Why are Sarasota County schools open on Veterans Day?
Our intent in having school on Veterans Day is to honor our veterans. For the longest time we, like many other school districts in Florida and around the nation, observed Veterans Day as a school holiday. Students in bands would attend parades and other observances, but what often happened is it became just another day off (to sleep
in, go to the beach, visit friends, etc.). So School Board members met
with local veterans groups and talked about how these groups would feel if school were open
on Veterans Day, but we asked our schools to focus a part of their
day on honoring veterans. They agreed, with one caveat — that the School Board have a policy to that effect. (Click here for the policy). As a result, today there are celebrations of veterans and Veterans Day in our schools on Nov. 11 and other days in that week and beyond. The following news release gives some examples of events being held this year.
SARASOTA COUNTY, Nov. 4, 2015 –
Students and staff at Sarasota County schools will honor military veterans and
active members of the armed forces with special activities and projects through Thursday, Nov. 12. Several veterans have been invited to schools
to participate in many of the events. High school bands, color guards and other
school groups will participate in various community ceremonies on Veterans Day, Wednesday, Nov. 11.
Events scheduled for Nov. 10-12 include the following:
9-10 a.m.: At Garden
Elementary School, the Venice
Middle School Young Marines will present the colors. Garden students
will sign patriotic music, and students will perform short skits with a
patriotic flair. Local veterans are invited to be recognized and celebrated.
700 Center Road, Venice.
a.m.: Venice Elementary School will hold its annual Veteran’s Day event.
Veterans from the Venice area as well as Venice City Council members are
expected to attend. 150 E. Miami Ave., Venice.
a.m.: McIntosh Middle School will hold its annual Salute to Veterans
in the gym. The school’s drum corps, band and chorus will perform and selected
students will read thank-you letters to veterans. A special color guard of
Vietnam veterans will carry the flag. All veterans and any current service
members are welcome to attend. 701 S.
McIntosh Road, Sarasota.
Nov. 11, Veterans Day:
a.m.: Pine View School’s Elementary Student Council will host a
Veteran’s Day Celebration and parade. The event will start with a breakfast in
the student union, followed by a parade and ceremony at 9:15 a.m. in the gym.
Student council representatives will honor approximately 30 individual veterans
for their service to our country. Through the school’s character education
program, students will demonstrate good citizenship skills and express
gratitude to those who have served and protected our county. In addition to
recognizing each veteran, students will recite a choral poem called “Freedom’s
Call.” Pine View parent and veteran, Brent Alexander, will be the guest
speaker. The ceremony will include patriotic music from Pine View’s high school
band and elementary chorus. 1 Python Path, Osprey.
a.m.: Phillippi Shores Elementary, outside
courtyard. Students will march in procession and the flag will be raised,
followed by the national anthem and the pledge of allegiance. The PYP Sticks
will perform. The guest speaker with be a veteran, Lt. Col. Tony Mediavilla,
U.S. Marines (Ret.) Other veterans will be acknowledged, students will recite
speeches and poems, and the school chorus will sing patriotic songs. 4747 S.
Tamiami Trail, Sarasota.
repeated at 9:30 a.m.: Cranberry Elementary School will
hold its annual Veteran’s Day Celebration in the cafeteria. Veterans have been
invited to attend the event and be recognized for their service. Students are
encouraged to wear red, white, and blue school uniforms. The ceremony will
begin with the Pledge of Allegiance and the Star-Spangled Banner. The Cranberry
Cougar Choir will perform patriotic songs, including a special song thanking
veterans for their service. 2775 Shalimar Terrace, North Port.
9:15-10:30 a.m.: Lamarque Elementary, physical education
area. The event will include performances by the Lamarque Elementary Chorus and
the Woodland Middle School Wind Ensemble. Invited guests include Lamarque
family veterans and active duty personnel. All community members are welcome to
attend. The school will have a “Wall of Heroes” on display in the main hallway,
with photos and mementoes representing Lamarque family veterans and those who
are currently serving. Third-grade students will set a table in white colors to
honor fallen, captured and missing troops. Passages
from Margot Thies Raven’s book, “America’s White Table,” will be read as
students perform the ceremony of preparing place settings, providing an
emotional connection to the reason America honors veterans each year. 3415
Lamarque Ave., North Port.
9:30 a.m.: Bay Haven School of Basics Plus
hold its Veterans Day Program in the school’s new cafeteria, with student
speakers and school chorus performances. A Bay Haven student’s grandparent who
is a veteran will share a message with students. 2901 W. Tamiami Circle, Sarasota.
9:30 a.m.: Toledo
Blade Elementary School will host a school-wide Veterans Day celebration.
School families and staff have been encouraged to invite family members who
have served or are currently serving in the Armed Forces. Toledo Blade staff
have raised funds for Wreaths Across America and the Sarasota National
Cemetery. Veterans have been invited to attend the celebration and be
recognized for their service to the country. Toledo Blade Students will sing
patriotic songs during this celebration. 1201 Geranium Ave., North Port.
9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.: Woodland Middle
hold its Veterans Day Freedom Walk throughout the day during Social Studies
class. The school’s Social Studies Department is sponsoring a Veterans Day
Freedom Walk & Care Package Drive. Starting Nov. 2, students pledged to
walk a mile in support of veterans and troops, and collected donated items to
be sent overseas through the Support
Our Troops organization. Students are encouraged to wear red, white and
blue on this day. 2700 Panacea Blvd., North Port.
9:45 a.m.: Booker Middle School’s
musical groups will perform in the cafetorium as students and staff celebrate invited
veterans. 2250 Myrtle St., Sarasota.
a.m.: The Sarasota High School Mighty Sailor Band, Riverview High Kiltie Band
and JROTC cadets, Venice Middle School Band and Venice Middle School Young
Marines, Sarasota Military Academy and SMA Prep will participate in the downtown Veterans Day Parade. Some
schools also will be represented at the ceremony to be held at the end of the
parade at J.D. Hamill Park. Main Street, downtown Sarasota.
a.m.-1 p.m.: Imagine School at North Port (grades K-5 campus) will celebrate
Veterans Day by encouraging students to invite a veteran or active member of
the military to have lunch with them. The school will provide a buffet lunch
for visitors. 1000 Innovation Ave., North Port.
A color guard from Imagine School at
North Port (grades 6-12) will be part of the Veterans Day ceremony at the North Port Library, 13800 Tamiami
Trail, North Port.
12:50 p.m. and 1:45 p.m., Imagine School at North Port (grades 6-12) will host
two assembly programs; one for grades 6-8 and one for grades 9-12. The programs
will include a Young Marines color guard, a student speaker, the choir and a
soloist singing the national anthem, and a guest speaker (a retired Navy
Chaplain). The programs will close with trumpeters playing Taps. 2757 Sycamore
St., North Port.
The SHS Mighty Sailor Band will
march in the Longboat Key Veterans Day Parade. Bay Isles Road, Longboat Key.
p.m.: Sarasota High School Singing Sailors, with guest choir from Booker Middle School, perform a
Veterans Salute Concert in the auditorium. Open to the public, free admission. 1000
S. School Ave., Sarasota.
p.m.: Sarasota High School Singing Sailors, with guest choirs from McIntosh and Sarasota middle schools,
perform a Veterans Salute Concert in the auditorium. Open to the public, free
admission. 1000 S. School Ave., Sarasota.