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Archive for the ‘Safe Schools’ Category

Back by popular demand, Lake County Schools is for the second consecutive year encouraging fifth graders to power down electronics as they prepare for the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test (FCAT) on April 14-17.

According to the Stanford University School of Medicine, children spend more time watching television and playing video games than any other activity other than sleeping. Lake County Schools is attempting to reverse this trend by encouraging fifth grade students to power down electronics after 7 p.m.

During “The Challenge Zone — Screens Off, Skills On” program, fifth grade students are being asked to pledge to turn off screens at 7 p.m. (No television, videos, DVDs, Blu-rays, cell phones, tablets or video & computer games.)

The “Screens Off, Skills On” Challenge officially began on Sunday, April 6, and ends on Thursday, April 10, when students will return their Challenge Zone Success Form to their teacher. A parent or guardian is required to sign the Challenge Zone Success Form every day their child meets the challenge of screens off at 7 p.m.

By entering the Challenge Zone, students are also encouraged to eat a nutritious breakfast, get an adequate night’s rest, arrive to school on time and maintain a positive attitude in preparation for FCAT. All students who make a serious effort in the “Screens Off, Skills On” Challenge will be included in the fun and recognized for their efforts.

For more information, log on to http://lake.k12.fl.us/Page/33331.

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The Lake County School Board recently recognized the first set of volunteers to the Volunteers on Patrol Program (VOPP).

Volunteers on Patrol ProgramStarted in July, VOPP participants provide “eyes and ears” to deter, detect and delay threats to campus security. The first round of volunteers attended a day-long training session that included representatives from the Lake County Department of Public Safety, Lake EMS, Lake County Sheriff’s Office and Lake County Schools’ Risk Management Department.

The observation and reporting program assists school-based administrators with daily campus supervision. According to Reginald Young, Manager of Security Services for Lake County Schools, VOPP participants conduct parking lot patrols, attend special events and athletic events, directed patrols, walking patrols, post assignments, opening and closing gates, and ambassador duties.

“By utilizing VOPP participants for such basic but needed tasks, school administration and school resource deputies are able to spend more time on academics and more advanced safety concerns,” Young said.

The first set of volunteers include: Stuart Thompson, Les Morgenstein, Fred Trumpler, Emil Horwitz, David Schell, Reba Siggler, Wayne Baker, Clinton Fortune, Beverly Ollila, Joel Smith, George Ludwig, Yamille Feliciano Aponte, Robert Herrick and Louis Lee.

Interested individuals who would like to volunteer some of their time to become part of the School District’s VOPP are encouraged to contact the Safe Schools Department at 352-253-6675 or log on to http://lake.k12.fl.us/vopp.

Volunteer qualifications to be considered for the program include:

  • Must be 21 years of age
  • Pass an oral interview
  • Complete a Vital Volunteer Application and pass a Level II background check
  • Volunteer a minimum of eight hours per month
  • Attend the Volunteer on Patrol one-day training course

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The Safe Schools Department at Lake County Schools is introducing a new program to give school officials and School Resource Deputies more “eyes and ears” to deter, detect and delay threats to campus security.

Volunteers On PatrolBeginning July 1, interested individuals who would like to volunteer some of their time to become part of the School District’s initiative, Volunteers on Patrol Program (VOPP), are encouraged to contact the Safe Schools Department at 352-253-6675 or log on to http://lake.k12.fl.us/vopp.

Volunteer qualifications to be considered for the program include:

  • Must be 21 years of age
  • Pass an oral interview
  • Complete a Vital Volunteer Application and pass a Level II background check
  • Volunteer a minimum of eight hours per month
  • Attend the Volunteer on Patrol one-day training course

By patrolling schools, on a regular basis, usually in eight-hour shifts, volunteers become more familiar with their school and are able to recognize suspicious activity and notify the authorities. Other common duties performed by VOPP participants are parking lot patrols, special events, athletic events, directed patrols, walking patrols, post assignments, open and closing of gates, ambassador duty, observing and reporting, and high visibility.

“By utilizing VOPP participants for these needed tasks, school administration and school resource deputies are able to spend more time on academics and more advanced safety concerns,” said Reginald Young, Manager of Security Services for the Safe Schools Department.

The VOPP is modeled after the “Citizens on Patrol” program, which is a generic name used by many to describe a special group of law enforcement volunteers that patrol their communities acting as “eyes and ears” for law enforcement. VOPP was proposed as an observation and reporting program to assist the school-based administrators with daily campus supervision.

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As Lake County Schools turns the page to a new fiscal year beginning July 1, several school administrators will be turning the reins over to new leadership.

Many of the changes this school year were due to the retirements of June Dalton at Tavares High and Dr. Kathy Cantwell at Cypress Ridge Elementary, as well as the upcoming retirement of Doug Kroulik at Eustis Heights Elementary.

“We have greatly appreciated their efforts over the past years,” said Aurelia Cole, Chief of Administration for Lake County Schools. “June Dalton, Kathy Cantwell and Doug Kroulik have been outstanding leaders dedicated to meeting the educational needs of the community and ensuring student achievement was at the forefront of their schools.”

In all, seven schools will have new faces in the principal’s office for the 2013-2014 school year. Principal changes include:

  • Dale Delpit, Cypress Ridge Elementary
  • Brenna Burkhead, Eustis Heights Elementary
  • Barbara Longo, Oak Park Middle
  • Stephanie Mayuski, Pine Ridge Elementary
  • Leah Fischer, Seminole Springs Elementary
  • Dr. Janice Boyd, Tavares High
  • Amy Cockcroft, Windy Hill Middle

In addition to changes at schools, two longtime educators are retiring from the District office. Mike Herring, Administrative Coordinator for Student Services Department, and John R. Schmidt, Administrative Coordinator for Safe Schools, are retiring with a combined 56 years of service to the School District. Stepping in their positions are Dr. Kristine Hawkins at Student Services and Sebrina Dillon-Banks at Safe Schools.

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According to the Stanford University School of Medicine, children spend more time watching television and playing video games than any other activity other than sleeping. Lake County Schools is attempting to reverse this trend during the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test (FCAT) on April 14-18 by encouraging fifth grade students at several elementary schools to power down electronics after 7 p.m.

The Challenge Zone — Screens Off, Skills OnDuring the pilot program of the “The Challenge Zone — Screens Off, Skills On,” fifth grade students at Sawgrass Bay Elementary, Clermont Elementary, Umatilla Elementary, Eustis Heights Elementary, Leesburg Elementary and Beverly Shores Elementary are being asked to pledge to turn off screens at 7 p.m. (No television, videos, DVDs, Blu-rays, cell phones, tablets or video & computer games.)

The “Screens Off, Skills On” Challenge officially begins on Sunday, April 14, and ends on Friday, April 19, when students will return their Challenge Zone Success Form to their teacher. A parent or guardian is required to sign the Challenge Zone Success Form every day their child meets the challenge of screens off at 7 p.m.

“This is an opportunity for the students and their entire family to take part in this exciting challenge,” said John R. Schmidt, Administrative Coordinator of the Safe Schools Department at Lake County Schools. “It’s time to take a healthy break from screens and focus on other activities that are more rewarding, such as exercise, reading or positive family activities. We hope parents and guardians will support their child in this endeavor.”

By entering the Challenge Zone, students are also encouraged to eat a nutritious breakfast, get an adequate night’s rest, arrive to school on time and maintain a positive attitude in preparation for FCAT. All students who make a serious effort in the “Screens Off, Skills On” Challenge will be included in the fun and recognized for their efforts.

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Local law enforcement agencies are actively assisting the Safe Schools Department with its initiative, tactical site surveys. This initiative gives Lake County School District officials a better understanding of potential security vulnerabilities.

Officials pause for a moment before conducting a tactical site survey at Clermont Elementary. Present for the exercise were (left to right) Clermont Police Lt. Mike McMaster, Chief Chuck Broadway, Clermont Elementary Principal Cleamstine Caple, Schools Security Manager Reggie Young, Lt. Jim Loughnan and Capt. Jon Johnson.

Officials pause for a moment before conducting a tactical site survey at Clermont Elementary. Present for the exercise were (left to right) Clermont Police Lt. Mike McMaster, Chief Chuck Broadway, Clermont Elementary Principal Cleamstine Caple, Schools Security Manager Reggie Young, Lt. Jim Loughnan and Capt. Jon Johnson.

During the tactical site surveys officers along with a team consisting of personnel from multiple District departments — Maintenance, Facilities, Risk Management and Safe Schools — tour the school inspecting each classroom as well as the surrounding grounds and immediate neighborhood. The team’s survey helps Lake County Schools identify potential threats and corrective actions that can reduce or mitigate the risk of different threats, such as vandalism or a school shooting.

At Cypress Ridge Elementary (left to right) Clermont Police Capt. Jon Johnson, Lt. Jim Loughnan, Principal Dr. Kathy Cantwell, Sgt. Brent Joyner, Schools Security Manager Reggie Young and Lt. Mike McMaster conducted the tactical site survey.

At Cypress Ridge Elementary (left to right) Clermont Police Capt. Jon Johnson, Lt. Jim Loughnan, Principal Dr. Kathy Cantwell, Sgt. Brent Joyner, Schools Security Manager Reggie Young and Lt. Mike McMaster conducted the tactical site survey.

“Schools are among the safest places for our children and youth, yet predicting and preventing violence on campus remains a serious concern,” said Reggie Young, Security Manager for Lake County Schools. “The tactical site surveys are part of a larger security process to reinforce the District’s Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan. The ultimate goal is to meet and exceed the standards as set forth by Florida Department of Education policies.”

Last month a leadership team from the Clermont Police Department along with the District’s team toured the campuses of Clermont Elementary and Cypress Ridge Elementary. While walking the campus, the team of school officials and Clermont Police used a standardized checklist to notate findings and recommendations.

According to the Safe Schools Department, the focus for securing Lake County Schools is deterrence, detection, delay, response, recovery and re-evaluation. The tactical site surveys assist in accomplishing many of these goals. In addition, the opportunity for law enforcement to meet with their local school principals helps to increase the communication and collaboration between the School District and local law enforcement.

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Lake County Schools is closely monitoring the latest tracks of Tropical Storm Isaac as predicted storm conditions for Central Florida are continually changing.

Working with the Lake County Department of Public Safety, Emergency Management Division, District officials are receiving up-to-date information regarding Tropical Storm Isaac. During the weekend, the District will continue to evaluate information received through the Lake County Emergency Operations Center. Parents are encouraged to stay tuned to local media reports regarding school status. In addition, Lake County Schools will use a variety of communication tools to disseminate information, including:

  • SCHOOLMESSENGER: The SchoolMessenger Notification System provides timely communication to parents and staff members through automated telephone messages. In order to enhance a school’s and District’s ability to accurately deliver that information, parents can create and update their own contact preference profile using SchoolMessenger’s Contact Manager website. Contact Manager allows parents to control the ways in which they prefer to be contacted. It also works like a mailbox, giving parents a place to review messages they may have missed. In order to utilize this feature follow the steps at
    http://www.lake.k12.fl.us/contactmanager to create an account through the secure Contact Manager website provided by SchoolMessenger.
  • WEBSITE: The District’s website, www.lake.k12.fl.us, is updated frequently to provide parents, students and the community important information about Lake County Schools.
  • NEWSLETTER: Lake County Schools shares some of its success stories, including student accomplishments, teacher awards, upcoming events and efficiencies in District operations, in a digital newsletter. Those interested in receiving the newsletter are encouraged to visit www.lake.k12.fl.us, click on the subscribe button and enter their e-mail address.
  • SOCIAL MEDIA: The District’s blog, www.lakecountyschools.wordpress.com, provides the community a place online to read about what’s happening at Lake County Schools. The District also has Facebook (www.facebook.com/lakeschools) and Twitter (@lakeschools) accounts.

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