Sarasota County Schools News

Pine View School to offer Advanced Placement Capstone Program

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SCS News

OSPREY, May 31, 2016 – Starting in the 2016-17 school year, Pine View School will offer Advanced Placement Capstone – an innovative program created designed to allow high school students to develop critical skills required for success in college, including inquiry, research, academic writing and collaboration. Pine View, which serves intellectually gifted students in grades two-12, will be one of more than 350 schools worldwide to offer AP Capstone. The program was developed by The College Board, a not-for-profit organization best known for the SAT college entrance exam.

“We are pleased to offer the rigorous AP Capstone program at Pine View,” said Principal Stephen Covert. “We believe it will be a perfect academic fit for many of our high school students.”

The program consists of two sequential courses, AP Seminar and AP Research, which were designed as a result of feedback from college faculties and admissions officers. The first of the AP Capstone courses, AP Seminar, will begin at Pine View in 2016 when the Sarasota County school year starts Monday, Aug. 22. The program will be offered to juniors, and will allow students the opportunity to explore complex, real-world topics though a multitude of lenses and points of view.

In AP Seminar, students gather research using a variety of materials such as research studies, academic journals and foundational texts. They are required to analyze and evaluate various points of view and synthesize their research. They are then challenged to develop their own points of view and their own research plans. Teachers are encouraged to suggest topics and themes matching students’ interests, such as sustainability, national security, technology and citizens’ rights to privacy. Unlike traditional AP courses, the AP Seminar course assessment includes an individual paper and presentation, a team project and a written exam. 

Pine View will offer the second Capstone course, AP Research, to seniors in the fall of 2017. AP Research provides students with an opportunity to build on the foundational skills learned in the AP Seminar course. Students dig more deeply into a topic of interest or study and are mentored throughout the year as they develop an original academic thesis, which is designed to be ready for peer-review publication or presentation. Students explore different types of citations, learn how to use research methodology, and prepare to defend their thesis.

Students can earn the AP Capstone Diploma if they score a three or higher on the AP Seminar and AP Research exams, and a three or higher on four Advance Placement exams of their choosing.

Pine View School is located at 1 Python Path, Osprey.


State group recognizes Gocio Elementary as Florida Arts Model School

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Gocio Aladdin SMALL May 2015

THE MAGIC OF A MODEL SCHOOL: Gocio Elementary is recognized as a Florida Arts Model School for programs such as musical theater. In this May 2015 photo, Gocio students Marisa Cruz-Solis, at left, and Sara Vitale prepare for their roles in “Disney’s Aladdin KIDS.”

SARASOTA, May 31, 2016 – The Florida Alliance for Arts Education will recognize Gocio Elementary School as a Florida Arts Model School at the organization’s annual Leadership Summit in Daytona Beach, June 23 through 25. The designation covers a three-year period; Gocio has been a Model School continuously since 2010. During the FAAE Summit, Sarasota County Schools Superintendent Lori White also will be honored as Superintendent of the Year for her support of arts education.

The Florida Arts Model Schools program recognizes schools in Florida that have done an exemplary job making the arts an essential part of their education curriculum. The purpose of the award is to identify, recognize and promote statewide K-12 fine arts programs that balance diversity, high performance standards and instructional quality in visual and performing arts education. Last year, Booker Middle School joined Gocio as a Florida Arts Model School; Booker’s designation is for the years 2015-18.

“We are proud that Gocio Elementary continues to be recognized for its commitment to arts education and the high quality and diversity of the arts education programs we offer,” said Principal Pam Buchanan, who is retiring at the end of the school year after leading the school for six years.

Gocio Elementary School is located at 3450 Gocio Road, Sarasota. 




Executive director of high schools receives sports safety award

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Cantees and Tim Tebow-sports award May 2016

SPORTS STANDOUTS: Florida Gators football legend Tim Tebow congratulates Executive Director of High Schools Steve Cantees on receiving the first-ever Best of HT Preps Sports Safety Partner of the Year Award May 24. Photo courtesy Sarasota Herald-Tribune.

SARASOTA, May 27, 2016 — Sarasota County Schools Executive Director of High Schools Steve Cantees received the first-ever Sports Safety Partner of the Year Award from Sarasota Memorial Hospital and the Sarasota Herald-Tribune at the Best of HT Preps Awards ceremony May 24 at Robarts Arena honoring local high school athletes.

In his remarks presenting the award to Cantees, SMH CEO David Verinder said, “There’s so much value in high school sports besides the satisfaction from a well-played game – about teamwork, collaboration, communication and dedication.  

“As leaders, it’s up to all of us to make sure student athletes have the opportunity to play the games they love – safely. Concussion management has been a topic discussed at the state and national level for decades. And it’s something the school district and hospital have worked on separately for many years.

“In 2014, we took a huge step forward when Executive Director of High Schools Steve Cantees and Sarasota County Schools opened their doors and began helping us test a new approach in concussion education and management.  

“In a research study led by local neurologist Dr. Daniel Stein and SMH research nurse Allison Lauderdale, we are using a novel iPad app to provide important base-line testing on football players at all five public high schools in Sarasota County. The data collected becomes a critical benchmark if they are later injured during practice or play.

“The technology is showing a lot of promise, and in future could become a game changer for the way our nation tests athletes' vision, balance and neuro-cognitive abilities before and after an injury. At this time, I’m very pleased to present our first Sports Safety Partner of the Year award to Steve Cantees and Sarasota County Schools.”

Cantees said he was honored to receive the award and thanked the district’s high school athletic directors, principals and others who contributed to the effort to keep student athletes safe.

FL arts education group names Lori White 'Superintendent of the Year'

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Lori White Oct 2015

CHAMPION OF ARTS EDUCATION: Lori White is being honored by the Florida Alliance for Arts Education as its Superintendent of the Year.

This news release is from the Florida Alliance for Arts Education.

ORLANDO, May 24, 2016 – The Florida Alliance for Arts Education has named Lori White, superintendent of Sarasota County schools, its 2016 Superintendent of the Year.

White will be formally honored during an awards ceremony at the FAAE Leadership Summit. The Summit will be held June 23-25 at The Shores Resort and Spa in Daytona Beach. The Awards Ceremony will take place at The Brown Museum of Art at the Daytona Beach Museum of Arts and Sciences at 6 p.m., Friday, June 24. 

“I am honored to be named Superintendent of the Year by the Florida Alliance for Arts Education,” White said. “The organization’s commitment and leadership in arts education makes this award especially meaningful. I’m fortunate to lead a school district that gets so much support from local arts and cultural organizations, foundations and individuals that care so deeply about the arts as an integral part of K-12 education. They know that engaging students in the arts helps young people think and act creatively, whatever career path they may pursue.”

Since 1981, FAAE has united educators, artists, community leaders, concerned citizens, corporate partners and arts-education organizations and institutions in pursuit of a common goal: to ensure that all Florida students receive a complete education that includes the arts.

“It is FAAE’s vision for every child in every school to have a well-rounded education that includes a comprehensive, sequential, high-quality program of arts instruction, and for all Florida communities to have broad-based cultural programs available to support lifelong learning in and through the arts,” said Julie Hebert, the alliance’s executive director. “Sarasota has long been a model for demonstrating student achievement and equitable access to a high-quality arts education.”

Each year during the summit, FAAE recognizes outstanding leaders in arts education. “It is our hope that educators will see the great things happening around the state and implement similar models in their own districts,” Hebert said. “Wouldn’t it be great if all Florida students had the same opportunities in arts education as students in Sarasota do?”

When selecting the Superintendent of the Year, FAAE recognizes that strong leadership from the top is necessary to develop and maintain strong arts education programs in a school district. Superintendent White was selected for this prestigious award based upon her tireless efforts to maintain outstanding arts programs in the Sarasota schools as well as the strong relationships she has fostered with community arts organizations.

White has served as superintendent of Sarasota County schools since 2008 and is renowned across the district and state for her support of arts education. She grew up in Sarasota and has spent her entire career as a teacher and administrator in the district. She served as director of curriculum and instruction from 1995-2003 and was later associate superintendent of instructional services.

White received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Florida State University. She is married and has two grown children and two grandchildren.

Angela Hartvigsen, Sarasota County’s Fine Arts Program Specialist, stated that despite budget shortfalls and recommendations from consultants to cut arts education positions, White staunchly supported the presence of the arts in all of Sarasota’s public schools. Due in large part to White’s support, Sarasota County was the nation’s sixth community chosen for the Kennedy Center’s Any Given Child Initiative. This initiative promotes access and equity in arts experiences for all students, K-8, through the school district, the local arts community, and the Kennedy Center.

Brian Hersh, the Program Director for Any Given Child Sarasota, added that “in addition to Any Given Child, Superintendent White’s involvement in EdExplore was crucial to ensuring students experiential learning opportunities with and through the arts.” EdExplore is an online platform that connects teachers to a plethora of local community arts, cultural, historical, and science field-based organizations that provide opportunities to enrich and extend the school curriculum.

“Mrs. White is an eloquent speaker about the arts and their importance to a child’s whole education. She is also proud to tell you about her days playing the violin at Pine View School,” Hartvigsen remarked.

Sarasota High choirs to sing year-end concert with Key Chorale May 26

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SHS Chamber Choir spring 2016

SINGING SAILORS: The 2016 Sarasota High Chamber Choir and other SHS choirs will perform their Final Bow Concert May 26 in the SHS auditorium. Pictured at right is choir director Kirby Sanders.

SARASOTA, May 24, 2016 – The Sarasota High School Choral Department will present the Final Bow Concert at 7 p.m., Thursday, May 26, in the school auditorium. The event will mark the end of the school year and the last choir performance by graduating seniors.

The program will feature a wide variety of music and will showcase the Singing Sailors, the Chamber Choir, the Women’s Chorale and student soloists. The Key Chorale, a local adult choral music group conducted by Joseph Caulkins, will join the Chamber Choir for a presentation of songs from the April concert, Tomorrow’s Voices Today, the Key Chorale’s third annual collaboration with choirs from Sarasota County high school choirs.

The program will conclude with a salute to the graduating seniors of 2016 as they take their final bow. The concert is free and open to the public. More information is available by calling 941-955-0181, ext. 64570, between 7:30 a.m. and 3 p.m.

Sarasota High School is located at 1000 S. School Ave., Sarasota.

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