Monday, March 31, 2008

Magistrate Ruling On Insurance

Posted on Monday, Mar. 31, 2008


Source: Miami Herald

Split health costs, schools, teachers told


A special magistrate recommended Monday that teachers and the Miami-Dade school district share the increased cost of health insurance -- but cautioned school system officials against depriving teachers of ``financial oxygen.

''Special master Mark Lurie's suggestion: Teachers in the first decade of their careers who choose either the neighborhood health plan or the HMO the shouldn't have to pay for their employee or dependent coverage. They should also be given ''flex dollars,'' small monthly subsidies to help offset the cost of coverage. But, Lurie suggested, employees electing the most comprehensive plan, a point-of-service plan, should pay a portion of the premium, both for themselves and their dependents.

Read More... <>

Thursday, March 27, 2008


I know we are excited to finish this marking period. At this point you submitted your grade verification forms to Ms. Kerr no later than yesterday.

If that is not the case, please see Dr. K. today, so he may help you meet the timeline.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Baby Shower

Ms. Heyligar's Baby Shower will take place on Wednesday, March 26 at 2:00 p.m. in our Media Center. See you there.

Demand for teachers on decline in Florida

Source: Associated Press

ORLANDO, Fla. -- The demand for teachers in Florida is on a decline.
Education officials are looking for 17,000 new teachers this fall, compared to 32,000 in 2006.

Officials blame it on looming state budget cuts and lower enrollment tied to the economic slump.

Sean Snaith is the director of the Institute for Economic Competition at the University of Central Florida. He says he expects teacher hires to rebound when the housing market bounces back.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

In an Era of School Shootings, a New Drill

Source: New York Times

Gone are the days of the traditional fire drill; now, schools prepare students for such emergencies as bomb threats and armed, roaming sociopaths.

*** Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless device.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Teachers use comics to captivate reluctant readers

Not long ago, about the only way a kid could get away with reading a comic book in school was to hide it inside the covers of a textbook. Now Roberta Kaiser, the media specialist at Nautilus Middle School on Miami Beach, not only stocks her shelves with them, but demand outstrips supply by a wide margin.

*** Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless device.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Broward leads resistance to FCAT

It started out a decade ago as a simple test, but the FCAT has become a high-stakes trial that determines a schools reputation -- and a frenzied academic culture has evolved to handle it.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Overpaid Central FL. Teachers must return money

A central Florida school district accidentally overpaid 53 teachers and other staff. Now the Polk County district wants the money back.

*** Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless device.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Latest Tax Proposal

Property-tax proposal could give South Florida big savings

Source: Miami Herald

Miami-Dade school district spokesman John Schuster said forcing the Legislature to replace property taxes with sales taxes -- a less reliable source of revenue.


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Monday, March 17, 2008

Testing for 3/18 and 3/19

Test Administrators,

Allow me to remind you that our Tuesday and Wednesday Assessments will also include grade 1 and 2 classes.

Consequently, you are strongly encouraged to arrive earlier than usual on those two days.

I will begin releasing test materials at 7:30 a.m. each day.

*** Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless device.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Schedule During Testing This Week

On Monday, we will follow a normal schedule. The only adjustment that will occur is that PE Classes will be held in the cafeteria until the end of the Fifth Grade Science Exam.

On Tuesday, we will follow the Revised Master Schedule.

On Wednesday, we will follow the Revised Master Schedule, while grades 2 and 5 will eat lunch at different times. Those teachers should see the e-mail that was sent to them on Friday regarding this.

*** Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless device.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Healthcare Issue Goes To Magistrate

Battle Over Teachers Healthcare Goes To Magistrate

CBS 4 - Miami,FL,USA

MIAMI (CBS4) -- A Special Magistrate hears from the United Teachers of Dade and Miami-Dade County Public Schools during a Health Insurance impasse hearing on ...


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Thursday, March 13, 2008

ESOL bill clears first hurdle

Source: Tampa Bay Tribune


ESOL bill clears first hurdle

A bill to reduce the amount of ESOL training for reading specialists from 300 hours to 60 hours won near unanimous support in the Florida Senate today. Gov. Charlie Crist vetoed the concept last year; he has not indicated his position this session.

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Monday, March 10, 2008

School Board Agenda

Please click the title bar above to access this month's school board agenda.

School Board To Discuss Budget

In an effort to work within a scaled back budget, the Miami Dade School Board will hold a workshop on Monday to decide where cuts should be made for the 2008-2009 fiscal year.

*** Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless device.

Receiving FCAT or SAT-10 Materials

Selected Staff,

During our six testing days, the conference room will be open at 7:30 a.m. each day, so you may have the opportunity to receive your materials in ample time to prepare for the school day.

*** Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless device.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Palmetto High alum leads Endeavor space crew

With all of the bad press the district has received lately, I thought I would attach a positive story about an M-DCPS Alum, who will lead the next shuttle flight.

Click link below.

Source: Miami Herald

Budget Cuts Get Rid Of Part-Time Teachers' Aides

Source: CBS4; Miami, FL.

This week Miami-Dade County Public Schools took another financial hit from

the state to the tune of $29.2 million. It's the latest round of cuts

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Bill cutting ESOL teacher training advances

Posted on Fri, Mar. 07, 2008

Source: Miami Herald

Some state lawmakers are trying for a second time to slash training requirements for reading teachers who work with students learning English, although scarcely a third of those students read at grade level and only half graduate from high school.

North Florida legislators sponsoring the bill say the required training -- equivalent to 15 college credits or 300 hours -- is cumbersome and unnecessary. In some North Florida counties, only a tiny fraction of the students in public schools are learning English, but in Miami-Dade and Broward combined, about 80,000 students are getting help to learn English.

Friday, March 07, 2008

Thomas J. Hanson of would like to share some information regarding their view on Governor Crist as it relates to funding education. Click the link below for more information.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

District may sell WLRN

Source: Miami Herald

Miami-Dade Superintendent Rudy Crew is willing to consider selling one of South Floridas top public radio and television stations -- WLRN -- to raise money for the school district, which has pared tens of millions from its current budget and is facing a $200 million shortfall next year.

Power Outage

Allow me to bring to your attention that a car apparently hit a pole approximately one block from the school at 6:05 p.m. last night.

As a consequence, Parkway Elementary lost access to power and was running on its emergency generators. With the assistance of our region and FPL, our power was apparently restored during the night.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

School food chief calls for funding

Source: Miami Herald

Miami-Dade schools officials worked the halls of Congress Tuesday in search of money: reimbursement for costs related to last month's massive beef recall, and funds to meet the cost of providing adequate meals for poor children.

Penny Parham, who heads up the food program for Miami-Dade's schools, told a House committee looking at ways to improve the safety and nutrition of school meals that the cost of meat, vegetables and other staples has risen more than 20 percent and the district's milk bill alone has increased by $4.5 million.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Class Size Extension?

Source: Miami Herald


Schools would get two more years to fully comply with class-size limits and then could exceed them by up to five students per class in extreme circumstances under a proposal presented Tuesday in the Legislature.

Monday, March 03, 2008

Do The Right Thing

"Do the Right Thing" nomination forms for March are due to Ms. Schwartz by Thursday, March 13. Please recognize our outstanding students by submitting these nomination forms to Ms. Schwartz and remember to write at least four sentences about the student(s) you are nominating. Thank you for your cooperation.

*** Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless device.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

FCAT and SAT-10 Training

Test Administrators and Proctors,

Please note that the training meetings are offered on multiple days and times this week in room 20.

Please note the day and time for each group and attend one session.


10:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. (SAT Test Administrators and any FCAT Proctors or SAT Proctors)

2:15 p.m. - 3:15 p.m. (FCAT Test Administrators and any FCAT Proctors or SAT Proctors)


8:30 a.m. - 9:30 a.m. (FCAT Test Administrators and any FCAT Proctors or SAT Proctors)

9:30 a.m. - 10:30 a.m. (FCAT Test Administrators and any FCAT Proctors or SAT Proctors)


2:45 p.m. - 3:15 p.m. (FCAT Proctors or SAT Proctors)


2:15 p.m. - 3:15 p.m. (SAT Test Administrators and any FCAT Proctors or SAT Proctors)

*** Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless device.

Saturday, March 01, 2008

HS Basketball

Congratulations to Miami Norland on defeated Boyd Anderson 59-54 to win its second Class 6A state championship in the past three seasons Saturday night at The Lakeland Civic Center.

Parkway Elementary students feed in to Norland Senior High.