Out2News Education News
Tell Us: Do You Have Reliable Internet Access in Your Home?
Parents - how does your child access the internet in your home? Did your family have home internet access prior to school closures? Please take a moment to complete one of the following WiFi/Connectivity surveys, which will allow us to determine access needs for the 2020-2021 school year:
While there is still one day left in the 2019-2020 academic year, the Martin County School District is already looking ahead to August.
Return to Work/School surveys have been developed to provide parents/guardians and employees with an opportunity to share their feedback about returning to schools and worksites in the 2020-2021 school year.
"Our students, parents and employees have done a tremendous job of remaining flexible and dedicated to learning despite the uncertainty and disruptions we have experienced as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic," Superintendent Laurie J. Gaylord said. "As many public health considerations will likely extend into the new school year, these surveys will allow us to understand the needs, concerns and preferences of our families and employees as we plan for the start of school in August."
Parents/guardians and employees are encouraged to complete one or more of the following surveys no later than May 28, 2020**:
Parent Survey - English
Encuesta para Padres-Español
Employee Survey – English
Encuesta de Empleados -Español
**Please note - you must be signed in to a Google account to complete these surveys. Personal Google accounts or student/employee SBMC accounts will work for this purpose. Please click here if you have logged in to Google and still cannot access the survey.
Schedule of Virtual Graduations St. Lucie Schools
The graduation ceremonies will air on WLX-TV, the Education Channel of St. Lucie County, appearing on Comcast channel 13 (Ft. Pierce), Comcast channel 19 (Port St. Lucie), Blue Stream channel 19, and ATT TV channel 99. Furthermore, a link to the broadcasts will be found on the St. Lucie Public Schools webpage at www.stlucieschools.org.
Once aired, the ceremonies can be accessed through YouTube on-demand.
Schedule of Virtual Graduations
May 26, 2020
St. Lucie West Centennial, 9:00 A.M.
Ft. Pierce Westwood Academy, 11:00 A.M.
Treasure Coast High School, 1:00 P.M.
May 27, 2020
Lincoln Park Academy, 9:00 A.M.
Ft. Pierce Central High School, 11:00 A.M.
Port St. Lucie High School, 1:00 P.M.
May 28, 2020
Mosaic Digital Academy, 9:00 A.M.
Performance Based Preparatory Academy, 11:00 A.M.
Acceleration Academy, 1:00 P.M.
South Fork High School Class of 2020
Summer Meals for Students - The District will continue serving free meals to all children aged 18 and under during the summer months. Meals will be served weekdays from 10:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. at Hobe Sound Elementary, J.D. Parker Elementary, Jensen Beach Elementary, Port Salerno Elementary and Warfield Elementary.
High Schools to Recognize Senior Class on Original Dates of Graduation Ceremonies
Stuart - The Martin County School District will celebrate the graduating Class of 2020 with additional community-wide ceremonies of lights this week.
At 8:20 p.m. (20:20 military time) May 20-22, District-operated high schools will recognize this year's senior class with spotlight shows that will be displayed across the night sky from each campus. The light shows will coincide with the original graduation ceremony dates for each school - May 20 for Martin County High School, May 21 for Jensen Beach High School and May 22 for South Fork High School. Graduation ceremonies have been rescheduled for late July and will be held in accordance with all public health guidelines that are in place at that time.
The community is encouraged to show their support for Martin County seniors by turning on their exterior/porch lights at 8:20 p.m. and viewing the spotlight shows each evening.
St. Lucie Public Schools Provides Update to Summer Academic Programs
St.Lucie– Due to the continued health threat associated with COVID-19, St. Lucie Public Schools (SLPS) will offer summer academic programs virtually this year.
The virtual summer program will be expanded to include current Kindergarten through 4th grade targeted students who will receive supplemental reading and math intervention. Eligible students will be notified by their schools.
Furthermore, SLPS is pleased to announce that all current Kindergarten through grade 4 students will be provided grade appropriate summer packets called “SPARK: Summer Prep Activities to Recharge your Knowledge.” The packets contain lessons that will provide students a review of key standards from the previous year to ensure readiness for the next school year.
Impacted summer programs include:
• All district operated Summer School Programs will operate virtually.
• Extended School Year (ESY) will take place virtually.
• School based Credit Recovery and Academic Bootcamps will be provided virtually.
• Summer Slide ESOL Programs will take place virtually.
SLPS remains committed to following all guidance provided by the Florida Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to protect the health and safety of students and employees. Additional updates will be shared as they become available.
Superintendent Laurie J. Gaylord Announces Decision to Retire at Conclusion of Elected Term
Superintendent Laurie J. Gaylord announced today she will retire from the Martin County School District when her second elected term expires in November 2020.
"The time has come for me to step back and enjoy my family and retirement," she shared. "When I originally sought election to the position back in November 2012, my goal was to serve my community, the school district and the boys and girls of Martin County with a focus on student achievement and financial stewardship. I wanted to help 'right the ship' from a financial standpoint after a few tumultuous years. I have been fortunate to work with and be surrounded by a tremendous group of leaders and dedicated staff these past eight years that I have served as Superintendent. I am proud of the work we have accomplished during this time, and I have no doubt that the Martin County School District will continue to be recognized as a model educational system for many years to come."
The following achievements were realized during Superintendent Gaylord's two terms in office:
The District earned an 'A' or 'B' rating in the state accountability system each of the past eight years. The District earned an 'A' rating the last three years and will retain an 'A' grade for the 2019-2020 school year, as well.
The District was re-accredited twice by AdvancED, the parent organization of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Council on Accreditation and School Improvement.
The District was named one of 9 Academically High-Performing School Districts by the Florida Department of Education in 2019. The Academically High-Performing School District designation is based on school/district grades and financial audit reviews for the 2017-2018 school year and class size compliance during the 2018-2019 school year.
The District was awarded Certificates of Excellence in Financial Reporting from the Government Finance Officers Association and the Association of School Business Officials International each year.
The District maintained its mandated 5% fund balance as outlined in School Board Policy 6210 each year.
In 2018, the voters of Martin County approved two funding referendums in support of numerous operational and capital projects, including salary stipends for all teachers and the replacement of Jensen Beach and Palm City elementary schools.
In an effort to enhance students' educational experience in the digital age, the District implemented the Laptops for Learning (L4L) initiative for high school students in the 2016-2017 school year. Starting with freshmen and adding a grade level each year, the program is now fully implemented in each District-operated high school with laptops available for students in grades 9-12.
The Students Supporting Our Schools Enhanced (S3+) program was developed to allow high school student interns the opportunity to work alongside District professionals in a variety of technical settings. Through their participation in this program, students are able to gain valuable life and career experience as Technical Support, Sound Booth and Graphic Design interns.
In keeping with its strategic focus on mental wellness, the District has implemented many programs designed to support students’ mental wellness at every age and stage of development. The Sandy Hook Promise curriculum, restorative practices framework and Safe School Ambassadors program are just a few of the many ongoing initiatives throughout the District.
Understanding that the early elementary years represent a critical stage in childhood development, the District implemented a variety of programs and supports for young learners, including summer reading camps for first and third-graders and core phonics curriculum for grades K-2. With the assistance and support of the Education Foundation of Martin County, the District implemented the PLAYS (Purposeful Language Acquisition Yields Success) program for kindergarten students. This program provides students with an opportunity to develop their language skills through purposeful, real-world experiences during playtime.
In 2019, the District secured the purchase of the former Stuart News building to serve as an administrative center for staff. Prior to the purchase, District-level staff had never worked together under the same roof.
In 2018, the District entered into an agreement with the Martin County Sheriff's Office to provide a dedicated school resource officer on each elementary and middle school campus. Funds generated by the half-mill property tax increase approved by voters in August 2018 provided an additional school resource officer for each high school campus. The District has been publicly recognized by the Florida Department of Education's Office of Safe Schools for its efforts to ensure the security of campuses.
In 2020, the District was recognized as one of just 11 school districts across the nation to earn the U.S. Department of Education's Green Ribbon School Award for its commitment to system-wide sustainability and conservation practices.
The District has developed and strengthened many community partnerships in support of student success. Partnerships with the Education Foundation of Martin County, United Way of Martin County, Center for Constitutional Values, YMCA of the Treasure Coast, the Martin County Tax Collector's Office, Martin County Supervisor of Elections' Office, Tykes & Teens, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Martin County and many other organizations have provided the funding and resources for a variety of academic and social-emotional learning programs to be implemented throughout the District.
"I felt that it was timely, honest and transparent to announce my retirement at this time for the School Board to have the opportunity to attract as many qualified candidates as possible in their search for the next superintendent," Superintendent Gaylord commented.
The Martin County School Board is currently accepting applications from candidates interested in becoming the District's first appointed Superintendent of Schools after citizens granted this authority to the Board in November 2018. To learn more about the Martin County School Board's search for an appointed superintendent, please click here.
Martin County Schools, 500 E. Ocean Blvd, Stuart, FL 34994
Tom Brady Celebrating Florida Seniors
Superintendent's Update - Summer Programming
As the 2019-2020 school year draws to a close, the District is reviewing plans for summer instruction and activities in accordance with the latest public health guidelines and recommendations. Due to the continued health threat associated with COVID-19, the decision has been made to cancel all summer camps scheduled to be held on District property. In addition, all classes and academic programs – including Extended School Year (ESY) and credit recovery programs – will be held virtually during the summer months.
While these decisions will understandably result in disappointment for many of our families, the District remains committed to following all public health guidelines and protecting the health and safety of students and employees. We understand the hardship that the cancellation of camps will cause, particularly for our families who depend on these programs as a source of childcare. Staff will continue to collaborate with partner agencies and organizations to see what other opportunities may be available in the community for students. Additional updates will be shared as they become available.
In summary, the District’s summer programs affected by these decisions include:
All summer camps operated by the District or scheduled to be held on District property are canceled.
Extended School Year (ESY) and credit/course recovery programs will be offered virtually.
Third Grade Summer Reading Academy and First Grade Reading Camp will be offered virtually.
Enrichment programs for children of migrant workers will be provided virtually with support from the Title I/Migrant/ELL Department.
Additional academic resources and support will be offered virtually through individual schools. A list of all summer programs will be presented to the School Board for approval during its Regular meeting scheduled for May 26, 2020.
With just over two weeks left to go in the school year, students are encouraged to give their studies their very best effort and finish strong. Parents are asked to continue monitoring their child's grades and progress in the Focus Parent Portal and contact teachers with questions.
Warfield Elementary School Leader Named Finalist for Florida's Assistant Principal of the Year Award
Warfield Elementary School Assistant Principal Angela "Angie" Gilbride received the surprise of a lifetime this morning, having been named one of three finalists for the Florida Department of Education's 2020 Outstanding Assistant Principal Achievement Award.
Established in 1997, the Outstanding Assistant Principal Achievement Award program recognizes Florida's exemplary assistant principals for their contributions to their schools and communities. The program honors leaders who have utilized teamwork and leadership skills to increase student performance, promote safe learning environments and establish partnerships with parents and community members. School districts are invited to nominate one assistant principal to be considered for the award each school year.
A proud graduate of the Martin County School District, Ms. Gilbride has spent 10 of the last 15 years serving as both a teacher and administrator at Warfield Elementary, developing a strong rapport with families and the surrounding Indiantown community because of her dedication to cultural awareness and understanding.
In the 2018-2019 school year, Warfield Elementary rose from its status as one of the 300 lowest-performing elementary schools to being included among the top 10% of elementary schools in the state. The school’s letter grade increased from a ‘C’ to an ‘A’ in the same time period, an achievement that is largely attributable to the professional coaching and student enrichment practices implemented by Ms. Gilbride.
"I could not be more proud of Ms. Gilbride and her selection as a finalist for the Outstanding Assistant Principal Achievement Award," Superintendent Laurie J. Gaylord shared. "Ms. Gilbride has been instrumental in the unprecedented level of turnaround success experienced by Warfield Elementary in a very short time, which is a testament to her ardent belief that given the correct tools and support, all students are capable of achieving their highest personal potential."
"It is an honor being selected as a finalist for the Outstanding Assistant Principal Achievement Award," Ms. Gilbride said. "In Martin County, there are so many deserving colleagues, and I feel so proud and fortunate to be able to represent our collective accomplishments at the state level. My philosophy is to share positivity with everyone every day. What you focus on, you get more of. Relationships are at the core of everything we do at Warfield, and I look for what makes every individual shine in their own unique way."
Graduation Message from Superintendent Gaylord
Martin County School District Superintendent's Message
Martin County School District "Safer at Home"
As we join together following the “SAFER AT HOME” initiative, please feel free to print this sign and post it at your home or business. There is space at the bottom to add your Phone Number or Email if you would like. Stay safe! Laurie J. Gaylord - Superintendent of Martin County Schools
Please join the Martin County School District in supporting the "Safer at Home" initiative by downloading and printing this sign for display at your home or office. Don't forget to submit a photo of your sign hanging on the door - we'll share all submissions on our Facebook and Twitter pages!
District Earns Certificate of Excellence Award for FY 19 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report
Stuart, FL - The Association of School Business Officials International (ASBO) has awarded the Martin County School District its Certificate of Excellence in Financial Reporting (COE) Award for the 13th consecutive year. ASBO International’s COE recognizes districts that have met the program’s high standards for financial reporting and transparency. The District earned this year's Certificate of Excellence for its Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) for the fiscal year ended 2019.
"The Martin County School District recognizes the critical importance of fiscal accountability," Superintendent Laurie J. Gaylord shared. "Our Financial Services Department ensures all of our financial publications - from the Comprehensive Annual Financial Report and budget documents to our monthly financial logs - reflect the District's unwavering commitment to transparent, detailed reporting practices. Thirteen years of recognition is a tremendous accomplishment and is a remarkable reflection of our commitment to quality financial reporting."
“The COE’s mission is to promote and recognize excellence in financial reporting, specifically through a district’s CAFR,” ASBO International Executive Director David Lewis says. “The CAFR informs stakeholders about the financial and economic state of the district, making it an important communications tool for building trust and engaging with the school community.”
By participating in the COE program, school districts demonstrate their commitment to financial transparency. Applicants submit their CAFR for review by a team of financial professionals, who provide feedback to improve future documents. If the CAFR meets the requirements of the program, the document may receive the Certificate of Excellence. A district’s participation in the COE program can facilitate bond rating and continuing bond disclosure processes.
St. Lucie Public Schools Applies for 21st Century Community Learning Center Grant
St. Lucie- St. Lucie Public Schools is pleased to announce it is applying for a 21st Century Community Learning Center (CCLC) grant. The 21st CCLC program provides afterschool and summer programming to students, with a goal of increasing student academic achievement through tutoring, small-group instruction, personal development, and academic enrichment.
The application proposes to operate a 32-week afterschool program and a five-week summer program within four Title I schools in St. Lucie County: Creative Arts Academy of St. Lucie, Northport K-8, Samuel S. Gaines Academy of Emerging Technologies, and Savanna Ridge Elementary.
If awarded, St. Lucie Public Schools will inform the entire community, including private schools, so families may enroll students in this federally-funded program.
St. Lucie Public Schools would like to encourage you to complete a survey to identify the needs of the students, their families, and the surrounding community to help plan the program activities if awarded the grant funds. Click here for the survey.
Education Foundation St Lucie Announces a Laptop Drive for Students
St. Lucie County, Fl – In response to the COVID-19 heath crisis, the St Lucie County Education Foundation announces an immediate fundraising initiative to purchase new laptops for use by St. Lucie Public Schools students and teachers. “Our goal is to help the school district acquire 5,000 laptops as soon as possible,” stated Thom Jones, President.
Each laptop costs $300 and donations in any amount are welcomed.
The foundation is accepting donations of cash through Facebook, Venmo to @EFSLC, on line at www.efslc.org or by mail. The Education Foundation is a 501 (c) 3 not for profit direct support organization for St. Lucie Public Schools.
St. Lucie Public Schools will resume teaching and learning through virtual instruction beginning March 30. The school district has already distributed 8,500 laptops to ensure that every household has access to at least one laptop or digital device. St. Lucie Public Schools has over 40,000 students, with over 64% economically disadvantaged, the need for additional laptops still exists.
The Education Foundation has organized this campaign to help our students and teachers during this unprecedented crisis.
Many households with multiple children are still in need of additional laptops or other digital devices. Due to the purchasing power of the school district and the need to ensure each laptop meets the requirements of the district, all funds raised will be distributed directly to the school district beginning March 30, 2020.
Please make your donation today! Visit fslc.org www.efslc.org
Great White & Snowy Egrets Courtesy Geoffrey Smith
Renaissance Charter School of St. Lucie, 5th Annual Mother/Son Glow in the Dark Dance Party
Transforming a school cafeteria into a festive dance hall and an entire second floor into a laser tag venue is quite the undertaking but well worth the effort.
Renaissance Charter School of St. Lucie recently hosted its 5th Annual Mother/Son Glow in the Dark Dance Party.
Having the flexibility to host these types of events adds to the appeal of a charter.
“We do this event every year to encourage bonding time between moms and their sons,” said Community Outreach & Marketing Director Jill Todd. “We host at least one family-friendly event every month. It’s not only important to educate the children, but we also strive to engage the whole family and bring everyone together. We value this culture!”
While some attendees glowed in the dark and danced the night away to the festive sounds of the deejay, others headed upstairs for a recreation game of laser tag.
Armed with phasers, players dodged behind strategically placed bunkers hiding from and attempting to outwit and outscore their opponents.
Refreshments and snacks, including pizza, helped provide stamina for the bustling evening.
Stay tuned for more information about Renaissance’s Annual TikTok Lip Sync Battle on Friday, April 24, at the school. Celebrity judges from the popular short-form video sharing TikTok app will be on-hand to select the winners. This includes Florida-born Gabby Murray, who currently boasts over 3.5 million followers.
Other upcoming events include the school’s 2nd Annual Touch a Truck gathering on Saturday, May 16, and a full-scale production of the Little Mermaid at the Sunrise Theater in Historic Downtown Fort Pierce on May 8, 9 and 10.
For more information, please visit StLucieCharter.org or the school’s Facebook page.
Applications for the 2020-21 school year are currently available online.
Martin Youth LEADERship Announces Applications Open for the 2020-21 School Year
LEADERship Martin County Alumni Foundation for Youth is pleased to announce that applications are now being accepted for Class 24 for the 2020-21 school year.
The Martin Youth LEADERship Program (MYL) for high school students is in its 23rd year. The group continually strives to better serve students who have made application, and been accepted into the program. MYL is an opportunity for high school sophomores and juniors throughout Martin County to develop and enhance their leadership skills. Students must apply, and a maximum of 40 are selected to participate in this comprehensive nine-month program that is modeled after LEADERship Martin County. Upon completion, these young Leaders have learned about their community including history, government, business, arts and culture, criminal justice and the environment. Class members are given a rare opportunity to reach their highest leadership potential through sessions focusing on leadership enhancing activities. Every effort is made to select a racially, gender diverse class representing various levels of leadership experience. Students come from all high schools, public and private, in Martin County, as well as from the home schooled community.
Some of the key objectives of the MYL program are to identify and nurture young leaders, promote their awareness and involvement as community citizens, and offer programs that will allow interaction with community leaders and decision makers. Students are presented with numerous volunteer opportunities, as well as selected internship and/or paying summer positions.
Martin Youth LEADERship Chair Diana Bruton states, “Good leaders are made not born. We understand that if you have the desire and willpower, you can become an effective leader. Good leaders are developed through a never ending process of self-study, education, training, and experience. Furthermore, leadership is a process by which a person influences others to accomplish an objective and directs the organization in a way that makes it more cohesive and coherent. Leaders carry out this process by applying their leadership attributes, such as beliefs, values, ethics, character, knowledge, and skills. Finally; we and our mentor volunteers understand the youth of Martin County are indeed our future, and it is our responsibility to provide them with the basics of Leadership”.
The program is free to accepted students and completely underwritten and sponsored by many local businesses and in-kind donations, including but not limited to:
• Ampersand Shirt Shack
• Children’s Services Council
• Florida Power and Light/Next Era Energy
• Hill, Barth & King
• LEADERship Martin County Alumni Foundation for Youth, Inc.
• Lesser, Lesser, Landy & Smith
• Martin County REALTORS of the Treasure Coast
• Martin County School District
• Publix Supermarkets
• SkyBlue Jet Aviation
• Stuart/Martin County Chamber of Commerce
• Treasure Coast Legal
• Treasure Coast Realty
For more information about Martin Youth LEADERship ,and how you or a student you know might become involved, please see the group web site at: http://www.leadershipmcalumni.com/youth, or contact Jeanne Dunn at MartinYouthLeadership@gmail.com or at (772) 486-4695.
Pace Center for Girls Receives Laptop Donation From Coca-Cola Beverages Florida
In Photo - PACE students receive a generous donation laptops from Coca-Cola Beverages Florid
Article & Photos by MaryAnn Ketcham
Completing class lesson plans, homework, researching higher-education, and career opportunities just got easier for young ladies attending the Treasure Coast campus of Pace Center for Girls.
Coca-Cola Beverages Florida, LLC (Coke Florida) recently visited Pace bearing a generous donation of laptops, career advice, and a hefty sprinkling of optimism for the school’s enrollees.
With a current enrollment of 55, the Pace Center in Fort Pierce serves girls aged 11-18 who have fallen behind academically, socially, and emotionally.
Small intensive academic classes, wraparound counseling services, and one-on-one guidance help steer the girls in a positive direction in all aspects of their life, including how to make better choices, financial literacy, self-esteem, and more.
Employees from the Coke Florida Ft. Piece operations were on-hand to share information on their various responsibilities, the paths that led them there, and they also fielded questions from the audience.
Begoñe Cazalis, Coke Florida Public Affairs & Community Relations Manager, discussed her responsibilities of engaging with the communities in which Coke Florida serves across the state.
“As Florida’s local Coca-Cola bottler, we are committed to being active in developing the communities we serve and this includes helping equip students with the resources needed to be successful. We offer access to technology throughout the state of Florida by donating laptops to organizations as part of our 2020 Black History Month program.”
Thanks to their donation of 10 brand new laptops, the digital divide is shrinking in Fort Pierce.
IRSC Earns National ‘Leader College’ Status for Student Success Outcomes Achieving the Dream Designation Hails the College’s Sustained Efforts
Fort Pierce - Achieving the Dream (ATD) has recertified Indian River State College (IRSC) as a “Leader College,” a national honor awarded to institutions in the ATD National Network that have sustained aggressive efforts that result in improved student success and equity. IRSC first achieved Leader College status in 2016. The Leader College designation is a three-year term.
“IRSC is honored to be recognized nationally for closing achievement gaps and increasing success for every student,” said Dr. Edwin R. Massey, IRSC President. “Helping students reach their educational goals contributes significantly to their individual career prospects, and the benefits extend further to support the economic strength of our community and nation.”
Large-scale, college-wide reform, particularly in the area of mathematics, has involved revision and standardization of curriculum, adoption of innovative teaching practices, data-informed professional development and evidence-based decision-making—all leading to improved retention and graduation rates for IRSC students. Among the accomplishments over the most recent three-year period leading to the ATD Leader College recertification:
• Increasing the overall percentage of students earning a credential within four years to 40%, an increase of 6%
• Narrowing the equity gap, evidenced by the percentage of Pell recipients who earn a credential within four years, now at 39%, up 6%
• Increasing success rates among black students in gateway math courses by 7%
Leader Colleges embody ATD’s goal to help colleges build institutional capacity to create a student-focused culture and strong outcomes for all students. Leader Colleges are encouraged to provide support to other colleges in the ATD network, disseminate lessons learned, support state and national efforts to advance the student success agenda, and continue to improve student outcomes.
This year, Achieving the Dream designated four institutions as Leader Colleges for the first time and recertified six Leader Colleges.
“We’re proud to acknowledge the achievements of colleges in our Achieving the Dream Network,” said ATD president and CEO Dr. Karen A. Stout. “These new Leader Colleges represent a group that has worked extremely hard over the past few years to change the trajectory of their institutions. Their work impacts their students, communities, and the higher education sector.”