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INDEX SCHOOL TIMES .........3 CHANGES THIS SCHOOL YEAR........................4 CTAE PROGRAMS ....5 FCAT PREP..............6 NAMES TO KNOW ......6 COLLEGE OF CENTRAL FLORIDA ...................7 WAYS YO PREVENT BULLYING..................8 COOL GEAR...............9 BEDTIMES................10 CALENDAR................11 PARENTS’ ROLE.........12 TEACHER FASHION..................13 PICTURES................15 AID FOR STUDENTS................15 COVER ART: Illustration by Sean Ochal/Staff EDITOR: Tom McNiff COPY EDITOR: Sharon Sullivan


Make sure your child is registered and ready By John Patton Correspondent

oon enough, Aug. 19 will be here, lunches will be packed, buses will be filled, and students will be off to school. But before that day, there are a few things parents must do to make sure their students are registered. Marion County Public Schools has created a four-step checklist. The initial step involves filling out a pair of online forms. First, type in the student’s personal information in the highlighted fields of the enrollment registration form, located at www. RegistrationForm.pdf. A Spanish version can be found at www.marion. RegistrationFormSp.pdf. Then, fill out the emergency contact form ( parents/EmergencyContactForm.pdf for English, parents/EmergencyContactFormSP.pdf for Spanish). Second, save the forms to your computer for personal record-keeping. And third, print out the forms. Finally, at any time before school begins, take the completed enrollment registration form and emergency contact form along with proof of age (kindergarten students turn 5 years old on or before Sept. 1, 2013) and proof of immunization on Form 680, which can be obtained at the Marion County Department of

Many schools have new leaders this year By Joe Callahan Staff writer

y, how things have changed in a year. When George Tomyn was elected as the new superintendent of schools in November, he immediately embarked on one of the biggest district- and school-level administrative shakeups in recent School District memory. Tomyn has made six major administrative appointments at the district level since November. And by July 1, after the dust had cleared, 20 of the district’s 51 schools had new principals. The wave of changes began on his first day in office. That was when he named four current and former principals to his upper-level cabinet. ■ Deputy superintendent, curriculum: Rick Lankford, from Vanguard High principal. ■ Deputy superintendent, operations: Chester Gregory, from Forest High principal. ■ Executive director of human resources: Lisa Krysalka, from Belleview Middle principal. ■ Executive director of K-12 services: Pam Brewer, from retired superintendent Jim Yancey’s administration. That move immediately triggered four principal changes. ■ Belleview Middle: David Ellers, from executive director of secondary education. ■ Stanton-Weirsdale Elementary: Chris Sandy, from executive director of elementary education. ■ Forest High: Brent Carson, from Stanton-




To register for school, your child must have proof of a physical examination within the last year. Health (1801 SW 32nd Ave., Ocala), to your student’s school. Additionally, proof of a physical examination within the last year is required, and if documentation can’t be provided, an examination must be scheduled in the next 30 days. Academic history, special education information and proof of Marion County residency also are required. If you are not the legal guardian/residential custodial parent of a student or there is a court decision regarding the release of information

related to custody/ restraining orders, etc., state law requires either court custody documentation stating specifications, Department of Children and Families placement letter or educational guardianship (notarized documents stating parent/legal guardian of student is incarcerated) be provided. Make sure all of this is done, and then count down the days. The first bell isn’t that far off.

Weirsdale principal. Vanguard High: Cindy Repp, from Vanguard High assistant principal. Early this year, the changes continued when Tomyn promoted two more principals to his upper-level administration. ■ Exceptional Student Education (ESE): Barbara Dobbins, from Maplewood Elementary principal. ■ School Development and Evaluation: Kathy Quelland, from Lake Weir Middle principal. Once those two principals were moved, it started a round of moves, triggering the announcements of new principals at 16 more schools. ■

Elementary Emerald Shores: John Williams ■ Fessenden: Isaac Burgess ■ Legacy: Dawn Prestipino ■ Maplewood: Laura Burgess ■ Marion Oaks: Gary Smallridge ■ South Ocala: Lisa Coy ■ Sparr: Patricia Hornsby ■ Ward-Highlands: Melissa Kinard ■ Wyomina Park: Valda Niznik ■

Middle Fort King: Renee Dudley Lake Weir: Stephanie Callaway ■ North Marion: John Kerley ■ ■

High Belleview: Mike Kelly Lake Weir: Wayne Livingston ■ Marion Technical Institute: Jim Wohrley ■ North Marion: Ben Whitehouse ■ ■ | OCALA STAR-BANNER


Starting and ending times for public schools ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS Anthony Elementary: 7:45 a.m. — 2:05 p.m. Belleview Elementary: 7:45 a.m. — 2:05 p.m. Belleview-Santos Elementary: 7:45 a.m. — 2:05 p.m. College Park Elementary: 7:45 a.m. — 2:05 p.m. Dr. N.H. Jones Elementary: 7:45 a.m. — 2:05 p.m. Dunnellon Elementary: 7:45 a.m. — 2:05 p.m. East Marion Elementary: 7:45 a.m. — 2:05 p.m. Eighth Street Elementary: 8:15 a.m. — 2:30 p.m. Emerald Shores Elementary: 7:45 a.m. — 2:05 p.m. Evergreen Elementary: 7:45 a.m. — 2:05 p.m. Fessenden Elementary: 7:45 a.m. — 2:05 p.m. Fort McCoy K-8: 7:45 a.m. — 2:05 p.m. Greenway Elementary: 7:45 a.m. — 2:05 p.m. Hammett Bowen Jr. Elementary: 7:45 a.m. — 2:05 p.m. Harbour View Elementary: 7:45 a.m. — 2:05 p.m. Legacy Elementary: 7:45 a.m. — 2:05 p.m. Madison Street Elementary: 8 a.m. — 2:20 p.m. Maplewood Elementary: 7:45 a.m. — 2:05 p.m. Marion Oaks Elementary: 7:45 a.m. — 2:05 p.m. Oakcrest Elementary: 7:55 a.m. — 2:15 p.m. Ocala Springs Elementary: 7:45 a.m. — 2:05 p.m. Reddick-Collier Elementary: 7:45 a.m. — 2:05 p.m. Romeo Elementary: 7:45 a.m. — 2:05 p.m. Saddlewood Elementary: 7:45 a.m. — 2:05 p.m. Shady Hill Elementary: 7:45 a.m. — 2:05 p.m. South Ocala Elementary: 7:55 a.m. — 2:15 p.m. Sparr Elementary: 7:45 a.m. — 2:05 p.m. Stanton-Weirsdale Elementary: 7:45 a.m. — 2:05

p.m. Sunrise Elementary: 7:45 a.m. — 2:05 p.m. Ward-Highlands Elementary: 7:45 a.m. — 2:05 p.m. Wyomina Park Elementary: 7:45 a.m. — 2:05 p.m. MIDDLE SCHOOLS Belleview Middle: 9:25 a.m. — 3:25 p.m. Dunnellon Middle: 9:20 a.m. — 3:40 p.m. Fort King Middle: 9:30 a.m. — 3:30 p.m. Fort McCoy K-8: 7:45 a.m. — 2:05 p.m. Horizon Academy at Marion Oaks: 8 a.m. — 2:20 p.m. Howard Middle: 9:35 a.m. — 3:35 p.m. Lake Weir Middle: 9:20 a.m. — 3:25 p.m. Liberty Middle: 8 a.m. —

2:20 p.m. North Marion Middle: 9:10 a.m. — 3:20 p.m. Osceola Middle: 7:50 a.m. — 1:45 p.m. HIGH SCHOOLS Belleview High: 9:20 a.m. — 3:45 p.m. Dunnellon High: 9:10 a.m. — 3:35 p.m. Forest High: 8:50 a.m. — 2:45 p.m. Hillcrest: 9:05 a.m. — 3 p.m. Lake Weir High: 9:15 a.m. — 3:40 p.m. North Marion High: 9:05 a.m. — 3:35 p.m. Marion Technical Institute: 7:45 a.m. — 4:15 p.m. Vanguard High: 8:35 a.m. — 3:05 p.m. West Port High: 9:25 a.m. — 3:30 p.m.

Marion County Juniors Volleyball Club 1433 SW 15th Avenue, Ocala

Fall League: Open to girls of all ages (high school team players are ineligible) Practices begin the week of August 26th; league play goes through October Registration: August 13th and 15th, 5:00-7:00 pm August 24th, 9:00-11:00 am 2014 Travel League tryouts will be held in October and November. For more information, go to Phone: 352-351-4837

Training for Competition and Life!

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New school, new curriculum for the 2013-14 school year Paddling also is back in elementary schools after a three-year absence. By Joe Callahan Staff writer

s school begins in August, there will be major changes to the curriculum and student code of conduct, as well as the addition of a new school. Legacy Elementary School opens in Silver Springs Shores this August, with Dawn Prestipino — the former Sparr Elementary principal — taking over the last school built with half-cent sales tax money. The tax expired in December 2009. The new school will relieve overcrowding at Greenway and Belleview-Santos elementary schools. Greenway Elementary, which has a capacity of 770 students, ended 2012-13 in June with 919 students. It will have 700 students when school opens on


Aug. 19. Belleview-Santos, which was at its capacity of 750 when school ended in June, will have 520 when school opens. Legacy is expected to have 573 students when it opens, leaving some room to grow by about 100 students. Legacy is located where Jupiter Trail Loop dead ends into the property just west of Juniper Road. The property is west of Baseline Road, south of Maricamp Road and the Marion County landfill. Including land clearing, furniture and all other items, the total cost of Legacy will be just shy of $20 million. ACA Construction Group was the contractor. Legacy architects used the same basic blueprints from two of the county’s newer schools, Hammett Bowen and Marion Oaks elementary schools. Although the new school will look very similar, the building will be in an “L” shape to fit on the property.

There have been some hiccups when it comes to accessing the school. Ideally, a school should have two access roads, Prestipino mainly to separate bus and car traffic. However, Legacy will start the year with only one entrance road. That means there will be a few hundred yards of road that buses and cars will share before splitting into a car-rider line and bus loop. It also will be a challenging year for teachers, parents and students as the new state curriculum — called Common Core — hits the classroom. Common Core is part of the new national education road map many states have adopted to replace No Child Left Behind. Common Core, which is supposed to be fully implemented statewide by fall 2014, will be in full force this school year, according to Anna DeWeese, a

The new Common Core curriculum focuses on critical thinking through comparison and contrast. K-12 Services director over elementary education. The new Common Core leaves behind — for the most part — the curriculum-based Sunshine State Standards. The new curriculum focuses on critical thinking through comparison and contrast. The new concept is designed to better prepare students for college, as well as help students be better prepared heading directly into the workforce. “I urge parents to visit their child’s school to learn more about the impact,” said DeWeese, adding that many parents argue that the new curriculum is too hard. “We tell them it is the new standard.” Paddling also is back in elementary schools after the

Marion County School Board voted to restore it as a disciplinary tool after a three-year absence. The board softened the old paddling policy. It can now only be used if a parent gives a standing written OK once a year. In addition, the principal must obtain verbal permission at the time the punishment is handed down. Under the policy, corporal punishment can only be used at the elementary school level. It can only be used on a child once a semester. Principals are not bound to use the punishment. The reinstatement came three years after paddling was banned at the end of 2009-10. When paddling ended locally, Marion was one of the largest districts in Florida still using it. Joe Callahan can be reached at 867-4113 or at joe.callahan@ Follow him on Twitter at JoeOcalaNews.


Construction workers build portions of the new Legacy Elementary School in Silver Springs Shores in February. Legacy, which will open this year, will help relieve overcrowding at Belleview-Santos, Greenway and Maplewood Elementary Schools. | OCALA STAR-BANNER

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CTAE prepares students for job market Community Technical & Adult Education adds cybersecurity, practical nursing. By Marian Rizzo Correspondent

o fill a growing need for training in two specific areas of employment, Community Technical & Adult Education has expanded its programs to include applied cybersecurity and practical nursing courses. CTAE is the first technical school in the state to offer cybersecurity, said Suzanne Bryant, program coordinator. “It’s considered one of the hottest programs in the nation,” Bryant said. “We’ve had other schools in the state calling us and asking questions.” The 750-hour course will prepare students for entry-level jobs, though many will want to pursue more specified training, said Dan Davis, assistant principal. “Because of the world we live in, we need to know how to protect our networks and systems from hacking,” Davis said. “We got a demand, locally, for employment in the area. We focus on local and statewide job demand. We do not prepare students for jobs that don’t exist.” Instructor Bill Kratzer came on board in July with a wealth of experience in the field of communications intelligence. Kratzer said he’s already seen progress with his students. “Even within the last couple days, lights have



Community Technical & Adult Education practical nursing students learn the right way to get a patient up with the help of instructor Peggy Dahl, center, in class at the school in Ocala. CTAE practical nursing students Samantha Lewis, left, and Criscina Collins learn how to properly use a walker. The school recently added the program to meet the high demand. been coming on for people that haven’t been here before,” he said. “When you think about cybersecurity and national security, those who complete this course with the right knowledge are setting themselves up for entry-level positions in the field of technology and networking. They’ll get the basic skills, then they’ll grow from there and begin to specialize. I think it’s the job of the future, keeping our communications networks safe.” In addition to offering GED classes, CTAE has more than 20 programs, including emergency medical technician/ firefighting, radiology technology, veterinary technician and culinary arts. CTAE’s classes do

In addition to offering GED classes, CTAE has more than 20 programs. not follow the traditional school schedule but run all year, starting after the Fourth of July holiday. Some courses, such as business, also begin in January. According to Davis, the current tuition rate is $2.97 per hour, with additional fees for labs, books, uniforms and license/certification costs. Scholarships are available, as well as grants and various types of financial aid. Courtney Culp started her practical nursing classes in July and came

into the program on a Pell grant. Though she had considered other schools, Culp decided on CTAE because of the lower tuition and the intimate atmosphere. In the nursing program, the ratio is one teacher for every eight students. “I was able to get that one-on-one in the classroom and not be one of a thousand,” Culp said. “Everybody knew my name already, and I’d only been there two days. You come in and it’s a relaxed environment, and you still learn what you need to know.” Culp immediately received a duffle bag containing all her required books, plus basic medical equipment, such as a stethoscope, blood pressure cuff and scrubs.

“It was included in my tuition — everything I could possibly need to be a nurse,” she said. “I would like to be an OB nurse, maybe labor and delivery. I’m about 90 percent sure I will go on for an RN degree.” Students who complete the PN licensing are able to bridge over to CF to pursue higher education in their field, said Gail McPadden, a registered nurse and coordinator of CTAE’s allied health classes. When the College of Central Florida canceled its practical nursing program, CTAE was asked to take it on, McPadden said. In July, it was added to the allied health department, which now has eight programs, including phlebotomy, massage

therapy and medical assistant. “Most students start with basic health care worker and then go off into their different fields,” McPadden said. “Students choose what field they want before they get here, so we can guide them in the right direction. We know the students, and we do take a special interest in them.” With the relocation of the school’s professional library to MTI, the vacated room will be remodeled for the PN program, McPadden said. The goal is to hire more teachers and to add more classes, day and night, she said. For more information, visit or call 671-7200.


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Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test dates OCTOBER 7-18 — FCAT 2.0 Reading Retakes for designated students in grade 11 DECEMBER 3-4 — FCAT 2.0 Writing Prompt Field Test for grades 4, 8, 10 (selected schools) FEBRUARY 25 — FCAT 2.0 Writing for grades 4, 8, 10


Deborah Richards, center, helps Zachery Holt, 10, right, and Rebecca Nourse, 9, with a math problem in her third-grade classroom at Belleview Elementary School in Belleview in May 2009.

APRIL-MAY 7-11 — FCAT 2.0 Reading Retakes for designated students in grade 11

Limited openings for the 2013 – 14 school year! Academic excellence in a Christ-centered environment since 1957

Grace Christian School K3 through 8th Grade

• • • • • • • • • •

56 years of academic excellence Gifted program Differentiated program to meet individual needs Christ-centered religious education program Award winning Fine Arts program Physical Education An integrated technology program Spanish for grades K3 - 8 After School athletic program Before Care and Extended Care

Grace Christian School does not discriminate on the basis of race, religion or gender. 4410 SE 3rd Avenue Ocala, FL 34480 † (352)387-3090 †

22-25 — FCAT 2.0 Math for grades 3, 4, 7, 8 22-25 — FCAT 2.0 Reading for grades 3, 4, 5 22-25 — FCAT 2.0 Science for grades 5, 8 April 22-May 1 — FCAT 2.0 Math computer-based testing for grade 6 April 22-May 2 — FCAT 2.0 Reading computer-based testing for grades 7, 10 April 28-May 7 — FCAT 2.0 Math computer-based testing for grade 5 April 28-May 7 — FCAT 2.0 Reading computer-based testing for 6, 8, 9

2012 AAU National Champions

Names to Know









■ District 3 — Bobby James SCHOOL BOARD MEMBERS bobby.james@marion.k12. — Nancy Stacy 427-3781 812-2723 ■ District 4 — Angie Boynton ■ District 2 — Carol Ely angelia.boynton@marion. 288-0860 817-9986 ■ District 5 — Ron Crawford ron.crawford@marion.k12. 2013 USAV National Champions 401-7698 ■ District 1

2013 Mini-Club Volleyball Season Team Placements Start August 17

Play in 4 Tournaments September - October

Ocala Power Volleyball Academy Mini Club Season is geared toward younger players 8 - 16 years old (not on a High School Varsity Roster) that want to develop their skills and play volleyball in a safe, fun and competitive environment. Teams practice twice a week and will compete in 4 tournaments. It will stress development and playing time opportunities. Led by our 2 Time National Championship Ocala Power Volleyball Academy staff maintaining the same training philosophy utilized in the regular club season

Go to for more information Or contact Bill Littell: (352) 615-9814

SUPERINTENDENT OF SCHOOLS George Tomyn george.tomyn@marion.k12. 671-7702 DEPUTY SUPERINTENDENT OF CURRICULUM AND INSTRUCTION Rick Lankford rick.lankford@marion.k12. 671-7705 TRANSPORTATION SERVICES Call Center for Bus Information — 671-7050 STUDENT SERVICES DEPARTMENT Mark Vianello, executive director mark.vianello@marion.k12. 671-6868 | OCALA STAR-BANNER

SUNDAY, JULY 28, 2013 |7


College of Central Florida continues to grow, add programs By John Patton Correspondent

here was a lot of pride swelling from College of Central Florida administrators for a variety of reasons following the 2012-13 academic year. After all, everything from the school’s tuition (it recently was named the eighth most affordable four-year college in the country by the United States Department of Education) to its athletics (the men’s basketball team won the National Junior College Athletic Association championship on March 23) have been positive. “At CF, we know the incredible value we are providing to students in our community,” President Dr. Jim Henningsen said. “In addition to being cost effective, we have talented faculty, quality programs, resources such as free tutoring and a full student life experience.


“At CF, our vision is to be the first choice for quality higher education in our community.” DR. JIM HENNINGSEN, president of College of Central Florida “At CF, our vision is to be the first choice for quality higher education in our community.” The same foundation on which the school’s reputation was built remains in place, but the school administration will try to build on that in 2013-14. For example: ■ Tuition and fees will not increase. The cost of associate’slevel courses will remain at $105.10 per credit hour, or approximately $2,523 each year for a student with a 12-hour credit course load for two semesters. That is 66.9 percent below the national

average of $7,135 for four-year and higher public institutions, according to a 2011-12 measuring. Additionally, the cost of bachelor’s-level courses will continue to be $120.89 per credit hour, less than half the tuition at public universities in Florida. ■ Starting this fall, CF will offer its bachelor of applied science in business and organizational management, where students pay the first $10,000 and the school covers the remainder of the costs. In addition to the general business degree, there are specializations in agribusiness management, management information systems, health care management and public safety administration. And an associate of arts degree may now be completed online by CF students. ■ Beginning in the fall of 2014, CF plans to begin

offering a bachelor of science in nursing. Other new classes will be made available in the second semester of the upcoming academic year. “CF provides a quality education at affordable prices close to home,” Vice President of Academic Affairs Dr. Mark Paugh said. “The college continually assesses community needs and responds with relevant programs. An example is the bachelor of science in business and organizational management, logistics and distribution management — tentatively scheduled to begin [in the] spring [of] 2014. “The program will meet the needs of our centrally located community that is becoming a logistics hub for the state.”


Students pass the clock tower at the center of campus as they walk to their next class at the College of Central Florida in Ocala.

Temple Beth Shalom Ocala Temple Beth Shalom Sisterhood

1109 N.E. 8th Avenue 352-629-3587 TEMPLE BETH SHALOM, the only affiliated UNION FOR REFORM JUDAISM in Ocala

Erev Rosh Hashanah

The only temple in the Ocala area with a full-time rabbi, Rabbi Ze’ev Harari, announces

REGISTRATION FOR ITS RELIGIOUS SCHOOL AUGUST 11, 2013, 10AM-NOON To Parents with Jewish school-age children, If you want your child educated in Jewish History, Jewish Practice, Culture and Hebrew, attend our Religious School Open House and Registration for Religious school on Sunday, August 11, 2012, from 10AM to Noon. First day of religious school is Sunday, August 18th, 9:30AM to Noon

TEMPLE BETH SHALOM • 1109 NE 8TH AVENUE • OCALA, FL 34470 Temple Beth Shalom Ocala Temple Beth Shalom Sisterhood

1109 N.E. 8th Avenue 352-629-3587

We invite you to worship with us every Friday at 7:30 PM and on the upcoming High Holidays Affiliated with the Union for Reform Judaism Erev Rosh Hashanah

August 31st – Saturday 8:00 PM Slichot Program, 10:30 – 11:00 PM S’lichot Service September 4th – Wednesday 7:30 PM Erev Rosh Hashanah Service September 5th – Thursday 9:30 AM Rosh Hashanah Morning Day I followed by Tashlich at Tuscawilla Park

September 6th – Friday 9:30 AM Rosh Hashanah Morning Day II September 8th – Sunday 1:00 PM Temple Cemetery Service

Rabbi Ze’ev Harari September 13th – Friday 7:30 PM Erev Yom Kippur, Kol NidreService September 14th – Saturday 9:30 AM Yom Kippur Morning Service 4:00 PM Yom Kippur Afternoon Service, Yizkor followed by Ne’ilah Service and Break-the-Fast

Sukkot / Simchat Torah Sep 20th Friday, 7:30 PM Sukkot Celebration Sep 26th Thursday, 10:00 AM Morning Service and Yizkor service Sep 27th Friday, 7:30 PM Simchat Torah Celebration

Religious School Registration, Open House Meet and Greet Sunday, Aug 11th, 2013 from 10am-12noon 1st day of Religious School • Sunday, Aug 18th, 9:30 AM – 12:30 PM Teaching Hebrew, History, Customs & Ceremonies Visit us at• Membership Info: 352-629-3587

8| SUNDAY, JULY 28, 2013



Schools protect kids with anti-harassment programs By Marian Rizzo Correspondent

hen it comes to being a victim of bullying or being a defender of the bullied, Jacob Wilkerson says he’s been there, done that. Now 38, Wilkerson said he was smaller than most boys in school, but he knew how to defend himself. “I didn’t aggressively go after somebody, but if someone wasn’t fair to me or someone else, I went after that guy,” he said. “I didn’t like to see someone getting picked on. I was a bully of bullies. Until I moved to Florida. Then, I was out of my element. Three of my classmates took duct tape and wrapped ISTOCKPHOTO.COM my entire head in it. I had to Parents and teachers have become more aware of the damage bullying can do, so the cut my hair real short.” Marion County Public Schools have incorporated anti-bullying and anti-harassment These days, parents and educators have become more programs. aware of the damage bullying “Oftentimes, there is schools every month. Harassment can be verbal or can do. Marion County Public confusion whether calling, noted that social media type comments, Schools have incorporated somebody a name is bullying middle-schoolers are more things of that nature.” anti-bullying and anti-haor not,” she said. “It’s not likely to be physically or The school’s TV productions rassment programs, and in about name calling. There verbally bullied, while high class recently produced an 2012, the Florida legislature has to be an imbalance of schoolers are more likely to anti-bullying public service approved a statute prohibitpower where somebody is suffer cyber bullying. message that was aired with ing bullying and harassment trying to get the upper hand. I noted the morning announcements, in public schools. don’t want to imply that that, particularly in adolesand the ASTRA community Known as the “Jeffrey bullying isn’t serious, it is a cents and teens, cyber service club organized an Johnson Stand Up for All big deal, but when you bullying can lead to anxiety, anti-bullying campaign for Students Act,” the bill lists the overuse a word it becomes depression and even suicide. the past two years, with various forms of bullying as trivial.” Once messages and images members posting banners teasing, social exclusion, At times, other factors can are circulated on the Internet, throughout the school. They threats, intimidation, physiinterfere with a resolution. they can resurface and renew also handed out rubber wrist cal violence, destruction of “Some parents are bullies the pain, the site states. bands with anti-bullying property, and several types of and kids grow up in an Allan Hisey, dean of slogans printed on them, public humiliation, whether environment where they’re students at Forest High Hisey said. done in person or through bullied,” Lewis said. “If we School, said school officials Hisey believes parent written or computer messagcan sit down and both parties generally are made aware of involvement also is imporing. come together, it’s always bullying when a parent calls tant. Michelle Lewis, principal at effective. In other cases, or when a student reports a “Parents need to know what Liberty Middle School, said where the parent is the situation. their kids are doing,” he said. anti-bullying is incorporated bullier, they don’t want to “Fortunately, for the school “There’s much more kids can into everything that is done at talk.” system here in Marion be involved in today as far as the school. The kids are According to stopbullyingCounty, they’ve not only social media. It’s way beyond encouraged to follow the, one in seven identified bullying but also cellphones and emails. If kids Golden Rule, “Do unto others students in grades K-12 is identified harassment, two know their parents know as you would have them do either a bully or a victim of situations we deal with at the what they’re doing, they’re unto you,” she said. bullying in the United States. high school level,” Hisey said. going to be on their best A concern of Lewis’ is that The site estimated 282,000 “When dealing with bullying, behavior.” the term “bullying” could be students are physically you’re always talking about misused or overused. attacked in secondary an imbalance of power.


Types of bullying ■ Sending

mean messages to a person’s email account or cellphone. ■ Spreading rumors online or through texts. ■ Posting hurtful messages on social networking sites or Web pages. ■ Using someone else’s account to send damaging messages. ■ Pretending to be someone else online to hurt someone. ■ Spreading unflattering pictures of someone through cellphones or the Internet. ■ Sexting or circulating sexually suggestive pictures or messages about someone.

Signs of a bullied child ■ Unexplained

injuries, or damaged or missing clothing ■ Changes in eating or other habits ■ Makes excuses not to go to school ■ Has fewer friends ■ Talks about suicide ■ Avoids certain places ■ Has trouble sleeping

Signs of a possible bully ■ Becomes frequently violent ■ Has trouble controlling

anger controlling of others ■ Is quick to blame others ■ Needs to win or be best at everything ■ Is manipulative and

What parents can do ■ Communicate with your child. ■ Talk about what type of

bullying it was, physical or verbal. ■ Meet with the teacher and/or principal of your child’s school. ■ Find out if any other children or adults observed the bullying. ■ Keep a written record. ■ Practice ways your child might respond in the future. Sources: National Bullying Prevention Center and For more resources, visit schools/antibullying.cfm or stopbullying. gov, or call 1-800-273-TALK (8255). | OCALA STAR-BANNER

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Getting in gear: going back to school in style Kids can show their style with backpacks, lunch coolers, journals, binders and more. By Kim Cook The Associated Press

h, those boring school days of old. Basic backpacks, plain pencil cases, spirals and staplers with so little snap they might as well have been destined for mom or dad’s office. Today’s school supplies are packed with personality, and kids have an imaginative array of gear to choose from as they prep for the start of a new year. Backpacks come in a variety of sizes to fit different toting needs and capabilities. And forget the simple brown paper bag: Lunch containers are an expanding category, with everything from



Cute animal-themed rolling backpacks from Ecogear are a fun option for youngsters heading off to school for the first time.

insulated sacks to kits with lidded compartments. The range is so stylish and user-savvy that kids just might find mom or dad wanting to share. In the early years of self-discovery, it’s fun to find different ways to say, “This is me!” Kids will find that easy this year. There are lace and damask designs, camouflage and brick-wall patterns, animal prints, sequins or pastels. Super hero, video game, and music and TV star images hit the pop culture button.

Off to class At Pottery Barn Kids, the backpacks range in size from mini to rolling, so you don’t have to worry about your preschooler heading off with a refrigerator-size tote on his back, and the fifth-graders with giant science texts can roll their volumes comfortably back and forth. Patterns range from butterflies, horses and owls in hip hues like plum and chocolate to dinosaurskeleton and snakeskin prints in browns, grays and blues. (www.pbkids. com) Kohl’s has backpacks for fall that aim to appeal to kids from elementary through high school. “Backpacks are a fashionable and functional way for students to express their personality and show off their style,” said Sofia Wacksman, Kohl’s vice president for trend. “Bright colors and bold prints are a big trend this back-to-school season.” Girls might like the colored leopard print, boho floral and fun graphic hearts patterns.

tag, or use the company’s geometric, tree or paisley designs. (www.cafepress. com)

Lunch and snack time


This publicity photo provided by eBags shows a eBags Brand Bookworm Kids’ Pack. The backpack has a large 3M Scotchlite front panel for superior visibility and safety, an organizer and lots of pockets for snacks and toys, among other features. Plaids, moustaches, leaf prints and skulls round out the range. (www. A collection of rolling backpacks in fun animal designs like pandas, frogs and pigs are at The retailer’s also got a line of appropriately sized, colorful preschoolers’ packs from 03 USA that have handy integrated lunch coolers. Designs include soccer balls, motorcycles and space shuttles. The Bookworm backpack, also small, has a reflective panel for low light conditions, and a waterproof layer along the bottom. ( How many backpacks have disappeared in your kids’ school career? Never lose another with one of Café Press’s customizable tags. The company partnered with Snapily last fall to create the tags with lenticular printing — that 3-D, animated effect. You can upload your own photos for a personalized

The traditional Japanese bento-box lunch kit has found its way to our shores in a big way. Parents like that they’re reusable, and kids like that the little compartments neatly hold a variety of snacks. Japanese maker Shinzi Katoh makes some of the best ones — space robot, forest, circus and Paddington Bear designs are featured on tiered, non-toxic boxes. They also make a clever lunchbox that unzips into a tidy placemat: Choose a cow, cat or dog design. (www. Pottery Barn Kids has some stainless steel versions of the bento box, as well as compartmentalized lunch bags with a spot for a parent to write a note. The retailer also has a cute collection of mix-andmatch themed lunchbox-


This publicity photo provided by CafePress shows a deer journal. In the early years of selfdiscovery, it’s fun to find different ways to express one’s individuality.


This publicity photo provided by CafePress shows a backpack tag in 3D. Never lose another backpack with one of Café Press’s cool customizable tags, as the company partnered with Snapily in October 2012 to create lenticular printed favorite photos with a 3-D, animated effect. es, sacks, water bottles and backpacks. For a leak-proof, stainless, insulated, 16-ounce container that gives the option of providing hot soup, chili or stew, try Land of Nod’s got Skip Hop’s cute-as-a-button Feeding Time lunch bags for the preschool set, in ladybug, owl or dog patterns. They come with a clip that attaches to a child’s backpack. (www. Target has some cute lunch kits with cheetah or owl faces, and a colorful line of lunch sacks and snack and sandwich sleeves from Built NY that might mean sharesies with brown-bagging parents. Rubbermaid ice packs in the shape of silly owls, dogs or monsters are whimsical ways to keep lunch cool. ( com)

Work time

For the classroom, Target’s houndstooth, plaid and metallic dot binders hit the unisex pattern trends head on. Blinged-out scissors and staplers, and fun pencil cases shaped like flip-flops or printed in colorful lace patterns have a girly vibe. At PB Teen, plaid, chevron, patchwork and tie-dye patterns add zing to the pencil case and homework holder collection. ( Got a sports-loving girl in the house? She can show her competitive spirit with one of Café Press’ “swim,” “dance,” “field hockey” or “soccer” journals. Dog lovers might like a journal photoprinted with unusual breeds like shar peis, basenjis and greyhounds. Colorful national flags, including those of France, Italy, Cuba and Canada, emblazon a spiral notebook collection at Zazzle. com, which also has fun clip chains shaped like basketballs, softballs or volleyballs. They can be personalized to help young athletes keep track of their stuff. (www.


This CafePress journal has a Union Jack flag as its cover.


10| SUNDAY, JULY 28, 2013


Early to bed can take effort at summer’s end By Melissa Rayworth The Associated Press

arents, you can already picture those first mornings of the school year: the challenge of dragging cranky kids out of their beds at dawn after two months of mellow summer mornings. Each year, many of us swear we’ll do it differently. We will listen to the experts. We will adjust our children’s bedtimes back to a school-year schedule as soon as August arrives. We will work with biology, not against it, by dimming the lights and drawing the curtains in the evenings. We will remember the power of a good bedtime routine. It does sound wonderful. But each year, many families embrace the spontaneity of summer and the long, light evenings, ditching routines and enjoying late nights with the kids. Or maybe we really do try to get them to bed early, but Little League baseball games run late and vacations to other time zones make it impossible. Then we try to get our kids up early for the first day of school and their bodies naturally rebel. It’s never easy to be “waking up at the time you’re biologically ready to be asleep,” says Dr. Peter Franzen, child sleep expert and assistant professor of psychiatry at the University of Pittsburgh’s Sleep Medicine Institute. Lack of sleep can affect kids’ ability to learn, to remember and to handle emotions, he says. So, here are some tips for getting them back to a sensible bedtime: Begin adjusting bedtime at least two weeks before classes begin, says family sleep counselor Dana Obleman, founder of the Sleep Sense system for getting babies and toddlers to sleep well. “You don’t have to jump into going to bed at 7:30 and being really strict,” she says. “But do an evaluation of where the



Before the summer comes to an end and the first day of school is here, get your child back into a sensible bedtime routine. bedtime has been falling and move back toward that by about 15 minutes every third night.” (Of course, if you’ve altered your kids’ bedtime by more than an hour, you’ll need to make those changes in larger increments.) For young kids, the most effective routine includes a warm bath and reading a favorite book. Skip television, which has a stimulating effect. With older children, Obleman suggests having a sit-down meeting two weeks before school begins. Discuss the importance of being rested during the first weeks of school. Plan a solid bedtime routine together, making sure they

“One of my cornerstones is that if children are going to bed early enough, there shouldn’t be a need to wake them in the morning.” DANA OBLEMAN, founder of the Sleep Sense system understand how much sleep is necessary. Children, from toddlers to adolescents, need 10 to 12 hours of solid nighttime sleep, Obleman says. Teens are likely to need at least 9 hours. “People say, ‘If my child got eight hours, that’s adequate.’ And it might be adequate,” Obleman says. “But you want to be giving them great, awesome restful sleep at night.” Once you’ve chosen a bedtime,

agree to turn off electronic screens one hour earlier, because the light from these devices signals our bodies to stay awake, Franzen says. Kids already have a harder time getting sleepy at night as they reach their teen years due to changes in their body chemistry, he says. Looking at the light of electronic devices only delays that response further. A regular bedtime routine

triggers a child’s natural urge to sleep, and also creates treasured memories of quiet moments with mom and dad, notes Lorraine Breffni, director of early childhood at Nova Southeastern University’s Mailman Segal Center for Human Development in Fort Lauderdale. “Those routines can be very personal family rituals — a certain snack that you eat, a certain book you read, a certain song that you sing,” she says. For adolescents and teens, Breffni, says, keep in mind that the time they “go to bed” may not be close to the time they actually fall asleep. So make sure older students understand what time they should actually be asleep. “One of my cornerstones is that if children are going to bed early enough, there shouldn’t be a need to wake them in the morning,” Obleman says. “If you’re dragging them by the ankle every morning, they’re going to bed too late.” On the last mornings before school starts, you might even induce the kids to get up early by taking them out to breakfast at their favorite restaurants. One final step, which can be especially tough on parents: Ideally, the whole family should go to bed early on those final nights. It may be hard to give up the late night hours you’re accustomed to, but going to sleep earlier will benefit you as well as your kids. “We’re seeing an epidemic of sleep deprivation” among adults, Franzen says. “We’re certainly not modeling appropriate behavior for our kids.” These experts say adults really do need eight hours of sleep per night, though many of us get as little as five or six. So, even if you won’t kick back into an early bedtime routine until the night before school begins this year, says Breffni, make this the year you prioritize sleep for the whole family. | OCALA STAR-BANNER

SUNDAY, JULY 28, 2013 |11


Marion County Public Schools 2013-14 Calendar school)


Monday, March 24, through Friday, March 28: Spring Break (no school)

Tuesday, Aug. 13 : Teachers report to school

Monday, Aug. 19: First day of school for



Wednesday, April 9: Early release day Friday, April 18: No school (weather


emergency make-up day, if needed)

Monday, Sept. 2: Labor Day (no school) Wednesday, Sept. 11: Early release day Wednesday, Sept. 25: Early release day

Tuesday, April 22, through Friday, April 25: FCAT testing for grades 3, 4, 5, 7, 8



Wednesday Oct. 16: Early release day Monday, Oct. 21: End of first grading

Monday, May 5, through Friday, May 16: Advanced Placement tests Monday, May 26: Memorial Day (no





Students arrive for the first day of school last year at Greenway Elementary. Wednesday, Nov. 6: Early release day Wednesday, Nov. 27 : No school (weather Wednesday, Dec. 11: Early release day Thursday, Jan. 16, and Friday, Jan. Monday, Feb. 17: Presidents’ Day (no emergency make-up day, if needed) school) 17 : Teacher work and inservice days (no Saturday, Dec. 21: Winter holiday break Thursday, Nov. 28, and Friday, Nov.29: begins school for students) Thanksgiving (no school)

December Tuesday, Dec. 3, and Wednesday, Dec. 4: FCAT Writing Prompt Field test for grades 4,8,10 (selected schools)

Monday, Jan. 20: Martin Luther King Jr.

January Monday, Jan. 6: Classes resume Wednesday, Jan. 15: End of first semester

Day (no school)

March Wednesday, March 5: Early release day Thursday, March 20: End of third


June Monday, June 2, through Wednesday, June 4: Semester exams for grades 6-12 Wednesday, June 4: Last day of school Wednesday, June 4, through Saturday, June 7: Graduation dates Thursday, June 5: Teacher work day

grading period

Wednesday, Feb. 5: Early release day

Friday, March 21: Teacher workday (no

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Parent involvement important in child’s education Communicating with your child, their teacher helps student succeed By Joe Callahan Staff writer

chool District officials say parents always have needed to play a more active role in their child’s education, but this year, it is more important than ever. That’s because there will be so many state-mandated curriculum changes in almost every one of their child’s subjects. The new method, called Common Core, is part of the new national education road map. It was adopted by many states to replace No Child Left Behind. Common Core, which is supposed to be fully implemented statewide by fall 2014, will be in full force this school year, according to Anna DeWeese, a


K-12 Services director over elementary education. Common Core leaves behind — for the most part — the Sunshine State Standards, focusing on critical thinking through comparison and contrast. The new concept is designed to better prepare students for college and the workforce. For decades, educators have complained about declining parental involvement, noting, for example, that parents are not reading with their children at night or over the summer, and fewer are showing up for conferences. DeWeese encourages parents to go to all school events to learn about the harder curriculum. “Schools are starving for parent input at SAC (Student

Advisory Council) and PTO (Parent/Teacher Organization) meetings,” DeWeese noted. Surprisingly enough, fewer than half the parents in Marion County have registered for the parent portal, which allows them to view their child’s grades and assignments. Parents can access their child’s curriculum and teacher websites to send messages. They can enroll in the parent portal at their child’s school. DeWeese also said parents should visit their child’s school for open houses and other events. Parents shouldn’t wait until something goes wrong to visit their child’s school. The key is to be proactive, not reactive. “Go and talk to the teacher, the counselor, the principal and


Jenny Blaire, left, reads to her children Ethan, Cori and Cody during reading-circle time while Madison, 10, reads to herself at their home in Silver Springs in July 2012. Jenny Blaire is homeschooling her children.

assistant principal,” DeWeese noted. “Never wait until there is a problem.” The Florida Department of Education has a website — — that gives several tips for parents to help their child be successful. The four biggest tips are to: contact, and maintain contact, with the child’s teacher; participate in parent/teacher conferences; ask the teacher about the curriculum; and talk with their child daily about homework, classroom activities and events. Another important role a parent can play in their child’s education is reading to their young child or reading with older children. Miriam Needham, the district’s coordinator of Library Media Services and the Arts, said research has shown it’s the most important thing that a parent can do. “Reading to and with your child helps build language and vocabulary skills needed for success in school,” she noted. “Reading to and with your child strengthens the parent-child bond and helps them become lifelong readers and learners.” Needham said she shares a verse from the poem “The Reading Mother” by Strickland Gillilan when explaining to parents the importance of reading to a child. “You may have tangible wealth untold; Caskets of jewels and coffers of gold. Richer than I you can never be — I had a Mother who read to me.” Joe Callahan can be reached at 867-4113 or at joe.callahan@ Follow him on Twitter at JoeOcalaNews.

Parental Involvement The Florida Department of Education has a section on its website — family/title1/ — that offers tips for parents. ■ Contact your child’s teacher early in the school year, and maintain communication throughout the school year. ■ Participate in parent/teacher conferences. ■ Ask the teacher what your child is learning and how you can support this at home. ■ Talk with your child daily about homework, classroom activities and events. ■ Learn about school policies and expectations so you can help your child understand them. ■ Make effort to stay informed of school and classroom events. ■ Model behaviors and attitudes you expect from your child. ■ Encourage and nurture your child’s creativity. ■ Be proactive in making the school aware of your support for your child’s education. ■ Talk with your employer about flex time so you can participate in school activities. ■ Establish a daily family routine. ■ Monitor out-of-school activities. ■ Model the value of learning, self-discipline and hard work. ■ Express high, but realistic, expectations for achievement. ■ Encourage your child’s development/progress in school. ■ Encourage reading, writing and discussions among family members. ■ Be positive when talking with your child about school-related activities. | OCALA STAR-BANNER

SUNDAY, JULY 28, 2013 |13


Teachers can use clothes to communicate with kids By Samantha Critchell AP Fashion Writer

ack-to-school shopping doesn’t have to be all kids’ stuff. The wardrobe to complement that first opening bell can help set the tone for a teacher’s year, too. There’s nothing in the contract that requires dangling cat-character earrings or kooky bow ties. The right look can command respect while earning a little street cred. Celebrity stylist Cristina Ehrlich, a style adviser to Coldwater Creek, remembers her first “cool teacher” in elementary school — and Ehrlich says she never worked harder than she did for that Lauren Hutton lookalike, who wore pleated slacks, V-neck silk blouses, a thin little belt and gold hoop earrings. “Maybe it’s that I wanted to impress her, or maybe she just knows how to grab your attention, but she left a lasting impression,” she says. These days, that teacher might be wearing brightly colored skinny jeans and a boyfriend sweater, or trouser jeans and a crisp button-down in a cheerful color, Ehrlich muses. “Young kids like a little eye candy. It draws their attention,” Ehrlich says. “You want authority but not stuffy.” Maybe that same second-grade teacher would even try a pair of tuxedo-inspired jeans with a black stripe down the leg and a more fitted, cropped blazer, she adds. That might be an outfit similar to what high schoolers are wearing — and that’s OK, says Emilia Fabricant, executive vice president of the Aero-


postale brand. Teachers can use their clothes to help bridge communication gaps with their students, she says. “The cool factor gives power.” Fabricant gives the caveat, though, that teachers might wear individual pieces differently so they’re “appropriately styled”: short skirts worn over leggings, tunics over tanks, and skinny jeans paired with the high front-low back cardigans that give an update to the classic silhouette. Maybe there’s a life lesson here for teens: A modern look can co-exist with a respectful one. fashion editor Sara Dooley imagines teachers of younger grades experimenting with prints. Florals are enjoying a


This publicity photo provided by Coldwater Creek shows a model wearing a Mosaic No-iron Perfect Shirt with a Shadowplay Vest and denim slim leg jeans. fashion moment, she says, and animal prints — leopard spots and the like — have a little bit of edge but have been tapped for classic silhouettes. There

are even some literal animal prints, such as birds, butterflies, turtles and armadillos, that have been elevated from kitsch to cool.


FROM LEFT TO RIGHT: Models display some of today’s fashions like this women’s stripe cut-away shirt dress from Jones New York; a women’s long-sleeve shawl collar blazer from DKNYC; and an Anne Klein women’s Aztec Burst Swing dress.

Prints are good conversation starters, and they can camouflage a multitude of sins, especially of the paint-glue-leftoversnack variety. Many closet-to-classroom items are basic pieces, including a pencil skirt, fit-and-flare dress, collared shirts, blazers, jeans and sweaters, so they can make the transition between seasons and between school years. They can all be dressed up or down, and adapted to look “new” with the right belt, shoe or jewelry. “With little time during the school year to shop, teachers can maximize style all year long by buying key items that will update pieces they already own,” says Sofia Wacksman, vice president of trend for Kohl’s Department Stores. Ehrlich suggests layers, as long as the overall look is relaxed without being sloppy. On the flip side, tailored is good, but too buttoned-up is not. If you’re thinking of a bow-neck blouse, for example, make sure it has a soft touch. For a more bohemian style, a dolman sleeve top in a watercolor print will give the effect of a fluttery, full, feminine look without a bell sleeve, which seems an invitation for snags or stains. Funkier accessories can be for anyone. Teachers need a stylish case for gadgets, and that’s a neutral zone for experimentation. So are ballet-flat shoes, which have more options than the periodic table. Picking popular colors, including flashes of the almost neon brights, also is an easy “in,” says

Fabricant, and the broad choices in denim and knits should make it easier to find trend-right items. Teachers could be facing a tough crowd, after all. “For a middle-school teacher, you want some safe bets. You are on a stage in front of the kids all day. You want to be comfortable, you want to feel confident. Too much risk puts you out there for ridicule behind your back. You know those middleschoolers,” Dooley says with a laugh. Teachers can be hard on their clothes: They have long days, sometimes in rooms without air-conditioning, and come in contact with a lot of people. They might be on the floor cutting construction paper one minute and get called into a meeting with administrators and parents the next. Wacksman also would like to think that teachers have somewhere fun to go in their extracurricular life, and want their daytime outfits to take them there. Her pick? A printed shift dress with a colorful belt and cardigan for the classroom. Switch from flats to heels at the end of the day, and if social plans call for it, swap out the sweater for a motocross jacket. Another option is a printed maxi dress, which often is made of a wrinklefree jersey. That with a short beaded necklace and flats can stand up to a lot, she says. “When the bell rings, many teachers need an outfit that can transition from their classroom to a night out,” says Wacksman.


14| SUNDAY, JULY 28, 2013


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SUNDAY, JULY 28, 2013 |15


School picture success means prep but not poses By Amy Lorentzen The Associated Press

or many parents, there’s something special about school picture day. They remember getting out of class, combing their hair, lining up with friends for their turn before the camera. Then there was the thrill of the portrait envelope arriving, of wallet photos handed out like tiny trading cards, or delivering prints to grandma to be placed on her mantle. While that’s still the case at many schools, today’s kids, surrounded by photo technology, may not be fazed by another click of the camera, says Lisa Van Etta, who recently retired after 17 years as a yearbook adviser at Cypress Falls High School in Houston. “I just think they are so wrapped up in Facebook and texting and all of that that they just don’t really have time to


worry about their school picture,” she says. “In rural areas, school pictures are still big. When you get in the city, not so much.” Still, school pictures provide a rare professional sitting and, if done well, provide a seamless look at a child’s growth and personality over the years. “Many people are taking thousands and thousands of pictures every year ... They don’t realize how much of their memory is in something digital,” says Steve Lata, a photographer and territory manager with Missouri-based Inter-State Studio Inc., which takes millions of children’s school photos each year. “The school portrait is one of the only things getting printed and hung on the wall anymore.” A few simple steps by parents can make picture day a success, the pros say. Above all, help children be

accessories simple and small. Long sleeves will provide less visual distraction than short or sleeveless tops. Clothing for portraits doesn’t need to be formal. Even a favorite, oft-worn shirt can be perfect on picture day, Miller says. If possible, help your child KELVIN MILLER, corporate vice president choose an outfit that pleases of LifeTough School Photography both of you. “Make it kind of a fun activity comfortable having their ... and be willing to comproportrait taken. They should feel mise,” he suggests. good about their appearance, As for grooming, the experts but not pose. recommend haircuts two weeks “The most important thing before picture day. You’ll have a about a school portrait is having nice-looking trim without that that genuine countenance of the “just cut” look. child. We don’t want them to be Wear sunscreen and limit sun artificial, we want them to be as exposure before pictures to relaxed as possible,” says Kelvin avoid bright red cheeks or Miller, corporate vice president peeling noses. Trim fingernails, of Minnesota-based LifeTouch since hands might appear in School Photography. some portraits. Choose clothing in solid colors So what’s the biggest mistake or simple patterns, and avoid parents can make on picture shirts with slogans. Keep the day?

“The most important thing about a school portrait is having that genuine countenance of the child.”

Forgetting the date. Mark it on your calendar, so your child will be wearing appropriate clothes to reminisce over some day. And don’t overhype the occasion either, says Lata. “I’ve even seen a lot of parents telling their child to practice their smile,” says Lata. “As a photographer, that’s one of the last smiles you want.” Encourage your kid to listen to the photographer’s directions. Many school-photo photographers will use banter or maybe a high-five to put the child at ease. With digital equipment, they’re able to check the photos right away for closed eyes and awkward expressions. That cuts down on the need for retakes. “We train our photographers to take the photo of the child, to look at the photo and to say in their mind: ‘If I were the parent, would I approve?’” Miller says.

Help available for struggling students By John Patton Correspondent

arion County students struggling with academics don’t have to feel like their situations are hopeless, and neither do their parents. The school district is providing a number of opportunities at the elementary and secondary school levels for students to improve their performance in the classroom. On the elementary level, the assistance is four-fold, officials say. ■ Last year, educators launched an initiative called The Academy, which targets underperforming students in grades K-2 in 15 schools. Officials say the goal is to identify struggling students early and help them master the skills needed to move on to third grade. ■ The state requires that any student who does not pass third grade must get the help he or she needs to do so. In some cases, this involves putting



them in model classrooms with specially trained teachers and supporting them with mentoring. ■ A pilot project called “Pick Pioneers in Common Core” is designed to provide a more “unit-based” education, or in layman’s terms, focus on themes like weather throughout core subjects like science, social studies and reading. ■ Schools also offer before- and after-school programs to help children with homework. At the secondary level, there are two major initiatives designed to help keep students from falling behind or, if they do, help them catch up. ■ The first one is online classes. Students who fail classes can retake them online to make up the credits they missed and mitigate their poor grades. ■ The second is remediation in math and reading for students who score a 1 or 2 on the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test.

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16| SUNDAY, JULY 28, 2013



Back to School Ocala StarBanner for July 28, 2013  

Back to School, Ocala StarBanner for July 28, 2013 Gainesville, Florida

Back to School Ocala StarBanner for July 28, 2013  

Back to School, Ocala StarBanner for July 28, 2013 Gainesville, Florida