By Bari Auerbach….
What could be better than the K-8 Sunny Isles Beach Community School receiving an “A Grade” its very first year since opening? Celebrating yet another “A Grade” earned for the 2009-2010 school year, exemplifying the commitment shared by students, parents, school and city leaders to achieve the highest levels of academic achievement.
The second A Grade based on the FCAT (Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test) was awarded to the Sunny Isles Beach Community School for achieving high standards in subjects including English, math and writing. The following comparison chart shows students’ excellent scores for the 2008- 2009 school year vs. 2009-2010 school year:
2009-2010 SCHOOL TERM:
89% of students met high standards in reading
86% of students met high standards in math
95% of students met high standards in writing
2008-2009 SCHOOL TERM:
86% of students met high standards in reading 87% of students met high standards in math 97% of students met high standards in writing The FCAT is a test given to Florida public school students in grades 3 through 11 to measure what they know and are able to accomplish in reading, writing, mathematics, and science. The test is part of Florida’s plan to improve student achievement and measure challenging content standards called the Sunshine State Standards. . Each public school receives an annual grade based on the performance of its students on the FCAT. The use of FCAT scores for school and student accountability is required by the Bush/Brogan A+ Plan for Education – designed to offer financial incentives to all Florida schools and to encourage students and teachers to attain higher standards.
Shortly before students went back to school on August 23, Sunny Isles Beach Community School principal Dr. Annette Weissman provided a retrospective of success, writing, “I must thank the parents and the community for their support. Your confidence in me and in the school is a never ending source of comfort and motivation. I want to briefly share some of the highlights of [last term] so you can appreciate the wide range of opportunities our students enjoy at SIBCS.
“First and foremost, our students achieved academic success. Our students’ performance on the 1st and 2nd Grade Stanford Achievement Tests and on the FCAT for grades 3-7 was terrific.
“Our band, chorus, and string students performed innumerable times throughout the community to the delight of the audiences. Two of our violin students were awarded first and second place in a recent competition. Our young orators were also winners in local and regional oratorical competitions.
“Our young scientists were recognized for their outstanding science fair projects at the district wide contests. Our young artists were winners of poster contests in a variety of areas including water conservation. Our young authors were winners of county wide contests and were privileged to have three renown authors visit the school and share their stories with us. Our young mathematicians were winners in county wide team and individual competitions.
“Our young students were generous, responsible citizens supporting Jump Rope for Heart, Thanksgiving Baskets, Toy Drives, Book Drives, Clothing Drives for Haiti, writing to servicemen to name just a few, serving as safety patrols and participating in after school clubs and activities.
“As we[start a new school year], I am delighted to welcome our eighth grade students and the new teachers we are adding to our staff. In addition we are excited about the expansion of the music department to include a keyboard lab. This will afford our students a wonderful opportunity to master another set of skills. We will also be opening our indoor exercise room, offering new after school clubs, and enriching our mathematical and science resources.”
A new chapter in the city’s history regarding the need to educate a “younger population” dates back to 2004 when the Sunny Isles Beach City Commission responded to the needs of the 1,500 schoolaged children residing in the community. A resolution was adopted approving the concept to build a K-8 public school in the area – acknowledging that the city had transformed from a retirement community to one that serves residents of all ages.
In August 2005, the site of the new K-8 facility was approved and a unique partnership was established between Sunny Isles Beach and Miami-Dade County Public Schools. The arrangement was historic because no city in Miami-Dade County had ever contributed municipal funds to the school system for the purpose of building a public school. Two months later, School Board member Dr. Martin Karp and Enid Weisman, then Region Center II Superintendent, officially recognized the City of Sunny Isles Beach for its monetary contribution and its commitment to the children.
In February 2006, Mayor Norman Edelcup explained that the goal to build a school within city limits was a top priority and that having a first class school would be “priceless.” A month later, the site was acquired and the official groundbreaking ceremony for the K-8 Sunny Isles Beach Community School took place May 8, 2007.
Today, school leaders, parents, students and elected officials are celebrating the school’s second “A Grade” based on state comprehensive assessment tests highlighting the goal to attain excellence in education is being achieved.
MORE GOOD SCHOOL NEWS
The Sunny Isles Beach City Commission recently approved a college scholarship program for high school students who graduate from a public high school in Miami-Dade County. The scholarship recipient will be selected by a committee composed of the Police Chief, and the principals from the Sunny Isles Beach K- 8 Community School and the Alonzo and Tracy Mourning High School.
The City Commission set one criterion for the scholarship recipient – he/she must be a resident of the City of Sunny Isles Beach for at least one year. The committee will establish the additional criteria for awarding the scholarships. The first scholarships will be awarded in May of 2011 in the amount of $5000 each. The City will award four (4) scholarships per year.
In addition to the scholarships, the City has made generous financial contributions to the Sunny Isles Beach K-8 Community School and the Alonzo and Tracy Mourning High School to support the educational endeavors of our young residents and future leaders.