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District News
Public Meeting Notice - Gerald Adams Elementary School Construction Project

Monroe County School District will hold its third community meeting for the Gerald Adams Elementary School construction project on Tuesday, November 1st from 6:00 to 7:00 pm in the school cafeteria. The meeting will be held to discuss the proposed design which includes the new school’s location on the site. Harvard Jolly Architects will lead the discussion and give a presentation discussing the building’s design and site features, project updates and the project schedule. The meeting will be conducted in an open house format and a question and answer session will follow the presentation. All interested citizens are encouraged to attend this meeting and provide their valuable input into the process.  
Take Stock in Children Needs Mentors
Are you ready to make a difference? Take Stock in Children, the flagship college scholarship program of the Monroe County Education Foundation, is ready to welcome 58 new students – provided that enough mentors step forward. "We have a fantastic group of qualified candidates who are ready to join Take Stock in Children and work towards achieving their goal of a college education. However, if we do not have a volunteer mentor to match with the student, we cannot accept the student into our program,” said MCEF president Bryan Green.
Take Stock needs a minimum of 25 new mentors in the Lower Keys to pair with incoming Take Stock scholars. "While our mission is to accept all students who meet the academic and economic eligibility requirements, and who have the desire, motivation, and potential to go to college," program coordinator Chuck Licis explained, "we can’t bring them into the program without a mentor match.”
Who can be a mentor? “Mentors are not tutors or counselors. Mentors are caring, compassionate adults who volunteer their time to guide, support, and encourage our Take Stock scholars. It only takes 45 minutes a week during the school year,” Licis explained. “Our mentors are screened and trained before being paired with a student, and we have college success coaches in each area to assist and support our mentors and students.”
Take Stock students are given the 'chance of a lifetime' with mentoring in middle and high school followed by the scholarship that pays for four years college tuition and fees. A child is waiting for his or her chance of a lifetime, a college scholarship, but we need your help to make the dream a reality! If you are interested in becoming a mentor, please contact Chuck Licis at 305-293-1546 or at

Pictured:  Mentor Carol Hatton with her mentee, Melisa Louis (KWH 2016)
Photo courtesy of Chuck Licis

KWHS Senior Brian Coward Announced as a 2017 National Merit Scholarship Semifinalist

The National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC) has announced Key West High School's 2017 National Merit Scholarship Semifinalist, senior Brian Coward. With this prestigious accomplishment, Coward joins approximately 16,000 Semifinalists nationwide in the 62nd Annual National Merit Scholarship Program.
 About 1.6 million juniors in more than 22,000 high schools entered the 2017 National Merit Scholarship Program by taking the 2015 Pre-SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test. The Semifinalists, who represent less than 1 percent of U.S. high school seniors, are the highest-scoring entrants from each state. Each state’s number of Semifinalists is proportional to its percentage of the national total of graduating seniors. To be chosen as a Finalist, these Semifinalists must submit an application, have an outstanding academic record, be recommended by their school, write an essay, and earn SAT scores that confirm their earlier performance on the qualifying test. Coward is an outstanding athlete, role model and contributor to his school community in addition to an outstanding scholar. Finalists will be notified in February, and scholarship winners will be announced later in the spring and summer, beginning in April. 
Pictured: Brian Coward with KWHS CAPS counselor Gavin Townsend
Photo courtesy of Amber Acevedo

Florida Healthy School District
At the October 12th Board Meeting, MCSD was recognized for  achieving Silver Status as a Florida Healthy School District by Florida Action for Healthy Kids (FLAFHK), the Florida Coordinated School Health Partnership (CSHP), the Florida Association of District School Superintendents (FADSS), and Florida KidCare, and the Monroe County School District.

The award recognizes that the district has established a culture and climate in which students and staff can reach their personal potential. The Coordinated School Health that is displayed is effective in reducing and eliminating the barriers to learning and supports academic achievement. Recognition is determined by submission of the Florida Healthy School District Self-Assessment. The self-assessment tool is based on sustainable infrastructure, policy, programs, and practices identified from national and state guidelines, best practices, and Florida statutes.
Pictured (from left):   Kathleen C. Rose, RN, MHA-N, NCSN-E, Consulting School Nurse, National Association of School Nurses, Action for Healthy Kids Executive Team Member who presented the flag, Mike Michaud, MCSD Safety and Security Coordinator, School Superintendent Mark Porter, Andy Griffiths, School Board Chairman, and Theresa Axford, Executive Director of Teaching and Learning.

EPIC Meeting Scheduled
The Monroe County School District Educational Performance Incentive Compensation (EPIC) Committee traditionally meets each 1st Thursday of the month. Our next EPIC Committee meeting has been scheduled for Thursday, November 3, 2016 from 4 – 6:00 p.m. The meeting will be held at the following locations via videoconference:
MCSD Administrative Building, 241 Trumbo Road Key West - “Executive Conference Room”
Sugarloaf School, 255 Crane Blvd. Sugarloaf - “ESE Director’s Office”
Marathon High School, 350 Sombrero Beach Road, Marathon– “Room 6209”
Plantation Key K-8 School, 100 Lake Road, Tavernier – Inquire at front office
Key Largo K-8 School, 104801 Overseas Highway, Ley Largo – Inquire at front office

The public is welcomed.

Visiting Innovative Educator's Workplaces (VIEW)

Courtney Oliver, MCSD Science Coordinator, greeted VIEW (Visiting Innovative Educators' Workplaces) participants at Key West High School. The VIEW program allowed teachers to visit expert teachers in the areas of Technology Integration, STEM, or Flexible Grouping. Participants had a debrief after each classroom visit. The VIEW program received excellent reviews from participants and VIEW hosts as well. Another VIEW session will occur on November 15th.

Pictured, left to right:  Jake Luce, Courtney Oliver, DeKariss Barnett
Photo courtesy of Courtney Oliver


Math Stairs at Poinciana Elementary

Poinciana Elementary School recently installed multiplication facts in the main stairwell. This is in an effort to make all areas of the school learning spaces.  Thank you to the PTO for sponsoring this project.  

GEMS stands for Great Educational Moments for Monroe County Students. It is an effort to shine a light on the great things happening in the District Schools.  This is an initiative from the Curriculum Department led by Mrs. Theresa Axford, Executive Director of Teaching & Learning, which recognizes the GEMS in Monroe County. 
In order to create a GEM, it takes the leadership of a great principal, the expertise of wonderful teachers and the commitment of outstanding students.
September 2016

Esteban Sainz
Marathon High School
Janet McNaughton
Sugarloaf School
Craig Kerns
Switlik Elementary
Click Here to view the GEMS web page and see the latest MCSD GEMS for 2016-17!  

Take Your Dad to School Day

On Wednesday, September 28, schools district-wide celebrated Take Your Dad To School Day. At Plantation Key School, every grade level had events planned celebrating the male (or in some cases female) role model in students’ lives.  
In the Lower Keys, Key West Collegiate Academy principal Cory Oliver joined his son at Poinciana Elementary.
PKS Photos courtesy of Peggie Fabel
POI Photo courtesy of Cory Oliver


Monroe Computes Offers Laptops
Brand new laptop computers are available to all Monroe County students enrolling in Advanced Placement Computer Science (AP CS) at the Florida Virtual School (FLVS).  

“This is a new initiative from COMPUTE$,” according to John Padget, representing the sponsoring foundation. “Some students are ready to acquire additional computing skills and we want to help.”

For detailed information about this new initiative from Monroe/ COMPUTE$, please read this press release.

CareerSource South Florida Work Readiness Course
Congratulations to the students in Mr. Brian Flannigan's class at Key West High School for successfully completing the 8-week Work Readiness Course! Students were instructed by Jessica Gomez of CareerSource South Florida and Jennifer Wilsnack, KWHS ESE Job Coach, in areas of resume and cover letter writing, workplace behaviors, self-determination, and interview skills. The course concluded with individual mock interviews in which students utilized the skills learned during the course.

Photo courtesy of Jennifer Wilsnack

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