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Click Here to view a video of Superintendent Melba Luciano introducing families to this exciting new program.
Osceola Student Named National Merit Scholar
Robin Schiro, a Harmony resident and a senior at Gateway High, has been named among one of 2,500 high school seniors in the nation as a top National Merit Scholarship winner. Of the 8,300 overall National Merit Scholarship winners, this is the highest honor offered by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation. Schiro, the only student in Osceola County to earn the distinction this year, was chosen among the 2,500 top Merit Scholar designees from a talent pool of more than 15,000 outstanding Finalists in the 2013 National Merit Scholarship Program, all of whom were judged to have the strongest combination of accomplishments, skills, and potential for success in rigorous college studies. The Finalists were selected from more than 1,500,000 National Merit Scholarship entrants - all high school students across the nation who took the PSAT as sophomores in 2011. Judges further evaluated each student's academic record, including difficulty level of subjects studied and grades earned; scores from two standardized tests (PSAT and SAT); contributions and leadership in school and community activities; an essay written by the Finalist; and a recommendation written by a high school official to select the winners.
The National Merit Scholarship Program has honored Schiro for his exceptional academic ability and his potential for success in rigorous college studies. Schiro earned the highest SAT score in Osceola County history, obtained a perfect score on the mathematics portion of the FCAT as both a freshman and sophomore, and has been named as a National Advanced Placement Scholar. Other academic achievements include being named a Sunshine State Scholar in Math and Science, a PRISM Sustaining Scholar for Outstanding Science and Math, and a PRISM Second Year Scholar for Outstanding Science and Math. He made the all "A" Honor Roll all four years in high school, and will graduate with an International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma as a valedictorian of Gateway High School on May 23, 2013.
In addition, Schiro was involved in numerous high school clubs and organizations, including the Gateway High Ambassador Program, the Octagon Math Team, the Spanish Honor Society (served as President), FRC Robotics Teams, and the Tennis Club/Team. He also made time for a great deal of community service, including providing volunteer service to St. Cloud Regional Medical Center, helping prepare food for Thanksgiving meals at Cornerstone Church, coaching elementary school children in creating a competitive FIRST Lego League robotics team, and caring for horses in Harmony.
Schiro plans to attend the Burnett Honors College at the University of Central Florida on a $68,000 scholarship and will study computer science.
Superintendent Melba Luciano Kicks-Off Scholastic Summer Reading Challenge For Students In an effort to build a consistent, year-round culture of reading throughout Osceola's school community, Superintendent Melba Luciano is challenging students to read 10 million minutes over the summer as part of Scholastic’s Summer Reading Challenge starting May 6, 2013.
"When school lets out in June each year, our students battle the 'Summer Slide' – the loss of academic skills when students are not in school," said Superintendent Luciano. "Research has proven that when children read over the summer, they return back to school in the fall at or above the reading levels they were at the end of the school year."
Scholastic’s Summer Reading Challenge is a fun and exciting program that is proven to keep students reading over the summer. This challenge has students log their reading minutes online in an effort to break the world record of reading, while also meeting the goal of reading 10 million minutes in Osceola County alone. Each student’s reading minutes will be combined for their school’s total reading minutes, and can be viewed real time on the Scholastic Summer Challenge website over the summer at http://www.scholastic.com/summer/. A mobile app can also be downloaded from the site where kids can log their reading minutes, and parents can track their students' reading and access expert reading tips. Students who participate can earn virtual prizes on the site and possibly win a visit for their school from Dav Pilkey, author of the popular Captain Underpants series. The top 20 schools across the nation with the most reading minutes will be listed in the 2013 Scholastic Book of World Records. Last year, Reedy Creek Elementaryin Osceola County earned the ranking of 20th in the nation, and the school appears in the latest edition of the Scholastic Book of World Records.
To help promote the challenge, Clear Channel Radio’s eight local stations will be airing summer reading announcements that remind parents to read with their children and remind students to log their reading minutes.
Parents and students are encouraged to visit the following sites for suggested summer reads:
-- Florida Department of Education's Summer Reading List at http://www.justreadfamilies.org/SummerReadingList.pdf
-- Just Read, Florida! at www.justreadflorida.com
Osceola Schools Recognized With State Awards For Outstanding Volunteer Programs
Osceola schools have earned a total of 56 Golden and Silver School Awards, the state's highest recognition for community involvement. The Golden School Award is given annually by the Florida Department of Education to recognize schools with exemplary volunteer programs. The award is presented to schools that meet certain criteria, including faculty training on how to work with volunteers and program policies and procedures. The school principal must designate a school volunteer coordinator to provide leadership for the school volunteer program, and the school must have a total number of hours of volunteer service that equals twice the number of students enrolled in the school. Every elementary school in Osceola County received the award this year.
Osceola School District Hosts Common Core Parent Nights
Common Core Standards are coming to Osceola County! Florida is one of 45 states across our nation implementing Common Core Standards, a single set of clear educational standards for kindergarten through twelfth grade students in English/language arts and mathematics. The standards are designed to ensure that students graduating from high school are prepared to enter credit-bearing entry courses in two- or four-year college programs or enter the workforce. The standards promote equity by ensuring all students, no matter where they live in the United States, are well prepared with the skills and knowledge necessary to collaborate and compete at the highest levels with their peers here at home and abroad.
The Osceola School District will host three Common Core Parent Nights for parents and students throughout the district to learn more about the new standards and to ask questions:
--May 6 at Ross E. Jeffries Education Center, located at 1200 Vermont Avenue in St. Cloud, from 6:00 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.
--May 14 at Denn John Middle School, located at 2001 Denn John Lane in Kissimmee, from 6:00 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.
--May 30 at Poinciana High School, located at 2300 South Poinciana Boulevard in Kissimmee, from 6:00 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.
Topics will include: the history of the Common Core standards initiative, how the new standards compare to current state standards, what changes in assessments can students and parents expect, how the new standards will be implemented in our schools, and more.
In addition, representatives from the district's Title 1 Parent Resource Center and other local agencies will be on hand with information on instructional resource materials. Free sandwiches, pizza, drinks, and child care for prekindergarten through Grade 6 children will be provided. Spanish translation will also be available.
Prekindergarten Registration Begins
Osceola School District's prekindergarten registration has begun for the 2013/2014 school year. As spaces are limited, parents are now encouraged to register for an appointment as soon as possible.
Osceola School District's prekindergarten program is a dynamic learning environment that prepares four-year-old children to be successful in kindergarten. This success is achieved by the use of a research-based language arts and math curriculum and quality intervention programs. Learning environments are enriched by the use of technology, a violin program (at certain locations), and the use of a Conscious Discipline Program to address the social/emotional needs of students. The fun, academically-enriched, and socially-interactive learning atmosphere helps each child reach their highest potential.
Further information about the district's prekindergarten program may be obtained by calling 407-870-4911 between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday - Friday.
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