Update on Addition of Portable Classrooms at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School

Since the Marjory Stoneman Douglas (MSD) High School tragedy, District and school leadership remain focused on meeting the needs of students, employees and the entire school community as, together, we work our way through the emotional and difficult recovery process. To provide additional educational space on the MSD campus, including classrooms and dedicated areas for student counseling services, the District is expediting the installation of modular units (portables) at the school.

We understand the importance of these portables to the school community and we are working to complete the installation as quickly as possible, while ensuring the new portables meet MSD space needs, educational codes and safety requirements. Below are more details on the addition of the portables.

Modular Units/Portables – The District is working diligently to expedite providing 34 modular units (portables), which will include:

  • 30 classroom/educational spaces
  • Two portable units dedicated for student counseling/resiliency center
  • Two portable units for restrooms. The District has verified the restroom facilities meet the student population count for the new units.

Expedited Process to Hire a Qualified Vendor – Over the last several months, an expedited, yet thorough, due diligence process was undertaken to identify the most qualified vendor for this initiative.

The District evaluated six different modular/portable vendors to determine which one met the school’s needs, as well as other critical requirements for South Florida building codes, safety and ability to deliver the portable units in an expedited timeframe.

Last week, the School Board approved a contract with Mobile Modular as the vendor determined to best meet the evaluation criteria and requirements among the candidate vendors. Mobile Modular successfully meets all the following important criteria needed to implement this initiative:

  • Ability to meet South Florida Building code requirements
  • Ability to meet South Florida high velocity winds criteria
  • Ability to deliver units in an expedited timeframe (during summer)
  • Ensure units meet education space requirements
  • Ensure student toilets are code compliant
  • Plans/specifications for units already have signed/sealed State agency approvals, as well as Department of Business and Professional Regulation approvals.

Several other vendors that were considered were either unable to meet the timeframe needed or they were unable to meet other code and safety requirements.

  • Early Site Preparation – Over the past few weeks, the District leveraged existing continuing services contracts to quickly mobilize with site preparation and related design work, while awaiting delivery of the portables. Site due diligence is already underway, including soil testing, topography surveys and utility location work. Additionally, the District has begun the engineering process to meet essential requirements for electrical services/special systems, including fire alarm, intercom, data and other technology systems. The goal is to prepare the site as much as possible, so the portables can be installed expediently upon delivery, estimated to begin in mid-July. The units will be located on the school’s existing outdoor basketball courts. Indoor basketball facilities remain available for students. School administration is identifying additional basketball accommodations, as needed.
  • Delivery of Portables – The vendor, Mobile Modular, was recently issued a purchase order to proceed with manufacturing the 34 units and is now finalizing the delivery schedule. The vendor expects to start delivering portable units in mid-July with a goal to have most, if not all units, delivered by the start of school in August.
  • Connecting and Tying Down the Portables – Once units have been delivered and installed, all necessary utilities must be connected to ensure the modular spaces are safe and functional. This includes electrical, fire alarm, intercom, data, phone and other technology systems. Plumbing is required for the restroom facilities. In addition, portable units must be tied down or anchored to the ground to meet building code requirements.
  • Phased Implementation – Representatives from the District’s Facilities Department are meeting with vendors to determine the most efficient sequencing plans and finalizing the phasing/implementation schedule. The goal of sequencing is to allow for portables to be released for occupancy as they are completed. The school’s leadership continues to meet with the Facilities Department regarding the phased implementation process and to develop contingency plans, as needed, until the implementation process is completed.

As we all prepare for the 2018/19 school year, the District and school leadership will continue to provide updates to our students, families, staff and community.

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ABOUT BROWARD COUNTY PUBLIC SCHOOLS
“Committed to educating all students to reach their highest potential.” Broward County Public Schools (BCPS) is the sixth largest school district in the nation and the second largest in the state of Florida. BCPS is Florida’s first fully accredited school system since 1962. BCPS has over 271,500 students and approximately 175,000 adult students in 234 schools, centers and technical colleges, and 93 charter schools. BCPS serves a diverse student population, with students representing 204 different countries and 191 different languages. To learn more, visit browardschools.com. Follow BCPS on Twitter @browardschools and Facebook at facebook.com/browardschools, and download the free BCPS mobile app.

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Magnitude 7.8 earthquake kills thousands in Nepal

Year
2015
Month Day
April 25

On April 25, 2015 a magnitude 7.8 earthquake tears through Nepal, killing nearly 9,000 and injuring 16,800. It was the worst such earthquake for the Asian country since 1934.

The earthquake struck shortly before noon, but the devastation continued as several dozen aftershocks caused even more destruction. Overall, Nepal was shaken by hundreds of aftershocks, the largest striking at a 7.3 magnitude on May 12. The quake also induced an avalanche on Mount Everest that killed 19 people.

By the time the tremors stopped, more than 800,000 homes were destroyed and more than 298,000 were damaged. The quake also damaged several iconic monuments, like the capital’s Durbar Square. In all, 2.8 million people were displaced, made homeless by the devastation—or by their fear of more tremors. Of these, countless numbers moved into “tent cities,” too afraid to return to their homes. The United Nations estimated 8 million people in total—nearly a third of Nepal’s population—were affected by the quake and its aftershocks.

The Nepalese government declared a state of emergency right after the initial shocks hit, and virtually the entire army took to the streets in a search-and-rescue operation. Dozens of countries, and the United Nations, pitched in with aid and fundraising.

Unfortunately, repair efforts met with many obstacles along the way. Congestion, along with lack of transportation such as trucks and helicopters, made reaching remote villages very challenging. Political squabbles and a lack of supplies slowed rebuilding efforts as well. 

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The Flint water crisis begins

Year
2014
Month Day
April 25

On April 25, 2014 officials from Flint, Michigan switched the city’s water supply to the Flint River as a cost-cutting measure for the struggling city. In doing so, they unwittingly introduced lead-poisoned water into homes, in what would become a massive public-health crisis.

The problem started when officials decided to switch the water supply from the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department to the Karegnondi Water Authority to save money for the economically struggling city. Before that connection could be built, the city turned to the Flint River as a temporary water source. By May, residents were complaining that the brown water flowing into their homes looked and smelled weird, but the largely majority-African American and poor citizens went ignored by officials. In August, E.coli and coliform bacteria were detected in Flint’s water.

From there, a leaked memo from the Environmental Protection Agency, and several independent studies, warned of dangerous levels of lead in the water. Although the city switched their water supply back in October 2015, the damage to the pipes had already been done. After months of denial and dodging, the mayor, governor and president declared a state of emergency in Flint. Free water bottles and filters were provided to residents to help them cope.

Unfortunately, the crisis didn’t end there for Flint residents. Over a year later, people were still using bottled water to cook, drink and even brush their teeth. The city’s recovery has been slow, as it works to replace 30,000 lead pipes. In 2017, reports showed that the water in most homes was generally safe, but many residents still don’t trust what comes out of their tap.

In the aftermath, residents filed a class-action lawsuit, and 15 state and city leaders faced criminal charges

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BCPS Third Grade Students Show Steady Increases on the FSA for English Language Arts

Friday, May 25, 2018

Broward County Public Schools (BCPS) third grade students continue to show steady improvement on the Florida Standards Assessment (FSA) for English Language Arts. The Florida Department of Education released the 2017/18 Florida Standards Assessment English Language Arts (FSA-ELA) results for third grade students late afternoon on May 24, 2018.

Overall, the results show that 59 percent of third grade students met or exceeded grade level satisfactory performance, achieving a Level 3 or above in ELA, up two points from 57 percent in 2016/17.

Additional highlights include:

  • BCPS continues to increase the percentage of students meeting or exceeding grade level satisfactory performance while decreasing the percentage of Level 1 students. This trend has been consistent for each of the four years the FSA has been administered.

  • Among the five largest school districts in the state, Broward has the second highest percentage of third grade students scoring an achievement level of 3 or higher (59 percent).

  • Broward exceeded the statewide performance by two percentage points.

  • Fifty-eight percent (82 out of 142) of Broward’s innovative elementary schools showed increases in performance (achievement level 3 or above) on the FSA ELA from last year.

  • Eight schools that where identified by the state in 2017 as the lowest 300, made at least a 10-point increase from last year.

  • Two schools Sunland Park Academy and Lauderhill Paul Turner Elementary increased 10 or more percentage points for two consecutive years from 2016 to 2018.

  • ​Twenty-four BCPS schools increased the percentage of students scoring at or above Level 3 by 10 or more percentage points from last year. These schools include:

Broward Estates Elementary

Oakland Park Elementary

Broward Virtual Instruction Program

Palmview Elementary

Collins Elementary

Park Lakes Elementary

Cooper City Elementary

Park Ridge Elementary

Cresthaven Elementary

Pompano Beach Elementary

Dania Elementary

Riverland Elementary

Davie Elementary

Robert C. Markham Elementary

Deerfield Park Elementary

Royal Palm Elementary

Dillard Elementary

Sea Castle Elementary

Dolphin Bay Elementary

Sunland Park Academy

Horizon Elementary

Tedder Elementary

Lauderhill Paul Turner Elementary

Watkins Elementary

“We are proud of our students and educators for their hard work and efforts. These results represent sustained and steady progress, which has occurred over the past four years,” said BCPS Superintendent Robert W. Runcie. “Through our strategic plan, we have maintained a laser focus on high-quality instruction with a priority on literacy and early learning.”

For more details visit the FSA English Language Arts results.

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ABOUT BROWARD COUNTY PUBLIC SCHOOLS
“Committed to educating all students to reach their highest potential.” Broward County Public Schools (BCPS) is the sixth largest school district in the nation and the second largest in the state of Florida. BCPS is Florida’s first fully accredited school system since 1962. BCPS has more than 271,500 students and approximately 175,000 adult students in 234 schools, centers and technical colleges, and 93 charter schools. BCPS serves a diverse student population, with students representing 204 different countries and 191 different languages. To learn more, visit browardschools.com. Follow BCPS on Twitter @browardschools and Facebook at facebook.com/browardschools, and download the free BCPS app.

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Ireland legalizes same-sex marriage

Year
2015
Month Day
May 23

On May 23, 2015 thousands of LGBTQ activists celebrated as Ireland became the first country to legalize same-sex marriage through referendum.

The referendum passed with 62% of voters (1.2 million people) voting yes. The vote attracted a large turnout, with 60.5% of eligible voters—and an unprecedented amount of young people—making their way to the polls. Support was overwhelming. All but one of the 43 parliamentary constituencies voted in favor, and approval was never really in doubt.

When the polls closed, Dublin Castle, a major Irish government complex, became a sea of color and bodies, as roughly 2,000 activists gathered to celebrate. The crowd cheered, rainbow flags were waved, tears were shed and couples kissed, as Ireland hit a pivotal point in its history.

The journey had been slow. After all, Ireland, a traditionally conservative Catholic country, only decriminalized homosexuality in 1993. Campaigning for the referendum began almost immediately after the date for the vote was announced on February 19 of that year. For the first time, social media played a role in influencing people. Both sides deployed TV ads, billboards and pamphlets encouraging people to go to the polls to fight for their side. On the day of the vote, people used #hometovote to remind and encourage young Irish people living abroad to come home in time to vote. Thousands returned, and tickets from London to Ireland were sold out the night before.

Many politicians welcomed the result. Minister for Health Leo Varadkar publicly revealed he was gay for the first time during the campaign and called the win a “historical day.” The Minister for Equality Aodhán Ó Ríordáin said the win made him proud to be Irish.

The Catholic Church, however, was not as happy with the decision. Archbishop Eamon Martin said the church felt a sense of “bereavement” after the referendum passed, and Cardinal Pietro Parolin called it a “defeat for humanity.”

Ireland’s first same-sex marriage happened on November 17, 2015, almost six months after the vote. The couple, Richard Dowling and Cormac Gollogly, both 35, had been together for 12 years when they were finally allowed to be legally married.

Same-sex marriage is now legal in more than 25 nations and all 50 American states.

READ MORE: Gay Rights

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Manchester Arena bombed during Ariana Grande concert

Year
2017
Month Day
May 22

Just moments after Ariana Grande finished the final song of her May 22, 2017 concert at Manchester Arena, a suicide bomber detonated an explosion on the premises, killing 22 concertgoers and injuring 116 more. ISIS claimed responsibility for what was the deadliest act of terrorism in Britain since the 2005 London metro bombings.

A scene of youthful fun turned to panic and violence as shrapnel and fire tore through the crowd pouring out of the Arena’s busiest exit. Witnesses said they heard an explosion and saw a flash of light. Some were knocked down by the blast, while others scrambled for safety in the chaos.

Frantic parents, family members and friends began what would be an hours-long search for their children, and those from whom they had been separated when the rush to safety began. Others took to social media with photos of their loved ones, using #manchesterarena to ask if any of them had been seen alive after the explosion. More than 240 emergency calls were made; 60 ambulances and 400 police officers helped in the search. The youngest victim was 8-year-old Lancashire native Saffie Roussos.

The attacker was later revealed to be 22-year-old Salman Abedi, a Manchester native of Libyan descent whom investigators believe was radicalized after spending time in Libya in 2011. Although he was known to British security services, he was not part of any active terrorist investigation at the time of the bombing. Evidence shows that others, including Abedi’s brother, were aware of his plans, and may have helped to carry them out.

Just after the attack, Grande tweeted: “from the bottom of my heart, i am so so sorry. i don’t have words.” Eleven days later, she returned to Manchester, visiting wounded fans and victims’ families.

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EgyptAir flight 804 disappears over the Mediterranean Sea

Year
2016
Month Day
May 19

On May 19, 2016, 66 passengers and crew flying from Cairo to Paris on EgyptAir flight 804 disappeared over the Mediterranean Sea.

It took a month to find the wreckage.

At first the flight was thought to be a casualty of terrorism, but the true cause was revealed the next year. After debate and investigation, French authorities discredited the Egyptian claim that explosive materials were found in the remains, and that a fire had caused the plane to go down.

According to records from the black box, the flight was about 40 minutes from its destination when smoke was detected by onboard fire alarms. Just a minute later, more smoke was reportedly observed in the electronics and computers below the cockpit. The plane then made a 90-degree turn, circled and plummeted, breaking up in midair before crashing into the ocean below.

After the flight went down, investigation teams from several countries searched for the remains. While some of the belongings of passengers and pieces of the plane washed up days later, it wasn’t until June that the full plane was found underwater. While the Egyptian investigation team claimed that explosive materials were found in the wreckage, French investigators countered that there were signs of a fire and a midair break up, not an explosion.

The flight’s disappearance, along with an incident involving a Russian passenger plane being brought down over the Sinai Peninsula just a few months earlier, renewed security concerns and fears of terrorism.

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Students to Showcase STEM Skills at Computer Science Fair

WHO: 
Broward County Public Schools (BCPS) Elementary, Middle and High School Students, Teachers, District Staff, Keynote Speaker Henri Crockett

WHAT:
More than 100 students from 15 schools (elementary, middle and high) will showcase their work including apps, webpages, Scratch and Play Lab projects, robotics and physical computing at the Computer Science Fair. Members of the local tech industry and university/college representatives will provide opportunities for students to network and learn more about careers in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics). The keynote speaker is the co-founder and president of the Crockett Foundation and National Football League alumnus Henri Crockett.

WHEN:
Saturday, May 19, 2018, 9 a.m. – noon

WHERE: 
Sheridan Technical College, Student Union
5400 Sheridan Street
Hollywood, FL 33021

WHY: 
The Computer Science Fair celebrates computer science and allows students to connect through learning. Students will have the opportunity to show off their STEM and computer science projects, network with industry representatives, and have fun while learning how to apply STEM skills.

MEDIA ARE INVITED TO COVER THIS EVENT.

 
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ABOUT BROWARD COUNTY PUBLIC SCHOOLS
“Committed to educating all students to reach their highest potential.”
 Broward County Public Schools (BCPS) is the sixth largest school district in the nation and the second largest in the state of Florida. BCPS is Florida’s first fully accredited school system since 1962. BCPS has more than 271,500 students and approximately 175,000 adult students in 234 schools, centers and technical colleges, and 93 charter schools. BCPS serves a diverse student population, with students representing 204 different countries and 191 different languages. To learn more, visit browardschools.com. Follow BCPS on Twitter @browardschools and Facebook at facebook.com/browardschools, and download the free BCPS mobile app.

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School Board Approves Resolution Calling for Referendum on Levy of Ad-Valorem Taxes to Support Essential Operating Expenses

Today, May 8, 2018, the School Board of Broward County, Florida, approved School Board Resolution 18-107, calling for a levy of ad-valorem taxes for essential operating expenses. The levy would be used to enhance funding for school resource officers, including individual charter schools with more than 900 students; hire District school security staff; increase compensation to recruit and retain highly-qualified District teachers; and fund other essential instruction-related expenses preserving important programs in District schools.

The Florida Legislature continues to fund education at one of the lowest levels in the nation. For the fiscal year commencing on July 1, 2018, the legislature has provided an increase in the Base Student Allocation in the amount of 47 cents per student. In fact, the total new funding for Broward County Public Schools, including funding that must be used as directed by the state, is $52 per student. This is the lowest funding increase of all 67 counties across the state of Florida. In addition, the state funding for more School Resource Officers (SROs) to comply with SB 7026 falls significantly short of the funding required to provide a minimum of one SRO per school.

As the next step in the process, the School Board is asking the Broward County Board of County Commissioners to approve the date for the referendum, and to direct the Broward County Supervisor of Elections to place the referendum on the August 28, 2018, Broward County election ballot, pursuant to the provisions of the election laws of the state of Florida.

Attached is a copy of the School Board Resolution Calling for a Referendum on the Levy of Ad- Valorem Taxes to Support Essential Operating Expenses.

The District will continue to provide updates and information regarding the Referendum.

To watch today’s School Board discussion regarding the Resolution Calling for a Referendum on a Levy of Ad-Valorem Taxes to Support Essential Operating Expenses, click here, or copy and paste the following link into your web browser: https://eduvision.tv/l?emymmR.

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ABOUT BROWARD COUNTY PUBLIC SCHOOLS
“Committed to educating all students to reach their highest potential.” Broward County Public Schools (BCPS) is the sixth largest school district in the nation and the second largest in the state of Florida. BCPS is Florida’s first fully accredited school system since 1962. BCPS has over 271,500 students and approximately 175,000 adult students in 234 schools, centers and technical colleges, and 93 charter schools. BCPS serves a diverse student population, with students representing 204 different countries and 191 different languages. To learn more, visit browardschools.com. Follow BCPS fon Twitter @browardschools and Facebook at facebook.com/browardschools, and download the free BCPS mobile app.

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BCPS Earns Gold Award as a Florida Healthy School District The Gold Award is the Highest Achievement Level for School Districts

Broward County Public Schools (BCPS) is proud to be recognized as a Gold Achievement Healthy School District Florida Healthy School District, earning the highest achievement level of Gold.

BCPS is one of only 15 school districts the state honored with the Gold level status for the two-year period of May 2018 – April 2020. A total of 50 school districts received one of the three achievement levels, bronze, silver or gold.

The Florida Healthy School District award celebrates the hard work and success of school districts related to physical, mental and social health of students and staff to reduce barriers to learning and support academic achievement. Prior to earning Gold level achievement, BCPS was a Silver award winner from 2014 –2018.

“We are honored to have earned Gold level status as a Florida Healthy School District,” said BCPS Superintendent Robert W. Runcie. “Our District and schools continue to work hard and focus on providing high-quality social-emotional and physical health services for our students. I congratulate all of our teachers, administrators and staff for their efforts and dedication to our students.”

Earning the Florida Healthy School District distinction is based on the Florida Healthy School District Self-Assessment, which measures the District’s sustainable infrastructure, policies, programs and practices identified from national and state guidelines, best practices and Florida statutes.

The recognition award is presented by the Florida Partnership for Healthy Schools, Florida Action for Healthy Kids, Florida Association of District School Superintendents and Florida Healthy Kids Corporation.

For more information on the Florida Healthy School District program, visit www.safehealthyschoolsfl.org/Home.aspx/Index.

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ABOUT BROWARD COUNTY PUBLIC SCHOOLS
“Committed to educating all students to reach their highest potential.” Broward County Public Schools (BCPS) is the sixth largest school district in the nation and the second largest in the state of Florida. BCPS is Florida’s first fully accredited school system since 1962. BCPS has over 271,500 students and approximately 175,000 adult students in 234 schools, centers and technical colleges, and 93 charter schools. BCPS serves a diverse student population, with students representing 204 different countries and 191 different languages. To learn more, visit browardschools.com. Follow BCPS fon Twitter @browardschools and Facebook at facebook.com/browardschools, and download the free BCPS mobile app.

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