Monday, May 4, 2020

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A huge thank you to all the teachers and staff at Colonial High School!  Our Grenadiers are so grateful for you!
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Colonial High School

This is a special week at Colonial High School as we pause to commemorate National Teacher Appreciation Week. Unfortunately this year due to the COVID-19 shutdown, our traditional on campus recognition events will not be possible. However, we are still very mindful of the gift of our highly competent, committed and caring teachers plus support staff. This is their special week and this year I need to ask a personal favor of you.

If in your view there is a member of our Colonial faculty or staff that has done an especially fine job for you or your student, would you please email them a simple message or video of thanks? You would be surprised at how small gestures of appreciation really make difference; now more so than ever!

To any of our teachers and staff that may be reading this week's edition I want to thank you for the profound and positive difference you make in the lives of our students, their families, and our Colonial High community each day. Moreover, you have certainly traveled that extra mile during the first 5 weeks of distance learning and that initial week leading up to its rollout. The way you have worked to help our Grenadiers continue on with their education has been inspirational.

Finally, in this early May issue we have continued with additional Class of 2020 highlights and news. There are a number of important events for Seniors coming up very soon. If these apply to your household, please be careful to note any key dates and deadlines.

Thank you for looking over this latest issue and please continue to follow all recommended personal safety guidelines.

It's Great To Be A Grenadier!

Dr. Maestre

A Reminder for our Students from the ESOL Department!

Important Remindersreminders

Student Effort and Grades
Grades continue to be assigned during the second half of the 4th quarter. Students should continue to work and submit assignments through the end of this quarter. This includes Seniors, who still need to earn the GPA and credits for their diplomas, through May 13.

Parents Can Monitor Grades Through Skyward
Skyward is the official gradebook for OCPS. Check your child's grades once a week to make sure they're on track. If you have any questions, reach out to your child's teacher for clarification.

Advanced Placement
All AP students will take the AP Exam for any enrolled AP courses. These exams are paid for by the district, which makes this a FREE opportunity for any AP student to earn free college credits. This equals savings of up to 2,000$ to 6,000$ per college credit. Why not just try it? Contact your AP teacher for more details, or our AP Coordinator, Mr. Burley at

Q/A for Parents of English Language Learners: Synchono a las Siete
Mr. Jimenez hosts a question and answer session for parents of English Language Learners attending Colonial High School. Pose your questions and get answers live on Instagram at 7pm on Thursdays!

Yearbook Sale
Students can still order the yearbook online at School Pay for $50. The price has not increased and will remain at the current price. There is a limited supply and orders will be processed in the order in which they are received. Be sure to take a screenshot or save a copy of the final purchase confirmation page for your records. Please contact Mrs. Sharon Christensen-Jones ( to confirm your online purchase of the Yearbook.

Parents and students we know that during this time of distance learning, you may have various questions. The CHS Students Services team has created a Frequently Asked Questions document  to answer questions that you may have. Direct link here:

Level Up Freshman Forum: Monday May 4th

Senior Panoramic Picture 
Senior Panoramics are still available for purchase:

Cap & Gown 
More information will be provided through Social Media and Canvas in regards to online registration for Cap and Gown pick up. Yard signs will be included in the packages.

Senior Drive-Thru 
The purpose of the Senior Drive-Thru is to give Seniors an opportunity to say goodbye to the physical campus.  More information regarding this event will be provided as we get closer to the date.

Virtual Senior Announcements

Virtual Graduation 
Seniors who have not already provided a picture will still be able to do so for this event.  More information will come as we get closer to this date.

Yard Signs 
Faculty and staff enjoyed surprising our Class of 2020 with yard signs delivery this week!  Pictured below, Ms. Franco and Ms. Parisi maintained social distancing while celebrating with Seniors.

Pictured below, Ms. Fernandez and Ms. Santiago helped as well as our fabulous guidance counselors: Ms. Hudson, Ms. Martin, and Ms. Contreras, and Dean Short!

Orlando Sentinel Opportunity for Seniors
Orlando Sentinel Photo Gallery for Seniors

2020 High School Seniors may not be celebrating graduation in a typical way this year, so the Orlando Sentinel created this FREE photo gallery in their honor, with heartfelt congratulations for a job well done.

~ Select the county their high school is located in, then upload an image of the graduating senior you would like to feature, include high school name, what their plans are after graduation, and any special messaging.

~ Don't hesitate to reach out if you have any questions!

Resources for All Students

Emotional/Mental Health Support
Florida Blue is offering a free Bilingual 24 helpline to any Floridian, insured or not, for support in managing feelings of stress, anxiety, grief or fear related to the virus. The phone number is: 833-848-1762

Here is the link with more information:

Health Services Support:
Our Mobile Teen Express will NOT be on campus for the next two weeks.  However, appointments can be scheduled by phone through the Howard Phillips Center: (321) 842-1766.

Completing the registration before hand will help to expedite the process.  Registration forms can be found in our main office or by emailing your request to Nurse Bonnie at

Distance Learning
OCPS has two distance learning sites you should consider bookmarking on a personal computer or installing on mobile devices today: Classlink LaunchPad for Students and the OCPS Distance Learning Site.

The OCPS ClassLink LaunchPad for students is their one-stop shop for online platforms. With just one password they can get access to all OCPS has to offer. The OCPS Distance Learning Site is constantly updated with new information for parents on distance learning.

College and Career Center Updates
Take a Virtual College Tour 
Spring is a typical time for high schoolers to start touring colleges, but most are closed. We have 50 virtual reality tours of national and international college and universities. Each includes a lesson of research, discussion, and reflection. Click on the links below to get started today! Virtual College Tours

Valencia College Fee Waivers 
Valencia College is waiving the application fee from April 13th to May 31st! If you haven't applied to Valencia yet or still need to pay the fee, now is the time to complete your application! Register at

College Acceptances
Please join us in congratulating the following students for their acceptances into college commitments! We are so proud of their accomplishments!
  • Alan Alonso: Valencia College
  • Colin Campbell: Valencia College
  • Chase LaTouche: University of Tampa
  • Moises Munoz: New York Institute of Technology
  • Kylie Phillips: University of Central Florida
  • Mia Thompson: Bethune-Cookman University
Congratulations to Luis Saldarriaga for signing with Culver-Stockton College for Cross Country and Track & Field!
Congratulations to Gabriel Rivera for signing with Mesabi Range College for basketball!
Scholarship Opportunities 
You can also view scholarship opportunities on the OCPS Scholarship Bulletin web page: OCPS Scholarship Bulletin Click Here
2020 CGCS-Bernard Harris Math and Science Scholarship: 
* Black or Hispanic student
* Must be planning to pursue a STEM major in college
The flyer and guidelines can be found in Canvas. The application can be found here: 

** Deadline is Monday, May 4 (this has been extended from the April 6th deadline listed on the application/flyer) 
*** Award: $5,000
Zenobia Brooker Scholarship 
In order to qualify for the Zenobia V. Scholarship, students must meet the following criteria:
* Have a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale.
* Complete a Free Application for Federal Student Assistance (FAFSA).
* Have a demonstrated unmet, financial need as verified by their college or university.
* Be a college sophomore (class of 2022) at the time of application, and enrolled full-time at an accredited four-year college or university.
* Be an African American student majoring in elementary or secondary education.
* Be a US citizen.
* As part of the application process, provide proof of 15 hours of completed community service hours, and in each semester thereafter while receiving the scholarship.
Deadline: May 11 
Apply here:
Top 20 Senior Spotlights!
OCPS Parent Academy: Links from Last Week's Event

"Get Switched On" video links from last week's special online event for any Colonial parents that missed what was a first class presentation!

* English YouTube Link:

* Spanish YouTube Link:

* Portuguese YouTube Link:

* Haitian Creole YouTube Link:

Florida Department of Education Resources

Tech Problems

Florida Department of Education Impact Survey

The Florida Department of Education (FDOE) has launched a vitally important education impact survey for Florida educators and parents to share their thoughts and opinions on recent crisis response from the Florida Department of Education, their local school district, and their school. This feedback will help us achieve our number one goal of keeping Florida's students safe while ensuring they continue to receive the best education in the nation.
This short, 2-minute survey, is intended to be completed by parents, educators and students throughout Florida to include and incorporate their opinions on the next steps for education due to COVID-19.

This survey does not request any personal information and your answers will remain strictly anonymous.

Please help FDOE by sharing your opinion on how to move forward, together, to mitigate the spread and to reach our number one goal - ensuring Florida students continue to receive a great education.
COVID-19 Resources from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

Grab-and-Go Meals

Monday's Motivational Moment!

Bounce Back From Mistakes

In life you will always run into obstacles. But if you can learn from mistakes and make them yours, you can overcome them.

Legendary animator and theme park developer Walt Disney suffered multiple failures. His first cartoon business, launched with his brother Roy, went bankrupt. He moved to Los Angeles and failed at acting but launched an animation studio that was a huge success.

Disney failed a number of times but he picked himself up. He figured failing could help him. "All the adversity I've had in my life, all the troubles and obstacles, have strengthened me," he once said. "You may not realize it when it happens, but a kick in the teeth may be the best thing in the world for you."

It is very important to admit what didn't work and understand what you have learned. Vow to do better next time. If you do that, then mistakes are less of something to be feared, and more of something to be owned up to. Another way to look at mistakes is to view them as simply part of the creative process, of learning while you are on your way to realizing a larger goal. This applies in school, sports, business - most fields of endeavor you can name.  

Winston Churchill, who bounced back from mistakes in World War I to lead Great Britain through World War II, took a valuable view to learn from mistakes.

"Success is not final, failure is not fatal," Churchill said. "It is the courage to continue that counts."


Have a great week and please remember our teachers and staff this week!
Dr. Maestre, Principal
Colonial High School
Sunday, May 3, 2020

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Leadership Team

chs Principal: Dr. Hector Maestre
Assistant Principal: Ms. Elizabeth Fuller
Assistant Principal: Mr. Jason Jimenez
Assistant Principal: Mr. Jonathan Zenzel
Assistant Principal: Ms. Kimberly Parsons
Assistant Principal: Ms. Maricarmen Aponte
Assistant Principal: Mr. Michael Mezger
Assistant Principal: Ms. Mary Vetter
Leadership Team Biographies: Leadership Team Biographies

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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-Colonial High School is forbidden without written consent.  Thank you for your support of the Orange County Public Schools and OCPS-Colonial High School. Please contact Ms. Mary Vetter (assistant principal) at with any questions.