News, 2014 - 2015
May 23, 2015
Our annual school picnic and ball game was held today on the school grounds. It was a warm day with nice breezes and high, fluffy clouds giving some occasional shade. We began at ten o'clock with a couple of pick-up softball games, then stopped for lunch. Cold and hot sandwiches, lots of salads, yummy desserts, and several flavors of drinks made for a refreshing meal!
After lunch, the school dads played a game of softball against the sons. The sons pulled out to an early lead, hammering in run after run over several innings. They held the lead through the middle of the game, and the dads were beginning to wonder if they would be able to turn it around. In about the sixth inning the dads managed to tie the score, and edge past by several runs. The sons came in for their last at-bat, and nearly drove a few runs around the bases, but in the end, they came up short. It was a great game, and the boys showed their dads a thing or two about how to play ball.
At this point in the day, it was time for a watermelon break, served up cold and sweet by the school board. A couple of more pick-up games were played under the blazing sun, then we called it a day. And what a day it was.
May 20, 2015
The closing program was held this evening, as today was the last day of school. The students did an excellent job with their singing and Scripture recitations! They obviously put their heart into it, and it went really well. Tiana B. graduated from Kindergarten, which is a really big deal. She and her classmates reminded us that the "Gratitude Attitude" is very important. Also, Abriana K. sang the only solo of the evening, and it was beautiful! The older students sang a song in French Creole. Our Administrator, Bill Y., closed the evening with a few comments, and presented Miss Susie with a custom-embroidered SMS chair throw blanket for her work in our school.
Farewell, Miss Susie. Miss Susie has taught here for four years, and has now decided to terminate and move back home to Virginia to stay. Her work in the classroom has been exemplary; the dedication she has to her students will leave a godly mark on their characters that they will carry into eternity. Miss Susie worked equally well with students who had significant learning difficulties as well as with those who were exceptionally bright in their studies. She took extra time for both, to meet them where they were as individuals, and she worked hard to create the best learning environment possible for each student. Thank you, Miss Susie! You will be missed, and we wish you God's best as you go.
May 19, 2015
The students had a real special treat this morning! Is there anything better than home made donuts? Shannon T. and Sherry G. brought the most amazing donuts and donut holes for the students, and, wow, those donuts were tasty!
Crispy on the outside, buttery soft on the inside, these were melt-in-your-mouth perfection! Thank you, Shannon and Sherry, for the splendid treat!
May 8, 2015
The students had a great time today! We had our annual end-of-year field trip, this time to two places: Lowry Park Zoo in the morning, and Museum of Science & Industry in the afternoon. We met at the school house at 7:30, and before 8:00 we were on our way.
Lowry Park Zoo is a great place to see lots of animals, many of them unusual and even somewhat rare. The students got up close and personal with birds called Lorikeets, feeding giraffes, and stroking Manta rays. They saw weird-looking deer with fangs, a sloth bear, a Florida panther named Lucy, meerkats, orangutans, flamingos, the rare and shy okapi, and other wild and wonderful creatures. Anthony Y. rescued a baby bird that apparently fell out of its nest and got stuck in the wire fence trying to get back into the tree. A favorite destination in the park was the flume ride, which was essentially an excuse to get soaked with a refreshing deluge of cool water.
At 12:30, we walked out of the park, across the street to a picnic area, settled under a large pavilion, and had a brown-bag lunch put together by the school board: ham and cheese sandwiches, chips, Gatorade or water, and a cookie for dessert. It was excellent food!
After eating, we headed to MOSI, where the students explored lots of interactive exhibits. Hands-on puzzles, tug-of-war machines, a bed of nails, a full-size skeleton of homo sapiens sapiens (plastic), human chess, and lots more. Several students and a couple of board members even rode the zip-line. At 4:00 we saw an IMAX film on China's efforts to maintain a population of pandas in the wild. This was our last event, and we were out the door on our way to Cici's Pizza for supper.
April 9, 2015
Yesterday was "Comfy Day" in Miss Susie's classroom. Students in Kindergarten and First Grades brought their blankets, pillows, and stuffed animals. They were told to dress in something "comfy" and some wore pajama tops, and others just comfortable play clothes. They were allowed to lie on the floor with their pillow and blanket to do their work. At Kindergarten rest time, everyone got to take a rest.
On the Snapshots page, you can watch a time-lapse video of their "rest" time - the excitement of the day made it difficult for some to settle down, hold still, and rest.
April 7, 2015
Your honor students went on their field trip today. We began our day at 9:00 with a visit to the Choice Books headquarters and distribution center. We were met by Steve S., Elmer B., and Elmer's guard dog, Holly, who welcomed us and told us about the mission of Choice Books. They also told us some stories about people whose lives have been changed by godly reading material available through the ministry of Choice Books.
This warehouse receives, processes, and dispatches approximately 30,000 books every month, serving around 600 stores from just north of Ocala all the way to South Florida. Since a book shipment had just arrived, they put the students to work printing and applying bar code labels, then re-boxing them for distribution. Elmer showed us how they use a belt sander to freshen the edges of some shelf-worn books, so they look crisp and new again. They also let each of the students pick a book to keep for themselves, from some of the older stock. After Elmer read a spooky bogeyman story to us, we waved our goodbyes and headed out to the next destination.
We arrived at Sub Zero Ice Cream shop at 10:30, where Jill and Todd were waiting for us. They opened the door with a smile, showed us to our seats, then began discussing the science behind using liquid Nitrogen for making ice cream. Nitrogen has a low freezing temperature; it boils at minus 320 degrees Fahrenheit, while evaporating as a gas. The billowy clouds of Nitrogen were really cool to see!
They inflated a balloon, then dipped and rolled it in liquid Nitrogen, which made the balloon shrink dramatically. When they pulled it out of the Nitrogen bath, it began warming, which caused it to "inflate" again. They also dunked a racquet ball into the liquid Nitrogen. It was hard as a rock, and sounded like a billiards ball on the concrete floor. After a little more freezing, Todd dropped it (threw it, actually) onto the floor, and it shattered. Amazing. Really cool stuff.
Of course, we couldn't leave there without trying their menu, so everyone ordered whatever they liked. The ice cream was really delicious. We would go there again!
From the ice cream shop, we went to Chick-fil-A for lunch (most of the students weren't hungry), then we spent the afternoon at the Colonial Oaks gym - which was air conditioned this time! - where we played basketball, Extreme Indoor Kickball, and Team Two-Square.
March 25, 2015
Squirrels eat flowers! Who knew? (Click to enlarge)
March 18, 2015
Recently, the students in Miss Susie's class had a Bible Memory challenge. Over the course of a couple of weeks, they worked hard to be able to recite by memory as many Scripture verses (with the reference) as possible.
Today in chapel, Miss Susie presented them with their Certificates of Achievement. Jenny S. recited the most, with a total of 101. They all did a great job!
March 13, 2015
In honor of Albert Einstein's birthday tomorrow, and in recognition of Pi Day tomorrow, the students in the big classroom celebrated with pie: Chocolate, Pecan, and Apple Crumb... for breakfast... during chapel! It was delicious!
Albert Einstein was born in 1879.
Pi Day is when the Gregorian calendar matches the early digits of the mathematical ratio of Pi, the relationship of the circumference of a circle to its diameter. Tomorrow's date is 3/14/15. Pi, rounded, is 3.14. The first ten digits of Pi are 3.141592653, which means that at 9:26 and 53 seconds tomorrow, we will have the first ten digits of Pi! Exciting! This won't occur again for 100 years!
Pi (as a number) is irrational and transcendental, which means it both goes on into infinity, and never repeats itself. Scientists have calculated Pi to a trillion digits. Typed out in 8-point
font, in linear fashion, a million digits of Pi reaches just over a mile. This means that a trillion digits of Pi, typed out, would reach over a million miles. This would reach to the moon and
back about four times.
March 10, 2015
Your Honor students went to visit the SCAT bus headquarters this morning. We arrived
at 9:00, and were ushered into a conference room where we met a lot of the managers of the various departments. Mr. Rocky Burke, the Director, welcomed us and gave us a brief overview of SCAT.
Then Mr. Ferris, head of Operations, Mr. Lieberman, head of Planning, Ms. Klein, head of Finance, Ms. Garrett, head of Technology, Ms. Roland, coordinator of Customer Service, and Ms. Kendra,
head of Marketing, each spoke for a couple of minutes on the role their department plays in the SCAT system. Ms. Kendra (Marketing) also showed us their new television advertisement, "We'll Take
We learned that SCAT has 100 buses, 220 drivers, and about 300 employees. This all runs on a budget of $30 million, most of it coming from grants. Only about 15% of their budget is funded by the "fare box," cash coming in from riders. Each bus costs about $400,000.00 to purchase, and SCAT estimates that they make approximately three million trips per year. The regular bus fare is $1.25, and the fare for Para-Transit (which serves handicapped or special needs folks under the ADA) is $2.50.
We followed Ms. Roland out of the conference room, through their offices full of cubicles, into the dispatch office where they take reservations for ADA riders, and on out through the bus maintenance facility, where mechanics work on the buses. We went across the tarmac, past the huge "bus wash," to a bus where a driver named Jim was waiting for us. He welcomed us aboard, and after everyone got comfy, Ms. Roland decided we should be given a bus ride. Rather than just go around the parking lot, as she was first thinking, she told the driver to take us out on the road. We went around the block, while the students took turns yanking the yellow cord requesting to be let off at the next stop.
At the end of the bus ride, Jim dropped us off curbside near the bus wash, and we walked past the mechanics' building toward the exit gate, where they showed us the bicycles that people had forgotten to take with them when they got off the bus. They hold lost-and-found items, including bicycles, for 90 days, to give folks time to come claim their property; currently they have about a dozen bikes standing there, but they've had as many as a couple of hundred.
After the tour was done, we circled up in the parking lot, where the students decided they wanted to go to Sarasota Square Mall to hang out for awhile before eating lunch there. After lunch, we went to Bee Ridge Park, where they played Beach Volleyball on sand courts. It was great.
March 6, 2015
Our annual Track & Field was a success today! It was a beautiful day, with sunshine and a heavy breeze all day. The students played hard and competed with the best they had; lots of ribbons were earned, but more importantly, they had a great time with each other. The ladies competed in volleyball bump and jump rope, while the men did rope climb, high jump, and long jump. Other events included baseball throw, sprints and relay races, basketball free throw and softball catch, and by the end of the day, students were running out of steam. They gave it all they had.
Thanks to the work of the school board, we had a delicious lunch of hot ham sandwiches, crudite, and potato chips with carrot cake bars and chocolate cake bars. It was a great way to recharge for the afternoon events.
Thanks also to all the dads and moms who were available to help facilitate the events; we couldn't do it without you!
Have a great weekend!
February 19, 2015
We had a visit from the Sarasota County Sheriff's Department K-9 Unit during last period this afternoon. Two deputies, Josh and Brian, arrived shortly before 2:00, and met with the whole school on the softball field.
Josh talked about their work, telling us that K-9 working dogs have two main jobs: tracking missing or wanted persons, and locating narcotics and bombs. He said that out of about 1,000 deputies on the force, only six are K-9 handlers. Two of the six (Josh and Brian) were with us, and the other four were "at home sleeping," off duty. Each dog lives with his handler full time, work and play. The typical working life of a K-9 dog is around eight years, though health problems and injuries may shorten that time. Brian, who has been serving with the K-9 Unit for 15 years, has worked with four dogs during his career.
Brian brought out his dog named Ryker first, a Malinois (aka Belgian Shepherd), and demonstrated how the dog attacks to subdue a threat. He released Ryker to attack Josh, who was wearing a device on his arm for the dog to bite. Ryker held on tight, even when he was swung around in the air by his teeth, until Brian gave him the order to release. Good dog!
Josh then brought out his dog, named Odin, who is a four-year-old, 85-pound German Shepherd. He released his dog on Brian, who was wearing the arm device, then called him off while he "searched" Brian. They pretended that Brian threatened Josh, and Odin instantly attacked Brian again.
They passed around the arm protection for the students to try on themselves. They also showed us the bullet-proof, knife-stopping vest that the dogs wear under certain threat conditions. Three
o'clock came around quickly, and after the presentation, the deputies were kind enough
to pose for pictures with any students who were interested.
February 6, 2015
This morning's chapel in grades 4-High School included a skit about King Solomon, a soldier with a sword, and two mothers quarreling over a baby. Without giving away too much, let's just say it all worked out in the end.
January 29, 2015
Today was the hundredth day of school, and Miss Susie's class was assigned to bring a hundred of something to class today. The items they chose were melty beads, marshmallows, gummi bears, and airgun pellets. The students had a grand time doing all sorts of math problems involving 100's, including doing 100 exercises and thinking of 100 words.
Follow this link to see pictures.
January 22, 2015
Miss Susie's students are enjoying "Game Day" today; everyone in the class brought a game to school, and they are playing these games all day long! Sounds great! Here, they are playing a game brought by Jenny S., and it's called Marble Chase:
January 20, 2015
Today was the day for the First Quarter Honor Roll Field Trip! Your Honor students were given a fascinating tour of the Sarasota County 9-1-1 Call Center, located in the County Administrative Building on Ringling Blvd. We arrived shortly before 9:30 this morning, and shot several group photos before Ms. Kristin Fitzgerald came out and welcomed us indoors.
Kristin took us straight up to the 6th floor, where we were ushered into a large conference room. This room is used in times of crisis, such as hurricanes, for local officials to meet and coordinate rescue and response efforts. After a slide-show description of the 9-1-1 Emergency unit, we split into two groups for a tour of the call center. Here, we watched and listened as phone operators took calls from emergencies around the county, including a 2-Alarm fire that they'd been battling before we arrived. Operators' jobs are to take calls, gather necessary information, then pass on the location of the emergency to the dispatcher, who sends the data to the appropriate departments: police, fire, and rescue squads, including Bay Flight. They stay on the phone to talk the caller through whatever crisis they have, until first responders arrive and take over at the location.
During our time in the call center, the operators were so overwhelmed with calls that the shift supervisor had to jump in to take several calls. They handled well over 450,000 calls last year, and this year-to-date is already running more than 4,000 calls over last year's same period. They also told us that approximately 75% of the calls they receive are actually non-emergency type of calls; they are overloaded with calls that should never be coming in. Some of these calls are about situations like a house burglary, and should be directed to the Sheriff's Department. Other calls include people asking about the weather forecast, or wondering why their pizza order hasn't been delivered yet, or even to complain that little green aliens are sitting on the air conditioning unit outside the house. (Yes, really.) Kristin, our tour guide, used to be an operator, and she has even helped deliver two babies, talking them through it over the phone.
With a little time remaining before lunch, we left there and went to Island Park for about half an hour, where the students roamed the island, skipped shells on the water, hunted fiddler crabs, and climbed Banyan trees. The group voted (twice) on a lunch destination, finally settling on Firehouse Subs. The afternoon was spent at the Colonial Oaks gym, where we played basketball, Team Two-Square, and Extreme Indoor Kickball. We finished the day with Slurpees, because of course.
It was a good day.
December 19, 2014
Your children put on an excellent program this evening! From youngest to oldest, they put their heart and soul into doing their very best, and it showed! The singing was particularly well done, and the students did a great job with their recitations, also. By dint of hard work, they made the evening memorable.
Now it's time for a break from school: time with family and friends this holiday season, relaxing with a cup of eggnog, and generally just doing things that don't involve studying math and English. Enjoy your vacation, and have a wonderful Christmas.
December 18, 2014
Our annual Christmas Program is tomorrow evening at 7:30.
Please have your students here at the school house by 6:55, for final preparations.
November 7, 2014
This evening the students showed their creativity with projects for our annual Science & Art event. From youngest to oldest, they put a lot of effort into making the evening a good time for everyone. Parents and grandparents browsed the displays, while the younger students dashed in and out, playing with friends and comparing projects.
Thanks to the work of our school board, we all enjoyed a pizza supper, with donations going to the operation of our school. It was a good evening with lots of good memories.
Splendid work, students!
October 31, 2014
Looks like November is crammed.
October 16, 2014
Our Hot Lunch menu today was set up with a Games Theme, from football to Twister™! Click on this link to see a few pictures, and see if you can figure out what the other games were.
Here is the link for the full menu.
It was delicious!
October 9, 2014
Miss Susie's students, Kindergarten and first grade, had their annual Fall Party today, celebrating autumn with a couple of songs and Scripture recitations. They have been working on this for awhile, and the presentation went very well. With parents invited to join them, they did their very best, and their hard work showed in the excellent presentation.
Following the program, everyone enjoyed apple cider and snacks, which were set out on a table decorated with an autumn theme.
It was a good time. Well done, students!
October 8, 2014
Garrett's dad, Mr. Gary Y., was our guest speaker for chapel this morning. He introduced the students to the Tator family, and described their character traits, using them to illustrate how we should (or should not) behave. They are a rather large family of thirteen, and here are their names:
Vege Tator (he's the one lying down; he's lazy!)
Richard "Dick" Tator (bossy and mean)
Agi Tator and Irri Tator (sisters)
Ro Tator (is not loyal to his friends - keeps changing them)
Ampu Tator (drives "potato" wedges between friends, cuts them off)
Facili Tator (helps others, makes things go smoothly)
Gary credits his wife Maria with the imaginative work of creating all the family members.
September 30, 2014
Your Honor students from the fourth quarter of last year went on the first field trip of the year today. They visited Sarasota Bradenton International Airport, then toured the airport's fire and rescue facility.
When we arrived at the airport, Max welcomed us and told us he would be our tour guide. He has been volunteering at the airport for eight years, and he was a genial, cheerful guide. He also works behind the upstairs Help Desk on Fridays (tell him we said "Hi") and even volunteers as a driver for the trams. (He calls big riders "Tram-Busters!") He told us the airport was originally established as a base for the U.S. Air Force, before it was converted for civilian use. We went through locked doors, down long, spooky corridors, to the Airport Communications Center, where we saw security screens, radios, and maps of the grounds. Because this is a secure area, we were not permitted to take pictures of the security desks and screens around the room. While we were in the room, a call came through requesting investigation of an unoccupied car parked alongside an airport curb. Tommy, the officer on duty, radioed for help, then quickly located the car on one of his security cameras and zoomed in on it. We watched as other officers arrived and began searching the car.
From there we went into the next room, which is set up as a crisis command center, with lots of phones, computer hook-ups, and huge screens on the wall. Leaving that section of the building, we went to the office of the airport police. There, Officer Grace showed us the holding cell (Lori was "handcuffed"), demonstrated how his taser works (scary lightning), and passed out SRQ Airport Police badges to everyone.
Next we went outside onto the secure area of the concourse, where Officer Grace showed us one of their police trucks, complete with assault weapons. After stopping by the baggage claim area, our guide, Max, gave everyone a squeeze-toy in the shape of an airplane, complete with the SRQ logo.
We went straight to the fire station from there, where Matt met us and showed us the fire trucks. He even took the big truck out and showed us how it can punch a hole in the fuselage of an airplane, then inject water at the rate of about 7.5 gallons per second, or 450 gallons per minute. After the demonstration, Daniel M. got to help hook up the water line to refill the six-wheel-drive tanker truck, while Anthony Y. turned the wrench to open the hydrant. The firemen showed us their fire suits, the pole they sometimes slide down on during an emergency, their kitchen and sleeping dorm, their work-out room, and the common area where they relax together. The current set-up is three 5-man teams, 24 hours on duty, 48 hours off duty.
By then it was time to leave, and the students chose Chic-fil-A for lunch, so we headed there to eat. The Colonial Oaks Park gymnasium was unavailable, as was Longwood Run's, and so was Arlington's. We struck out, so we headed to Sarasota Square Mall to avoid the dreary drizzle outside.
If the girls hadn't been late because they got Auntie Anne's treats, we would've gotten back to the school by three o'clock.
September 26, 2014
Yesterday we had a bit of trouble with one of the school's air conditioners; it wasn't functioning properly, and grades four through high school were uncomfortably warm for a couple of hours this morning while Carlin of Redi-Air worked some repairs. After he got it running, our room soon cooled off again. The students were (mostly) patient during the whole ordeal.
The day was a little more enjoyable for grades four through high school because, first of all, it was Flip-Flop day, and secondly, we had Pop-A-Balloon-And-Win-A-Dollar-Tree-Prize Day. Daniel M. popped a balloon right outside the Records Room door where Carlin was working on the A/C, and Carlin poked his head out to see what was going on. We believe he would have liked to pop a balloon and win a prize, too.
You can see some pictures of the P.A.B.A.W.A.D.T.P Day on this page.
September 18, 2014
Home-school Kindergartner Kara Y. is helping her cousin by filling a water cup at the fountain.
She's such a big girl!
September 2, 2014
Today was the first day of school life for Kindergarten! She arrived with a bright, sun-shiny smile, ready for the great adventure! Finding her desk, putting away her things, and saying goodbye to mom, Tiana B. started her day well, and finished even better. Looks like she's off to a good beginning! You can see some pictures of her first day right here.
August 20, 2014
School opened today! It was great!
The students arrived this morning with anticipation written on their cheerful faces, carrying backpacks stuffed with the tools of learning - new erasers, new tablets, new pens. Some students even had new shoes! While the younger students were outside playing, the older students huddled around their desks, talking quietly.
Everyone met in the Fellowship Hall for chapel, and the board chairman, John G., gave us some encouragement and admonition for the new school year.
Back in our classrooms, we talked about our summer vacations, reviewed classroom procedures, and cracked open our new books! It was exciting!
The students dug into their work willingly, and we had a successful beginning to the new year.
August 15, 2014
Orientation was an enjoyable evening, as students explored their classrooms, found the desks where they'll be working, and chowed down on cookies and punch - thanks to the school board. While they were having a good time with old friends, their moms and dads visited with each other and paid for the new yearbooks.
The teachers have the classrooms prepared, and are completing the final details needed for school to open next Wednesday - a half day. We are looking forward to another excellent year, and are confident that with God's blessing and everyone pulling together, the coming school term will be rewarding and successful.
We'll see you on Wednesday!
August 6, 2014
The 2013-2014 yearbooks have arrived, and they look great! Packed with memories, these will bring a lifetime of enjoyment as your students look back on their days in school... friendships forged, learning labored over, and memories made.
These will be available on the evening of Orientation, Friday, August 15, at 7:00. Thanks to the financial support of our advertisers, these can be had for a donation of only $10.00 each. Get a copy for each of your students, for mom and dad, and for the grandparents, too!
July 24, 2014
The carpets, they are clean.
July 19, 2014
Thanks to all who came to School house Cleaning Day! The day began with lots of work on the list, and with the cheerful help of many hands, a lot got accomplished in just a few hours. Outside and inside, our school grounds have gotten a freshening face-lift; everything looks and feels clean!
School house cleaning is scheduled for July 19 at 8:00 am. See you there!
Special Summertime Bonus
For all y'all who visit this website during summer break: we had a special visitor patrolling the schoolhouse flowerbeds, hunting for vermin. Big fella. Healthy.
If you meet up with him, be gentle -- he's all right.
He's fast, too.
June 25, 2014
School is not in session, but things are happening! Plans are being made for next term, study materials are being ordered and inventoried, and preparations are well underway for the first day of school.
This website is intended to be useful to you: not only do we post updates on what's happening during the school year, but you may also find
The summer is moving by quickly! We hope you enjoy what's left of it!