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South County Sentinel WINTER 2020


St. Johns County School District

St. Johns County School District Accountability & Intervention Services Sebastian Administrative Annex 3015 Lewis Speedway, Unit #3 St. Augustine, FL 32084 (904) 547-8922

Mission The St. Johns County School District will inspire good character and a passion for lifelong learning in all students, creating educated and caring contributors to the world.

Vision All students will choose a learning path that leads to a well-rounded graduate who demonstrates good character and leadership.

South County Geo-Zone Schools W.D. Hartley Elementary School Paul Goricki, Principal Otis A. Mason Elementary School Monique Keaton, Principal South Woods Elementary School Angela Rodgers, Principal Gamble Rogers Middle School Greg Bergamasco, Principal Pedro Menendez High School Clay Carmichael, Principal

A Message from Mr. King

Dear Parents and Students:

As we approach the midpoint of the 2020-21 academic year under the guidelines of the “new normal” due to COVID-19, we are pleased to publish our first issue of the South County Sentinel. The purpose of this newsletter is to connect you as families, not only with the schools in our community, but also with each other. With many of you distance learning and self-isolating for health and other reasons, we know that facilitating these connections is especially important this year. Parent involvement is more vital than ever to the success of our students and schools, at all ages and levels, from pre-K-12. The impact of your involvement as your child progresses through school will have a dramatic positive effect on their social emotional and academic achievements. Whether your child is distance learning or attending school inperson, all parent involvement activities are currently being held virtually. Please check the dates and times in this newsletter for your school’s SAC and PTO meetings, and plan to join these meetings online whenever possible. The school-based articles included in this issue highlight some of the creative learning happening from Pre-K through 12th grade. As you will read, our schools are implementing learning strategies that give students a chance to think critically and tackle real-world problems, skills which can’t always be assessed via testing, but are extraordinarily important for success in any career. As a school district, we embrace having a growth mindset, which recognizes the value of making mistakes and learning from them to create a better solution. At no time has our growth mindset been more important than in our current situation, which requires our teachers and students to be flexible and adaptable in their delivery of instruction and their learning. Best wishes for a happy and healthy holiday season. Together, we can make this unusual year a great one for our students. Sincerely, Wayne King Associate Superintendent Accountability & Intervention Services


W.D. Hartley Elementary School

Character Counts for Hartley’s Brick & Mortar and Distance Learners

Hartley teachers share a mission for children: “First we love them, then we teach them.” This year, many of Hartley’s students are learning at school in safe cohorts, while others are learning at home, safe with a family member. In school or at home, Hartley students continue to learn and live the Character Counts Pillars: Caring, Respect, Responsibility, Fairness, Trustworthiness, and Citizenship. At the beginning of the 2020-21 school year, staff and students were encouraged to promote kindness and positivity via Kid President’s Guide to Being Awesome. Students, staff and families have watched videos and participated in different kindness challenges and shared kindness cards and pep talks. During October, Hartley Elementary focused on bullying prevention. Students and staff participated in Unity Day by wearing orange and discussing the importance of kindness and acceptance for all. During Red Ribbon Week, we celebrated not only saying no to drugs, but also saying no to bullying and all children pledged to be upstanding and drug-free. In November, we celebrated the National Month of Gratitude with a video that describes what gratitude means and 30-day Gratitude Challenge. On November 13th, Hartley students participated in World Kindness Day by sharing positive messages with one another. School staff and students will continue being grateful during the holidays, spending time with those they love. Every day, character counts for members of the Hartley school community.

Parent Involvement Opportunities School Advisory Council (SAC) Chaired by 3rd grade simultaneous instruction (SI) teacher Amber Kerly, the HES SAC meets virtually the first Tuesday of each month at 3:05 p.m. on Microsoft Teams. Meeting Dates: 2/2/21, 3/2/21, 4/6/21, 5/4/21, and 6/1/21. Please email Amber Kerly at amber.kerly@ stjohns.k12.fl.us for a link to join the meetings. Parent Teacher Organization (PTO) Hartley PTO members are committed to active involvement in the lives of their children at school. The PTO supports instructional initiatives and provides funding for enjoyable learning experiences. Please email PTO President Megan Register at PTOHartley@ gmail.com for more information.

Otis A. Mason Elementary School Community Partnerships Make the Holidays Happier As a Title I school, Otis A. Mason Elementary builds relationships with local businesses, service organizations, faith-based organizations, and other schools in our district to care for students and families who may need additional support, especially during the holiday season. In the midst of an especially difficult year due to the pandemic and resulting economic downturn, our community partnerships are more important than ever. So far this year, we are sponsoring a total of 32 families for both Thanksgiving and Christmas with the help of the following partners: Thanksgiving Partners • Publix Supermarkets • Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority to Feed Families • Kiwanis International • Otis Mason Families Christmas Partners • Good News Club • Palm Valley Academy • PVPV Rawlings Elementary School • Otis Mason Families, Faculty, & Staff Pictured here is the fully stocked food pantry at Otis Mason Elementary School. Thanks to the support of local partner organizations, no one will go hungry this holiday season!

Parent Involvement Opportunities School Advisory Council (SAC) Chaired by 2nd Grade Teacher Virginia Jones, the Otis Mason SAC meets virtually on Tuesdays at 3:30 p.m. on Microsoft Teams. Meeting Dates: 1/26/21, 2/23/21, 3/23/21, 4/27/21, and 5/25/21. Please email Virginia.Jones@stjohns.k12.fl.us for a link to join the meetings. Parent Teacher Organization (PTO) The Otis Mason PTO is comprised of parents working together to support our school, the principal, and teachers and staff. Through our fundraisers like the Raise Craze and our Spirit Rock, we create a sense of community with families and raise money to support our faculty. Funds collected help us support student activities, programs and special needs that cannot be funded from the school budget. All parents are invited to attend virtual PTO meetings on the following Mondays at 5:30pm: 1/25, 2/22, 3/15, 4/19, and 5/17. Please email PTO President Casey Nickler at OtisMasonPTO@gmail.com for more information and the link to join the meetings.


South Woods Elementary School Community Partnership Puts Books Into Students Hands The inclusion of diverse books in our SWES classrooms and library has been an ongoing project with the support of Hugs Across the County and its founder, Mrs. Brette Reiman. Our sense of identity, value, and agency are influenced by many things, including the books we read. Choosing a book that represents the wider world around us can validate a reader’s belief in their own importance. Hugs donated enough diverse books this year for our entire 1st and 2nd grade classes. As teacher Hannah Wickstrom was showcasing these books, one of her students exclaimed “All these books look like me!” Her class read together I Promise by Lebron James. Students watched a video of Mr. James’ school and are planning to write him letters. Research shows that books should be “mirrors, windows and doors,” and that all children should see themselves in the pages of the books they read. If we only see characters and experiences that reflect our own, we are more likely to believe that our own experience is more important or valid than those that are unfamiliar. It is particularly important to note that marginalized children aren’t the only ones reading and being exposed to diverse books, nor are their lives the only ones that will be enriched by reading them. Reading books that represent different abilities, cultures, beliefs, and skin colors help all of us change our attitude toward those differences. THANK YOU Hugs Across the County!

Parent Involvement Opportunities School Advisory Council (SAC) Chaired by Pre-K teacher Emma Dorschel, the South Woods SAC meets virtually on the second Tuesday of each month at 4:30 p.m. on Microsoft Teams. Meeting Dates: 1/12/21, 2/9/21, 3/9/21, 4/13/21, and 5/11/21. Please email Emma.Dorschel@stjohns.k12. fl.us for a link to join the meetings. Parent Teacher Organization (PTO) The South Woods PTO facilitates and builds the relationship between the school and the community by raising funds and sponsoring fun and engaging activities and programs for students and families, and supporting teacher appreciation. PTO meetings are held virtually the first Tuesday of each month at 4:30pm. Please email PTO President Lynne Sykes at SouthWoodsPTO@gmail.com for the link to join the meetings and visit the PTO website at www.swe.stjohns.k12.fl.us/pto/ for more information.

Save the dates! • • • • •

Jan 12 - Picture retakes and Club photos Feb 1-8 - PTO Valentine Grams & Smencil orders Feb 19 - Classroom photos Feb 22-Mar 5 - Krispy Kreme Donut Sale (orders taken) Mar 15-16 - Krispy Kreme order pick up

Gamble Rogers Middle School National Recognition for Media Specialist Lou Greco In addition to being recognized as this year’s GRMS Teacher of the Year, Media Specialist Lou Greco was also a finalist for the American Association of School Librarian’s (AASL) National School Library Program of the Year. Mr. Greco has been our media specialist for the past five years after retiring as the SJCSD Director for Media Services, Instructional Technology and Instructional Materials. He has transformed our GRMS media center into the hub of our school. ​ Here is a quote from AASL about the GRMS Media Center and Mr. Greco:​ “Mr. Greco has found a way to elevate the stature and relevance of school librarians and their usage in the school and community. It was fascinating to see the overall team of people that we interviewed express the same message of Mr. Greco and how relevant he is to what they do individually.The collaboration with faculty and cohesive work done together is an example of how much trust is present with Mr. Greco and his community. Mr. Greco runs an exemplary, studentfocused library program with a love of reading at its foundation. The impact of his program is far-reaching, and he has had a strong, positive impact on stakeholders who interact with him. It’s admirable and incredible how Mr. Greco has connected with students, making the Library a place of respite, relief, and a safe place for all to flourish with his support.”​ GRMS is so proud of the impact our library media center has on our staff, students, and community! Scan the QR code for a student tour showcasing the wonders of our GRMS library!

Parent Involvement Opportunities Upcoming PTO (2:00 PM) and SAC (3:00 PM) meetings are on 1/19, 2/16, 4/20, and 5/18. All meetings are held virtually at this time. Parents and community members are encouraged to join us.​ School Advisory Council (SAC) is chaired by Tracy Melgard, 7th grade Civics teacher. Please email Tracy. Melgard@stjohns.k12.fl.us for a link to join our SAC meetings. ​ Parent Teacher Organization (PTO) president is Sandra Lepore. Please email lepore822@yahoo.com for a link to join our PTO meetings. ​


Pedro Menendez High School

Begin Your Career in a PMHS Program of Choice Pedro Menendez High School offers four specialized Career Academies (“Programs of Choice”) to give students an opportunity to gain skills and explore potential career paths after graduation. Each Academy is designed to marry uniquely with either the IB or the AVID program, giving students both the real-world and academic skills to help them succeed after graduation. •

Flagler Hospital Academy of Medical and Health Careers – This Academy introduces students to various careers in the medical and health fields. Students take courses such as Allied Health Assisting, Emergency Medical Responder, and EKG Technician to prepare for a future career in the healthcare industry. They gain valuable hospital experience by completing clinical experiences at Flagler Hospital during their junior year. Participants in the academy will become certified in CPR. Students also have the opportunity to earn college credits through dual enrollment or advance placement course work that can be used towards St. Johns River State College’s nursing, radiology and respiratory programs or that can be transferred to a university.

FMAEF Academy of Architecture and Building Sciences - In partnership with the Florida Masonry Apprentice and Education Foundation and the St. Johns Builder’s Council, this Academy focuses on providing skills and experience necessary to attain entry-level jobs in Architectural Drafting or Building Construction Technology. Students may choose a technical path leading to an apprenticeship or a professional path toward a certificate, two year or four year college degree. Architectural Drafting students have the opportunity to earn national industry certifications in Autodesk User, Revit, and Inventor. Building Sciences students have the opportunity to earn national industry certification in OSHA – Occupational Safety and Health Administration. All academy students have the opportunity to qualify for Bright Futures and Gold Seal Scholarships.

Vystar Academy of Business and Finance - This Academy provides students with a rigorous business program that includes relevant concepts and skills that are transferable to postsecondary education and/or the workplace. Students graduate from PMHS with a well-rounded education in general business principles, employability skills, on-the-job training, and a completed online portfolio documenting their qualifications. All business programs within the academy articulate to the St. Johns River State College and all four-year university programs offering a business major. Students may earn college credit through institutional exams, portfolio review, sequenced courses, and/or dual enrollment.

For more information, please visit https://cte.stjohns.k12.fl.us/academies/.

IB: International Baccalaureate Now in its 10th year at PMHS, the IB program offers an academically challenging and balanced program of education with final examinations that prepare students for success at university and life beyond. The program is taught over two years and has gained recognition and respect from the world’s leading universities. Students interested in the IB program at PMHS typically enroll in Pre-IB intensified courses in Grades 9 and 10 in English, Spanish, Science, and Math. Beginning in 11th grade, IB Diploma students study six courses to ensure a breadth of experience in Languages, Social Studies, the Experimental Sciences, and Mathematics. Students have a choice of a sixth subject: Psychology, Visual Arts (2D & 3D), Dance, Drama or Business Management. In addition, the program has three core requirements that are included to broaden the educational experience and challenge students to apply their knowledge and understanding: • Extended Essay requires students to engage in independent research through an in-depth study of a question relating to one of the subjects they are studying. • Theory of Knowledge is a course designed to encourage each student to reflect on the nature of knowledge by critically examining different ways of knowing (perception, emotion, language and reason) and different kinds of knowledge (scientific, artistic, mathematical and historical). • Creativity, Activity, Service requires that students actively learn from the experience of undertaking real tasks beyond the classroom. Students can combine all three components or complete activities related to each one separately. In addition, students are required to create and complete a CAS project of their own design. For more information, please visit https://www-pmhs. stjohns.k12.fl.us/ib/.

Parent Involvement Opportunities Chaired by Art Teacher Danielle Waldrop, the PMHS SAC meets virtually on the third Thursday of each month at 8:00am. Please email Mary.Waldrop@stjohns.k12.fl.us for a link to join the meetings.

District News & Events

ESE: Exceptional Student Education

ESE programs and services address the unique needs of students who are gifted in grades K-12, and those with mild, moderate and severe disabilities from age three until they graduate or reach age 21. If you have an ESE student or you are interested in learning more about ESE services, please mark your calendars to attend the ESE parent meetings planned for the remainder of the 2020-21 academic year. Gifted Parent Meetings • Dates: February 25; April 27 • Time: 6:30-8:00pm • Location: TBD; please check the district website for more information https://www. stjohns.k12.fl.us/ese/gifted/meetings/

5 Partner Spotlights

The SJCSD Department of Early Childhood Services wishes to recognize and thank the following partners for their strong support last year in hosting events and providing mentors to work with our students and families:

Parent Advisory Committee Meetings and Topics All meetings in 20-21 will be held using a WebEx virtual platform. Please email Avery.Greene@ stjohns.k12.fl.us for the link to join the meeting or check the district website at https://www. stjohns.k12.fl.us/ese/advisory/ Date: January 5, 6:00 – 7:30pm Topic: Guardianship: How to Best Protect Your Child When He or She Turns 18 Presenter: Stephen Furnari, Florida Attorney, Founder of GuardianProject.US Date: February 2, 6:00 – 7:30pm Topic: Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD): Diagnostic Criteria, Symptoms, & Strategies Presenter: Lisa D. Bailey, Ph.D.

Date: March 2, 6:00 – 7:30pm Topic: Anxiety: Diagnostic Criteria, Symptoms, & Strategies Presenter: Sarah Dew-Reeves, Ph.D. Date: April 6, 6:00 – 7:30pm Topic: Solutions to Help Children Cope with Stress Presenters: Dr. Thomas Romero and Dr. Lexie Romero

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St. Johns County School District

Accountability & Intervention Services

3015 Lewis Speedway, Unit #3 St. Augustine, FL 32084

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All About i-Ready!

In this day and age of standardized assessments, parents often feel as if their students are being over-tested and that teachers are being forced to “teach to the test.” Although all students in our district must take the FSA in the spring of each year as required by the State of Florida, teachers have wide latitude in preparing students throughout the year. One of the progress-monitoring tools adopted for use in our district is i-Ready, a computer-based assessment tool available for use in both Reading and Math for students in grades K-8. The i-Ready Diagnostic is an adaptive assessment that adjusts its questions to suit your student’s needs. Each item seen by a student is individualized based on their answer to the previous question. Based on the data collected, the I-Ready Personalized Instruction module creates lessons for students based on their individual skill level and needs, so your student can learn at a pace that is just right for them. The lessons are fun and interactive to keep your students engaged as they learn. In this way, i-Ready allows your child’s teacher(s) to meet your student exactly at their level and provides data to increase your student’s learning gains on the FSA. Students can also access i-Ready from home and use it as a supplemental tool to hone their skills in a particular area. Please contact your student’s teacher(s) for more information.

SJCSD Master Calendar 2020-21 Dec 21-Jan 1 ���Winter Break: Student/Teacher Holiday Jan 4 ���������������Classes Resume for Students Jan 18 �������������Martin Luther King Day: Student/Teacher Holiday Jan 25 �������������2nd Quarter Ends Jan 29 �������������Teacher Planning Day/Student Holiday Feb 12 ������������2nd Quarter Report Cards Issued Feb 15 ������������President’s Day: Student/Teacher Holiday Mar 3 ��������������3rd Quarter Interims Issued Mar 17-19 ������Spring Break: Student/Teacher Holiday Apr 2 ��������������Student/Teacher Holiday Apr 5-16 ���������ELA Reading (Gr 3) and Writing (Gr 4-10) Apr 8 ��������������3rd Quarter Ends Apr 9 ��������������Teacher Planning Day/Student Holiday Apr 19-30 �������Middle School District Exams Apr 28 ������������3rd Quarter Report Cards Issued May 3-28 ��������FSA Testing/EOCs May 12 �����������4th Quarter Interims Issued May 31 �����������Memorial Day: Student/Teacher Holiday Jun 10 �������������Last Day for Students

Profile for Academy Publishing, Inc.

South County Sentinel - Winter 2020  

St. Johns County School District - Accountability & Intervention Services Connecting students and families within the South County Geo-Zone.

South County Sentinel - Winter 2020  

St. Johns County School District - Accountability & Intervention Services Connecting students and families within the South County Geo-Zone.