Wednesday, January 29, 2014


January 28, 2014

Scott proposes $542 million boost to education budget
Local school officials reacted cautiously on Monday after Gov. Rick Scott proposed increasing public school spending by $542 million…."If it's unrestricted, it's fabulous, it's great," said Broward schools Superintendent Robert Runcie. "As long as the issues that emerged last year with the earmarks are not there, it's very much welcome."

How A Broward County School District Is Rethinking Zero-Tolerance Policies
In many schools, zero-tolerance discipline policies dictate harsh punishment — expulsion, suspension and arrest — for breaking rules. But, as StateImpact Florida has been reporting, some districts are reconsidering zero tolerance after concerns about a rise in the number of children arrested on campus. One of those districts walking away from zero tolerance is in Broward County, where the schools formed a unique coalition with law enforcement, local and state courts, and the NAACP to re-write the school codes.

School Choice Application Window Deadline to Apply is February 12, 2014


January 25 -27, 2014

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Plantation High School students help teach elementary students about rockets
The same group of students who build working rockets from almost scratch and design engines are now helping younger students learn the same thing. Plantation High School's Aerospace Technologies and Design program is hosting the second- through fifth-grade students from Peter's Elementary School each Thursday evening in January to teach them how to build and fly rockets, all while protecting an egg payload in flight.

Weston school group meets President Obama
An ordinary fifth-grade field trip to Washington, D.C., turned extraordinary when more than 60 Manatee Bay Elementary School students and faculty got to meet President Barack Obama. The Weston school group was on their White House tour and ended up becoming part of a segment on the "Steve Harvey Show."

Students at two schools ride the yoga wave
More than 1,400 students, dressed for the cold in their sweatshirts and jackets, created a yoga wave on their school's football field on Thursday, flowing through a series of poses before resting on their backs on the chilly grass.

Mom sues Broward school district over service dog
A Sunrise mother has filed a federal lawsuit against the Broward School Board, alleging the district discriminated against her disabled 6-year-old son by imposing too many barriers to bringing a service dog on campus.


January 22, 2014

Broward transforming computer science classes
The Broward school district is making sure its students are ready for the future workforce — and that means teaching them not just how to use technology, but how to build it. Next year, the school district will dramatically expand its computer science program, adding new curriculum and courses at 38 schools, officials announced Tuesday.

Florida education news: Teacher training, student busing, magnet schools and more
COMPUTER TECHNOLOGY: Broward schools will expand their computer science program in a partnership with, the Sun-Sentinelreports.

Coral Springs high school student earns national recognition for flute
Rebecca Tutunick of Coral Springs doesn't quite remember the day she fell in love with the flute, but she recalls being mesmerized the first time she heard it being played. "The sounds of the flute were always the most appealing to my ears," Tutunick, a senior at Marjory Stoneman DouglasHigh School, said.

Hollywood schools film festival is Jan. 23
Students of Hollywood schools are inviting movie goers and film enthusiasts to its Hooray Hollywood event on Thursday, Jan. 23. Hooray Hollywood is a film festival and awards ceremony that showcases films produced by students in Hollywood's public schools.

Applications sought for Broward Center Teen Ambassador Program
The Broward Center for the Performing Arts is accepting applications for the 2013-2014 Broward Center Teen Ambassador Program, which is open to high school students residing in Broward County who are interested in the performing arts.

Tamarac seeking charter school proposals for first high school
The city originally built as a retirement mecca for senior citizens wants to build its first public high school. The commission agreed at a workshop Tuesday to allow the city manager to formally make a request from charter school companies to gauge interest.


January 16, 2014

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Academy holds out hope for improvement at MLK school
The fate of an almost entirely minority Broward County public school could rest in the hands of a group of caring mentors who are racing to effect improvements and avoid its closure. The Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary School, located at 591 NW 31st Ave., Lauderhill, scored an “F” grade on the most recent Florida Comprehensive Achievement Test, or FCAT; only 27 percent of students are proficient in reading and 25 percent scored satisfactory or higher in math.

Administration Calls For Schools To Limit Use Of Zero Tolerance Policies, Police Officers For Routine Student Discipline
The damage done by zero tolerance policies has been covered here several times. Recently, we noted more schools were dropping these policies in favor of something more nuanced and leaving fewer routine disciplinary problems in the hands of on-campus police officers. The positive effects of these actions were immediately noticeable. Broward County, Florida schools witnessed a 41% drop in arrests in a 66% drop in suspensions after their zero tolerance policies were abandoned.

January 18 -21, 2014

Broward County Schools Try to Teach Parents to Cook to Their Kids
The district is trying to get lower income parents more involved with all aspects of their kids’ education, including choosing good, healthy nutrition over fast food.

Redesigned schools see boost in enrollment, technology
Broward's bold move this year to radically transform a cluster of failing and underenrolled schools is already showing results — infusing new resources, technology and additional students into the campuses.


January 14, 2014

20,000 expected at WalkAbout fundraiser for autism
It started out small as a fun day for youths with autism in South Florida to share with one another, their families and friends. About 1,500 people attended. But this Jan. 25, more than 20,000 people are expected at the Fourth Annual Dan Marino Foundation WalkAbout Autism & Expo at Sun Life Stadium, raising perhaps a half-million dollars for the cause.

Panel suggests only minor changes to Common Core
After listening to14 hours of public testimony and sifting through 19,000 written comments, Florida educators decided Common Core only needed some tweaks….Broward Schools Superintendent Robert Runcie said the changes "don't seem to be reducing the standards, but adding and strengthening them." He cautioned, however, about the impact these shifts could have on teachers.
January 15, 2014

Weston teenager's razzle-dazzle hockey goal ranks No. 1 on ESPN
The reigning god of sports videos — at least for now — isn't some platinum-salaried basketball player or golden-armed quarterback. It's an unassuming high school kid trying out a goofy move during a hockey game played in, of all places, South Florida.

Local hockey player gets national attention
A game-winning goal during a South Florida high school hockey game made Sportcenter's "Top10", Monday night. Sixteen-year-old Jake Levy made the goal on a penalty shot for the Cypress Bay youth hockey team. "Once in a lifetime, I'll never forget that my entire life," Levy said.

Weston Hockey Player’s Sensational Goal Makes ESPN’s No. 1 Play Of The Day

Sharing Locks of Love
Students and faculty at Hallandale Beach's Gulfstream Middle School recently found a different way to give back. For the third time, the Gulfstream Student Council chose to give to Locks of Love, and both students and teachers were involved in the effort. Locks of Love is a nonprofit that provides hairpieces to children younger than 21 who have long-term medical hair loss.

Moving away from the misguided zero tolerance policy in schools
Kids will be kids, and sadly that often means bad judgment in schools. However, should such non-violent misbehaving require disciplinary action above school-related punishment? Last week the Obama Administration issued guidelines basically saying no.

Broward faces $200,000 class size fine, but it could have been worse
The Broward school district expects to pay a $200,000 penalty for not meeting class size caps at 21 of its schools, officials said Tuesday. The state this year allowed districts to calculate class size requirements for magnet schools based on schoolwide averages instead of period by period. Without changes, the district would have faced a $1.1 million fine.


Week Ending January 10, 2014

BCPS News Releases

BCPS College Academy @ BC to Hold Recruitment Open Houses
Students Can Earn High School Diploma and AA Degree

Two BCPS School Leaders Finalists for State's Top School Leadership Honors

BCPS News Headlines

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(The following includes news coverage during the two-week Winter Break)

By Robert W. Runcie: Broward schools seek cost-saving measures

South Florida 100 Forum Dec. 29

South Florida 100 Forum Jan 5

Obama surprises students on White House tour

2 school leaders named state finalists

Broward in running for Florida principal, vice principal of year

Senior volunteer wins state award

Exhibit showcases students' artwork

Pledging not to text and drive

Theater shows make subjects come alive for students

South Florida's got talent

Students help with dune restoration

90 Whispering Pines students get a puppy party

Pines teen's work with autistic kids earns her Nickelodeon award

Program helps at-risk students

Party's Over: School Resumes After Winter Break

Commissioner Holness presents proclamation to Dillard High School Orchestra Director

Dillard High School leads Broward County public schools improving from “C” school to“A” school

Black high schools get 1st ‘A’ grades

High School graduation rates released; 97 percent of traditional BCPS High Schools exceeded the state rate

Find ways for Broward schools to save

First day of school set for Aug. 18

Zero Tolerance, Reconsidered

Once overcrowded, school district now selling land


December 21, 2013 – January 7, 2014

Obama surprises students on White House tour
They may have been inside his home and workplace, but the last person that a group of Weston elementary students expected to see in person was President Barack Obama.

2 school leaders named state finalists
Two Broward school leaders have a chance at earning a coveted state honor.

Broward in running for Florida principal, vice principal of year
Florida leaders on Monday announced the finalists for Principal and Assistant Principal of the Year - with Broward County in the running for both awards. 

Senior volunteer wins state award
You're never too old to earn a little recognition.  The state has honored Dorothy Zarfjian as the Outstanding Senior Volunteer for this region.

Exhibit showcases students' artwork
For nearly 20 years, art students at South Broward High School have had a unique opportunity to display their work to the community.

Pledging not to text and drive
Texting and driving is a deadly combination. Teens hear it all the time but often don't heed the message.

Theater shows make subjects come alive for students
A trip to the theater turned six-year-old Dwight Smith into a math teacher for his mom and sister.

South Florida's got talent
The stars are aligning in South Florida — the kind that glimmer on stage and screen, that is. A stunning array of young performers lighting up Hollywood and Broadway grew up in Broward and Palm Beach counties, and some got their training here, too.

Students help with dune restoration
Students from Cooper City's Embassy Creek Elementary School recently hit the beach to help with dune restoration.

90 Whispering Pines students get a puppy party
Puppy paw print paper covered three long tables as 90 students piled into the cafeteria at Whispering Pines Elementary School.

Pines teen's work with autistic kids earns her Nickelodeon award
Miranda Fuentes loves to surf. And as a volunteer with Surfers For Autism, a nonprofit based in BocaRaton, she gets to share that love with others.

Program helps at-risk students
Plantation High School is working to reduce dropout numbers and help at-risk students get their diploma.

Party's Over: School Resumes After Winter Break
Joy Talley teaches sixth-grade social studies, and says this day is usually a get-back-up-to-speed day.

Commissioner Holness presents proclamation to Dillard High School Orchestra Director
Broward County Commissioner Dale V.C. Holness made a special trip to Dillard High School to present Christopher Dorsey, Director of Jazz Studies and Orchestra Director for Dillard Center For The Arts...

Dillard High School leads Broward County public schools improving from “C” school to“A” school
December 18, 2013 will go down as the day that Dillard High School made history.

Black high schools get 1st ‘A’ grades
Three high schools. Three educational icons in their communities.

High School graduation rates released; 97 percent of traditional BCPS High Schools exceeded the state rate
Today, the Florida Department of Education released Federal high school graduation rates for the 2012/13 school year.

Find ways for Broward schools to save
Interesting ideas are surfacing for how the Broward County School District can save money.

By Robert W. Runcie: Broward schools seek cost-saving measures
The Dec. 22 editorial, "Find ways for Broward schools to save," should have been titled "Broward schools achieve significant savings, will continue to find more."

Andrew Ladanowski: Broward schools Facilities Task Forceworking to fix problems
With appreciation to both the Editorial Board of the Sun Sentinel and Broward Superintendent of Schools Robert Runcie, the district's Facilities Task Force would like to share the following clarifications with the school board and editorial board:

First day of school set for Aug. 18
Mark your calendars, Broward School Board members have approved dates for the 2014-15 Broward school year. Next year, classes for public school students will begin Aug. 18 and end on June 4.

New school standards tough for non-English speakers
New Common Core education standards are making their way into South Florida's classrooms, underscoring critical thinking skills and toughening expectations of students.

Zero Tolerance, Reconsidered
Schools across the country are rethinking “zero tolerance” discipline policies under which children have been suspended, even arrested, for minor offenses like cursing, getting into shoving matches and other garden-variety misbehavior that in years past would have been resolved with detention or meetings with a child’s parents.

School-grade divide leaves Florida parents puzzled
The year 2013 was a record-setting time for Florida schools —but in a way that may leave confused parents scratching their heads.

Broward schools pay $275,00 in whistleblower case
The Broward School District will pay $275,000 to settle a lawsuit from a husband and wife who played pivotal roles in exposing corruption in the facilities department.

Broward school employee speaks out about $275k settlement
Employee speaks about settlement he received from school board

Once overcrowded, school district now selling land
After years of buying land to build new schools, the Broward School District is now looking to unload some parcels.

Pay for Broward schools’ diversity committee members sparks backlash
The Broward school district’s Diversity Committee is supposed to be an equality watchdog — but some of its own members are being accused of getting special treatment.

Pines charter schools to face more challenges in the new year
A tumultuous year for Pembroke Pines charter schools has left the system on rocky ground and facing major challenges in the new year.

Peter Deutsch’s Ben Gamla charter schools win nod for new Hollywood high/middle school
Former U.S. Rep. Peter Deutsch won conditional approval early Friday from a key Hollywood board to build a controversial Ben Gamla middle and senior charter high school in a traffic-congested neighborhood near City Hall.

Creek teacher should keep job, judge rules
A pair of purple panties may not cost a Lyons Creek Middle School teacher his job after all.

Friday, December 27, 2013



December 6, 2013

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Runcie Receives Superintendent Of The Year Award
Broward County Public Schools Superintendent Robert W. Runcie received the “Star” Superintendent of the Year Award in Tampa Thursday.

Dolphins Make Appearance At Maplewood Elementary School For Gatorade JTC
The Miami Dolphins travelled north to Coral Springs to spend the day at Maplewood Elementary School for a Gatorade Junior Training Camp (JTC), impacting nearly 500 students, who were treated to six interactive football drills, cheerleader routines and life lessons.

Apollo Middle School STEM teacher honored with Florida’s 2013 ‘Oscar of Teaching’
No doubt, Luis Espinosa, who leads the Aeronautics STEM (Science, Technology Engineering and Math) Magnet and LEEO (Linking Education and Employment Opportunities) programs at Apollo Middle School in Hollywood, Fla., was excited that Florida’s Commissioner of Education, Pam Stewart and Superintendent Robert W. Runcie were participating in a school-wide event to recognize the achievements of those two programs. Yet, Espinosa had no inkling that the assembly’s spotlight was about to focus on him.

Education over incarceration will end the school-to-jail pipeline
Anyone who has heard me speak at public functions knows that when it comes to our children — the future of Broward County — I strongly favor education over incarceration. Likewise, one of my first directives as sheriff was to implement mandatory civil citations.

Letter to the Editor
Broward schools replacing zero tolerance with PROMISE
The Broward County school system finally understands that arresting our children for disciplinary issues is cruel and unusual punishment. After several years of holding the No. 1 spot in student arrests in Florida, the district finally got it and introduced a program designed to reduce the number of student arrests, suspensions and expulsions.
December 7 - 9, 2013

Broward schools puts Disney partnership on hold
The Broward school district won't get its dose of Disneyfication just yet. Officials have halted the district's partnership with the Disney Institute because they say its employees have too many other initiatives on their plate to handle additional training. Officials said they plan to continue making improvements with there sources they have.

Group urges Broward school district to cut lawn mowing costs
Sometimes the grass is cheaper as well as greener on the other side. That's why a group of community activists is urging the Broward school district to reduce the costs of its in-house lawn mowing services. They pay its in-house employees almost three times what an outside company charges for the same work, numbers provided by the district show.

Are police living on school grounds still needed?
The Broward school district has allowed police officers to live rent-free on some school grounds since the 1980s as a way to provide after-hours safety. But there's no hard numbers to prove the decades-old program is still effective.

Early education a proven fix to school's reading woes
The first time I met Angela Brown she seemed a little out of her element. It was over a year ago at an Urban League of Broward County meeting where the Broward School District had launched its Black Male Success initiative, a new effort by superintendent Robert Runcie to boost academic performance among black male students.

Sharon Glickman: Public schools need more public support
Today, educators, support staff, parents, students and community members will come together for the National Day of Action to demonstrate our commitment to public education.

Audit could cost Broward schools $1.7 million
Broward County schools could be forced to pay as much as $1.7 million after a state audit concluded they received funding for hundreds of ineligible students. Many of the 15 regular and five charter schools were cited by the state Auditor General when they couldn't provide documentation that services were needed for some students in the English for Speakers of Other Languages and special education programs during the 2011-12 school year.

Hollywood mom creates 'The Bully Map'
OneHollywood psychotherapist has found a different way to stand up to bullying. Gay Lynn Grigas, who speaks to Broward County students about the importance of confidence and empowerment, has launched "The Bully Map." This new feature — found on her self-help website, — allows people to report different forms of bullying and see their incident pop up in their city, anywhere in the world.

U.S. Schools Reversing Get-Tough “Zero Tolerance” Policy
Some of the largest school districts in the United States are moving away from two decades of “zero tolerance” policies that resulted in thousands of students being arrested and dropping out. Instead, education officials are trying to help at-risk kids avoid trouble and stay in school.
December 12, 2013

Broward's graduation rates dip slightly
Broward's high school graduation rate dropped slightly in 2013, according to state figures released Wednesday. The district's overall graduation rate was 75.3 percent, compared to 76.4 percent the year before. Statewide, 75.6 percent of students graduated.

Seminole County's Dede Schaffner awarded
Seminole County Public School Board member Dede Schaffner recently received the STAR award for her exemplary leadership from the Consortium of Florida Education Foundations. Schaffner was one of two people who received the award from CFEF this year. The other recipient was Robert Runcie, the superintendent of Broward County Public Schools. Both were recognized on Dec. 5 during CFEF's 68th annual joint conference of the Florida School Boards Association and the Florida Association of District School Superintendents.

A quality education for all public school students
Educators, parents, students and community members in Miami-Dade and Broward counties are joining together to reclaim the promise of public education. This important effort is co-sponsored by the American Federation of Teachers and National Education Association and is a vital step forward for our schools in South Florida.

December 13, 2013

World AIDS Day event draws over 500 Broward County students in commemoration
Over 500 Broward County students took photos in front of the authentic AIDS Memorial Quilt sewn together by friends, lovers and family members, commemorating the life of someone who has passed away due to AIDS.

Council of Great City Schools Urban Educator - Op-Ed
Broward District Aims to Close Schoolhouse-to-Jailhouse Pipeline
In an effort to counter "zero tolerance" discipline measures, Florida's Broward County Public Schools in Fort Lauderdale recently joined forces with local community organizations to approve a new collaborative agreement on school discipline. (Click pdf link to view article on page 9)

Pinellas schools aim to reduce student arrests
A new disciplinary policy could ensure that students in Pinellas County schools rarely find themselves in handcuffs.  School board members said during their Thursday workshop that they would like to move forward with the creation of a new policy emulating one Broward County enacted this school year. In Broward, the school board formed an agreement with local law enforcement agencies to ensure that students who commit “nonviolent, minor offenses,” don’t end up with a police record prematurely.

Monday, November 25, 2013


Thanks tight they are back! Holiday Smencils on sale while supplies last.



TRIP Projects are due on December 13th. If you still need a copy of the directions you can find them on the right side of the website by grade level. Please contact Candy Boyce if you have any questions. She can be reached at 754-322-8600.

Sunday, November 3, 2013


November 1, 2013

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Radio show to feature student poetry
Broward students' spoken word poetry is hitting the air waves
Starting at 5 p.m. Mondays, you can tune into a one-hour weekly poetry program on WKPX 88.5 FM.,0,2838760.story

Miami Dolphins make appearance at Piper Wellness Day
The Miami Dolphins Youth Programs made an appearance at the first annual Piper High School Wellness Day as part of the team’s mission to promote a healthy lifestyle.

ESL and Classroom Teachers Team Up to Teach Common Core
Collaboration may be the new norm for teachers of ELL students...In Broward County, Fla., where state law requires all academic content teachers to have some training in the theories and practice of teaching second-language learners, the district's curriculum and instruction team has created an open-source trove of digital professional-development resources around the common core, in addition to face-to-face training.

Fighting Chronic Absenteeism in Some South Florida Schools is Top Priority for Officials
Broward County has created a new truancy court to help crack down on parents who aren’t getting their children to school.

Other Education News

Moving beyond the mainstream
Helping Diverse Learners Master the Common Core
How well educators manage to adjust the common core to the needs of each student could prove pivotal scholastically, but also politically, as the standards themselves face skepticism in the states. This special report looks at the challenges educators face in adapting the standards for students with disabilities, English-learners, and gifted students