• Posted by: Luis Beyra
  • Posted On: Feb 26, 2020
  • Category: Academy

COHEA Career & Collegiate Academy Earns National STEM Certification from COGNIA

Hialeah, Florida (February 19, 2020) – COHEA Career and Collegiate Academy has earned the National Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) certification by Cognia. The school-improvement, assessment, and certification organization Cognia recognizes organizations that provide quality STEM programs and implement student-directed learning environments.

“COHEA’s cutting-edge, career-oriented curriculum focuses on public service while preparing students for the real world,” explained Principal Carlos O. Alvarez. “This certification demonstrates our commitment to delivering a high-quality STEM education to all of our students.”

The Cognia STEM certification process is carried out by highly qualified reviewers who examine the school or program’s adherence and commitment to the research-aligned Cognia STEM standards and indicators. COHEA exceeded expectations in six out of the eleven indicators evaluated by the Cognia team, which they call “Powerful Practices.” These practices include supporting a variety of student populations; providing inquiry-based learning environments; empowering self-directed learning experiences; focusing on real-world applications and community; preparing students for post-secondary and workforce readiness; and active involvement of all stakeholders.

Students at COHEA are given opportunities to work collaboratively and independently through inquiry-based lessons in their core-classes and academies, which include a Fire Fighter Academy, Allied Health Professionals Academy, Criminal Justice Academy, Mass Communications Academy, Collegiate Academy, and Law & Legal Academy.

COHEA is now part of a prestigious network of Cognia STEM Certified schools and will continue to build upon the success of the STEM program with the implementation of a Nursing Academy next year.


COHEA Career and Collegiate Academy offers a cutting-edge, 6-12th grade seamless college preparatory and STEM influenced curriculum with an emphasis on emergency

response, health, and law enforcement careers. Located on a college-style campus, the school features a technology-rich environment where highly-qualified, certified instructors prepare students for employment within a multilingual work environment. COHEA is committed to setting an environment that strives for academic achievement, develops character and maintains the goal of preparing students to serve and give back to their community in the field of public service. COHEA has been nationally recognized by Newsweek Magazine, was named U.S. News and World Report’s BEST High Schools Silver Award, and was ranked on The Daily Beast’s 2014 list of top high schools in the U.S. Due to the school’s high level of free/ reduced lunches, the school was also ranked among the most transformative schools in the country. COHEA is an “A” school under the State of Florida Accountability Program and is fully accredited by AdvancED under the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Council on Accreditation and School Improvement (SACS-CASI) division.

Cognia has the knowledge to help schools improve. Cognia offers accreditation and certification, assessment, professional services and consulting within a framework of continuous improvement. The result of the merger of AdvancED and Measured Progress, Cognia was formed to bridge the gap between school evaluation and student assessment. As a global nonprofit working in over 80 countries, our 36,000 institutions serve and support nearly 25 million students and 5 million educators every day. Cognia is an undeniable force for enhancing schools, engaging students, and driving better outcomes for all. Find out more at cognia.org.

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  • Posted by: Luis Beyra
  • Posted On: Feb 23, 2020
  • Category: News

Pinecrest Academy breaks ground on K-8 in Tavares


The school, which will be aptly named Pinecrest Academy Tavares, was already well under construction during the ceremony. Construction crews were actively working on the structure that officials said will become a full-fledged school in time for the 2020-21 school year.

TAVARES — Pinecrest Academy officials joined with city councilors and developers Thursday morning for a groundbreaking ceremony on an upcoming Tavares K-8 charter school.

The school, which will be aptly named Pinecrest Academy Tavares and located at 2550 Huffstetler Drive, was already well under construction Thursday. Construction crews were actively working on the structure that officials said will become a full-fledged school in time for the 2020-21 school year.

“I’ve seen the full specs but to actually see it going up is amazing,” the school’s principal, Rebecca Schanck, said. “It’s exciting to see the pieces come together.”

Schanck has served as the assistant principal at Pinecrest Lakes Academy in Minneola since it’s founding three years earlier.

Prior to that, she worked as a teacher in Orange County, a reading coach in Lake, and she ran an education consulting company for 10 years.

She’s lived in the area for about 15 years and has been with Pinecrest since their move into Lake County in 2017. She said when the time came that Pinecrest wanted to expand into the north side of the county, she came up as a natural choice.

She’s currently finishing out her last school year as assistant principal at Pinecrest Lakes, which includes preparing that school for its own expansion as it seeks to open a ninth grade class and start a high school.

Pinecrest Academy Tavares will open first with a kindergarten through sixth grade class, at a projection of roughly 425 students, according to Schanck. They’ll look to expand to 600 in the next few years, and are aiming to support up to 900 at the end of a 5 year period.

The school’s construction is being handled by a company called Avalon Park Group, which developed communities like Avalon Park in Orlando and is looking to create Avalon Park Tavares.

The goal of their communities, according to their Senior Vice President of Marketing and Community Relations Stephanie Lerret, is to create a walkable, self-sustaining neighborhood that allows residents to get as many services and goods as possible without needing to travel too far from home. That includes things like doctor’s visits as well as centering the community around a commercial area with grocery stores and other attractive stores.

She noted the proximity of AdventHealth Waterman to the school.

The company recently gained approval from the city of Tavares to begin development of their first residential areas, Lerret said. Ideally, those residences will contribute to Pinecrest, she added, noting that the school was just on the edge of their planned community.

Lerret couldn’t give a solid timeline for development, yet, she said. They know what they want the final product to look like, but they’re too early in the process to know how all of it will pan out.

She said that while their timeline is currently in flux, they’re excited, in any case, to see Pinecrest Academy Tavares take the lead.

Original Article at Dailycommercial.com

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