The Sanibel School was named a school of Excellence by the State of Florida which means the school has had 80% or higher out of 900 points for a school grade of “A” for the last three years. This year students at The Sanibel School presented Leadership Binders which included artifacts selected by them to share with their parents at Student Led Conference Day in November and a Leadership Day in May.
Each fall students get an opportunity to run a mile in the annual Turkey Trot around campus. Trophies are awarded for the first, second and third place winners for grades 6-8 as well as faculty. Sixth graders in the fall take a Boat Smart Course taught by Marti Squitieri from the Sanibel-Captiva Power Squadron. Students learn about which boat is the give-way vessel, and making sure a vessel meets the life jacket requirements. They even have a May Day simulation where they practice real life boating incidents. Students who score 75% or higher can take the boating safety course to receive their boating license. The top group from each class gets a boat trip with the Coast Guard and lunch provided by the Power Squadron at the Sanibel Marina.
Each year after Thanksgiving, seventh graders visit the City of Sanibel and learn about what it takes to serve the community by participating in a mock City Council meeting. The mayor, vice mayor and other council members are usually there to answer any questions.
This year was the first year The Sanibel School offered STEM as an elective for its middle grades students. A small group of the STEM students participated in the First LEGO League Robotic Competition with a late start and a short time frame to complete creating a robot from Legos, putting the competition pieces together and to create a project about this year’s theme, Hydrology. Our team walked away with its first trophy, “Against All Odds”, which sponsor, Dr. Kielborn-Jennings was both proud and shocked. For the 2018-19 school year, The Sanibel School will continue to offer STEM as an elective for middle grades and for the first time, students in grades 2-5 will have STEM as a specials class.
This past January the Middle School Grades MWA (Gifted) students took a three day field trip to our state capitol, Tallahassee. Students planned the entire trip of visits to various museums, restaurants and the capitol. Our group was recognized at the Senate meeting by our State Senator Lizabeth Benacquisto who met with us earlier that day. Much thanks to Sanibel Taxi for being our group’s transportation and to Zonta and FISH for helping defray the cost for many of our students.
In the spring sixth graders learn about live shells of Sanibel from the Bailey-Mathews National Shell Museum. Students visit the museum to learn more about live shells with a hands-on experience. Then they sign up for sessions at the Live Tank Exhibit during the entire Shell Festival to tell locals and visitors from all over the world about the live shells on Sanibel.
Last year our Steel Drumming Band performed at Walt Disney World in Orlando and this year, it was our Seahorse Chorale who was awarded that honor. Student Johnny Jensen also sang for the All State Honor Choir for the second year in a row! IN addition, four elementary students were chosen to sing with the State Elementary Honor Choir group: Ava Camputaro, Grace McKinney, Sonia Otalvaro and Summer Stewart.
These are just a smidgen of highlights from The Sanibel School is not only a State School of Excellence when it comes to academics, it is a school offering a plethora of enriching and amazing experiences. “We knew it, but now it’s official, We are awesome!”
Reprinted from 2018-19 issue of Island Scene magazine.