Palm Beach County school district week in review

PALM BEACH COUNTY —

• Please don’t forget to let me know if you’ll be joining Dr. Avossa Monday for a media briefing from 8:30 to 9. Dr. Avossa has some items he wants to discuss and this will give you an opportunity to ask him questions or discuss topics as well. The briefing will be held in his office.

• The District is really stressing the importance of success on the PSAT with high school students. Students are being encouraged to use the holiday break to prepare for the exam that will lead to scholarship opportunities and prepare them for the SAT and other college readiness exams. Through a partnership with the Khan Academy, students can use this online free service to take practice tests, get study tips and have access to review materials. Student who have taken the PSAT can also link their accounts through Khan Academy for a customized material to reinforce their strengths and help them improve to better prepare to take the PSAT and SAT.

• The budget review is underway with the first budget hearing Wednesday, Dec. 20. In case you missed it, the full presentation is available online at: http://www.boarddocs.com/fl/palmbeach/Board.nsf/files/AGGU4771AA2F/$file/Budget%20Workshop%20Presentation_Dec_14_16.pdf
The District continues to be transparent with the community with the budget and spending, but we realize it can be daunting for people to understand.  We have subject matter experts than can break these issues down for stories so the reader can better understand what funding is coming in and how it is spent. Please let us know if we can connect you with anyone.

• Tiny Houses are all the rage and two of our programs are building Tiny Houses here in Palm Beach County. The Pre-Apprenticeship students  in the five trades at West Tech and North Tech are getting hands-on experience building the houses and installing the electric, plumbing, welding and HVAC. The houses are being built on the campuses in Belle Glade and Riviera Beach. I’m happy to set up a time to visit the schools and see for yourself how these little houses are providing a big experience for the students.

• With temps in the high 80s this week, it may be hard to get in to the holiday spirit, but our students will undoubtedly help. The District’s annual Songs of the Season features the talents of students across the district performing a diverse range of holiday songs. The Education Network will be airing the shows on Comcast 234 and ATT UVerse Ch 99  seven days a week, from 1 to 2:30 p.m. and 8 to 9:30 p.m. through January 8.  Here is a complete playlist of all of the performance: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=505FuvCxbNE&list=PLOQqH0OHtbmNVR3Hu5sPyzGK2CiT_DaNT

• High School winter exams are scheduled Dec. 20-22. The schools have an abbreviated day to accommodate the exams, and therefore the bus schedule for high schools has changed. A complete schedule of drop offs and pickups is available here: https://www.palmbeachschools.org/districtnews/2016/12/14/district-announces-bus-schedule-for-winter-exam-week/

• Candi Carson, wife of Dr. Ben Carson recently visited Allamanda Elementary School for a reading day, fostering the love of reading in the students and also taking time to join fellow volunteer readers. Allamanda Elementary is one of ten School District schools with Ben Carson Reading rooms that are meant to be cozy and comfortable places for the children to select books and read. Here is a video of the day: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oFpXrXQo4RM&feature=youtu.be

• The Middle School and High School Science Fair is underway at the South Florida Fairgrounds. Check out a couple of our students who presented their projects on Facebook Live: https://www.facebook.com/PBCSD

• The International Baccalaureate students at Conniston Middle School have been working to raise money to bring clean water to rural parts of India. Their fundraising efforts have made nearly $12,000. This summer, 20 of the students will be traveling to India for ten days to see where their work is needed. Here is the story from the Education Network. Please let me know if I can set up an interview with the teacher behind this program and her students: https://youtu.be/u8JQqpR0a24

• Four students were honored at the Board meeting this week for winning the Superintendent’s Holiday Card Competition. The cards will be distributed throughout the community and feature art from elementary, middle and high school students.

The winners are:

• Meybelyn Bauza, Clifford O. Taylor/Kirklane Elementary School (a Palm Springs resident)

• Maria Viloria, Omni Middle School (A Boca Raton resident)

• Angela Valenti, Forest Hill High School (A West Palm Beach resident)

• Nestor Jimenez,Royal Palm Beach Community High School (A Royal Palm Beach resident)

• A reminder that Dec. 17  is the annual Shop with a School Cop event in Belle Glade. Seventy-seven students from Glades-area schools will have a visit with Santa, enjoy breakfast and be paired with a School Police officer,  given a Wal-Mart gift card and be taken to the store to shop for holiday gifts with the officers. This is the third year of the program, and I really hope you will cover this great event that further fosters the fantastic relationships our School Police officers have with our students. The day’s itinerary is available here: https://news.palmbeachschools.org/pao/2016/12/14/media-advisory-school-police-hosting-shop-with-a-cop-for-77-glades-area-students/

• We are still celebrating the Pahokee High School football team’s state championship title. On Dec. 17  the town is holding a parade in their honor and a celebration to follow. The parade begins at 11 a.m. and will lead to Anquan Boldin Stadium on Pahokee’s campus where the celebration will continue.

• Lake Park Elementary School students have been selected to shop with the Miami Dolphins! Monday, selected students will board a bus to travel to Davie to pair up with the players and fulfill their wish list at Toys R Us. This is a very unique and special opportunity for the students at Lake Park Elementary School as 97 percent of their students qualify for the free lunch program based on their family’s financial need. The bus is scheduled to return to the school at 6 and we’d love to see you there to greet the excited students.

• There is no Board meeting this week. The next Board workshop will be January 11 and the next Board meeting will be January 18.

• This is a reminder that students will be off from December 23-January 9. District offices will be closed December 26-January 5. We will be publishing a recap of the year’s best stories on our Website during that time.

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