Archive for the ‘School Board’ Category

IMG_3093The Lake County School Board is one of only 17 school boards in Florida to be named a “Master Board” by the Florida School Boards Association. The presentation was made at the Association’s 70th annual Joint Conference earlier this month in Tampa.

Additionally, the district was awarded the Gold Star for having all members of the leadership team – the superintendent and every school board member – in attendance for all 22 hours of training. Lake is one of only six districts in the state to receive the Gold Star.

The Master Board Program is a voluntary program that provides opportunities for the school superintendents and school board members to engage in training that enhances their capacity to provide visionary leadership for their district. It concentrates on the leadership team’s governance roles for enhancing student achievement, fostering connections and empowering collaboration between schools and the community, and creating a learning organization to advance excellence in public education.

Superintendent Susan Moxley along with board members Rosanne Brandeburg, Marc Dodd, Stephanie Luke, Bill Mathias and Debbie Stivender completed 22 hours of learning activities in a state-wide forum and onsite trainings to earn this distinction.

The other districts earning the Master Board distinction this year are Alachua, Calhoun, Charlotte, Escambia, Glades, Hardee, Hernando, Holmes, Lee, Levy, Polk, St. Lucie, Taylor, Union, Wakulla and Washington counties.


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Marc_Dodd_Board_Photo_2014School Board Member Marc Dodd and Lake County Commissioner Sean Parks are continuing their series of monthly “Coffee and Conversations” community outreach meetings and are inviting county residents to attend.

 The next Coffee and Conversations gathering is planned for Friday, May 1, from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. at Cheeser’s Palace, 707 W. Montrose Street in Clermont. James Argento, Assistant State Attorney for the Fifth Judicial Circuit of Florida, will be the featured guest.

“It’s important for me to connect with our citizens to understand their concerns and also to inform them of what’s happening in the school district,’’ Dodd said.

Parks agreed. “It’s one of my priorities to have an open door policy with my constituents and actively listen to their concerns,” he said.

The May 1 meeting is the second in the series, which began on April 3. Dodd and Parks plan to hold the meetings the first Friday of each month in different locations in the Clermont area. Both their districts encompass parts of South Lake County.

For more information about Coffee and Conversations, contact Dodd at doddm@lake.k12.fl.us or Parks at sparks@lakecountyfl.gov.

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Lake County Schools is one of four public school districts in Florida to be recognized by the College Board for gains in the number of students taking Advanced Placement (AP) coursework and for increasing student performance on AP Exams.

AP is a program created by the College Board to offer college-level coursework and examinations to high school students. Colleges and universities often grant course credit to students who obtain high scores on the exams.

The College Board reviews school districts in the United States and Canada over a three-year period, looking for those that have increased AP participation and performance, and names those schools to the AP District Honor Roll each year. A total of 547 districts, including Lake, are on the list this year. A representative from the College Board will present the honor at the Lake County School Board meeting on Monday, Jan. 26.

Specifically, schools on the AP District Honor Roll must meet the following criteria:

· Increased participation and access to AP by at least 4 percent in large districts, at least 5 percent in medium districts and at least 11 percent in small districts;

· Increased or maintained the percentage of exams taken by African American, Hispanic/Latino, and American Indian/Alaska Native students, and,

· Improved performance levels when comparing the percentage of students in 2014 scoring a 3 or higher to those in 2012.

“I am so proud of our students for taking on these rigorous courses and performing so well,’’ said Dr. Susan Moxley, Superintendent of Lake County Schools. “We are increasing participation in AP courses while also increasing the number of AP exams with scores of 3, 4 or 5. This was especially true for our Hispanic students who showed significant improvement across the board in AP. This opportunity to earn college credit on a high school campus is powerful for students.”

From the 2012-13 school year to 2013-14, Lake saw a 21 percent increase in the number of AP exams taken and a 22 percent increase in the number of exams scored at 3 or higher.

Among Hispanic students, 35 percent more exams were taken and 41 percent were scored at 3 or higher.

District officials attribute Lake’s success, in part, to the addition of AVID (Advancement via Individual Determination) college readiness classes in all middle and high schools; the use of document based questioning, a technique that promotes critical thinking and incorporates writing into the process; and the addition of AP Seminars that include a review of course content and test-taking strategies to help prepare students for AP exams.

Over the last five years, Lake has earned this distinction twice, showing outstanding improvement in AP. Here are the Florida public school districts honored over the last five years:

•5th AP Honor roll (2014) – Lake, Pasco, Miami-Dade, Orange
•4th AP Honor Roll (2013) – Miami-Dade, Manatee
•3rd AP Honor Roll (2012) – Lake, Broward, Dixie, Escambia, Hillsborough, Levy, St. Johns, Polk, Pinellas, Miami-Dade, Orange
•2nd AP Honor Roll (2011) – Polk, Seminole
•1st AP Honor Roll (2010) – Orange, Seminole, Santa Rosa, Manatee, Hillsborough, Flagler, Charlotte

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The final reading of the proposed update to the High School Student Clubs and Organizations Policy is scheduled to be voted on by the Lake County School Board at its 6 p.m. meeting on Monday, Oct. 6, at the Lake County Administration Building, located at 315 W. Main St., Tavares.

One of the proposed changes to the policy is eliminating the co-curricular category. According to school officials, the terminology was confusing and the policy is being clarified to be very specific about if a club is curricular or non-curricular.

The change in policy will affect clubs that were previously categorized as co-curricular. Some clubs are being moved to the curricular category and others to the non-curricular category. The school district apologizes for previously reporting the proposed change in policy would change National Honor Society from a co-curricular club to a non-curricular. According to legal counsel, the National Honor Society will be moved to the curricular category of high school student clubs.

One of the differences between the two club categories is compensation. Non-curricular clubs are not eligible for teacher stipends. There are more than two dozen types of non-curricular clubs that are currently active in Lake County’s eight high schools.

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The Lake County School Board with input from constituents, school district staff and Superintendent of Schools Dr. Susan Moxley, has developed its 2014-15 legislative priorities. The aim of these priorities is to create meaningful reforms to help Lake County Schools put more resources into the classroom and temper the accelerated demand for additional state assessments.

The Lake County School Board began its work on crafting a comprehensive and easy-to-digest list of legislative priorities at its workshop on Sept. 15. After careful consideration, the School Board is set to adopt the list of 2014-2015 legislative priorities at its next meeting at 6 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 6, at the Lake County Administration Building, located at 315 W. Main St., Tavares.

“There are several policy changes and requests that would help Lake County Schools operate more efficiently while improving achievement and safety for all Lake County students,” said School Board Chair Debbie Stivender. “With the introduction of the new Florida Standards, we need to continue to work with the state about the impacts that additional testing has on students and teachers. We hope to work with the legislature and governor to see these reforms enacted so that Lake County Schools can do their part to build a stronger Lake County.”


School Grades

  • During the baseline year (2014-2015 school year) for the new assessment of the Florida Standards the Florida Department of Education should not issue individual school grades but an overall individual school district report card.

End of Course (EOC) Exams

  • Reduce the number of end-of-course exams for students in elementary schools to the core areas: English, Mathematics, Science and Social Studies.
  • Eliminate the use of the Value Added Model (VAM) with end-of-course exams as a method for a teacher evaluation because of a lack of evidence of student growth in the end-of-course exams.


  • Pass legislation that would allow each county in Florida the option of collecting school impact fees or, in the alternative, imposing an additional transaction fee/documentary stamp on real estate transactions.
  • Prohibit the state from mandating or assigning any new, existing, expanded, or modified programs or responsibilities to any school district unless such programs or responsibilities are fully funded by the state.
  • Continue setting aside funding for teacher raises as established by state budget in the 2013-2014 school year. Funding must continue through the Base Student Allocation.
  • Support the public-private partnership of the Health Science Collegiate Academy between Lake County Schools, South Lake Hospital, Lake-Sumter State College, University of Central Florida, and Montverde Academy. Capital funding of $6M is requested for construction of a new health sciences lab on the South Lake campus of Lake-Sumter State College.

Student Safety

  • Amend F.S. 1006.23 – Hazardous Walking Conditions to include broader criteria in the definition of hazardous walking conditions, reflecting realistic pedestrian conditions that impede safe passage to school for various students, including those in middle and high school. In addition, review F.S. 1011.68 – Funds for Student Transportation to adjust the parent responsibility zone (less than two miles) with regards to elementary, middle and high school aged students.

State Assessments

  • The new statewide assessment must be timely, fair, transparent and aligned to the standards. The results should be used in accountability and teacher evaluations in a clear and fair manner and should assist teachers and parents. Consider use of the ACT and/or SAT since they are nationally recognized, or a locally created assessment that is fully funded by the Florida Department of Education in lieu of or to replace the current Florida Standards Assessment.

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The regular scheduled meeting of the Lake County School Board on Monday, Sept. 29, was postponed due to a lack of quorum.

The meeting is set to be rescheduled at 6 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 6, at the Lake County Administration Building, located at 315 W. Main St., Tavares.

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Lake County Commissioner Sean Parks, District 2, and Lake County School Board Member Tod Howard, District 3, are hosting the next edition of “Coffee & Conversations” on Thursday, May 1, from 8 to 10 a.m. at Chick-fil-A, located at 2585 E. Highway 50, Clermont.

The two elected officials host a “Coffee & Conversations” meeting with constituents at different restaurants each month in South Lake County. With no set agenda or scheduled appointments, the monthly meetings are intended to be informal.

For more information about Coffee & Conversations, contact Commissioner Sean Parks at sparks@lakecountyfl.gov or School Board Member Tod Howard at howardt@lake.k12.fl.us.

For more information about Chick-fil-A, call 352-241-7076 or log on to http://www.chick-fil-a.com.

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