Welcome to the 2016-2017 school year! I hope you had a wonderful summer filled with reading, reading and more reading. I know our little dolphins are ready to return to a new and exciting school year.
Last year as the new principal of Blue Lake Elementary, my first priority was to move Blue Lake off the Bottom 300 list of the lowest performing schools in the State of Florida. We are proud to announce we are no longer on that list and are moving in the right direction.
For the 2016-2017 school year, my goal is to take that same level of intensity to increase our performance in math while we continue to concentrate on our reading gains. We missed a C by 3 points, but as disheartening as it may be to have earned a D, the staff and faculty are far from discouraged. The 2016 – 2017 staff is unwavering and purpose-driven towards greatness.
Speaking of greatness, we are preparing to launch two great learning adventures. We are in the process of offering a STEM program to our students. STEM is an advanced program which stands for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. The ultimate goal of STEM education is to integrate technology into the educational experience with teachers specially trained in inquiry-based interactive teaching methodologies. Bringing STEM to Blue Lake is my number one priority to make sure our students have access to high-quality learning opportunities in STEM subjects.
We will also introduce Marathon Dolphin Club. The Marathon club is an exciting all-encompassing program for the whole child. Students in grades 3-5 will have the opportunity to join the club with a 26 week commitment to read 26 books, perform 26 deeds in the community or school and run 26 miles. The club will meet weekly to discuss books, deeds and run 1 mile.
Our Marathon Dolphin Club will engage our children on several levels. The primary focus of this program is to build stronger reading skills and cultivate a love for reading. Secondly, not only will the students learn the importance of giving back, they will learn the importance of setting goals as individuals and as a team. Be on the lookout for additional information coming soon.
Although this is a new year with exciting new programs, we are going to continue to offer our very successful Laurel Villas program. The Laurel Villas program was initiated last year offering free onsite instructional support on Saturdays for resident students to work on Success Maker, Waterford, IXL, and Front Row to enhance student learning. The Florida Department of Education has recognized this project as one of the most innovative and successful community projects in Florida and will be featured in the Florida Department of Education's annual publication, Spark Plugs.
Tech Time was initiated this summer to keep students engaged in learning while having fun. Instructional support was available from 4:00-7:00 two evenings a week. Students had access to interactive learning programs and special instructors for a few minutes or a few hours. We had an awesome time just hanging out and learning.
Just a few reminders concerning safety and security as we start the new year.
We appreciate your cooperation and understanding. I look forward to seeing you throughout the year. If there is anything I can do to help you or your child, please feel free to drop in for a visit.
Thank you for being the best parents and students ever and welcome back!