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NHDLake County middle school and high school students are gearing up for the second annual National History Day competition. This competition allows students to create projects on historical topics in the categories of exhibit, paper, documentary, performance, or website.

Students from every middle school and four of the high schools (East Ridge, Eustis, Lake Minneola, and South Lake) will come together on March 5, 2016, at Windy Hill Middle School to be judged on their projects in the morning. In the afternoon, starting at 5:00 p.m. there will be an Open House and the awards ceremony will follow at 5:30 p.m.

Each year there is a different National History Day theme that students use as a guide for creating their projects. Last year’s theme was Leadership and Legacy. This year’s theme will be Exploration, Encounter, and Exchange. Students will be challenged to think, research, and write like historians while exploring human history and its effects on our society today.

The top two winners in each category will be moving on to the state competition, held in Tallahassee, May 1-3, 2016.

For more information or to see how you can sponsor or help with this event, contact Nicole DeLuca, Social Studies Program Specialist, at delucan@lake.k12.fl.us or 352-253-6874.

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Thanks to a Digital Learning Grant, the Lake County School Board  recently approved the purchase of 1,312 HP Stream laptops for use in the schools utilizing these grant funds. The laptops are thin, light, loaded with Windows 8.1 and ready for cloud-based and offline productivity. The devices will be distributed among all schools. The number of computers each school will receive varies based on student population. For example, East Ridge High School will receive 77, Umatilla Middle School 21 and Beverly Shores Elementary 25.

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Umatilla Middle raises $1,500 for cancer research

 

 

Umatilla Middle School’s AVID and National Junior Honor Society programs joined forces in the fight against Colon Cancer.  Colon Cancer and other colon diseases affect many of our students, teachers and community members. We were excited to be able to contribute $1,500 to the American Cancer Society to further colon cancer research.

 

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Mediacap002Pat Burke, former NBA player and owner of Hoops Life, a local youth basketball organization, visited Umatilla Middle School and Umatilla Elementary School on Tuesday, April 7.  Mr. Burke shared the story of how he became a professional basketball player, despite the obstacles that he faced. He urged the students and teachers to work together as a team, which he defined as a “dynamic group of individuals working together to achieve a common goal.” He recounted stories of how being part of a team shaped his life and career. Mr. Burke, who played for the Orlando Magic, Phoenix Suns and the Golden State Warriors, has taken those experiences and used them to create his Hoops Life organization to help teach life skills such as social confidence, academic effort, behavior, and self-control, through the sport of basketball.

The program is open to boys and girls, ages 7-13. If you would like to know more about Mr. Burke and the Hoops Life organization, you can go to www.hoopspatburke.com.

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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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Dr. Susan Moxley, Superintendent of Lake County Schools, authorized today the immediate suspension of school district benchmark tests to students in seventh through 11th grade to give teachers more time to adapt to the new Florida Standards.

“I have heard students, teachers and parents loud and clear,” Dr. Moxley said. “We are drowning in a sea of state-required assessments and anything this school district can do to reduce the burden needs to be done. Assessments are important in the classroom because it is a way for teachers to see if the instruction is working and if the students are comprehending the material. Nonetheless, it’s important to maintain a balance between assessments as an instructional tool and teaching & learning. Teachers need time to teach and students need time to learn.”

The reduction of October assessments is the second time Lake County Schools has decreased the number of assessments it uses to measure student academic growth in preparation for high-stakes state testing conducted in the spring. This past summer the school district made a strategic decision to forgo mini-assessments as the state wrestled with major changes to its standards and state assessments.

“Due to the administration of the Preliminary Scholastic Assessment Test (PSAT) in grades 9-11 and the administration of the ReadiStep assessment in grades 7-8, Lake County Schools is waiving the Lake Standards Assessments (LSA) and Lake Benchmark Tests (LBA) in English Language Arts and Math in grades 7-11 for the October testing window,” wrote Dr. David Christiansen, Chief Academic Officer at Lake County Schools, in a memorandum to Lake’s high and middle school principals.

Dr. Christiansen added, “The PSAT and READISTEP are national, standardized assessments from the College Board that provide comprehensive data reports on our students in the areas of Critical Reading, Math and Writing. These reports identify areas of development for the students in each area along with Advanced Placement (AP) Potential.”

Students in third through sixth grade will still be required to take district monitoring assessments next week as it will be the first benchmark of their performance. The ReadiStep and PSAT will be administered on Oct. 15. Students in grades 3-11 will take district monitoring assessments in February as teachers and schools will have one last look at their students’ progress before heading into the Florida Standards Assessments for English Language Arts and Math, which are slated to begin on March 23 for students in grades 3-4. A complete testing calendar for Lake County Schools is available online at http://www.lake.k12.fl.us/page/480.

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