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Tag Archives: students

How Do You Measure Student Learning?

Johnathan Watt; Students’ individual talents cannot 
only be measured by standardized tests. PHOTO BY JANE WATT

FIGHTING FOR KIDS Jane Watt website: As the chairman of the board of Marco Island Academy (“MIA”), a public charter high school for the past five years, I have had an opportunity to witness firsthand how the current standardized testing strategies affect students, teachers and administration at the school. As a parent of three children in the public school system, I have personal experience with how the testing has affected my own kids. In both cases, there is an unnecessary amount of stress caused by the abundance of standardized testing in schools today. During the past few years, legislators ... Read More »

Area Schools First Quarter Honor Roll


By Coastal Breeze News Staff Collier County School District announced honor roll students for the first semester of the 2015/2016 school year. Below are the names of students in middle or high school that attend a reporting school, which is in the Coastal Breeze News distribution area. Congratulations to each student on a job well done!   Everglades City School: High School Honors Ashlyn Goff, Alanna Humphreys, Courtney Jim, Bryce Kish, Tawny Wood.   Everglades City School: Middle School Highest Honors Brady Bowen, Brandy Bowen, Taylor Dahlke, Alexis Hendrickson.   Lely High School: Highest Honor Roll Brandon Acosta, Juan Acosta, ... Read More »

Setting Intentions

The Line Drill (above) - Paint a line, with course marking paint, and hit golf balls that sit on top of the line. This will help determine initial club to
ground interaction entry point.

GOLF TIPS Todd Elliott As golfers we can try a million different techniques or sensations when playing golf. One sensation might work for one swing. Another swing, though, might work for five or six holes. So which sensations are correct, and which sensations are not? As an instructor, I am trying to get people to be consistently better. My correction cannot be telling a student a sensation they should have. I prefer to help students set intentions, and guide them beyond that point. Whatever technique or sensation helps them accomplish this intention is the correct one; the sensation is ... Read More »

Kiwanis Terrific Kids

Kathleen Reynolds and Avè Dussias. Mom Jennifer looks on.

By Coastal Breeze News Staff On October 22, the Kiwanis Club of Marco Island honored five fifth-grade children from Manatee Elementary School and Tommie Barfield Elementary School with the Terrific Kids award. October’s Terrific Kids are: Avè Dussias, Hope Heidreich, Woodjenley Nicolas, Alejandra Ramos and Olivia Saunders. Avè and Hope attend Tommie Barfield. Woodjenley, Alejandra and Olivia attend Manatee. The Terrific Kids program is a student recognition program that promotes character development and self-esteem. Outstanding students are nominated by their teachers. Every month the Terrific Kids and their family join the Kiwanians for breakfast where they are recognized for their ... Read More »

Meals of Hope Packaging Event is Just Around the Corner

By Don Manley Neil Snyder is eagerly counting down the days until he and hundreds of other volunteers will be busily doing their part to help fight hunger at the annual Meals of Hope Packaging Event. Set for 8:30 to 10:30 AM, Saturday, November 14 at the Marco Island Charter Middle School gym, Snyder is expecting 550 to 600 people to turn out to package 225,000 meals to be dispensed to needy Collier County families for the Christmas holiday season and beyond. “It’s just a very busy and exciting time,” said the man who is also known as “Captain Hope” ... Read More »

Letter to the Editor: Tarik N Ayasun


Letter to the Editor   “The Board of Directors, Administration, staff and students of Marco Island Charter Middle School congratulates Marco Island Academy and Ms. Jane Watt for their successful purchase of the land which they have been leasing since the opening of their school. We also thank Bill and Karen Young who kindly lent the funds which made the purchase possible. Success of a public Charter High School will benefit all the students and citizens of Marco Island in particular and Collier County in general. We now anxiously await the District School Board’s final sale of Tract-K to the ... Read More »

Should Tennis Coaches Teach the Volley First?

Matt Browne, Marco 
Island, Florida demonstrating the simple
forehand volley. Little to no backswing and a punch stroke. PHOTO BY DOUG BROWNE

READ MY TIPS Doug Browne As long as I have been around the great game of tennis, most coaches have started their new players with the forehand drive. A few lessons later, and the new player is working diligently on their backhand stroke, and eventually start moving forward to work on their net game. However, would it be a game changer if all new tennis players began their quest at the net verses the baseline? Would beginners look at the game in a different manner? First, let’s probe the advantages of coaching the volley ahead of the groundstrokes. First, the ... Read More »

Think Pink in Memory of Beth Johnson


By Coastal Breeze News Staff On October 6, 2015, the Lely High School Lady Trojans celebrated volleyball with their annual Think Pink games. Always a fun event, supported by students who come out in force with pink gear including hats, t-shirts, face paint and signs! Proceeds from the evening went to Bosom Buddies, in memory of Mrs. Beth Johnson. It was a clean sweep for the Gulf Coast High School team, which also defined the team as the Collier County Athletic Conference Champions. Lely lost in three games, 21, 17 and 11. Coach Haire said, “We mentally and physically prepared ... Read More »

Keep the Flip


GOLF TIPS Todd Elliott There are many different techniques that produce success in golf. When hitting a chip or pitch shot the sequence of body movements should be different compared to a shot that needs power. The chip or pitch shot is considered a finesse shot. In contrast, the power sequence is from the ground up: feet, hips, torso, arms, and then the club head. The power sequence starts with the feet shifting pressure into the earth, and pushing off the earth to generate maximum club head speed. The finesse shot does not need this explosive sequence. A golfer ... Read More »

Letter to the Editor: Marco Island Academy Land Purchase


Marco Island Academy Land Purchase “The Board of Directors, Administration, staff and students of Marco Island Charter Middle School congratulates Marco Island Academy and Ms. Jane Watt for their successful purchase of the land which they have been leasing since the opening of their school. We also thank Bill and Karen Young who kindly lent the funds which made the purchase possible. Success of a public Charter High School will benefit all the students and citizens of Marco Island in particular and Collier County in general. We now anxiously await the District School Board’s final sale of Tract-K to the ... Read More »

MIA Tech Club: Students Help Community With Technology Issues

Standing: Aidan Kahn and Kalli Jacobs. Seated, from left: Max Rufatt and Nick Figueroa.

By Coastal Breeze News Staff For the third year in a row, the Marco Island Academy Tech Club is giving back to the community by providing technology support to Marco Island residents, free of charge. Teacher Kirby Rients leads the group of 15 tech-savvy students, grades 9 to 12. He tells us that the students do everything from “turning on an iPhone to complete system overrides and installing virus protection software.” Community members can bring their technology problems to the school for a one- hour help session, if they need it. On a typical day, students assist with setting up ... Read More »

Famed Photographer Hosts Fundraiser for Big Cypress National Preserve

Gator Hook in the Big Cypress National Preserve. PHOTO BY CLYDE BUTCHER

Submitted Nationally acclaimed wilderness photographer Clyde Butcher, known throughout Florida for his exquisite black and white, large-format photographs of the state’s landscape, and his wife Niki are hosting a fundraiser to benefit the Big Cypress National Preserve’s environmental education program. Scheduled for Saturday, October 31 and Sunday, November 1 from 9 AM to 4 PM at Butcher’s Big Cypress Gallery in the Big Cypress National Preserve in Ochopee, Fla., the weekend’s activities will provide guests with the rare opportunity to meet the husband-and-wife duo and hear stories about their adventures photographing the preserve, take ranger-guided swamp walks and listen to ... Read More »

Stand Up and Speak Out for Charter Schools!


FIGHTING FOR KIDS Jane Watt website: Recently I served as a panelist at the 2015 Florida Consortium of Public Charter Schools Quality Charter School Authorizers Task Force meeting in Fort Lauderdale. District and charter representatives from across the entire state gathered to share ideas. Representative Janet Adkins and Broward Superintendent Robert Runcie co-chaired the annual summit meeting. We met to discuss issues related to the charter school movement in Florida and discover ways for district and charter schools to better collaborate. There are many reasons why working together is so important. The highest performing districts in the state also ... Read More »

Leadership Marco Law Enforcement Day

The day starts with a tour  of the police station. SUBMITTED PHOTOS

By Coastal Breeze News Staff On October 7, 2015, the Marco Island Chamber of Commerce Leadership Marco 2015 class attended their fifth session- Law Enforcement Day. In the morning, the Marco Island Police Department’s Chief Al Schettino and Captain Dave Baer welcomed the students at breakfast, and provided them with an overview. The Leadership Marco students were given station tours at the police department, and had the opportunity to learn about various law enforcement topics and procedures. Some of the subjects presented included traffic stops, crime scene processing and marine enforcement, which is particularly relevant to island living and the ... Read More »

Standardized Test Results Showing MIA Student Progress


By Don Manley Marco Island Academy’s top administrators could hardly be more pleased with their students’ performance on two standardized testing programs that are a key barometer of academic preparedness for college. The charter high school recently released its most recent scores for the Cambridge Advanced International Certificate of Education (AICE) tests, which were administered to students in May and June. Also released were the MIA students’ results for the ACT college admissions examination, which is traditionally taken during a high school student’s junior and senior years. For both, MIA students showed marked improvement in most categories, when compared to ... Read More »

Enjoy Your Estuary

Rookery Bay, designated in 1978, was established on Shell Island Road  in 1984. In 1996, headquarters moved to Tower Road, but the Shell Island Road location, seen here, is still in use as a field station and hub for ecotours. SUBMITTED PHOTOS

COASTAL CONNECTIONS Renee Wilson Marco Island is surrounded by natural beauty. Here, freshwater from land meets saltwater from the sea and forms a unique habitat known as an estuary. This special environment is vital to coastal communities like Marco because it provides shelter for fish and shellfish, recreational opportunities for people, and an economic engine that drives the local economy through tourism and real estate. The value of these natural resources to the local community was recognized in 1978, when the Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve was established. A grassroots effort began with concerned citizens purchasing a few thousand ... Read More »

Win-Win Proposal for Tract K and Marco Island Students


FIGHTING FOR KIDS Jane Watt website: For those of you who were unable to attend the 7-hour Collier County School Board meeting on Tuesday night, I urge you read the following proposal I made on behalf of Marco Island Academy regarding Tract K. This option is the result of years of research, expert legal advice, and the desire to find a solution to benefit the entire Marco Island community. Please know that at all times, my focus remains on the best possible interest of the students in our community. Right now, I am asking for your help and your ... Read More »

Agreement with Collier County Schools Allows Marco Eagle Sanctuary to Plan for Future


By Don Manley Enhancement plans for the Marco Eagle Sanctuary are moving forward now that a lease-purchase agreement has been finalized between the property’s owner, the Collier County school district, and the Marco Eagle Sanctuary Foundation, which operates the Tigertail Court eco-park. The new agreement replaces a five-year lease the district and the foundation entered in 2011 that was to expire in April. Approved unanimously by the Collier school board, the lease-purchase agreement calls for continuing the $30,000 monthly lease payments, with the foundation having the option to buy the land, based on the average of two appraisals at the ... Read More »

On Education Day, Leadership Marco Goes Back to School

Students find time for a group photo in between tours at Lely High School. PHOTOS BY JESSICA HERNSTADT

Submitted Wednesday, September 9 brought another day of learning to the Leadership Marco Class of 2015. The Leadership Marco (LM) students started their Education and Youth Day in Naples, with a breakfast and tour of Lorenzo Walker Technical High School, which offers programs of study from airplane mechanics to veterinary assisting. LM student Steven Purcell said he found it “amazing all the options students have,” also noting that the classes seemed more job-oriented “catering to careers in all areas.” The Leadership Marco class travelled to Lely High School, where they met with Lely’s new principal, Ryan Nemeth. After a presentation, ... Read More »

Why Back to School is the Best Time of Year

Students take the opportunity to socialize before school starts. PHOTOS BY JANE WATT

FIGHTING FOR KIDS Jane Watt website: As summer quickly comes to an end, I commonly hear parents and students grumbling about the first day of school. Occasionally, I even catch myself joining in on the conversation. Who doesn’t love the freedom and flexibility that summer brings? There are no schedules, no homework and plenty of time for vacation. Plus, I love to spend time with my family. This year, just like the last one, I have three children in three different schools on the island: Marco Island Academy, Marco Island Charter Middle School and Tommie Barfield Elementary. All three ... Read More »