Allamanda, Cypress Trails Honored With ‘Exceeding Expectations’ Award

Two Palm Beach County district schools are among 18 in Florida that will be honored for their work in boosting student achievement.

Allamanda Elementary School in Palm Beach Gardens and Cypress Trails Elementary School in Royal Palm Beach both will be recognized in May at the Exceeding Expectations Conference in Orlando.

Exceeding Expectations awards are given to Title I schools that demonstrate significant progress in improving student achievement.

Both schools were selected by the East Coast Technical Assistance Center (ECTAC) after an extensive review process, in which evaluators conducted interviews and classroom observations, and examined Florida Department of Education data to determine school progress.

At Allamanda Elementary, the district’s first health and wellness choice program in Palm Beach County, the goal is to help each child develop habits for better health, fitness and love of learning. Health and wellness is integrated into every aspect of the school. Students take “brain breaks” throughout the day, and choose from a variety of health clubs such as running, walking, gardening, cooking and dancing. In the classroom, teachers help foster a lifelong love of reading through reading and writing workshops.

“The Exceeding Expectations award gave the Allamanda family further reason to celebrate what we do for our students every day,” Allamanda Principal Marilu Garcia said. “We feel acknowledged, validated and uplifted.”

Cypress Trails Elementary is building a unique curriculum focused on science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), using the Florida Continuous Improvement Model to guide standards-based instruction. With the school’s unique partnership with Lion Country Safari, students are learning more about lions and other animals in each of their lessons, from reading and writing to math and science.

“At Cypress Trails, we take pride in providing a warm, caring environment that strives for excellence in all facets of learning. It is an honor to be recognized for our continued accomplishments in academic achievement,” Cypress Trails Principal Shari Bremekamp said. “Equally important, the ECTAC evaluation team stated that they were able to observe our team approach to teaching and learning, and it was evident that the staff truly cared about their school, students and community.”

Representatives from Allamanda and Cypress Trails will have the opportunity to attend May’s Exceeding Expectation Conference, where they will share their strategies for improving student achievement. They also will be recognized for their schools’ accomplishments.