By Richard Bammer
In its first year, the Ernest Kimme Charter Academy For Independent Learning sends students, teacher Roxann Lynch-Burns said, on a “journey” toward academic and life success.
As a “dependent” charter school overseen by Vacaville Unified, it is a campus, currently adjacent to the Sierra Vista School campus on Bel Air Drive, that “serves everybody,” she added.
For students who do not quite fit in a traditional school setting, the K-12 school, with nearly 300 students, is “tailored” to fit the needs of the home-schooled or Independent Study student, noted Lynch-Burns.
Source: Kimme Charter sends students on ‘journey’ to academic, life success – The Reporter
By Kimberly K. Fu
Continuous squirming, talking, negative reactions due to sensory issues and more are just some of the issues plaguing families of special needs children.
On Sunday, all of that was embraced as, thanks to a local police officer and a theater executive, many of those local families were invited to a movie outing just for them.
“It was fantastic,” Said Nicole Neff, whose daughter, Rayna, is autistic. “It was very appreciated. … It was an awesome thing to do for the community.”
Turns out, about 70 people got to enjoy the exclusive showing of “Boss Baby,” complete with free popcorn, soda and candy. All of which usually come with a hefty price tag, especially if you have a large family.
Source: Special needs families enjoy outing thanks to cop, theater exec
By Richard Bammer
If you are a leader, student or parent in the Vacaville, Dixon, Travis or Fairfield-Suisun school communities, you may have a story you want to share with the public, say, about a teacher using cutting-edge technology or an exciting curriculum, a student’s achievement, a trend in education. Do you?
If you don’t know where to begin, that is, how to get word out via The Reporter, in print and online, then you may want to clip and save this column or cut and paste it into a document for reference later.
The Reporter welcomes your school news. So here are some tips and thoughts on how to get our attention, how to submit press releases for consideration:
• How to get in touch with the person who handles education-related news items: Email and phone are the first steps and means, letting us know you want something covered — or at least considered for coverage. (We want to establish a good working relationship with you and I’m sure the desire is mutual.)
Source: Richard Bammer: Help us get important school news in the newspaper
By Rob Peters
We’re not very good at waiting – our western culture rather abhors it. And up ’till now, many of Benicia’s families and students have been doing it for months – years, in some cases.
For these days, you can hear certain sounds ripping the air from the families of Benicia’s high school seniors: sighs and gasps, winces and cringes, crying and yelping and OMG’ing and trash-talk a la rap star prima donnas. All these wholesome wails are in service to the thin or slightly bulging (bulging is better) envelopes that come in the mail, announcing whether or not you’ve been fully – or partly – or conditionally – accepted to a college of your interest. Most colleges have been lined up in some sort of priority, numeric system: the first and second choices, the fall – backs, the I’m –desperate-for-someplace choices, the ones-momma-wanted-me-to-apply to, the I’ve -changed-my-mind-I-would-NEVER-go-freaking-there, and the also-rans.
Source: Counseling matters: Waiting for that little white envelope…
By Susan Hiland
Dark blue and silver pinwheels spun in the spring breeze, representing the bright future for children in Solano County.
Child Haven planted a garden of blue pinwheels for April’s National Child Abuse Prevention Month in front of its offices in Fairfield.
The agency displayed 762 pinwheels, of which 603 children were represented as being helped from Child Haven in 2016. The remaining 159 are children served by the Solano Courage Center, which is a new partner with Child Haven.
President Ronald Reagan proclaimed April as National Child Abuse Prevention Month in 1983, the same year Child Haven got its start. Since then, child abuse and neglect awareness activities have been promoted across the country each April.
Source: Pinwheels garden in Fairfield shows care given to Solano children
By Ronnie Burt
Earlier this month, I was invited to discuss student privacy and publishing student work on the web with students in a graduate course at CSU Channel Islands. The course is ‘Advanced Teaching with Technology’ and is taught by Michelle Pacansky-Brock.
The students are all practicing K12 teachers in California, and they came ready with questions and perspectives.
This was the first time I had ever used VoiceThread to collaborate, and I enjoyed the experience. One thing that the students in the course may not know, is that VoiceThread allowed me to delete and re-record a few of my answers after I listened back to them, and nobody was none-the-wiser. I appreciated this 🙂
Source: An Important Conversation About Student Privacy – The Edublogger
By Sophia Boyd
What’s the best time for students to have recess? Before lunch, or after? What happens if it rains? If students are misbehaving, is it a good idea to punish them by making them sit out recess?
Those are just a few of the issues addressed in new guidelines designed to help schools have good recess. The recommendations come from a group called SHAPE (Society of Health and Physical Educators) America and from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Recess might seem simple — just open the doors and let the kids run free. But only eight states have policies that require it, according to last year’s Shape of the Nation report. And when researchers started looking, they found very little consistency or guidance about what makes recess effective.
Source: Not All Fun And Games: New Guidelines Urge Schools To Rethink Recess : NPR Ed : NPR
California’s K-12 education spending per student has increased significantly since 2012-13, but continues to trail the nation as a whole. While not reflective of how much it actually costs to provide California’s students a high-quality education, rankings of state K-12 education spending are often used to assess California’s public investment in its schools. According to the most recent available information,
- In 2015-16, California ranked 41st among all states in spending per K-12 student after adjusting for differences in the cost of living in each state (see table below). California schools spent $10,291 per K-12 student in 2015-16, which is about $1,900 less than the $12,252 per student spent by the nation as a whole. California’s spending per student in 2015-16 was about $2,000 higher than it had been in 2012-13, at which point California ranked 50th in the nation.
- California ranked 37th among all states in K-12 spending as a share of the state economy in 2015-16. California’s K-12 school spending in 2015-16 was 3.29% of state personal income — a measure that reflects the size of the state’s economy — compared to 3.78% in the nation as a whole. In 2012-13, California’s K-12 school spending equaled 3.18% of state personal income — compared to 3.93% in the nation as a whole — and ranked 46th among all states. Gauging school spending as a share of the personal income received by the state’s residents can be useful because it takes into account differences in states’ wealth and thus in their capacity to support K-12 schools.
Source: California’s Support for K-12 Education Is Improving, but Still Lags the Nation – California Budget & Policy Center
By Carolyn Jones,
California’s hundreds of high school career academies can now boost their prestige — and create a greater degree of uniformity — through a voluntary certification program, an education nonprofit announced Tuesday.
The Linked Learning Alliance, which includes teachers, employers, colleges, policy organizations and other groups, announced its new certification program at its annual conference this week in Oakland.
“It’s like taking the Wild West and bringing it into a lane of coherence,” said Alex Taghavian, vice president of the Linked Learning Alliance. “Having clear, set standards is something we need as linked learning expands and more and more districts and schools join in.”
Source: New program aims to create more uniform standards among linked learning academies | EdSource
By Joan Moss, Catherine D. Bruce, Bev Caswell, Tara Flynn, and Zachary Hawes
Our journey began when we conducted an extensive literature review at the outset of the project (Bruce, Flynn, & Moss, 2012) and learned about the crucial importance of spatial reasoning. This theme was consistent across many research disciplines, including biology, cognitive sciences, psychology, developmental sciences, education, as well as educational neuroscience—an emerging transdisciplinary ﬁeld which sits at the intersection of these other disciplines and aims for a collaborative approach in which educational theory and practice are informed by new ﬁndings in the cognitive sciences, and vice versa (Fisher, 2009). We also learned—and have experienced in our careers as mathematics educators and researchers—that spatial reasoning is a curiously unacknowledged and neglected area of the curriculum. During our involvement with the M4YC project, we have become more and more convinced of reasons why we should pay attention to spatial reasoning in early years mathematics. Below we offer our Top Five reasons why, as educators, we should care about spatial thinking when we plan, observe, and assess mathematics in our classrooms.
Source: Five Compelling Reasons For Teaching Spatial Reasoning To Young Children | MindShift | KQED News
By Julie Freeland Fisher
At the Clayton Christensen Institute, we track disruptive innovations in K–12 schools that upend the traditional factory-based model of school in favor of instructional approaches that better center on each individual student. Here are four trends in personalized learning we’ll be watching unfold in the coming year:
1. Platform plays will play themselves outOver the past few years, we have witnessed homegrown learning platforms crop up inside of schools trying to push the boundaries of personalization. In 2016, a number of these new cloud-based learning platforms—such as Summit Public Schools’ Personalized Learning Platform, Matchbook School’s Spark, Brooklyn Lab’s Cortex, Alt School’s Alt School Open, and Leadership Public Schools-Gooru’s Learning Navigator—proliferated beyond their original founding school networks. These next-generation platforms all represent bold attempts to digitize the instructional and logistical coordination at play in successful personalized learning models. The hope is that traditional schools adopting these platforms might be able to likewise buck traditional instruction in favor of more individualized pathways and supports. 2017 will see the first robust data sets coming out of partner schools adopting these new platforms that they themselves did not develop. These schools, in turn, will provide an initial test case of an operating hypothesis in the personalized learning space: that a high-quality platform and professional development supports surrounding platform implementation could be critical levers to scaling personalized approaches across traditional settings.
Source: Education Innovation in 2017: Four Personalized-Learning Trends to Watch – Education Next : Education Next
By Claudio Sanchez
Every year for the past few years, I’ve dusted off my crystal ball and offered a few predictions for the new year. Back on Nov. 9 though, I threw out the ones I had been working on and started over. The election of Donald Trump altered the landscape for K-12 and higher education and created greater political uncertainty in the debate over how to improve schools. Here’s my revised, updated list of predictions for 2017.
Donald Trump’s focus on school choice, vouchers and his overall ambivalence about the federal role in education will complicate matters for ESSA (the Every Student Succeeds Act). That’s the recently revised federal law through which billions of dollars flow to states and local school districts. Most of that money targets low-income kids and students with learning disabilities.
Source: Predictions For What Will Happen In Education Under The Trump Administration : NPR Ed : NPR
By Christina Samuels
The latest National Summit on Education Reform is taking place at a time when the federal role in education is receding before the power of states.
And that’s just the way Jeb Bush, the founder of the organization that has hosted the summit for the past seven years, likes it.
“This new administration and this Congress have a real opportunity to bring wholesale disruption to education,” said Bush, the chairman of the Foundation for Excellence in Education, during a keynote address at the summit’s Thursday session.
“They can start by lifting the federal government’s heavy hand in setting education policy. The real place for change is in the states, and the real power should be with parents,” he said.
Source: Education Summit Lifts Up State’s Role in Education – Politics K-12 – Education Week
By Todd R. Hansen
Solano County rates poorly in the education of its children, and only slightly better in the categories of health and of child welfare and economic well-being, according to an Oakland-based research and advocacy group.
“Leaders across California need to take a hard look at the scorecard data and work together on policy solutions to improve the well-being of children,” Ted Lampert, president of Children Now, said in a statement released with the report Tuesday.
“We need to invest more in quality early childhood programs, increase access to the health screenings and quality mental, oral and physical health supports that children need, and make sure that all kids, especially kids of color, have access to excellent schools and teachers from the very start,” Lampert said.
Source: Solano rates poorly for education in statewide scorecard
By Heather Wolpert-Gawron
According to Vanderbilt University, service learning is defined as: “A form of experiential education where learning occurs through a cycle of action and reflection as students seek to achieve real objectives for the community and deeper understanding and skills for themselves.”
Wikipedia explains service learning as: “An educational approach that combines learning objectives with community service in order to provide a pragmatic, progressive learning experience while meeting societal needs.”
That second definition is easier to comprehend, but it still feels more complicated than it needs to be. How about this: In service learning, students learn educational standards through tackling real-life problems in their community.
Source: What the Heck Is Service Learning? | Edutopia
By Alyson Klein
Both Hillary Clinton, the Democratic nominee for president, and her GOP opponent, Donald Trump have sketched out bare-bones plans to improve the teaching profession. But neither has offered hard-and-fast details.
Clinton says teachers need more time to collaborate, more opportunities for professional development, and oh yeah, much better pay. She’s also said she wants to launch a national campaign to improve the teaching profession, but hasn’t really said what that would look like, or how much it would cost.
And in his one big speech on education, earlier this fall, Trump, gave the thumbs-up to paying teachers who can improve student outcomes—a key Obama-era policy that Clinton isn’t a fan of. Other than that, he hasn’t said much about teachers beyond denouncing “education bureaucrats” in his nomination acceptance speech. That could be a reference to teachers’ unions—or not.
Source: What Would a Clinton or Trump Presidency Mean for Teachers? – Politics K-12 – Education Week
By Maureen Sullivan
Do you know how much, on average, Americans spend on each of the more than 46 million students in the country’s public schools?
It’s about $11,000. But only 15% of respondents to a new poll could estimate the correct range of per-pupil spending. That’s according to a study released this month by EdChoice, the new name of the Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice.
The “2016 Schooling in America Survey: Public Opinion on K–12 Education and School Choice” also finds that 9% of respondents say “education” is the most important issue facing the nation. That’s down from 17% in last year’s survey. The issues named as top priorities are “economy and jobs” (33%) and healthcare (12%). Immigration, values, crime, taxes, environment and housing all finished in the single digits.
Source: Americans Are Clueless About Education Spending#6b8737ce2bbb
By Matthew Adkins
Thanks to the efforts of missing child advocate and kidnapping survivor Midsi Sanchez, the children of Vallejo are now a bit safer.
Sanchez hosted a free Stay Alive Safety Awareness event Saturday at the Vallejo waterfront.
During the event, children were able to be fingerprinted and photographed. Educational information on safety, including a 12-point plan for kidnapping emergencies, were provided at no cost to families.
By Natalie Catlett
During winter vacation, the Pokémon Go fever exploded here in Brazil. Students came back talking ceaselessly about Pokémon Go, PokéStops, and all the unexpected places they had discovered Pokémon.
As their art teacher, I felt completely out of the loop. What was Pokémon Go? What were PokéStops? How did you know where to find them? All I knew was that Pokémon Go was an augmented reality game for mobiles, but once I heard one of my students mention finding a Pokémon at the statue of Albert Einstein, I knew we could use the game as a learning tool. After all, it led him to an iconic landmark.
Source: A Student-Led Pokémon Go Project Transforms a School | Edutopia
By Theresa Harrington
Several education reforms currently underway in California have the potential to result in improved student achievement, but more work is needed to ensure that they achieve their goals, speakers at EdSource’s annual symposium said Thursday.
Nearly 600 education leaders, advocates, teachers and parents attended the event, which EdSource has sponsored in one form or another since its founding in 1977. The theme of this year’s symposium was “Making It Work: Implementing California’s New Vision for School Success.”
The symposium was conducted in partnership with the Learning Policy Institute.“The real shift that’s going on in California is ultimately not a policy shift,” said David Plank, executive director of the Policy Analysis for California Education organization known as PACE. “What’s really at stake here is a culture shift.”
Source: EdSource symposium focuses on state’s “new vision for school success” | EdSource