Monday, April 27, 2020

  Florida flag
Pictured very top:
This past week our faculty and staff put together messages for our students that were shared during our Virtual Pep Rally on Friday. Above is one such message from our World Languages department.
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Colonial High School

I hope that under the continuing circumstances this last edition for the month of April finds you and your family doing well. Here again this week we have included the latest information to help our Grenadiers as well as several student related successes from our great Class of 2020!

With respect to our seniors, there is some important information below relative to OCPS' June virtual graduation plans as well as post-secondary opportunities. Please pay close attention to any due deadlines and reporting requirements. We do not want any of our seniors to miss out on opportunities that may help them this year.

Grenadiers, please remember to turn in any missing or incomplete assignments now as Progress Reports will be coming out in the next few days. Parents can check student grades and progress on the Skyward system (details below).

I hope you enjoy this issue and once again, thank you so much for your continued efforts and positive attitude as we navigate distance learning together over these final weeks of 2019-2020. Your ongoing support is greatly appreciated.

It's Great To Be A Grenadier!

Dr. Maestre

Important Remindersreminders

Stay Safe and Connected, Grenadiers!  
We hope you enjoyed the Virtual Pep Rally and we look forward to sharing more images of your perseverance and grit through this time!  

Yearbook Sales 
Students can still order the yearbook online at SchoolPay for $50.00. 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.

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 
See the Teen Express flyer below; appointments can be made by phone. 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 

Progress Report Grades 
Grades are due for Teachers on Wednesday, April 29. 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.

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. Click on the image below for a direct link.
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
Graduation Announcement from the OCPS Superintendent of Schools:
After hearing from my Student Advisory Council and from high school principals with input from their student government representatives and parents, we are planning to celebrate our graduates in two ceremonies. First, we will plan 20 virtual graduation ceremonies, one for each high school, the first week in June. Second, if public health restrictions are lifted, and we are allowed to do so, we plan to hold a traditional graduation ceremony in late July at each of our 20 high schools in the football stadiums. This allows closure for many of our seniors who will pursue other activities this summer but keeps the door open for many who hope for an in-person ceremony. I want to be clear: current information makes the likelihood of an in-person ceremony unlikely, but we will be prepared for the possibility.
The High School Office has been working with every principal on details that will involve special moments for our seniors in the weeks ahead. At the beginning of May, you will receive detailed plans from your principal for students to come to school to turn in their digital device, retrieve personal items and pick-up a graduation package. This will be done over several days in order to follow for CDC social distancing guidelines. Look for more information from your principal in the coming days.
~ Dr. Barbara Jenkins, OCPS Superintendent 
* Dr. Jenkins' full message from last Friday, April 24 is available on the OCPS Facebook page
And, a final "Reminder" for this week from some of our CHS faculty . . .
Distance Learning Resources
ELL Q & A with Mr. Jiminez on Thursday Evenings! 
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!

Two Learning Sites to Bookmark  
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 parent on distance learning. and

OCPS tiene dos sitios de internet de aprendizaje a distancia que debería considerar marcar como favorito en una computadora personal o instalar en sus dispositivos móviles: uno es Classlink LaunchPad for Students y el sitio de aprendizaje a distancia de OCPS.

El ClassLink LaunchPad para estudiantes de OCPS es su única ventana para plataformas en línea. Con solo una contraseña, pueden obtener acceso a todo lo que OCPS ofrece. El sitio de internet de aprendizaje a distancia de OCPS es actualizado constantemente con nueva información para padres sobre aprendizaje a distancia. and  
Welcome to our Newest Grenadier: Deputy Tony Riccaboni

Deputy Tony Riccaboni has been with us on occasion in the past here at Colonial High School and has now made Colonial High School his full-time home! Deputy Tony brings 30 years experience with the Orange County Sheriff's department and has an unparalleled customer service ability as he spent a lot of time on international drive relating with the tourist sector.

Deputy Tony is passionate about education and believes that supporting students where they are at, leading with compassion, and building community are the most vital aspects of his job.

A very warm welcome to Deputy Tony; we are honored to have you on board and excited to call you a Grenadier!

Staff Shout Out!
Ms. Giroux uses Colonial's 3D printer to support health care during this period of COVID-19.  
A huge shout out to our very own Ms. Giroux, who began using our school 3D Printer to help support PPE creation for our own local heros!  Ms. Giroux has already printed 20+ face shields, 30+ ear savers, and a handful of bias tape makers (for sewing fabric straps for masks).

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!

College and Military Acceptances 
Please join us in congratulating the following students for their acceptances into college and military commitments! We are so proud of their accomplishments!
College Acceptances:

* Genesis Baez-Mendoza: Valencia College, Jacksonville University
* Valeria Carvajal: Florida State University, University of North Carolina-Greensboro
* Sheyla Jimenez: Valencia College
* Malia Joy: University of Central Florida, Florida Gulf Coast University, Seminole State College, Southeastern University
* Michael Matias: University of Northwestern Ohio
* Adrian Sookchand: Valencia College
* Richard Soto: Florida State College

Military Commitments:

* Sullian Corujo-Castella: U.S. Navy
The University of Northwestern Ohio's admissions office on their campus in Lima, OH. Michael Matias received an acceptance from UNOH. Go Racers!
Class of 2020
Senior Panoramics are still available for purchase:  
Senior teachers would like to remind our Seniors that we are here for you! Graduation plans will be announced soon, and we are very excited to celebrate with all of our Senior Grenadiers!


Information for Seniors

1. Senior Survey (REQUIRED FOR ALL SENIORS TO COMPLETE - Disregard if you already completed it) due May 1st.
a. Go to your Launch Pad and click on the "Naviance" icon
b. Once the page is open, select "About Me" in the top right corner
c. Click on "My Surveys"
d. Then click "Surveys Not Started"
e. This will bring you to a new page where you can then select "OCPS Senior Survey 2020"
f. Complete the 15 questions and submit
2. Apply to Valencia for free before May 31st
a. Valencia has removed their $35 application fee until May 31st. IIf you are planning on attending Valencia College after high school and have not yet applied, go to
and click "Apply."  The application should take you about 15-20 minutes to complete.

 3. Orange Technical College intent to register
a. If you are interested in obtaining a career certificate through Orange Technical College after high school, complete the Orange Technical College priority application. Go to

to complete the intent form. By completing this form, OTC will save a seat for you so that once you graduate, you can complete the enrollment/registration process.
4. Community Service
a. Email Ms. Hudson ( for a list of community service activities you can do during the COVID-19 stay-at-home advisory period.

5. Many schools are postponing enrollment deposits, etc., due to COVID-19, but if the school you are attending is not, there is a NCAC Enrollment Deposit Fee Waiver for low-income or underrepresented students.

FYI - Not all colleges/universities know about the enrollment deposit waiver because it was just released by NACAC last week. It is also up to each college/university to accept this waiver. 

Latest economic figures from the U.S. Dept. of Labor on jobs and education.  

Making sense of the chart: Jobless rates are lower and paychecks are larger as education levels rise. This pattern has repeated itself for decades, even through recessionary periods.

Note: Most economists expect the unemployment rate to jump in April due to Covid-19. However, the difference in the joblessness rate between those with college and those without will again be significant as frequently higher educated workers are more likely to be able to work from home, and historically have been less likely to become unemployed during recessions.

You can also view scholarship opportunities on the OCPS Scholarship Bulletin web page:
OCPS Scholarship Bulletin - Click Here
All About Education Scholarship
* Be thirteen (13) years of age or older at the time of application
* Be legal residents of the fifty (50) United States or the District of Columbia
* Be currently enrolled (or enroll no later than the fall of 2026) in an accredited post-secondary institution of higher education
* Submit an online written response to the question: "How will a $3,000 scholarship for education make a difference in your life?" (250 words or less)

Deadline: April 30
Award: $3,000

The Kitty Jean Ellison Community Service Scholarship
* Be a graduating high school senior
* Have been accepted into an accredited college/university  
* Have a minimum 3.0 GPA (unweighted)
* Show proof of 100 community service hours completed
* Submit a 500-700 word essay on "What Community Service Means to Me"

Deadline: April 30
Award: $1,000

To receive an application and/or to return your completed packet, please contact us at
Nitro Scholarships
* student who is currently enrolled as a high school senior located with the United States
* 17 years of age or older
* Legal resident of the 50 United States/District of Columbia

Deadline: April 30
Award: $2,000

Fairwinds Credit Union
The applicants are judged based on numerous factors including the following:
* Letter of recommendation
* Grade point average (GPA)
* SAT and/or ACT scores
* Extracurricular activities both in school and in the community
* Written essay

Award: $2,500
Deadline: May 1

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: 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

Florida Department of Education Resources

COVID-19 Resources from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

OCPS Chess
Online tournament begins on LaunchPad May 4th!

Did you know that OCPS hosts district Chess Tournaments through Chess Kids on LaunchPad? The May tournament will begin on May 4th!

Grab-and-Go Meals

Social Media
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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.