By Evie Blad
As pressure increases for schools who miss accountability benchmarks, students become less likely to be late or miss class—but more likely to get into fights and get reported or suspended for misbehavior.
Thats the conclusion of a new study by Duke University researchers John B. Holbein and Helen F. “Sunny” Ladd, for the National Center for Analysis of Longitudinal Data in Education Research, or CALDER. It suggests that just as there may be a tendency to focus academically on tested subjects, like math and reading, schools may also focus on improving student behaviors measured for accountability purposes.
via Fewer Absences, More Misbehavior in Schools That Miss Academic Benchmarks – Rules for Engagement – Education Week.
By Stacy Goodman
How do we teach through relationships? What does that even mean? That was my response when I began working at a school that holds teaching through relationships as a core value. Teaching through relationships posits that teachers who have knowledge about their students will be better able to teach them. It is a fundamental idea that most progressive educators have long embraced.
But teaching through relationships is more than that. Ultimately, it describes the complex social environment in which students and teachers converse, share experiences, and participate in activities that, together, make for engaged learning.
via The Importance of Teaching Through Relationships | Edutopia.
John Merrow, the respected education correspondent for PBS NewsHour, proposed in a tongue-in-cheek blog item last week that leading educators and policymakers should sit down to a parlor game called “Multiple Measures.” As he sees it, that’s what it will take for Congress to renew the federal law governing K-12 schools (otherwise known as No Child Left Behind or the Elementary and Secondary Education Act).
Merrow notes that most advocates, Republican and Democrat, want a version of the law that relies on more than standardized test scores to assess school progress. But what should the other metrics be?
We’d like to nominate our favorite measure: chronic absence.
via Multiple Measures Should Include Chronic Absence – Attendance Works Attendance Works.
By Irma Widjojo
Though Alicia Cunningham is only a sophomore in high school, she had a taste of being a juror in a trial Tuesday morning.
Cunningham and 11 other Jesse Bethel High School students were chosen to be part of the “advisory jury” in a real DUI trial as part of the annual Solano County DUI Court in Schools Program.
The school’s theater stage was transformed into a court room, complete with a bailiff, court clerk and court reporter.
“It was interesting,” Cunningham said. “There was a lot of information to absorb and think about, knowing that you are a factor in the outcome (of the trial).”
via Bethel High School students watch, experience real trial.
By Susan Winlow
School trustees will receive an update Thursday at the regularly scheduled board meeting on the fledgling Early College High School Program that began this year.
The Fairfield-Suisun School District has 49 students who opted into the dual high school/college program that sees this batch of high school freshmen earning college credit straight away and possibly moving on a path that could lead them in four years to graduate high school with both a diploma and a two-year college degree.
via Fairfield-Suisun trustees to hear update on Early College program Daily Republic.
By Katrina Schwartz
In a shifting economy without any assurances of success, there’s a lot of pressure on students to succeed in school. More and more kids are going to college and the application process is competitive. To help stand out, students are taking on tougher course loads, along with extracurricular activities and leadership roles. In order to pack everything in, some kids turn to prescription drugs like Adderall and Ritalin to stay awake and focus on school work and test prep. They can obtain the medication from doctors, peers and people they find online. However, many of these students, both in high school and in college, don’t know the physical or neurological ramifications of taking drugs that haven’t been prescribed to them by a doctor.
“We live in this culture of excellence,” said Michael McCutcheon, a counseling psychology phD candidate at New York University, on KQED’s Forum, “and if you are at a competitive high school and you know the culture really only celebrates success or money, then everything is riding on this test.” That overwhelming pressure – the feeling that every test and grade matters for ones future – combined with ease of access to these drugs makes their use seductive. Stanford Graduate School of Education senior lecturer Denise Pope found similar experiences among thousands%2
via Teaching Kids How to Learn Without Study Drugs | MindShift.
By Ann Fogarty
Solano Community College student Breanna Rodriguez is, by any standards, a parent’s dream.
Ambitious, disciplined and focused on her future, the attractive 20-year-old exudes a sense of poise and confidence that belies her years. You could easily imagine her to be supported by a loving family that offers all the comfort and stability she needs to realize her substantial dreams.
But you would be wrong.
Rodriguez was born prematurely, addicted to the methamphetamines her mother could not seem to get enough of, even while pregnant. Never knowing who her father was, she endured an unpredictable and dangerous life with her mother and older brother before being completely abandoned at a neighbor’s house when she was just 13.
via New Solano Community college program gives students a hand up.
By Susan Winlow
The Fairfield-Suisun School District’s demographer has put together a 2014-15 study that shows a districtwide decline in elementary school student enrollment over the next several years but an increase in middle school enrollment for a total district loss of 895 students.
Over the next six years the districtwide high school number remains relatively static.
The demographic study, plus the projections from site principals, help determine budget development and staffing for next year. In addition, the multiyear projections through the 2020-21 school year enable the district to plan for the future.
via Study shows declining Fairfield-Suisun school enrollment Daily Republic.
By Susan Hiland
The noise at the gym at Grange Middle School in Fairfield made it hard to hear people talking, but the excitement of the VEX Robotics competition was clearly written across the participants’ faces.
The event brought 35 schools from around the Northern California area together to see who was going to qualify to attend state competition.
The VEX Robotics Competition, presented by the Robotics Education
via VEX robot competition brings out challengers for state Daily Republic.
By Nicholas Provenzano
There are still many questions about the role of social media in the classroom. Some teachers and administrators are concerned about how or if educators should be interacting with students outside of the traditional classroom. I was hesitant when it came to social media and my students, but I learned how certain tools could help expand the learning outside of my classroom. For me, social media is about alternative ways to communicate. There are so many great tools that allow us to connect. Here are some that Ive used as a teacher for connecting with my students when the school day is done.
Remind is a great tool that allows teachers to connect to students through their mobile device. Teachers create a group on Remind that students join with their phone number. The teacher can send text messages to groups of students without anyone having access to anyone elses numbers. Its one-way communication, not a potentially annoying group text message.
via Social Media Can Be Your Ally | Edutopia.
By Susan Winlow
Three students – Samuel De Haro, Ashlee Gutierrez and Macy Wilson – from area schools have been chosen as Students of the Month for the Fairfield-Suisun School District. They were recently presented to the school district’s governing board.
Samuel is a student at David Weir K-8 Preparatory Academy, and has been since kindergarten. He’s been on the Principal’s Honor Roll for four years and is dedicated to reading with more than 2 million words read during his seventh-grade year and this year earning him a “Doctorate Degree in Reading.” He was also a recent winner of the Hoopla Charity run at the school.
via Fairfield-Suisun district honors trio of top students Daily Republic.
By Keri Luiz
Benicia Unified School District trustees agreed Thursday to explore its options in contracting McPherson & Jacobson LLC to search for a new superintendent to replace Janice Adams, who will retire at the end of the 2014-15 school year.
Trustees also approved a one-year pilot program between the district and SolTrans for discounted student bus passes for income-eligible students for the 2015 calendar year.
Board President Gary Wing said trustees wanted to be as transparent as possible in selecting a new superintendent, a process of finding “the best people who are going to meet the best needs of our schools and our community.”
via School board mulls firm to find new superintendent.
By John Glidden
Encouraged by a 61 percent approval for last fall’s Measure E, the Vallejo school board Wednesday voted 2-1 to approve a request for qualifications for a consultant to provide information services on the feasibility of a school district bond.
With trustees Tony Ubalde and Bury Worel absent, the remaining members of the Vallejo City Unified School District Board of Education heard an update on funding options for the district.
Mel Jordan, the district’s assistant superintendent for administrative services, said that the district “did extremely well” with last November’s Measure E, a $239 million general obligation bond.
Due to the size of the bond, 66 percent voter approval was required for passage.
via Vallejo school board to seek a bond consultant.
By Ryan McCarthy
Solano County 4-H clubs will take part in their annual Presentation Day on Feb. 28 at Green Valley Middle School, 1350 Gold Hill Road.
Opening Assembly is at 10 a.m. and events will conclude by 2 p.m. Demonstrations, public speaking and interpretive reading are among events at Presentation Day, which is free and open to the public.
Solano County 4-H is a youth development program that focuses on learning life skills, citizenship and leadership. The purpose of Presentation Day is to encourage all members to give public presentations in which they seek out accurate information, organize it into a useful form and present it in a pleasing manner, according to event organizers.
via 4-H clubs set Presentation Day at Green Valley Middle School Daily Republic.
By Susan Winlow
Members of the Vacaville School District governing board heard the good, the bad and the corresponding recommendations Thursday during a comprehensive special education report designed to help curb escalating program costs and help enhance the $18 million program.
The report, presented by Maureen Burness and Caryl Miller of Total School Solutions, touched on four areas: fiscal operations review, comparative data and analysis, staffing analysis and program evaluation.
via Vacaville district sets out to improve special ed program Daily Republic.
By Susan Frey
A review of California district plans for improving school climate shows that few districts have identified specific goals to improve attendance and reduce suspensions and expulsions of foster students.
Public Counsel, a public interest law firm based in Los Angeles, reviewed the Local Control and Accountability Plans of the 64 districts in the state with at least 150 foster students. The plans are supposed to describe goals and actions the district will take to improve in eight priority areas, including school climate, with specific goals and actions for three subgroups of students – low-income students, English learners and foster youth.
The 64 districts include 55 percent of the state’s foster students, said Laura Faer, a co-author of the report, Fostering Education Success, released Wednesday.
via Report calls for districts to create specific goals for foster youth | EdSource#.VOYYJmctHGg#.VOYYJmctHGg.
By Irma Widjojo
A group of five children huddled on a bench Wednesday morning at Hanns Park in Vallejo, looking intensely at a eucalyptus tortoise beetle.
“That was awesome!” a boy shouted.
The boy and his classmates were part of about 80 Benicia third-grade students from Matthew Turner Elementary School participating in the Solano Resource Conservation District’s Watershed Education.
via Benicia students learn watershed at Vallejo park.
By Susan Winlow
An agenda item involving Measure Q bond project revisions worth in excess of $8.6 million was pulled from the Solano Community College Governing Board agenda Wednesday night.
The item amending the bond Spending Plan Update was not ready to be presented, needing more review time, said Leigh Sata, the college’s executive bonds manager.
The revisions were:
- The Vacaville Center biotechnology and science building will increase in size to include a program area encompassing a full science, technology, engineering and math curriculum. Approval would increase the project budget from $28 million to $34.5 million.
via Measure Q revisions pulled from college board agenda Daily Republic.
by Keri Luiz
The Governing Board of Benicia Unified School District will be asked Thursday to consider a search firm to find a replacement for outgoing Superintendent Janice Adams, who announced last month she will retire at the end of the 2014-15 school year.
“I’m 63 — I’m ready for another chapter!” Adams told The Herald in an interview Feb. 7.
On Feb. 5, the board heard presentations from two such firms, McPherson & Jacobson LLC and Leasership Associates. The board will consider and select a firm to begin the search for a new superintendent for the 2015-16 school year.
via Search on for replacement for retiring superintendent.
By Carl Cohn
In my 12-plus years as an urban superintendent in California, parents often spent more time talking to me about school safety than about teaching and learning. Perhaps that’s just common-sense recognition that the latter can’t take place without the former.
School suspensions and expulsions are falling at dramatic rates in California – a 20 percent decline in expulsions and a 15 percent decrease in suspensions in the last school year. What should parents and taxpayers make of this seemingly good news that suggests there has been an outbreak of good decorum among students in our state’s public schools? Has someone provided a new vaccine that has inoculated our children against bad behavior?
Without suggesting some mysterious new version of the science fiction classic “Invasion of the Body Snatchers,” let me offer a plausible explanation for what might be going on.
via Expulsions and suspensions decline as schools shift strategies | EdSource#.VOTX_mctHGg#.VOTX_mctHGg.