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For the parents, students, staff, and community of Spanish River Community High School

Spanish River

Community High School 5100 Jog Road Boca Raton, FL 33496 Phone: (561) 241-2200


Mr. Latson, Principal Mrs. Goron, Assistant Principal

Student Services Mr. Markwardt AP Students A-D Mrs. Orndorff AP Students E-K Mrs. Carril AP Students L-Q Mr. Sollod AP Students R-Z

February 2017

Volume 1 • Issue 3

The Spanish River Vision Our vision is to create a nationally known high school highly regarded for its academic excellence, while helping all students prepare for and be accepted into post secondary education or careers.

A Message from the Principal Hello Spanish River Community, Our first semester went very well, as evidenced by some of the information you will see inside our newsletter. Just after the break we received word from the Florida Department of Education that we have maintained our “A” ranking. We also received the final calculations of the previous year’s graduation rate. I am proud to announce that Spanish River has increased our graduation rate to 93.9%! While that is but a part of why I am proud to be a Shark, it is a definite source of pride, and proof of the hard work our students, teachers, and staff put in on a daily basis. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of the parents and family members for supporting us throughout the year, and I want to thank the numerous volunteers who are on campus every day. Your help is critical to the smooth functioning of our school and our success. We are in the third quarter and in the home stretch for our seniors with our graduation date set on May 23th. We will be starting testing in various areas during the 3rd quarter, so please check our schedule to make sure our students are on time when and if they have to test. Our juniors will also be taking the SAT during the school day on Wednesday, March 1st allowing them the opportunity to get scores and see their current levels. Please check Edline for directions to link your child’s College Board account to his/her Khan Academy account. This will provide them free SAT practice specific to their achievement on the test. We will be starting the process of scheduling students for the 2017-18 school year very soon. In the next month we will send home course selection sheets with our students. Our goal is to have you sit down with your child and have some discussion around their goals and aspirations regarding his/her post-secondary plans. You will be able to use that information to help them make decisions about the courses they would like to take that will help them achieve those goals. We are working hard on the master schedule as we have to be very deliberate in our courses due to the financial shortcomings passed onto us by our State Legislature. As we enter the long stretch prior to FSA testing in April, I want to remind all of our students to keep working hard and remain focused. We know our students are working hard and that was evident in their achievement during the first semester. We had 231 freshmen to earn all A’s and B’s on their report card; that is an outstanding accomplishment. Parents if you need assistance or just have questions regarding your child and school, please make sure you call or come by to see us so we can assist you with supporting our students. Their success is our only goal. Sincerely, Principal William Latson

2 Testing Procedure Change Regarding Smart Watches

The School District policy regarding wireless communication devices has been updated and includes current or emerging wireless handheld technologies or portable information technology systems. Smart phone watches, including the Apple watch, and any other watch that have the same capabilities are now governed. Students are allowed to possess a wireless communication device while they are on school property however the wireless communications device function needs to be disabled so that its functions, including any bluetooth and camera capabilities are off and similar functions are not active. The watches are not allowed to be worn while the student is taking any state or district mandated test, the FSA or EOCs. It is suggested the watches be left at home on testing days so the watch is secure and the student does not take the chance of having their test invalidated. If the student is required to remove the watch from sight, the watches may be more easily subject to loss or theft and are not the responsibility of the school district. Under the Student Code of Conduct wireless communication devices violations are considered Level 1 incidents unless used for cheating. Information regarding the wearing of the watch for SAT, ACT and/or AICE testing could come at a later date and, if so, we will provide you with an update.


River PTSA is busy planning for our big end of the year event - Project Graduation.  Project Graduation is our all night celebration for our new graduates on the night of their graduation on May 23rd.  This all night event is  drug free, alcohol free and keeps our kids off the roads. We start the party at 11PM at Boomer’s in Boca.  Everything is included - unlimited games, attractions, casino, DJ, great food, raffles and so much more. We end the party at 5AM after our Hypnotist Show which is always the highlight of the night. 85% of the senior class usually attends and the reviews are always outstanding. Admission is a Project Graduation t-shirt which will be sold for $20 in May. Please note - there is a t-shirt design contest in March for any senior who would like to submit a design. Seniors will learn more about this Feb. 2 in their English classes. Also - we are always looking for (non-senior) Parent Volunteers for that night. It’s a great time for everyone involved and we’d love to have you join our team! Email us at for more info.

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School Calendar

February 20, 2017-Teacher Work Day (No School) March 16, 2017-3rd Quarter ends March 17, 2017-Teacher Work Day (No School) March 20-24, 2017- Spring Break March 27, 2017 4th Quarter begins April 11, 2017- 3rd Quarter Report Cards Distributed April 14, 2017- Spring Holiday May 29, 2017- Memorial Day June 2, 2017- 4th Quarter ends June 2, 2017-Last day of school

Blue Passes- Suite A

Student Services wrote 859 blue passes in the 2nd 9 weeks of school (Oct 24-Dec 16). Of those passes, 53 students have 3 blue passes or more. Blue Passes are for doctor appointments and illness only - please keep this in mind when you request a blue pass. Blue Pass requests should be made an hour or two before the needed time in order to honor the request. Remember, students are allowed 5 Blue Passes per semester. 2nd Semester is from Jan 9-June 2.

Special Visitor to WSRH

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Mr. Weddle received a special visitor to WSRH, Stephanie Susskind, a former student in Mr. Weddle’s class at River is now an anchor and reporter for WPTV Channel 5 News stopped by her old station, at Spanish River to say hello! Mr. Weddle is very proud of Stephanie. Go River! Class of ‘04

Attendance Matters! Tardies- Suite A

Student Services issued 3,648 tardies in the 2nd 9 weeks of school (Oct 24-Dec 22). Please help us get those numbers down by getting your child to school early or speaking to your child about getting to class on time throughout the day. Tardies were cleared when we returned from winter break.

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GRADBASH • • • • •

GradBash tickets may be purchased online or in person. The cost is $125. The online deadline is 2/17. It is a one-lump sum purchase. We will be selling tickets at lunch in person from 2/21-2/24 in front of the main office. All obligations will be checked. Bus assignment info: • If you paid online, you must bring proof of purchase to the table by 2/24. If you’d like to sit with your friends, you need to come to the table together. • If you pay in person, bus assignments will be given right then and there. You should approach the table with the people you want to sit with.

“Shark Currents” February 2017 Published Five Times Per Year The School District of Palm Beach County 3300 Forest Hill Blvd. West Palm Beach, FL 33406 Issue 3

PROM • • •

Prom tickets will be sold online and in person. The cost is $100. Obligations will be checked and out of school dates must be approved. Online purchases: prom tickets may be purchased online in 1 of 2 ways. • Payment Plan: prom payments are divided up into 4 $25 payments. You may spread your payment out until March 5th. • Lump sum: if you want to purchase your ticket online BUT you want to pay the full $100 at once, you can pay all 4 $25 payments in one sitting; you must click on each payment separately and pay 4 times to do this. • In person (full price) purchases will take place 3/6-3/10 in front of the main office at lunch. Questions?: See Mrs. Russell (8106) or Mrs. Collins (8148). Deadlines are firm!! Website:

GRADUATION INFORMATION Spanish River will have Graduation on Tuesday, May 23rd, 2017, 4:00pm at the South Florida Fairgrounds in West Palm Beach.

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PRE-ORDER GRADUATION VIDEO Seniors can pre-order a DVD of Spanish River’s 2017 Graduation ceremony through School Cash Online at: through May 23rd. The cost is $10.00 and Seniors can pick up their DVD in Suite A on May 25 & 26, 2017.

AP Exam Schedule Test DateWeek 1

Morning (8 AM)

Afternoon (12 PM)

Mon, May 1

AP Chemistry AP Environmental Science

AP Psychology

Tues, May 2

AP Computer Science A AP Spanish Language and Culture

AP Art History AP Physics 1:  Algebra- based

Wed, May 3

AP English Literature and Composition

AP Physics 2:  Algebra-based

Thur, May 4

AP United States Government and Politics

Fri, May 5

AP United States History

AP Computer Science Principles

Mon, May 8

AP Biology

AP Physics C: Mechanics

Tue, May 9

AP Calculus AB AP Calculus BC

AP Spanish Literature and Culture

Wed, May 10

AP English Language and Composition

AP Macroeconomics

Thur, May 11

AP Comparative Government and Politics AP World History

AP Statistics

Fri, May 12

AP Human Geography AP Microeconomics

AP European History

Week 2

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Guidance Corner

The start of a new year (and a new semester) provides an opportunity for students to set academic goals, and implement action plans to reach them. Here are some reminders as we begin the 2nd half of the school year: • For each non-EOC class you passed 1st semester, you earned .50 credit (ex: if you took and passed 7 classes, you earned 3.5 credits). For EOC classes, no credit is earned for the semester. One (1.0) credit will be added at the end of the school year for each EOC course passed. • If you failed any academic or required elective class(es) 1st semester, speak to your Counselor ASAP to devise a plan to make it up. • Your 1st semester grades in each non-EOC class have been averaged into your cumulative GPA/ HPA. This cumulative GPA is what affects graduation status, sports eligibility, various scholarship eligibility, etc. • Your absence count starts back at zero for non-EOC classes. Missing more than 10 days requires you to take and pass the final exam to earn 2nd semester credit. This is especially relevant for seniors who have the chance to be exempt from their final exams. • Your absences from 1st semester roll over to 2nd semester for EOC classes. Missing more 18 days in an EOC class requires you to pass the 4th quarter in the class(es) to earn credit. • Take control of your education. There is so much information available to students these days. Many teachers post all assignments on their Edline pages. We include important dates, deadlines, upcoming events, scholarships, and more on our Guidance Department’s Edline, and our social media sites. • Continue to put maximum effort into your academics, attend every class regularly, complete and turn in all assignments, be prepared for each class, and take advantage of lunch time tutoring (if needed).

Seniors – Now is the Time to Apply for Financial Aid and Scholarships: State and federal financial aid applications are open, along with many other local and national scholarships. We encourage Seniors to apply to as many of these as possible to increase their chances of earning money to help pay for post-secondary schooling. Be mindful of the various college Financial Aid deadlines. 1. FAFSA: The Free Application for Federal Student Aid is used to determine the dollar amount you or your family will be expected to contribute towards college. All federal grant and loan awards are determined by the FAFSA, and nearly all colleges use the FAFSA as the basis for their own financial aid awards. 2. FFAA: The Florida Financial Aid Application is used to apply for the various State of Florida scholarship and grant programs including Bright Futures, First Generation, Florida Resident Access, and more. 3. Spanish River Scholarship Bulletin: Lists many local and national scholarships in order of deadlines, and is updated regularly. Available in the Guidance Department and on our school webpage. 4. Free Scholarship Databases: Students of all grade levels may set up a free profile, and are matched to applications for scholarships that fit their profile. • •

College Fridays

Every Friday is college shirt day! Show off your favorite school by wearing a college shirt every Friday. #CollegeFridays


Our school day SAT is scheduled for March 1, 2017 for Juniors and it will include the essay. Please make sure your child has the following: pencils, calculator, photo ID, and admission ticket. Get to bed early and have a good breakfast the morning of the test. Check Edline for the altered bell schedule. Good luck!

Battle of the Books

Ninth grade students participated in this year’s Battle of the Books. Students worked in teams of five, reading a total of 15 awardwinning contemporary young adult novels. They then competed against each other by doing a 20-minute online test. Great job Ninth Grade students!

College Admission Essays 101

The next FAU writing workshop, co-sponsored by the PTSA is scheduled for Wednesday, March 15, 2017 at 3 pm in the Spanish River Media Center. The cost is $40. Registration information will be posted to the school website and edline or your can visit or call 561-406-8338 for more details.

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Friends for a Change

Friends for a Change is a group that facilitates contributions from the River Family for causes from local to international. Our recent effort was a collection of medical supplies for Hurricane Matthew victims in Haiti. The River Family gathered a van full of supplies for the cause. Special thanks to Ms. Fishman, Ms. Carter, Ms. Delaney, and Ms. Budd and their students. Stay tuned for our third quarter activity!

Rock of Ages Musical


The Spanish River Theater Arts Department is proud to present the 1980’s pop rock musical “Rock of Ages” on April 21st, 22nd and 23rd. For more information and tickets visit Below, student choreographer Arianna Staton leads the company in a flash mob courtyard performance this past fall.


On Friday, Jan. 20th, 250 DECA students went to Keiser University in West Palm Beach to compete in 33 different events at the 2017 DECA District Competition. Remarkably, River DECA had a district champion in 20 of the 33 events and won a total of 176 of the 300 awards! There are a total of 220 students who qualified to move on to the Florida Career and Development Conference in Orlando on March 2. This includes the students who competed and qualified by writing 30 page business manuals, as well as, those students who placed on Jan. 20th. Congratulations DECA students and good luck at States! Go Sharks!

Did you know?

Spanish River has a sizable population of English Language Learners (ELLs). Currently, we have nearly 90 active ELLs, many of whom have special English and reading classes to help them acquire language skills quickly and effectively. We also have 42 inactive ELLs who used to be in our ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) program, but were exited less than two years ago and are being monitored. Finally, our student body boasts 147 former ELLs who were completely exited from our ESOL program and are now thriving at Spanish River. Among the many countries represented on our campus are Brazil, Haiti, Colombia, Venezuela, Honduras, Chile, Peru, China, Vietnam, Thailand, Myanmar, Laos, Israel, Turkey, Egypt, Russia, Serbia, Hungary, Poland, and Italy. We are without a doubt a multicultural school!

Thespian Troupe 3963

Spanish River’s International Thespian Troupe 3963 traveled to BAK middle school of the Arts on January 19th and performed their superior rated district one act “The Dance Company”. The troupe performed for hundreds of students in both of BAK’s mainstage and studio theaters and was able to adjust their performances for different audiences and performance spaces. The troupe will be presenting the 1980’s pop rock spring musical “Rock of Ages 101”, April 21, 22, 23 in the Countess de Hoernle Theatre. For more information and tickets visit www.

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Spanish River’s Tri-County Animal Rescue Club

Spanish River’s Tri-County Animal Rescue Club recently had Susan Beattie, an outstanding guest speaker, come share her experience with writing her book Luke’s Story. Susan met with a handful of the members of this year’s club, who were enthralled to listen to her stories and look at her colorful pictures, during a reading about a puppy found abandoned on the roadside. Susan was delighted to be among the many animal lovers as the students asked many questions of author and former teacher. Susan gave some advice to the students by saying, “To be engaged in this cause you too can empower other young adults in the protection and care to help rescue, rehabilitate and rehome.” We spent the better part of an hour in the media center at Spanish River High School as she turned the pages of her other recently published non-fiction children’s books. Two of the clubs officers, Samantha Silverman and Alison Greene, were responsible for getting our school involved with starting this club. They felt that our local Tri-County Animal Shelter deserved our best foot forward in raising funds and awareness of the homeless animals’ plight. Our club has reached out to our local Boca Raton elementary schools and they will all receive an autographed copy of Luke’s Story to share with their students in hopes they too become rescue animal advocates. We all feel it’s a yearround need to give generously to the many pets that are given safe harbor until they find their “fur-ever” home. To date we have raised $1,025 to purchase items on their website to care for their animals waiting to be adopted. For further details on how others can get involved with our student club: Spanish River’s TriCounty Animal Shelter Rescue contact

Donation Request for Spanish River’s Tri-County Animal Rescue Club

We will be collecting gently used articles of bedding, towels, and blankets for our local animal shelter. Donations can be dropped off in the Media Center. Collection of these items will be through the remainder of this month.

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POW! Club

The POW Club is hosting a fundraiser throughout the month of March to raise money for The Thirst Project. The Thirst Project is an organization that helps build clean water wells to provide safe drinking water in underdeveloped countries. Each participating homeroom will be given a gerry can (which are used by people in developing countries to collect and carry water from dirty sources) to collect money and change. Our goal is $12,000 to fund our own well. This well will provide clean drinking water for a lifetime for an entire village! The winning homeroom class will receive their choice of a donut or bagel party courtesy of POW! Club.

Holocaust Remembrance Lunch Presentation

On Wednesday, January 18, Dara Weinstein organized a speaker to address students after school on a different perspective of Holocaust survival. The speaker, Rebecca Barber, translated her mother’s diary (1929-1940) from German to English. She discovered that her mother’s family was one of the fortunate families that was saved by Sousa Mendez, a Portuguese consul who provided a multitude of visas to Jews and nonJews fleeing from Hitler’s grasp. Mendez was punished by the government for his excessive generosity. His legacy has long outlived him. Mrs. Barber has published her mother’s diary and she lectures on the route her mother followed to freedom in the United States.

Spanish River Leadership and ESE Social

Students with SRHS Leadership Class culminated their project by coming to Miss Donnino’s special needs classroom, making friendship bracelets as well as setting up a photo booth to take silly pictures with the students.  All of the students had a wonderful time making new friends and working together to celebrate differences.  The Leadership students truly exemplified what it is to be a SHARK and serve as role models for our exceptional student population.

A Team


The A-Team (which stands for Academic Team) competed in the Commissioner’s Academic Challenge during the month of January. They placed first in the round one of their bracket which advanced them to the second round where they competed against the top 6 schools in the county. They placed 2nd in the county!  Jacob Rubin (12th grade) was selected as a member of the county team that will represent Palm Beach County at the statewide competition that will be held at Walt Disney World in April. The A-Team also competed in School Duel, a quiz bowl style tournament. You can watch them compete in their first round at 7:00 pm on April 13th on channel 19 on Comcast; channel 63 on AT&T U-Verse, Dish Network, and DIRECTV. Team members include Jacob Rubin (12), Cole Deutch (12), Liam Graf (12), Joshua Romero (12), Gillian Sapperstein (11), Dara Weinstein (11), Jordan Merrill (11), Sam Rosenthal (11), and Danni Mackler (10)

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Spanish River Community High School 5100 Jog Road Boca Raton, FL 33496

Non-Profit Organization U.S. Postage PAID Orlando, FL Permit #2346


8 Cross Country News

Congratulations to Rylee Pustilnik on being named by both the Palm Beach Post and Sun-Sentinel Newspapers as Cross Country Athlete of the Year for Palm Beach County. Rylee finished in 13th Place at the State Cross Country Championships. For the season, Rylee won 5 meets and was City, Conference, District and Regional Champion. She also ran 7 of the top 20 fastest times in Spanish River Girls Cross Country history tying the school record of 18:31. This is no small feat as Spanish River has a long history of success in Girls Cross Country with 7 State Championships. Congratulations to Jake Noonan, Alex Kline, Chris French, Will Noonan, Houston Barenholtz and Sam Rosenthal on being named to the All County Team for Cross Country by both the Palm Beach Post and Sun-Sentinel newspapers. Jake, Alex, Chris and Will were named to the First Team All-County, Houston was named to the Second Team and Sam received an Honorable Mention. The boys team proved to everyone that they are truly one of the best teams in the State with a 5th place team finish at the State Cross Country Championships. It was a spectacular season and one of the best ever in Spanish River Boys Cross Country history. The Boys ended the season as Conference, City, County, District and Region Champions and 5th in the State. They won a total of 6 meets and had a team record of 190 team wins and only lost to 9 teams throughout the entire season.

Swimming News

The following swimmers made the South District All County Team in the following events: Larissa Anthony, senior, (fly) 200 medley relay; Danni Mackler, sophomore, 200 free; Frances Morales, senior, 200 (br) medley and 200 fr relay; Emily Smith, junior, 400 free relay; Aaron Reiser, sophomore, 200 medley and 400 free relay, Drake Gil, sophomore, 500 free and 400 free relay.

P.E. Equipment Donation Request

We are looking for New or Rarely used Treadmills, Stationary Bicycles, Ellipticals, or Spin Bikes that anyone would like to donate to the Physical Education Department. If you have one of these items to donate please contact Coach Eaton at: Lori.

Spanish River High School Newsletter