Oct. 16, 2020

Dates to Remember

Oct. 26-30 - ACT (Seniors)

Oct. 29 - Wear orange to celebrate unity

Nov. 2: Second quarter begins

Nov. 2-30: FSA retakes

Nov. 6 - Virtual Parent Engagement Workshop

Nov. 23-27: Thanksgiving break

From the principals banner.

Principal's Corner

We are quickly approaching the end of the first quarter. With two weeks left, this is a good time for families to check their child’s progress through our Skyward Family Access portal. There, you can see grades, attendance, leave messages and connect with teachers. We encourage every family to check Skyward on a weekly basis to stay involved and up to date with your child’s progress. The last day of our quarter is Friday, Oct. 30. Report cards will be processed and sent home the second week in November, but grades can be checked at any time in Skyward.

Our PBiS theme for this month has been respect. An important component of this is our bullying prevention program. Our schools are working on teaching students about respect, acceptance of differences, reacting peacefully, and understanding other points of view. At FSDB, we have a thorough investigative process to address potential incidents of bullying and to ensure that our students have access to a safe environment both physically, socially, and emotionally. On Thursday, Oct. 29, we will celebrate our unity by asking our students and staff to wear orange in recognition that we stand against bullying. Here, we truly care about our students and are teaching our students the importance of caring for one another, regardless of differences. FSDB cares.

Angela Saunders

Deaf Department Principal

Assistant Principal's Corner

Hello families. When one thinks about a school, one word comes to mind, and that is "education." It is easy to forget that a school serves in multiple roles, including advocacy. Advocacy for deaf/hard of hearing children takes form in a different way than their hearing peers. Close attention is paid regarding communicating with non-signers, tapping into the Americans with Disability Act (ADA) when it is time to stand their ground regarding their rights, and more. Instruction at that level is done with our continuing education students during their class meeting time for they are the ones that will leave us soon. However, instruction of that sort can be done at home with family members as well. If you, as a parent/guardian, note that your son/daughter needs more tools to advocate for himself/herself but are unsure how/what, and would be interested in a real-time seminar via Zoom to discuss tools available to share with your son/daughter, please send me an email. Although our school provides many tools for students, it is essential that the tools are reinforced and shared at home for it takes a village to raise a child. Advocacy takes many forms, whether it is ADA compliance, finding jobs, managing finances and more. I often find advocacy to be a bigger part of a school than people would like to give it credit for. In fact, to educate the whole child, one needs to nourish their minds (academics, and thus education), soul (socio-emotional support and advocacy), and physical well-being (nutrition, sports, PE and utilizing HCC). Advocacy can be complex or even as simple as encouraging your son/daughter to ask for things from vendors/customer service reps/etc. Rather than relay on you to communicate (with the understanding that they need to be taught tools to do so). If a live (via Zoom) seminar is your cup of tea, please do not hesitate to reach out to me via email with what you would like to see in the seminar and your time preferences.

Stay safe,

Dina Rae Padden , MBA/M.Ed

Assistant Principal - DHS

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Administration Announcements banner

FSDB Presidential Interviews and Public Board Meetings

The FSDB Board of Trustees will interview presidential finalists on Thursday, Oct. 29, 2020, followed by committee, workshop and regular meetings on Friday, Oct. 30, 2020. Agenda topics focus on matters pertaining to FSDB. All events take place in Moore Hall Center for Learning and Development, are open to the public and live streamed on the FSDB board meetings webpage. American Sign Language interpreters will be provided. Members of the public are invited to address the board for up to three minutes per person. All public comments are limited to 45 minutes total. Public comment registration cards must be turned in no later than the start of each event. Important: Moore Hall CLD and second floor overflow seating is limited; face masks shall be worn when social distancing is not feasible. Individuals who do not plan to make public comment are strongly encouraged to view the above events via live stream. For more information and links to view the livestream, visit the FSDB Board of Trustees Meetings webpage.

See what's happening in DHS banner

Dance Troupe Class

Students in Dance Troupe class created this video for everyone on how to wear a mask. Check out this great video!

Alumni Spotlight

Sarah Kimbley graduate FSDB in 2013. She started her college experience at UNF and received her A.A. at PSC. She transferred to RIT/NTID and received her B.S. in Psychology. In 2019, she received her M.S. in Experimental Psychology at RIT/NTID where she studied language processing and literacy development. She is currently in her second year of her PhD program at Gallaudet for Educational Neuroscience.

Ms. Kimbley did a Zoom interview with members of the Dance Troupe panel, while the remaining members watched. In the interview, she shared her real-world experience, provided insight and tips regarding life after high school, and answered questions.

Staff Spotlight

Debbi Penrose, Science teacher

Deborah Penrose has taught science for more than 20 years. Her passion lies in environmental stewardship. Deborah is also passionate about making sure that students receive accessible education. Because of that, she started to make videos in signacy and with subtitles to enable students using various communication modalities to access information. Check out her recent video: Wildlife on Jekyl's Island Also check out the interview with her on YouTube.

Padden Penrose Interview 10 16 1

Thank an audiologist this month!

October is National Audiology Awareness month! The American Academy of Audiology has several resources dedicated to spreading the news about all things audiological, including hearing-related facts, social aspects of varied hearing levels, and even information about balance and dizziness. The reality is that these providers are an integral component of learning. Appropriate language access is the starting block for quality education and allows a child who is deaf or hard of hearing to achieve the expectations set before them, not only while they are in the classroom, but throughout their lifespan. We are grateful for the amazing audiologists, including educational audiologists, who support our students who are D/HH in the state of Florida. Be sure to thank an audiologist this month!
Boarding program banner


The dorms have been busy these past two weeks. We love it when our ILE students return to the dorm. Rhyne Hall, our boys' high school dorm, set up a projector connected to the TV in the living room so that the boys can watch the NBA games and the presidential debate, among other things. This made it so nice for boys to enjoy watching events on TV, while social distancing at the same time. During curriculum, our boys discussed the budget for the PBiS kick-off event. This event went well; the kids enjoyed pizza, drinks and desserts and they had the opportunity to play games if they wanted or to just sit and chat. The kids really enjoyed the time to just sit back and relax for a while. James Hall staff have been busy keeping the girls entertained during some of the dorm down time. We went out one night and played a game that we created. The game rules were to keep the balloon from hitting the ground without using your hands. The girls each had a pool noodle to keep the balloon in the air. Everyone enjoyed playing and each student received a gift for participating. Attached are some pictures of the girls playing the game.

If your child is a boarding student and you are planning on coming to school to pick him/her up on homegoing days, that may fall on a Thursday or a Friday, so please call the director of student life (DSL) office the day before to notify us of your plans so we can make all the necessary arrangements with the other offices on campus. Also, if you are planning for your child to be picked up by someone else, please call the DSL office to make those plans as well. We prefer to have advance notice so we can notify everyone. Please see our Parent-Student Handbook's General Boarding Program Policies and Procedures section on page 65.

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

The second Parent Engagement Workshop (PEW) for the 2020-21 school year will be held on Nov. 6 at 10 a.m. via Zoom! We hope you can participate in this event. To join the meeting, visit: https://bit.ly/3ic2mb1. Future workshops will be held on Dec. 4, Jan. 15, Feb. 12 and April 23. Be sure to add these dates to your calendar!

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Virtual Parent Sign Language Classes

FSDB Parent University is hosting two virtual sign language classes for FSDB families which started the week of Sept. 21, 2020 and are continuing weekly through the end of October. Beginner and intermediate classes are available, both from 4-5 p.m. No advance registration is required and classes will be held via Zoom. Click here for dates and more details.

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

FSDB encourages parents/legal guardians of enrolled students to regularly log onto the Skyward Family/Student Access portal to keep their contact information up-to-date.

Skylert (School Messenger) is the system that FSDB uses to send out automated phone calls, text messages and email notifications families for general purposes ann case of emergencies.

Opting in for automated Skylert text notifications makes it possible for FSDB to quickly inform families about situations that may impact their child/family (e.g., weather, safety and bus alerts) as well as other school-related information. To opt-in, text "Y" to 67587.

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