March 2008, Volume 45

Dimensions On-Line



Florida ASCD Announcements



Florida ASCD Events



Grants and Awards



News Briefs



ASCD Connections


Contact Us

Florida ASCD

Board of Directors

Executive Board


Shelia Windom



Paul M. Terry



Lenford Sutton


Past President:

Ralph Barrett



Alina Davis



David Magee


Executive Director:
Kim Pearson


Directors by Region

(region map)


Region 1

Peter Ulrich


Region 2

Pat Melvin

Kelley Ranch


Region 3

Marcy Kysilka

Mike Mizwicki

John Nash


Region 4

Allan Dornseif


Region 5

May Gamble


Region 6

Catherine J. Weitman


Florida ASCD Mission

Providing educational direction for all who impact teaching and learning.

   Florida ASCD Purpose

The purpose of this association shall be the general improvement of instruction and supervision and the encouragement of professional growth.

Florida ASCD Goals

  • Provide a forum for collaboration to improve education.

  • Deliver programs in a variety of formats, which meet the needs of Florida educators.

  • Provide a communication network that links Florida educators.

  • Support and encourage research and development activities designed to enhance educational practice.

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


Message from the President

Voices of Influences

At the time this newsletter is being written, our legislators have begun the legislative session. We have a new Governor and many newly elected legislators so this promises to be an exciting session. As issues unfold, FL ASCD representatives are staying current with what is going in “on the Hill” as well as in at the capitol.  I invite each of you to stay connected to the legislative issues of the day. Let your voice be heard. Contact your legislator during the session to let him or her know how you feel about an issue. Your voice matters!

Dr. Shelia Windom

President, FASCD


New Members

Florida ASCD will recognize our new and renewed members in our next edition. The processing of our membership has been delayed this month, so we will spotlight you in April. Be sure to check back then!


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


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Florida ASCD Events


Annual Conference

Our 49th Annual Conference will be held December 5-6, 2008 at NOVA University in Orlando. We have finalized our plans for the conference at our recent board meeting on February 22, 2008. The website for the conference is in development. Information will be posted on the conference site soon! We are booking nationally acclaimed speakers including: Dr. Steven Layne. Mark the dates on your calendar and plan to attend!


Professional Development Institute-Fort Walton Beach

Join us for another awesome Professional Development Institute in beautiful Fort Walton Beach! This PDI is geared for secondary reading teachers who are interested in learning how to boost the vocabulary of your striving secondary readers ! The title of this workshop is: Vocabulary Bursts and Striving Secondary Readers: Moving to grade level and beyond with an accelerated vocabulary program of Latin and Greek roots. The cost is only $100! This is a great deal. If you would like more information or would like to register, please visit http://fascd.org/08PDI-FWB2.htm.


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Grants & Awards


Listen to a Life Essay Contest
The Listen to a Life Essay Contest, sponsored by the Legacy Project of Generations United, asks students to interview a grandparent or grand-friend 50 years or older about the older person's hopes and goals through their life, how they achieved their goals and overcame obstacles or how dreams may have changed along the way. The student then writes a 300-word essay based on the interview. The Maximum Award is a Lenovo ThinkCentre computer, $800 in Orchard software, and an iPod Classic with video and $25,000 worth of software for the student’s school. Eligibility includes students ages 8-18. The deadline for submission is March 31, 2008. For more information please see http://www.legacyproject.org/contests/ltal.html.


The American Historical Association Beveridge Family Teaching Prize
The American Historical Association Beveridge Family Teaching Prize recognizes excellence and innovation in elementary, middle and secondary history teaching, including career contributions and specific initiatives. The maximum award: $1,500.
Eligible teacher include K-12 teachers in groups. The deadline for submission is March 17, 2008. For more information please see http://www.historians.org/teaching/Beveridge.htm


Harold McGraw, Jr. Prize in Education
The 2008 Harold W. McGraw, Jr. Prize in Education celebrates the theme of global awareness in U.S. education and recognizes those behind educational programs that help students develop the knowledge and skills they need to function as workers, citizens and fulfilled individuals in an increasingly interconnected world. The maximum Award is $25,000. Eligibility is open to: policy makers, leaders in higher education, and school-based personnel. The deadline for the application is March 21, 2008. Click here for more information http://www.mcgraw-hill.com/prize/about_history.shtml.


Scholarship for Teachers of Gifted Children
The National Association for Gifted Children Harry Passow Classroom Teacher Scholarship awards teachers who have shown the ability to meet the needs of gifted students and a commitment to furthering the development of their teaching skills. The
maximum award is $2,000. Eligible teachers include K-12 teachers who have been members of NAGC for at least one year.
Deadline for submission is April 7, 2008.
Click here for more information

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News Briefs


Coalition of Florida Education Groups Unveils Model Retirement Savings Plan for Educators
Considerable changes are just around the corner for retirement savings plans for school system personnel. Due to new IRS regulations, begining January 2009 every school district in the nation must have a new system in place for managing the tax deferred savings plans they make available to their teachers and professional staff. In preparation for these changes, a coalition of Florida's leading education associations banded together to create a 403b Model Plan for tax-sheltered accounts that, if adopted by the states 67 school districts, could put billions of dollars into the tax-deferred investment accounts of educators over the next 20 years. For more information please For more information on the Model Plan go to www.themodelplan.com. To download and print a summary of the Model Plan PDF click here http://www.fasa.net/upload_documents/ibcguide.pdf.


iTeachers? Virtual/Digital Teachers Can Outperform Flesh and Blood
Never let schooling get in the way of your education, Mark Twain supposedly said. The latest advances in psychology and behavior science take this quote to a new dimension with the advent of virtual reality. Virtual characters and digital tutors are helping children and adults develop social and language skills that can be tough to learn using traditional methods, reports Robin Lloyd for LiveScience. Justine Cassell of Northwestern University has found that children with autism can develop advanced social skills by interacting with a "virtual child" that they might not have been able to develop through "normal" human contact. In fact, in some aspects, digital teachers work better than humans. Virtual reality allows participants to send only small amounts of non-verbal or facial expressions to the other person, which benefits autistics who often cannot deal with the intensity of face-to-face conversations. This makes virtual learning quite beneficial as it allows speakers to create renderings of themselves that are toned down or abstract. Still, despite the efficacy of digital approaches to education, there is reluctance in society for such tools to become widespread, owing to a general discomfort with the idea that human teachers might be replaced.


New Resource Highlights Community's Role in Educating All Children
Across America, front-line educators are working with their communities to shape a fresh vision for the future of public schools. Publicschoolinsights.org, launched last week, shows how teachers, administrators, parents and others are finding common ground and crafting innovative, 21st-century solutions to help all students succeed. The site has a wealth of real stories that reveal an emerging vision for public schools in the 21st century. Additional features include a wide variety of success stories about U.S. schools and districts that have adopted successful strategies for addressing key challenges in education. The site’s ultimate goal: to build a sense of community among those who are working at the local level to strengthen their public schools, while showcasing proven strategies. The initial launch included a story (second link) about the Mobile County (Ala.) School District’s reform efforts, which centered on intensive public engagement conducted by the district and Public Education Network member, the Mobile Area Education Foundation. These efforts resulted in the school district making adequate yearly progress (AYP) in 2007 with 85 of 100 schools meeting AYP targets, amounting to a 215 percent jump.

Florida schools may have to trim $350 million by June 30
Florida lawmakers may cut more than $350 million from K-12 schools before the end of the school year, in a bid to balance this year's budget, which has taken a hit from sluggish sales-tax revenues. At some school districts, staff reductions are likely imminent, a spokesman for the Florida Education Association said. http://www.miamiherald.com/295/story/434891.html


Florida Board Approves Evolution Standards
The Florida state board voted 4-3 Tuesday to adopt new science standards that for the first time require schools to teach students about evolution; however, a last-minute compromise, under which teachers will be required to emphasize that evolution is a "scientific theory," still failed to placate conservatives, who now plan on taking the issue up with state lawmakers. http://www.orlandosentinel.com/orl-evolution2008feb20,0,7150084.story


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ASCD Connections


Annual Conference

It is not to late...Make plans now to attend  ASCD's annual conference in New Orleans, March 15-17, 2008. The conference theme is "Reinventing Schools: Courageous Leadership for Positive Change." Pre-conference institutes are available for registration now. Volunteers still needed...cheaper rates are available if you volunteer!


Submit a Proposal for the 2009 ASCD Annual Conference
ASCD is seeking proposals for the 2009 Annual Conference & Exhibit Show in Orlando, Fla., March 14 to 16, 2009. The conference theme is Learning Beyond Boundaries. All 2009 conference proposals are due May 1, 2008. View the procedures and guidelines for submitting a proposal at http://www.ascd.org

Happy Anniversary ASCD!!
In March 2008, ASCD will turn 65 years old. While for many this is a time to retire, for ASCD it is a time of renewed energy and mission toward educating the whole child. Please celebrate with us. If you have a cherished ASCD memory or reflection on where ASCD has been, where ASCD is, or where you believe ASCD and the field are going, visit Inservice, ASCD's blog, at http://ascd.typepad.com.


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Professional Development


Growing Gifted in the Sunshine State

National Association for Gifted Children is hosting a convention in Tampa, October 29-November 2, 2008. Their theme is Growing Gifted in the Sunshine State. Be sure to hold the dates if this sounds like something you are interested in attending! Visit their website for more information at www.nagc.org.


Holocaust and Human Behavior

Facing History and Ourselves is pleased to announce that we will be offering our online seminar, "Holocaust and Human Behavior," again this winter/spring. By using the Holocaust as a case study, we raise profound moral questions about the consequences of our actions and our beliefs, and we help our students make connections between history and the moral choices they make every day. While the Holocaust was a unique event in human history, the questions remain universal.
Seminar Dates: February 21, 2008 - April 16, 2008 or March 27, 2008 - May 21, 2008. Information and application: http://www.facinghistory.org/OnlineSeminar


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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

11225 Kapok Grand Circle

Madeira Beach, FL 33708






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