Color of Our Worlds December 2019

Educating ALL Students for Success!

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Martin County’s rich tradition of academic excellence continues, as the Martin County School District (MCSD) has been named an Academically High-Performing School District by the Florida Department of Education. The District is one of just nine school districts (and the only district in the South Florida region) to earn this prestigious designation.

The Academically High-Performing School District designation is based on school/district grades and financial audit reviews for the 2017-2018 school year and class size compliance during the 2018-2019 school year.

“I can’t think of a better way to close out another fantastic school year,” Superintendent Laurie J. Gaylord shared. “This designation is especially meaningful because it encompasses the work of each of our employees, while also reflecting our community’s commitment to public education. Academic performance, fiscal responsibility and systemic compliance with state regulations are all factors that ensure we are able to carry out our mission of educating all students for success. If you come across a Martin County student, teacher, staff member or administrator out in our community, please congratulate them for doing their part in helping us to achieve this designation. It takes a village to raise our children, and this designation means our hard work is being recognized at the state level.”

In addition to Martin County, the following school districts met the criteria to be named Academically High-Performing School Districts: Brevard, Collier, Gilchrist, Nassau, Okaloosa, Santa Rosa, Sarasota and Wakulla.

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Nicole Rathnaw Named Interim Principal of J. D. Parker Elementary School

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Angie Gilbride of Warfield Elementary School Named Outstanding Assistant Principal

Angela "Angie" Gilbride of Warfield Elementary School was recognized as the Assistant Principal of the Year. Superintendent Laurie J. Gaylord recently traveled to both schoolsWarfield Elementary School to deliver the surprise announcement.

"There aren't enough superlatives to express the level of transformational, student-focused leadership demonstrated by Ms. Gilbride," Superintendent Gaylord shared. "...lead the charge to ensure that all students are engaged and equipped with the tools they need to reach their highest personal potential. Ms. Gilbride was instrumental in Warfield's dramatic jump from a "C" to an "A" grade in the same time period. The Martin County School District is honored to have this great leader represent the Martin County School District as a nominee for the state-level award."

The District will submit both administrators' names to the Florida Department of Education for consideration in the statewide Principal Achievement Award for Outstanding Leadership and Outstanding Assistant Principal Achievement Award recognition programs. Winners of these awards will be announced in spring 2020.

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Two Title I Educators Named Teacher of the Year for Middle and High School Levels

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The Florida Literacy Association (FLA) has named Teri Koehler its 2019 Teacher of the Year!

The Florida Literacy Association (FLA) has named Warfield Elementary School teacher Teri Koehler its 2019 Teacher of the Year. The award is presented annually to a K-12 educator who has made significant contributions in the fields of reading and literacy.

A graduate of the University of North Florida, Ms. Koehler has served as a dedicated Martin County educator for more than 10 years. She currently teaches second grade at Warfield Elementary, where many of her students are bilingual and have only been in the United States for a short time. Ms. Koehler's encouraging and compassionate personality is well-known and appreciated throughout the school and surrounding Indiantown community. Her classroom is a place where students feel accepted, cared for and empowered to continue building their skills and pursuing their dreams.

Prepared each day with her personal goal of encouraging students to believe in themselves, Ms. Koehler's students traditionally become more confident in their abilities, developing a strong work ethic and growing to believe they can do anything they set their minds to. During the 2018-2019 school year, her class experienced an average learning gain of 56 points on the iReady diagnostic and average growth of six levels on the Fountas and Pinnell Reading Growth Assessment. This type of student achievement is remarkable in and of itself, but is more impressive when you consider the fact that 66% of her students had lived in the United States for less than one year at the time the assessment was given.

"Teachers like Ms. Koehler exemplify our school district's mission and what it means to educate all students for success," Superintendent Laurie J. Gaylord shared. "We believe that with caring adults and the correct support systems in place, all students are capable of learning and achieving their highest personal potential. I am so proud of Ms. Koehler, the work she is doing in her classroom and the relationships she has built with countless students over the years. Her hard work has truly paid off, and we are proud to have the FLA Reading Teacher of the Year serving children right here in Martin County!"

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Pinewood Elementary Teacher Haleigh Hudzina Wins Tools for Teachers Award!

Congratulations to The Pinewood Elementary’s Haleigh Hudzina for being named a recipient of CBS 12’s Tools for Teachers award! Ms. Hudzina was surprised in her classroom today with a check for $312.

Nominated by the mother of one of her students, Ms. Hudzina was praised for the rapport she builds with each student as well as her excellent communication with parents.

“My son can often be shy and reserved, at home and in the classroom,” the parent shared. “I attribute him coming out of his shell to having been in Mrs. Hudzina’s classroom for the fall semester. She really takes time to know each child and develops learning plans and strategies that will work for each individual student, instead of having a “one size fits all” approach.”

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Anderson Middle School Boys Shine at Kyle Conrad Memorial Middle School Track Meet

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1. Anderson 74

2. Hidden Oaks 44

3. Stuart 41

4. Murray 8


1. Anderson 61

2. Stuart 46

3. Hidden Oaks 39

4. Murray 20

5. Indiantown 1

Parent Resources

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MCSD Food & Nutrition Services Department Provides Healthy Food and Snacks for Students!

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It started with a game of dare
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Not One But Three this Month!

1. Rin, Rin, Rin/Do, Re, Mi By José-Luis Orozco and Illustrated by David Diaz

Rin, Rin, Rin, Do, Re, Mi is a book that allows children to practice basic literacy skills in Spanish as well as in English. José-Luis Orozco is able to gracefully describe daily routines while making rhymes for children to read or sing along to. This book is based on a song written by Orozco, who is an award-winning Hispanic songwriter. The book has an accompanying CD.

2. The Pot That Juan Built By Nancy Andrews-Goebel and Illustrated by David Diaz

This book, told in the style of "The House That Jack Built," is about a famous potter named Juan Quezada who lives in the small Mexican village of Mata Ortiz. Quezada's art has brought attention to Mata Ortiz because he creates his pottery using the same techniques that were used by the Casas Grandes Indians many years ago.

3. Vegetable Dreams/Huerto Soñado By Dawn Jeffers and llustrated by Claude Schneider

This book is about a girl named Erin who dreams that she has a vegetable garden. She finds a friendly neighbor, Mr. Martinez, who decides to plant a garden with her. As their vegetables grow, so does their friendship. This story is a great example of a wonderful summer adventure in which two people get to share their individual cultures and gain a great deal more than a flourishing garden.

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School Happenings

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When Port Salerno Elementary SRO Deputy Jennifer Grounds and school staff member, Mrs. Gail, noticed that one of their students was no longer riding his bike to school, they inquired as to why. Only to learn that Henry’s bike was stolen.

It didn’t take long for things to change. Deputy Grounds immediately went to work and not only acquired a new bike for 12-year old Henry—but her actions alone restored this young man’s school and community spirit. Now, Henry’s back on his new wheels, and has no plans on looking back at the negative of the loss, but focusing on the positive that emerged from it.

Local Community Makes Thanksgiving Feast at SeaWind a Family Success!

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WPBF 25 First Alert Meteorologist Britley Ritz Visits Indiantown Middle School!

Thank you to WPBF 25 News and Ms. Britley Ritz WPBF for visiting IMS and talking to our 5th grade Thunderbirds about weather systems!

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K9 Unit Visits Pinewood!

Deputies from the Martin County Sheriff's Office K-9 unit recently paid a visit to Pinewood Elementary School. Students enjoyed learning all about how deputies and K-9s go all in to fight crime!
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Thunderbirds Explore Our Community with Help from our Environmental Studies Center!

Check out the hands-on learning experience these Indiantown Middle School students enjoyed earlier this week, courtesy of the District’s Environmental Studies Center!

#ALLINMartin👊 for inquiry and exploration!

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Middle school students from Dr. David L. Anderson Middle School (Robo Stallions) and Murray Middle School PTSA (MARS Team) participated in the FIRST Robotics prequalifying competition where they worked collaboratively to ensure their robots were able to complete in the challenge.
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Warfield Students Made Pies & Learned Science & Math!

Mrs. Kim Dodson Hubbard’s students made pumpkin pie in a bag today. They followed a recipe, made measurements of ingredients, and worked together. They watched how matter can change form and wrote a how to paper together. Then they enjoyed their pie!
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What is Your Why?

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Seawind Elementary 1st graders showed their kindness on World Kindness Day!

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Students at Seawind Elementary are writing notes to children who are sick or in the hospital.

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Community Resources

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All over the world, people spend the colder months of the year celebrating a variety of holidays.
Winter Celebrations
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Happy Holidays to All!

In his 1926 classic, “Winnie the Pooh,” A. A. Milne wrote, “Piglet noticed that even though he had a very small heart, it could hold a rather large amount of gratitude.” Our little pink friend was grateful for the abundance he had in his life; great friends, a warm place to sleep and a few tasty “haycorns” to eat.

As we conclude 2019, and break for the winter holiday, we want to take a moment to express our heartfelt gratitude to all who help make our Title I schools amazing places to be. We are a community with many gifts and talents, which we share daily with one another and most important, our students. From the classroom, to our living room and all points in-between, our collective efforts to raise the whole child are filled with passion and commitment and have a positive and lasting influence in the future for all.

Parents, of course, are such a critical part of all we hope to accomplish. We are grateful to you for masterfully doing what we know firsthand is the hardest, most rewarding and joyous job of all. Thank you for entrusting us with your most precious gift.

We are grateful to our wonderful, talented, creative, inquisitive, optimistic, resourceful and resilient students. Often, they make us laugh, sometimes they make us cry, but always they make us think. Most of all, they make us better.

In the spirit of this holiday season, we want to extend our thanks to all of you for everything that you do for our school. As we enjoy the upcoming holidays, it is our fervent wish that each of you receives and returns the seasonal bounty of blessings and good tidings that make these days truly special.

To the parents and friends of the MCSD Title I Schools, please have a safe and joyous holiday season.

With respect and gratitude,

The Title I Program Staff

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Martin County School District Title I Schools and Program Staff

Elementary Schools:

 Hobe Sound Elementary

 JD Parker Elementary School

 Pinewood Elementary School

 Port Salerno Elementary School

 Seawind Elementary School

 Warfield Elementary School

Secondary Schools:

 David Anderson Middle School

 Indiantown Middle School

 Spectrum Academy

 Willoughby Learning Center

Title I Program Staff

Shela Khanal, Director of Title I Programs

Debra George, Coordinator of Title I Programs

Deb Stull, Coordinator District Title Programs: ELL, Immigrant, and FIT

Casey Vasko, Federal Programs/ Equitable Services Liaison

Yvonne Blanco, Title I Department Secretary