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. 4, No. 3, October 2019

In this issue...

Upcoming Important Dates

Google Calendar

October 9
No School - Fall Holiday
October 11
The Cane Institute K-8 STEM Night
Elementary Building - 6-8P
October 17
End of 1st Quarter
October 18
No School
October 21
Start of 2nd Quarter
October 22
Individual Yearbook Photo Re-Takes
October 25 - November 1
Scholastic Book Fair
October 26
Halloween Howl
Campus-Wide - 6P
November 1
Report Cards Distributed
November 1 - 5
FAU High Interact Club Candy Collection
Drop Off Circles - During Arrival & Dismissal
November 11
No School - Veterans Day
November 13-14
Yearbook Group Photos
Covered Court

On the Journey to Continuous Improvement

September has been a busy month for our students, faculty and staff. Before I dive into some of our accomplishments, I want to formally announce that Mrs. Alyson Rodriguez, our Elementary Assistant Principal, recently left A.D. Henderson and moved to Gainesville to pursue another professional endeavor. Change is challenging, yet we embrace it as an opportunity, and assure you of our commitment to continue providing an excellent educational experience for all of our students.

Two weeks ago, I was honored to visit Washington, D.C. along with our Superintendent, an administrator, teacher and parent, to accept the 2019 U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon School award. We received this award on behalf of all A.D. Henderson & FAU High School families, students, faculty, and staff. The U.S. Department of Education honored 35 schools, 14 districts, and four post-secondary institutions across the country for their innovative efforts to reduce environmental impact and utility cost, improve health and wellness, and ensure effective sustainability education. We are grateful to Dr. Kendra Palumbo, a former parent and academic coach extraordinaire, for leading the charge in assisting us in securing this prestigious award. 

Our Owl Dad turnout for the FLDOE DADS Take Your Child to School Day on Wednesday, September 25, was phenomenal! Along with all the dads, we had tremendous support from FAU athletes greeting our students and taking pictures with all of them alongside their dads. A huge thanks to the volunteers that assisted with this event and, of course, to the dads for joining us!

It is hard to believe that it is already October, and we are gearing up for some traditional events, and announcing a brand new one!

This coming Friday, we will see one of our favorite Cane Institute events, Family STEM Night. On Friday, October 11, from 6-8 pm, all students and families will have the opportunity to interact with about 20 different interactive science activities, experiments, and demonstrations that will certainly ROCK your night! The Cane Institute is working with PTO to coordinate this event, so please visit the PTO website for more information.

Our PTO is gearing up for the annual Halloween Howl! It is genuinely humbling to experience this annual event each year and see and speak with families at this exciting event. This year, the Howl will be on Saturday, October 26, from 6-8:30 pm - please reach out to any of our PTO parents for further information or volunteer opportunities!

Lastly, I want to invite you all to save the date for our first-ever A.D. Henderson Career Day! February is Career Education Month and our guidance team is organizing a career day on Friday, February 7, 2020. If you are interested in presenting, please save the date and review this flyer to save your spot!

#owlsimpact #owlsignite


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

New K-12 Student Enrichment Annual Fund

This year, we are excited to announce another opportunity to make a lasting impact. The K-12 Student Enrichment Annual Fund, our school’s first annual giving program, will allow us to expand upon the opportunities we currently offer our students and provide the necessary funding to fulfill the school’s most critical needs.

Gifts to the K-12 Student Enrichment Annual Fund will impact your child and enhance all areas of the school experience, including academics, athletics, arts, extra-curricular activities, technology, and student life. While there is no requirement to give, we believe that our school community will invest in this important initiative and hope that you will participate at a level that is comfortable for your family. Every gift counts! All gifts 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 will qualify for corporate matching gift programs.

Read Superintendent, Dr. Joel Herbst’s full letter here

Make your impact felt today!

Elementary School Updates

Kindergarten in Ms. Marin's Class
Students were engaged in a retelling of Mrs. Wishy Washy as each student had the opportunity to be either a cow, pig, or duck rolling in the mud or Mrs. Wishy Washy cleaning up the animals. This culminating activity celebrated the end of their first unit, or "bend," in Reader's Workshop through repeated storytelling, learning the structure of a story, how to use storytelling vocabulary and language, and that pictures hold meaning.

3rd Grade Book Tasting
Third grade hosted their 3rd annual "just right" book tasting with a StarBOOKS theme. Students have been working on building their best reading lives. One of the ways to make reading the best it could be is by picking a just right-within reach-book. The children had five tastings, sampling a variety of series and authors to determine which books were too easy, too hard, or just right! They enjoyed chocolate milk "fraps" and some sweet treats!

Middle School Updates

by Assistant Principal Connie Hoff

Classroom Showcase
Mr. Nance's Tech Design class took game creation to another level! Students first created their personalized artistic boards and gaming instructions. After they developed agreed-upon rules, they programmed their micro:bit single board computers to follow the commands of rolling dice. While working on a team, they ran beta tests and made changes based on student-driven feedback. Awesome job!

September 15 - October 15 is Hispanic Heritage Month, and it is an excellent time for celebrations and student creations! We are looking forward to the upcoming Wax Museum, where students will showcase the many influential Hispanics in the U.S. and abroad. For additional information on statewide writing and art competitions, click HERE.

End of Quarter 1 is in Two Weeks!
It's hard to believe that the first quarter of the 2019-2020 school year is already coming to a close. Students have tests and projects coming up, so please be sure to keep having those meaningful parenting conversations while checking FOCUS and Google Classroom. If necessary, students can sign up for after school tutoring HERE.

High School Updates

by Assistant Principal Christine Rick


Safety Reminders
ALL High School students must have a visible owl card to enter the A.D. Henderson campus. If students do not have their ID, they will not be admitted onto the A.D. Henderson & FAU High School campus. Lanyards have been distributed to students throughout the year. Please use one of those to wear your ID while on campus. Thank you!

All students and staff exiting the building must ensure that no visitors enter — all visitors must check-in at the front office. There is new signage around campus to assist with the enforcement of this process.

Dress Code Reminder
Although students have been doing an excellent job wearing their badges at all times, I have highlighted some other dress code violations that I have noticed, especially with our young ladies. As high school students on a campus of K-9th, high school students are the only group that does not wear uniforms. It is important to respect high school students' choices, but we often have prominent guests on campus tours that are extremely impressed with our students' academic experiences, and we would like to put our best foot forward with our dress appearance as well.  

Type:​ Students must wear an appropriate style shirt, such as a polo shirt, t-shirt, etc.

Presentation: Shirts must be appropriately sized. No clothing item may be faded, frayed, or have holes. 

Type prohibited: Tube tops, backless shirts, bare midriffs, or tank tops with straps less than three fingers wide are not permitted. Shirts may not advertise or promote gangs, sex, drugs, or alcohol, and/or contain indecent, offensive, or suggestive wording.

Type: Students must wear an appropriate style bottom, such as, shorts, pants, or skorts. 

Presentation: Pants must be appropriately sized and securely fastened at the waist. No clothing item may be faded, frayed or have holes. 

Type prohibited: Shorts and skorts must not be rolled down at the waist and/or rolled up at the hem line, and must be within 2 inches of the knee.

Credit Hour Approvals
Student FAU GPA will be used to determine how many credit hours a student will be allowed to take next semester.

Credit Approvals (Fall & Spring)
 Overall FAU GPA  Minimum # of Credits Approved
 3.7 - 4.0  17 - 18
 3.5 - 3.69  14 - 16
 3.49 and below  12 - 13
Credit Approvals (Summer - Optional)
 Overall FAU GPA  Maximum # of Credits Approved
 3.7 – 4.0  10 – 12 total (split between 2 terms)
 3.6 – 3.69  8 – 9 total (split between 2 terms)
 3.5 – 3.59  6 -7 total (split between 2 terms)
 3.49 and below  0


Speech and Debate
Michael Evard-Vescio placed 10th overall in Congressional Debate out of 250+ competitors at the Yale National Tournament. He is now on track for definite Top 6 nationwide. Looking back at the origination of the team, Michael was the only competitor and founder during the 2017-18 school year. As a freshman, Michael broke records in Congressional Debate on both the local and national levels. He ended the year as the top freshman with Tournament of Champions bids.

The following year, Michael achieved ongoing success on the local, state and national circuits, competing in both Congress and Domestic Extemporaneous Speaking, throughout the year. He continued to break records and put FAU High School on the map in both events. Major highlights of the recent successful season include: Congressional Debate - Sophomore Year 2018-19, 2nd Place - UK National Season Opener 2018, 2nd Place - University of Pennsylvania 2019, 3rd Place – UK National Season Opener 2019, 4th Place - Bronx Round Robin 2018, 7th Place - National Catholic Forensic League National Tournament (5th by judges), 7th Place and top sophomore – John Edie Holiday Invitation 2018, Finalist – Harvard University 2019, Finalist – University of Florida 2018, Top Sophomore/2nd most bids overall — National TOC Bids (11), Domestic Extemporaneous Speaking - Sophomore Year 2018-19, 1st Place - Florida State Qualifier Event 2019, Semifinalist/Top Sophomore - Florida Forensic League State Championship 2019

Michael did all this while continuing to grow our local FAU High school team. He is on campus, weekly, coaching and mentoring our young novice team. Recently, three of our five competitors placed third in their novice chambers.

We are looking forward to continued success for the young but, determined team! We are sure they will make their school, and their club founder, incredibly proud.

2019-2020 Rotary Scholar of the Month - September
Congratulations to Pedro Almeida, the FAU High School 2019-20 Rotary Scholar for September. The Rotary Scholar of the Month is selected by FAU High staff in recognition of character, ethics, morality, community service, and academic achievement.

Pedro expects to graduate FAU High in spring 2020 and hopes to continue at FAU to earn a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering in the spring of 2021. While maintaining his high academic status, Pedro also participates in the FAU High soccer team, Academic Games team, Commissioner's Academic Challenge, Math Ambassadors, and other extra-curricular activities. Pedro was also announced as a National Merit Scholarship Semifinalist this past month.

Serving his school as well as his community, Pedro has volunteered hundreds of hours helping to clean beaches, tutoring students, assisting teachers with grading, raising funds for charitable causes, and helping to lead church worship services. Still, he finds time for social activities, even decorating for holiday events. 
The FAU HS Staff, including our Honorary Member and Interact Advisor Robin Barkes, Academic Coordinator Kendra Palumbo, Director/Principal Sherry Bees, and Assistant Principal Christine Rich, also helped celebrate the recognition of Pedro's accomplishments.  

Congratulations Pedro Almeida!

Happy Birthday, Dan Cane!

This past month, we celebrated Dan Cane's birthday at Modernizing Medicine. A huge thank you to Dan for his unwavering support!

Family STEM Night

Please join us for Family STEM Night on Friday, October 11. The South Florida Science Museum and Aquarium will be bringing 20 hands-on STEM activities for our students to interact with AND a liquid nitrogen show! Family STEM Night will be from 6 pm to 8 pm. Thank you to our PTO for sponsoring this event!

Robot Drone League

Robot Drone League had its first competition on Saturday, September 28 at TechRunway. The Cane Institute was well represented by both middle and high school teams and are excited to make modifications to their robots and drones for the next tournament on October 19. Make sure you mark your calendars to check out the robot drone competitions at FAU Tech Runway!

Directions to FAU Tech Runway

Robot Drone League competition dates have also been announced.  We will be competing on the following days at FAU Tech Runway.  Come and support The Cane Institute at the robot drone competitions!

  • Saturday, October 19
  • Saturday, November 23
  • Saturday, December 14 - Championship

GT-EV Electric Supercar

We are proud to announce the TCI GT-EV Electric Supercar is almost street legal! We now have a registered Vehicle Identification Number and are in negotiations with insurance providers. Pretty soon, you'll be able to see the GT-EV car sitting in car line with you.

What's New?

Stay tuned for a big announcement regarding our next project!!

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

Follow us on Twitter

Follow us on Facebook

OPK12 Research Committee / Research Collaborations

We continue to support really neat projects with our collaborators from FAU. Here are the projects we are currently involved in: 

  • Oscar Curet, an ocean engineering researcher, received an NSF CAREER grant to support his research and educational outreach. Dr. Curet gave a lecture on animal swimming and bio-propulsion to Dr. Tift's Exploring Research class and then supervised a hands-on activity with a robotic fish.
  • 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 all 1st-5th-grade students to see the relationships among writing skills, writing performance, and writing quality. If you do not want your child to participate, you may fill out an Opt-Out form and submit that to their teacher.

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.

FAU High School Research Program

The FAUHS Research Program heard from many fantastic guest speakers this month. To highlight a few, three students involved in the H2O to Go program talked about their summer research projects. Additionally, we had a doctoral candidate, Emily Stark, talk about her research in computational psychology. We also had Dr. Oscar Curet, an associate professor from the Department of Ocean and Mechanical Engineering, give an interactive research talk where our students designed and tested the efficiency of paper fish fins (pictured below). 

On a final note, if you could please join us in wishing our upper-classmen the best of luck as the Undergraduate Research Grants deadline is fast approaching!

Owls Athletics

As we enter October, our Fall Sports are beginning to start their playoff seasons. Elementary and Middle School Cross Country teams have qualified for the State Championship Meet in Lakeland, FL on October 25-26.

Our MS Volleyball and Flag Football teams are fighting for a championship shot in their final games of the season.

Our HS Swim team is undefeated entering County Championship.

HS Cross Country and Volleyball are also preparing for the State Series.

Best of luck to all of our teams! Please continue to check our website,, for our winter sport tryouts dates. 

Go Owls!

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

Academic Games

This school year, FAU Lab School District has completed the process to compete independently from Palm Beach County and established its own Elementary (grades 4-6), Middle (grades 6-8) and High School (grades 9-12) Academic Games Team. This new formation allows for an increased number of students to have the opportunity to participate in this nationally acclaimed academic program and competitions. Equations/Mathematics season is in August/September, followed by Language Arts in October & November, and finally Social Studies in January and February.

The mathematics season is in full swing with over one hundred students competing in an authentic learning experience and problem-solving at the highest critical thinking levels.
We would like to congratulate all of our fantastic participants - Kevin Child (6th grade) earned perfect scores, Maryam Imran (MS), Ian Dowling and Chris Cox (HS) earned almost perfect scores during the first 4 rounds of the tournament.

The last two rounds of the Mathematics tournament matches and award ceremony will take place on Wednesday, October 2 in the Cafetorium from 3 pm to 4 pm for Elementary and Middle School and 4:30 pm to 6 pm for High School. We welcome all our parents to come and cheer on our amazing students! (We ask parents to arrive after 3:15 pm to avoid pick-up traffic).

Please mark your calendar for the upcoming Language Arts Tournament: November 8th, 15th, and 22nd.

Henderson After School Program - HASP News

Just a reminder that HASP operates on the PDD Noon dismissal days for all students enrolled in the Aftercare Program - Grades K-9.  

Thank you for your patience, as we have modified and updated many of the systems in place for the aftercare program. The billing/payment feature is being updated in FOCUS and should be completed by the end of the week. Second Quarter Fees are due by October 7, 2019 for all families on Quarterly Payments. The next component we hope to go live with is FOCUS Aftercare Attendance. 

Special activities like the architect program, Reading Buddies research, and homework support are getting underway. Each grade level schedule includes time for homework, outdoor/indoor play, technology, and team building. Counselors are not responsible for policing your child's homework, as they only know what homework is required from the student.

The HASP Parent Manual is available on the school's website and in this article for your convenience. Aftercare begins dismissing students at 3:15 pm. If you need your HASP student before 3:15 pm, please adjust their dismissal in School Pass to carline. Also, make sure all information is up-to-date and correct in Focus and School Pass. If your child is registered in HASP and you have questions, please contact Mrs. Sands or Mrs. Tolerton You may also reach out to Dr. Tift for high school specific questions or Mr. Cortese for middle school or HASP tutoring questions. Additional information is available on the HASP page on the school's website. Thanks for all you do!

Dr. Tift's Psychology Class Updates

In Dr. Tift's psychology class, students are currently studying human development. To see how children develop, Dr. Tift's class visited Mrs. Russo's 1st-grade class. The high school freshmen visited during a reading lesson and helped the young owls read independently, using a check & re-check method for reading new words. Later, the other psychology class visited during recess and got first-hand experience playing with the whole class on the playground. Everyone had fun and entirely exhausted by the end of recess. Next week, the psychology class will focus on cognitive development and will be able to link that material to their experience with Mrs. Russo's class.

General School Reminders

Career Day

Calling all pilots, bakers, athletes, entrepreneurs, and more! Get excited for A.D. Henderson's first Career Day! The month of February is Career Education Month and on Friday, February 7, 2020 you could have the opportunity to showcase your career to our students. If you are interested in presenting your career, please "Save the Date" and use the link on the flyer below to sign-up!

Support for Families

If you missed the Annual Parent and Family Meeting held with the PTO on October 2, click HERE to view the presentation about our Title I Targeted Assistance Program.

If you and your family are experiencing homelessness or a transition in housing and would like to complete a housing questionnaire, please contact either Dr. Bresnahan or your grade-level school counselor.

Parent/Guardian and Student FOCUS Accounts

NEW THIS SCHOOL YEAR – Re-enrollment for the 2020-2021 School year will REQUIRE a parent/guardian account. Now is an excellent time to set up your FOCUS account! RE-ENROLLMENT WILL BEGIN MID-FEBRUARY, 2020, AND WILL CONCLUDE MARCH 15, 2020. 

Parents/Guardians are strongly encouraged to set up their FOCUS account now!

New parent/guardian FOCUS accounts

  1. Please go to the FOCUS link and select "Parents/Guardians:  Click here to create an account or add a child to your existing account".  
  2. Follow the instructions for creating a new parent/guardian account.  Please select the option: "I DO NOT have an Account Registered on the Parent Portal, but my child is Actively Enrolled."
  3. You must use an email associated with your student's account
  4. Once your account is verified by the school you may download the FOCUS community app – see instructions below!

Student FOCUS accounts

Students who log into FOCUS will use a FIXED user name (10 digit student ID) and a pre-set password (DOB in this format WITH slashes MM/DD/YY).   Students must come into the front office if they need a password reset.  

If you have any questions or concerns regarding using or creating a FOCUS account, please do not hesitate to contact A. D. Henderson University School/FAU High front office at 561-297-3970. They are here to assist you Monday through Friday from 7:30 am to 4:00 pm You may also email

A.D. Henderson & FAU HS FOCUS Community App

A.D. Henderson & FAU High School FOCUS now has a community app for iPhone and Android users available through your phone's application store. The app provides easy access to student grades and attendance, plus quick links for activity fee and lunch payments, PTO, Aftercare, Uniforms, Athletics, Calendars, Lunch Menu, and more. See Instructions for the app HERE.


FortifyFL is a suspicious activity reporting tool that allows you to instantly relay information to appropriate law enforcement agencies and school officials.

By accessing FortifyFL, students can provide a description of the threat, share pictures, and videos and optionally submit their contact information. Submissions can be anonymous or non-anonymous. Submitting a tip is quick and easy using the mobile app or website

School Picture Re-Takes

School picture proofs will be arriving in a few weeks. For students that missed pictures, the morning of October 22 is the re-take picture day. For students that would like a retake, there is a $5 fee, payable in cash or check, to Mike Jurus Photography.

Art in the Capitol Contest

Deadline is October 18 - please see flyer below

2019-2020 School Yearbook

Advertising in 2020 School Yearbook
Please show your support by advertising in the 2020 school yearbook. Both full-color business and student recognition ads are available for purchase. Each student receives a yearbook. Advertising payments must be made by December 2. Directions are found on this flyer.


Optional Yearbook Customization
Each student will receive a yearbook. Optional customization is available for an additional fee. Crests, monograms, and student names with or without icons can be printed on the yearbook cover. Pricing begins at $7. Please view the flyer for directions.


PTO Update


The ADHUS PTO is busy preparing for the K-8 STEM Night on October 11, Annual Halloween Howl on October 26, and Scholastic Bookfair October 28 - November 1. There are plenty of opportunities this month to support your PTO. Organization updates and information were shared at the October General Meeting. 

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. There are three levels of contributions to customize your business donation. You can see their ads online and in the circles.


ADHUS PTO FAU vs. UCF Tailgate
The first tailgate was a HUGE success! As the FAU Owls took on the UCF Knights. Students were able to go on the field and cheer on the Owls! 

Our Dads turnout for the FLDOE DADS Take Your Child to School Day in the circles last Wednesday morning, September 25, was amazing! There were FAU athletes and hundreds of dads! We are grateful to the volunteers and athletes that supported the event. A special thank you to all of the dads for joining us, and we look forward to seeing you at the meetings and school events.

Coupon Books are now available for purchase. They are $25 but worth so much more! Save around town with your family and help out your school at the same time! Please remember, you can always support the PTO throughout the year by sending in your Box Tops and when shopping at Office Depot, Target, or Amazon. These contributors help us raise capital to support the school, faculty, and staff with resources.

We encourage each family and teacher to join the ADHUS PTO and attend events and meetings. Participation helps build a sense of community and support for our school. Please volunteer and support one or even two committees, your commitment will have a great impact on your school. Every volunteer hour counts, so please make sure you log your hours! You can reach us via email at or by phone 561-297-0491. For more information, please visit our PTO website.

The next General PTO Meeting is January 15 at 6:00 pm. We hope to see you there!

SLA Family Newsletter

SLA Management has redone the A.D. Henderson & FAU High online cafeteria portal. Please make sure to check the portal and find out about the great offerings our dining services provide.

Each month our cafeteria service, SLA Management, features a newsletter with health and nutrition information, upcoming features, and other interesting articles. This link houses the email archive from SLA Management.

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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