BEMS Parent Newsletter - April 2, 2021
Dates to Remember
April 5 - NO SCHOOL
April 6 - Kids Town Comes Alive - CANDYLAND (Grades K-5)
April 7 - FSA ELA Reading (Grade 3)
April 7 - FSA ELA Writing (Grades 4-6)
April 8 - FSA ELA Reading (Grade 3)
April 8 - FSA ELA Writing (Grades 7-8)
April 9 - Board of Trustees Meeting
April 9 - End of 3rd Quarter
April 16 - Sub-SAC/Title 1 Meeting (virtual)
*Meeting begins at 10:00. Email Ms. Fertsch at email@example.com to receive the link if you would like to join.
Hello, FSDB Families!
Wanted to let you know that you will soon be receiving the paper copy for the FSDB Parent Climate Survey next Friday, April 9th. The survey should take about 15 mins to complete and we would like all surveys returned by Wednesday, April 28th. We really want to learn from you!
Thank you for partnering with us so your children can do more, be more, and achieve more! Have a wonderful long weekend!
Ms. Fertsch's Files
Greetings Families and happy spring, Passover, and Easter! I hope you enjoyed a well-deserved and restful spring break. The end of the 3rd marking period is just one week away! It has been quite a ride for us all thus far, and we have worked together to make this school year a positive experience for our kids. Please continue to encourage your students to give their best efforts and to keep embracing the many learning opportunities and activities available to them here at FSDB. Students continue to enjoy meaningful experiences in academic classes, the arts, Orientation & Mobility, dorm activities, and so much more.
In April and May, students in grades 3-8 will participate in the Florida Statewide Assessments (FSA). In addition, 7th graders will take the End Of Course (EOC) Civics test. A reminder that in order for students to participate in testing, they must be physically present on campus. As always, thank you for allowing us to work with your students to help them to become well-rounded, independent, and empathetic citizens. Wishing you and your families a happy and healthy month.
Testing Season is Here
See the file below for the dates for this year's testing.
Innovative Learning Environment (ILE) students must report to campus in person to participate in FSA testing. Please contact Administrative Assistant Cheryl Burgess to facilitate transportation and/or dorm services if applicable.
Feeding St. Johns County
The Blind Middle School National Junior Honor Society (NJHS) members conducted a food drive during February and March. Over 100 pounds of food was collected and donated to the St. Johns Ecumenical Ministries Food Pantry. Formed in 1992 by church ministers and their congregations to provide emergency food for needy residents of St. Johns County, the pantry is staffed by the 12 participating churches. Bags of food are provided based on size of family. Each bag of food contains enough food for two people for four days.
NJHS chapters and students are in schools that care not only about student achievement, but also community engagement. NJHS students volunteer in their communities at the highest rates and make connecting with and serving within the community a priority. Five main purposes have guided chapters of NJHS from the beginning: to create enthusiasm for scholarship, to stimulate a desire to render service, to promote leadership, to encourage responsible citizenship, and to develop character in the students of secondary schools.
Members are: Addison Allen, Logan Strickland, Jasen McDaniel, Khayree Lofton, and Danika Stanchi
High School Students Speak to 8th Graders
Karen Kolkedy, Mental Health Counselor
Several incredible Freshmen in the Blind High School were selected to speak to our 8th graders. They were selected for this important and wonderful opportunity because they all graduated less than a year ago and could share what high school is truly like with our 8th grade class. They are awesome role models for these rising 8th graders. Yassir B. is a wonderful Senior who is a fine class leader. He has a wealth of knowledge and experiences from his high school years that he shared with the 8th graders. The 8th graders have been very curious about what high school is going to be like, what to look forward to and how to be successful.
These high school students shared information on such questions as what it was like preparing for the transition from Middle School to High School. These freshmen and senior students shared their feelings about joining high school. Each student also shared experiences of what they have been most proud of since beginning high school. Achievements, interesting classes, work experiences, team sports, music opportunities, community service projects - all await our rising 8th graders. These goal-driven students talked about preparing themselves for the future. They discussed their greatest strengths, and what subject area they have enjoyed learning about.
The High School students talked about Positive Behavior Support and Respect, Responsibility and Cooperation. They reflected on how one's attitude can really impact your education and outlook on life. Finally, these high school students addressed how they will contribute back to the community and impact positive change in the world.
These rising 8th graders really are curious about transitioning to high school and hopefully this panel answered some of the 8th graders' questions and concerns.
Goalball Unit in PE
Keith Young, Physical Education TeacherOur 7th/8th grade physical education class is doing a Goalball unit. Luke Boccuzzo, an OJT assistant and a senior, is helping with the instruction and modeling the techniques used. The students are learning the rules, objectives, defensive position and techniques, offensive throwing, passing, and the 9-point court layout system.
The President's Cabinet
Edith Stein, BMS Social Studies Teacher7th-grade Civics students are completing the Three Branches of Government study units. As a culminating project, students researched the President’s Cabinet. They chose five departments to describe, then chose their own personal department chairpersons as if they were the POTUS. Creativity in their choices and reasoning was encouraged. A person of particular interest was Deb Haaland Secretary of the Department of the Interior and the first indigenous North American to serve as a Cabinet member.
Cardinals at the Beach
Functional Vision and Night Blindness
Fisher is demonstrating how he completes routes on campus while under blindfold. He is relying on textures, auditory clues, and mental mapping to execute these routes. The more we practice these skills the easier it is for our students. We always make sure the students are comfortable wearing the blindfold and ensure that we are always near. As they continue to use the blindfold their confidence, recognition of clues/landmarks, and walking speed increase. These lessons are a functional way to support our students that may have difficulties traveling at night.
Stairs at the Beach
Students show off their aprons they made in the dorm.
Joy Carriger, Media Specialist
The Battle of the Books Challenge preparations have begun. BES students are meeting bi-weekly to start practicing for the end of the year literacy extravaganza. During our first meeting, students learned the authors for the books we will be using this year, and focused on the who, where and what (characters, setting and main idea) for each story. Most importantly, Battle team captains and names were selected for this year. All 3-5 students will participate as part of either The Starbursts, The Milky Ways or The Kit Kats. The event is scheduled virtually for May 21st.
BMS students are also preparing for their annual Battle of the Books challenge by meeting monthly in grade level teams to practice. The BMS Battle of the Books this year will be May 28th.
Middle school students have also been working hard on their monthly genre study. For March, students were assigned to read about a science topic, complete an assignment which included their own definition of science, and participate in an online class presentation to share interesting facts they learned and discuss the different branches of science. Some students even shared their learning by using PowerPoint presentations. This is a team effort between the library, the reading teacher, and the technology teacher.
- Apr 21 – Strong Group Signs
- May 26 – Strong Word Signs
For more information, contact:
April Wallace, Braille Specialist
Mackenzie and her family donated several items to the NJHS Pet Food Drive
Health Care Center
Kramer Hall (Elementary Dorm)
Cary White Complex (Middle School Dorm)