Monday, Dec. 9, 2019

Pictured very top:

The CHS National Honor Society chapter volunteered their time, energy, and smiling faces on the evening of November 22, 2019, at Englewood Elementary School. They helped to serve Thanksgiving Dinner to local families in the spirit of giving back within our community.

Credit: Ms. Franco

Connect With CHS
Colonial High School

We are now inside the final two weeks of both the second quarter and first semester. There are only nine regular school days remaining in 2019. However, with second quarter grades due soon and the number of special holiday events occurring this time of year, these two weeks are among the most important of 2019-2020. I encourage all of our Grenadiers to remained focused and make every effort to be at school on time in these last few days. Please remember that the grades for the semester are critical. Eligibility for clubs, sports, scholarships and grants comes with the grades earned at the semester mark.

Mariachi band members of Mariachi Internacional Tapatio during our 2nd Annual Multicultural Night (story below).

Starting with this edition, our very own Journalism students will be contributing images and captions to showcase student activities and learning on campus. Stay tuned to see if you recognize a familiar face throughout our weekly Colonial Connection!

It's Great To Be A Grenadier!

Dr. Maestre

This year, Orange County Public Schools turns 150! You'll see this commemorative 150th Anniversary flag flying around OCPS. And on December 11, many famous landmarks around town will "Go Orange" with us! We hope you'll help us celebrate #OCPS150!

Important Reminders for this Week . . .
Testing Bell Schedule: 
During the week of December 9-13, a block schedule will be utilized to ensure that all students have the time to complete their Q2 Progress Monitoring Activities (PMAs).  The purpose of these PMAs is to provide teachers and students with progress on specific standards in their core academic classes.  Additionally, we will have mock exams in AP courses so that students can practice utilizing test-taking strategies for success on AP exams.
Date  Exam Period 
Wednesday, Dec. 11  PMA Q2: Block Schedule p.1 Exam 
Thursday, Dec. 12  PMA Q2: Block Schedule p. 2, 4, 6 Exams 
Friday, Dec. 13  PMA Q2: Block Schedule p. 3, 5, 7 Exams 
Monthly SAC and PTSA Meeting (TODAY) 
SAC and PTSA meeting on December 10, 2019 at 6pm at the Main Campus Media Center.  All parents, students, and community members are invited to attend .

Improvicon! (Dec. 13) 
Theatre Troupe 952 is providing an opportunity for all Grenadiers to enjoy Improvicon! on December 13, from 7pm to 9pm in the PAC.  Come check out this fun, improvised opportunity to learn how to act in the moment and have fun doing it!
Weekly Tutoring Reminder!
Career Technical Education: Dual Enrollment

Did you know that our students have access to a variety of industry certification programs?  
These on-campus programs are considered dual enrollment, which means students are earning weighted credits towards their GPA, as well as learning industry skills and finishing with certification.  Each program will be highlighted in the Colonial Connection so that our students, parents, and community members can learn about the technical career pathways that are possible along with a high school diploma for every Grenadier.

Spotlight on Auto Body Collision and Mechanics Programs: 
Mr. Watson has been leading the Auto Body & Collision program for the last five years here at Colonial. There are 100 total students, including 15 girls in this three-year program. The first year, students learn refinishing basics like sanding, painting, and detailing.  During the second year of the program, students learn how to estimate repairs and how to complete non-structural damage. Finally, in the third year of Auto Body & Collision, students learn how to assess and complete structural damage.  Seniors take the industry certification to earn their ASC along with Repair/Refinishing certification.

Students demonstrating technical skills and knowledge needed for the industry certification and work in a shop: sanding, painting, diagnosing issues, and operating machinery.

Auto Body & Mechanics Program 
Three years ago, Mr. Cosme started the Auto Body & Mechanics program with only a tool box. This year, there are 109 students in automotive, including 16 girls in this three year program.  During the first year, students learn customer service and the fundamentals of oil changes and inspections.  The second year of the program requires students to learn how to fix brakes and suspension issues.  The final and third year are when students learn how to fix electrical issues and repair engines. 

Mr. Cosme stated that his program goals for next year include supporting community members: students are interested in repairing cars with no charge or cost to those in need.  While this may not be an option this year, if students continue to be interested in the program, they would benefit from the experience for sure!

Both Auto Body Collision and Auto Body Mechanic programs require a minimum of a 2.0 Grade Point Average.  Students who are interested in either program will need to have space on their schedule for the two period blocks needed.

Benefits of the Program
Students take and pass industry certification exams which results in earning a certification in the field of Auto Body.  Last year, 19 students passed the industry certification for the first time, after completing the whole cycle of the three year program. With the certification, students are guaranteed to get a job in the Automotive field- whether at a car dealership, an  auto shop, or a tire store- before they finish high school.  The economic benefits of this industry certification are beyond compare!

Students with Mr. Cosme who are in Year 1 of this program. For their mid-term exam, Mr. Cosme took an engine apart and students had to reassemble the engine into working order!

Kevin Manning, Admissions Representative from the University of Northwestern Ohio, College of Applied Technology, was a guest speaker at Auto Body, providing wisdom on financial planning as an entrepreneur in the automotive business. Experiences such as these often open up career opportunities for our students in this program.

Central Florida Job Forecast for Mechanics  
Note: The hourly wages in the table above are median figures for 2018. Depending on the employer and location within in Central Florida, the hourly wage may be much higher.  
CTE Dual Enrollment

Classroom Spotlights
Science Spotlight 
Students in Mr. Venable's class were dissecting starfish as part of learning about the Echinodermata class.


* Pictured on the right, the students from left to right are: Karan Gill, Jalen Mathis, and Jacob Sanchez.

* Pictured on the left, Darren Risi, Alan Cendejas, and Roger Alvarado are in the middle of a starfish dissection, they had just cut open the arm of the starfish. This is part of the curriculum for the new A level AICE class, Marine Science 2, taught by Mr. Venable.

Credits: Yulia Noda & Ashley Pimentel

Math Spotlight 
Mr. Miller and Arianys Saldana share their AICE Math knowledge with fellow classmates who needed help with their Trigonometry homework.

Credit: Eliana Calix Moradel
Grenadier Athletics
Girls' JV Soccer 
Coach Steven Marrero coaches Colonial's Girls' JV Soccer team during their halftime. We played against New Dimensions Private School, and JV played against a Varsity team, so it was a really important game for us! 


Credit: Arianna Drawdy

Girls' Varsity Basketball
The Colonial Girls' Varsity Basketball Team huddling up in the middle of the game (above) to talk tactics and strategy in order to win the game. They were ahead at this point, leading in points which helped their morale. 

Credit: Madison Cliett

College and Career Center
FAFSA Help Sessions and Scholarship Reminders
Our most recent FAFSA help session resulted in attaining our goal for FAFSA completions by Dec. 1.  We are so appreciative for all that the Summit Church has done to help us with our efforts to support and engage our students and families.

Senior, Victoria Lopez, listens intently (above) as her college advisor assists her with completing the FAFSA(Free Application for Federal Student Aid). The FAFSA Help Sessions are an extremely helpful tool offered to all senior students at Colonial High School. During this session, students were offered coffee and donuts while their guidance counselors answered any questions they had about the FAFSA process.   
Credit: Briana Mangrum 
Scholarship Opportunities: 
OCPS Scholarship Bulletin - Full Year

* MALDEF Scholarship Resource Guide for 2019-2020. Listed are many scholarships that do not inquire about immigration status. 

Financial Aid Applications Now Available!      
* 2020-2021 FAFSA application available online 

* Florida Financial Aid Application also available online (Bright Futures and other state grants and scholarships) 
* Contact your counselor if you are interested in this scholarship opportunity!

2nd Annual Multicultural Night
Our 2nd Annual Multicultural Night was a huge success!  Even though this took place prior to Thanksgiving break, our students are still talking about how much they enjoyed it.  Thank you to all who came and participated in this event!  Ms. Armenteros, our testing coordinator and Curriculum Compliance Specialist on the freshman campus, led the organization of the event.  Many cultures were celebrated and enjoyed through food, music, and more food!  Thank you to the Mariachi band members of Mariachi Internacional Tapatio, the dance troupe members of Orgullo Dominicano, and University High School's Latinos In Action.
Monday's Motivational Moment

Her name was Isabella. Her letter to Santa didn't ask for presents, clothes or anything for herself. She had one simple request, "Please bring my mommy eyes that never cry." Her mom was single and working two jobs just to get by. Eleven-year-old Isabella wanted a new bike but told Santa, "It's okay if I don't get it, but clothes for my little brother would be very appreciated." Isabella's single mom could barely make ends meet.   

Although the U.S. Post Office in New York began receiving letters to Santa Claus more than 101 years ago, its involvement was made official in 1912 when Postmaster General Frank Hitchcock authorized postal employees and citizens to respond to the letters. Today, the popular holiday program is known nationwide as Operation Santa. Thousands of volunteers and ordinary people work with post offices to respond to letters from children of all ages listing their holiday wishes.

One mother wrote Santa to ask, "Please make this Christmas a happy one for my three children, it has been a tough year." USPS has a policy for "adopting" children's letters to Santa that's designed to protect their privacy.  
Here's how it works:   
In a time when the daily news can be discouraging, we seldom hear about the good that common citizens do to contribute to the less fortunate. The great thing about Operation Santa is you simply change your name to "Santa" and you bring a smile to a special child or family!  
HO! HO! HO!  

Grenadiers, let's make each day count between now and the Winter Break! 
Dr. Maestre, Principal
Colonial High School
Monday, December 9, 2019 
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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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 Mr. Michael Mezger (assistant principal) at with any questions.