BEMS Parent Newsletter - May 28, 2021
Dates to Remember
May 31 - NO SCHOOL
June 4 - Last day to order school yearbook
June 9 - 8th Grade Graduation link sent out and posted on FSDB social media pages
June 10 - LAST DAY OF SCHOOL
June 14 - Report cards mailed home
June 14-18 - Virtual STEM Summer Camp
August 15 - Family Open House
August 16 - First Day of School
Celebrate our seniors and student-athletes next week as we honor them with our Athletic Awards, Senior Awards, and 107th Commencement. This year, we will hold two commencement ceremonies for the graduating classes of 2021. The Blind High School graduation will be held on Thursday, June 3 at 11:00 a.m. The Deaf High School graduation will be held the following day on Friday, June 4 at 11:00 a.m. The ceremonies will be livestreamed so that additional family members and friends can have the opportunity to join in the celebration. Visit the webpages below for more information about each event.
My Dear BEMS Families,
The school year has almost come to a close. We did it together! We are grateful for your collaboration and working with us through all the twists and turns of the past school year. We often did not know what may happen next, but our students remain our top priority. We are very proud of our students, your children. They persevered and weathered the storm. They are resilient and strong.
Enjoy the long weekend and the upcoming summer break. Wishing you some special family times together. All the best!
Ms. Fertsch's Files
We are in our final quarter of school and working hard to finish strong. We continue to offer students opportunities for academic and social/emotional growth and celebrate along with you when they make strides in these areas. We have completed FSA and MAP testing for the year and will continue with classroom instruction until our last day of school. On June 9th, we will post the 8th grade graduation presentation link, which you will be able to access as often as you wish. You will find this link via a Skylert message and on our Facebook page. Our elementary and middle school students are enjoying their last few weeks with their peers. We hope you enjoy reading about the wonderful things happening at our school, made possible by our shared desire to see all of our kids succeed.
Wishing you all a wonderful and safe new month of June.
Olympic Egg Drop Contest
Submitted by DD Stein, Middle School History Teacher
Students have been working with eggs and conveyances, training night and day in hopes of winning the coveted gold medal of Egg Droppers!
Mr. Keller’s 6th, 7th, and 8th grade math classes are holding a competition to see whose egg can survive a lethal drop from a height of 16 feet. Paper parachutes, protective boxes, and other designs have been devised by students. The theory being tested relates to shape and size vs strength. Does a shape or its individual size affect its structural integrity? Grade specific surface area and volume standards are being practiced by all contestants.
The criteria for success is to operate within the given budget and material parameters and to have the most efficient drop (get the egg to the ground safely in the shortest amount of time, for the least amount of money).
Winners of the competition so far are Gabriela Cuevas for 6th grade and Ryleigh Blades for 8th grade. 7th grade is still competing. Will there be a run-off between grades? Stay tuned for more Olympic Egg Drop news!
500 Word Challenge: Mission Accomplished!
PBS rewarded two classes in Blind Middle School for completing 7 weeks of the 500 Word Challenge. Each class signed a thank you card for the reward. Both classes are holding up their posters for the 500 Word Challenge.
ECC, CSI, and Chocolate Chip Pancakes
Michelle Garay, Third Grade Teacher
After working on a CSI investigation around a pancake theme, the third and fourth grade teams joined forces with the ECC lab to make their very own chocolate chip pancakes!
Songwriting With Professional Musician James Durbin
The Music Department is thrilled to have partnered with Arts4All Florida to present a series of virtual workshops for some of our music students this month. The workshops featured past American Idol finalist James Durbin.
James Durbin, who spoke about his disabilities briefly, led a 3-part series of workshops with our upper elementary students. These workshops focused on the songwriting process and has involved the students in the entire process, starting with ideas, note-taking, revising, word choices, genres, music writing, refining, and producing. At the end of the series, the students will have 3 finished products to share and listen to that they themselves created! Durbin was genuinely engaged with the students and gave each student their moment to shine and provide input. He played his guitar, did funny voices, and talked about shared interests. He researched our school in order to relate more to the students, has followed up with specific answers to questions and statements students made, and has put in extra time outside of our workshop time to produce the songs that the students worked on in their 1-hour workshops. See below for 2 of the completed songs!
FSDB is grateful for Arts4All Florida's financial support, coordination, and partnership in presenting these wonderful workshops at the end of a difficult year for the performing arts.
FASHION PLACE by LC
What Makes Me Feel Good by LC
Third graders paint with glue and salt at a virtual Cummer Museum field trip.
BMS Exploring Music
Laurie Wohl, K-12 Music Teacher
This quarter, our 7th period W/Th/F group has been experimenting with electronic and digital music. They completed a project using the GarageBand app where they conceptualized a new, innovative product. They then had to decide the target audience, price point, write a slogan, create a jingle, create the commercial script, and record the script over a track using at least 2 different instruments (strings and drums, brass and drums, vocals and strings, etc). Next they had to present this commercial to their peers in the classroom. We had some creative products including the iReader+ that can turn any document into a braille or screenreader-accessible document which included a full 10 minute informercial, and the “No-No, Never Round” Square Donuts with a “special surprise of deliciousness in every corner.”
After completing this project the group of 8th grade boys had time to “unplug” (at least from their headphones) and have a jam session on the digital keyboards (and GarageBand Drums in the background).
Enjoy some examples!
Middle School Band Upcoming Virtual Concert
While this year's middle school band was not able to perform at a concert due to the pandemic, they did record a live performance of 2 of the songs they worked on this year. Watch for a release of the recording on FSDB's Facebook page sometime in June. Students Damian, Jasen, Mason, Janna, Alden, Parker and Logan S. perform Erie Canal Capers and Trumpet Voluntary.
Helping A Family in Need
LaRonda Jenkins and Bobbie Raver, Residential Instructors
The students & staff in Cary White Pod 231 wanted to show how we can help others during this Global Pandemic that has affected thousands of people. So many people have lost their jobs and because they’ve lost their jobs, they’re unable to provide for their families. We wanted to shift our focus to helping others, and not focus on the economic turmoil this pandemic has caused for so many people. So, we decided to help a family in need by donating a box of goodies to show that we care and we’re thinking of you. People helping people drives many givers, and no matter how you choose to give, any type of donation will likely be treasured.
Special thanks to students: Brody, Jayden, & Mason
Boys enjoying activities at their Spring Fling!
It can't be all fun and games.
Order Your 2020-21 Yearbook Online
Melissa Fonda, Yearbook Adviser
Yearbooks are available to preorder online at the Memory Book site. Books are $25. If your family would like to purchase an ad, that can also be done at the same time. Ads are created by the purchaser using the Memory Book website. Please note that I am unable to proof or change any mistakes since what I receive is a PDF to add to the yearbook. Lastly, if you require a Braille book, send me an email requesting one. Braille books are complimentary with the purchase of a print book. Because graduation is included in the yearbook, the delivery will not arrive until the fall.
Order Your Yearbook by following these steps:
Step 1: Visit www.memorybook.com/online-pay/parent-pay/
Step 2: Enter your school code 137162 then click "go to your school account login"
Step 3: Click on the link below your school name
Step 4: Login if returning or register as a "new user"
Step 5: Buy a yearbook for $25
Place an ad in the yearbook:
Half Page Ad: $60
Full Page Ad: $100
Order online through June 4, 2021.
If you have any questions about ordering your yearbook contact Ms. Melissa Fonda, yearbook adviser, at FondaM@fsdbk12.org
APH Offering Coding Camp for Students
This coding course runs for seven weekdays, June 22 through June 30, 2021. Full group and small group lessons will be held every day from 1–3 pm Eastern, with opportunities for 1:1 meetings for extra support on your project, a chance to ask questions, to troubleshoot, or to dig deeper into the world of coding.
The target audience is middle school, high school, and transition age students with vision loss and an interest in foundational coding concepts to get started in coding. Students are expected to be proficient in using JAWS (if applicable); navigating, accessing, uploading and creating documents in a Google Drive; switching between three open programs on a computer; and saving documents. Students do NOT need a background in coding!
This opportunity is at no cost to the student or district but there is limited space. Apply soon!
Spotlight on Arts
What is Spotlight on Art?
Spotlight on Art is a YouTube series that includes 15-20 minute recorded art lessons by teaching artists across the State of Florida. These lessons can be completed at home with materials found around your house. They are provided through cooperation with Arts4All Florida.
Kindergartner Rosy exploring doll babies available at Assistant Principal Ms. Fertsch’s office.
Ms. Wallace and Mackenzie caught in the hallway after a successful braille lesson!
Jayden F and Mason enjoying free time after lunch.
Health Care Center
Kramer Hall (Elementary Dorm)
Cary White Complex (Middle School Dorm)