District Digest Volume II
Work 4 - Save More Work Schedule Begins the Week of June 9, 2014

As part of Broward County Public Schools Work 4 – Save More program, beginning the week of June 9 and ending on August 8, District and school offices will remain open Monday through Thursday with extended hours of service and will be closed on Fridays. Read More

2014 Annual BCPS Retiree Breakfast is June 9

Congratulations BCPS Retirees! The Annual Retiree Recognition Breakfast, which honors BCPS employees who have retired or will be retiring in the 2014 fiscal year, takes place on Monday, June 9, 2014. The event is being held at the Signature Grand. For more information, contact the Benefits Department.

BCPS Summer Programs Information

BCPS plays host to a wide variety of summer academic enrichment programs and camps geared toward Pre-K-12 students with interests in robotics, STEM activities, video games, sports, academic acceleration and more. Participation in a summer program or camp can help your child develop character, learn valuable life skills, make new friends and discover new interests. Learn More

Did You Know...

Broward County Public Schools is #1 in the state for the number of National Board Certified Teachers! Read More BCPS Accomplishments. Want to submit a story idea for the District Digest? Click Here to Learn How

BCPS Honored as a 2014 U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon School District

Broward County Public Schools (BCPS) is proud to be honored as a 2014 U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools - District Sustainability Award winner. BCPS is the only Florida school district - and is among only nine school districts in the nation - to receive this prestigious distinction. Read More

Visit the BCPS Marketing & Communication Center

The Marketing & Communication Center is provided by the District's Public Information Office. It includes a variety of communication templates on a variety of topics to assist BCPS schools and employees in communicating effectively with stakeholders. Through the Need Help section, employees can also request help promoting their school's accomplishments and events. Learn More


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

Thank You for a Successful
School Year!

To watch Superintendent Robert W. Runcie's End of the Year video message and slide show for BCPS employees, 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

Above the Influence March and Rally

On Saturday,  May 17, 2014, thousands of students from across Broward County took part in the 2nd Annual Above the Influence March and Rally.  The event was a joint effort by the United Way of Broward County Commission on Substance Abuse and Broward County Public Schools (BCPS) which celebrated students making the right decisions – resisting peer pressure, avoiding violence and saying no to drugs. In addition to the lead agencies for the event, collaborating partners included the Broward Sheriff’s Foundation, Hanley Center, Florida Department of Health in Broward County, Sun-Sentinel and ICenter Community Foundation.

During the event, students ranging from kindergarten to 12th grade, along with BCPS employees, School Board members and community members, marched more than one mile from Apollo Middle School to McArthur High School in Hollywood.  After arriving at McArthur High, participants enjoyed performances by step team dancers, cheerleaders, youth poets, marching bands and other local talent. 

“Every day our students demonstrate their greatness in a variety of ways,” said Broward Schools Superintendent Robert W. Runcie. “The Above the Influence March and Rally is a great way for us to connect as a community with a show of support for our students and their families, as they strive to remain ‘above the influence’ and positively impact the lives of others.”
 


BCPS Congratulates the Teacher, Principal, Assistant Principal and School-Related Employee of the Year

Broward County Public Schools 2014 Caliber Awards celebration took place on Wednesday, April 30, 2014, at the Greater Fort Lauderdale/Broward County Convention Center. 

More than 1,300 BCPS employees and guests attended the event, which recognizes the exceptional leadership, hard work and dedication of Broward’s outstanding teachers, principals, assistant principals and school-related employees. Congratulations to all of the award winners! 

BCPS also thanks the many sponsors who generously support this annual event.

To view photos and a video with highlights of the Caliber Awards
ceremony, Click Here.

 

Broward County Public Schools Administrator Brian Kingsley Earns State Award and Nominated for National Recognition

Congratulations to Brian Kingsley (former principal of Gulfstream Middle) for being named Middle School Principal of the Year by the Florida Association of School Administrators (FASA) and the Florida Association of Secondary School Principals (FASSP).
 
This recognition honors secondary principals for their commitment to the state’s highest educational standards and for their outstanding leadership skills.  “At Gulfstream Middle School, Mr. Kingsley’s focus targets include STEM, Robotics, and preparing all students for high school success,” stated John Spolski, FASSP President.  “He has proven to be an extremely compassionate administrator who leads by example.”
 
“I congratulate Mr. Kingsley for being selected as the state’s Middle School Principal of the Year,” said Superintendent Robert W. Runcie.  “He is a tremendous educator and school leader who is working hard every day to ensure students are college and career ready.” 
 
Kingsley will be recognized as the FASA/FASSP Middle School Principal of the Year during a ceremony in Tampa on June 18, 2014.
 
For earning this state honor, Kingsley will now represent Florida in the National Association of Secondary School Principals competition for Middle School Principal of the Year.

Kingsley was recently named the District's Executive Director of Instruction & Interventions.

Resources to Help Students Avoid the Summer Slide

Presented by Lynne Oakvik
Specialist, Library Meda
Instruction & Interventions, Literacy Department

Summer is the perfect time for students of all ages to relax, but it’s also a time when summer learning loss can occur. This learning loss is commonly known as the  “summer slide,” and happens when students do not engage in educational activities during the summer months. Research shows that summer learning loss can have far-reaching effects. Many students, regardless of socioeconomic status, lose the equivalent of two months of math skills. For low-income students, the long-term effects on reading achievement can be even more significant.  A study by Johns Hopkins University researchers found that by ninth grade, summer learning loss accounts for two-thirds of the achievement gap in reading.
 
To help students, teachers and parents slow the “summer slide,” the Literacy Department has created a webpage with summer literacy resources. The webpage contains information for schools to help support and nurture reading and recommended reading activities for all grade levels, including Scholastic’s Read for the World Record online summer reading program.
 
Summer is also a great time for educators to catch up on professional reading.  Did you know that the Department of Literacy has an online professional collection available to all teachers? The collection has over 400 eBook titles to support teaching and learning, including many ASCD Books by Robert Marzano, content area resources for Literacy, Math, Social Studies, ESE and ESOL and technology integration.

For more information on summer reading resources or how to access the professional eBook collection contact Lynne Oakvik, Specialist, Library Media @lynne.oakvik@browardschools.com

To access summer literacy resources visit:
http://literacydept.browardschools.com/bcps-summer-literacy-resources.html
 
To access the professional eBook resources visit:
http://librarymedia.literacydept.browardschools.com/ebooks.html
 

Summer Professional Development Opportunities

Presented by Monica Bianchi
Supervisor,  Professional Development Support

As summer approaches, Broward County teachers and administrators prepare to hone their skills to provide the most current and effective educational opportunities for students when they return in August 2014.  Although professional learning is valued and offered throughout the school year, summer provides the opportunity for personnel to attend extended professional learning sessions aimed at ensuring that educational professionals have the latest Florida Department of Education updates and are developed in the latest research-based teaching methodologies to ensure College and Career Readiness for all Broward students.
 
To keep stakeholders informed of the professional learning opportunities available to Broward County Public School employees and Charter Schools, the Office of Talent Development has developed a Summer Catalog 2014 that will help teachers, instructional coaches, administrators and non-instructional personnel plan their Summer learning sessions and take full advantage of all the research-based, skill-building offerings available starting June 10th.  Following this learning, instructional coaches will provide differentiated supports that foster the growth and development of teachers throughout the school year. 
 
The Summer Catalog 2014 will be posted online on the Office of Talent Development website and will be inclusive of all professional learning opportunities including dates, times, locations, and additional information to assist participants to effectively plan their summer professional learning individually, with partners or with teams.
 
In addition to organizing all summer learning opportunities for adult participants, the Office Talent Development is in the process of configuring Broward’s MyLearningPlan, our new Professional Learning Management System. MyLearningPlan (MLP) is a web-based system that will allow participants to find, register to attend, monitor and evaluate their professional learning. MLP will also align professional growth to the yearlong Professional Learning Communities at schools, to directly impact effective teaching and learning and student achievement.

To access the Summer Catalog 2014 visit: http://www.broward.k12.fl.us/talentdevelopment and click on the Quick Link
 
For details about courses in the Summer Catalog 2014, contact the Professional Learning Hot Line at 754-321-5055 or the designated course contact listed for each learning opportunity. 

For updates on MyLearningPlan, follow us at: 
http://www.broward.k12.fl.us/talentdevelopment after July 1st
 

Broward County Public Schools Goes Smoke Free

Presented by Amalio Nieves
Director of Diversity, Cultural Outreach & Prevention

Broward County Public Schools  is committed to ensuring our children and employees are healthy and live in healthy communities. As part of this effort, one goal of the District is to make certain our schools and workplaces are tobacco-free. Adopting a tobacco-free environment provides a safe, healthy place for people to work and stakeholders to visit, while supporting a healthy bottom line for the workplace.
 
On May 6, 2014, the School Board of Broward County approved Policy 2401: Tobacco-Free Policy, which goes into effect on July 1, 2014.  This Policy prohibits all tobacco use anytime, anywhere, by anyone on any school district owned property. This includes all school-sponsored events after regular school hours.
 
The School Board has adopted this policy change for several reasons. A tobacco free environment:

1. Serves as a positive model for students
2. Reduces children's observation of tobacco use
3. Takes a firm District-wide stance against tobacco use
4. Supports non-use/prevention messages presented in the classroom
5. Provides safe environments for students, employees and adults by reducing    
    exposure to tobacco smoke
6. Protects children from a harmful and addictive drug
7. Prepares students for the realities of smoke-free workplaces and communities
8. Encourages our communities to make healthier choices

Tobacco use is the single leading cause of preventable death and disease in our country. Ninety percent of adults who are addicted to tobacco began before the age of 18, with the average age of initiation between 12 and 14 years. Most parents, even those who use tobacco, do not want their children to become addicted. Youth spend a great deal of their time at school and school-related events. Allowing the use of tobacco products on campus implies school approval of such use. Keeping tobacco free means students have less opportunity to see their friends, teachers and other employees using tobacco, and less access to tobacco products. This means students will be less likely to try, and possibly become addicted to tobacco.
 
Additionally, exposure to secondhand smoke can trigger an asthma attack or exacerbate respiratory problems. Clusters of employees and visitors smoking outside near building entrances or at school sponsored events place others at risk.
 
Implementing a new smoke-free workplace policy creates questions and concerns on the part of employees. Additional communication concerning this policy will be made available over the next several months. Students, employees and visitors will be informed of current tobacco education and cessation classes; everyone will also be provided information regarding nicotine replacement therapy for those who use tobacco and want to stop.
 
The School Board of Broward County is confident that through everyone’s participation, a healthier environment for our staff, students and community can be secured. The new Tobacco-Free Policy and additional information can be found at BrowardPrevention.org or TobaccoFreeFlorida.com.
 

Quick Tips for Marketing Your School this Summer

Marketing your school, and all it has to offer, is an ongoing process.  Capitalize on opportunities this summer, to execute some quick, strategic marketing tactics that will help set your school apart from the competition.  Below are tips for creating a positive impact in your community. 
 
  • Make a list of your school’s achievements during the school year.  Then, add to this list programs or other initiatives that make your school special (innovative programs, extra-curricular activities, etc).  This information can help provide talking points you can utilize over the summer.  You can also turn your list of school achievements into an easy-to-understand, one-page flier that can be emailed to parents, posted to your website and shared with community partners/stakeholders to promote your school.
  • Keep your school’s marquee messages current. These messages provide high visibility, not just to students and parents, but to your entire community.  Refer to your accomplishments list for ideas.
  • Promote excellent customer service.  Ensure all staff members who will be answering the phones during the summer have a script or fact sheet with key information, such as dates for open houses, orientations, registration information and office hours.  This will help them answer the most common questions from parents in a quick and easy manner, and avoid calls being sent to voicemail.  
  • Keep communication flowing.  Keep stakeholders informed about key information and achievements regarding your school over the summer through school newsletters, email blasts, ParentLink messages, social media, website postings, school marquee posting, etc.
  • Make your school inviting for visitors.  Creating a good first impression and welcoming environment sets the stage for positive interactions with parents and community members.  While school may be out, the District is still open to the public during our summer work schedules.  Ensure employees are available to cover key office areas and encourage staff to schedule times for community groups to tour the campus. 
  • Explore opportunities to share your school’s successes in the community.  Schedule times to visit local summer camps or child care centers.  Use these opportunities to greet potential future students and share what makes your school special.  Also get involved with local chambers to ensure their members know all of the great things happening at your school.
  • Be sure your website is up-to-date.  Websites are typically the first place parents go for information about your school.  Take the time to review your school’s online content and ensure all information is current and accurate!

State Releases FCAT 2.0 Grade 3 Reading & Math and Writing Results (Grades 4, 8 and 10)

The Florida Department of Education has released FCAT 2.0 Grade 3 Reading and Math scores, as well as Writing scores for grades 4, 8 and 10.  These results represent the first round of scores to be released for the 2014 FCAT 2.0.  Among the notable results, Broward County Public School (BCPS) students showed improvements in Grade 3 Reading and Grade 8 Writing: 
 
  • 57% of BCPS students scored at or above grade level proficiency (Levels 3-5) in Reading in 2014, an increase from 54% percent from 2013. 
  • 64% of Grade 8 students scored at or above grade level proficiency (3.5 or higher) in 2014, an increase from 60% percent in 2013.
“These impressive gains are the result of district leaders providing teachers with the tools and training they need to succeed,” said Florida Commissioner of Education Pam Stewart in the state’s regional press release, which congratulated BCPS for its achievements.
 
“We are encouraged by the results released today. Our teachers, administrators and staff are working hard every day to provide students with a high-quality education,” said BCPS Superintendent Robert W. Runcie.  “The results show areas where our students and schools are making improvements, as well as areas that require additional focus.  Our staff is analyzing the data to develop new strategies and share best practices among schools for increasing student achievement.”    
 
For more 2014 FCAT 2.0 highlights for Grade 3 Reading & Math, and Writing for Grades 4, 8  and 10, Click Here.   

 

Update on 2014 Legislative Session

Presented by Sheela VanHoose
BCPS Legislative Affairs

During the 2014-2015 Regular Legislative Session, Florida legislators passed around twenty bills that will affect education in Broward County Public Schools.

These bills will impact a wide variety of issues. SB 1642 revises the school grading and school improvement rating systems. This legislation also provides for a one year transition period to the new, statewide standardized assessments. With regards to student discipline and school safety, HB 7029 amends Florida statute to clarify that a student should not be disciplined for simulating a firearm while playing or for wearing clothing/accessories that depict a firearm.  There were also some high priority issues that saw no movement during this legislative session. Controversial legislation concerning charter schools and class size reduction ultimately did not pass. 

Outside of legislative bills, Broward County Public Schools will also monitor movement on the state budget. It includes three line items that are currently awaiting Governor Rick Scott’s approval that will provide over half a million dollars in funding. This funding is completely independent of any funding that Broward County Public Schools stands to receive from state FEFP funding. Also pending approval in the budget is the restoration of PECO funding for traditional public schools; it has been 3 years since we have received these funds. Broward County Public Schools stands to receive over $5 million in PECO funding for capital projects.

For more detailed information on bills affecting education that passed during this Legislative Session, please visit the Broward County Public Schools Legislative Affairs website here.
 

Strive for Excellence Teacher Conference

Presented by the Office of Talent Development

Teacher Development hosted its Third Annual Strive for Excellence Teacher Conference that is themed, “By Teachers, For Teachers, With Teachers” with nearly 400 in attendance at Dillard High School on an early Saturday morning.

The conference is a venue for educators to come together and share best practices and innovative ways to propel student achievement through stimulating professional learning. The event attracts educators from Broward’s traditional and charter public schools to collegially network and learn from each other.  The day started with Florida’s 2014 Teacher of the Year, Dorina Sackman from Orange County, who impressed the audience with her inspiring speech when she encouraged educators to find their legacy. She ended by asking everyone to B.E.L.I.E.V.E. Be the Educators who Live to Inspire and Empower Via Excellence.

Following the keynote speaker, participants had the opportunity to attend various breakout sessions that were engaging, interactive and aligned to the District’s Strategic Plan and Educational Initiatives. There were 108 presenters and over 50 sessions covering topics from PreK-12, and beyond. Some of the many topics included Make Room for Bloom-Beyond the Taxonomy, Tame the Brain-Brain Engaging Strategies, Making Engineering Relevant for Students, I-Read, and Rocking It Out with Math.  At the end of the conference, educators were surprised with many winnings from a raffle. Over 30 door prizes were provided by the conference sponsors, ranging from book resources, gift cards, and laptop shoulder bags. The top prizes included presentation devices and a tablet; while the grand prize, a brand new Lenovo laptop went to an ecstatic high school teacher.

This year’s unique and expanded Strive for Excellence Teacher Conference was made possible by a generous donation from the Florida Association of District School Superintendents (FADSS)/Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.  The success of this year’s conference was the result of collaboration and partnership with the Office of Talent Development/Teacher Development, University of Florida’s Lastinger Center, Early Childhood Education and Instruction and Interventions departments.

You can visit Teacher Development’s website for resources for teachers at http://www.broward.k12.fl.us/talentdevelopment/html/teachers.html.

Pictured: Strive for Excellence Conference presenters.
 
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