The Citrus Buzz!  
Citrus Bee
Community Brief from Citrus Elementary School
Soaring to New Heights! Bee Respectful. Bee Responsible. Bee Safe. Bee a Problem Solver.
Thursday, September 5, 2019

On behalf of the staff of Citrus Elementary, I would like to welcome you to the 2019-2020 school year! We envision a school where all staff work collaboratively to ensure that all students achieve at the highest level. Our mission is to lead our students to success with the support and involvement of family and community. Thank you for your continued support in education and the children of this community.

School Advisory Council (Sept. 30) 
Our goal of maximizing student achievement is the driving force of our School Improvement Plan. The School Advisory Council (SAC) is a team representing various segments of the Citrus Elementary community who work with school administration in an advisory capacity to make decisions about Citrus Elementary. Our next meeting is scheduled for Monday, September 30th at 6:00 p.m. in the media center. We will be presenting the School Improvement Plan for the 2019-2020 school year.

Florida Dept. of Education School Letter grade 
Citrus Elementary earned a "C" grade for the 2018-2019 school year from the state - FLDOE school grades (school #0216). We earned a total of 366 points or 52% of total points. We increased 25 percentage points from last year and were only 12 points from a "B" grade. That is something to celebrate! This year, we will continue to focus on literacy strategies and on providing small group differentiated instruction throughout the reading and math block.  
Student/Parent Handbook 
The Citrus Elementary Student planner includes a student/parent handbook. It includes the policies and procedures for Citrus Elementary and it is essential to our success that you follow them. The planner was designed to assist your child in organizing his/her daily, weekly, and long-term assignments. It is a resource that will improve your child's organizational skills and serve as a helpful reference for parents who seek to provide academic support at home.  Citrus Elementary parents are our partners in the important job of educating the children of this community. You can help your child this school year by reviewing the homework and planner policies, as well as, signing the agenda each night and checking for homework completion.

Student Arrival and Dismissal 
Students should not be on campus more than 30 minutes before school starts at 8:15 a.m. 
Thank you to everyone for following our arrival and dismissal procedures and our security policy. Your cooperation following the procedures in place is greatly appreciated. Please remember that Citrus Elementary is not responsible for supervision of students who arrive on school grounds more than 30 minutes before school starts (8:15 a.m.) and 30 minutes after school ends (3:30 p.m. or 2:30 p.m. on Wednesday). When you check in at the front lobby, you will be required to present a driver's license, which will be scanned to produce a visitor sticker. You must sign in at the front lobby any time you are eating with your child, volunteering on campus, attending a parent conference, or have a scheduled meeting. I also want to remind you if you need to pick your child up from school early, you must do so before 2:30 p.m. and before 1:30 p.m. on Wednesday.  We will not call classrooms to change dismissal afterwards.  

"Soaring to New Heights!"  
Our theme this year  is "Soaring to New Heights." To support out theme and help achieve academic excellence, we have some Guidelines for Success for all students. Our guidelines include Bee Respectful, Bee Responsible, Bee Safe, and Bee a Problem Solver. We have taught students the Guidelines for Success for all school-wide common areas and will continue to monitor and re-teach as necessary.  

We have had a great start to our new school year! We want to again encourage you to become actively involved in your child's education this year. The time you spend will be well worth the investment.

Delaine Bender
Proud Principal
Citrus Elementary School

Pictured at the very top: 2019-2020 Teacher and Support Person of the Year
Mrs. Latanya Webb-Smith, kindergarten teacher, has been nominated for Teacher of the Year for Citrus Elementary! We would like to congratulate Latanya on this honor. She has an extremely positive attitude when it comes to her students and what they can accomplish. She instills a growth mindset in them. Congratulations Mrs. Webb-Smith!
Congratulations to Mr. Joseph Cafazzo, Support Person of the Year!  Joe has served as a Physical Education Paraprofessional since November of last year and in that time he has quickly developed excellent rapport with students and staff.  He has a positive and fun demeanor with everyone he comes in contact with. Joe is knowledgeable of the P.E. curriculum and provides a fun and safe atmosphere. He is truly here for the students! We are so proud of you Joe!
Dates to Watch For

Our Fall Book Fair began today!
5th Book Fair Begins
5th Boy Scout Sign Up Night 6:30-7:30pm
6th Kona Ice
9th Art & Music Club Begins
9th School Fundraiser Begins
10th OPEN HOUSE 5:00-7:00pm
13th Book Fair Ends
13th Last Day for Student Essays - Annual Governor's Hispanic Heritage Month Contest (winners receive 4-year scholarships)
15th Start of Hispanic Heritage Month in the USA
16th Progress Reports Go Home
17th Fall Picture Day
27th Spirit Night at Papa John's
30th PTA Board Meeting 5:00-6:00pm
30th SAC Meeting 6:00-7:00pm

2nd Walk/Bike to School Day 7:30-8:30am
4th Kona Ice
16th End of First Nine Weeks
16th No Early Release
17th-18th No School/Student Holiday
21st Beginning of 2nd Nine Weeks
21st PTA Spirit Week
21st Red Ribbon Week
23rd Fall Picture Retakes
28th Report Cards Go Home
28th PTA Board Meeting 5:00-6:00pm
28th SAC Meeting 6:00-7:00pm
29th Spirit Night at Chipotle 4:00-8:00pm


Friday is spirit day and we encourage students to wear their Citrus Elementary School t-shirts. You can purchase a t-shirt from PTA for $10.

Meet Our Flight Crew!
"Soaring to New Heights" in 2019-2020!  
First Grade
Second Grade
Third Grade
Fourth Grade
Fifth Grade
Special Area
Exceptional Student Education
Leadership Team

Book Fair Opens Today!
September 5th-12th 
Citrus Elementary Book Fair begins Thursday, September 5th and runs through Thursday September 12th. It will be located in the Media Center. The Media Center will be open before school from 8:00 am until 8:30 am for students to shop. Students must have a parent or guardian with them to shop in the morning. The Book Fair will be open daily for students to visit with their class. It will also be open during Open House on Tuesday, September 10th from 5:30-7.   
Payments accepted are cash, checks and credit cards. Checks should be made out to Citrus Elementary.  If you can volunteer to work the book fair, you can earn a $5 book fair gift certificate. Sign up in ADDitions to check out the hours available or call Ms. Smith in the Media Center at ext. 3152253. 
Open House is Next Tuesday
September 10th, 5 to 7 pm (Book Fair also open)

Please plan to join us on Tuesday, September 10th from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. for our Open House event. It is not a time for conferencing but a time to visit your child's classroom and see all that they are learning.   
The Book Fair will also be open for the event so be sure to stop by the media center. We will begin in the cafeteria at 5:00 to meet the new PTA Board and parents can visit classrooms from 5:30-7:00 pm.   
Stay Involved . . .  
Like us on Facebook to stay informed of school news and events. Make sure to like the official Citrus Elementary-OCPS page.

PTA News  
We would like to encourage you to become actively involved in your child's education. Parents do make the difference!  We have an active PTA and we encourage you to join. The cost is $10 per family. You can pick up a membership form In the front office.
ADDitions Information 
We also encourage you to sign up to be an ADDitions volunteer. You must complete a new application each year in order to volunteer at the school, in your child's classroom or to chaperone a field trip. You can do so by going to 
Welcome to Our New Kindergarten Friends! 
Ms. Bender spoke to all of the kindergarten classes about the importance of following rules so that all students can learn. Pictured below are students in Mrs. Ray's class with Ms. Bender.

Rigor in the Classroom 
Kagan Cooperative Structures 

Students in Mrs. Webb-Smith's class identified spheres using a Kagan Cooperative Structure called RallyCoach.  Each student worked with a partner and needed to point out a sphere and ask their partner if it was a sphere and how they knew based on attributes.  If the shape was a sphere students colored the shape. Pictured below are students working together to identify spheres!

West Oaks Library  

Please click on the link to the West Oaks Library newsletter and calendar of events.

Art Class with Mrs. Moonlight   

For this project students talked about the quote "We are all unique and beautiful but together we are a masterpiece!" and what it means. We talked about how it is about acceptance of our differences, but also if we work together we can be better students. We become better by sharing our ideas by helping one another to do better work. The theme in art this year "teamwork."

Severe Weather "30/30 Rule" 
During severe weather situations, all Orange County Public Schools must implement the "30/30 Rule" during dismissal.

30 Seconds: Count the seconds between seeing lightning and hear thunder. If the time is less than 30 seconds, lightning is still a potential threat.

30 Minutes: After hearing the last thunder wait 30 minutes before leaving shelter.
Parents please be sure to bring your car and walker tags when you come in the building.

Meet Mr. Hannah, 2nd Grade Teacher  

Mr. Hanna has joined the Citrus Elementary 2nd grade team this year. He has worked with OCPS for 9 years at Waterbridge Elementary where he taught 2nd, 4th, and 5th grade. He graduated from Temple University in Philadelphia with a degree in Elementary and Early Childhood Education. He collects penguins, builds Legos, and goes to CrossFit six days a week!  He grew up in a big family, and loves being around kids. He also likes to find ways to make learning fun and useful in everyday life. One of his favorite books is Percy Jackson.  
Temple University is the largest university in Philadelphia and is where Mr. Hanna earned his undergraduate degree from. Pictured above is part of the campus during the summer.   
Skyward Student information System  
Orange County Public Schools is excited to announce that we have moved to a new student information system. For parents and guardians, this means that you will no longer use Progress Book and Parent Access to view your student's information - you will now use the Skyward Family Access system.

Further details and training materials can be found on the main OCPS webpage (, select Students and Parents from the top menu. Then click on Skyward. You will need to use the "Skyward Family Access through LaunchPad" documentation to register for a LaunchPad account. You will sign into LaunchPad each time you want to access Skyward. LaunchPad will then automatically log you into Skyward Family Access. Use the "Skyward Family Access" documentation to navigate the system to see important information for your student such as grades and attendance.  

Please complete the form on the website if you experience any issues while trying to register for a LaunchPad account or within Skyward Family Access. Then provide the form to your student's school. Thank you for your support as we transition to the new student information system.

Facility Rental   
The Citrus Elementary Facility Rental Department is very excited about the new 2019-2020 school year! If you or anyone you know would like information regarding rental of our beautiful facility please contact Sarah Bowling at 407-445-5475 ext. 3152223 or
OCPS Parent Academy  

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Copyright Notice 
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 - Citrus Elementary School is forbidden without written consent.  Thank you for your support of the Orange County Public Schools and especially Citrus Elementary School. Please contact Ms. Delaine Bender (principal) at with any questions.  
  Citrus Elementary School | Ms. Delaine Bender, Principal | 407.445.5475 | CES Website