November 13, 2020

Dates to Remember

Nov. 18-19 : FSA retake make-up day

Nov. 23-27: Thanksgiving break

Dec. 1-10: EOC Testing (Algebra 1, Geometry, US History & Biology)

Dec. 21-Jan. 1: Christmas Break

From the principals banner.

Principal's Corner

The second quarter of the school year started this week and we are one week away from our Fall Break for Thanksgiving. There is no school November 23rd-27th.

November’s PBS theme of the month is citizenship. As our students are learning to be respectful, responsible citizens, we also want to recognize those who have served in our armed forces to secure our freedoms and rights as citizens. We thank you!

It was also Florida’s Holocaust Awareness Week. Did you know that instruction on the Holocaust is one of our required instructional topics written into state statute? Teachers across departments have been implementing instruction and activities this week so that we and our children never forget the lessons learned from this dark time in history. Time Holden illustrated the importance of continuing to remember the Holocaust and its lessons in the following quote “The Holocaust illustrates the consequences of prejudice, racism, and stereotyping on a society. It forces us to examine the responsibilities of citizenship and confront the powerful ramifications of indifference and inaction.” We are growing our future here at FSDB. We are providing our students the instruction and tools to be caring, respectful citizens, upholding the values and skills necessary to be productive, responsible members of society.

We hope that your family has a restful, safe week together during this break.


Assistant Principal's Corner

Hello families,

This week was a bit topsy turvy with FSA testing in full swing, and Eta visiting. Nonetheless, our team pulled through as always. Since the month of November incorporates the fall break and the Thanksgiving holiday, to me that is a month of giving thanks. Thanks equal gratitude in my eyes. I am filled with gratitude for the amazing team we have here. Also, I am grateful that you, the families, trust us, with your son/daughter.

This month's PBiS theme is citizenship. Our entire high school department staff had just won free t-shirts for pulling the most in terms of citizenship education, application, and practice. Students had mock election, class color competition in celebration of citizenship, made posters, discussed citizenship in the classroom during Dragon Time, and learned about citizenship in the most pressing circumstances, such as the Holocaust.

Since this is the last newsletter before the fall break, I want to wish you a restful break with your families.

Stay safe.

Dina Rae Padden , MBA/M.Ed

Assistant Principal - DHS

Administration Announcements banner

Hello, FSDB Families!

View in ASL
Hello, FSDB Families! Nov. 13, 2020 (ASL)
View in Spoken English
Hello, FSDB Families! Nov. 13, 2020 (Spoken English)

Hello FSDB Families!

My name is Tracie Snow and I am the President of FSDB. I wanted to take a few minutes to share some information and updates with you.

Tropical Storm Eta
Wow! Just when you thought hurricane season was over, we had tropical storm Eta! The FSDB leadership team participated in multiple weather briefings from the National Weather Service and reviewed weather advisory notices throughout the week. I am so very grateful for the amazing and caring FSDB staff who are dedicated to ensuring the safety of our students.

Thank you for your patience and understanding through this past week. We hope the Skylerts, texts, phone calls, and emails as well as posts to social media and our website were timely and informative.

Staying Engaged

Since FSDB serves students from around the state, we know the unique challenge many parents may have in staying connected with FSDB. For many of you, FSDB is miles away from your home.

I wanted to share with you some of the ways you can stay engaged by visiting our FSDB website and following us on Social Media.

Alert Banner

The FSDB website will use our home page to announce any urgent information we want shared like weather alerts. You may have noticed the red alert banner being used this week with information related to Tropical Storm Eta. We also added a button which will take you directly to the archived alerts.

FSDB Web Pages
A great way to know what is happening at FSDB and staying engaged is to check out the various pages on our website. We have information specific to your child’s school, academics, parent services, student life, outreach, news, COVID-19, re-opening, the innovative learning environment, and admissions.

Leadership Page
Recently we added a new page to the website - FSDB Leadership. Here you will find the President’s welcome and announcements in English, ASL and Spanish as well as photos and information about the Administrative Team.

Social Media

If you are a social media user you can follow The Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube. Each school also has their own Facebook Group you can join so you can see pictures, announcements, and happenings specific to your child’s school.

Staying Safe and Healthy

Our students and staff have been doing a wonderful job following our reopening plan. They have been staying socially distant, wearing face coverings, cleaning, washing their hands, and staying home when they feel sick. We ask that you continue to monitor your child’s health and if at any time they are feeling sick, please have them stay home. For more information, please check out our COVID-19 webpage.

Our Thanks

I would like to extend a heart-felt thanks from our entire FSDB school community to you and your family for choosing and trusting us to educate your child. We wish you all a very happy and safe Thanksgiving.

See what's happening in DHS banner


The new Teacher of the Year award went to Andrea Binder, a veteran math teacher here in the high school. Here is a glimpse of us with several students surprising her!
Teacher of the Year - Andrea Binder

Algebra and the Holocaust

Have you ever wondered how these two areas correlate? In Andrea Binder's class, students were provided a hands-on, real-life, visual experience of applying Algebraic calculations to math problems involving the Holocaust. Here is one example of a word problem using a bar code for students to hover over to see the ASL version of the math problem: 1 saltine cracker = 47 calories. The average daily consumption is equivalent to 2,000 calories. Assuming you ate all of these calories, how many crackers could you eat? During the Holocaust, prisoners were given 700 calories a day. How many crackers could they eat? When students calculate the information, they are shown a plate with 2000 calories worth of crackers after they solve that segment. Then they are shown a plate with a specific number of crackers after they solve the Holocaust 700 calories question. This allows for a visual understanding of how little food did the prisoners have.

Spotlight of the Week - Donna Johnson

Our athletic director, Donna Johnson, has been a pillar in our FSDB community, whether as a coach, assistant principal, or athletic director. Check out the video below for more about her.
Interview - Donna Johnson
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It will be having cooler weather happening here in Saint Augustine, please send your child to school with some warm clothes. Students are getting low on their personal items, so after Thanksgiving break, I would encourage you to please send back some personal hygiene products with your child. I do hope all of you have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

If you have any questions or you need to reach out to the boarding supervisors, here are their contact numbers: James Hall Supervisor Mechelle Johnson, 904-827-2635 or 904-201-4485 (VP) and Rhyne Hall Supervisor Jashua Martinez, 904-201-4565 (VP).

Mel Botterbusch-Goodall

Director of Student Life for the Deaf Department


Office: 904-201-4560

Text: 904-827-2208

Athletics and recreation banner.

Winter Sports start soon

As we are wrapping-up our fall sports conditioning program, we are looking forward to winter sports! Basketball and soccer will play a full schedule as normal with the exception of no tournaments.

  • Girls' soccer try-outs/practice will begin Oct. 19.

  • Girls' basketball try-outs/practice will begin Oct. 26.

  • Boys' basketball try-outs/practice will begin Nov. 2.

  • Wrestling will begin a conditioning program on Nov. 9.

If your child is interested in participating in any of our winter sports, he/she will need a sports physical and parent consent form completed and turned in BEFORE the above dates. Students may pick up these forms in Pope Hall, Room 214 or you may find them on the FSDB website. Please contact Assistant Principal of Physical Education and Athletics Donna Johnson at 904-827-2570, 904-201-4513 (VP) or johnsond@fsdbk12.org

Parent Services banner

Parent Engagement Workshop

Please join us for our next virtual Parent Engagement Workshop on December 4th at 10am.

Parent Engagement Workshops (PEW) are learning opportunities open to ALL FSDB parents, guardians and caregivers. During PEW, we discuss current and relevant information about our school, parenting strategies, helpful resources and so much more. Please join us for these educational events, have a fabulous lunch on us, and meet other FSDB families.


Be sure to visit the FSDB Facebook page to view the agenda.

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PBS banner

PBiS Incorporates Character Education

FSDB PBiS students are developing great character! Each month, FSDB focuses on a different positive character trait. This month we are emphasizing responsibility. Some of the phrases associated with responsibility that we are introducing to the students include: Do what you are supposed to do • Plan ahead • Persevere: keep on trying! • Always do your best • Use self-control • Be self-disciplined • Think before you act — consider the consequences • Be accountable for your words, actions and attitudes • Set a good example for others. Teachers and boarding staff are asked to include lessons that may fit into the curriculum naturally. We are excited with this character education emphasis at FSDB. We are hoping that our students continue to be their very best now and in the future.

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Helpful information

Tech Corner - Google Classroom

How does a student accept a Google Classroom invite?

A class code—Your teacher sends or tells you the class code. An email invite—Your teacher sends you the invite.

Accept the invite in Classroom

  1. Go to classroom.google.com and click Sign In.

  2. Make sure to sign in with the correct account.

  3. On the class card, click Join.

Can parents/guardians have access to Google classroom?

Parents/guardians may access their child’s teachers’ Google Classroom in one of the following ways:

  1. From the school issued Chromebook, ask your child to login and launch the Google Classroom App. Please note that any activity in Google Classroom is documented under the student’s login and it would be inappropriate for a parent to communicate with the teacher or other students in Google Classroom. Parents should use their personal email to digitally communicate with the teacher.
  2. From any computer with internet access, click here and have your child login with his/her FSD1 Google Apps for education username and password. Please note that any activity in Google Classroom is documented under the student’s login and it would be inappropriate for a parent to communicate with the teacher or other students in Google Classroom. Parents should use their personal email to digitally communicate with the teacher.
  3. As a parent/guardian, you can receive email summaries showing your child's progress in the classroom.

Opt-in for Skyward Text Alerts

Want to Stay Informed? FSDB uses Skyward to send text messages about important school information and emergency alerts. It's very easy to begin receiving text messages: Text the word "Yes" to 67587 to opt in.
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DHS Amended Locker Policy Agreement


Please read this amended locker policy agreement and sign it so that your child may be assigned a locker to store their belongings. You may send a printed copy with your signature with your child(ren) or you may sign it electronically and email it to Jillian Rivera, DHS administrative assistant, at Riveraj@fsdbk12.org.



FSDB Welcome Back 2020

Contact Us

DHS Office

PH/VP: 904-201-4571

Health Care Center

PH: 904-827-2410

VP: 904-201-3910


PH: 800-992-8747

James Hall (Girls Dorm)

PH: 904-827-2635

VP: 904-201-4485

Rhyne Hall (Boys Dorm)

PH: 904-827-2771

VP: 904-201-4485

Apartments – Boys (Seniors)

PH: 904-827-8247

VP: 904-201-4532

Apartments – Girls (Seniors)

PH: 904-827-2510

VP: 904-827-4550

Parent Services

PH: 904-827-2212

VP: 904-201-4527

Campus Police

PH: 904-827-2315