FSDB Title 1 Parent group meeting
  • Parents at table listening to presentation
  • FSDB staffer MIsty Porter leading Title 1 meeting
  • Parents at Title 1 meeting with Beach Ball
Title I Parent Advisory Team Quarterly Review

The Title I Parent Advisory Team (TIPAT) met on February 12, 2016, for the Second Quarter Progress Review and a brief presentation on McKinney-Vento services for homeless students on campus. Grant Assistant Coordinator Tracie Snow, who typically conducts the meetings, was unable to attend; Title I Coordinator Christi Boortz presented the Academic Department spending update in her place.

A “progress review” is an update on grant spending activities during a specified period of time (in this case the second quarter of the 2015-2016 school year). The primary purpose of Title I funds is to increase student academic achievement, so the bulk of the monies go to Academic Department activities. Second quarter activities included:

  • Computer Programmer – maintained progress-monitoring digital tools.
  • Campus Tutors – worked with students to improve academic achievement.
  • Assistive Technology Assistant – worked with BES students on typing skills, zoom text, and navigation of KidBiz (Achieve 3000) on the computer and iPad.
  • Assistive Technology Assistant – worked in BMS with staff and students on JAWs and BrailleNote.
  • Technology Integration Specialist – worked in DES & DMS with teachers on how to best integrate the technology resources they have, and led a Professional Learning Community focusing on iPads in grades K-2.
  • Braille Transcriptionist – rendered educational resources into Braille for BES & BMS classes.
  • Student Sign Language Evaluators – conducted ASL assessments this spring with students in grades K-3 and selected students in grades 4-5.
  • Curriculum Team Members – worked to ensure curriculum is aligned and rigorous.
  • New Teacher Mentors – worked with new teachers across campus, and met in groups for support and guidance.
  • Technology Integration Specialist – discussed the use of iPads in the classroom with teachers in grades K-2.
  • Teachers who were unable to attend last year’s summer institute – received monthly training in the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.
  • Teachers – attended a Saturday workshop entitled Creating Culture presented by consultant Betsy Wierda; Title I purchased the materials for this presentation in addition to funding consultant fees.
  • Academic staff – attended Christel Reaves training on use of the Growth Mindset to promote learning and resiliency in the classroom.
  • Staff – attended the following conferences via Title I travel & registration funds:
    • Florida Association for Media in Education (FAME) in Orlando
    • Florida Association of Science Teachers (FAST) in Tallahassee
    • Florida Institute on Homelessness & Supportive Housing in Orlando
    • Working With the Experts (WWE): Deaf and Hard of Hearing – Comprehensive Approaches to Grammar Instruction (ASL and English) in Altamonte Springs
    • The Leader In Me Symposium in Orlando
    • Conference for Florida Kindergarten Teachers in Orlando
    • American Printing House for the Blind (APH) in Louisville, KY
    • Association of College Educators – Deaf and Hard of Hearing (ACE-DHH) in New York City, NY

Title I Coordinator Christi Boortz also wears the Homeless Liaison hat as a member of the McKinney-Vento team on campus. She presented an overview of the federal definition of “homeless” students; McKinney-Vento Act provisions; and McKinney-Vento team activities. There are currently 11 homeless students on campus; over the years, the enrollment has ranged from four to 20 students. Several parents mentioned interest in making donations to benefit homeless students. Please contact Tori Von Essen in the Advancement Department for this purpose. Her phone number is 904.827.2327 and VP number is 904.201.4515, or email her at

In the final segment of the meeting, Liaison Misty Porter presented the Parent Involvement spending update for the Parent Services Department. Title I sets aside funding for meaningful parent involvement and parent capacity (educationally beneficial) activities. During her review, Porter praised parents for successfully using in-state travel monies. In terms of out-of-state travel monies, parents have not used their allotted amount and should contact her if they hear of any conferences or workshops (before the deadline of June 30, 2016) they would like to attend. Porter emphasized that parents should come out to training they have indicated they are interested in if they want to justify funding coverage.

During the upcoming TIPAT meeting, the parent involvement budget (travel, conference registration, and classes or workshops) will be planned for the 2016-2017 school year. ALL parents in Title I schools—BES, BMS, DES, DHS—are welcome to attend these meetings in addition to the parent representatives on the Title I Parent Advisory Team.

The next TIPAT Meeting will be held from 8:30 to 9:30 am on Friday, April 8, 2016, in the Moore Hall Center for Learning and Development (CLD) on the FSDB campus.

By Christi Boortz, Curriculum Department

About FSDB
Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind (FSDB) is a fully accredited state public school and outreach center available tuition-free to eligible pre-K and K-12 deaf/hard of hearing and blind/visually impaired students. Comprehensive educational services at FSDB are individualized, specific to the unique communication and accessibility needs of each student for independence and lifelong success. FSDB gratefully accepts private donations to support vital programs that directly benefit students and are not paid by state general revenue funds. To visit the school or to learn more about eligibility for enrollment, contact 1-800-344-3732. For more information, visit