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McKeel IBIS Conference is a huge success!

McKeel IBIS Bird Logo

The IBIS Dissemination Project, coordinated by the McKeel Academy of Technology (MAT), held their first Instructional Best Practices conference for middle and high school teachers and administrators from across the state at the Sheraton Sand Key on August 1, 2013. Over 150 attendees participated in the free, hands-on, interactive sessions on technology integration, writing and literacy with presenters from MAT, Tampa Bay Area Writing Project, Lumens Integration and South McKeel Academy. Sessions included:

  • The Blueprint for Building Better Sentences
  • Make Mine Rocky Road: Flavor Your Writing with Word Choice
  • Using 6 Word Memoirs As A Common Core Tool
  • Technology To Make You Fast NOT Furious
  • Writing FROM the Core! and
  • Doc Cam Magic: Cutting Edge Visual Tricks.

The McKeel IBIS Conference keynote speaker was author Nancye Blair Black (Florida Society for Technology in Education) who promotes progressive educational pedagogy and dignity-driven practices that empower students to succeed. Through a partnership with Lumens, 12 low-performing charter schools also received a new Ladibug document camera. Ready-to-use activities and techniques were demonstrated by experienced teachers/practitioners and participants left with strategies and resources that they could use immediately in their classrooms (plus they received handouts/electronic copies of all sessions on a memory stick).

Over the next year, the McKeel IBIS Dissemination Project will hold a series of workshops that continue to focus on technology integration and literacy in Grades 6-12. All middle and high school faculty members serving in Florida’s charter schools are encouraged to attend. Future workshops will be on both the campus of McKeel Academy of Technology in Lakeland, and at their partner locations: Heartland Educational Consortium in Lake Placid, North East Florida Education Consortium in Palatka, and Panhandle Area Educational Consortium in Chipley.

For further information on the IBIS Dissemination Project for Grades 6-12, please contact:

Susan Black
McKeel IBIS Program Manager & Communications Specialist
The Schools of McKeel Academy
PHONE: 863-287-7715

Free PD Workshops for Florida's Charter Schools (November 2012 - March 2013)

The Florida's Charter Schools Program (CSP) Office will continue to sponsor Free Professional Development (PD) workshops that are facilitated by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection. DEP workshops are open to all charter school educators who register between September - December 2012.

These K-12 interdisciplinary PD workshops feature highly engaging hands-on activities, free curriculum guides, technology support, and other free materials that are aligned with state and national standards. In addition, the DEP will coordinate with Florida school districts to award in-service credit hours toward each participant's initial certification and/or licensure renewal.

For additional details please refer to the DEP power point & audio taken at the October webinar or visit:

View Archive Info Webinar - Free Professional Development workshops for Charters Schools provided by Dept of Environmental Protection (DEP)

The DEP is also accepting direct requests for workshops from Principals/Directors of Florida's charter schools that are willing to host a PD course on their campus. To request information regarding the free PD courses being offered by the DEP at charter schools or to schedule a ½ day or full day workshop for your charter school, please contact:

Jackie Zimmerman
Office of Environmental Education/DEP
Phone: (850) 245-2145