Sarasota County Schools News

Sheriff honors Sarasota Middle teacher for saving life of child

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Lori Neal-Sheriff Tom Knight April 2015

ABOVE AND BEYOND: Sarasota Middle School physical education teacher Lorie Lee Neal, left, receives a Certificate of Recognition April 30 from Sarasota County Sheriff Tom Knight for saving the life of an 8-year-old-girl.

This information is from a news release distributed by the Sarasota County Sheriff's Office.

SARASOTA, April 30, 2015 - Sarasota County Sheriff Tom Knight presented several awards today during a ceremony to recognize employees and citizens who have demonstrated exemplary service to the community. Sheriff Knight awarded a Certificate of Recognition to Lorie Lee Neal, a Sarasota Middle School physical education teacher who saved the life of an 8-year-old girl who had wandered away from her home unnoticed.

Neal saw the child floating face down in a pond and immediately entered to water to pull the child to safety. The girl appeared to be unconscious and Neal performed several blows to her back which caused the victim to cough up water and regain consciousness. The child survived because of Neal's willingness to assist someone in need.


Venice High International Baccalaureate program approved

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SCS News

VENICE, April 24, 2015 — Venice High School has been approved by the International Baccalaureate organization to offer the IB Diploma Program, beginning in the 2015-16 school year. The school began offering a pre-IB program for freshmen and sophomores in August 2014.  

The VHS Pre-IB Program introduced students to some of the IB philosophies and ideals, such as international-mindedness, being a risk-taker, communicating, reflecting and inquiring. Many of the Pre-IB teachers at VHS have attended IB training sessions at various locations.

Students will be considered for the IB Program based on their completion of an application, which is available on the VHS website at

About the International Baccalaureate

Founded in 1968, the International Baccalaureate is a non-profit educational foundation offering four highly respected programs of international education (Primary Years Program, Middle Years Program, Diploma Program and Career Program) that develop the intellectual, personal, emotional and social skills needed to live, learn and work in a rapidly globalizing world. Schools must be authorized by the IB organization to offer any of the programs.

In the Sarasota County School District, Riverview High School launched the Sarasota County School District’s first International Baccalaureate Diploma Program in 1999 and was recently approved to offer the IB Career Program, which allows students to specialize in career-oriented academic pathways, beginning in 2015-16. In 2007 the IB Primary Program was launched at Phillippi Shores Elementary School and the IB Middle Years Program began at Brookside Middle School. Sarasota Military Academy and Venice High School will begin their IB Diploma programs in August 2015.

Venice High School is located at 1 Indian Way in Venice.


USDOE names Pine View one of 58 Green Ribbon Schools in U.S.

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SCS News

OSPREY, April 24, 2015 — Pine View School, a public school serving intellectually gifted students in grades two-12, has been named as a 2015 U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon School. Christy Goldfuss, managing director of the White House Council on Environmental Quality, joined U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan to announce the winning schools April 22 (Earth Day) in Washington, D.C.

Pine View Principal Stephen Covert said the school was honored as a Green Ribbon School “because of the ongoing commitment of our staff and students to reducing environmental impact and costs; improving the health and wellness of schools, students, and staff; and providing environmental education, including the integration of environment-related science, technology, engineering and math lessons; civic skills; and green career pathways into what we teach and practice every day.”

Across the U.S., 58 schools and 14 districts were honored for their efforts to reduce environmental impact and utility costs, promote better health and ensure effective environmental education, including civics and “green career” pathways. Besides Pine View, only two other Florida schools, Manatee Elementary School in Viera and Odyssey Charter School in Palm Bay, were named Green Ribbon Schools. In addition, nine colleges and universities were honored for the Postsecondary Sustainability Award.

“These honorees are compelling examples of the ways schools can help children build real-world skill sets, cut school costs, and provide healthy learning environments,” Duncan said. “U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools are an inspiration and deserve the spotlight for embodying strong examples of innovative learning and civic engagement. We also are thrilled to add institutions of higher education to the list of honorees this year for the first time in the award’s history.”

The schools, districts, and postsecondary institutions were confirmed from a pool of candidates voluntarily nominated by 30 state education agencies, with honorees selected from 28 jurisdictions. The list of 81 total selectees includes 52 public schools and six private schools. The public schools include two charter and three magnet schools. The schools serve various grade levels, including 35 elementary, 19 middle and 17 high schools are among them, with several schools having various K-12 configurations, from 28 of the nominating authorities. 

Forty-seven percent of the 2015 honorees serve a disadvantaged student body, 22 percent are rural, and one-third of the postsecondary institutions are community colleges. More information on the Green Ribbon Schools federal recognition award can be found here. Resources for all schools to adopt the principles of the Green Ribbon Schools program can be found here.

Click here to access the Pine View section of the Green Ribbon Schools report.

Pine View School is located at 1 Python Path, Osprey.

Most Improved Student Awards honor 40 students from 4 high schools

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Most Improved Students-Top 4 2015

SENIOR STANDOUTS: Four high school seniors honored at the Most Improved Student Awards received $5,000 each to further their education. Pictured from left with ceremonial checks are Chase Thomas of Venice High, Ryan Lay of Riverview High, Zoe Verbil of Booker High and Silver Brenes of Sarasota High.

SARASOTA, April 23, 2015 – Forty Sarasota County high school students who overcame challenges to make positive changes in their lives were honored at the 17th annual Most Improved Student Award Luncheon, held Wednesday (April 22) at Michael’s on East in Sarasota. The honorees were juniors and seniors from Booker, Riverview, Sarasota and Venice high schools. Each of the 20 participating seniors received $1,000 to further their education.

Four students — one from each high school — were selected by their schools to exchange their $1,000 check for a $5,000 check. These honorees were Silver Brenes of Sarasota High, Ryan Lay of Riverview High, Chase Thomas of Venice High and Zoe Verbil of Booker High.

The Most Improved Student program and the luncheon are designed to honor the students for their achievements, increase self-esteem and motivate them to continue on a positive path. The honorees have, in the judgment of their school guidance counselors and principals, overcome challenging obstacles and made significant academic, social or behavioral turnarounds in their lives. The students nominated must show community involvement and leadership potential, and must remain drug-free and crime-free while participating in the program.

Lori White, superintendent of Sarasota County Schools; Peni Riedinger, pupil support specialist for the district; and Philip A. Delaney Jr., president of Northern Trust, spoke at the event.

The sponsors of the Most Improved Student Award Program are Northern Trust, the Harold C. and Jacqueline F. Bladel Foundation, the Evalyn Sadlier Jones Foundation, the Annette J. Hagens Memorial Foundation, the Hunkele Family Foundation, Eluned and Edward Russell Charitable Foundation, and the Sarasota County School District.

A second event, honoring 10 students from North Port High School, will take place from 11 a.m.-1 p.m., Thursday, May 14, at Heron Creek Country Club in North Port.


Phillippi Shores music groups win two awards at national festival

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Phillippi Shores PYP Sticks-Orlando April 2015

DIFFERENT DRUMMERS: The Phillippi Shores Elementary School PYP Sticks celebrate their first-place award in the Elementary Percussion Ensemble category at Music USA Festivals, held April 11 in Orlando. Pictured from left are Ryan Sims, Blaise Lamboley, Vanessa Aparicio, Blaire Yahraus, Stevie Voigt, Max Omeara, Dalton Jett, Jason Kanter, Jeffrey Cummings, Jaeden Rae, Riley O’Fallon, Mia Petrov and Brenna Gallagher. In the center is music teacher Peggy Conrad.

SARASOTA, April 23, 2015 – Fourth- and fifth-grade students from Phillippi Shores Elementary performed in the Music USA Festivals April 11 at Universal Studios in Orlando.

The Phillippi Shores drum group known as PYP Sticks (named for the school’s Primary Years Program as an International Baccalaureate World School) won first place in the Elementary Percussion Ensemble.Thirteen students participated in the competition. 

The Phillippi Chorus won second place in the Elementary Concert Choir Division. This is the third year in a row the chorus participated and placed second in the Music USA Festivals. Forty-eight students participated in the chorus performance.

Both groups, which are directed by music teacher Peggy Conrad, are scheduled to perform Saturday, May 2, at Inspire Sarasota!, a one-day festival in downtown Sarasota celebrating arts and culture.

Phillippi Shores Elementary School is located at 4747 S. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota.   

Southside Elementary celebrates Sarasota milestones with murals

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Southside history mural April 2015

TIMELINE TILES: Southside Elementary fourth-grade students Bijan Molavi (at left) and Jacob McIntyre review the 1940s-50s section of the Sarasota history murals they helped create. One detail of the timeline is the establishment of Mote Marine Laboratory in the Fifties.

SARASOTA, April 15, 2015 – Fourth-grade students in Sandy Waite’s class at Southside Elementary School are saluting the history of Sarasota and their school with a project they have been working on since early in the school year. The culmination of the project will be a one-hour event at 1:15 p.m., Tuesday, April 21.

“Southside Celebrates Sarasota’s History,” an art project created in conjunction with YEA Arts (Youth Experiencing Art), paired students from Ringling College of Art and Design with Southside students to showcase the history of Sarasota in various ways. The results include a book created by the students and murals along the hallways outside the school’s cafeteria.

During the celebration, students will receive copies of the book and the murals will be dedicated. Family members and school staff will join the students for the event.

To commemorate the 90th birthday of Southside Elementary, which opened to students in 1926, students researched milestones and key people in Sarasota's history during the decades the school has been in existence. Ringling College student artists guided the elementary students during the drawing phase of the project. The children’s illustrations were then enlarged and transferred to tiles to create six 40-by-40-inch tiles that were incorporated into murals representing different time periods. The students’ drawings and writings about Sarasota history are being printed in a book; each child will receive a copy.

“This creative project is a great early birthday present for Southside,” said Principal Steve Dragon, who notes that the school will celebrate its 90th birthday on Jan. 11, 2016.

Teacher Sandy Waite described the process of developing the project that combines art and history: “As I discussed this year's YEA arts integration project with Mr. Dragon, I initially wanted my students to create a mural of Sarasota's history. Then the idea evolved into connecting a celebration of Southside’s 90th anniversary to the city’s history. I’m a big advocate of integrating the arts in various ways to augment what students are learning in the classroom.”

Waite said that, as students tackled various components of the project, they gained many valuable skills. She reports that they were totally engaged in their work, from researching, writing and typing their page for the book, to watching and learning about drawing techniques from the Ringling artists, to creating the actual tiles for the murals.  

“It’s wonderful to know that students can read the book and share their paintings with friends and families for years to come,” Waite added.

Michael Trujillo, a senior at Ringling College of Art and Design, agrees that art can enhance the educational process.

“The students wouldn't have learned all this rich Sarasota history without doing this project,” said Trujillo. “The result is a creative timeline expressed in visual art that will be shared with visitors to Southside each and every day."

Southside Elementary School is located at 1901 Webber St., Sarasota.      

About YEA Arts  

Youth Experiencing Art, Inc. provides young students with art experiences for gaining focused life learnings, enhanced self-confidence and the opportunity to develop a life vision beyond the ordinary.

Through collaborations with community arts organizations, children’s centers and Sarasota County schools, thousands of children have been given the opportunity to experience art in its many forms.

Established in 2002 by the John and Robin Sullivan Foundation, the YEA Arts program had its genesis in foster care facilities and alternative schools. The YEA Arts program uses artistic projects for children to enhance core-curriculum learning through arts integration.

In 2010 the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts accepted Youth Experiencing Art, Inc. as a member of their Kennedy Center Partners in Education Program, Florida ’97 Team. This has allowed YEA Arts to reach even more children through professional development workshops for teachers that utilize nationally renowned Kennedy Center Teaching Artists.

A series of local collaborations with Ringling College of Art and Design, Sarasota Ballet, Sarasota Opera, Jewish Federation of Sarasota-Manatee, Embracing Our Differences, Children First and Sarasota County Schools create an avenue of interaction with local kids, allowing Ringling student artists to share their knowledge, experience and passion through classroom residencies.  


Bay Haven teacher and class unearth 1995 time capsule

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Bau Haven time capsule burial 1995Bay Haven time capsule pose-April 2015

TIME SHIFT: In the top photo, Bay Haven School of Basics Plus teacher Maribeth Ditmars and two of her students bury a time capsule in 1995. The capsule contains artifacts representing the events and technology of that year. In the lower photo, from April 2015, Ditmars and two of her fourth-grade students, Eliseo Dawkins, at left, and Amelia Miley, at right, show the spot where the time capsule is buried. Ditmars’ students will unearth the time capsule April 17.

SARASOTA, April 14, 2015 – On April 17, a teacher and her students at Bay Haven School of Basics Plus will unearth a time capsule buried at the school in 1995. The capsule was buried the same year the Sarasota County Historical Commission dedicated a historical marker about Bay Haven, which opened to students in 1926.

Two decades ago, Maribeth Ditmars had her fourth-grade students created a time capsule as a class project and buried it beside the historical marker. Inside were photos of Bay Haven’s 1995 students and staff, along with news clippings about current events, examples of the latest technology and essays about the future aspirations of her students. At 2:45 p.m., Friday, April 17, Ditmars and her current students will excavate the time capsule that the 1995 class buried.

“This is such a fun way to make history relevant for the children,” said Ditmars. “Many Bay Haven families have sent more than one generation to our unique school. Now we can literally dig up the past! Also, it's a perfect simulation of what real archaeologists do out in the field, excavating artifacts and drawing conclusions about life in the past. Although in this case it is the very recent past, many changes and technological advancements have occurred in just 20 years.”

Ditmars also is aware that 20 years can seem like a very long time to a fourth-grader. She has taught in Sarasota County since 1984 and has been at Bay Haven since 1995, the year the time capsule was buried. Because she is retiring this year and because the capsule was buried 20 years ago, she decided it is the perfect time to unearth the capsule and share the contents with her last Bay Haven class. When she began her career at Bay Haven her own children attended the school; now her grandchildren are Bay Haven students.

When she retires Ditmars plans to continue her writing career. She is the author of two books, “Christopher’s Journey” and “The Bald-Headed Princess,” which are non-fictional and fictional works, respectively, about children with cancer. More information is at

Bay Haven School of Basics Plus is located at 2901 W. Tamiami Circle in Sarasota.

Ashton Elementary choir takes first-place honors at national event

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Ashton Choir-national award Orlando April 2015

CHEERFUL CHORISTERS: Ashton Elementary Choir took first place among elementary choirs at the OrlandoFest national music competition at Universal Studios April 10-11.

ORLANDO, April 13, 2015 – The Ashton Elementary School Choir took first-place honors in the Elementary Choir Division at the OrlandoFest national music competition April 10-11, competing against 26 choirs.

The 55-student choir, which is directed by Joi Chapman, received a Superior rating to capture their second consecutive first-place finish at the annual event and the second-highest score in the school choir competition at all levels, including middle and high school choirs.

After Chapman submitted a video and a paper application, the choir was selected for a special performance at Universal Studios.

Assistant Principal Jacob Ruscoe said, “Our students did an amazing job at this event. We’re so proud they continually reach for the stars to represent Sarasota County in such a positive way.”

Ashton Elementary is located at 5110 Ashton Road, Sarasota. 

Sarasota High educator wins ‘My Favorite Teacher’ contest

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SHS teacher Kyle Mendenhall April 2015

FAVORITE TEACHER: Sarasota High’s Kyle Mendenhall is the local winner of Barnes & Noble’s “My Favorite Teacher” contest. He was nominated by SHS junior Cameron Insinga. Both teacher and student will be honored at a ceremony at the Barnes & Noble store in Sarasota April 15.

SARASOTA, April 8, 2015 – Kyle Mendenhall, a math teacher at Sarasota High School, has been named the local winner of the Barnes & Noble “My Favorite Teacher” Contest. He was chosen from among 160 entries submitted at the Barnes & Noble bookstore at 4010 S. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota. Mendenhall also coaches boys’ cross-country running at SHS and is a former professional cyclist.

Mendenhall will receive the “My Favorite Teacher” an award at the store at 5:30 p.m., Wednesday, April 15. Cameron Insinga, an 11th-grade student at Sarasota High School, who wrote the winning entry about Mendenhall, will receive a certificate of recognition and also will be honored during the ceremony. McIntosh Middle School teacher Erin Crank received honorable mention; she and Hannah Russo, the seventh-grade student who nominated Crank, also will be recognized at the event.

Students were invited to nominate their favorite teacher by writing essays, poems or thank-you letters in 500 words or less, explaining how their teacher has influenced their life and why they appreciate and admire him or her. Entries were judged on the compelling nature of the teacher’s qualities, the sincerity of the student’s appreciation, and the quality of expression and writing.

Mendenhall will be entered in Barnes & Noble’s regional competition; each of five regional winners across the U.S. will receive a $500 Barnes & Noble gift card. From the pool of five regional winners, one teacher will be named the Barnes & Noble National Teacher of the Year and will receive $5,000. He or she will be recognized at a special community celebration at a local Barnes & Noble store. The national winning teacher’s school also will receive $5,000.

District’s volunteers, business partners honored at annual event

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Achieva reps and STC student at branch

CELEBRATING VOLUNTEERS AND PARTNERSHIPS: Suncoast Technical College student Harrison Gammaro, center, gets lessons in financial literacy from Achieva Credit Union representatives Heidi Marx, left, and Christina Cocomazzi, right, at the Achieva branch on the Suncoast campus. Achieva will be named Outstanding Corporate Business Partner of the Year at the Sarasota County School District’s Volunteers and Business Partners Recognition Celebration April 9 at the Venice Community Center.

SARASOTA COUNTY – Superintendent Lori White, School Board Chairman Frank Kovach, administrators, teachers and guests will celebrate the Sarasota County School District’s outstanding volunteers and business partners of 43 schools at the Outstanding Volunteers and Business Partners Recognition Celebration. The annual invitation-only event will be held this year at 5:30 p.m., Thursday, April 9, at the Venice Community Center. ABC 7 News Anchor Scott Dennis will be master of ceremonies. Dinner will be provided by Mattison’s Catering.    

This year’s event will commemorate the 35th anniversary of the district’s volunteer program. In the 1979-80 the Junior League of Sarasota, in collaboration with United First Federal Savings & Loan and the Selby Foundation, established PALS — Partnerships and Alliances Linking Schools. Three years later, the League turned over management of the volunteer program to the school district. Representatives of the past and present membership of the Junior League, an organization of women dedicated to bettering the community, will be recognized at the celebration.

“We’re delighted to recognize the Junior League of Sarasota and their role in the creation of this program 35 years ago,” said Tanice Knopp, the district’s coordinator of volunteers and partnerships. “The program has flourished over the years, providing a framework for the very special individuals and organizations who give so much of themselves to help our students succeed. The honorees we’ll recognize at this year’s awards event represent the thousands of people in our community who support our public schools in so many ways.”

More than 11,000 students, parents, community members and business leaders participate in the district’s PALS Partners in Education program. Their work has been valued at almost $5 million annually, but Knopp calls it “priceless.”

This year’s district honorees include Outstanding Youth Volunteer Sam Jones, a 12th-grade student at Suncoast Polytechnical High School in Sarasota, who volunteers with students in the Autism Program at Fruitville Elementary School in Sarasota; Outstanding Adult Volunteer Sharon Moloney, who is being recognized for her leadership and dedication to several programs over the past seven years at Tatum Ridge Elementary School in Sarasota; and Outstanding Senior Volunteer Fran Watson, who has volunteered daily at Taylor Ranch Elementary School in Venice since 1999.

Last year’s district Outstanding Youth Volunteer, Naba Rahman, and Outstanding Adult Volunteer, Kellee Keller, were recently named as two of Florida’s Outstanding School Volunteers by the Florida Department of Education. Rahman, currently a 12th-grade student at Pine View School, contributes her time to multiple local and global charitable projects leading younger students in volunteerism; Keller started a clothes closet for needy families at Laurel Nokomis School that she extended throughout the county to those in need, from infants to the elderly. In letters to Rahman and Keller notifying them of the state honor, Commissioner of Education Pam Stewart wrote, “Your commitment to serving as a school volunteer has made a significant difference in the lives of many children.”  

Also honored at the event will be the Outstanding Local Business Partner of the Year, The Broken Egg. Owner Dawn Hair opened her restaurant, located on Clark Road in Sarasota, to adult students with disabilities at Oak Park School so they could practice a wide range of job skills, including rolling silverware, stocking supplies, washing dishes, busing tables and baking cookies. The sale of the cookies and student artwork displayed at the restaurant benefits the school.

Achieva Credit Union will be recognized as Outstanding Corporate Business Partner of the Year. This not-for-profit organization opened a credit union branch at Suncoast Technical College in Sarasota (formerly SCTI), providing work experience in the form of internships and financial literacy training to Suncoast students and guest speakers for Suncoast classes. Achieva participates in the technical college’s informational events, including open houses and orientations. Achieva representatives also serve on advisory committees for Suncoast.

Achieva is a generous contributor to the Educational Foundation classroom grants program and sponsors scholarships, the annual Achieva 5K Run for Good fundraiser, and Team Up!, a web-based system that easily connects potential volunteers and business partners with schools. Achieva staff members also serve on the PALS Community Advisory Board.       

The April 9 event in Venice also will include the awarding of several scholarships, including the PALS Community Advisory Board Bette Woodson Scholarship to Brooke Bezdek of Venice High School, the PALS Community Advisory Board Lilly Kaighin Scholarship to Patrizio Murdocca of Venice High School, and the Freeman Orthodontics Inspiration Award to Mina Girgis of Pine View School.

Venice Community Center is located at 326 Nokomis Ave. S., Venice.

Riverview High Band Boosters to launch campaign for band shell

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SCS News

This news release is from the Education Foundation of Sarasota County. 

SARASOTA, April 3, 2015 - The Riverview High School Kilties Band Boosters and the Education Foundation will announce the kickoff of a campaign to raise $165,000 for a new band shell in the Riverview Performing Arts Center. The announcement will be made at a regular meeting of the School Board of Sarasota County. 6:30 p.m., Tuesday, April 7, in the School Board Chambers at the Landings.

In honor of the late Andrew J. Crew, band director at Riverview from 1968 to 1983, the Boosters plan to name the band shell and band rehearsal room in his honor. Crew touched the lives of hundreds of students and established the Kiltie Band Program as one of the finest programs in the country. Among his many honors, Crew was Riverview High School 1975 Teacher of the Year; in 1990 he was the recipient of the “Legion of Honor” award recognizing him as one of the “Ten Best Band Directors” in the country; and was inducted to the Florida Bandmasters Hall of Fame in 1994.  

The Riverview Performing Arts Center is a beautiful facility and valuable community asset.  It is used almost daily by many groups at RHS and many outside groups as well.  The addition of the shell would greatly enhance the acoustical qualities of the stage and make the performance environment comparable to a professional auditorium.  

The Riverview High School Kiltie Boosters along with several other supporters in the community are raising the money to cover the cost of the shell and installation. The Kilties and donor Vince Vance are ready to match the first $30,000 donated. The school district has budgeted $85,000 to cover the installation of the rigging. They hope to have the project completed before the start of the 2015-16 school year.  

The Education Foundation of Sarasota County is the fiscal and administrative agent for the Riverview High School Band Shell Named Tribute project. Those wishing to make a contribution may call the Foundation at 941-927-0965 or send a check to The Education Foundation, 1960 Landings Blvd., Sarasota FL 34231.

About the Riverview High School Kiltie Band Boosters

The Riverview High School Kiltie Band program is comprised of the Wind Ensemble, Symphonic Winds, Varsity Band, Bagpipes, Color Guard and Highland Dance all of which make up the Kiltie Marching Band. The band is an active community performer and consistently earns superior ratings at Music Performance Assessments. Most notably, the Kiltie Band has earned 55 consecutive Superior Ratings in the Florida Bandmasters Association District Marching MPA.  

The Riverview High School Kiltie Band Boosters are comprised of band parents and supporters who look to assist with projects and lend financial assistance to the Band for co-curricular and extracurricular needs. The Boosters also work to promote social and recreational gatherings for members, their families and friends for the cementing of good fellowship and a social cooperative spirit. If you would like more information about the Kiltie Boosters or how you can support the RHS Kiltie Band, please contact the Booster President at:   

About the Education Foundation of Sarasota County

The Education Foundation of Sarasota County, founded in 1988 as an independent 501(c)(3) organization, serves more than 41,200 students in 58 elementary, middle and high schools.  The Education Foundation is the leading advocate for an exceptional public education for all students in Sarasota County. With strong support from donors and the community, the Education Foundation undertakes significant, high impact projects and initiatives that go beyond what tax dollars can provide. The Education Foundation encourages donors with a passion for education to express their imagination in finding solutions, to make an investment in providing new opportunities for student learning, and to share the inspiration their generosity sparks in young people whose lives are forever changed.  For more information, visit or call 941.927.0965.


Riverview High to offer IB Career Program in 2015-16

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SCS News

SARASOTA, April 2, 2015 – Riverview High School, which launched the Sarasota County School District’s first International Baccalaureate Diploma Program in 1999, has been approved by the International Baccalaureate organization to offer a second IB option, the International Baccalaureate Career Program (IBCP). Both IB tracks will be offered to juniors and seniors if they meet requirements including grade-point averages, attendance and recommendations from teachers.

The IB Career Program will be offered at Riverview High beginning in the 2015-16 school year. Students and parents can learn more about the program, as well as other academic and extracurricular options, at the school’s next Student-Parent Information Night, set for 6-8 p.m., Tuesday, April 14, at RHS.

The new IBCP framework allows students to specialize in, and focus on, career-oriented academic pathways, such as engineering and international business. Students enrolled in the program will take at least two IB Diploma courses along with their career-related studies.

All students enrolled in the IBCP will take the Approaches to Learning course, which introduces students to transferable life skills to help students understand the world around them. It emphasizes critical and ethical thinking, intercultural understanding and the ability to communicate effectively. Community service and world languages also are key components.

In what is known as a reflective project, students will identify, analyze, critically discuss and evaluate an ethical issue arising from their career-related studies. The reflective project will be their final assessment.

Venice High School is currently offering a pre-IB program for freshmen and sophomores; the school plans to launch its IB Diploma Program in August 2015. In 2007 the IB Primary Program was launched at Phillippi Shores Elementary School and the IB Middle Years Program began at Brookside Middle School.

Riverview High School is located at 1 Ram Way in Sarasota.    

About the International Baccalaureate

Founded in 1968, the International Baccalaureate is a non-profit educational foundation offering four highly respected programs of international education (Primary Years Program, Middle Years Program, Diploma Program and Career-Related Program) that develop the intellectual, personal, emotional and social skills needed to live, learn and work in a rapidly globalizing world. Schools must be authorized by the IB organization to offer any of the programs.

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