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Students from 22 public and private schools in Lake County will compete next week in the 2015 Lake County Spelling Bee.

The local competition is part of the 2015 Scripps National Spelling Bee. Every year, tens of thousands of schools enroll in the program. During the fall and winter they conduct spelling bee programs at the classroom, grade and/or school level, and send their spelling champions to the next level of competition as designated by their local spelling bee sponsors.

In Lake, first-place winners from each participating school will compete in the county spelling bee, which is being coordinated by Lake County Schools’ Academic Services Unit in partnership with The Orlando Sentinel. The Golden Triangle Kiwanis in partnership with the Educational Foundation of Lake County will present the winner with a $100 check, and the runner-up will receive a $50 check.

The event is scheduled for 10 a.m. Friday, Feb. 27, at the Eustis Community Center, 601 Northshore Drive, Eustis FL.

Participating schools are listed below:

Cecil E. Gray Middle             Imagine South Lake Charter          Seminole Springs Elementary
Christian Home and Bible     Lake Preparatory                           St. Paul’s Catholic
Clermont Elementary            Lost Lake Elementary                    Tavares Middle
East Ridge Middle                 Minneola Elementary Charter        Umatilla Middle
Eustis Elementary                 Montverde Academy                      Villages Elementary
Eustis Heights Elementary    Mount Dora Middle                         Windy Hill Middle
Eustis Middle                        Oak Park Middle
Groveland Elementary          Sawgrass Bay Elementary

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The entire Lake County community is invited to choose between two proposed calendar options for the 2015-2016 school year through an online poll at http://www.lake.k12.fl.us/calendarvote.

Parents, students, employees and community residents have until Tuesday, Jan. 13, to select an option. A summary of the options is shown below.

OPTION 1:
• School starts Monday, Aug. 24, 2015.
• Five days off around Thanksgiving – Nov. 23-27, 2015.
• Spring Break from March 21-25, 2016.
• School ends Thursday, June 9, 2016.

OPTION 2:
• School starts Monday, Aug. 24, 2015.
• Three days off around Thanksgiving – Nov. 25-27, 2015.
• Spring Break from March 21-25, 2016.
• School ends Tuesday, June 7, 2016.

Visit http://www.lake.k12.fl.us/calendarvote to view each option in detail.

The online poll will close on Tuesday, January 13.

The results of the poll will be forwarded to the Lake County School Board. The Board is expected to consider the 2015-2016 school calendar options at its meeting on Monday, January 26.

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Beginning tonight and through the weekend, the school district’s new online gradebook, Skyward Family Access, will be unavailable as data on the site is updated.

Parents and guardians of students who attend Lake County Schools are encouraged to create a Family Access account. Through the Family Access portal, parents and guardians will have the ability to view their child’s grades, attendance and other data.

The Family Access portal is replacing the district’s older online gradebook, eSembler. For parents that had an eSembler account last school year, many received an email on Sept. 17 from do.not.reply@lake.k12.fl.us with a link to begin the process of setting up a Family Access account. Step-by-step directions on setting up a Family Access account are available online at http://www.lake.k12.fl.us/familyaccess.

For parents and guardians who did not receive an email or did not previously have an eSembler account, they will need to print out a Family Access Enrollment Form. The form is available online at http://www.lake.k12.fl.us/familyaccess. Only one email address per form is permitted. Parents and guardians will have to fill out a separate form for each email address.

Due to security concerns, to complete the form parents and guardians are required to either:

    • Bring the form and ID to the school and sign the form in front of someone at the school; OR
    • Fill out the form; have it notarized by a public notary; and return the form to the school.

After returning the form, the school will verify the information. Once the parent account is created, the district will send an email with sign-in instructions to the parent automatically.

For more information, log on to http://www.lake.k12.fl.us/familyaccess.

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After a successful pilot at Eustis High School, the Lake County School District is launching its new online gradebook, Skyward Family Access.

Family Access PortalParents and guardians of students who attend Lake County Schools are encouraged to create a Family Access account. Through the Family Access portal, parents and guardians will have the ability to view their child’s grades, attendance and other data.

The Family Access portal is replacing the district’s older online gradebook, eSembler. For parents that had an eSembler account last school year, they will be receiving an email on Wednesday from do.not.reply@lake.k12.fl.us with a link to begin the process of setting up a Family Access account.

Parents and guardians will use their current eSembler user ID (email address) as their username for Family Access. Step-by-step directions on setting up a Family Access account are available online at www.lake.k12.fl.us/familyaccess.

For parents and guardians who did not receive an email or did not previously have an eSembler account, they will need to print out a Family Access Enrollment Form. The form is available online at www.lake.k12.fl.us/familyaccess. Only one email address per form is permitted. Parents and guardians will have to fill out a separate form for each email address.

Due to security concerns, to complete the form parents and guardians are required to either:

    • Bring the form and ID to the school and sign the form in front of someone at the school; OR
    • Fill out the form; have it notarized by a public notary; and return the form to the school.

After returning the form, the school will verify the information. Once the parent account is created, the district will send an email with sign-in instructions to the parent automatically.

 

For more information, log on to www.lake.k12.fl.us/familyaccess.

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For the third consecutive year, there is an increase in the number of Lake County schools receiving the Florida Department of Education’s Golden School Award, which recognizes exemplary programs that promote parent and community involvement in education.

Surpassing a record set last year for the Lake County School District, 19 local schools were recently honored at a School Board meeting for receiving the state award. Schools receiving the honor included:

  • Beverly Shores Elementary
  • Clermont Elementary
  • East Ridge Middle
  • Fruitland Park Elementary
  • Grassy Lake Elementary
  • Groveland Elementary
  • Leesburg Elementary
  • Lost Lake Elementary
  • Minneola Charter Elementary
  • Pine Ridge Elementary
  • Round Lake Elementary Conversion Charter
  • Sawgrass Bay Elementary
  • Seminole Springs Elementary
  • Sorrento Elementary
  • Tavares Elementary
  • Treadway Elementary
  • Triangle Elementary
  • Umatilla Elementary
  • Villages Elementary

The Golden School is presented to schools that meet the following criteria: provides faculty training/orientation on volunteerism, designates a school volunteer coordinator to provide leadership for the school volunteer program, and fulfills a total number of hours in volunteer service that equals twice the number of students enrolled in the school. Hours donated from all forms of volunteering (i.e., mentors, tutors, advisors and advocates) are included.

For more information about volunteering, contact the Educational Foundation of Lake County at (352) 326-1265 or log on to www.edfoundationlake.com.

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For the last time, the Florida Department of Education (FLDOE) released results today for the writing portion of the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test 2.0 (FCAT 2.0) that is administered to fourth, eighth and 10th graders, and third grade results for FCAT 2.0 reading and mathematics.

With more rigorous state-approved standards in place next year, a newly adopted statewide assessment (AIR) will be administered to assess math, English/language arts (including writing), Algebra I, Algebra II and Geometry. The science FCAT 2.0 will continue to be administered after this year along with Biology I, U.S. History and Civics end-of-course exams. For more information about next year’s assessment tests, review a list of frequently asked questions from FLDOE.

In the final year of FCAT 2.0 Writing, Lake County Schools registered its biggest improvements over previous year’s scores in eighth and 10th grade. Eighth graders scoring a 3.5 or better (test is graded on a 6-point scale, with a score of 3.5 considered proficient) increased districtwide by 4 percent to 48 percent. Likewise, 10th graders scoring a 3.5 or better jumped 9 percentage points to 57 percent.

“Improvements in writing scores at our high schools and middle schools reflect our focus on preparing for more rigorous standards that help students to be college and career ready,” said Dr. Susan Moxley, Superintendent of Lake County Schools. “High school and middle schools should be commended for their writing scores.”

Middle schools that recorded that largest gain in percent of students performing a 3.5 or better on the writing assessment included: Carver Middle School with a 21 percentage point increase (overall 52%) and Umatilla Middle with a 14 percentage point jump (overall 44%). The top overall scores were from Windy Hill Middle (64%, 11-point increase) and Eustis Middle (56%).

High schools with the largest gain in percent of students performing a 3.5 or better included: Leesburg High with a 25 percent point increase (overall 56%); South Lake High with a 14 percent increase (overall 60%); and Mount Dora High with a 12 percent jump (overall 61%). The top two overall scores in the district belonged to Lake Minneola High (65%, 9 percent increase) and East Ridge High (62%, 4 percent increase).

Overall state averages for elementary scores in writing, reading and math were either flat or showed a slight decline. The same held true for Lake County Schools averages; however, several bright spots of improvement and overall excellent achievement were still evident.

In fourth grade writing, Sorrento Elementary (24 percent increase, 65% overall), Treadway Elementary (20 percent increase, 68% overall), and Clermont Elementary (16 percent increase, 52% overall) made the biggest improvements in percentage of students scoring a 3.5 or better. The overall top performing schools included Lost Lake Elementary (72% overall, 9 percent increase) and Treadway and Cypress Ridge elementary schools tying for second place at 68 percent.

Some of the top performing elementary schools in third grade reading and math scores (% percent of students scoring 3-5) included:

  • Cypress Ridge Elementary 78 percent (math); 78 percent (reading)
  • Seminole Springs Elementary 77 percent (math); 70 percent (reading)
  • Villages Elementary of Lady Lake 76 percent (math); 70 percent (reading)
  • Sorrento Elementary 74 percent (math)
  • Treadway Elementary 73 percent (math)
  • Lost Lake Elementary 73 percent (math)
  • Pine Ridge Elementary 71 percent (math)

For a complete list of FCAT scores, log on to http://fcat.fldoe.org.

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A new venue at Lake-Sumter State College’s Everett A. Kelly Convocation Center gave the Educational Foundation of Lake County’s annual Night of Stars celebration a new vibe this year as dozens of volunteers and school employees were honored last week.

Night of StarsFrom more than 6,000 volunteers, schools selected 51 volunteers who were vying for the Volunteer of the Year honor. The three finalists for the honor were:

Harmony Gray, Beverly Shores Elementary School — As the youth division winner, she volunteered more than 440 hours this school year and has been a volunteer for two years. Some of her volunteer activities include: helping with the summer pre-kindergarten program; school office; and family science nights.

Gayle Minnig, Mount Dora High School — As the adult division winner, she has volunteered more than 2,000 hours this year and has been a volunteer for 4 years. Volunteering for the Hurricane Marching Band at Mount Dora High is her passion. Her biggest challenge date was to organize the band’s largest field trip in history: the Super Bowl parade in New Orleans.

Martha Koons, Beverly Shores Elementary School — As the senior division winner, she had volunteered more than 2,500 hours this year and has been a volunteer for 10 years. Her patience and dedication has helped hundreds of children learn to read not only at Beverly Shores, but at Eustis Heights and Leesburg elementary schools as well.

Minnig was selected as the Volunteer of the Year. Three finalists were also vying for the School-Related Employee of the Year honor. The three finalists were:

Night of StarsNilda Rivera — A Secretary from the Human Resources Department, Rivera has been with the school district for 10 years. She is responsible for fingerprinting and screening employees. Her supervisor finds her to be organized and constantly looking to improve productivity.

Allison Auld — A Bookkeeper at Leesburg High, Auld has been with the school district for seven years. Principal Bill Miller cites her skills and accuracy as a factor of her nomination but states “the finest characteristic of Mrs. Auld is her passion to assist struggling students. She has adopted several student mentees and meets regularly to offer encouragement.”

Lydia Flores — A Secretary for Title I Department, Flores has eight years of experience with the school district. She is known for her passion for working with families who are sometimes left out of the school setting. She has formed relationships within the community to provide food, clothing and household items to families in need.

Rivera was selected as the School-Related Employee of the Year. The nominees for the Volunteer of the Year and School Employee of the Year awards were selected by peer vote at their school site or department and a panel of independent judges scored the nominee packets using guidelines from the Florida Department of Education. Both winners will compete at the state level over the summer.

Other awards handed out during the celebration included:

  • Business Partners of the Year — Akers Media and Walt Disney World
  • Scott Strong Volunteer of the Year — Jim Miller
  • Foundation Board Member of the Year — Bill Giffing

Volunteers honored at the Night of Stars, which was hosted by the Educational Foundation of Lake County and sponsored by CFE Federal Credit Union, Electric Services Inc., Mathias Foodservice Equipment, SEIU, Herff-Jones and AXA Financial include (number of hours reflect their volunteer time served and years of service):

YOUTH DIVISION

  • Harmony L. Gray, Beverly Shores Elementary (440 hours, 2 years)
  • Ashley May, East Ridge High (300 hours, 1 year)
  • Darian Hunter, Fruitland Park Elementary (180 hours, 1.5 years)
  • Kristen Larson, Groveland Elementary (120 hours, 2 years)
  • Mariam McIntosh, Grassy Lake Elementary (253 hours, 1.5 hours)
  • Danielle Reid, Lost Lake Elementary (110 hours, 4 years)
  • Jane Saunders, Mount Dora Middle (117 hours, 1.5 years)
  • Robert Carlisle, Pine Ridge Elementary (20 hours, 3 years)
  • Maya Weissman, Sawgrass Bay Elementary (10 hours, 1 year)
  • Austin McCullough, Seminole Springs Elementary (23 hours, 1 year)
  • Mara Fenlon, Tavares Elementary (443 hours, 5 years)
  • Michael Crowe, Tavares Middle (70 hours, 2 years)
  • Rachel Schram, Triangle Elementary (175 hours, 2 years)
  • Robyn Demitry, Umatilla Elementary (200 hours, 4 years)
  • Jon Elbert Hoskinson, Windy Hill Middle (270 hours, 2 years)

ADULT DIVISION

  • Angela Tatro, Beverly Shores Elementary (1,240 hours, 2 years)
  • Margie Donelson, East Ridge High (400 hours, 2 years)
  • Cyndi Caruso, Eustis High (540 hours, 3 years)
  • Robin Bracco, Fruitland Park Elementary (200 hours, 4 years)
  • Cherie Larson, Groveland Elementary (600 hours, 6 years)
  • Adam Cronk, Grassy Lake Elementary (209 hours, 4 years)
  • Sherina Jones, Leesburg Elementary (800 hours, 3 years)
  • Theresa Sherman, Lost Lake Elementary (104 hours, 3 years)
  • Cheryl Johnson, Minneola Charter Elementary (789 hours, 4 years)
  • Gayle Minnig, Mount Dora High (2,000 hours, 4 years)
  • Dana Bruns, Mount Dora Middle (14 hours, 1.5 years)
  • Sarah Forero, Pine Ridge Elementary (189 hours, 2 years)
  • Jenny Solano, Sawgrass Bay Elementary (105 hours, 5 years)
  • Krista Pentz, Seminole Springs Elementary (264 hours, 2 years)
  • Anna Schroth, Sorrento Elementary (365 hours, 3 years)
  • Carla Stephens, Spring Creek Charter (300 hours, 9 years)
  • Mary Hongo, Tavares Elementary (424 hours, 4 years)
  • Andrew Jones, Tavares High (450 hours, 2 years)
  • Sandy Wooster, Tavares Middle (1,500 hours, 9 years)
  • Colleen Terry, Triangle Elementary (250 hours, 4 years)
  • Laura Rummel, Umatilla Elementary (160 hours, 4 years)
  • Hazel Morfe, Windy Hill Middle (100 hours, 8 years)

SENIOR DIVISION

  • Martha Koons, Beverly Shores Elementary (2,500 hours, 10 years)
  • Gerry Baiman, East Ridge High (400 hours, 1 year)
  • Beverly Lang, Fruitland Park Elementary (116 hours, 2 months)
  • Stuart Young, Groveland Elementary (363 hours, 1 year)
  • Barbara Carmody, Grassy Lake Elementary (150 hours, 4 years)
  • Vincent Brewer, Lost Lake Elementary (86 hours, 10 years)
  • Sharon Sayre, Pine Ridge Elementary (169 hours, 3 years)
  • Carol Finger, Sawgrass Bay Elementary (44 hours, 6 years)
  • Joyce Stevens, Seminole Springs Elementary (134 hours, 17 years)
  • Sue Wolf, Tavares Elementary (1,200 hours, 3 years)
  • Robert Herrick, Treadway Elementary (285 hours, 5 years)
  • Donna Hobbs, Triangle Elementary (1,690 hours, 5 years)
  • Michael Crawford, Windy Hill Middle (108 hours, 4 years)

SCHOOL-RELATED EMPLOYEES HONORED AT THE NIGHT OF STARS INCLUDE:

  • Dawn Johnson, Astatula Elementary
  • Shunta Hurst, Beverly Shores Elementary
  • Jennifer Pease, Carver Middle
  • Lynne Gigliati, Clermont Elementary
  • Richard Bowman, Clermont Middle
  • Patty Robbins, Cypress Ridge Elementary
  • Nicole Oster, East Ridge High
  • Xavier Rodriguez, East Ridge Middle
  • Maria Parra, Eustis Elementary
  • Sandra Todd, Eustis Heights Elementary
  • Cindy McVeigh, Eustis High
  • Regina Brown, Eustis Middle
  • Sarah Lockwood, Fruitland Park Elementary
  • D’Lynn Garay, Grassy Lake Elementary
  • Regina Penny, Gray Middle
  • Dawn Simons, Groveland Elementary
  • Jessica Hopperton, Lake County Virtual School
  • Lucy Hall, Lake Hills School
  • Alice Schellhorn, Lake Minneola High
  • Irene B. Storm, Lake Technical Center
  • Alex Marchbanks, Leesburg Elementary
  • Allison Auld, Leesburg High
  • Bobbie Beer, Lost Lake Elementary
  • Robin Harris, Mascotte Charter Elementary
  • Leonor Morales, Minneola Charter Elementary
  • Emma Arredondo, Mount Dora High
  • Mary Mulligan, Mount Dora Middle
  • Sue Dearwester, Oak Park Middle
  • Yvonne Milejczak, Pine Ridge Elementary
  • Roger White, Rimes Early Learning & Literacy Center
  • Kimber Keene, Round Lake Charter Elementary
  • Orlenda Martinez, Sawgrass Bay Elementary
  • Sharon Solomon, Seminole Springs Elementary
  • Maria Tew, Sorrento Elementary
  • Mary McKinnon, South Lake High
  • Teresa Hammock, Spring Creek Charter
  • Kathy Williams, Tavares Elementary
  • Benjamin Crunk, Tavares High
  • Gloria Reyes, Tavares Middle
  • Alphonso Williams, Treadway Elementary
  • Nancy Woodward, Triangle Elementary
  • Nancy White, Umatilla Elementary
  • Donna Daughtry, Umatilla High
  • David W. Brown, Umatilla Middle
  • Tom Smith, Villages Elementary
  • Kathy Staab, Windy Hill Middle
  • Lydia Flores, Title I
  • Shannon Hensley, Maintenance Department
  • Melissa Metz Moore, Facilities Department
  • Nilda Rivera, Human Resources Department
  • Nancy Hauptkorn, Main Transportation
  • Jerri Groves, South Lake Bus Lot
  • John Ross, Tavares Bus Lot

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