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District News
AFC Meeting Notice

The Monroe County School District's Audit and Finance Committee will hold a public meeting on Monday, March 6, 2017 at 9:30 am. The meeting will be held at Marathon High School, (350 Sombrero Beach Rd, Marathon, Florida). Members of the Monroe County School Board may be in attendance.
Monroe Regional STEM Fair

On February 4, 2017, over 160 Monroe County students gathered at Sugarloaf School to participate in the 5th annual regional STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) Fair. This year our students stepped up the complexity of their projects. The engineering category doubled, and students challenged categories such as Intelligent Machines, Robotics & Systems Software for the first time. Our community partners, including FWC, Florida Keys Mosquito Control, Dolphin Research Center, FKCC, JIATF, Naval Air Station in Key West Executive Officer Pornchai Davidson and other local scientists stepped up to assist with judging. A big thank you to Centennial Bank in Big Pine for donating the pizza lunch.  The top three individuals and top team from the Junior and Senior division will represent MCSD at the state competition March 28-31 in Lakeland, FL. Category, Individual, and Team achievements are listed below. 
Category Elementary Middle High
Animal Science Chloe Migut (SSE) Michael Ancheta (PKS) Chris Anderson (MHS)
Chris Gaskill (MHS)
Noah Ross (MHS)
Behavioral and Social Science Natori Hines (GAE)
Billie Shepha (GAE)
Biomedical and Health Science Edie Killpack (KLS) Isabel Betancourt (PKS)
Alexis Martin (PKS)
Ali Woltanski  (PKS)
Oriana Mendez (MHS)
Shannon Pitchford (MHS)
Hannah Ziels (MHS)
Chemistry Lucas Carballo (PKS)
Ayden Lane (PKS)
Andres Mendieta-Kuhnke (SLS)
Chance Palacios (SLS)
Mason Cooper (KWH)
Cellular/Molecular Bio
And Biochemistry
Robert Aleman (KLS)
Ethan Arevalo (KLS)
Nicolas Concepcion (May Sands)  
Earth and Environmental Science Connor Dixon (KLS) Katerina Nikiforova (MHS) Jenna Morgan (CSHS)
Alan Thomson (CSHS)
Environmental Engineering Kai Guth (TVM)
Abbie Sargent (TVM)
Emma Kost (TVM) Amy Athans (KWH)
Leila Nolan (KWH)
Engineering Nick Cano (TVM)
Rex Matthews (TVM)
Elisabeth Bendall (Sigsbee) Rachelle Magdaong (CSHS)
Intelligent Machines Robots & System Software   Siddharth Singh (May Sands)  
Mathematics and Computational Sciences Zack Woltanski (OSC)   John Sheagren (MHS)
Microbiology Allison Broadway (May Sands)
Samantha Broadway (May Sands)
  Nicole Lera (MHS)
Physics Isabella Salvatore (PKS)
Naomi Snell (PKS)
Alexandra Mucci (SLS) Matthew Darrow (CSHS)
Plant Sciences Daniella Barroso (POI) Jenesis Rose Perloff (SLS) Sophie Williams (CSHS)
Elementary STEM winners  
Elementary Division

1st place:  Edie Killapck (KLS)
2nd Place:  Daniella Barroso (POI)
3rd Place:  Connor Dixon (KLS)
Top Team:
Lucas Carballo (PKS)
Ayden Lane (PKS)

Middle School STEM winners
Junior Division

1st Place:  Elizabeth Bendall (Sigsbee)
2nd Place:  Annika Needham (KLS)
3rd Place:  Emma Kost (TVM)
Top Team:
Isabel Betancourt (PKS)
Alexis Martin (PKS)
Ali Woltanski (PKS)
High School STEM winners
Senior Division

1st Place:  Sophie Williams (CSHS)
2nd Place:  Rachelle Magdoang (CSHS)
3rd Place:  Matthew Darrow (CSHS)
Top Team
Chris Anderson (MHS)
Chris Gaskill (MHS)
Noah Ross (MHS)

Photos courtesy of Courtney Oliver
Monroe County Mock Trial Championship
Mock trial championship team
Congratulations to the Marathon High School Mock Trial Team, the winners in the Monroe County District Championship held on Thursday, February 16 at the Monroe County Courthouse in Marathon. The Marathon team will represent Monroe County in the Florida Mock Trial Competition in Orlando on March 23-25, 2017. 

Thank you to the Honorable Ruth Becker for presiding in her courtroom. 
Pictured, left to right: Anthony Proudnik, Hannah Lowe, Brittany Smollett, Karli Roberts, Milly Cruz (Team Captain), Benjamin Ryder, Alexandra Pabon, John Sheagren, Elizabeth Bayerl (Faculty Sponsor)

Photo courtesy of Jennifer Barrios

Notice of Public Meeting

On Tuesday, February 28, 2017 the School Board will hold a Workshop (3:00 pm) and Regular Meeting (5:00 pm).  The meeting will be held at the Marathon High School – Media Center, 350 Sombrero Beach Road, Marathon, Florida. A Public Hearing on the adoption of policies and/or job descriptions may be held.

If a person decides to appeal any decision made by the Board, with respect to any matter considered at a School Board meeting or hearing, that person may need to ensure that a verbatim record of the proceedings is made. If signing, special seating or other accommodations are required, please call 293-1400 ext. 53323 72 hours prior to the meeting.

EPIC Committee Meeting

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 Friday, March 10, 2017, from 9 AM – 3:30 PM. The meeting will be held at the following location:
Marathon Middle/High School
350 Sombrero Beach Road
Marathon, FL
Room 2102
The public is welcomed.
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Florida Department of Education Parent Survey - Exceptional Student Education
Florida Department of Education Logo
Florida’s 2016-17 ESE Parent Survey: Make Your Voice Heard!
Who? All Parents of Students with an IEP (PK-22)
When? February 13th - May 31st , 2017
Let the Florida Department of Education know about how your school partners with you, the parent, to promote parent involvement in your child’s education.  A paper survey will be sent home to parents of children with Individual Education Plans (IEPs) within the next two weeks. If you prefer to complete the survey electronically, click here. Please take the time to complete this brief survey to help us continue to meet your family’s needs.

Programmer Analyst selected as Monroe County School District’s 2016-17 School Related Personnel Employee of the Year
IT Department congratulates Tariel Moran
Superintendent Mark T. Porter is pleased to announce Information Technology Programmer Analyst, Tariel Moran as the Monroe County School District’s School Related Personnel Employee of the Year. Mr. Moran’s role in the successful implementation of a new student information system, Focus School Software, was vital to the district reaching one of its most significant milestones of the year.

Tariel has served the School District for over twenty-one (21) years. He spent eight years at Sigsbee School as an Office Manager and Data Entry Clerk before moving to the IT department as an Information Specialist in 2003. Tariel was promoted to Programmer Analyst in the spring of 2016.

Tariel’s responsibilities include the maintenance and modification of the student information system (SIS) as well as the submission of required State and Federal reports which directly impacts student services and district funding. Tariel’s reach is district-wide, he provides data services to schools, Curriculum and Instruction, Food Services, Exceptional Student Education along with Assessment and Accountability to ensure student information is entered accurately, accessed securely and used effectively.

In his thirteen years with the IT department Tariel has trained data entry staff, district level clerks as well as administrators on the proper use and entry of data elements. His experience at both the school level and district headquarters prepared Tariel for what would be the most trying year of his career. The challenge came in the form of a new student information system, significant staffing changes within the IT department and a promotion. Tariel rose to meet each challenge with success.

Director of Information Technology, Joy Nulisch, said “I am very proud that Tariel Moran has been recognized as Employee of the Year. Tariel represents himself, the department and our organization with high professional standards and dedication. His work this year, launching the SIS side of Focus has charted the course to accessible, accurate, secure and meaningful data for many years to come. Tariel is a valuable asset to Monroe County School District and is very deserving of this award and recognition.”

Pictured Left to Right:Sherri Boyer (Specialist, Computer Systems Admin), Tom Matangos (Operations Manager), Brian Doe (Specialist, Computer Network Admin), Andrew Hish (Specialist, Computer Systems Admin), Mark Porter (Superintendent), Tariel Moran (Programmer Analyst), Joy Nulisch (Director, IT), Patrick Lefere (Executive Director, Operations)
Teachers Honored by KW Chamber
Key West Teachers honored by local chamber of commerce
The Key West Chamber of Commerce honored seven area teachers during the organization’s January 25th luncheon.
Pictured left to right, Social Studies Coordinator for Monroe County School District Jennifer Barrios; honored teacher Samantha Batty, Executive Director of Teaching and Learning Theresa Axford, honored teacher Kaitlin O’Connell, Education Committee Co-Chair Suzanne Moore, honored teachers Betty Shapiro, Kym Momaly, Key West Chamber of Commerce President Greg Sullivan, honored teacher Rebecca Provost, Education Committee Co-Chair Billy Spottswood and honored teacher Sarah Smith. (Not pictured: Honored teacher Kimberly “Dawn” Albury)

Photo courtesy of Jennifer Barrios

Special Recognition for John Padget
John Padget recognition at School Board meeting
On January 24th, Superintendent Mark Porter recognized John Padget on behalf of the Monroe County School Board for his dedication and service to the State Board of Education. In a beautifully delivered recognition, Mr. Porter described Mr. Padget's history. It is one that is full of examples of his service to his community. Most recently Mr. Padget has served on the State Board of Education from 2009 through 2016; however, his accomplishments in Monroe County go far beyond that. As President of the Monroe County Education Foundation, he began the Take Stock in Children Program which has served countless boys and girls in Monroe County and created the opportunity for them to attend tuition free a state college of their choice. Mr. John Dick, Chairman of the School Board, said it best, "John has impacted more students lives in a positive way than any person in the Keys."
Monroe County School District Teacher of the Year
MCSD Teacher of the Year Samantha Hopper with Superintendent Porter and students
Samantha Hopper, 4th grade teacher at Key Largo School has been chosen as the Monroe County School District Teacher of the Year for 2016-17. Superintendent Mark Porter visited Ms. Hopper’s classroom today to give her the news.

Ms. Hopper has a Master’s Degree from the University of Florida with a Math/Science Specialization and has been teaching at Key Largo School since August 2013. She has been a recipient of the Florida Best and Brightest Scholarship for the past two years. Ms. Hopper’s passion for teaching comes through in her high expectations for students and through her innovative teaching style which incorporates research based programs, project based learning and collaboration for students. As an AVID trained educator, she thrives on utilizing current student data to prepare for instruction. She is known for the Socratic Seminars that occur in her room which engage all students in reading and discussion. Samantha is also Ms. Hopper with her studentsbusy with other school activities. She has been a VIEW (Visiting Innovative Educators’ Workplace) program host, a grade level team leader and performs numerous coaching jobs for both volleyball and basketball. She is also a mentor to new and beginning teachers. Samantha participated in the development of the District’s new writing sequence. She is an Elementary Site Team Member for AVID and uses AVID best practices like Costa’s Levels for Questions, two column notes and reading and writing strategies daily.

KLS Principal, Laura Lietaert describes Samantha as a person who, "makes teaching look easy" and further states that "it is a pleasure to walk into her classroom and become absorbed in the learning - it’s a place that kids want to be." Superintendent Mark Porter said "Samantha is an outstanding example of the fine teachers that we have in the Monroe County School System. She clearly demonstrates the importance of strong relationships with students as a vehicle for success and she is a truly deserving recipient of this recognition."
FOCUS Parent Portal Registration
FOCUS logo

The FOCUS Parent Portal is a tool designed to enhance communication and involvement for you in your child's education.  This portal will allow you to monitor your child's progress in school by providing timely access to both assignments and grades that are entered by the teacher throughout the grading period. This communication tool will improve your ability to assist your child and to communicate with the teacher if necessary.
In order to create a Parent Portal Account, you will need these three things:
1.  Your child's 10-digit ID number - this information is available from your child, from their portal page, or on their report card.
2.  The last 4 digits of your child's Social Security Number.  The SSN must be on file with the school in order for online registration to be completed.
3.  Your child's date of birth.

Once you create your FOCUS Parent account, you will need to contact the school to complete the verification process.  If you do not have the information listed above, or your child's SSN and/or date of birth are not in the FOCUS system, you will need to register in person at your child's school.

Once you have created your FOCUS Parent Portal account, you will be able to view your child's grades and attendance information by visiting the FOCUS login page (also linked under the Parents drop-down menu above).

GEMS logoGEMS 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.

December 2016 and January 2017

Annavera Peixoto receiving GEM award
Annavera Peixoto,
 Key LargoSchool

KLS Special Olympics athletes and partners
Special Olympics Team & Partners,
Key Largo School

Amanda Ban and family
Amanda Ban,
Marathon High School
Click Here to view the GEMS web page and see the latest MCSD GEMS for 2016-17!  

Congratulations to Marathon High!
MHS Literacy contest winners with Florida First Lady Ann Scott
For the first time ever, a Monroe County School has placed in the annual statewide Just Read, Florida!  Literacy-Civics Project contest. Earning Second Place amongst 67 school districts is Marathon High School! Literacy Coach Jill Williams submitted an entry based on Marathon’s first Family Literacy Night. The goal of the event was to promote independent reading and to build a community that values literacy. At the event, free books and magazines were provided to encourage reading at home. Ms. Williams organized the entertainment of the evening which featured MHS students reading excerpts of their favorite books or poems and the book exchange. Chef Carl Stanton and his culinary arts students prepared and served dinner, and MHS art students provided decorations for the event that featured posters, signs, and sidewalk art promoting the importance of literacy.  Literacy Coach Williams and Chef Stanton escorted five of the students who participated in the event to the awards ceremony, which took place on Thursday, January 26th at the Florida History Museum in Tallahassee. They are pictured with Florida First Lady Ann Scott and their $500 award.  They will take a private tour of the governor’s mansion while in Tallahassee.  

Students pictured:  Sophie Dipre, Christian Ruiz, Kaleila Bigelow, Taquioa Walker
Others: First Lady Ann Scott, FDOE Chancelor Hershel Lyons, Executive Director of Just Read Florida, Richard Myhre; Literacy Coach Jill Williams; and Culinary Arts teacher Carl Stanton


Contest Winner at Sugarloaf School!
Janet Vazquez with her award

Congratulations to Sugarloaf School teacher Janet Vazquez, winner of the 2 Months of Contest!! Her students helped her earn a Chromebook, compliments of Since November 1, 2016, her students have launched the curriculum 3,665 times! provides an "intuitive, flexible, and personalized digital education experience" for computer science students. This program is provided at no cost to the district through its affiliation with the Northeast Florida Educational Consortium (NEFEC).

Monroe County Academic Challenge
Coral Shores High School Academic Challenge Team
Congratulations to the Coral Shores High School Academic Challenge Team, the 1st Place winners in the Monroe County School District Championship held on Wednesday, January 18th at Marathon HS.  Marathon High School was the 2nd place team and Key West High School 3rd place.  The Coral Shores team will represent Monroe County in the Commissioner’s Academic Challenge in Orlando on April 27-29, 2017.  Many thanks to the coaches and judges who assisted in the competition.

Pictured, from left:Dave Murphy (Director of Assessment and Accountability), Daniel Walker, Preston Holt, Keeley Catarineau, Alan Thomson, Chris Harris (Coach),Lauren Rabe, James Britton

Photo courtesy of Barbara Cavanah


PKS Groundbreaking
PKS Groundbreaking Ceremony
Superintendent Porter at PKS Groundbreaking

The Groundbreaking Ceremony at Plantation Key School was held on January 10, 2017.

From the program brochure:  
"The new Plantation Key School (PKS) will inspire collaborative learning for the next generation of Florida Keys students from Pre-Kindergarten through 8th grade. The project consists of the phased replacement of existing facilities originally built in the 1970’s, while ongoing operations are maintained. The new 100,000 square foot school will be built according to the Green Globes assessment standard for sustainable building design, operation and management.​"
Click here for the program brochure.

Even the youngest PKS students got involved.....

PKS Preschoolers

PKS Preschoolers

PKS Preschoolers
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