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The District Digest employee newsletter highlights events, activities and accomplishments across Broward County Public Schools (BCPS).   Click on the symbol below to go directly to the section you want to check out!

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News Around BCPS| News Around BCPS

BCPS Spotlighted by the White House for Computer Science in Schools

Broward County Public Schools (BCPS) is being spotlighted by the White House for its focus on expanding access to computer science in schools. On Monday, September 26, 2016, Superintendent Robert W. Runcie, as well as STEM Science Supervisor Dr. Lisa Milenkovic and BCPS Office of School Performance and Accountability Director Christine Semisch were invited to the White House to participate in a discussion on the importance of regional partnerships to K-12 computer science

Superintendent Runcie also participated in a panel discussion and shared information on the District’s efforts to increase students’ access to computer science in schools. 

In addition, Semisch and Milenkovic participated in the White House Summit on Computer Science for All on September 14, 2016.  The White House Summit was part of President Barack Obama’s call to action to expand computer science in K-12 classrooms, and for education leaders, federal agencies, companies, foundations and non-profits to do more to make this critical subject available to students. Watch a brief video on the BCPS participation in the Computer Science for All Summit

Pictured Above (left to right): BCPS Superintendent Robert W. Runcie; Christine Semisch, BCPS Office of School Performance and Accountability, Director; Hadi Partovi, Founder and CEO of Code.org; Dr. Jan Cuny, Program Director for Computing Education, National Science Foundation; and Dr. Lisa Milenkovic, BCPS STEM Science Supervisor.


BCPS Celebrates Choose Peace/Stop Violence Week 


BCPS celebrated Choose Peace/Stop Violence Week, September 19 – 24, 2016. The weeklong celebration, in partnership with the Children’s Services Council and United Way of Broward County, aimed to spread messages of peace, create environments that are free from bullying and violence, and promote tolerance and positive change. This year’s theme is “Peace Through Kindness.”

Students and staff participated in a variety of events during the weeklong celebration, which also included the International Day of Peace on Wednesday, September 21, 2016.

BCPS Selected for National Partnership and Grant Funding to Support Early Learning and Literacy


The District's strategic focus on early learning and literacy is getting national support.  On September 21, 2016, BCPS and the non-profit organization Children’s Literacy Initiative (CLI) announced an exciting partnership and grant funding to support early literacy development in kindergarten through third grade students.  

The announcement and kickoff celebration at Plantation Elementary School included School Board members, Superintendent Robert W. Runcie, CLI representatives, District staff and local community leaders, as well as reading activities by students.

Children’s Literacy Initiative (CLI) is a non-profit organization focused on strengthening education in the United States by ensuring students can read by the end of third grade. In November 2015, CLI was awarded $19.5 million from the 2015 Investing in Innovation (i3 grant) competition from the U.S. Department of Education.  CLI is using this funding to expand its program into four school districts across the nation, including Broward County Public Schools – the only school district in Florida chosen to participate.    
Watch Video Highlights.

Pictured above (left to right): Dr. Joel Zarrow, Chief Executive Officer, Children’s Literacy Initiative; Howard Bakalar, Chief Program Officer, United Way of Broward County; Shea Ciriago, Director of Development, Broward Education Foundation; Laurie Rich Levinson, Broward County School Board Member (District 6), Dr. Lori Canning, Executive Director of Earl Learning Language Acquisition, Broward County Public Schools; Robert W. Runcie, Superintendent, Broward County Public Schools; Cindy Arenberg Seltzer, Chief Executive Officer, Children’s Services Council; Judith Pitter, Principal, Plantation Elementary School; Dr. Rosalind Osgood, Chair, Broward County School Board (District 5); Daniel Gohl, Chief Academic Officer, Broward County Public Schools; Fabian Cone, Director, School Performance and Accountability, Broward County Public Schools; and Beam Furr, Broward County Commissioner. 

Five Ways You Can Help Protect Your Online Security and Privacy


ThinkstockPhotos-Protect.jpgAll BCPS  employees play an important role in online security and privacy. Follow these steps to ensure the protection of sensitive information and unauthorized access to the network.

  1. Always create a complex password that is at least eight characters long and contains: Upper case and lower case letters, numbers and special characters.
  2.  Never install software from unknown sources. Contact Information &Technology (I&T) before you download software.
  3. Do not open phishing emails that try to scare you into immediate action with text such as “your account will be disabled” in the title or content of the email.  Always delete these emails immediately. 
  4. Never use any USB flash drive that you find since it could contain malware. Always report any found drive to I&T.
  5. Encrypt sensitive information. If you do not know how to password protect a file, ask your supervisor for assistance. It is important to protect sensitive data even when sending to another employee.  

BCPS Hosts its Inaugural Attendance Symposium

Attendance-Symposium-pic.JPGThe District celebrated it's inaugural Attendance Symposium on Friday, September 30, 2016, at the Faith Center in Fort Lauderdale.  Over 800 educators, District administrators, staff; community-based agencies, community leaders, faith-based community representatives, law enforcement, elected officials, parents and students participated. Superintendent Robert W. Runcie, along with keynote speaker Hedy Chang, Founder and CEO of Attendance Works, shared information on the critical importance of regular school attendance and how chronic absenteeism impacts the entire community.
During the  event, discussions also highlighted the direct correlation between academic achievement and student attendance, while developing strategies for addressing and reducing chronic student absenteeism and supporting schools, educating parents and creating partnerships with the community. District staff also participated in panel discussions and shared the District’s efforts to identify the core issues impacting student attendance and developed specific calls to action for each break out session. 
To learn more about the attendance initiative, visit browardschools.com/departments/student-services.

Check Out the September 2016 SMART Update

September-SMART-image.pngThe BCPS SMART program, which includes funding from the $800 million General Obligation Bond and capital resources, continues to make progress.  A few highlights from the September 2016 SMART Update include:

SMART Facilities
  • There are 585 SMART facilities projects in progress in various phases, marking an investment of approximately $400 million as of August 31, 2016.
  • The SMART program remains on track to be completed within five to seven years, as originally promised.
  • SMART projects continue to make progress for Blanche Ely High School, Northeast High School and Stranahan High School. 
SMART Technology
  • Since the last SMART Technology update, technology upgrades have been completed at 11 additional schools, bringing the total number of schools completed to 105.   
  • To date, the technology upgrades represent an investment of more than $47 million in infrastructure/network equipment, wireless access points and approximately 50,000 new computer devices.
View the September 2016 SMART Update.

Hundreds Attend the Annual South Florida Gifted and Talented Symposium

gifted-and-talented-symposium_2.JPGThe annual South Florida Gifted and Talented Symposium, the largest gathering of gifted and talented teachers and administrators, and parents in the state of Florida, took place Friday, September 16, 2016, at Pompano Beach High School.

The seventh annual event – “Super Powered – Changing the World One Gift at a Time” – brought national and local experts together to talk about how to meet the classroom needs of gifted and talented students, and bring awareness to gifted education in Broward County Public Schools.

The event was presented in partnership with the Broward County Government Cultural Division and Broward Center for the Performing Arts.

Watch Video Highlights

Pictured:  The STEM+C Team setting up stations at the Gifted and Talented Symposium

BCPS Caliber Awards Application Process Now Open!

Caliber-Logo.jpgBCPS is excited to announce that the nomination and application process for the 2017 Caliber Awards is now open!

To download information and application packets for the Caliber Awards, visit browardschools.com/caliber-awards.

The 2017 Caliber Awards ceremony takes place on Wednesday, April 5, 2017, at the Greater Fort Lauderdale/Broward County Convention Center.

For more information, please contact Dr. Carolyn Stewart, District Community Relations Coordinator in the Public Information Office, at carolyn.stewart@browardschools.com or call 754-321-2300.

BCPS Departments Share their Good News and Information for Employees

bcps-NEWS-3.JPGThere is a lot of great work taking place across BCPS!  Check out the newsletters below for the scoop on BCPS department news.  

To request a BCPS department newsletter or to be included in the District Digest, visit the Public Information Office Marketing & Communication Center at:

Just fill out out the online "PIO Request Form," and enter details about your newsletter.  The Public Information Office looks forward to helping you share your good news!


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Staff Stars| Staff Stars

Tequesta Trace Middle School Teacher Carolyn Sant Angelo Represents Florida for Trip to Taiwan

Sant-Angelo-visits-Taiwan-2.jpgCarolyn Sant Angelo, a science teacher and NBCT from Tequesta Trace Middle School, was selected by the National Wildlife Federation and the Environmental Protection Administration in Taiwan to be the only U.S.-Taiwan Delegate from Florida for the Eco-Schools program.  

Ms. Sant Angelo’s Cambridge students have been exchanging projects and crafts with a sister school, Daping Elementary, in Taiwan for the past year. During her visit over the summer, she was able to meet students from Daping Elementary and other environmentally focused schools.

She joined eight other educators from around the country to visit environmental schools and government representatives in Taiwan.  The delegation participated in workshops and educational exchanges of ideas such as Tequesta Trace’s Eco-Partners program and the agricultural programs of some of the Taiwanese schools.

Pictured:  Carolyn Sant Angelo and Taiwan Student Guide

BCPS Director Michael J. Ramirez Honored with 2016 Leadership Award by the Hispanic Education Coalition 

Ramirez-and-Runcie_HEC.jpgCongratulations to Michael J. Ramirez, BCPS director in the Office of School Performance and Accountability , for being honored with the 2016 leadership award by the Hispanic Education Coalition of Palm Beach County.

This award is in recognition of Ramirez’s contributions and dedicated service to promoting educational equity for Hispanic/Latino students. Among his achievements, Ramirez helped establish the Florida Chapter of the Association of Latino Superintendents and Administrators. Superintendent Robert W. Runcie presented Ramirez with the leadership award at the second annual Hispanic Leadership Awards luncheon. 

Pictured: Broward County Public Schools, Superintendent Robert W. Runcie and Michael J. Ramirez


CTACE's Cindy Griffin Honored with State Award

FNGLA_0617_Cindy-Griffin-(1).jpgCindy Griffin, curriculum facilitator with the Career, Technical, Adult and Community Eduation (CTACE) Department was honored by the Florida Nursery Growers & Landscape Association with its outstanding educator award.  The award recognizes individuals who serve the industry by providing exceptional horticultural-educational opportunities for industry members and the public.  

Griffin serves as a conduit between various county educational resources, Agriscience teachers and students.  She has been a driving force in helping students prepare for the Florida Certified Horticulture Professional Industry Certification exam, as well as volulnteering on the local Florida Nursery Growers & Landscape Association and Broward County Farm Bureau boards.

Pictured: Cindy Griffin receiving Florida Nursery Growers & Landscape Association Outstanding Educator Award.

McArthur High School Teacher Margarita Sweeting Named Walmart "Commander of the Classroom"

Teacher-and-Students.jpgCongratulations to McArthur High School teacher Margarita Sweeting on being elected a “Commander of the Classroom” by Walmart.

Representatives from Walmart surprised Sweeting, a journalism teacher at McArthur High, with the honor and a  $490 gift card for classroom supplies. As part of an effort to recognize teachers as the most important part of school, Walmart called on its customers across the country to nominate their favorite teacher and share why they deserve recognition. Sweeting is one of 20 “Commanders in Teach(ers)” in the nation selected for the honor. 
“Ms. Sweeting is such a phenomenal teacher. She makes it her mission to not only instill valuable educational lessons in her students, but valuable life lessons as well,” said one of her students. “You can always count on her to be understanding, charismatic and just plain sweet.”

Watch a video of the award presenation.
Pictured: McArthur High School teacher Margarita Sweeting (center with pink shirt) with students.

William Dandy Middle School Teacher Seilarine Samuels-Pink Attends C-SPAN Conference in Washington, D.C.

C-SPAN-BCPSShines-7-16-16.jpgSeilarine Samuels-Pink, a social studies teacher at William Dandy Middle School, was selected among middle school teachers from across the nation to attend the C-SPAN 2016 Educator’s Conference in Washington, D.C. on July 11 – 12, 2016.

Samuels-Pink had opportunities to network with other educators and learn how to create engaging learning experiences for students using free resources from C-SPAN.

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