SCOE’s Speaker Series presents Dr. Heidi Hayes Jacobs, on January 9, 2013. Dr. Jacobs is an author and internationally recognized education leader known for her work in curriculum mapping, curriculum integration, and developing 21st century approaches to teaching and learning. She has served as an education consultant to thousands of schools and works with schools and districts on issues and practices pertaining to: curriculum reform, instructional strategies to encourage critical thinking, and strategic planning. Registration ends tomorrow, December 21.
Social networking is hardly a new phenomenon, but teachers have come a long way in their use of sites like Facebook and Twitter. These forms of communication and collaboration have become so common, it’s easy to forget that even a social networking heavyweight like Twitter only gained popularity in the last three or four years.
Results of a survey conducted by MMS Education show that between 2009 — when the survey was last conducted — and 2012, teachers have significantly increased their use of social networking for both personal and professional use. According to a Survey of K-12 Educators on Social Networking, Online Communities, and Web 2.0 Tools 2012, the percentage of educators who replied that they were part of at least one social networking site went up from 61 percent in 2009 to 82 percent in 2012 — a significant 34 percent gain.
Substitute Teachers Needed
In his first public appearance since the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Conn., U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan called on the nation to tighten gun control laws, improve access to mental health, and curb the glorification of violence in movies and video games.
“Are we doing enough to keep children safe from harm? I don’t think so, and neither does President Obama,” Duncan said in remarks at Neval Thomas Elementary School in Washington.
By Susan Frey
As a mourning nation focuses on the need for more mental health support for students, California has regularly ranked at or near the bottom among the states in the number of counselors per student.
In California, there was one counselor for every 810 students in 2009-10. Nationally, there were almost twice as many. The American School Counselor Association recommends a ratio of one counselor to 250 students.
“We don’t have enough counselors in school,” said Art Revueltas, deputy superintendent of Montebello Unified School District near Los Angeles. “As they transition out of our schools, they’re abandoned. There’s no mental health services for them out there.”
By Susan Frey
(EdSource Today writer Kathryn Baron contributed to this article.)
In an era of budget cutbacks and more pressure on students to perform, some districts and teachers are finding ways to stretch their dollars to provide mental health services for students.
The secret sauce in programs that try to improve student behavior is relationships. The goal is to get students to feel connected – to their school, to their classmates and to their teachers. One strategy developed by an education professor showed that it doesn’t always have to be time-consuming for already jammed teachers; it can take as little as two minutes a day.
Silicon Valley Community Foundation CEO Emmett Carson is saying little at this point about the $500 million gift in Facebook stock that company CEO Mark Zuckerberg gave the foundation this week for spending on education and health. Zuckerberg, 28, made his announcement, with little specifics, that he would donate 18 million shares – where else? – but on his Facebook page on Tuesday. By Thursday morning, it had 200,000 “likes.”
Community foundations are charities that manage the investments of their donors and match their philanthropic interests to good causes. Those don’t have to be confined geographically; plenty of donors give to non-profits nationally and abroad or to their college or church. But Silicon Valley Community Foundation’s focus on San Mateo and Santa Clara counties is giving superintendents and charter school leaders from cities south of San Francisco to San Jose early dreams of sugar plums. In addition, Zuckerberg, and his wife, Priscilla, live in Palo Alto.
FAIRFIELD — Eighteen public school teachers throughout Solano County recently received an email that may change life in their classrooms.
All submitted applications to the Solano Community Foundation to underwrite the cost of a special classroom project from the Foundation’s 2012-2013 Education Plus! Mini-Grant Program. From a pool of 44 applications, the foundation board approved 18 projects, totaling $14,397, the average award being about $800.
Democrats in the Legislature are poised to help make it easier for school districts to pass parcel taxes, but a court ruling this month – if it withstands an appeal – will narrow the scope of what parcel taxes can tax.
The First District Court of Appeals overturned Alameda Unified’s parcel tax, passed in 2008 and lasting three years, that set different tax rates for owners of residential and commercial property. In Borikas vs Alameda Unified, the court said that it violated a state law that requires parcel taxes be uniform. The potential ramifications of the decision are significant as districts look to local property owners for one of the few sources of money outside of state revenue.
A report out today by a coalition of government organizations and early learning advocates, shows just how severely the $1.2 billion cut to state funding for early childhood education has affected Los Angeles County. Since 2008, 1,400 locations, or 15 percent of licensed child care centers in the county that had served 11,200 infants and toddlers have closed.
Laura Escobedo, the child care planning coordinator for L.A. County, said nearly a third of the statewide cut, or about $400 million dollars, came out of her county’s budget. Much of the data in today’s report was gathered by Escobedo’s organization in cooperation with L.A. County Head Start and Los Angeles Universal Preschool. Escobedo said they knew there had been a reduction in child care spots and they wanted to pinpoint how severely that reduction had affected individual neighborhoods and districts. Once the data was compiled and worked into a single database, Escobedo said it was clear to her that funding cuts have brought the early childhood care system in her county to the brink.
The Common Core Standards call for technology to be embedded seamlessly into instruction. Find out about the digital demands of the Common Core at SCOE’s workshop, Digital Demands of the Common Core For Administrators, on January 31.
At the end of the year, pundits love to share their versions of summarized lists of what was hot in ed tech in 2012. In addition to the obvious — Common Core curriculum and assessments, games in learning, consumer tech in education — there are others that may be more subtle or even counter-intuitive.
Here are five, drawn from first-hand observation at major 2012 industry conferences ranging from the more traditional Association of Educational Publishers’ and Association of American Publishers’ Content in Context to the edgy SXSWedu event in Austin. These represent one perspective of what the education industry itself is seeing, cutting across individual conferences and events.
The Kindergarten Readiness Roundup will be held in February 2013 and will offer personal assessments by education and health professionals for every child participating, to include vision and hearing, dental screening, immunizations, nutrition information, and fun activities. We will be serving over 800 children who will be attending Kindergarten in the fall of 2013. Children will receive a new backpack filled with everything their parent needs to help them develop to their greatest potential prior to starting school!
From guest blogger Kimberly Shannon
The National Coalition for Personnel Shortages in Special Education and Related Services has released a statement in response to a controversial report by the Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice that alleged that schools and districts had experienced staff bloating.
The Friedman Foundation’s report, entitled “The School Staffing Surge: Decades of Employment Growth in America’s Public Schools”, released in October, finds that the amount of United States K-12 public school students increased 17 percent while the number of full-time equivalent school employees increased 39 percent. It also finds that the amount of teacher staff rose 32 percent while the numbers of administrators and other staff rose 46 percent; it does not mention how many of these staff members are special education personnel.
Trying to keep up with all the confusing back-and-forth about the fiscal cliff and how it relates to federal education programs? Here’s your watchword as you read about various proposals: spending.
President Barack Obama and U.S. Rep. John Boehner, the speaker of the House, have been negotiating on the fiscal cliff, but right now, they’re not talking about specific programs. They’re just talking about broad categories: taxes, entitlements (like Social Security and Medicare), and … spending cuts.
U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan has been tapped—along with other cabinet officials—to serve on a White House task force that will examine gun violence, mental health services, and other policies related to the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut last week.
President Barack Obama said Wednesday that the panel will be different from other, similar, Washington panels in that it has a very tight time frame for completing its work. The group, which will be led by Vice President Joe Biden, will present its recommendations to Obama in January, in time for the president’s State of the Union address. Then, Obama will work with Congress to make the panel’s ideas a reality.
FAIRFIELD — Fairview Elementary School kindergartener Kiyanni Evangilista didn’t hesitate when naming her favorite part of Wednesday’s Christmas party.
“Santa was here,” she said.
Santa came from NorthBay Healthcare and left plenty of gifts at the school. Kiyanni pointed to her desk, where she had such things as a coloring book, jewelry box and “Hello Kitty” shoes.
FAIRFIELD — It was the day before Christmas break and throughout David Weir Elementary, children were fleeing home left and right.
Inside the school gym, however, a small group of young ones stuck around after hours. During the Kids Corner after-school program, all was relatively quiet until an ear-splitting scream erupted from the room.
Quiton Ganther, former running back for the Tennessee Titans, Washington Redskins, Seattle Seahawks and Buffalo Bills, stopped by to say hello for the Kids Corner sports day.
FAIRFIELD — Two new board members and one incumbent were given a warm welcome from fellow Solano Community College District board members, staff and friends and family.
Michael Martin and Monica Brown are the board’s two new members and incumbent Rosemary Thurston was re-elected to the governing board.
The three had much to celebrate, not only because they were elected but because of passage in November of Proposition 30 at the state and Measure Q locally.
The Northern CA Literacy Consortium Meeting on January 23 will feature Timothy Shanahan, Ph.D., speaking about Teaching with the Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts.
Shanahan is Director of the Center for Literacy at the
University of Illinois at Chicago and chair of the Department of Curriculum and Instruction. He was on the development team for the English Language Arts Common Core State Standards and is an author of California Treasures. Register by January 10.