District Digest
Mark Your Calendar for the Community Involvement Awards

The Community Involvement Awards honors Broward County Public Schools outstanding volunteers, mentors, business partners and parent involvement initiatives. This fun-filled, high-spirited event, with more than 700 attendees, recognizes and rewards the efforts of individuals and organizations that give so much to our students and schools. The event takes place Tuesday, February 17, 2015, at the Parker Playhouse. For more information, contact Ernesto De la Hoz in the Public Information Office at 754-321-2300.

Check Out the Friday Focus!

The Public Information Office produces the Friday Focus weekly throughout the school year. It's a roundup of BCPS news highlights, events and activities. Bookmark the page to stay up-to-date on the great things happening in the District. Check it out

BCPS Wellness Events for Employees

BCPS employees can take part in a variety of free wellness initiatives organized by the District's Benefits Department. To learn more, Click Here

Broward County Public Schools
Educating Today's Students to Succeed in Tomorrow's World

We're BCPS Proud!

Broward County Public Schools (BCPS) is proud of the accomplishments of our teachers, administrators and staff.  This new section of the District Digest celebrates the achievements of BCPS employees.
Read More.


See What's Happening Around
Broward County Public Schools!

There are incredible things taking place across the District.  To view pictures and videos of BCPS in Action, Click Here.

News Around BCPS

Holiday Message from the Superintendent

BCPS wishes all of its students, families and employees a happy and safe holiday season.  To view the Holiday Message from Superintendent Robert W. Runcie, click here.

BCPS Teacher of the Year Honored by the Miami Dolphins

Broward County Public Schools (BCPS) Teacher of the Year, Dr. Daniel Shapiro from Bennett Elementary School, was honored by the Miami Dolphins on Sunday, December 7, 2014.  Shapiro was joined by Superintendent Robert W. Runcie as the Dolphins’ special guest during the team’s game against the Baltimore Ravens at Sun Life Stadium in Miami. 
In addition, Teacher of the Year nominees from Bair Middle School, Colbert Elementary School, Hallandale Adult Center, Lauderdale Lakes Middle School, Dr. Martin Luther King Elementary School, South Broward High School, Tamarac Elementary School and J.P. Taravella High School were also recognized by the Dolphins.  These schools are currently participating in the Dolphins’ “Student of the Week” program.
Prior to kickoff, each of the honored teachers and their guests attended a special brunch at the Dolphins Hall of Fame and took to the field for a pre-game ceremony, during which they each received plaques from the Dolphins for their dedication to students.  The “Student of the Week” for each of the eight schools also took part in the pre-game ceremony and received a Dolphins jersey and plaque.

Pictured: Superintendent Robert W. Runcie with BCPS Teacher of the Year Dr. Daniel Shapito at Sun Life Stadium during the December 7, 2014, Miami Dolphins game.

100 Percent of Schools Participate in the Hour of Code

Broward County Public Schools is among the world leaders for student participation in the Hour of Code, with 100 percent of schools in BCPS participating in the weeklong events.   

The Hour of Code is a national campaign organized by Code.org, a non-profit organization dedicated to expanding computer science programs in schools.  The event aimed to inspire 100 million students across the globe to try one hour of computer science during National Computer Science Education Week, December 8-14, 2014. 

In addition to all of the Hour of Code activities taking place, Manatee Bay Elementary School fifth grade teacher Annejeanette Washington and her class have a special reason to celebrate.  The teacher won Sphero Robots for her classroom from Code.org, one of only 100 teachers in the nation to win the robots.

In 2013, BCPS became the first school district in nation to partner with Code.org to increase access to computer science courses, curriculum and resources in schools.  As a result, the number of schools providing computer science courses, curriculum or resources increased from nine schools to 120 schools (and growing), currently impacting more than 11,500 BCPS students.

Pictured:  Students at Discovery Elementary School participate in the Hour of Code.

To watch a brief video and slide show of Hour of Code activities, click here.
You can also learn more about the Hour of Code and the District's partnership with Code.org by visiting http://browardschools.com/BCPS-Spotlights/Code-org.

Check Mate! BCPS Students Compete in International Chess Competition

On Tuesday, December 9, 2014, students from two BCPS public schools participated in the London Chess Classic, a major international chess tournament held in London, United Kingdom.  However, students from Sawgrass and Sandpiper elementary schools, both in Sunrise, did not have to leave town to participate in this international competition.   

In collaboration with the United States-based National Scholastic Chess Foundation and the United Kingdom-based Chess in Schools and Communities, students from the United Kingdom and BCPS connected online for a friendly games of chess.

The event was the collaborative idea of Sunrise Mayor Mike Ryan; Malcolm Pein from Chess in Schools and Communities, UK; Sunil Weeramantry, Executive Director of the National Scholastic Chess Foundation; and the principals of Sawgrass and Sandpiper elementary schools. 

In the 2014/15 school year, BCPS launched the First Move scholastic chess curriculum in all second and third grade classrooms.  This is the nation’s largest scholastic chess curriculum initiative in history, and will benefit over 34,000 students across the District. 
The First Move scholastic chess curriculum helps to increase students’ critical thinking, problem-solving and social skills, while students are having fun learning to play the game. In addition, studies have shown playing chess increases students’ math skills, reading aptitude and overall academic achievement. 
First Move was successfully piloted during the 2013/14 school year at three schools located in the city of Sunrise, with the encouragement and support of the city of Sunrise and its mayor.  The Sunrise City Commission and the Broward League of Cities also passed resolutions supporting the inclusion of scholastic chess in all Broward County public schools. 

Pictured: Students at Sandpiper Elementary School play chess against students in London on December 9, 2014.

Hundreds Join the Discussion at the 3rd Annual Ed Talk Community Forum

Ed Talk 2014On Saturday, November 1, 2014, nearly 400 people, including parents, students, community members, business leaders, School Board members, Broward County Public Schools (BCPS) Superintendent Robert W. Runcie and District employees participated in Ed Talk 2014. The third annual event took place at the Fort Lauderdale/Broward County Convention Center.    

The community forum engaged participants in discussions centered on the new Florida Standards, tests vs assessments, and five special areas of focus: Exceptional Student Education, Gifted and Talented Student Initiative, English for Speakers of Other Languages, Minority Male Mentoring Initiative, and Early Childhood Education. Additionally, there was discussion on the District’s $800 million General Obligation Bond and its impact on schools, students, teachers and Broward communities. Interactive sessions allowed participants to provide input and feedback.

“We had an incredible turnout for our 3rd annual Ed Talk. The hundreds of people who took time out of their busy weekend to join the dialogue is a great testament to our Broward County community, as we continue to move the District forward,” said Superintendent Runcie. "This event is a unique opportunity for the entire community to come together with the District to talk about the future of our schools and students.”
View the Final Ed Talk 2014 Report
Watch a Video about Ed Talk 2014
Learn More About Ed Talk

ESOL Leaders Come Together!

Presented by Vicky Saldala, Director, Bilingual/ESOL Department

The Bilingual/ESOL Department is committed to providing rigorous academics, promoting community involvement and delivering quality services to English Language Learners, multilingual families, schools and District offices. 

From December 3-5, 2014, a milestone was achieved by the Bilingual/ESOL Department, which welcomed over 400 participants for a training on the new and innovative online English Language Learner (ELL) Plan.
Teachers, administrators, guidance counselors, IMT/IMS and designees had the opportunity to navigate ELLevation and learn how this web-based platform will streamline administrative tasks, save significant time and enable more focus on differentiated instruction, preparation and collaboration with colleagues.
Trainers from ELLevation and the Bilingual/ESOL Department were excited to welcome participants and oriented them to the platform. Participants engaged in sessions throughout the day addressing Meetings, Filters & Groups, Parent Letters, and Data Analysis, while learning how to automate the development of ELL student plans. Implementing something new is exciting and can be challenging, however there was a heightened sense of commitment to innovation and the advancement of ELLs throughout the three days.
For more information, please contact the Bilingual/ESOL Department at 754-321-2590 or visit the website at esol.browardschools.com

Together, We Did it! Broward Voters Approve General Obligation Bond

On, November 5, 2014, the Broward County School Board and Superintendent Robert W. Runcie, accompanied by District leadership and community members, held a news conference regarding the approval of the $800 million General Obligation Bond during the November 4, 2014, election. 

 “We would like to thank all of our parents, employees, students and community members for working incredibly hard over the past several months to inform our community about the critical needs facing our schools,” said Superintendent Runcie. “The General Obligation Bond will provide the funds necessary to meet our schools’ most critical life-safety, technology and facility needs, as well as invest in music, art and athletic programs. The Bond is an investment in our students’ futures, as we work to provide them with the resources they need to learn to their highest potential.”   
The District will continue to keep employees, families and the public informed about the SMART initiative.  To view an overview of SMART and a high-level timeline, click here.  For more SMART information, visit browardschools.com/smartfutures.

Click Here for the Printable Version of District Digest