Author Kara Floyds treated the sixth graders in Ms. Jarzabkowski’s class to a mini writing workshop where she talked about her new book, published in January. Her book is about a girl just starting middle school, a perfect book for the sixth graders! Ms. Jarzabkowski’s classes wrote advice for the soon-to-be sixth graders. One of the students said she got to have a fun hands-on experience because she got to read her advice to the class. We asked the author, Kara Floyd, what her inspiration was for writing this book. She said that she wanted to let kids know that they’re not alone and that everybody has problems they can overcome if they stay true to themselves. Ashley H. and Claudia C.
Palm Springs Middle School has received 210 laptop computers and will soon receive an additional 120 desktop computers in support of a new multi-state educational assessment initiative.
Florida has joined with 21 other states and the U.S. Virgin Islands in endorsing the use of what is known as the Common Core State Standards. These standards have been developed in an effort to standardize educational goals across the nation and better prepare K-12 students for admission into colleges and universities, as well as directly into the workplace. This multi-state group has formed a consortium known as the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Career (PARCC). One vision of this consortium, according to their web page (http://www.parcconline.org/), is to “create high-quality assessments that measure the full range of the Common Core State Standards.” In support of this vision, all member states are gearing up to be able to administer all of these assessments via computer. In Florida, these new assessments will replace our current Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test (FCAT). Their goal is to be able to have every student be able to take the PARCC-developed assessments online in school year 2014-2015.
In preparation for supporting these new standards, the School District of Palm Beach County, in partnership with Dell, Microsoft, and Intel, has embarked on an exciting project to enhance its ability to satisfy the increasing demand for computer-based testing. Palm Springs is benefiting from this initiative by receiving 330 laptop and desktop computers. But testing won’t be the only use for these computers.
The laptop computers are stored in special mobile cabinets that hold up to 30 laptop computers. These cabinets can be relocated to virtually any classroom in the school, and are specially equipped to recharge the laptop batteries and allow the laptops to receive software updates when not in use. In addition to supporting future testing requirements, the laptops will also be available to teachers to check out and use in their classroom when they need computers to satisfy lesson plan requirements. Mr. Tarlton