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Acceleration East High School
Community Brief
 Monday, July 16, 2018 
This is another abbreviated summer issue for our school community as today we turn into the second half of July. The summer break is passing quickly and I hope everyone has enjoyed their summer so far.  
For those that may not be familiar with some of our school guidelines, I have listed four of the most important ones just below. We have found over time that these have served our students well working together towards academic achievement while providing a quality learning environment. 
2018-2019 Guidelines
1) Acceleration East High School has a strict dress code policy. The expectation is that ALL students adhere to our dress code. Black or khaki pants, polo shirt and closed toed shoes are required to be worn every day.

2) It is the expectation that all students maintain a 2.0  grade point average. Tutoring is available for all students after school. Progress monitoring by the teachers and the principal will be conducted on a frequent basis.

3) All students must adhere to the Orange County Public Schools Student Code of Conduct.  Students  are required  to be respectful to their  teachers, classmates and most importantly themselves.  

4) It is requested that parents communicate  any concerns, or issues  to the school. Whether it is an academic or behavioral issue, the cooperation among parents and guardians is vital to the overall health and safety of each student.  
I hope you enjoy this special summer break update and, as always, thank you for your continued support. Have a good Monday! 
Douglas K. Loftus

Pictured very top: Several AEHS students and staff laid this wreath from Acceleration East High School on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery across the Potomac River from Washington D.C. earlier this month (story below).

Student Recognition
A Special Trip to Washington D.C.
A small group of students had the opportunity to visit the nation's capitol July 5-6 as a reward for their excellent essays. Principal Loftus, Chief Williams and Lynn Shewchuk accompanied the students on their special trip (top picture just below). All of our AEHS students had the opportunity to write an essay about the importance of Washington D.C. and its impact on their personal lives. Their essays stood out over all others.

Above: Changing of the guard at The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier by members of the 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment

This year's essay winners: Yashira Balado, John Vega, Salome Cuevas and Nathaneal Jean 

The Staff is Preparing for a Successful Start to 2018-2019!
Maria Ballester, Registrar

Maria Ballester, our registrar, has been extremely busy registering new students this summer. AEHS is blessed to have Ms. Ballester!
Deb Cullars, Retiring Media Center Clerk

Deb Cullars, media clerk, retired at the end of this past school year. She did a splendid job during her time at AEHS!

Amanda Havner, New Media Center Clerk

Amanda Havner is our new media clerk now that Ms. Cullars has retired. A true Florida girl, Amanda has lived in Lutz, Tampa, Ormond, Orlando, Daytona, Wesley Chapel and Christmas. Born and raised in Lutz, FL, Amanda graduated from a second chance accelerated school program in Hillsborough County while working part-time in an animal hospital and horse farm. Amanda continued her career with animals for 10 years after graduation until migrating into various administrative positions.

Interested in books, music, movies and anything magical. Favorite genres are historical and fantasy romance. Amanda has lived all over Central Florida, but prefers the Ormond Beach Arts District over all.

Some fun facts about Amanda are that she was 3rd chair violin all through middle and high school and has had a total  of 21 different cats, dogs and small animals through her life; all but 1 obtained through rescue!
Vanessa Roca, New Guidance Counselor

Vanessa Roca is our new guidance counselor for 2018-2019. Prior to arriving at Acceleration East, she was the guidance counselor at Colonial High. Welcome Ms. Roca!

Summer Break Reminders

Your child's daily, on-time attendance is critical to their success in school. And while some challenges to your child's school attendance are unavoidable, it's important to understand the impact of each absence.

A student is considered chronically absent if they miss only two days of school per month (18 days in a year), whether the absences are excused OR unexcused. This is true for children as early as elementary school, when they are at a higher risk of falling behind in reading. Even one year of chronic absence can cause a child to fall behind academically and decrease a child's chances of graduating from high school, which can have long-term consequences on their financial independence, physical well-being and mental health.

The good news? Attending school every day increases a child's chances of success in school and in life!

Summer Reading
Summer means rest, relaxation and reading time!
It's summertime. The time of year where backpacks get shoved under beds; swimsuits, shorts and flip flops become daily wear; and long afternoon naps are the norm.

Before those naps, the 30-minutes of daily rain showers are the perfect time to encourage your child to read something that aligns with his/her interests. Whether it's sport stories, fashion articles, graphic novels, romance, comedy, sci-fi, mysteries or biographies, any fiction or nonfiction makes for excellent summer reading.

For parents who want to help their child choose a book, the Florida Association for Media in Education (FAME) publishes lists to accommodate the various age groups: The Sunshine State Young Readers Award (SSYRA) and Florida Teens Read (FTR).

The Florida Teens Read program is a list of 15 titles (below) chosen by a committee of 12 school librarians specifically to engage high school students (grades 9 through 12) in reading and reflect their interests as well as "represent a variety of genres, formats, reading levels, viewpoints, and ethnic and cultural perspectives."

Student Health & Safety

Source: Comcast Xfinity survey of 1,000 U.S. parents

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has emphasized the importance of limiting children's device use, warning that excessive screen-time can displace important activities such as face-to-face interaction, family-time, outdoor-play, exercise, and sleep.

The new survey, commissioned by Comcast and conducted by Wakefield Research, supports the AAP position and also found:
  • Teens are more interested in surfing the internet than ocean waves: On a beach vacation, more than half (56 percent) of parents with teenaged children surveyed believe their child(ren) would rather interact with their devices than surf the ocean waves.
  • Devices are sweeter than candy to kids: 76 percent of parents say their kids are more addicted to their devices than candy.
  • Most parents set rules on device time: 73% of parents say that they put limits on the amount of time that their children or family spends on devices.

The New York Times - Tech Fix (July 11, 2018) --- I Used Apple's New Controls to Limit a Teenager's iPhone Time (and It Worked!)

Monday's Motivational Moment!
One of the first steps to accomplishing great things in your life is to cease dwelling on the negative things in your past. Carefully assess your present strengths, successes, and achievements. Dwell on those positive events in your life, and quit limiting your potential by constantly thinking about what you have done poorly.

Alice and the Mad Hatter in Wonderland had a conversation that illustrates this concept.

Alice: Where I come from, people study what they are not good at in order to be able to do what they are good at.

Mad Hatter: We only go around in circles in Wonderland, but we always end up where we started. Would you mind explaining yourself?

Alice: Well, grown-ups tell us to find out what we did wrong, and never do it again.

Mad Hatter: That's odd! It seems to me that in order to find out about something, you have to study it. And when you study it, you should become better at it. Why should you want to become better at something and then never do it again? But please continue.

Alice: Nobody ever tells us to study the right things we do. We're only supposed to learn from the wrong things. But we are permitted to study the right things other people do. And sometimes we're even told to copy them.

Mad Hatter: That's cheating!

Alice: You're quite right, Mr. Hatter. I do live in a topsy-turvy world. It seems like I have to do something wrong first, in order to learn from what not to do. And then, by not doing what I'm not supposed to do, perhaps I'll be right. But I'd rather be right the first time, wouldn't you?

Parting Image of the Week . . .
Four weeks from this morning (Monday, August 13) our students will be back on campus as we begin the 2018-2019 school year. I have been very grateful for the hard work and commitment exhibited by our staff so far this summer. They have been giving it their best to make sure the new school year gets off to a terrific start. Thank you everyone!

From left to right: Art Arizola (security officer), Deb Cullars (recently retired media clerk), Vanessa Roca (guidance counselor), Amanda Havner (media clerk), George (custodian), and Richard Diaz (kneeling - tech support rep)

Florida flag
Have a wonderful week and please don't forget about reading for pleasure this summer!
Douglas K. Loftus, Principal
Acceleration East High School
Monday, July 16, 2018

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Reproduction of this material, either written or electronically, including the general layout, graphics, analyses, and content topics without the express approval of Target Performance Systems, Inc., a Florida corporation, and OCPS - Acceleration East High School is forbidden without written consent.  Thank you for your support of the Orange County Public Schools and especially Acceleration East High School. Please contact douglas.loftus@ocps.net (principal) with any questions or for further information.