By Suzan Kurdak on March 2nd, 2018
What’s something everyone uses every single day, but is not often thought about? Give up? It’s grammar!
National Grammar Day is observed in the United States on March 4. It was established in 2008 by Martha Brockenbrough, author of “Things That Make Us [Sic]” and founder of the Society for the Promotion of Good Grammar. Continue reading
By Suzan Kurdak on July 25th, 2017
August is just around the corner and that means it’s time to begin planning to go back to school!
Last month, Governor Rick Scott signed a bill which included language to remove eligibility requirements for certain elementary students wishing to enroll in FLVS. This means that ALL Kindergarten-12th grade students in Florida are now able to enroll in FLVS – including our Flex Elementary classes!
FLVS Flex Elementary is an innovative program free to all Florida students in Kindergarten-5th grade, and enrollment is underway.
The program follows a semester-based schedule with flexible enrollment options available during the school year, allowing students to complete assignments following a suggested weekly pace with parent guidance.
Scheduling can be adjusted to accommodate each student’s needs and enrollment date. Students meet with classmates and their teacher twice a week for online live video lessons or “Class Time,” giving them an opportunity to interact in real time. Continue reading
By Suzan Kurdak on June 29th, 2017
It’s finally here!
Summer is in full swing, and if you’re a student, that most likely means no schoolwork and no intensive schedule to follow.
You’re ready to relax as you’ve worked hard and earned this welcomed break. It may feel like summer will last forever and that you’ll have plenty of time to do all those things you think of doing during the school year.
But while summer is a nice stretch of time, June, July, and August go all too quick…
(Can you believe it’s almost July already?)
So to make the most of the endless sunshine, here are five thoughts on how to make your summer great. Continue reading
By Suzan Kurdak on April 18th, 2017
This post was written in recognition of Child Abuse Prevention Month.
My first realization that not all parents behave as loving parents was in the third grade with news that Penny’s mom had hit her over the head with a trophy. It was shocking, as child abuse was not a topic you typically heard of in the 70s, but conversations soon sprouted throughout our small suburban school and community.
Fast forward to today, and news of children being neglected and abused is far too prevalent.
Every child deserves to grow up in a safe and loving environment and it is our duty as parents, educators—as humans—to look after them.
Over the past few weeks, you may have noticed pinwheels have popped up in your community and throughout Florida. A ceremony was held in Tallahassee earlier this month on the lawn of the Turlington Building, which serves as the home of the Florida Department of Education. These pinwheels represent Pinwheels for Prevention, a national campaign that engages communities in a coordinated effort to prevent child abuse. Continue reading
By Suzan Kurdak on April 17th, 2017
My mom was blessed with the baking and hospitality gene. As far back as I can recall, she loved to play hostess—still does, and when people come over, she has a quiet way of honoring them and making them feel special. It shows in the details, from a sparkling clean house to using the good dishes and serving delectable treats.
I remember my mom volunteered to be the class mom for Mrs. Kast’s second grade class in New York. I glowed whenever she’d come into my classroom to drop off some cut outs for a project we were working on, or when she’d bring in homemade cupcakes for a class party. And while I just thought I had the coolest mom in the world, she had sneakily found a way to stay connected to me during the school day.
By Suzan Kurdak on March 24th, 2017
Chances are that if you ask someone if they’d rather have dental work done or speak in front of an audience, that person will probably have to take a moment to think about it.
According to many studies, the idea of speaking in public or making a presentation ranks extremely high on the anxiety scale.
Along those lines, we’ve heard from many of our students that they are apprehensive when it comes to their discussion-based assessment, commonly known as a DBA. For those not familiar with the DBA, it is a verbal conversation between a student and teacher to discuss what he/she has learned in the modules.
If this is you, you can take some comfort in the simple fact you are not alone.
Have you ever watched someone talk in public and think, “Man, they are great—so relaxed and natural. I wish I could speak like that.” While it’s true that some have a natural gift for gab and their conversations seem effortless, it is quite possible that they had to learn to overcome their nervousness. Speaking professionally in a public setting, is a skill that must be developed and fine-tuned. And this takes time.
Here’s a secret… Continue reading
By Suzan Kurdak on January 11th, 2017
When my son was just three years old, he came very close to being swept away at sea. I wish this was an understatement.
My family and I were visiting our aunt and uncle who lived on Hutchinson Island during the winter. It was a comfortable December day and we strolled out to the beach to walk along the shoreline and see the ocean. There was no intent to go swimming. Maybe I didn’t make that clear enough to my toddler; he didn’t listen to mommy about not going into the water.
Taking off our shoes and putting our feet in was fine, but he quickly darted farther out—the receding tide was deceptive. I literally lunged toward him just in time to grab his tiny arm as a massive wave toppled over us both. I was knocked off my feet and completely submerged, doing my best to hoist him upward to where I believed the sky was.
Ah, I still get a shiver at the thought of what would’ve happened if I hadn’t been able to secure him in time. Continue reading
By Suzan Kurdak on November 11th, 2016
And I’m proud to be an American…
…where at least I know I’m free. And I won’t forget the ones who died who gave that right to me. And I’ll gladly stand up next to you and defend her still today. Cause there ain’t no doubt I love this land, God Bless the USA. – Lee Greenwood, Songwriter
I am proud to be an American. There is no doubt in my mind that we live in the greatest country in the world. We are very fortunate to enjoy many liberties. We are free, and I for one, am very thankful for my freedom.
On this Veterans Day, as our nation decompresses from a highly contentious race to the White House, let us celebrate this historic day by honoring the brave men and women who have served in the United States Armed Forces. Continue reading
By Suzan Kurdak on June 30th, 2016
The countdown is over and summer is now in full swing!
Can you hear the rejoicing cries of school-age children saying “no more alarm clocks,” “no teachers,” and “woohoo, no homework!”
Ask students what they want to do as they’re just beginning to submerge themselves in summer-break mode and more than likely you’ll get answers like: relax, watch TV, see movies, go to the beach, and chill with friends. Continue reading
By Suzan Kurdak on May 31st, 2016
Can I get a “same here” in agreement—or was this just my experience?
While high school wasn’t horrible for me, my time there seemed to drag on like a never-ending prison sentence, with additional time added just for being an awkward teen. We moved five times between 8th and 12th grade; three of those times to different geographical regions in Florida.
It sure would have been wonderful to keep pace and consistency going from one school to the next… Continue reading