New for 2015-16: Computer Science, iLabs, and Reimagined Libraries

Pine Crest faculty and students saw three initiatives from the School’s 2014-19 Strategic Vision and Recommendations come to life at the start of school in August: a pre-kindergarten through twelfth grade computer science curriculum, three innovation labs, and reimagined libraries.
Titled “True to Tradition, Inspired by Innovation,” these Recommendations chart the course for Pine Crest through 2019. Initiatives that spin from this strategic plan will complement Pine Crest’s traditional core curriculum and will prepare students to thrive in the global marketplace of the future - one that requires ingenuity and real-world problem solving skills.

The Spaces

Pine Crest’s innovation labs, or iLabs, are are dedicated spaces filled with state-of-the-art equipment for all grade levels in a modern, collaborative environment. Libraries will continue to be extensions of our classrooms, providing research skills and information access to support all aspects of learning. More than just shelves of books and places to be quiet, libraries will transform into cooperative hubs of knowledge for ideas and people while taking on a new look and feel with flexible furniture that is conducive to collaboration. Computer Science spaces, whether in the classroom, iLab, or Library, are places where students learn programming and algorithmic thinking. Coding does not always look like students sitting in front of computers. Manipulative and tech toys like Dash & Dots and Spheros help make lessons in programming concrete for students at all levels.

The Specialists

While the iLabs and libraries were being designed and constructed during the summer, the Department of Educational Design and Curriculum Development was assembling a team of dedicated specialists with academic and industry experience. Called the iTeam, these experts work in cooperation with educational technologists, classroom teachers, and students. Pine Crest’s iTeam includes:

Lisa Ockerman, Director of Educational Design and Innovation

Melinda Tillitski, Director of Professional Development

Kris Swanson, Innovation Specialist, Boca Raton

Keri Kolettis, Innovation Specialist and S.T.E.M. Academic Advisor, Fort Lauderdale

Matt Trask, Innovation Specialist, Fort Lauderdale

Brayan Delgado, Robotics Specialist, Fort Lauderdale
Michael Luetjen, Computer Science Specialist, Lower School and Eighth Grade, Fort Lauderdale

Shelley Bookstein, Computer Science TII, Lower School and Eighth Grade, Fort Lauderdale

Alexis Cobo, Computer Science Specialist, Boca Raton

Lisa Saunders, Computer Science Specialist, Boca Raton

Amanda Holender, Computer Science Specialist, Sixth Grade Computer Science Co-Teacher, Fort Lauderdale

Ivy Pisani, Middle School Teacher, Sixth Grade Computer Science Co-Teacher, Fort Lauderdale

Lee Howell, Educational Technologist and Computer Science Specialist, Seventh Grade, Fort Lauderdale
Dr. Luc Wille, S.T.E.M. Academic Advisor
Arlene McDace, Librarian, Fort Lauderdale

Chris Ross, Library Literacy Coach, Fort Lauderdale

Brittany Thompson, Library Assistant, Fort Lauderdale
Linda Crescimano, Librarian, Fort Lauderdale

Gayle Smith, Media Specialist, Boca Raton

Deanna Harvey, Library Assistant, Boca Raton

Rita Lubbers, Library Assistant, Boca Raton

The Opportunities

iLabs are available for all students, whether tied to a curricular project, academic elective, competitive extracurriculars, research initiatives, or passion projects. Middle and Upper School students have already formed competitive robotics teams, including one all-girl team representing the Upper School! iLabs are open during the regular school day and on designated days and times after school and on weekends. Details and opportunities will continue be sent via email, and posted to My Pine Crest and eLearning/Schoology.

It is indeed an exciting time to be a Pine Crest student!