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Osceola School District To Host College Week To Spread The College Knowledge

As the Osceola School District continues to build a college-going culture for students, all schools will celebrate College Week from August 28 – September 1, 2017.  Numerous awareness activities are planned around financial aid, College Match, Florida Bright Futures Scholarship program, and college admissions and knowledge.  Students and parents across the district are invited to attend a “Surviving College Admissions” workshop hosted by Johns Hopkins University on August 30 at Gateway High, with check-in at 6:00 p.m. and a 6:30 p.m. program start.

The district invites all students, employees, parents, and community members to wear their college colors on Friday, September 1, 2017, as part of College Week.  This show of support for higher education is intended to spread the college knowledge to students in prekindergarten through twelfth grade, and will highlight the importance of being college-ready.  Individuals in their college garb on College Colors Day are invited to post a photo on social media tagging @osceolaschools and using #SDOCGoodtoGreat and #CollegeWeek17.

A list of daily activities for Osceola School District’s College Week 2017 can be found at osceolaschools.net/SDOCCollegeWeek2017.


Surviving College Admissions Workshop

In celebration of the Osceola School District’s College Week, high school students and parents are invited to a free workshop hosted by Johns Hopkins University entitled “Surviving College Admissions” on Wednesday, August 30, at Gateway High School. Check-in will begin at 6:00 p.m., and the program will start at 6:30 p.m. Come out to learn more about how to assist your student through the college admissions process.


Osceola County School Board Approves 2018-2019 Academic Calendar

The 2018-2019 Academic Calendar for all public schools in the Osceola School District has been approved.  The first day of school for students will be on Monday, August 13, 2018, and the last day for students will be on Thursday, May 30, 2019. Other highlights:

**The last day of classes for Winter Break will be on December 21, 2018.

**Winter Break will run from December 22, 2018, through January 7, 2019.

**Spring Break is scheduled for March 18-22, 2019.

The 2018-2019 calendar can be found on the district’s website at http://www.osceolaschools.net/1819academiccalendar


2018 Osceola School District Graduations Graduation caps will fly on the following days and times for Osceola County’s 2018 high school graduates:


Thursday, May 17, 2018, at Osceola County School for the Arts

Technical Education Center Osceola (TECO) at 7:00 p.m.


Monday, May 21, 2018, at St. Cloud High School

Adult Learning Center Osceola (ALCO) and Osceola Virtual School at 7:00 p.m.


Wednesday, May 23, 2018, at Osceola County School for the Arts

Osceola County School for the Arts at 7:00 p.m.


Thursday, May 24, 2018, at Osceola Heritage Park

Celebration High at 9:30 a.m.

Osceola High at 1:30 p.m.

Gateway High at 6:00 p.m.


Friday, May 25, 2018, at Osceola Heritage Park

PATHS at 9:30 a.m.

Harmony High at 1:30 p.m.

Liberty High at 6:00 p.m.


Saturday, May 26, 2018, at Osceola Heritage Park

Poinciana High at 9:30 a.m.

St. Cloud High at 1:30 p.m.

Zenith at 6:00 p.m.


Three High Schools In Osceola County To Participate In College Board’s AP Capstone® Program      New for the 2017-2018 school year, Poinciana High, St. Cloud High, and The Osceola County School for the Arts in Osceola County are implementing AP Capstone®, an innovative diploma program that allows students to develop the skills that matter most for college success: research, collaboration, and communication.  Developed in direct response to feedback from higher education faculty and college admission officers, AP Capstone complements the in-depth, subject-specific study of other Advanced Placement courses and exams offered at the schools.

The program consists of two courses taken in sequence: AP Seminar and AP Research. The AP Seminar course, typically taken in tenth or eleventh grade, equips students with the ability to look at real-world issues from multiple perspectives using complex questions.  In the AP Research course, students design, plan, and conduct a yearlong research-based investigation on a topic of individual interest, documenting their process with a portfolio.

Students who earn scores of 3 or higher on AP Seminar and AP Research assessments and on four additional AP exams of their choosing will earn the AP Capstone Diploma.  This signifies their outstanding academic achievement and attainment of college-level academic and research skills.  Students who earn scores of 3 or higher on both AP Seminar and AP Research assessments only (but not on four additional AP exams) will earn the AP Seminar and Research Certificate.

“This innovative program gets a broader, more diverse student population ready for college and beyond,” said Superintendent Dr. Debra Pace.   “The program gives students access to challenging coursework and allows them to sharpen their reading and writing skills.”


Cypress Elementary – Upcoming Events

Cypress Elementary first School Advisory Council (SAC) and Parent Teacher Organization (PTO) meeting will be held on Tuesday, August 29, at 4:00 p.m. in the media center. These meetings are one way for parents and community to have a voice at Cypress. All parents, community members, and Partners in Education are invited to attend.      Cypress Elementary first Dress Down Day will be on September 1. Participating students will be able to dress out of uniform for the day. Students must still wear school appropriate clothes and shoes.

Cypress Elementary is in need of mentors for the Bookmark Buddies program. Bookmark Buddies is a program that helps select third students with reading. All materials are supplied, and the mentor meets with the student once a week for thirty minutes. This year, the program will be from 11:25 a.m. to 11:55 a.m. or 11:45 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. Please contact Susan Compton at 407-344-5000 if you would like to help. Contact: Susan Compton, Cypress Elementary – 407-344-5000


Highlands Elementary –  Upcoming Events and Recognition      Starting Monday, August 28, Highlands Elementary will begin the Bookmark Buddies Program. The Bookmark Buddies Mentoring Program is an exciting opportunity for volunteers to make a difference in the life of a child. Volunteers can help a third grader improve his or her reading skills by dedicating thirty minutes each week to give them an extra push to become a successful reader and lifelong learner. Training and all materials are provided. The school is looking for dedicated individuals who are willing to make the difference. All mentors must be OASIS approved. Individuals can apply to volunteer at www.osceolaschools.net/OASIS.

August 31 will be a $1.00 Dress Down Day at Highlands Elementary. Students are asked to follow the dress code policy.

Highlands Elementary parents who would like to get involved at the school are encouraged to join the School Advisory Council (SAC). SAC is a school-based group that shares responsibility for supporting the school’s continuous improvement. The next SAC meeting will be held on September 20 at 3:45 p.m. in the media center.

Highlands Elementary encourages everyone — students, parents, family members, neighbors, teachers, and community business partners — to collect Box Tops. They can be found on many food packaging items, such as cereal boxes. Each Box Top is worth 10 cents for the school.

Individuals can send Box Tops to Highlands Elementary-OASIS, 800 W. Donegan Avenue, Kissimmee, FL 34741.
At Highlands Elementary, students are taught that is important to give back to the community. Highlands students are collecting metal pop tabs, and the community is encouraged to do the same and bring them to the school. At the end of the year, Highlands will be donating them to the Ronald McDonald House.


Kissimmee Elementary – Upcoming Events      Kissimmee Elementary will host a Parent Information Night on Thursday, August 31, at 5:30 p.m. in an effort to prepare their students for a successful future. Preparation for student success begins in kindergarten and continues as students move up through the fifth grade. This will be a night dedicated to providing parents of children in third through fifth grades with a clear understanding of the Florida Standards, as well as the expectations that students encounter each school day. In addition to the Parent Information Night, students and parents can join the school for a Family Night in the media center starting at 4:30 p.m. This event allows parents and students to utilize the media center resources after normal school hours.


Michigan Avenue Elementary – Volunteers Needed for Bookmark Buddies Program

Michigan Avenue Elementary is looking for volunteers who would like to make a difference in the life a child. Volunteers are needed to be part of the Michigan Avenue Elementary School Bookmark Buddies program. This is a wonderful mentoring program for third grade students who need an extra “boost” in reading.  It is a meaningful way to make a difference in a child’s life! Contact Kimberly Coughlin at 407-891-3140 for more information.


Neptune Elementary – Upcoming Events

The Neptune Elementary Bookmark Buddies program is looking for mentors to read to third graders once a week for 30 minutes. There will be a training on Wednesday, August 30, at 1:00 p.m. If you are interested contact Minerva Perez at perezsam@osceola.k12.fl.us or 407-892-8387 (Ext. 61091).

Neptune Elementary first grade students will be going to the Chris Lyle Aquatics Center starting on Tuesday, September 12, through Friday, September 22.  Each student who participates in the Learn-to-Swim Program will be under the instruction of a certified Water Safety Instructor and Water Safety Assistant. Students will learn the following at the swimming pool: water exploration, floating, gliding, basic front and back strokes, water rescue techniques, and water safety rules. For more information, contact Coach Woodsby at 407-892-8387.


Partin Settlement Elementary – Upcoming Events

The Partin Settlement Elementary Book Fair will be held on Friday, September 22, through Friday, September 29. Volunteers are needed for the Book Fair. Please come in to the office to sign-up. Time and days volunteers are needed are Friday, September 22, and Monday, September 25, from 8:15 a.m. to 3:15 p.m.; Wednesday, September 28, from 8:15 a.m. to 2:15 p.m.; Thursday, September 29, from 8:15 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.; and Friday, September 29, from 8:15 a.m. to 1:15 p.m.      The first Parent Teacher Organization/School Advisory Committee meeting at Partin Settlement Elementary will be on Tuesday, September 5. The SAC meeting will begin at 6:00 p.m., and the PTO meeting will begin at 6:30 p.m. The meetings will be held in the media center, and topics to be discussed include the School Improvement Plan, Title 1, and PTO activities. Children are welcome to attend.


Pleasant Hill Elementary – Upcoming Events

In support of Officer Baxter and Sergeant Howard, the students and staff of Pleasant Hill Elementary are having a special Blue Dress Down Day for $1 on Thursday, August 24.  The money collected will be donated to the families.      The first SAC meeting of the school year at Pleasant Hill Elementary will take place on Thursday, August 31, at 4:00 p.m. in the media center.  Parents are invited to attend.


Poinciana Academy of Fine Arts – Academy Awards      The First Grade Swim Program at Poinciana Academy of Fine Arts will run from September 11 through September 15 and September 18 through September 22. The students participating will learn basic survival tips, and some will even leave the program learning how to swim.
Thacker Avenue Elementary School for Interantional Studies – School Announcements

Thacker Avenue Elementary School for International Studies (TAESIS) would like to send a big thank you to Toho Water Authority for the generous donation of school supplies for students. Employees of Toho Water Authority have partnered with TAESIS for many years, and have always made the students a priority. *Photo available upon request.

Thacker Avenue Elemntary’s first grade classes will begin water safety lessons starting on Monday, September 11. Students will learn the importance of water safety, along with swimming techniques. Parents will need to complete permission slips for students to participate in the two-week course. Students will walk to the Kissimmee YMCA at designated times. Parents who would like to volunteer to walk with students must be OASIS approved. For more information, contact Coach Michael McCleery at 407-935-3540.

Thacker Avenue Elementary will be hosting a special luncheon on Monday, September 11, from 10:45 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. to “Honor Our Local Heroes.” Invitations to have lunch with Thacker students will be sent to the Kissimmee Police Department, Osceola County Sheriff’s Department, as well as Osceola County and Kissimmee Fire Departments. The Thacker students and staff would like to share the love and support for the men and women who protect and serve our community, as well as in remembrance of our fallen heroes from September 11, 2001. For more information, contact Trish O’Neill at 407-935-3540.


Discovery Intermediate – Upcoming Events and School News

In the Explorer Store on campus at Discovery Intermediate, students can buy different items such as: school supplies, treats, different privileges, and other items. The Explorer Store is open weekly (Thursdays and Fridays) during lunch periods, and is operated by OASIS volunteers. The Explorer Store is funded through donations. The store is in the process of renovation at this time, and volunteers are needed. If interested, individuals can register to be an OASIS volunteer today at www.osceolaschools.net/OASIS.

Discovery Intermediate will be hosting an OASIS Volunteers Meet and Greet on September 5 at 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. in room 5-202. All volunteers will take a small tour of the campus and meet with administrators. Snacks and refreshments will be provided.      All sixth grade students at Discovery Intermediate participated in a vision screening on August 16 through Florida’s Vision Quest program. Any students who were absent will be able to participate in the screening retake day on Monday, August 28, in room 5-115.

Discovery Intermediate’s Picture Day for students will be on Tuesday, September 5, from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. in the gymnasium.
Narcoossee Middle School – Upcoming Events

Ms. Rutherford’s Choral Classes at Narcoossee Middle will participate in a concert on Tuesday, August 29, from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. in the dining hall. All are welcome to attend.

Students, teachers, and faculty at Narcoossee Middle are encouraged to wear a college t-shirt of their choice on Friday, September 1, to promote higher education for all students in conjunction with College Week and National College Colors Day. The school’s College T-Shirt Day is being hosted by the AVID Program.

Everyone is invited to eat at Meat & Fire in St. Cloud every fourth Monday of the month. Ten percent of all proceeds will go back to Narcoossee Middle. This is a great opportunity to enjoy a nice meal with family and/or friends while supporting Narcoossee Middle students.
Celebration K-8 – Business Partner Recognition

Celebration K-8 has officially adopted the AVID model at the start of the 2017-2018 school year for middle school. The AVID acronym stands for Advancement Via Individual Determination. AVID strategies are efficient and beneficial to students and instructors. Part of this culture is having students develop short-term and long-term SMART goals, with the culmination of goals leading to college or career training.


Osceola County School for the Arts – National Dance Education Organization Board of Directors

The Osceola County School for the Arts is pleased to announce that dance instructor Dr. Kathryn Austin has been elected to serve on the Board of Directors of the National Dance Education Organization. This is a nationally-renowned organization in the dance community. Each member is selected because of their dedication and expertise in their field.


Celebration High School – Upcoming Events

Celebration High will be celebrating College Week August 28 through September 1 with various college experiences happening throughout the week, including a door decorating contest, college visits, college talks, and College Color Day.

Ms. Amanda Jacobs is hosting a trip via People to People International heading to the Celtic Cultures (England, Ireland, Scotland, and Wales) in the summer of 2018. If you have any questions about this trip, please contact Ms. Jacobs at 321-939-6600 (ext. 50642).


Liberty High School –Theatre Department Needs Faculty, Staff, and Students

Continuing a tradition of excellence, the award-winning Liberty Theatre Department is looking for talented teachers/staff to assist with its 2017-2018 season of competitions and mainstage performances. Last year, the productions of Sister Act and Cabaret received 38 Dr. Phillips Center Applause Awards Nominations, including Outstanding Musical, Outstanding Technical Achievement, and Outstanding Ensembles. The 2017 seniors, Tabitha Maxwell and Sean Parkhurst, won the Dr. Phillips Center’s “Best Lead Performer” Applause Award. Liberty Theatre’s one-act, Songs for a New World, won straight Superior ratings at both the District and State Theatre competitions. They also performed at the first-ever EPCOT International Festival of the Arts.

If you are interested in assisting the Theatre Department for the upcoming season, please contact Mr. Nathan Uhrig. Students may attend the first recruitment meeting on Thursday, August 24. Fall auditions are scheduled for August 29.


Poinciana High School – Upcoming Events On Thursday, August 24, all Poinciana High students, including seniors, will be sitting for school photos. These photos will be used this year for student IDs.


St. Cloud High School – Upcoming Events Join St. Cloud High for the second annual Homecoming Parade on September 22 at 4:00 p.m. The parade will begin at 12th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue, pass in front of St. Cloud City Hall, and end at 12th Street and New York Avenue. Help the Bulldogs paint the town maroon and gold in preparation for the game against Windermere Prep.

St. Cloud High School’s Homecoming Game will be played on September 22 at 7:30 p.m. All are invited to watch as the Homecoming Court is introduced. Tickets are $5 for both adults and students.
Many students, faculty, staff, and law enforcement officers gathered Monday morning to pay tribute to the fallen Kissimmee Police Department officers. Unique Howard, St. Cloud High student, and her mother were in attendance, and were very appreciative for the outpouring of love and support for their family. The gathering was hosted by the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, and it was completely student led.
TECO – Reaffirmation of Accreditation

The Technical Education Center Osceola (TECO) is applying for reaffirmation of accreditation with the Commission of the Council on Occupational Education. Persons wishing to make comments should write to the Executive Director of the Commission, Council on Occupation, 7840 Roswell Rorad, Bldg. 300, Suite 325, Atlanta, GA 30350. Persons making comments must provide their names and mailing addresses.


TECO – Criminal Justice Academy of Osceola

This is a difficult week for everyone at the Criminal Justice Academy of Osceola with the tragic death of two Kissimmee Police Officers this past weekend. Sergeant Sam Howard was a member of recruit class 2007-02 who graduated on August 2, 2007. He was sponsored by the Kissimmee Police Department and immediately started work with the department upon program completion. Sergeant Howard was with TECO a few weeks prior on August 4th for a 2007-02 alumni gathering.

Although the school’s staff did not know Officer Matthew Baxter personally as a student, friends and contacts tell us he was a wonderful officer, father, and husband.

Please honor law enforcement officers when you see them. They give so very much of themselves to us each and every day.



TECO – Student Recognition

Dioni Rosario completed the HVAC program last semester at TECO, and is now working service calls for DEL-AIR. Not only did Dioni excel in his program, but he also worked hard to earn his TABE exit scores. TECO is very proud of Dioni for his dedication and accomplishment.


TECO – Pharmacy Class Project

Students in TECO’s Pharmacy class participated in setting up a new pharmacy. The “drugs” had been removed from the shelves in May by the now returning Senior Techs. Last school year, they had been instructed to not put the “drugs” away for the summer in alphabetical order, but to mix them up.

Seniors led off the first week with instruction to all Entry Techs on how best to unpack an order, arrange the products in alpha-numeric order, and put them on the shelves. They even arranged the OTC and DME sections.


Zenith Accelerated Learning Academy – Johns Hopkins Essay Workshop

On Wednesday, August 30, the top 20 seniors of Zenith Accelerated Learning Academy will join students at Professional and Technical High School (PATHS) for a two-hour work session on essay writing for their personal statement for college admissions.

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