BHS Parent Newsletter - September 16, 2022
Dates to Remember
9/17 - FSDB Job Fair
9/19 - Bus Safety Posters Due
9/20 - Color Guard Meeting
9/21 - Golf Trip
9/24 - Virtual ECC - DIY Tools
9/26 - Music Lessons begin
9/26 - Celebrate Freedom Week
10/3-10/7 - Spirit Week
10/12 - End of 1st Quarter
10/17 - NO SCHOOL
12/15 - Holiday Concert
Justin Cosgrove, Assistant Principal
It's hard to believe we are past the midpoint of the first quarter. We continue to stay busy in Blind High School. We will be mailing midterms, but you can always keep up to date with your child's grades via the Parent Portal in Skyward.
I'd like to let you know about our Fang Fridays. Each Friday, we allot the last 45 minutes of the day to various activities. These activities include Character Counts Lessons, PBIS trainings, Class meetings, and club days. Some of the clubs that have met this year are the Student Leadership Council, the Yearbook, and the Show Choir. We encourage our students to be active in the various opportunities provided by the school.
We continue to thank you for your support for our program.
Character Trait of the Month-Responsibility
"By choosing to take responsibility for your life, you will immediately gain
an increased power to achieve your greatest potential."
Spirit Week Dress-Up Days
The second Spirit Week takes place the week of October 3-7. Each month, a department on campus is assigned the selection of the theme. The Safety & Facilities Deparatment has set the themes for the week. The entire campus is encouraged to participate.
Monday: Hawaiian Shirt/Hawaiian theme
Tuesday: Favorite football team
Friday: Dress in Camo
FSDB School Bus Safety Week Poster Contest
FSDB Transportation Department
Students in grades K-12 can create artwork that depicts school bus safety-related themes that encourages and promotes school bus safety and education. The winning posters are used to promote safer school transportation for everyone.
Please Note: The Poster Contest and National School Bus Safety Week are being held on two different dates this school year. National School Bus Safety Week is an annual event that is being held during the third week in October.
2022 National School Bus Safety Week
Poster Contest Rules:
· FSDB Students, poster designs should be made only on the 11x17 paper provided by the Transportation Department.
· Designs made can be drawn vertically or horizontally using crayon, felt pens, markers, or colored pencils.
· Poster designs may not incorporate any copyrighted characters or images (e.g., comic and television characters), photographs, and newspaper or magazine illustrations.
· All participants must write their name (first and last), school, and grade on the front of the poster they are submitting.
· Illustrations must be drawn in a positive approach, demonstrating proper school bus safety behaviors.
· Entry Deadline is Monday, September 19, 2022, by noon.
· All posters must be turned in to the school’s office by the posted deadline.
Congratulations to FSDB Show Choir Students!
Laurie Wohl, Head Sponsor
Congratulations to the following students who will be the founding members of the FSDB Show Choir:
Congratulations extend to all who auditioned! Everyone showed leadership, responsibility, and bravery! Excellent job everyone!
Rehearsals will be Mondays 3:40-4:40 in the Music Building auditorium.
Congratulations to Blind Cadence Drumline Students!
Congratulations to the following students who make up this year's Blind Cadence Drumline!
Marquez Derrick (Team Captain, Section Leader)
Dwayne Lewis (Section Leader)
Mason Long (Section Leader)
Tyler Loyd (Section Leader)
Juan Garcia (Section Leader)
Rehearsals are Wednesdays 3:45-5:00.
Illusion Color Guard
Students in grades 6th -12th who are interested in joining Illusion Color Guard should plan to attend a meeting on Tuesday, Sept 20. We will be learning to twirl large flags this year. Practices will be held Tuesday and Thursday from 3:45-4:45 pm.
The PBIS Ice Cream Social: Celebrating Positive Behavior in a Positive Way
On Thursday, September 1st, FSDB held the Ice Cream Social, an event that takes place annually. The Ice Cream Social is a way to support PBIS (Positive Behavior Improvement Support), and as the name suggests, the purpose of it is to socialize with friends and/or meet someone new. It’s basically a place to hang out, play outdoor games, and eat ice cream!
But how does all this tie into PBIS? To find this out, we talked to PBIS Coordinator Ms. Karen Kolkedy. She says, “The PBIS Character Traits Ice Cream Social started 13 years ago. It usually takes place at the end of the year, as a way to celebrate the fine performance of students and staff in PBIS throughout the year. However, this year, we decided to have it at the beginning as a way to kick off and encourage PBIS.” At FSDB, our primary goal for PBIS is to support positive social and emotional growth in students. One of the main ways that we do this is through rewarding good behavior and clearly defining social expectations at our school.
The PBIS Ice Cream Social is one way in which FSDB strives to introduce these topics in a fun and engaging way. By participating in the Ice Cream Social, students begin the year with a positive PBIS experience, and they also have the ability to socialize with peers and develop important relationships. By socializing with friends, students may be able to find positive peer role models, which is crucial in order to develop good social skills and attain PBIS schoolwide goals. According to Ms. Kolkedy, "Friends can be models as well as teachers. Friends model appropriate behavior, and students [may] want to emulate those behaviors.”
These positive behaviors and social skills can also lead to even more opportunities in the future as students move on from FSDB into jobs, college, or other postsecondary opportunities. After all, social skills are important regardless of what you do in life. As Ms. Kolkedy says, “While being respectful, responsible, and cooperative are very important in a job, you also want to demonstrate your other good characteristics and traits of being a good person.”
In short, the PBIS Ice Cream Social is a fun, engaging way for students to start off PBIS in the school year. The Social also gives students an opportunity to develop relationships and practice social skills, both of which are important facets of PBIS that will help students in the long-term as they move beyond FSDB.
We at FSDB are looking forward to all of the positive outcomes of PBIS. When asked about her hopes for the future in PBIS, Ms. Kolkedy said, “Hopefully there will be more participation in the decisions of PBIS ... from everyone in general.” Thank you to all of the people who helped to organize the PBIS Ice Cream Social, and we look forward to an awesome PBIS experience this year.
FSDB Job Fair
The Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind (FSDB) will host a job fair to recruit talent for all departments and positions on Saturday, September 17th, from 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. The event will be on the FSDB campus in historic St. Augustine and is open to the public. Join us to learn about employment opportunities in:
Academics – Teachers, Instructional Assistants, Para Professionals
Boarding Services – Residential Instructors
Facilities – Housekeepers, Carpenters, Groundskeepers
Transportation – Bus Drivers, Chaperones, Mechanics
FSDB is a state of Florida agency and a major employer in St. Johns County that offers many challenging and rewarding career opportunities.
For more information about current openings and benefits, visit www.fsdbk12.org/careers.
Our Home Away From Home
We would like to thank the parents who came out to our first Open House event in conjunction with the Parent Engagement Workshop. We hope you enjoyed seeing the dorms. We will be holding future events through the year. We hope to see many of you again.
Next week the Boarding Staff will be kicking off PBiS with a campus wide event. Food, games and activities are being planned to celebrate a new year of Responsibility, Respect and Cooperation.
MacWilliams staff are getting ready to start this year’s mentorship program next month. This program brings together our high school boys and pairs them with middle school boys to provide guidance, mentorship and friendship.
The Apartment Program students are working hard to learn about their daily chores. They’ve been working on skills to maintain their rooms, bathrooms and kitchens. They’re also getting experience in learning to make decisions, including starting to plan their own activities. Daily living skills lessons that are planned for next month include learning about budgeting, how to open a checking account and how to find the best rates for loans. We want to help our young people build confidence for life after FSDB.
The juniors in Koger Hall are off and running with their food shopping and cooking. We have 12 juniors this year so they are split into 2 groups that will rotate their shopping and cooking every quarter.
Health Care Center Important Updates
Dr. Stan Gustetic, Administrator of Health Care
Dear Parents and Guardians,
Our school year is well underway: academics, sports, dorm life, and, unfortunately, germs. We are already experiencing an increase in our numbers of both Covid as well as Flu A.
Please remain vigilant for calls, emails, or texts from the HCC should your student need to be given medication, tested for Covid/Flu/Strep, have an urgent or emergent need, or require picking up. Our goal is to return students to class as soon as possible. Being able to contact you for input helps us achieve this. Students with positive test results, fevers, or worsening symptoms cannot remain on campus.
Symptoms we have been seeing in both our Flu A and Covid students include:
Low grade fever
Keep your student at home if they exhibit any signs of illness.
A Clearance form is required to return to campus after any Emergency Room visit, surgery, or hospitalization has occurred. It may be dropped off at the HCC, faxed to 904-827-2421, or emailed to HCCRecords@fsdbk12.org but must be received prior to your student’s use of transportation or return to school. If a student is on campus without Clearance, they must remain in the Health Care Center until it is received. Parents may have to pick up their student from school if Clearance cannot be obtained.
Prescription medications must be sent in the original labeled bottles to our pharmacist to ensure they are dispensed to your student without delay. To reduce the amount of over storing and dispensing of multiple supplements and over-the-counter medications sent in from home, we will begin requesting a physician order for anything you wish your student to receive on a regular or daily basis. Signed orders may be faxed directly to our pharmacist at 904-827-2428. A daily multivitamin, probiotic, melatonin, or fiber supplements are the only current exceptions to this request. NO medications are permitted in the dorms or in bookbags.
As we continue to monitor trends and CDC guidelines regarding Covid, FSDB’s current policy requires students who have tested POSITIVE to remain at home for 5 days until they are without fever and symptoms have improved. A student may return sooner than 5 days as long as they are without fever, have improved symptoms, and can also provide a NEGATIVE test result. A student that has been exposed to Covid may remain on campus as long as they are without symptoms. Initial Covid testing is available for day and residential students in the HCC. Follow up testing must be done outside of school.
NURSE CARE COORDINATORS
Please contact your student’s assigned Care Coordinator prior to any scheduled procedure or with any change to your student’s medical condition or medications. We are here to help keep your student safe and healthy while on our campus.
Nurse Care Coordinators:
Erin Cunningham, email@example.com
Emily McMillan, firstname.lastname@example.org
Tracey Lopez, email@example.com
Daniel Jones, firstname.lastname@example.org
Molly Russell, russellm@@fsdbk12.org
Kathy Halkin, email@example.com
Belinda Hinson, firstname.lastname@example.org
Katelyn Tanner, email@example.com
Carmela Verrichio, firstname.lastname@example.org
Nancy Senador, email@example.com
Darcy Autrey, firstname.lastname@example.org
Melanie Delaney, email@example.com
Dawna Burns, firstname.lastname@example.org
September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month
For more information contact www.acco.org
Health Care Get-Ready-for-Fall List
Sign and return medical consent forms
Allergy medicines sent in with doctor’s orders if needed for daily use
Flu shots from PCP (optional)
Administrator: Stan Gustetic, AuD
Medical Director: Michael Soberano, MD
Parent University Presents...
Misty Porter, Parent Liaison
CPR & First Aid Basics
Join us on October 21, 2022 for CPR and First Aid Basics. This class will be held in Moore Hall from 9 am. – 1:30 p.m.
This learning event is open to FSDB families. Parents must check in at the front gate before parking and entering campus.
Sign up now! Space is limited and RSVP is mandatory.
Parent travel reimbursement is available.
Congratulations on Making the Swim Team!
Florida Department of Education and Volunteer Florida Encourage Students to Participate in 2022 Hispanic Heritage Month Contests
~Student essay contest winners will receive a 2-Year Florida College Plan scholarship provided by the Florida Prepaid College Foundation.~
The Florida Department of Education and Volunteer Florida encourage students to participate in Hispanic Heritage Month student contests with the theme “Celebrating the Achievements of Hispanic Floridians.” Hispanic Heritage Month is recognized and celebrated in the United States from September 15 to October 15.
"As a Cuban-American, I am proud of the many achievements of the Hispanic community throughout the state of Florida," said Education Commissioner Manny Diaz, Jr. "I look forward to seeing the art and essays of our talented and creative students."
All Florida students are invited to participate in academic and creative contests based on this year's theme. Students in grades 4-12 are invited to participate in an essay contest. Additionally, students, parents, teachers, and principals are invited to nominate full-time educators of all student grades for the Hispanic Heritage Month Excellence in Education Award.
About the Student Art Contest
Governor Ron DeSantis and First Lady Casey DeSantis’ Hispanic Heritage Month Art Contest is open to all Kindergarten through third-grade students in Florida. Each student will submit original, two-dimensional artwork based on this year's theme. Four statewide winners will be selected, and each winner will receive a $100 art supplies gift card and a 1-year pass to Florida state parks.
About the Student Essay Contest
Governor Ron DeSantis and First Lady Casey DeSantis’ Hispanic Heritage Month Essay Contest is open to all fourth through twelfth-grade students in Florida. Each student will submit one essay no longer than 500 words based on this year’s theme. Six winners will be selected: two elementary school students (grades 4–5), two middle school students (grades 6–8), and two high school students (grades 9–12). Each winner will receive a 2–Year Florida College Plan scholarship provided by the Florida Prepaid College Foundation and a $100 gift card for school supplies.
About the Excellence in Education Award
Governor Ron DeSantis and First Lady Casey DeSantis’ Hispanic Heritage Month Excellence in Education Award Contest is open to all full-time educators in an elementary, middle, or high school in Florida. Four winners will be selected, and nominations may be submitted by a principal, teacher, parent/guardian, or student. Excellence in Education award winners will receive $2,500 from Volunteer Florida and a set of classroom books.
Contest Entries and Nominating Forms and Guidelines
Student contest forms and educator nomination forms must be mailed to Volunteer Florida or submitted online at www.FloridaHispanicHeritage.com.
Hispanic Heritage Month Committee
1545 Raymond Diehl Road, Suite 250
Tallahassee, Florida 32308
All entries must be received by 5 p.m. (ET) on Wednesday, September 21, 2022.
For more information about the contests, please visit www.FloridaHispanicHeritage.com.
sketch by junior Randi Hinson
ACCESSING STUDENT PHOTOS
How to access student school photos:
- Go to fsdb.zenfolio.com
- Click “Find Your Photos”
- Enter your child’s Gallery ID number in the box. (Note: Child’s ID number is his/her 5-digit lunch pin number.
If your child does not know the number, please contact administrative assistant Ms. Linda Comeaux.
Health Care Center
Koger Hall (Girls Dorm)
MacWilliams Hall (Boys Dorm)
Apartments – Boys (Seniors)
Apartments – Girls (Seniors)
The Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind (FSDB) does not discriminate on the basis of age, race, color, sex, religion, national origin, political opinion, affiliation, marital status, genetic information, disability, veteran status or any other basis as mandated by federal and state law in its educational programs, services or activities, or in its hiring or employment practices. FSDB also provides equal access to the Boy Scouts and other designated youth groups as required by law.
Contacts for questions, complaints, or requests for additional information are as follows:
FSDB Boarding Program Administrator
Requests in writing can be sent to:
Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind
207 San Marco Avenue
St. Augustine, FL 32084