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Important Dates

Mar 9 Collier/Lee Spelling Bee @ 6:30 pm, North Naples Middle School
Mar 13-
Mar 17
No School (Spring Break)
Mar 20 No School (Teacher Planning Day)
Mar 21 Regular School Board Meeting at 4:30 p.m. (Business Meeting begins at 5:00 p.m.)
Mar 29 Virtual Town Hall Meeting - Social Media: Keeping Your Kids Safe @ 6:00 pm

I am so proud to announce Collier County Public Schools (CCPS) has been recommended for full AdvancED accreditation. Last month, the District welcomed an External Review Team from AdvancED, an international agency accrediting over 34,000 schools and school systems. The ten-person team (five team members from Florida, and five team members from outside Florida) spent four weeks reviewing approximately 10,000 artifacts as well as survey results from 32,000 stakeholders prior to conducting an on-site External Review. The team spoke with 382 individuals during the four-day visit including parents, community members, school and District staff. Team members utilized the Effective Learning Environments Observation Tool® (eleot®) in observing 128 classrooms across 18 schools the team randomly selected to visit. CCPS earned an overall score of 329.51, significantly-above the AdvancED International Network Average of 278.34. Lead Evaluator, Dr. Edlow Barker observed, “From the Superintendent to the teachers to the administrators, we saw an attitude of ‘we are going to make this work for our kids.’” He found that while classrooms were purposeful and focused, learning is both fun and engaging. Superintendent, Dr. Elisabeth Davis, an AdvancED Team Member, called CCPS a model school district. Dr. Barker concluded his presentation stating, “I have five grandchildren and I would feel very comfortable sending them to any Collier County school.” This is certainly a testament to our phenomenal students, teachers, administrators, support staff, parents, community members, and business partners.


Kudos to Barron Collier High School for their recent win at the High School Scholar Bowl Tournament. Congratulations also to the students who participated in the Laws of Life Essay Contest last month. Looking ahead, our first Virtual Town Hall of the school year, “Social Media: Keeping Your Kids Safe,” will be held on March 29th. Plus, the annual Spelling Bee is this month, followed by the High School Solar Go-Kart Challenge in April, and Elementary Math Challenge and STEAM Competition in May. I can hardly wait!


~ Dr. Kamela Patton


During the January School Board Workshop, I referenced a book by E.D. Hirsch titled, “Why Knowledge Matters.” I encourage both parents and educators to pick up a copy and read it. He addresses some very important topics such as invalid testing, scapegoating of teachers and the persistence of achievement gaps to name a few.


We have seen various educational fads over the last century, which have had negative and unintended consequences. In order to ensure equal opportunity for ALL students, Hirsch makes a clear argument for a knowledge-based elementary curriculum that builds a solid foundation. We have seen the unfortunate narrowing of curriculum due to the high-stakes testing environment. We must shift our focus from test preparation to knowledge building, which in turn will broaden a child’s vocabulary and minimize achievement gaps.


Hirsch addresses failed educational theories and the trouble with Common Core. Hirsch was a supporter of Common Core, but he spends an entire chapter dissecting the emptiness and shallow Common Core language arts standards. He shares information that we don’t often hear, so I encourage all parents and educators to read a different perspective. As parents we must arm ourselves with knowledge, information and truth when it comes to our children. They certainly deserve the very best!


~ Kelly Lichter


Let us know what you think about the newsletter, our website, or if you have suggestions for future newsletters. We'd love to hear from you at feedback@collierschools.com



CCPS Received Recommendation for Full Accreditation from AdvancED
In February, CCPS welcomed a team from AdvancED, an international agency accrediting over 34,000 schools and school systems. The team of ten evaluators conducted their on-site External Review, providing us with additional lenses to see our school system.

Click here to read summary of results

Golden Apple Surprise Visits
Congratulations to our seven 2016-2017 Champions For Learning Golden Apple Recipients! These phenomenal teachers were awarded their recognition during surprise classroom visits last month.

Click here for list of teachers

Barron Collier High Crowned High School Scholar Bowl Champion
Congratulations to Barron Collier High School for their championship win in this year's High School Scholar Bowl. This year marks their third year in a row taking first place.

Click here to read more

21st Annual Laws of Life Winners
The District's annual Laws of Life banquet was held at the Hilton Naples. First place winners in each category delivered their speeches to a distinguished gathering that included city and county officials, school district administrators, principals, teachers, and family members.

Click here for list of winners

Joanne Newton
Pelican Marsh Elementary School (PME)

Let's shine a spotlight on Joanne Newton for her commitment to volunteering. Joanne is grandmother to two Pelican Marsh Elementary School students. She dedicates her time every afternoon to volunteer in the school's media center. Joanne helps with just about anything that is needed including checking books in and out to students, re-shelving, making bookmarks, and helping keep the staff organized. The kids sometimes think she works at the school full-time! Thank you, Joanne! The PME family is sincerely grateful.

Collier County Public Schools
(239) 377-0001
For additional information on the features highlighted in this newsletter,
please visit our website at www.collierschools.com

School Board
Mr. Roy M. Terry, Chair • Mrs. Erika Donalds, Vice Chair
Mr. Erick Carter, Member • Mrs. Kelly Lichter, Member • Mrs. Stephanie Lucarelli, Member

Dr. Kamela Patton