August 2011, Volume 86

Dimensions On-Line



Florida ASCD Announcements


Florida ASCD Events


Grants & Awards


Noteworthy News

Curriculum Corner

Technology Bytes

Professional Development Oppotunties

Job Opportunities

ASCD Connections

Contact Us

Florida ASCD

Board of Directors

Executive Board


Alina Davis



Pat Melvin



Sallie Payne


Past President:

John Nash



Kelley Ranch



David Magee


Executive Director:
Kim Pearson


Directors by Region

(region map)


Region 1

Jason Flom


Region 2


Region 3

Ralph Barrett

Marcy Kysilka

Mike Mizwicki

Shelia Windom


Region 4

Paul Terry


Region 5

Lois Lee

Region 6

Dona DePriest


Florida ASCD Mission

Florida ASCD empowers a diverse membership to improve learning, teaching, and leadership.


Florida ASCD Goals

  • Establish strategic partnerships to expand the work of The Whole Child Initiative.
  • Become an exemplary affiliate in leadership and governance.
  • Cultivate collaborative communities to build capacity for membership.

Florida ASCD Beliefs

We Believe that...

...collaboration fosters a quality educational system.

...an ever-changing world necessitates life long learning

...dialog among people promotes understanding and vision for a common purpose.

...sound decision making in democracy is founded on an informed society.

...diversity strengthens society.

...learning occurs in an environment that fosters safety, love, and trust.

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Welcome to Dimensions On-Line, the electronic edition of Dimensions. Dimensions On-Line is e-mailed to all members. It contains news of interest to Florida ASCD members and Florida educators. This newsletter is a benefit of your membership in Florida ASCD.

Florida ASCD Announcements


New Members

Florida ASCD would like to recognize and welcome all of the new members who have recently joined Florida ASCD as well as those members who renewed their membership with our organization.


Barbara Bailey
Susan Cooper
Robert Cranmer
Danny Davis
Dona DePriest
Elizabeth Dunaway
Denise Gudwin
Peggy Johnson

Patricia Melvin
Pamela Mitchell
Jennings Neeld
Ann Nevin
Angela Pruitt
Mary Quick
Kelley Ranch
Sharon Richert

Cheryl Rutenbar
Murray Sawyer
Karen Sinclair
Carla Thompson
Maria Torres
Michele Wallace
Denise Weir
Letitia Whitfield-Hart


Members in the News

Have you had a recent event to share with others in Florida ASCD (like a job change, promotion, retirement, award or recognition received, unique travel experience, etc.)?  We would like to include your information in the next Electronic Dimensions. Send it to us: fascd@fascd.org


Board or Directors Needed

Looking for a way to enhance and broaden your educational experiences? If so, we have the position for you! We are looking for interested educators to join our board of directors. If you are interested, please email Kim Pearson at fascd@fascd.org.



Florida ASCD is now on Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin & ASCD Edge!  Check us out!



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Florida ASCD Events


Habits of Mind - Professional Development Institute - Presented by Art Costa




Florida ASCD would like you to mark your calendar now! Art Costa will be joining us, October 22, 2011 for a full day PDI on Habits of Mind at NOVA Southeastern University Tampa Campus. He will discuss his Habits of Mind and help teachers, administrators and district staff find ways to infuse these habits into their curriculum, instruction and school structure. For more information, please click here. We have a student and group rate! Prices range from $69-159.


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Grants & Awards


CVS: Caremark Community Grants
The CVS Caremark Community Grants Program is currently accepting proposals for programs targeting children with disabilities that address: health and rehabilitation services; a greater level of inclusion in student activities and extracurricular programs; opportunities or facilities that give greater access to physical movement and play; provision to uninsured individuals with needed care, in particular programs where the care received is of higher quality and delivered by providers who participate in accountable community health care programs. Maximum award: $5,000. Eligibility: nonprofit organizations. Deadline: October 31, 2011.

Charles Lafitte Foundation: Grants Program
The Charles Lafitte Foundation Grants Program gives funds to groups and individuals to foster lasting improvement on the human condition by providing support to education, children's advocacy, medical research, and the arts. Maximum award: varies. Eligibility: 501(c)3 institutions. Deadline: rolling.


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Noteworthy News

States are faced with labeling more schools as failing under NCLB
States tallying their standardized test scores this summer are beginning to feel the impact of the federal No Child Left Behind law's ever-increasing adequate yearly progress benchmarks. In New Mexico, 87% of schools were deemed to be failing under NCLB, and in Georgia the number of schools meeting AYP benchmarks dropped to 63.2% in 2011 from 71% last year. Education Secretary Arne Duncan, who predicts that 82% of U.S. schools will be labeled failing under the law by next year, is considering providing waivers for states if Congress does not revamp the law. The Huffington Post (7/26) http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/07/26/no-child-left-behind-failing-schools_n_910067.html

Thousands gather for Save Our Schools march in D.C.
Between 3,000 and 5,000 people protested the current trends in education reform -- primarily the emphasis on standardized testing -- during Saturday's Save Our Schools march and rally in Washington, D.C. Speakers, which included education expert Diane Ravitch and actor Matt Damon, also raised issues such as childhood poverty and short-sighted accountability. National Board Certified Teacher Anthony Cody, who helped organize the march, said No Child Left Behind's focus on testing is harming instruction and public education. Education Week (7/30), The Washington Post (7/30), CNN (7/29) http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2011/07/30/37rally_ep.h30.html?tkn=MVPFYWB%2Bu4nHDnaOghPWMPPhb9AEMLTUV678&cmp=clp-sb-ascd

States' estimated cuts may reach $2.5B in K-12 funding
At least 22 states have cut almost $2.5 billion in funding for K-12 education this fiscal year -- up from $1.8 billion last year, says the National Association of State Budget Officers. The cuts have resulted in teacher layoffs, fewer instructional days and reduced early education offerings, experts say. These cuts add to concern that disadvantaged students will be disproportionately affected, causing the achievement gap to grow. Los Angeles Times (7/31) http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-education-budget-cuts-20110731,0,609384.story?track=rss&utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+latimes%2Fmostviewed+%28L.A.+Times+-+Most+Viewed+Stories%29

Opt out of health-care law could cost Fla. early-childhood funding
Florida could be eligible for a $100 million federal Race to the Top grant to aid the state's early-childhood education system, but that funding requires states to comply with part of the health-care reform law. Florida officials oppose the health-care overhaul and the state's Attorney General has filed suit against the law. More than 30 other states plan to apply for the early-childhood grant. Florida already has won $700 million in Race to the Top funding. Orlando Sentinel (Fla.) (7/31) http://www.orlandosentinel.com/features/education/os-race-to-top-early-childhoold-20110730,0,3680367.story

Will the federal government reduce its role in education?
The federal role in education may be weakening, say observers who note the recently announced No Child Left Behind waivers give states more power. They point to Montana, where officials refused to adhere to the federal education law. Education Secretary Arne Duncan is expected to announce today that the state will be allowed to keep testing targets steady. "Secretary Duncan is disassembling what was a very strong federal role, and some states' rights officials and governors smell blood," said Bruce Fuller, a professor at the University of California, Berkeley. The New York Times (tiered subscription model) (8/14) http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/15/education/15educ.html?_r=1

Fla. students, teachers return to changing schools
Many changes are under way in Florida schools as students head back to classes this year. Reduced state funding for schools and new evaluation and merit-pay systems for teachers are in place, while limits on class sizes will be rolled back, particularly in high-school foreign-language and Advanced Placement courses. Other changes include more online learning and computer-based testing, and an expanded voucher program for students with special needs. Orlando Sentinel (Fla.) (8/14) http://www.orlandosentinel.com/features/education/os-back-to-school-florida-20110814,0,7634483.story


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Curriculum Corner

Why early learning in math is key to students' later success
Students' basic math skills in numbers, counting and low-level arithmetic by first grade predict their success in math by the time they reach fifth grade, a new study finds. Researchers from the University of Missouri encourage educators to ensure that young students understand numerals and quantities, and give them plenty of practice with basic arithmetic. "This study reinforces the idea that math knowledge is incremental, and without a good foundation, a student won't do well because the math gets more complex," researcher David Geary said. eSchool News (7/25) http://www.eschoolnews.com/2011/07/25/math-research-reveals-early-learning-needs/

Fla. to use tougher standards in grading writing tests
Florida will introduce a more rigorous grading standard for the writing portion of state tests next year in an effort to prepare for the introduction of Common Core State Standards. Greater attention will be placed on the correct use of grammar, punctuation and spelling, and students will be expected to make arguments backed by specifics. Educators say they have been focused on improving students' writing abilities in preparation for the change. Orlando Sentinel (Fla.) (7/25) http://www.orlandosentinel.com/features/education/os-fcat-writing-tougher-grading-20110725,0,966982.story

Is the teaching of important skills overshadowed by a testing focus?
The current focus on standardized testing is leading to a lack of instruction for students on complex thinking and other important skills, veteran teacher Anthony Cody writes. Critical thinking, intellectual curiosity and inquiry are key elements to deeper learning in all subjects, from science to history, but these skills are not being being measured -- or valued -- because of the high stakes attached to students' scores on standardized tests, he writes. Education Week Teacher/Living in Dialogue blog (7/23) http://blogs.edweek.org/teachers/living-in-dialogue/2011/07/complex_thinking_is_not_tested.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+LivingInDialogue+%28Teacher+Magazine+Blog%3A+Living+in+Dialogue%29

Program aims to boost student literacy with comic books
A traveling program in Denver is working to improve literacy among students at struggling metro-area schools by bringing comic books and graphic novels into the classroom. Schools participating in the Comic Book Classroom literacy program receive weekly visits from the group, which begin by teaching students how to read comics. The eight-week program ends with students creating their own comics. The Denver Post (7/28) http://www.denverpost.com/entertainment/ci_18562585 

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Technology Tidbits

How one district is working to curb student cyberbullying
School officials in Ann Arbor, Mich., are taking steps to curb student cyberbullying by limiting wireless access for students, and training educators and administrators on how to recognize and address the issue. An analysis of school records found cyberbullying incidents often began outside of school before affecting the classroom environment. AnnArbor.com (Mich.) (7/25) http://www.annarbor.com/news/ann-arbor-schools-cyber-bullying/

Why all students should have access to digital learning
The use of digital media to enhance learning for at-risk students should be considered a necessity rather than a luxury, says author S. Craig Watkins. Research shows digital technology has a positive effect on student learning and schools should ensure that all students have equal access to digital tools and projects, even amid budget cuts and other concerns. KQED.org/Mind/Shift blog (7/22) http://mindshift.kqed.org/2011/07/beyond-facebook-teaching-at-risk-youth-to-create-digital-media/

Some teachers incorporate technology into back-to-school prep
Some educators across the country are boosting their technology skills during the summer to prepare for the upcoming school year. "This summer I'm playing with many of the tools we want kids to use more of next year -- things like ShowMe and InClass, as well as other apps for the iPad, iPod and iPhone," Alaska-based high-school math and science teacher Debbie Brewer said. Other teachers are watching history videos to inspire new lessons on the subject or experimenting with social-networking tools. KQED.org/Mind/Shift blog (7/27) http://mindshift.kqed.org/2011/07/5-ways-teachers-are-getting-inspired-this-summer/

Fla. high school goes digital with iPads for all students this year
Lake Minneola High School in Florida will distribute iPads to all of its students this fall as part of a statewide initiative to replace textbooks with digital materials by 2015. State officials will monitor the school's pilot program, gathering information to help other schools make the transition. Orlando Sentinel (Fla.) (7/27) http://www.orlandosentinel.com/features/education/os-ipads-lake-minneola-20110727,0,5128032.story

Blended-learning seems poised to transform Fla. classrooms
Florida's recent passage of the Digital Learning Now Act will change the way students across the state learn by encouraging more blended learning, writes Florida Virtual School president and CEO Julie Young. Blended-learning options or hybrid classrooms -- both of which combine online instruction with face-to-face support -- may offer many students the best of both worlds as the trend toward more online learning continues, she writes. T.H.E. Journal (7/26) http://thejournal.com/articles/2011/07/26/a-closer-look-at-virtual-learning-models.aspx

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Professional Development Opportunities

Florida Distance Learning Association Annual Conference
Sept. 23 – 24, 2011
Nova Southeastern University Orlando Campus
Orlando, Fla.

The Florida Distance Learning Association will host its annual conference at the Orlando campus of Nova Southeastern University Sept. 23 - 24, 2011, with the theme “Distance Learning: Best Practices and Beyond.” The conference seeks to raise awareness of the best practices in distance learning, promote greater participation in dialogue and exchange, and strengthen district education in the state and nation. For more information or to register, visit www.fdla.com or contact Conference Program Coordinator Tara Kobel at tleconsultants@aol.com.

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Job Opportunities

Florida Virtual School Is Expanding Its Curriculum Department!

Managers  ·  Specialists  ·  Subject Matter Experts

Who is Florida Virtual School?
Florida Virtual School is changing the face of education.  As Florida’s online public school district of choice, our student-centric approach means that every member of our team—no matter the position or job responsibilities—has the opportunity to positively impact the education of students in our program.   Every job here has a greater purpose and influence than those in traditional organizations.  We are proud of our team and to continue our mission in delivering high quality, technology-based education that provides the skills and knowledge students need for success in the 21st century, we look to hire only the best.

Headquartered in Orlando, Florida, Florida Virtual School (FLVS) is the leader in developing and providing virtual K-12 education solutions throughout the United States and the world.  FLVS offers more than 100 courses, including core subjects, world languages, electives, honors and Advanced Placement courses.  Enrollment is open to public, private, and home school students.  FLVS has over 1,500 staff members and serves over 100,000 active students.

Why Florida Virtual School?
Florida Virtual School’s total rewards package offers much more than just a pay check!  Exposure to cutting-edge technology development/application, world class business development initiatives and career advancement opportunities only add to our comprehensive benefits package that includes employer paid medical, dental, vision, life insurance, flexible spending accounts, short and long term disability, educational assistance and paid time off.  Additionally, Florida Virtual School is a member of the Florida Retirement System offering pension/investment retirement plans.  These benefits often add a value of several thousands of dollars to the total compensation package!

Visit the Florida Virtual School Career Center

    • Learn more about FLVS
    • Find out why FLVS is an employer of choice
    • Create an employment profile and apply to open positions

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    ASCD Connections

    ASCD Fall Conference on Teaching and Learning, Las Vegas, Oct 28 - 30, 2011
    The ASCD Fall Conference "Enhancing Teacher Effectiveness = Improving Student Learning" is coming October 28 to 30 to Las Vegas. More than 90 sessions will cover topics including research-based teaching practices, response to intervention and teacher-evaluation practices. Two Pre-Conference Institutes also will be available Oct. 27. Find out more about the conference 

    ASCD introduces "Capitol Connection" policy e-newsletter
    Our "Educator Advocates" e-newsletter has undergone some exciting changes. Now known as "Capitol Connection," the e-newsletter will continue to keep you abreast of the latest education policy updates but will now be delivered in a new format intended to enhance your reader experience. Look for the first issue in your e-mail inbox later today and find out what additional "Capitol Connection" perks we've added.

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    Contact Us


    Florida ASCD Electronic Dimensions is published as the newsletter of Florida ASCD, publishing announcements, coming events, awards, short articles and items of interest for and about Florida ASCD members.  Items for publication should be sent to Florida ASCD headquarters at the address below. Views expressed are not necessarily the official position of Florida ASCD. Any product announcements appearing in Florida ASCD Electronic Dimensions are paid advertisements. They do not reflect an endorsement by Florida ASCD.


    Please send comments, articles, announcements, and suggestions for future topics to the Editor:


    Kim Pearson, Executive Director, Florida ASCD

    11511 Pine Street

    Seminole, FL 33772






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