District Digest
2014/15 School Year Off to a Great Start

The 2014/15 school year is off to a successful start. To watch special welcome back messages from Superintendent Robert Runcie, School Board Members and BCPS staff, as well as a video of first day events and activities, Click Here

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

Learn More About the General Obligation Bond and SMART Initiative

On November 4, 2014, Broward County voters will have an opportunity to cast their ballots regarding an $800 million General Obligation Bond for the District. The funds would be used for capital improvements and to purchase technology for teachers and students. Learn About the SMART Initiative

Save the Date for Ed Talk 2014

Ed Talk 2014 will take place on Saturday, November 1, 2014, at the Greater Fort Lauderdale/Broward County Convention Center. Ed Talk is a public forum designed to discuss and prioritize educational strategies and next steps for the District. It is free and open to the public. Read More

Check Out the Friday Focus!

The Public Information Office is launching the Friday Focus for the 2014/15 school year. The Friday Focus is a weekly roundup of BCPS news highlights. Bookmark the page to stay up-to-date on the great things happening in the District. Check it out

Did You Know...

Broward County Public Schools is Florida's first fully accredited school system, having held this prestigious distinction since 1962. For more BCPS Fast Facts, Click Here


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

Mark Your Calendars!
 

The Conversation with the District community forums with Superintendent Robert W. Runcie and School Board members take place between September - October 2014.  For dates and locations,  Click Here.

 

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

SMART Investments Lead to Smart Students General Obligation Bond

On November 4, 2014, Broward County voters have an opportunity to cast their ballots regarding an $800 million General Obligation Bond for the District.   If approved, the General Obligation Bond would provide the funds necessary to meet the critical needs facing schools across the District.  The District's SMART initiative focuses on Safety, Music and Art, Athletics, Renovation, and Technology for Broward County Public Schools students and teachers.  The financial impact of the General Obligation Bond to voters would be about $50 per year for the average homeowner. 

To learn more about SMART, watch a brief video message from the Superintendent, view Needs Assessment Facility Reports, and get answers to frequently asked questions, Click Here

BCPS Employees Complete Leadership Program

Submitted by MaryKay Wilson
Office of Talent Development, Leadership Development Department

Twenty District employees completed the sixth session of the Non-Instructional Leadership Development Program, a joint venture between the Office of Talent Development and Sheridan Technical College (formerly Sheridan Technical Center) in June 2014.   This brings the total number of graduates to 114.  These graduates represent 22 different personnel job classifications and were selected through a competitive application process. 

The Non-Instructional Leadership Development Program consists of 214 hours of blended learning under the instruction of Sharon Curington, Graphic Arts & Information Technology Department, at Sheridan Technical College.  The program's goal is to provide non-instructional employees with the knowledge, skills and behaviors necessary to perform effectively in supervisory positions. 

In recognition of their accomplishment, Barry University hosted a reception and shared information on how the Non-Instructional Leadership Development Program can be used toward college credits.   

For more information about earning a degree from Barry University and the benefits available to all District and school-based employees, go to: http://www.barry.edu/ace.  For more information about the program and to see the complete list of graduates, go to: http://www.broward.k12.fl.us/talentdevelopment/HTML/non_instructional.html or call 754-321-5022.

BCPS Launches 2014/15 Attendance Campaign

Broward County Public Schools is launching its 2014/15 Attendance Campaign, with the slogan “Attendance Counts! All Day, Every Day!” 
 
As part of the kick-off to this year’s campaign, the School Board of Broward County, Florida, adopted a resolution at its meeting on August 19, 2014, recognizing September as Attendance Awareness Month. The resolution highlights the importance of students attending school every day and the positive impact it has on student achievement and other academic factors.
 
In addition, as part of a special presentation during the August 19, 2014 School Board meeting, Judge Ari Porth, 17th Judicial Circuit, led Superintendent Robert W. Runcie in taking an attendance pledge.  The Superintendent then administered the pledge – via  videoconference – to students at several District schools.  Each of the students taking part received an “I Pledged” sticker to confirm his or her commitment to being in school every day.  
 
The Attendance Campaign events concluded with the unveiling of a new public service announcement (PSA) produced by Mentoring Tomorrow’s Leaders students that will be used throughout the school year to promote and remind students about the importance of regular school attendance.

To watch the PSA, visit browardschools.com/Parents-Students/Students.   To View the Attendance Campaign presentation, click on the following link: http://bit.ly/1uTi0gz.

BCPS New Web-Based Professional Development Management System

Presented by the Office of Talent Development

MyLearningPlan is the new web-based professional development management system for Broward County Public Schools (BCPS).  MyLearningPlan supports the District’s Professional Learning System by keeping the records of professional learning offered and successfully completed by any participant of BCPS professional learning activities.
 
MyLearningPlan has a user-friendly interface to simplify searching and registering for available activities, submitting timely activity feedback, and accessing an individual’s professional learning report (inservice report). Professional Learning Activities now include such collaborative tools as team rooms and file sharing amongst participants, to enrich the learning in a virtual environment. Various user settings allow for extensive personalization including control of email notifications and the ability to find activities aligned with individual needs and job requirements.
 
To Log into MyLearningPlan for the first time:

  1. Go to broward.mylearningplan.com
  2. Enter your P# as the username - Ex. P00012345
  3. Enter your initial password (Date of Birth) - Mmddyyyy!  - Ex. Ja231956!

Mm - first letter of birth month upper case, second letter of birth month lower case
dd - 2-digit birth date
yyyy – 4-digit birth year followed by an ‘!’

  1. Click “Login”
  2. You will be prompted to save a new password for future login.


This new system replaces the Professional Development tab in Employee/External Self Service.  The Talent Development website is updated daily with information about new features, quick links and instructions for MyLearningPlan.  Please visit our MyLearningPlan support webpage often at :
http://www.broward.k12.fl.us/talentdevelopment/HTML/non_instructional.html

Thank You for Supporting the Annual "Donation Drop Off Campaign"

As Broward County Public Schools (BCPS) students returned to school, many students received help to “dress for success” thanks to summer donations provided by District staff, community members and the Salvation Army of Broward County.
 
The annual “Donation Drop Off” campaign serves as a way to help alleviate the financial strain placed on families preparing for the new school year. This year, school uniforms collected in Salvation Army collection boxes, were donated to students who attend Title I schools.
 
As part of a partnership between BCPS and the Salvation Army, clothing drop-off boxes were located at several District administrative sites, making it easy and convenient for employees and members of the community to participate. More than 195 school uniforms were collected and donated to students in kindergarten through sixth grade.

BCPS Supports White House Initiative to Improve Academic Achievements of Boys and Young Men of Color

On Monday, July 21, 2014, Broward County Public Schools (BCPS) joined the Council of the Great City Schools and urban school districts from across the country for a special White House event with President Barack Obama.  The event included an announcement that 60 urban school districts, including BCPS, are pledging to improve the academic and social outcomes of boys and young men of color.  BCPS executive director of Student Support Initiatives, Michaelle Pope, traveled to Washington, D.C., to attend today’s event, which took place at a Washington-area school and included a Town Hall style discussion with President Obama.

With roughly 32 percent of the nation’s school-age African American males and 39 percent of the country’s school-age Hispanic males enrolled in big-city public schools, urban-school leaders agree that they have an obligation to teach all students to the highest academic standards and prepare them for today’s global society.
 
“The most important work we do as a society is raising our children and providing them with an opportunity to receive a high-quality education to prepare them for success in college and careers,” said Superintendent Robert W. Runcie.  “We are proud to be part of this national effort, as we continue to focus on improving educational outcomes and closing the achievement gap among our boys and young men of color.”    
 
 “Our job as urban educators is not to reflect or perpetuate the inequities that too many of our males of color face; our job is to eliminate those inequities - and that is what we pledge to do,” stressed Council Executive Director Michael Casserly. “We are pleased to join forces today with the White House, the U.S. Department of Education, and our other partners in an unprecedented shared commitment to improve the educational and social opportunities of our young men of color,” he added.
 
As part of BCPS ongoing focus on improving the academic success of minority male students, the District has:

  • Included in the District’s Strategic Plan the goal of improving the academic success of minority male students;
  • Broadened the conversation and advocacy, internally and externally, around issues that bar minority males from succeeding in school, work and life;
  • Engaged community organizations: Children Services Council, South Florida Educational Research Alliance, as anchor partners;
  • Created committees, such as the Black Male Task Force and School-to-Prison Pipeline Committee, to address broad community-wide goals;
  • Implemented a historic, multi-agency Collaborative Agreement on School Discipline, which establishes new guidelines and processes for handling non-violent misdemeanor offenses on school campuses to eliminate the schoolhouse to jailhouse pipeline;
  • Developed the PROMISE (Preventing Recidivism through Opportunities, Mentoring, Interventions, Support and Education) program. Through the PROMISE program, students receive behavioral supports, counseling and mentoring in an environment focused on helping them make better life choices;  
  • Shared data and implemented programs/strategies to address identified student needs within BCPS schools;
  • Provided professional development for school leaders and teachers (Courageous Conversations About Race, American Promise, Breaking Barriers, etc.);
  • Worked with community organizations to increase access for student internships and employment opportunities;
  • Worked with local colleges and universities to increase access for student exposure and entry to colleges and universities;
  • Worked to increase skill building and industry certification/opportunities at District schools and technical colleges; and
  • Presented initiative goals and outcomes at several national forums: EERA; NABSE; NSBA; and the U.S. Department of Justice.

Protecting Student Privacy - The Steps Employees Should Take

Presented by Todd Sussman, LMHC, LMFT, Privacy Officer

As the District’s Privacy Officer, I often receive calls from school staff questioning  what student information may be disclosed and to whom - without a parent’s written consent. Directory Information is student personally identifiable information that, generally, would not be considered harmful or an invasion of privacy if disclosed. 
 
The first step is to determine what types of information the District has designated as Directory Information.  The District’s FERPA (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act) Opt-Out Notification Form 2014/2015 (found in the Code of Student Conduct), lists 13 types, including student’s name, telephone number(s), residential address, and major field of study. 
 
The next step is to determine if the purpose and/or recipient falls into one of five designated categories, also listed on the FERPA Opt-Out Form.  They include:
 
(a) to colleges and universities in which the student is enrolled, may seek enrollment or may be recruited,
(b) for school publications, instructional materials and other school communication tools,
(c) to agencies that provide food, shelter or clothing to students and families, as determined by our Family Counselors, School Counselors, and Social Workers,
(d) to Broward health officials to address potential or confirmed serious public health threats, and/or
(e) to class reunion committees for reunion activities.
 
Most importantly, before any disclosure of a student’s information can be made, the final step is to review the signed FERPA Opt-Out Form for that student to determine if the parent or guardian opted out of the disclosure of a portion or all of the designated directory information.
 
If you follow all of these steps, your disclosures will be FERPA-compliant and you will be protecting the student’s and parent’s privacy rights.  I am available to answer any questions pertaining to directory information and other privacy issues.  Here’s to a successful new school year.
 
Todd Sussman can be reached at 754-321-1914.

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