What's Coming Up At A.D. Henderson & FAU High School
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A.D. Henderson University School &
FAU High School
Community Newsletter


Vol. 5, No. 4, December 2020

In this issue...

Upcoming Important Dates

Google Calendar

December 21-January 1
Winter Break
January 4
Teacher Work Day
January 18
Martin Luther King Jr. Day
January 26
PSAT/NMSQT Test - 10th Grade Only
January 29
Teacher Work Day
February 15
President's Day


November marked the start of the most wonderful time of the year - the holiday season. Delicious food, chilly weather (for South Florida standards), long-passed traditions, and socially-distant family gatherings remind us that although we started 2020 under very untraditional circumstances, we end it with gratefulness, hope, and anticipation for the amazing things that 2021 will bring.

Instead of our traditional Thanksgiving feast, the Francani sisters created a Virtual Thanksgiving Feast with their yearly musical extravaganza. If you didn't get a chance to see this beautiful compilation of all of our students, please watch it here. Events like these fill me with joy and pride in being part of the A.D. Henderson & FAU High School family. We were also able to provide a socially distanced and safe Thanksgiving lunch to all of our faculty and staff this year, catered by Bud's Chicken & Seafood.

This holiday season, we've decided to do weekly drawings consisting of fun and meaningful gifts as a thank you to our hard-working and dedicated faculty and staff. We were fortunate to have our exceptional PTO donate prizes, as well as Wicked BombshellColor Street NailsShades of Beauty Personalized Hats, and Fun with Pads. These donations have provided a great way to thank all our staff for their dedication to our students and community - they are the true force behind A.D. Henderson & FAU High School.

As we go into our holiday break and make fun plans to reconnect with family and friends, I urge you to please consider that we all must do our part to reduce the threat of COVID-19 and to keep our friends, families, and community healthy and safe. As recommended by the CDC, avoid high-risk activities for spreading COVID-19, including, but not limited to, travel and large social gatherings. Staying home is the best way to protect yourself and others. For additional information on holiday celebrations, please visit the CDC website.

During the holiday break, if your child(ren) exhibits symptoms associated with COVID-19, please contact Nurse Baltzer via email at before sending your child to school on Tuesday, January 2, 2021.

I wish my A.D. Henderson & FAU High School community a warm and wonderful holiday season and a very happy 2021! I can't wait for another great year at A.D. Henderson University School and FAU High School!

#owlsimpact #owlsignite

Mrs. Bees
“Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower.” --Steve Jobs

PTO Business Sponsorship Program Sponsors

Law Offices of Franks, Koenig & Neuwelt
Builders Plus Tilt Up Contractor


We are excited to continue offering an opportunity to make a lasting impact through the A.D. Henderson & FAU High School K-12 Student Enrichment Annual Fund. This year, we instituted a crowdfunding platform that will allow you to easily share the annual fund with friends, family, and social media networks and encourage them to support the school!


Gifts to the K-12 Student Enrichment Annual Fund will impact your child and enhance all school experience areas, including academics, athletics, arts, extra-curricular activities, technology, and student life. Every gift counts regardless of the amount. Please participate at a level that is comfortable for your family. All contributions are tax-deductible and can be made by cash, check, credit card, or donated stock. Gifts can be made with recurring payments online, and most gifts qualify for corporate matching gift programs.

Make Your Impact Felt Today!

Elementary School Updates

Mirrors, Windows, and Sliding Doors

"Books are sometimes windows, offering views of worlds that may be real or imagined, familiar or strange. Books are also sliding glass doors, and readers have only to walk through in imagination to become part of whatever world has been created or recreated by the author. When lighting conditions are just right, however, a window can also be a mirror. Literature transforms human experience and reflects it back to us, and in that reflection we can see our own lives and experiences as part of a larger human experience. Reading, then, becomes a means of self-affirmation, and readers often seek their mirrors in books."
- Rudine Sims Bishop

Our incredibly generous Parent Teacher Organization has purchased 55 of the most recommended texts for students in today's world. Students need to see themselves in the books in their classrooms and have windows and sliding glass doors into the worlds of others. These books will help build a culturally-responsive, read-aloud library that will complement the reading and writing units of study curriculum used at A.D. Henderson University School. These texts will help elementary teachers educate and promote social justice in our classrooms and our school. The 55 books will be kept in the elementary coaching room and available for check-out throughout the school year. Thank you to our amazing PTO!

Middle School Updates

Academic competitions look very different this year, but our students continue to impress, even virtually!

Speech & Debate

Congratulations to our five middle school debate students who competed in their first competition of the year!

  • Caitlin Yarelli, 7th grade, won 1ST PLACE for her Declamation Speech.
  • Nicholas Ostheimer, 8th grade, placed 5th for Varsity Congressional Debate
  • Michael Gomez, 6th grade, placed 5th for Novice Congressional Debate
  • Hudson Whitehurst and Colton Smith-Nash, 8th grade, both placed 8th for Varsity Congressional Debate

Middle School International Thespian Society

Thirty-five students showcased their talents in the Junior Thespian Regional Competition, and ALL 35 earned a medal! A.D Henderson set a school record with 7 Superior ranking events, 23 Excellent, and 4 Good. All of the students who scored a "Good" were in an additional event that scored "Excellent" or higher; therefore, every student earned a medal. 

Also, out of two thousand students participating, Gabe Rais and Mateo Rey's Improvisation event was chosen for TOP HONORS, which means they were the overall BEST! This is an incredible achievement and honor! 

High School Updates

SGA Event - Thank You!

Thank you to the FAU HS SGA for organizing a virtual game night for students. It was great to see so many of our students coming together virtually. 

9th Grade Finals

As the quarter comes to a close, students will be preparing for final exams and state EOC tests. Students will take EOC tests in Geometry on December 8th and 9th and Biology on December 10th and 11th. Students will also take final tests and/or complete final projects during the week of December 14th-17th.

We look forward to ending the quarter on a high note! 

FAU High School - Jupiter Campus, in Partnership with Max Planck Academy

FAU High School - Jupiter Campus, in partnership with Max Planck Academy allows students to pursue a university curriculum while having opportunities to work with leading FAU and Max Planck Florida Institute for Neuroscience scientists on intensive research training and enrichment. To commemorate the beginning of their scientific research journey, we proudly presented them with research lab coats on Tuesday, November 17. The lab coat symbolizes their professionalism and dedication to seeking truth through the scientific process. As scientists, they must uphold the highest ethical standards with integrity in order to protect scientists' position as trusted experts in society. As they wear this lab coat during their research, they become a key member of this global scientific community. Congratulations to our Inaugural Class! 

Rotary Scholar of the Month - November

We are delighted and proud to announce that Paris Prince, a current FAUHS senior, was the Rotary Scholar of the Month for November. Paris is not only an impressive academic; she exemplifies resilience and determination. While in school, she invented S-pods, a small temporary hand hygiene solution using no plastic intended to support emergency response teams and humanitarian organizations like UNICEF. We are certain we will be hearing many more of her accolades as she continues to have a huge impact in our world!

High School International Thespian Society

The Regional Theater Festival was also a great success for our high school troupe!  We are very proud to announce that all 8 students earned a medal, with 5 students ranking SUPERIOR, the highest ranking, and 3 students ranking EXCELLENT, the second highest ranking. AMAZING! A HUGE congratulations to FAU High School Theater Troupe 7709! We are STATE Bound in March! 

Stay up to date with all events and announcements within The Cane Institute for Advanced Technologies by following us on our social media platforms:

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OPK12 Research Committee / Research Collaborations

Our schools continue to support innovative research conducted by FAU and other universities. Here the current projects we are involved in: 

  • Katie Miller from FAU's Department of Exceptional Student Education and Lara Costa from UNC Chapel Hill received a grant from the Institute for Educational Sciences. They are gathering writing samples from 4th-5th grade students to see the relationships among writing skills, writing performance, and writing quality. 
  • We are still recruiting for the RESCUE Project with Drs. Fumiko Hoeft, from UCSF & University of Connecticut, and Kenneth Pugh, from Yale & University of Connecticut. The RESCUE Project ( hopes to prevent the serious negative effects of "COVID Slide" on reading development and the goal of the project is to help K-2nd students learn to read at home using a computer-based game called GraphoLearn. If you are interested in signing up your child for this project, please follow this link: RESCUE Project Interest and Sign up Form

The results from our past research collaborations have been published in peer-reviewed articles and presented at national and international conferences. Take a look at some recent publications and presentations from our past collaborations: Publications and Presentations from Research Collaborations.

If you have any questions about any future studies or generally about research being conducted at our school, please contact us or explore our website.

Members of the Owls Imaging Lab (OI Lab) submitted photo entries to the Division of Research's Art of Science Contest and our images (Web Spinner and Butterfly Scales) won first and third place! Several photos imaged in our lab were also awarded honorable mention. Check out the cool images here:

The OI Lab is offering lab tours and/or in-class presentations to all elementary, middle, and high school classes. During the lab tour, students will visit the lab and get to see the equipment in use and have the opportunity to ask questions and interact with lab staff. The OI Lab is also working with teachers to create lab presentations that are customized for their lesson plans and provide helpful demonstrations that complement their lessons. 

(Virtual) Owls Imaging Lab

As a reminder, The Owls Imaging Lab (OI Lab) is offering a virtual lab training experience to an unlimited number of students via Canvas. In the course, students are introduced to the equipment in the OI Lab, learn how to operate the equipment and explore the research applications of the lab, and develop their own protocols for their specific research goals. Students involved in this self-guided course can advance their research experience by gaining useful skills for future research experiences, building their CV or resume, and creating a research foundation that will allow them to explore their research interests. Students interested in enrolling in this online training should register here.

Owls Athletics

Even with a short season, FAU High still were represented at the FHSAA State Meet in both Cross Country and Swimming. The Boys Cross Country Team, finished 3rd at the Region Championship with individual medals earned by Zachariah John (11th), Clyve Gassant (12th), and Daniel Saviano (15th). The team qualified for the State Meet for the 3rd straight year, and finished 14th in the State. Clyve and Zachariah were selected to run and Coach Childs was selected to coach the FACA Senior All-Star Race, representing the South Region. On the Swim side, Junior Pete Pokatragool, qualified as an individual for the 100m Breaststroke. Great job Owls!

Sports Season Postponement

Please continue to check our website for COVID Athletic updates for next semester.

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Visit us for all A.D. Henderson & FAU High School Athletics Schedules, Information & News

General School Reminders

Free School Meals

In case you haven't heard, ALL students can receive breakfast and lunch free of charge until the end of the school year. Meals are not served when school is closed (holidays, teacher workdays, weekends). This benefit applies to free meals for this school year only. In order to qualify for other benefits and discounts offered to families who are eligible for free or reduced-priced meals through the National School Lunch Program (NSLP), you must apply and receive approval. Here is the link to apply.

Social & Self Awareness - School Counselors

In December, the school counseling team would like to address social and self-awareness. According to CASEL (2020), social awareness includes the capacity "to feel compassion for others, understand broader historical and social norms for behavior in different settings, and recognize family, school, and community resources and supports." This got the counseling team to think, how can students feel good about giving back, how to express gratitude, and what things we all need to feel emotionally supported? Please read more from the counseling team by checking out our December Newsletter through our school counseling website!

What's New in Tech?

As mentioned in the previous newsletter, as a lab school, our teachers often pilot highly-ranked programs and bring the findings to the other grade levels. Another K-12 program our school is testing is IXL. This multifaceted program offers a real-time diagnostic and customizable learning path in all four core subjects. 4th Grade teachers have been impressed with the program's standard-based alignment, and they have received positive feedback from students and parents. Teachers will share their data when they meet as a K-5 team, and also with the K-12 technology committee.  

Here, some of Ms. Guthrie's students are seen practicing on IXL for their upcoming math test.

Testing Information

Each year the school creates a schedule of state assessments. Thus far, 11th-grade students have participated in the PSAT/NMSQT test in October. 9th-grade students currently enrolled in Geometry and/or Biology will be taking their End of Course Exam in December. Attached is the Draft 2020-2021 Testing Schedule. Although this document is subject to change based on multiple factors, you may use this to plan ahead. 

Carpool Tags

Car tags must be posted on the right-hand side of your vehicle's dashboard as you enter the dismissal line at A.D. Henderson & FAU High School. Placing the carpool tag on the vehicle's dashboard before arriving to pick up your student is essential to our dismissal process. If you do not have a carpool tag for your car, need extra tags or replacement tags, please request the carpool tag using this Google Doc link. Please allow two days for a car tag request to be processed.


FortifyFL is a suspicious activity reporting tool that allows you to instantly relay information to Florida law enforcement agencies and school officials. Click the appropriate link for information and download instructions in EnglishSpanish, or Creole.

Exploravison Club

This club is a virtual group research opportunity for students in grades 2-6. Students work online in teams of 2-4 to research a solution to a real-world problem. Each team will enter their project in the national Explxploravision Contesontet for a chance to win $10,000.

PTO Update

Book Program

  • This book program utilizes 55 of the most recommended texts for students in today's world.
  • Designed to help build a culturally responsive, read-aloud library that will complement the reading and writing units of study curriculum used in the elementary school.  
  • The texts will help elementary teachers teach and promote social justice in our classrooms and in our school.  
  • This selection will be kept in the elementary coaching room and will be available for check-out throughout the school year.

Student Headphones Available

  • PTO has purchased headphones for in-person students.
  • These headphones are free of cost & are provided to the student by their teacher should they need a pair.


Business Sponsorship Program
The PTO kicked off a new initiative in partnership with the school this year, the A. D. Henderson & FAU High School PTO Business Sponsorship Program. The annual program offers two (2) levels, allowing partners to choose a package that best suits the needs of their business. All costs below are for the entire calendar year, running from January to December each year.

A.D. Henderson & FAU High School Vision & Mission

Vision Statement

A.D. Henderson & FAU High School is a national exemplary model for school systems and teacher preparation programs improving education for diverse student populations through innovative, faculty-developed research and curriculum.

Mission Statement

The school has a three-fold mission of (1) being a demonstration site for teacher education; (2) developing curricula; (3) conducting research.
(F.S. 228.053)
A.D. Henderson University School & FAU High School is an Equal Opportunity Employer and a Title I Targeted Assistance Program.

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