Monday, January 18, 2021
Colonial High School
CHS Community Member,
Thank you to those members of our school community that participated in last Thursday's School Advisory Council (SAC) meeting. Feedback from the community is very important to our school improvement plan so if you missed this month's meeting, try to join us in February.

In this edition you will find some important content related to college financial planning including this coming Thursday's FAFSA FIESTA. Even if this does not apply directly to your household today, it may in the future and we want all of our Grenadier families to be aware that Colonial High School is prepared to help any student with their college and career planning when the time comes. If this week's FAFSA FIESTA does apply to your household now, please look over the information closely before Thursday.

I hope you will enjoy the Dr. MLK, Jr. holiday. On Monday kindly take a moment to reflect upon what this great man did to improve the lives of so many people in a relatively short time. He remains to this day an inspiring figure for all Americans (please see this week's "Motivational Moment" at the very bottom of the issue).

It's Great To Be A Grenadier!

Dr. Maestre
Colonial High School
Useful Links
Connect with CHS
Main Campus:
6100 Oleander Drive
Orlando, FL 32807
(407) 482-6300

Freshman Campus:
7775 Valencia Collage Lane
Orlando, FL 32807
(407) 249-6369
Retirement Announcement
Congratulations to Depsi Ruth, one of our amazing cafeteria workers, who is retiring after 14 years serving Colonial HS students! Thank you for your service to our Grenadier community.
Dates in this Issue
Please Watch For:
Jan. 18: Dr. MLK, Jr. Holiday (No school)
Jan. 19: SGA Veterans Supply Drive underway all week (please see below)
Jan. 20: Virtual Scholarship Fair, 5-6:30pm (100+ colleges)
Jan. 27: OCPS Annual Stellar Awards (this year virtual, 7pm)
Campus Reminders . . .
MASKS ARE REQUIRED: ALL students, faculty, staff, and visitors on campus are required to wear a mask on the school campus. A copy of the full district policy can be found on the OCPS website.

NO FOOD delivery service is allowed on campus

AFTER SCHOOL HOURS In accordance with OCPS policy, all students must be off campus within 30 minutes of the school day ending. Students will be ushered off campus at 3:00 p.m.
SGA Veterans Supply Drive
SGA is doing a Veteran Supply Drive from January 19 - February 12 and we need your help! Please send in with your student or drop off at the main office.

Some donations Veterans need are sanitizing supplies and personal hygiene Items. These are the acceptable donations they have asked for:

Personal Essentials:
  • Lotion
  • Body Wash
  • Deodorant
  • Shampoo & Conditioner

Sanitizing Supplies:
  • Hand Sanitizer
  • Wipes
  • Face Masks
  • Antibacterial Soap
Spring Testing
2021 Parent Survey
Please take time to fill out the OCPS 2021 Parent Climate Survey. The survey has all NEW questions and is much shorter than it used to be. There are no open ended questions and you can easily take it on your phone.

  • Survey Link -
  • If you have multiple students in OCPS, you will be able to select the school for each child using a drop down menu.
  • The survey is available in multiple languages - English, Spanish, Portuguese, Haitian Creole
Social & Emotional Learning Corner
  • Please click here for a larger view of this week's SEL message.
Grenadier Athletics
Keilani Diaz, the one in the air!
College Bound Grenadiers!
Congratulations to the following seniors on their college acceptances! We’re so excited for you!
Left: Nashaly Baez - Florida Atlantic University
Center: David Carvajal - Saint Leo University
Right: Colin DeBaggis - Barry University, Florida Atlantic University, Jacksonville University
Left: Melissa Gomez - Berklee College of Music
Center: Dayanara Laboy - Nova Southeastern University
Right: Kakeyere, Jordan - University of Central Florida
Left: Jamie LaPage - Texas A&M University, Iowa State University, University of Minnesota
Center: Giovanna Palladino - Rollins College
Right: Mineily Rivera Nieves - Colby College
Left: Rayna Sanchez - Rollins College
Center: Alitza Tejeda - Jacksonville University
Right: Jenny Tran - University of Central Florida

  • Jose Mejias: Valencia College (picture unavailable at time of production)
  • Zander Papke: University of Central Florida (picture unavailable at time of production)
(Free Application for Federal Student Aid form)
Thursday, Jan. 21 is FAFSA FIESTA Day at Colonial High School!
FAFSA FIESTA on Thursday, Jan. 21:
Face to Face students on campus will have access to live assistance with completing their FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) during their elective periods throughout the day on Thursday, Jan. 21 in the Media Center.

LaunchED students that are working from home can sign up for a 1 on 1 appointment with Mr. Witham using this google form link:

  • Appointments for LaunchED students will begin on Friday, Jan. 22 and continue into the next week.
Who is eligible to complete the FAFSA?
U.S. citizens

Eligible non-citizens:

Student must have a social security number.
  • If the parent/guardian DOES NOT have a social security number, the student can still complete the FAFSA.
Why complete FAFSA?
  1. Full Pell Grant (does not need repaid) is around $6,300 per year (based on parent/student income).
  2. Even if you don’t qualify for Pell Grant, you can qualify for work-study or low-interest loans.
  3. Colleges use FAFSA to qualify you for institution-based aid (that is, oney from the specific college/university).
To-Do List BEFORE Thursday, Jan. 21:
  1. Students and Parent/Guardians should first visit:
  2. Then create their FSA ID (Username/Password) BEFORE Thursday.

On Student Borrowing for College . . .
There can be a lot of risk in borrowing for college which is why the FAFSA information above is so important. After receiving their diploma, many college grads can find themselves unable to buy the car they want, purchase a home, or even get married as they are saddled down with too much debt. We encourage our Grenadiers to please take advantage of the FAFSA FIESTA and our College & Career Resource Center for college financial planning help while they are still a student.
Making sense of the chart: The chart shows the median amount of student debt held by household type over the years based on Federal Reserve Bank research. Here was the breakdown by household for 2019: African American household $30,000 in college loans; White household $23,000 in college loans; and Hispanic household $17,600 in college loans.
Source: The Wall Street Journal; Read full article
Scholarship Opportunities
Scholarship of the Week
College Board Opportunity Scholarship
Now open for Class of 2022! Complete six college planning steps for six separate chances at $500. Complete all six steps and be entered into a drawing for $40,000. Opt in to the scholarship here -

Colonial Seniors- be sure to complete your remaining steps to have a chance to earn scholarships! Log on to your College Board account, click Opportunity Scholarship under the Big Futures tab. Our Seniors chance to become eligible for a scholarship for completing the FAFSA ends on February 28. (Herein is another reason for participating in FAFSA FIESTA this week!)

  • Please click here for the FAQs related to Opportunity Scholarships.
Important Links (updated regularly)
OTC Dual Enrollment - 10th & 11th
(Orange Technical College)
  • Please CLICK HERE for a larger view of the many programs OTC offers.
Media Center Minutes
Freshman Campus:
Please click here for a larger view of the Freshman Campus calendar
Main Campus:
School Advisory Council (SAC)
SAC meets the second Thursday of each month at 6pm on Freshman Campus.
  • February 11
  • March 11
  • April 8
  • May 13
Virtual Learning Events
Two sessions are planned for this coming Wednesday . . .
Wednesday, Jan. 20th, from 5:30 pm to 6:30 pm
(Two sessions to choose from)

Benefits and Dangers of Social Media
OCPS Curriculum and Digital Learning department will provide parents with the pros and cons of students using social media. Click here to register or visit

Creating Healthy Social Emotional Environments at Home
The OCPS Student Services department will inform parents how they can assist students from home and where to go for additional helpful resources. Click here to register or visit
Grenadiers Speak Up
Students - speak up using the link on your Grenadier Gate Canvas page.
Class of 2021
Green Team Tip
Community Resources
Food Pantry Reminders

Every Saturday
  • The Gathering Place - 8287 Curry Ford Rd., Orlando, FL 32822
  • 10:00 am -1:00 pm

Every 2ND Saturday of the Month
  • Healing Hunger Food Pantry - 26 Willow Drive, Orlando, FL 32807

Every 4th Saturday of the Month
  • Prince of Peace Church - 1515 S Semoran Blvd, Orlando, FL 32807
Monday's Motivational Moment!
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929-68)
King could have quit many times - but he didn't and because he didn't quit, he became one of the most famous leaders in American history. And due to his contribution to the civil rights movement, King ranked second only to Mother Teresa in a Gallup list of Most Widely Admired People of the 20th Century.

Here is a sketch of Dr. King's life as a civil rights champion:
  • 1929 Born in Atlanta. Growing up had daily encounters with discrimination and abuse, and heard about lynchings.
  • 1944 Enters Morehouse College at the age of only 15.
  • 1948 Graduates from college at age 19!
  • 1951 Receives his divinity degree from Crozer Theological Seminary in PA.
  • 1953 Marries Coretta Scott, and they would become parents of two daughters and two sons
  • 1955 Rosa Parks arrested for not giving up her bus seat in Montgomery. Leads bus boycott soon after.
  • 1956 King's house bombed when he was away. His wife and infant daughter survive the blast.
  • 1957 Forms the Southern Christian Leadership Conference to bring about civil rights legislation.
  • 1963 Begins sit-ins and marches in Birmingham. Arrested same year and writes "A Letter From Birmingham Jail."
  • 1963 Gives his most famous "I Have a Dream" speech to a quarter-million people assembled in Washington D.C.
  • 1964 The March on Washington D.C. was a great success. The Civil Rights Act is passed.
  • 1964 Receives the Nobel Peace Prize at the age of 35.
  • 1964 Time Magazine names King their "Man of the Year" for 1963.
  • 1965 Leads protests in Selma over efforts to stop blacks registering to vote.
  • 1967 Comes out against the Vietnam War when only 20% of Americans shared his view.
  • 1968 In Memphis to back a strike by black sanitation workers over pay. Shot and killed by a gunman at age 39.
  • 1977 President Carter awards King the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
  • 1986 President Reagan created Martin Luther King, Jr. Day as a federal holiday.

On April 3, 1968 Dr. King gave his last speech: "I would like to live a long life. ... But I'm not concerned about that now. I just want to do God's will. And he's allowed me to go up to the mountain ... and I've seen the promised land. I may not get there with you. But ... we, as a people, will get to the promised land." Sadly, he was assassinated the very next evening standing on his hotel balcony in Memphis, TN.

And so on this Monday, January 18, 2021 there is no school in recognition of Dr. King. Kindly take a moment from your holiday to remember how Dr. King devoted his life for the good of this great nation that we all love so dearly.

Dr. Maestre, Principal
Colonial High School
Sunday, January 17, 2021
Social Media
Stay Connected with Us
Leadership Team
Principal: Dr. Hector Maestre
Assistant Principal: Ms. Joann Dorries
Assistant Principal: Dr. Timothy Flynn
Assistant Principal: Ms. Elizabeth Fuller
Assistant Principal: Mr. Michael Mezger
Assistant Principal: Ms. Kimberly Parsons
Assistant Principal: Dr. Mary Vetter
Assistant Principal: Mr. Jonathan Zenzel
Leadership Team Biographies: Leadership Team Biographies
This communication may contain information that is legally privileged, confidential or exempt from disclosure, and intended only for the use of the addressee(s) named above. If you are not the intended recipient, please note that any dissemination, distribution, or copying of this communication is strictly prohibited. Anyone who receives this message in error should notify the sender immediately by telephone or by return e-mail, and delete the message from their computer and any printout thereof. Please note that OCPS utilizes spam and junk e-mail filtration applications in its e-mail systems. That filtering process may prevent or delay delivery of certain e-mail communications. If you do not receive a timely response to an e-mail communication, please contact the intended recipient by phone.
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.