Currently browsing category

Curriculum and Instruction News

Elementary “Summer Stretch” Online Learning Starts June 1

This summer we have an awesome opportunity for students in grades K through 5 called Summer Stretch. The Summer Stretch program has exciting activities in Math, Reading, Science, and Social Skills to stretch their learning all summer long! Official start date is Monday, June 1st. There are multiple activity options to engage your child for up to six weeks, ending Friday, July 10th.

When kids participate in Summer Stretch, they will enjoy

  • interactive math games,
  • interesting articles to read and videos to watch,
  • fun and engaging science activities to complete, and
  • relaxing and calming videos and activities to practice social skills.

Science Fair Information

Although the state Science Fair has been cancelled, there have been some amazing things going on in our district!

  • More than 100 students participated in the district Science Fair February 5 with 13 projects selected to go to the state competition before its cancellation was announced.
    • Two students were chosen to attend International Science and Engineering Fair
  • Every middle school had nominations for rising 8th-grade girls for the American Association of University Women Tech Trek Camp (AAUW)
    • Up to a dozen girls will receive a scholarship for one week at STEM camp sponsored by the AAUW
  • A record number of students applied to work at Mayo Clinic’s SPARK program this summer
  • The department is conducting a Florida FPL STEM lesson study for eighth-grade science teachers

Space Day

Mr. PatelIn February, the St. Augustine High School Aerospace Academy hosted Space Day. Dr. Masson, Aerospace and Embry-Riddle dual enrollment course instructor, coordinated a guest visit and cross-curricular activities day.  The VIP guest, Mr. Shyamal Patel, is a class of 2009 alumnus and former Aerospace Academy participant who has been nominated for St. Augustine High School’s Hall-of-Fame.  Mr. Patel shared the prototype he developed during his time in the Aerospace program and has spent the past 10 years refining.  Ms. Gail Cullum, Mr. Patel’s former Aerospace Instructor, was in attendance to present him with a poster signed by current Aerospace students to commemorate his impact and inspiration on their career paths in Aerospace.

SAHS staff enthusiastically volunteered to teach Space Exploration oriented lessons, as they related to their core content areas.  Students were engaged and excited to learn!  Lessons included: A Brief History of Space Exploration, Student Group Project on Artificial Intelligence, Galileo/Isaac Newton/Copernicus, Watercolor Paintings of Celestial Bodies, GPS Scavenger Hunt, Impact of Space Exploration on Human Population, Philosophical Discussion on Space Exploration, and Analogy of Carl Sagan’s Pale Blue Dot speech, as compared to Vincent Van Gogh’s Starry Night painting.

Career and Technical Education Update – February 2020

February is Career and Technical Education (CTE) Month! We would like to thank each of the CTE teachers in our elementary, middle, K-8 and high schools for making their programs special for the students in the St. Johns County School District!

The High School Showcase was held in January at the World Golf Village Convention Center. Current 8th and 9th grade students wishing to apply to a Program of Choice and their parents were welcomed to attend and speak with student ambassadors, teachers and the administration for each high school, St. Johns Virtual School, First Coast Technical College and St. Johns River State College.

Program of Choice Booklet 2020-2021Students apply to Program(s) of Choice through their HAC account. The application window opened January 9th and closes February 3rd at 5:00 pm. Visit the Career & Technical Education website for Program of Choice information and directions on applying. The Career and Technical Education office phone number is 904-547-4870 and we are happy to answer your questions and help you with the process.

Academy Nights were hosted by each high school throughout the month of January. Career Specialists attended each middle school and shared the options available for each high school.

Please check out our 2020-2021 Programs of Choice booklet. The cover was designed by Nease Communications Academy student, Joseph Faranda.

Be sure to see more highlights on our CTE Twitter account, @CTEsjcsd


Program Highlights from around the District

Bartram Trail High School

Bartram Trail High School Academy NightThere was a packed house at the annual Academy Night at BTHS. Potential future bears and their parents listened to our AMAZING Academy students share their high school experiences and later toured the campus.


Creekside High School

Creekside High School academy studentsAt CHS, 59 FBLA members qualified to compete at the State Leadership Conference in March. These students participated in the District Competition, which took place on January 17. Cyber Patriots: Creekside teams took 1st, 2nd, and 4th place in the State of Florida in the Platinum (top) Division. We also have a freshman team that took 3rd place in the State in the Gold Division.


Pedro Menendez High School

Pedro Menendez High School FBLACongratulations to the PMHS FBLA members who competed at the District 27 FBLA Competition. They competed in interviewing skills, sports and entertainment management, public speaking, business ethics, and entrepreneurship. Go Falcons!

Flagler Hospital Academy of Medical and Health Careers currently has over 60 students conducting rounds in various departments at Flagler Health+ hospital. Fifteen students received their EKG certification in December and the HOSA club had 5 members qualify for state competition in Orlando!

The VyStar Academy of Business and Finance has nearly 80 students certified in Microsoft Word, Excel or both and is working hard toward their third certification in PowerPoint. These are excellent business skills directly transferable to real-world applications. Also, the student-run VyStar branch has opened over 40 new accounts this year!


Ponte Vedra High School

CONGRATULATIONS to the Academies FBLA Chapter members on their recent placements at the District Competition.

PVHS FBLAPVHS had 55 members qualify to compete at the District and of those, 40 members won a spot to continue on to the State FBLA Competition. It will be held in Orlando in March.

FL Department of Education Seeking Public Input On Civics Instructional Materials

Webinar

A webinar will be provided by the Florida Department of Education today at 4:00 pm EDT.

Review the Civics Materials

The Florida Department of Education invites the public to provide their input on the Civics instructional materials and end-of-course exam on Floridacivicsreview.org.

On June 26, 2019, Governor Ron DeSantis signed House Bill 807, which amended section 1003.4156, Florida Statutes, to require the following:

“All instructional materials for the civics education course must be reviewed and approved by the Commissioner of Education, in consultation with organizations that may include, but are not limited to, the Florida Joint Center for Citizenship, the Bill of Rights Institute, Hillsdale College, the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, iCivics, and the Constitutional Sources Project, and with educators, school administrators, postsecondary education representatives, elected officials, business and industry leaders, parents, and the public. Any errors and inaccuracies the commissioner identifies in state-adopted materials must be corrected pursuant to s. 1006.35. After consulting with such entities and individuals, the commissioner shall review the current state-approved civics education course instructional materials and the test specifications for the statewide, standardized EOC assessment in civics education and shall make recommendations for improvements to the materials and test specifications by December 31, 2019.”

Accordingly, the Florida Department of Education is seeking public input on the Civics instructional materials and Civics End-of-Course Assessment Test Item Specifications. Public input is encouraged through the online EdCredible® platform. EdCredible® provides all stakeholders with open access to participate in the review process. Stakeholders are required to open an account using their valid email address before providing input. The review will close on October 15, 2019.

To offer further insight into this opportunity, the department will offer a public webinar to discuss the review on August 22, 2019, at 4:00 pm EDT. This optional public webinar is intended to provide background on the Civics instructional materials state adoption process and the history of the Civics EOC Assessment, including stakeholder involvement in determining its content, development and setting of achievement level expectations. Neither attending the live webinar nor viewing the recorded webinar are required in order for stakeholders to participate in the public review of the Civics instructional materials and EOC assessment test item specifications.

If you are interested in attending, please register for the webinar. After registering, a confirmation email will be sent containing information about joining the webinar. A recording of the webinar, as well as the presentation and a transcript, will be posted on the Florida Department of Education’s website for those who are unable to attend.

Elementary STEM Education

Museum of Science and History
Outreach Program: Red Rover Robotics

Elementary schools in St. Johns County had an increased focus on STEM education throughout the 2018-2019 school year. One of the most exciting opportunities for all fifth graders was a partnership with the Museum of Science and History (MOSH) of Jacksonville. The MOSH outreach program, Red Rover Robotics, took place in every elementary and K-8 and provided fifth-grade students with a team-based robotics challenge which utilized math standards, block coding, scientific reasoning, and the nature of science standards. STEM activities spark student interest and foster development in science, technology, engineering, and/or math.

STEM Lesson Study Program

Using grant funding from Florida Power and Light (FPL), and administered through the Investing in Kids (INK!) local education foundation, a year-long lesson study project is underway for middle school science and math teachers.

Earlier this year, one math teacher and one science teacher from each participating middle school observed a model lesson developed and presented in the classroom of a lead teacher. Following the observation, teachers met as a team to discuss and refine the lesson for their own use and the use of others. School-based coaches and district subject-area specialists assisted with lesson development, debriefing sessions and professional development.

Individual participants are currently delivering a lesson in their own schools with their own students while being observed by a coach and subject area specialist. The coach and specialist will offer feedback to the teacher in a post-observation conference.

The final phase of the project will be for the teacher teams to meet in the summer to refine selected lessons into a format suitable for publication in the appropriate middle school math and science curriculum maps.

Participants have reported that the process has been highly beneficial to themselves and most importantly to their students. They plan to serve as a resource for the process at their home schools and hope that FPL, INK! and SJCSD will find a way to continue a lesson study program for the 2019-2020 school year.

Robotics Clubs 2018-2019

This year, we have expanded our after school robotics clubs in the elementary and middle schools from nine clubs to a total of 15. Our clubs compete in a range of competitions that include, First Lego League, First Tech Challenge, Wonder League, and VEX Robotics.

Twelve schools participated in the First Lego League this year:

Wards Creek
Cunningham Creek
Mill Creek
Webster
RJ Murray
Crookshank
RB Hunt
South Woods
Otis Mason
Gamble Rogers
AB Landrum
Switzerland Point

These schools had the opportunity to compete in local area qualifying competitions, where they were able to show off their robot design, robot coding, and teamwork. Gamble Rogers Middle School placed 1st in their Robot Design and placed 5th out of 23 teams overall. Webster Elementary competed for the very first time and placed 13th out of 22 teams at their qualifying competition. Another first-year team, Wards Creek earned the RoboThrasher award at their competition.

Three teams from Palm Valley Academy participated in the Wonder League Robotics Competition. One team advanced to the Invitational Round, one of 350 teams selected out of over 7,000 teams worldwide.

Sebastian Middle School STEAM Eagle Inquiry Hour Exhibition

Students at Sebastian Middle School worked diligently each Wednesday for eight weeks during their Eagle Inquiry Hour on a project to address one of the following essential questions:

6th Grade: What do you need in order to survive?
7th Grade: How can we innovate health technology for kids?
8th Grade: How can we sustain life while living in challenging spaces?

Students presented their projects to an external audience of parents and community members March 29.

STEM Careers are explored in every high school!

Allen D. Nease High School Stellar Academy of Engineering
Bartram Trail High School Design Academy
Information Technology Academy
Creekside High School Academy of Emerging Technology
Academy of Engineering & Environmental Sciences
Pedro Menendez High School Academy of Architectural & Building Sciences
Flagler Hospital Academy of Medical & Health Careers
Ponte Vedra High School Academy of Biotechnology and Medical Research
Academy of Information Technology
St. Johns Technical High School Academy of Coastal and Water Resources
St. Augustine High School St. Johns County Aerospace Academy