Class Notes: Graduation rate increases for the 10th year in a row

Starting this upcoming August, parents will have two options for their students for the 2021-22 school year. The first option will be face-to-face learning at their zoned school. The second option, for those students who would like to learn virtually, will be to enroll in Volusia Online Learning (VOL) as a full-time student. Volusia County Schools will no longer offer the Volusia Live option.

VOL registration opened April 16 for all families. The VOL 2021-22 school year full-time application for students in kindergarten through 12th grade can be accessed at www.volusiaonlinelearning.com through July 18. All current VOL families must reapply for the 2021-22 school year.

If you have any questions, reach out to Volusia Online Learning at 386-506-0014 or volusiaonlinelearning@groups.volusia.k12.fl.us.

FIRST (For Inspiration & Recognition in Science and Technology), a nonprofit organization that advances STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) education for students around the world, has awarded Volusia County Schools a FIRST Equity Grant in the amount of $50,000.

VCS will use the grant funding to implement a STEM-using robotics program from FIRST, while increasing diversity and inclusion to enhance the district’s work on equity, inclusion and diversity. The district plans to expand its robotics programming.

VCS has been a FIRST school district for several years, and has chosen to position FIRST programs in all schools, with STEM programs for prekindergartners to 12th-graders. There are scholarships available to high-school students who participate.

Teachers interested in starting a robotics team will receive training on robotics programs and on how to recruit and retain female and minority-student participants. The district will also recruit more robotics coaches from all demographics.

The beginning of April was National Assistant Principals Week. This column last week named the assistant principals at West Volusia high schools. The following is a list of assistant principals on the middle-school level in West Volusia: DeLand Middle School - Ryan Mahaney, Kemisha Rainge and Brian Goddard; Deltona Middle - Dr. Lloyd Haynes, Susan Seidel and Gregory Iorio; Galaxy Middle in Deltona - Dr. Sherry Pough, Tony Goodin and Rosemary Stemberger LaRussa; Heritage Middle in Deltona - Pamela Robinson, Dr. Stephanie Owens, Nicholas Fidance and Denielle Dutil; River Springs Middle in Orange City - Candace Ezell, Melissa Fratus and Nathaniel Anderson; and Southwestern Middle in DeLand - Tai Swift, Nicholas King and Stephanie A. DeGrazia.

Citrus Grove Elementary School

Citrus Grove Elementary School in DeLand is proud to announce that Volusia County Schools’ Outstanding School Volunteer Award in the senior category was presented to Bob Whitaker, a volunteer at Citrus Grove. Whitaker is a retired VCS teacher who has volunteered at Citrus Grove for the past five years. He helps weekly in classrooms, administers oral reading-fluency tests in third grade, assists teachers in setting up their classrooms at the beginning of the year, and helps with every book fair.

For the past four years, Whitaker has been a consistent presence in Patricia Hutchinson’s third-grade classroom. The students love to read to him, and he has become someone they can count on each week.

Whitaker makes students feel excited to learn and brave enough to take risks, which makes them more likely to grow and achieve.

“He is something special,” said Ms. Hutchinson.

Deltona Middle School

Deltona Middle School is having two boot camps to help students in math and civics.

The Civics EOC (End of Course) Boot Camp will take place 4:20-5:05 p.m. through Friday, May 14. Tutoring will begin promptly after school, and snacks will be provided.

Students must have a reliable ride home at the end of each tutoring session. Teachers available Mondays and Wednesdays will be Odessa Trinkle, Andre Hurwitz and Elvin Figueroa. Teachers available Tuesdays and Thursdays will be Alexandra Hornback, Nancy Dominguez and Figueroa. Figueroa will be available Fridays also.

The FSA Math Boot Camps take place Saturdays. The first, which was for sixth-graders, was April 24. The next, for seventh-graders, will be May 1, followed by eighth-graders May 8, and students in Algebra 1 and Geometry on May 15. All sessions are 9 a.m.-1 p.m.

River Springs Middle School

Volusia County Schools has added River Springs Middle School in Orange City to its Afterschool Meals Program for Tuesdays and Thursdays. This program started at River Springs on April 13, and is scheduled to run through the end of the school year in June.

Students must be enrolled in an enrichment program, such as Extended Day, tutoring, school clubs, or athletic programs, at the eligible school to receive a supper meal.

DeLand High School

DeLand High School has announced Mr. and Miss DHS for the 2021-22 school year. The new Miss DHS is Kristan Jacobs, while the new Mr. DHS is Javier Rivera. The runners-up are Summer Rank and Jamont Britt.

Deltona High School 

Deltona High School has announced its 2021 AP exam schedule. On-campus exams (paper/ pencil) are as follows: noon Tuesday, May 11, AP Psychology; 8 a.m. Wednesday, May 12, AP English Language and Composition; 8 a.m. Monday, May 24, AP Calculus AB and AP Calculus BC; and noon Tuesday, May 25, AP Statistics. 

Off-campus exams (digital at home) are as follows: noon Tuesday, May 18, AP English Literature and Composition; noon Wednesday, May 19, AP U.S. History, and 4 p.m. Wednesday, May 19, AP Macroeconomics; noon Thursday, May 20, AP U.S. Government and Politics, and AP World History (Modern); noon Thursday, May 27, Biology, and 4 p.m. AP Environmental Science; and noon Friday, May 28, AP Human Geography. 

Deltona track athlete Anthony Atanda placed fourth in the 100 meters with a time of 11.82 to advance to the district meet at Satellite High School May 1. 

Pine Ridge High School 

Three students of Pine Ridge High School in Deltona took part in the Central Florida Fair in Orlando as livestock-show exhibitors. 

Senior McKenna Burke exhibited in the breeding-sheep and market-lamb shows, placing first in senior showmanship, second in herdsman, champion in the Black Face Ewe Division and as the champion senior exhibitor in the breeding-sheep show. In the market-lamb show, she placed first in senior showmanship, marketing videos and the carcass contest, while being named as grand champion overall and as champion senior exhibitor. 

Freshman Madison Braun exhibited in the breeding-sheep and market-lamb shows. She placed first in the senior poster contest, second in herdsman and fourth in showmanship in the breeding show, while taking second in senior showmanship and fifth overall in the show for market lambs. 

Burke and Braun, along with Hailey Hosack, a junior, also took part in the livestock judging contest. 

Also, Pine Ridge students Sarah Edwards, Cylee Reinke, Kyle Merriam and Ashlynn Wise competed in the State FFA Livestock Evaluation CDE Qualifier in Ocala and qualified for the state contest in Gainesville. 

Students interested in obtaining a Pine Ridge yearbook for the 2020-21 school year need to preorder via the school website at Pineridgehighschool. com. Click on pay online. The cost of the yearbook is $85. No extras will be sold. 

Mr. and Miss Pine Ridge rehearsals took place in the school auditorium April 26-29. The Mr. and Miss Pine Ridge performance will take place at 6:30 p.m. Friday, April 30, in the auditorium. 

Taylor Middle- High School 

Fre shman Ra chel Morris of Taylor Middle- High School in Pierson exhibited in the breeding-sheep show at the Central Florida Fair in Orlando. She placed second in senior showmanship and won reserve champion in the hair division. 

Justin “Ty” Davis, Taryn Leverett and Ann Vaccaro competed in the State FFA Middle School Meats Evaluation CDE in Ocala and placed fifth, qualifying for state competition in Gainesville. 

University High School 

University High School in Orange City will be advancing three track athletes to the district meet at Flagler Palm Coast May 1. Advancing are sophomore Royce Eggert in the 3,200 with a third-place finish in a time of 10:16.23, while senior Lavant Byrd moves on in the 110 high hurdles with a time of 15.85 for fourth place, with senior Adam Garcia also taking fourth in the high jump at 5 feet, 10 inches. 

Stetson University 

Stetson University Theatre Arts ends its 115th season with a free online performance of The Way Things Were: A Virtual Theatrical Retrospective with First-Hand Accounts of Stetson University, DeLand and Our Corner of Florida. 

The virtual production began streaming at (https:// www2.stetson.edu/creative-arts/2021/03the-way-things-were) April 15, and can be viewed online through the remainder of the spring 2021 semester. The run time is approximately one hour. 

The performance was edited and recorded by And You Films. 

College honors 

Iliana Burgos Rodriguez, of Orange City, and Cristal Laboy, of DeLand, have graduated from Palmer College of Chiropractic with a doctor of chiropractic degree. 

— Send school news to Tony Tussing via email: at flacoach43@hotmail.com.