Superintendent's Weekly Review - St. John, Florida


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Superintendent's Weekly Review - St. John, Florida

  1. 1. SUPERINTENDENT’S WEEKLY REVIEW March 7, 2011Legislative Session OpensThis week marks the opening of the 2011 legislative session, and numerous bills impactingeducation have been filed. We are closely watching the proposed legislation that deals withPerformance Pay/Tenure as it will dramatically change the way teachers and administrators areevaluated and paid. Essentially, this bill requires school districts to evaluate and pay teachersprimarily on the basis of student test scores. It also eliminates tenure and requires districts tocreate end-of-course exams for all subjects and grade levels.In addition, we are monitoring the work of the Legislature as they prepare the budget for the2011-2012 school year. Governor Scott, in his budget recommendation to the Legislature,proposed a 10% reduction in funds to schools. These potential cuts come on the heels of cuts in2008, 2009 and 2010, which have resulted in our overall budget being reduced by 25%. Duringthis time we have increased enrollment by thousands of students.To understand the dramatic effect of this type of cut, we would need to lose 275 teachingpositions or 344 overall staff positions to balance our budget. We certainly do not intend to takethis drastic action; however, the impact of the Governor’s cut is over $17 million to our schooldistrict. We certainly hope the Legislature will restore our funding so that we can meet the needsof our students. I discuss both of these issues in my recent podcast, which you can access fromour website.I encourage all citizens, including staff members, to pay very close attention to what ishappening during the legislative session and to become actively involved by expressing youropinion. Our children need your voice. Executive CabinetCommunity Relations Update by Margie DavidsonStrategic PlanThe 2010-2015 Strategic Plan was approved by the School Board in December, and the StrategicPlan team members have put together a presentation to share with staff at each school during the 1 of 4
  2. 2. next three months. High schools are scheduled for 7:45 a.m., middle schools for 1:30 p.m. andelementary schools for 2:30 p.m. The event should last approximately 30 minutes, with time forquestions following. All presentations will take place on Wednesdays because of the earlyrelease schedule. The first presentations are scheduled March 9 at St. Johns Technical HighSchool, Sebastian Middle School, Liberty Pines Academy and Timberlin Creek ElementarySchool. Communication with employees is the first step in the implementation of the newStrategic Plan.SREYThe annual School-Related Employee of the Year Reception will be held on Tuesday, March 22at First Coast Technical College (FCTC). The evening will begin at 6 p.m. with registration andphotos of the nominees. A reception will follow starting at 6:15 p.m., and the program will beginat 7 p.m. Thirty-four school representatives, along with three district nominees, will be honoredat the event. Each SREY will receive an engraved pen and certificate, and the district winner willbe announced that evening. Their name will then be forwarded to the regional competition.Retired and Senior Volunteer Program/Volunteer ServicesVolunteer ReceptionThe Annual Outstanding School Volunteer and Volunteer Coordinator Reception will be held onThursday, April 27 at 6:30 p.m. at FCTC. Honorees will include Outstanding School Volunteersin the youth, adult and senior categories, plus recognition of the Volunteer Coordinators at eachschool. The district winners for the Outstanding School Volunteers in each category will beannounced at the reception, as well as the Parent Involvement Award winners.Chocolate and Beyond GalaThe 18th Annual RSVP Chocolate and Beyond Gala was held last month. This anticipated eventincluded an abundance of chocolate, appetizers and various desserts from some of the area’sfinest culinary artisans and restaurants. Proceeds from the gala help fund the upcoming AnnualRSVP Recognition Luncheon. This is a once-a-year event which gives RSVP the opportunity tosay "thank you" to its more than 650 volunteers by providing lunch, awards and door prizes. Theluncheon helps volunteers get revitalized in order to continue meeting critical community needsin St. Johns County. This year’s event will take place on May 3 at FCTC.Volunteer WeekNational Volunteer Week is April 10-16. This is a great time for us to stop and thank ourvolunteers for their tireless efforts. Their contributions make a huge impact in the lives of ourstudents throughout St. Johns County, and the service and time they donate is priceless. TheSchool Board will be recognizing Annual Volunteer Week at its monthly meeting in April. The2010-2011 Golden and Silver Schools will be recognized at the May School Board meeting fortheir commitment in the areas of community volunteer service, volunteer coordination andstudent volunteer service. 2 of 4
  3. 3. St. Johns Education FoundationConsortium MeetingMembers of the St. Johns County Education Foundation will be attending the annual meeting ofthe Consortium of Florida Education Foundations scheduled this week in Tallahassee. Whilethere they will be visiting legislators and encouraging them to continue to support the matchingfunds program available to all district foundations in the state. The SJCEF uses these funds toprovide Horizon Grants for schools and teachers.Take Stock in ChildrenTake Stock in Children will host its New Beginnings luncheon next month as four new studentssign contracts for TSIC scholarships. This brings the total number of TSIC students in St. JohnsCounty to 52. Students who meet the criteria are eligible for four-year college scholarships. ON THE HORIZONAYCA NominationsMonday, March 14 is the deadline to submit nominations for the character education awardsprogram established by Character Counts! of St. Johns County. The awards are part of theAmerican Youth Character Awards (AYCA) program and recognize high school juniors andseniors who exhibit the Six Pillars of Character. The program is open to current juniors andseniors attending high school in St. Johns County. Nomination forms are available on the schooldistrict website at three percent of the junior class at each high school and one percent of the seniorclass will be honored at the Eleventh Annual AYCA Banquet to be held April 28 at theRenaissance Resort at World Golf Village. STATUS REPORTSSchool Board UpdateThe School Board’s monthly meeting is scheduled at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, March 8 in the SchoolBoard Administration Building at 40 Orange Street. The agenda includes recognition of theOverall 2011 River Region East Science Fair winners, the 2011 Rookie Teacher of the Year and 3 of 4
  4. 4. Teacher of the Year, as well as retiring employees. There is also a presentation on LegislativeDay by Bartram Trail High School students. Action items include requests for approval of twobudget amendments.Did You Know…? • Students from Pedro Menendez High School’s Masonry Program, sponsored by Cemex, won the Florida Masonry Apprentice and Educational Foundation (FMAEF) Masonry Showcase for the fourth straight year. Menendez competed against six other schools, Camden County High School, Bradford Tech, Suwannee Tech, Traviss Tech, Marion Tech and West Nassau High School. There were 33 students participating, and Jacob Fulford from Menendez scored the highest points, 957 out of a possible 1,000. Ray Robinson from Jim Allan Masonry in Gainesville, the Winner of the 2011 Brick 500 (Best Bricklayer in America) and the 2011 National 2 nd place Fastest Trowel Winner, was on hand to inspire the young masons. • Ten elementary schools from St. Johns County participated in the recent 14th Annual Bag It Up Drive to benefit Goodwill Industries. Students were encouraged to generate more than 60% participation among their student body to be eligible for a two-hour Radio Disney party. Both Liberty Pines Academy and PVPV/Rawlings had 100% participation. Mill Creek, Durbin Creek and Timberlin Creek all qualified for a party as well. The event was co-sponsored by Radio Disney and Firehouse Subs. The Character Counts! Pillar for March is Trustworthiness. “Trust builds relationships. Relationships build people.” Duane Hodgin 4 of 4