Miami Beach Senior High PTSA E-Newsletter 
                March 20, 2017 - Issue # 19                       
        Approaching the Last Quarter             

  • March 21, Miami Beach Youth Commission meeting.
  • March 22, Town Hall Meeting/Education Chat,  6:30 pm, David Lawrence Jr. K-8 Center. See article below.
  • March 23, Last day of the Third Marking Period.
  • March 24, No school, Teacher Planning Day.
  • March 25, National Debate Qualifier at MBSH hosted by the Hi - Tide Speech and Debate Team. 
  • March 27, First day of the Fourth Marking Period.
  • March 26-28, 2017 Florida PTA Legislative Conference, Tallahassee. Info and registration here.
  • March 30, Scholars Ice Cream Social, during both lunches. See flyer below.
  • April 1, Second Annual Superintendent's 5k Run/Walk Challenge - Race for Education, Museum Park, 1075 Biscayne Boulevard. See article below.
  • April 7, Registration deadline for May 6 SAT & SAT Subject Tests.
  • April 8, ACT test. Registered students.
  • April 8 - 16, No School, Spring Break.
  • April 18, PTSA Board meeting. 7:30 - 9 am, Media Center. Everybody is welcome!
  • April 18, Miami Beach Youth Commission meeting.
  • April 19, EESAC meeting, Media Center, 2:30pm.
  • April 19, Orientation for incoming Scholars families. 6 pm, Auditorium.
  • April 21, Grad Bash at Universal Studios.
  • April 22, Paint with a Twist, PTSA fundraiser, 4-6 pm. See article below.
  •  May 5, Registration deadline for June 10 ACT
  • May 6, SAT and SAT Subject Tests. Registered students.
  • May 9, PTSA Board meeting. 7:30 - 9 am, Media Center. Everybody is welcome!
  • May 9, Registration deadline for June 3 SAT & SAT Subject Tests.
  • May 17, EESAC meeting, Media Center, 2:30pm.
  • May 18, Early Release, 12:20 pm.
  • May 18, Teacher Appreciation Luncheon.
  • May 20, Prom at the Eden Roc Hotel on Collins Avenue.
  • May 25, 2017 Miami-Dade County Council of PTA/PTSA  Awards & Recognition Gala, 4:30-9 pm, Jungle Island Treetop Ballroom, 1111 Parrot Jungle Way Miami, FL 33132.  
  • May 28, IB/Scholars Banquet.
  • May 29, No school, Memorial Day.
  • June 2, Class of 2017 Graduation, University of Miami Watsco Center, 1245 Dauer Drive, Coral Gables, 9 am.  All seniors need to report by 7 am.
  • June 3, SAT & SAT Subject Tests. Registered students.
  • June 8, Last day of school.
  • June 9, No school, Teacher Planning Day.
  • June 10, ACT test. Registered students.
Please note: all dates are tentative and may change.

2016-2017 School Calendar (click to download) 
SAT - ACT Calendars
Click on the following links to see the testing dates released by the College Board and ACT for the 2016-2017 PSAT, SAT, and ACT:

The easiest way to register for the SAT is online at and for ACT online at 
Miami Beach Senior High School Code is 101140 for both tests.
A & B Day Calendar
Is tomorrow a 1-3-5-7 period day or a 2-4-6-8?
Testing Calendar:

MYA = Mid-Year Assessments
ELL = English Language Learners
FSA ELA = Florida Standards Assessments -   English Language Arts

The Career and Technical Honor Society will meet on Wednesday, March 22, in room 226 at 2:30 pm (right after school). Be a part of a society that recognizes excellence in career and technical education, encourages educational excellence, skill development, and workforce readiness. You must have a 3.0 or higher GPA and be in a CTE class or Academy.
College Club meetings: every Tuesday after school. Meetings start promptly at 2:30 pm in Rm. 240. Please see Ms. Justilien if you have questions.
SHAPE Club is sponsoring a School Supply Drive. The collected items will be donated to El Paso Real Elementary School in Honduras. Your support i s much appreciated. Please check our poster for the corresponding community service hours.   
Snapchats don't last forever, but yearbooks do. Purchase your yearbook today by going to  and enter code 1985. Don't miss out on the opportunity - there's a limited amount!
Free breakfast for all students is available daily at school. Eating breakfast is linked to improved performance, behavior, attendance and health. Eating breakfast at school ensures that you are in school on time and ready to learn. For 10 weeks from February 13 to April 28, all students who eat school lunch each day of the week will automatically be entered into a random drawing to win a $25 Amazon gift card. 
Questions regarding student clubs or activities? Email our Student Government at
Register Today! Painting with a Twist Is back!  

Our Annual Spring Painting with a Twist F undraiser is almost here. Last year we were sold out and we would love you to join us this year.

You can participate by painting, on Saturday, April 22, 4-6pm. Please register for the PTSA MBSH fundraiser Painting with a Twist on April 22, 4 - 6 pm on 71st, Miami Beach.
Everybody is welcome!
You can also participate by donating a Silent Auction item. Please email Corey Narson at to arrange pick up or to send a certificate for service.

Lastly, you can sponsor a teacher to attend as a way of saying Thank You: tickets are $45.

Link to register:

A Very Successful PTSA General Meeting    

Last Thursday the PTSA held its General Meeting titled "It's never Ok", a speaker panel on the realities of teen dating violence. Panelists included Miami-Dade Assistant State Attorney Christina DiRaimondo, Local Psychologist Dr. Ronda Fuchs, and Miami Beach Police Detective Bert Gutierrez.  Over 300 parents and students attended the meeting. Thanks to PTSA Programming Chair Barbara Gelber and to everyone that organized, participated, and attended this important event.   
A big thank you to Title Boxing for donating two one- month memberships for our raffle during the event. The lucky students who won were Karen Herrera and Johnny Joseph.

Photo on the left shows Johnny with Title Boxing General Manager Liz Minie.

Attention Present and Future Beach High Parents:
PTSA 2017-2018 Election of Officers Is Coming Soon 
Parents - we need your involvement to make a difference!  
It is a gratifying experience to serve the school community. Please consider to get involved and contribute to our mission of making MBSH the best possible school for our children. There are also roles that have a minimal time commitment.
The PTSA Nomination Form is coming soon. Stay tuned!

Next PTSA Board Meeting: 
Tuesday, April 18, 7:30 - 9 am
in the Media Center.
Everybody is welcome!

Help Out at Debate Tournament    

The Hi-Tide Speech and Debate Team is hosting a NSDA National Debate Qualifier tournament at MBSH this Saturday, March 25. Debate families, we need your help! Please sign up to bring items and to volunteer for one shift. Please click on the link below to sign up.


Beach High Dads: Save the Date! 
Fathers in Education Day, May 11, and Fathers in Action & Advocacy Week, May 8-14:
MDCPS has established a partnership with the Fatherhood Task Force of South Florida to increase the presence of positive male role models in schools to support children's education. More info to follow.

Black History Month Celebration at Beach High  

On Friday during 8th period MBSH hosted the Black History Month Celebration 2017.   See the photos below.    
Community Outreach with South Beach Boxing        
On Saturday several Beach High students experience boxing for the first time. South Beach Boxing owner Jolie Glassman is sponsoring 25 Beach students, using the athletic platform to build a growth mindset for success.


Call to Action! Please Read & Act Now 
Once again, Florida school districts are attempting to get legislation passed so they can continue to use a school-wide average for purposes of calculating class-size violations without having to deal with the attenuating problems that come with calling all of their schools "schools of choice" as they have wrongly been doing for the past few years.

As part of this bill, they are also attempting to eliminate the reporting requirements to the FLDOE that show class size violations on a classroom by classroom basis.  The bill completely eliminates transparency and accountability for the school districts.

Also, what are they trying to hide - that they are making no attempt whatsoever to meet class size as constitutionally mandated?

The bill (HB 591/SB 808) is going to both a House and Senate committee. It has already passed one of three House committees.

We need your help!  Please cut and paste the body of the attached document and send it to the email addresses included.

Let's get this bill amended!


Your Advocacy Team
Why the Secrecy Provision in HB 591/SB 808 (Maximum Class Size)?
What Are the School Districts Trying to Hide?
Proposed bill HB 591/SB 808, Maximum Class Size, not surprisingly, codifies the current practice of all school districts in the state to utilize a school-wide average for purposes of calculating violations of the constitutional class size amendment, by deeming their schools to be "schools of choice" to take advantage of the school-wide average formula previously afforded only to charter schools.
This bill conveniently alleviates the need for districts to put labels on schools to manipulate the system for purposes of the class size amendment, which causes them to actually treat their schools as schools of choice with all the attenuating circumstances.
This bill allows all schools, choice or not, to utilize a school-wide average for purposes of calculating penalties for violations of the class size amendment - the theory being that there is no penalty provision built into the class size amendment so the legislature is supposedly free to make penalties for violations of the amendment based on whatever formula it deems appropriate.
But what the legislature is not free to do is to set up a system where the public, and the legislature, does not know if the districts are actually out of compliance with the class size amendment, and by how much. This information should be compiled on a classroom by classroom basis, not on a school-wide average or any other basis, for all schools, choice or not.  
HB 591/SB 808 removes the reporting provision in the class size statute (1003.03) requiring that the Department of Education "identify, for each grade group, the number of classes in which the number of students exceeds the maximum and the total number of students which exceeds the maximum for all classes."
We have been in the dark, and will continue to be in the dark, if this bill passes without section 1003.03 (4)(a)(1) being reinstated. There is no reason for this reporting requirement to be removed unless the school districts have something to hide.
If you support transparency and accountability in government, HB 591/SB 808 must be amended to reinstate the reporting provisions on a classroom basis.

Please open the attachment for a sample letter and for the email addresses of the committees.
Send it today!

 Letter and email addresses 

Legislative Update from Miami-Dade County PTA  

1) The US Senate, following the lead of the House of Representatives, stripped away all the just-negotiated regulations surrounding the most important piece of bipartisan education legislation passed during the Obama administration (the Every Student Succeeds Act of 2015). Any replacement regulations will be hammered out under the new Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos.
2) The 2017 Florida Legislative Session opened with quite a flurry of activity. The Florida House passed legislation urging Congress to turn federal funding for education, Medicaid, and child welfare into block grants to individual states. If Congress follows suit, it could be up to the Florida Legislature and Department of Education to determine how to distribute Title I or IDEA funding, for example. Meanwhile, the Florida Senate is close to passing an expansion of "Stand Your Ground" statutes that would force prosecutors to refute "beyond a reasonable doubt" a murder defendant's claim of self-defense. Currently, the burden of proof is on the defendant. On the other hand, thanks to a stance by Senator Anitere Flores (representing parts of South Dade) against "guns in schools" and "campus carry," these legislative proposals may be dead for the 2017 Session.
3) The Miami-Dade County School Board published the agenda for its March 15 meeting. Items include the creation of student trauma support mechanisms for students who have experienced or witnessed violence (A2), reaffirmation of the District's commitment to recruit and retain qualified teachers (H3), and the protection of immigrant students' rights (H7, H10).
4) National PTA reaffirmed its opposition to "any private school choice system - tax credits, vouchers, or deductions - that would drain public school resources." National PTA likewise expressed its concern that President Trump's proposal to cut $54 billion from domestic spending would severely impact funding for education. 

5) Florida PTA voiced its opposition to SB 376, which would force school districts to share local capital outlay tax revenues with charter schools without any guarantee that assets purchased with these tax dollars (school buildings, school renovations, computer systems, etc.) would revert to the public in the case of school closure. The loss to Miami-Dade County Public Schools, should this bill be implemented as currently written, has been estimated at $83 million for next year alone. Florida PTA supports charter schools, and believes that the Florida Legislature should fund their capital needs in a way that does not adversely impact traditional public schools.
Nancy Lawther
VP of Advocacy and Legislation
Congrats to Ms. Richardson and Mr. Spiegelman and their 2nd period students on 100% attendance on March 15. Welcome to this exclusive club! Raffle of 5 cell phone chargers took place in each class. See the classes in the photos below.

Congratulations to the following FCCLA members for outstanding results at the State competitions two weeks ago! They were invited to compete at the National level in Nashville this summer.
Student Name
Adriana Recinos
Hospitality & Tourism
David Garcia
Hospitality & Tourism
Amy Lopez
Illustrated Talk
Tiffany Lora
Illustrated Talk
Cassandra Rodriguez
Environmental Ambassador
Chavelis Prieto
Chapter in Action Scrapbook (State only event)
Ashnelys Ortiz
Chapter in Action Scrapbook (State only event)

Congratulations to our artists whose artworks were displayed at the Coconut Grove Women's Club, Young Artists Gallery:

Gabriella Blazzio, 10th grade
Francesca Tobar, 11th grade
Balthazar Cordova, 11th grade 
Gabi (featured below) is a Merit Award winner. The artwork's title is "Hands".  


Congratulations to FCCLA for winning the Collins Park Neighborhood Association contest. Congratulations Tiffany Lora, Adriana Recinos, David Garcia, and Ms. Ruiz.


Congratulations to Mr. Fiori on the birth of his baby girl Ayah Joanna.


Attend the Town Hall Meeting  

There will be a District 3 Town Hall Meeting/Education Chat on  Wednesday, March 22, at  6:30 pm at David Lawrence Jr. K-8 Center. The following topic points will be addressed:
  • Academic Innovations and Choice
  • The General Obligation Bond and School Construction
  • Security
  • Update on Testing
  • Tallahassee and the Legislative Session
  • Open Discussion.
The Superintendent Run Is Coming Soon

The Second Annual Superintendent's 5k Run/Walk Challenge - Race for Education to promote health and wellness within Miami-Dade County Public Schools and in the community is scheduled for Saturday, April 1, at Museum Park, 1075 Biscayne Boulevard. 
Please see Ms. Sakowicz if you'd like to participate.



On Friday Beach High hosted the Captain Cup event, a Navy ROTC drill competition among platoons. See photos of the event below.


On Saturday night, Beach High and Dr. Krop Senior High School held the Navy ROTC Ball at the Newport Beachside Hotel & Resort to celebrate their cadets. See some photos of the event below.

Photo above, from left: Capt. Gallagher
(Beach High) and his wife Capt. Gallagher
(Krop), hosts and organizers of the event.


hi tides
Teachers, Club Sponsors, Parents and Students,
Please send your news and photos with captions
to newsletter editor
In This Issue
From Your PTSA
School News
Advocacy 1-Take Action!
Advocacy 2 - Legislative
Congratulations to...
From Our Community
Photo Gallery: NJROTC
Join Our PTSA!
Take a Seat for Education
Shop at AmazonSmile
Beach Film News
Join our PTSA today! 
Every new member and every membership renewal helps make our school amazing.  Please click the link below and use PayPal to join and support the PTSA today.  Get involved, get engaged!    
Like us on Facebook

Follow us on Instagram:
Miami Beach Senior High PTSA
Visit Miami Beach Senior High School online 

MBSH Alumni Association



Amelia Gowdy

President in Training
Hillary Frankel

VP Advocacy
Deryn Cowdy

VP Membership
Chrysta Dwyer-Hammon
Stella Gelsomino

VP Fundraising
Cigi Thoennes 

Elizabeth Allocco
Sheila Shardlow

Recording Secretary
Pauline Buck
Elisheva Rogoff

Corresponding Secretary
Marina Gallian (newsletter)
Lauren Radick (Social Media)

President Emeritus
Jill Swartz

MBSH PTSA 2016-17
Standing Committees

Academic/Curriculum Issues
Tracy Jackson
Kayla Rynor

Academic Volunteers
Gabriela Hemmerde-Vecco
Fundraising Committee
Mike Gruener (Parking Fundraiser)
Jill Muller
 Joe Vazquez
Nancy Wolff-Diaz

Carmen Barcenas
 Paula Sohn

Hospitality & Teacher Appreciation
 Hillary Frankel  
Sophie Trodjman

Barbara Gelber
Amanda Kleidermacher

Safety and Security
 Jelena Demetriades
Deryn Cowdy
Beth Edwards
Mike Gruener

SHARE/Student Needs Program
Jill Swartz

Silver Knight
Amelia Gowdy
Karen Edelstein
Team Run for Education
Kim Haber

US Gran
 Corey Narson

MBSH PTSA 2016-17

Ada Merritt
Theresa Pinto

City of Miami Beach
Leslie Rosenfeld

Tracy Jackson

IB/Scholars Liaison
Marina Gallian
Nautilus Middle School
Carmen Barcenas

Ruth K. Broad K-8
Dalia Blumstein

Kayla Rynor

Teacher Representative
Ms. Gussie Sakowicz

Student Representatives
Jamila Gowdy (Advocacy)
John Donohue

Leave Your Footprints at Beach High:
Take a Seat for Education

An opportunity to make a donation, leave a legacy and take a seat for education in support of MBSH! You will receive a plaque on the back of one of the auditorium seats. If we sell enough seats we will be able to fund teacher and department grants in 2016-2017

Please download a form, fill it out including the message with up to 3 lines of text, and send it with a check payable to the MBSH PTSA at Miami Beach Senior High, 2231 Prairie Ave., Miami Beach, FL 33139.

Shopping at Amazon? Start at Amazon Smile and Help Your PTSA

What is AmazonSmile? 
AmazonSmile is a simple and automatic way for you to support your favorite charitable organization every time you shop, at no cost to you.

How do I shop at AmazonSmile?
Simply go to and search for the following charity: "Miami Beach Sr High School PTA". It's that simple. For every purchase you make, AmazonSmile will make a donation to Beach High.

Can I use my existing account on AmazonSmile?
Yes, you use the same account on and AmazonSmile.  

Info and registration:
Add a bookmark to AmazonSmile to remember to start your shopping there.
The Office Depot Program for Schools

Support your school while shopping for school and office supplies - it doesn't cost you a penny!
Office Depot and Office Max run a charity program to support public schools. It gives 5% of your purchase to the school you designate, without any additional cost to you.

At the register, before paying, please ask the cashier to add Beach High ID to include your purchase in the "Give Back to Schools". Beach High ID is 70022680. If you don't remember this ID number, ask the cashier to check it out for you - they have a book listing all schools' ID's. If the cashier is not familiar with the program, ask for a a supervisor's help.

Thank you for your support of our students and teachers!

Don't Miss Out on the Beach Film News Latest Episodes!
Tune in to Miami Beach Senior High's weekly broadcast. Uploads every Thursday evening.