Chronicle gives thumbs up to HS graduation bill HB 311

Chronicle gives thumbs up to HS graduation bill HB 311

Chronicle Editorial BoardChronicle editorial board this week smartly endorses State Representative Dr. Massullo’s new alternative graduation options bill (HB 311).

We all need to encourage Florida Representatives and Florida Senators to support this essential new legislation. 

The editorial shared;

If this program allows people to capitalize on their own potential and not be stifled, it is worth serious consideration, because the facts are clear that obtaining a high school diploma is a critical factor in both job opportunities and earnings. To the extent this program helps more young people legitimately earn that diploma, it is worthy of being at least tried in our state’s schools.

Please take time to read the entire column: http://www.chronicleonline.com/opinion/editorials/bill-could-boost-young-people-s-opportunities/article_b8018844-bf3f-11e7-b325-ff0116b425ea.html#tncms-source=article-nav-next

FSBA Sets 2018 State Legislative Platform

FSBA Sets 2018 State Legislative Platform

​​22814176_1627422943987324_5222948548378835019_nToday I attended the 2018 Florida School Board Association’s Legislative Platform Committee meeting in Gainesville. I am truly encouraged by the meeting and the final platform. I am grateful to represent Citrus County School Board on this committee. Click here for FSBA 2018 Legislative Platform!

Five items were approved and I am pleased with the items that did make it on to the final platform, in particular those that support School Board’s local control and alternatives to high stakes testing (and reduced mandated testing), an issue which I have been actively working and lobbying to improve since before becoming a school board member.

I am encouraged that this group of caring local school representatives (School Board Members) have together developed a platform that puts children first and supports our public education.

Bipartisan Alternative High School Graduation Requirements

This is s a major step in the right direction.  Thank you Rep./Dr. Massullo for again running common sense legislation that put students first!

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Bipartisan Alternative High School Graduation Requirements

10/19/2017

Massullo-Montford File Bill

IMG_6975Representative Ralph Massullo, MD (R) filed along with Senator Bill Montford (D), a bill (HB 311) that gives students who completed the minimum high school graduation credit requirements, but did not pass the grade 10 ELA assessment or the statewide, standardized Algebra I EOC assessment eligibility to complete an alternative pathway to a standard high school diploma.

This bill provides common sense alternatives for students to demonstration mastery of Florida’s high educational standards that are necessary to be competitive in our students’ future academic and career needs. “The current system mostly tests for college readiness but hinders students who are headed for more vocational fields. With a growing need for vocationally trained students, this bill allows additional pathways to graduation through different avenues of competency testing; avoiding the one size fits all Montfordgraduation requirements that are now in place.”-Ralph Massullo, MD. “Florida has been on the forefront of choice in education. Creating an alternative pathway for students who may not meet the traditional state testing requirements for a myriad of reasons, but who can show competence in other ways is just good common sense. Teachers and parents need a tool box to ensure the success of their students, not a one size fits all mode”, said Senator Bill Montford about the proposed legislation.

Currently, competent students are denied diplomas because of a single requirement (grade 10 ELA assessment or Algebra I EOC) that can be met by other means such as:

  • Receive an industry recognized credential or certification AND a combined level score of 13 points on the ACT WorkKeys Applied Mathematics, Locating Information, and Reading for Information assessments
  • Master the academic standards not met, as indicated by not passing the standardized test, in a portfolio containing quantifiable evidence of mastery

Today, other states such as Ohio and North Carolina have similar pathways to graduation models in place. Demonstrating students’ academic mastery of standards through portfolios has been an effective alternative for Florida’s third-grade students. A student’s lack of a test taking skills or their failure to demonstrate mastery of the subject on a standardized test should not be a lifelong penalty. This bill expands alternative assessment of portfolio to demonstrate mastery to now include 10th grade ELA assessment or the statewide, standardized Algebra I EOC.

Massullo states, “It’s our hope that this bill will improve graduation rates, give plenty of opportunity for those who are not initially college bound and improve work force readiness as a state by improving skills training.” “Upon graduation they can be more competitive in obtaining a rewarding career.”

CRHS foreign exchange student swimmers honored at The Villages

CRHS foreign exchange student swimmers honored at The Villages

“plavat rychle” … “schnell schwimmen”

karinkaexchangestudentOur Foreign Exchange students are always a treat for the schools, district, teachers and most of all the other students.  Tonight I attended the Crystal River High School vs. The Village High School swim meet in The Villages, and at the meet the Village’s head Coach took time from the meet to introduce and honor three exchange students that were competing in the meet, two from CRHS and one from VHS.

Crystal River high school students; Sonja Luedemann from Germany and Alexandra Brezinova from Czechoslovakia, and The Village’s, Karinka Halikova from Czechoslovakia were welcomed.  The girls instantly clicked. It was marvelous to see the excitement and cheers from the other students as they were honored.  The ladies welcomed each other in the native languages and we enjoyed hearing the girls speaking in their Czech language. Friendship immediately developed and before leaving the girls exchanged swim caps as a memento of the meet!

You can watch the event by visiting this link: https://youtu.be/sYv5aoomOlA

Johnny Cash’s Ragged Old Flag opens School Board Meeting

Johnny Cash’s Ragged Old Flag opens School Board Meeting

At today’s School Board meeting I had the privilege of having the opening exercises. I shared about my recent honor to attend the Citrus County Sheriff Office POW/MIA changing of the colors ceremony at the CCSO Inverness Headquarters and the privilege to accompany the CCSO’s POW honoree.  During the ceremony both the U.S. Flag and the U.S. POW/MIA flag were presented to former POW and former Citrus County teacher, Capt. Richard Tangeman, USN, (ret.).  As these flags were respectfully folded and handed to Capt. Tangeman I found the moment emotional. Hearing again the stories of his great sacrifice so that we may live in this great country and afforded its great freedoms.

With the help of Citrus Schools Assistant Superintendent (and former Army Captain), Mike Mullen I shared this short video.  I hope you all enjoy it as well.

USDA opens access to to FREE breakfast & Lunch to ALL Citrus School students due to Hurricane Irma

USDA/FDAC opens access to FREE breakfast & Lunch to ALL Citrus School students due to Hurricane Irma

Beginning tomorrow and ending October 20th  all of our students will receive free breakfasts and lunches. 

1504458810925In the wake of Hurricane Irma, The U.S. Department of Agriculture has decided to allow all students in 37 counties throughout Florida that have been designated as a FEMA Major Disaster areas access to free school meals.

To help accommodate Citrus County residents affected by Hurricane Irma, ALL students in Citrus County will be allowed to receive free school breakfasts and lunches, regardless of income eligibility status.  This temporary access to free school meals will begin tomorrow,  Tuesday, September 19th and end on Friday, October 20th.

If you have any questions regarding this matter, please contact our Food and Nutrition Services Department at 352-726-1931, ext. 2402.

From Citrus County Schools Food Servives

In the wake of Hurricane Irma, The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has accepted the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS), Division of Food, Nutrition and Wellness (FNW) department’s request to allow all students in 37 counties designated in the FEMA Major Disaster Declaration access free school meals through the National School Lunch and Breakfast Programs.

To help accommodate Citrus County residents affected by Hurricane Irma and resume operations, ALL students in Citrus County will be allowed to receive free school meals, regardless of their income eligibility status.  This temporary access to free school meals will commence on Tuesday, September 19th and run through Friday, October 20th.  On Monday, October 23rd, your student’s regular Free and Reduced-Price Meal Eligibility status will resume.

Please understand that during this temporary access to free school meals, menus will be subject to change due to the availability of products.

If you have any questions regarding this matter, please contact our Food and Nutrition Services Department at 352-726-1931, ext. 2402.