April 28-29 – Grade 5 FCAT Science 2.0 Assessment

-April 15, 22, 29 - No Early Release Wednesdays

-May 6 -- Wednesday computer lab tutoring resumes

Central Avenue Elementary – Weather Project

At Central Avenue Elementary School, students are involved in presenting research in a way that connects their work with real-life experiences. Recently, Joanne Nelson, Media Specialist, collaborated with fifth grade teachers and students to create projects about weather forecasting. Students completed research on the weather for specific cities. They recorded the weather details for a couple of weeks to learn the weather specifics for each city, and then students came to the media center to use Frames to create an animated weather forecast using their weather data.

The students really enjoyed this activity, and it helped them understand some of the technical terms that weather forecasters use. Some students were especially creative when drawing faces and naming characters, while others really enjoyed recording their voices.

When students saw their projects posted online so they could be viewed by families and friends, they were ecstatic. Students came through with a true understanding of what a weather forecaster has to do in his/her everyday work.

The school’s project was featured on which can be viewed at:

Flora Ridge Elementary - Watchdog

Flora Ridge Elementary invites all father figures to become a Watchdog. If you're not cleared as an OASIS Volunteer, please contact Mrs. Garcia at 407-933-3999.

Hickory Tree Elementary – Upcoming Events

- April 6 - Art Exhibition at Wild Florida at 5:00 p.m.

- April 9 - Spring pictures

- April 10 - Spring Fling from 4:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.

- April 9- 15 - Spring Book Fair

- April 14 - SAC/PAC at 3:50 p.m. in the media center

Highlands Elementary – Testing

-April 2 and 3 - FSA Reading Test (3rd and 4th grade)

-April 6 and 7 - FSA Math Test (3rd and 4th grade)

-April 14 and 15 - FSA Reading Computer Test (5th grade)

-April 21 and 22 - FSA Math Computer Test (5th grade)

Highlands Elementary – Student/Parent Computer Access

Student/Parent Computer Access will be available in the media center at Highlands Elementary beginning March 10 through April 28 from 3:45 p.m. - 6:45 p.m. This will be a great opportunity for students/parents who do not have computer access at home to learn about and to use programs such as Moby Max and Kid Biz Achieve 3000. Deborah Jones, Math Coach, will be there to provide support to our students and parents. Take home material will also be provided to parents for them to keep at home.

Highlands Elementary – Upcoming Events

-April 2 - $1 Dress Down Day

-April 3 - Second grade field trip to Orlando Science Center

-April 7 - Second Parent Math Training at 2:45 p.m.

-April 10 - Report Cards

-April 14 - Fourth grade trip to St. Augustine, FL

-April 15 - SAC meeting at 7:45 a.m., Horace Mann presents "Crystal Apple Award"

-April 17 - Third grade trip to Legoland

-April 20 - First grade trip to Green Meadow Farm

-May 4 - Celebrating Teacher Appreciation Week

-May 7 - Fifth grade trip to Legoland

Koa Elementary - Battle of the Books

Koa Elementary will be competing in Battle of the Books on Monday, March 30, at Parkway Middle School. The team coaches are Corie Klinger, Media Specialist, and Judith Garcia-Feliciano, Literacy Coach. The student team members are Cuvon Wilson (5th grade), Tatianna Samuel (4t

grade), Nathaniel Williford (4th grade), Briana Watson (4th grade), and Angelina Logrono (4th grade).

Mill Creek Elementary – Computer Labs Open Before School

Mill Creek Elementary’s computer labs are open daily before school from 7:40 a.m. - 8:05 a.m. so students can work on ThinkCentral, MobyMax, KidBiz, and Ticket to Read.

Reedy Creek Elementary School –

-April 9 - The Mammogram Bus will be on campus from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

-April 10 - Spring pictures

-April 23 - PTO/SAC meeting at 5:30 p.m. in the media center

Discovery Intermediate – Teacher Receives Donors Choose Funds

Mrs. Bourque’s IND students at Discovery Intermediate have been learning real-world skills through field trips, tours, and cooking in class. In addition to the gift card provided by Walmart and a grant won earlier this year for food supplies, Mrs. Bourque has done it again! She applied to Donors Choose for funds to support her class. The proposal was accepted, and over 13 different people and businesses funded her campaign totaling $900. Mrs. Bourque will be using the money to buy kitchen supplies to continue fostering the love of cooking with her class.

Discovery Intermediate – Saturday Tutoring Opportunities

Discovery Intermediate has begun its Saturday FSA Boot Camps to raise student achievement levels. The next camp will be held on April 11, and will focus on reading, math, civics, and science. All students are encouraged to attend.

Discovery Intermediate – Band Competition

On Saturday, March 14, the Symphonic Band from Discovery Intermediate attended the Music Performance Assessment (MPA) competition sponsored by the Florida State Band Masters Association. Bands that attend “compete” against themselves, and they are judged solely on their performance. Congratulations to the school’s Symphonic Band for receiving an overall “Good” score on their performance.

Narcoossee Middle School – Upcoming Events

-March 20 - End of third nine weeks

-March 20 - S.P.I.R.I.T. at 4:00 p.m.

-March 20 - Author's visit

-March 23-26 - Spring Break

-March 30 - Teacher workday

-March 31 - Begin fourth nine weeks

-April 2 - Booster/SAC meetings

Neptune Middle – Fine Arts

Congratulations to the Neptune Middle School Symphonic Band for earning an overall rating of “Excellent” at the Florida Bandmaster's Music Performance Assessment this past weekend held at Celebration High School.

Neptune Middle – Food Bank

Neptune Middle School’s Food Bank is bursting to help Neptune families. The Food Bank is organized by SMILES Learn and Serve students. Six out of every ten students at Neptune are on free and reduced

lunch, which might be the only meal they have that day. That’s why Neptune’s SMILES Learn and Serve students are helping with Neptune’s Food and Toiletries Pantry. Anyone who needs food or toiletry items can contact their Guidance Counselor and arrange a time to pick up food. There is over 1,200 pounds of food available for Neptune families.

Neptune Middle – Student Perfect Attendance and PBS Initiative

The April 2015 Student Perfect Attendance Initiative called BE HERE! is meant to be a motivational tool for four weeks of student perfect attendance with raffles, coupons, awards promoting positive attendance, and Positive Behavior Support.

Westside K-8 – Upcoming Events

-April 1 - Flag football game at Westside K-8 School at 5:30 p.m.

-April 2 - Student Council meeting

-April 2 - PTSO meeting at 6:00 p.m. in the media center

-April 3 - College Spirit T-Shirt Day

Celebration High School – Spring Break Activities

-March 20 - Baseball with Liberty at 6:00 p.m.

-March 20 - Girls lacrosse with Colonial High School at 7:30 p.m.

-March 25 and 26 - Thespian State Competition in Tampa

Celebration High School – March Madness Attendance Blitz

Susan Holder, Dean of Students at Celebration High School, organized a "March Madness Attendance Blitz" to promote perfect attendance for the month of March. The winning classroom was "coached" by Mr. Patrick Danvers, who had 100% attendance for the course of the tournament. His classroom will receive the "Make Your Own Sundae Party" on Friday.

Liberty High School – Events

-March 31 - Academic Resource Fair for ESE students

-April 3 - JROTC Awards Ceremony at 6:00 p.m.

-April 6 - Blood Drive

-April 17 - Senior Grad Bash at Universal Studios

-April 21 - SAC meeting at 6:00 p.m. in the media center

-April 24 - Senior Grad Night at Busch Gardens