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Tag Archives: teachers

Extracurricular Learning Opportunities Abound

Participants in the Field-based Estuarine Studies program trawl for samples.

By Don Manley Learning will not only take place in the classroom during the 2016-2017 school year thanks to a variety of Marco Island- area nonprofits and the city’s Parks and Recreation Department. The Greater Marco Family YMCA, the Marco Island Center for the Arts, Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve and Mackle Park all offer opportunities for youths to expand their knowledge and skills, and to have fun too. Below is a listing of the programs offered by these providers: Mackle Park Fall Programs Punt, Pass and Kick: 5-6 PM, Sept. 20 – Boys and girls ages 6-15 are eligible ... Read More »

East Naples Matters

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COASTAL COMMENTS Donna Fiala It’s amazing to see how quickly the Hobby Lobby is going up since it started coming out of the ground. It took a long time to get started, but now they are moving quickly. I wonder how that will work, now that there will be two shops with crafts and creative items to use for decorating and flower arrangements and holidays, etc. I believe the big difference is that Hobby Lobby is closed on Sundays, but Michael’s is open 7 days a week, and Michael’s is quite a bit smaller. I think there’s plenty of business ... Read More »

Classical Education vs. Progressive Education

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By Jory Westberry If you’ve been following the campaign rhetoric during campaigning for the Collier County School Board, you may have heard the term “Classical Education” proposed by two candidates as the ideal education for the students in Collier County schools. But what is it and how does it compare to the education our students are receiving now? Classical education began with the Greeks and Romans over 1,000 years ago and declined during the 1800s with the Progressive belief that students “learn by doing,” rather than memorizing. Classical education is based on the Trivium subjects, which are grammar, logic and ... Read More »

New Beginnings, New School Year

Tommie Barfield Elementary dismissal procedures for the 2016-2017 school year. Submitted

By Don Manley The teaching and learning are underway and so are the clubs, sports and other activities that are part of the newly begun 2016-2017 school year. As always, the process involves that momentous and shared rite of passage for youngsters, the first day of kindergarten. It’s an experience that Jordan Carmignani of Marco Island can now chalk up in the “Been There, Done That” column. Jordan recently kicked off his school career at Tommie Barfield Elementary School (TBE), where he was escorted by his mother, Tracy Carmignani and his brother Steel, a fourth grader, on that oh so ... Read More »

Connecting Students with Science and Technology

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COASTAL CONNECTIONS Renee Wilson Spending time in a classroom is one way to learn, but smelling, hearing and touching the subject usually results in reinforcing an educational experience that won’t soon be forgotten.  Each year, roughly 3,000 local students have the opportunity to get “a taste” of our local estuary as part of Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve’s field trip programs. Now the reserve is extending that reach exponentially through the “Teachers on the Estuary” (TOTE) program, a highly visible education program that provides hands-on, field-based professional teacher development opportunities across the nation. The TOTE program was developed by NOAA’s ... Read More »

The Computer Age

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By Monte Lazarus In memory of Monte Lazarus and his contributions to Coastal Breeze News, we are publishing many of his humor columns again in coming editions. They will bring as many smiles now as they did when first printed. Enjoy! It’s easy to understand why education costs so much. Think about it. In most of the last century there were no readily available computers. Teachers knew the basic stuff about reading, writing and arithmetic. As kids, many of us learned – maybe secretly – to count on our fingers. The arithmetically challenged also used their toes. In those days ... Read More »

Volunteers Needed

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Submitted Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve is seeking volunteers! Our learning center is open Monday through Friday, 9 AM to 4 PM (open Saturdays beginning October). Volunteers are an integral part of the reserve and there are many opportunities available. Currently we are filling volunteers positions in the following areas: Docents for our daily programs; teachers and assistants for our school programs; maintenance/handyman; visitor services (admissions and Nature Store); greeters; fish feeders; communications assistance; special events and administrative assistance. Volunteers must be at least 14 years of age and we welcome high school students. Training will be provided and ... Read More »

Aquí, Hablamos Español MIA’s award-winning Spanish teacher insists on it.

Governor Rick Scott’s Shine Award recognizes outstanding and inspirational contributions made by Florida educators.
Rients and three of his colleagues received
this prestigious award from the Governor during his visit to MIA on March 4th

By Barry Gwinn On March 4, 2016, Governor Rick Scott came to town and didn’t stop until reaching the campus of Marco Island Academy (MIA). One of the reasons he came was to see for himself how this small high school (opened in 2011) could have risen so rapidly in the state’s academic rankings. (The Florida Dept. of Education has ranked MIA as an “A” school for the past two years. Since then, the Washington Post has rated MIA as one of the 255 most challenging high schools in the nation.) Another reason the Governor came was to personally present ... Read More »

Local Guidebook for Kids Wins Award

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Submitted The Independent Book Publishers Association awarded “A (mostly) Kids’ Guide to Naples, Marco Island, & The Everglades” its Silver Benjamin Franklin Award, making it runner up for the Top Travel Book of 2015. Published by Naples-based Mostly Kids’ Guides, LLC, the book is the only winner featuring a U.S. destination. The other two winners featured Paris, France and Naples, Italy. The Benjamin Franklin Awards are regarded among the highest publishing honors recognizing excellence in book editorial and design. Nationally known travel journalist and book author Karen T. Bartlett is the founder of Mostly Kids’ Guides. She has been a ... Read More »

Academy Receives Donation from the Marriott

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By Coastal Breeze News Staff Rick Medwedeff, General Manager of the Marco Island Marriott Beach Resort, Golf Club and Spa, presented the Marco Island Academy with a check for a portion of the proceeds raised from a golf tournament, a total of $38,000. The school founder, Jane Watt, accepted the donation. The Academy is a Charter High School whose mission is to provide a student-centered, well-rounded, interdisciplinary education while forming an integral partnership among students, teachers, parents and the community. The money will go towards the school’s ‘General Fund,’ which is critical to their operations, as they do not receive sufficient ... Read More »

Relay Recess Kickoff

Students receive goody bags from ACS with sunglasses and sunscreen.

By Coastal Breeze News Staff On December 4, 2015 the American Cancer Society’s Relay Recess kicked off at the Island Montessori School. Relay Recess brings the American Cancer Society (ACS) Relay For Life to elementary schools, nationwide. The program brings cancer education and community service into the classroom, engaging youngsters in the fight against cancer. ACS makes the education fun, through entertainment and activities. Volunteers from Marco Island Academy, high school students Duneshka Cruz, Cassidy Carlson, Cole Stretton, and Abi Neal, along with Principal Melissa Scott, helped Sue Olszak from ACS with the activities. Kickoff began with music and Zumba, ... Read More »

A SALUTE to Line of Duty Members

Submitted Ruben Zamora, a realtor with Keller Williams, introduces the SALUTE to Line of Duty Members, which contributes up to 25% of a realtor’s commission towards closing costs for members that are U.S. veterans, police officers, fire fighters, medical staff, and teachers. The program allows for those members to apply the commission towards their closing cost settlements, and would be reflected in their HUD-1 statements of the savings. This, in conjunction with other state benefits such as the Florida Bond, SHIP Program, and Military Heroes Government Loan Program, can result in little out-of-pocket costs. “I have been in the military ... Read More »

Tech Trek Seeks Nominations

Submitted T Tech Trek is seeking nominations of seventh grade girls for their weeklong STEM educational camp. Students are nominated for the program by their math and science teachers. The deadline for teachers’ nominations is December 15. Women are underrepresented in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). Tech Trek’s camp aims at changing that by introducing girls to STEM through fun and interesting educational workshops. Some of the workshops offered at the 2015 Tech Trek camp included application inventor software, aeronautics design for hot air balloons and Barbie bungee-jumping. The American Association of University Women (AAUW) sponsors ... Read More »

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 JaneWatt01@gmail.com website: JaneWatt.org 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 »

SALUTE TO VETERANS: Philip “Phil” Ballou

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By Maggie Gust Philip Ballou served as a Staff Sergeant in the 1771 Air Transport Command, Army Air Force, in the Pacific Theater, 1943 to 1946. Phil had a very unique wartime story. He is the first person I have ever met whose mother served in the same war. Hazel Ballou, a 38-year-old legal secretary during peace time, enlisted in the WACs a month before her 18-year-old son Phil was drafted into the Army. Ironically, they both got their 30-day leave before deployment at the same time, so were able to spend time together at home. Home was Clarion, Iowa, ... 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 »

Conservancy of Southwest Florida receives $25,000 grant during Walmart “Day of Giving”

Funding to support STEM-based programs at the Conservancy The Conservancy of Southwest Florida recently received a $25,000 grant from the Walmart Foundation to support STEM-based Learning Adventures outreach and field trip programs at the Conservancy of Southwest Florida. The grant was presented to the Conservancy of Southwest Florida on Sept. 30 during a special Walmart “Day of Giving” event in Naples. STEM-based Learning Adventures are a series of dynamic, environmental education programs. Outreach programs include an interactive classroom experience, presented by knowledgeable naturalists using ambassador animals. Children can also visit the Conservancy of Southwest Florida Nature Center and the STEM ... Read More »

Stand Up and Speak Out for Charter Schools!

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FIGHTING FOR KIDS Jane Watt JaneWatt01@gmail.com website: JaneWatt.org 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 »

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 JaneWatt01@gmail.com website: JaneWatt.org 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 »

FLORIDA COASTAL OFFICE CONDUCTS “TEACHERS ON THE ESTUARY” WORKSHOPS

~Reserves promote estuarine education in the classroom~   Teachers learn about estuaries from Rookery Bay Reserve Director Keith Laakkonen.  NAPLES, Fla. – The Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s Florida Coastal Office hosted Teachers on the Estuary (TOTE), an educational program that provides hands-on, field-based activities for teachers to increase their knowledge and appreciation of estuarine environments and to support teaching estuary and watershed topics in the classroom. Developed by the National Estuarine Research Reserve System, five TOTE workshops have been held for teachers in four of the gulf states, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi and Texas. This marks the first time FCO has ... Read More »