Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Weeki Wachee's Winding Waters K-8 all abuzz for Spirit Week

Third-grade teacher Kristina Garofano and student Amanda Verdi, 8, work on their class bulletin board on Crazy Hat Day.

PAULETTE LASH RITCHIE | Special to the Times

Third-grade teacher Kristina Garofano and student Amanda Verdi, 8, work on their class bulletin board on Crazy Hat Day.

WEEKI WACHEE — Some mighty peculiar things could be seen in the hallways and classrooms at Winding Waters K-8 School during the recent Spirit Week — teachers and students sporting antennae, a couple of front-office workers with giant spiders on their heads, bizarre hats and even some striped shoes.

But a closer look revealed plenty of lessons going on.

In its second year, the school still does not have a seventh or eighth grade. Sixth grade was added this year. The higher grade levels will be added during the next two school years.

Nonetheless, as a new school, the administration and teachers are interested in building a feeling of community and family.

Hence, Spirit Week, with the them of "Beware of the Swarm!"

The week included Yellow Jacket Day-Dress on Monday, Class Color Day on Tuesday, Crazy Hat Day on Wednesday, Mismatch Day on Thursday and School Spirit Day on Friday, when students wore yellow, black and green, the school colors.

Like schools everywhere, Winding Waters is beginning to implement Common Core Standards, which principal Dave Dannemiller explained are "the new standards replacing the Sunshine State Standards." They provide for a more rigorous curriculum where the students have to defend and explain answers.

Kindergarten and first grade are being taught with the Common Core Standards this year. Second grade will be added next year, and the following year all grades should be on board.

"There's been district training going on for a couple of years," Dannemiller said, adding that leadership groups went to training over the summer.

Some of the standards were woven into Spirit Week. There was a schoolwide "Design Your Own Yellow Jacket" activity, a coloring contest, said elementary assistant Jackie DeSario.

"But we are modeling for teachers that there should be some sort of writing assigned to every experience and activity," DeSario said. "We are asking students to complete a short writing assignment to go along with the coloring contest."

"Everything that we're doing now we're having them write about it," Dannemiller said, "and we're doing it in a way so as to not take the edge off the fun. What we're attempting to do this year is put an instructional focus on Spirit Week."

Part of the week's fun was the prizes for the contest winners. Students were divided into the kindergarten through second-grade category and the third- through sixth-grade category. Those judged to have the best bulletin boards in each category won pizza parties. Second place was ice cream parties and third place cookie parties.

The best yellow jacket coloring/writing contest was also divided into two categories, but the winners were individuals. Funded by the PTA, first-place winners received $30 each, second-place winners $20 and third place $10.

Spirit Week was coordinated by third-grade teacher Kristina Garofano.

Weeki Wachee's Winding Waters K-8 all abuzz for Spirit Week 11/07/12 [Last modified: Wednesday, November 7, 2012 3:54pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Florida Insiders: The state parties are dying; 'I heard someone long for the leadership of Jim Greer'


    For all the attention on Florida Democratic Chairman Stephen Bittel's bone headed gaffe this week, the diminished state of the once mighty Florida GOP today compared to even a few years ago is arguably more striking than the condition of the long-suffering Florida Democratic Party. A decade ago, no one would have …

    Florida Insider Poll
  2. Florida Democrats surging with grassroots enthusiasm, but 2018 reality is grim

    State Roundup

    After Donald Trump's election, so many people started showing up at monthly Pinellas County Democratic Party meetings, the group had to start forking out more money for a bigger room.

    Former Vice President Joe Biden addresses Florida Democrats at the Leadership Blue Gala on June 17 in Hollywood, Fla. (Photo by Carol Porter)
  3. Will new laws protect condo owners from apartment conversions and rogue associations?

    Real Estate

    Danny Di Nicolantonio has lived in St. Petersburg's Calais Village Condominums for 33 years. Annoyed at times by the actions, or inaction, of the condo board and property managers, he has complained to the state agency that is supposed to investigate.

    That has left him even more annoyed.

    A bill passed by the Florida Legislature would affect places like The Slade in Tampa's Channelside district, where cCondominium owners have battled a plan to convert homes into apartments.
[Times file photo]
  4. Walmart opens first Pinellas County in-house training academy


    Seminole — It had all the hallmarks of a typical graduation: robe-clad graduates marching in to Pomp and Circumstance, friends and family packed together under a sweltering tent and a lineup of speakers encouraging the graduates to take charge of their future.

    New Walmart Academy graduates are congratulated Thursday morning by associates during a graduation ceremony at the Walmart store, 10237 Bay Pines Boulevard, St. Petersburg. The Walmart location is one of the company's training academies where managers complete a one week retail course. David Shultz and Richard Sheehan, both from St. Petersburg, get high fives from the crowd.
[SCOTT KEELER   |   Times]

  5. Four questions with Largo City Commissioner Michael Smith before he helps lead the St. Pete Pride parade

    Human Interest

    A decade ago, Largo City Commissioner Michael Smith was afraid to tell his friends and family he was gay.

    Largo City Commissioner Michael Smith will serve as a grand marshal at the St. Pete Pride parade on Saturday. [City of Largo]