Putnam Pulse 2-6-2017

Putnam Pulse 2-6-2017
Posted on 02/08/2017

General Information

I presented my vision and goals for our school district during a retreat with school board members on Jan. 27.

Florida School Board Association Director of Leadership Services Tina Pinkoson facilitated the retreat at the Palatka Hampton Inn.

My vision is to move our school district from 65 out of 67 districts in the state to the upper half of districts in terms of student achievement.

I presented six goals for my administration:

  • To create a culture of success
  • To ensure all students have the knowledge and skills to successfully enter college or the workforce upon graduation
  • To build and maintain sustained relationships with parents, business leaders, community leaders and higher education
  • To set academic and instructional goals for each school and monitor progress
  • To celebrate and promote success
  • To make the most efficient use of available funds while increasing the amount used for instruction

On Jan. 28, I attended the “Chess Kick Off” held at the Art Gallery in Crescent City. Also attending were organizer Angel Duke, chess consultant Steve Lampkins and Mayor Brett Peterson. 

South Area

Browning-Pearce ElementaryThe school hosted a parent literacy night Jan. 26. Students received free books thanks to the First Book Grant. More than 320 parents and students ate pizza and watched the movie, “BFG,” on a big screen in the cafeteria, complete with popcorn and other treats.

This week, second-through-fifth grade classes are learning computer programming with Dot and Dash robots in the media center. The students are learning how to control the robots and the coding steps needed to make the robots perform specific functions. 

Middleton-Burney Elementary School
MBES is conducting PLC Institute half-day reviews during which teachers are using current i-Ready data to create math intervention groups. They are also developing a plan for impacting vocabulary instruction to further increase reading growth.

The school hosted Crescent City Arbor Day and planted a cypress tree next to their new fifth grade building. Visitors at the event included the mayor, city manager and Putnam County’s new arborist, who conducted a brief lesson about native Florida trees.

Miller Middle School
Congratulations to Vicki Forte on being selected to receive the Governor’s Shine Award. She will be honored in Tallahassee Feb. 7.

A South Putnam Cambridge informational meeting will be held at Miller Middle Feb. 13 at 5:30 p.m.

Charter Schools

Putnam Academy of Arts and Sciences
Twenty-two students have qualified for membership in the Top Dolphin Club. These students have maintained a semester grade point average of 3.75 or higher in core courses.

Principal Curtis Ellis has been asked to serve as an evaluator for the Florida Department of Education’s charter school sub-grant application process. In this role, Ellis will not only help rate new application packets but will also assist in conducting face-to-face interviews with representatives of prospective new charter schools.

PAAS will have a rib sale March 3. Slabs of ribs will be $15 and must be pre-ordered. If interested in purchasing a slab, call the school at 326-4212.

West Area

Price Middle School
During mentoring, Price Middle School has been talking about “Dressing for Success.” Each month, students are encouraged to dress for success on the first day of the month. Great discussions about what dressing for success looks like and why it is important are happening in those mentoring classes. Way to go Price students and teachers!

Q.I. Roberts Jr.-Sr. High School
According to CTE teacher Karl Wendell, students now have 120 individual certifications and 20 industry certifications. He projects 20-30 more by the end of the year. Congratulations Business students! Also, Digital Design students have created some great QIR recruitment posters for Q.I.’s feeder schools.

Juniors and Seniors went on a field trip to St. Johns River State College Feb. 1. They toured six areas of the college and had a great time. Additional college tours for Juniors are planned for May and September.


The school held its second QIR Parent Forum Jan. 30, and its student decision-making group (Principal's Advisory Council) met Jan. 31. Parents, students, teachers and district staff discussed and then finalized the course progression for next year and beyond at QIR. The progression will now go to the district for approval. 

Service to others is an significant aspect of education at Q.I. Roberts.  The National Junior Honor Society Club visited elderly clients at Palatka Health Care​ Jan. 27. The Interact Jr. Club is collecting new and gently used shoes in their Souls4Souls initiative. They hope to collect 100 pairs of shoes for those in need. The Beta Club is getting ready to gear up for March of Dimes.  

Central Area

Mellon Elementary School
Putnam County Tax Collector Linda Myers celebrated students’ entries in the Tag Art Project by presenting license plate tags to participants from Mellon’s fifth grade class at an assembly Feb. 1. The top five entries in the contest were honored at the school board meeting Feb. 7.

Palatka High School
Congratulations to the RoboPanthers! The robotics team ranked 79 out of 175 state teams in its first year of the First Tech Challenge competition.
The rankings are based on three categories: match score, video score and the judges’ score. The judges’ score is based on the team’s interviews and engineering notebook. The RoboPanthers have registered three teams for the Navy’s Sea Perch competition in Jacksonville April 8.