school year – Abilities Networks http://abilitiesnetworks.org/ Sat, 16 Apr 2022 23:22:29 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.9.3 https://abilitiesnetworks.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/icon-4.png school year – Abilities Networks http://abilitiesnetworks.org/ 32 32 The online and offline teaching model seems to burn out many teachers https://abilitiesnetworks.org/the-online-and-offline-teaching-model-seems-to-burn-out-many-teachers/ Sat, 26 Feb 2022 18:10:09 +0000 https://abilitiesnetworks.org/the-online-and-offline-teaching-model-seems-to-burn-out-many-teachers/ It’s another crazy day for Raga Ravi, a math and social science teacher, after the school she works for recently reopened for hybrid learning – a mix of in-person and online instruction. She has students divided into two groups who come to school every other day, in addition to some who have opted for the […]]]>

It’s another crazy day for Raga Ravi, a math and social science teacher, after the school she works for recently reopened for hybrid learning – a mix of in-person and online instruction.

She has students divided into two groups who come to school every other day, in addition to some who have opted for the online mode.

“The management of my class V students is chaotic; many have forgotten the class etiquette as they attend physical classes after two long years,” she says. If they don’t get his attention, they get restless and distract the class.

“I turned off the mute option for students taking math lessons from home because it is difficult to juggle students in person and online,” says the middle school teacher who is racing against time to complete the program.

In accordance with the school’s rule, the “chat” is not open to students, so those taking home lessons must wait their turn patiently.

Her biggest challenge is giving adequate attention and support to both groups. “If I start managing students in class, online students get bored, but there’s not much we can do about it,” Raga says.

She says the kids in the class complain when videos are played on the laptop. “We can’t go to the screening room every time to make sure a video is viewed clearly by both groups,” she says.

Network issues have plagued students at an ICSE school ever since teachers began taking classes at the school while students were parked in line.

A math lesson in progress for class IV students is interrupted with the teacher adjusting the angle of the camera to ensure the students can see the geometry figures drawn on the blackboard. Added to this is the incessant chatter of the children: ‘Maam, your voice is breaking’.

Parents of children who have opted for online lessons say that with many students going to school, those attending home are less heard and some even feel left out.

“My son was complaining that for a quiz conducted in class, the teacher only asked students who were present in person,” says Subha M, whose children who study at a private school in Mylapore insisted that they attend the quiz. physical lessons.

Initially, the loud voice of some teachers was a distraction for the children. “But I had to make it clear to them that it was to make sure everyone could listen to it,” says Subha.

The children, who are out of town because of their parents’ remote work, say they have little choice of schools.

“Forget clarifying questions from students taking online classes, a few teachers don’t even bother to turn on the smart board so we can see the class,” says Raksha (name changed), whose parents plan to send only after she has taken the vaccine.

Frustration with blended learning is growing, especially in schools that have huge classes to manage and are forced to offer both options.

“Teachers are exhausted by this format and we only hope that such a method of teaching and learning will not last in the long term. Either it has to be entirely online or entirely in person,” says Purushothaman, Founder and Senior Director of Everwin Group of Schools.

At school, teachers start their day with online lessons from 8 a.m. to 8:45 p.m., then physical lessons begin for staff. Pupils at home receive educational videos and later in the evening teachers meet online for doubt clarification lessons.

“As we are at the end of the school year, we can only motivate and inspire teachers to keep going a little longer,” says Purushothaman, adding that teachers are bound to rise to the occasion.

Agreeing that the hybrid model is a challenge teachers need to adapt to, Sudha Mahesh, head of CampusK, an international school in Cambridge, says schools need to have a different strategy for each class.

“For Standards I and II, we started classes in a staggered fashion by calling them two or three times a week and on the remaining days they go online,” says Sudha. The lesson plans are organized by class.

She agrees that this was possible because the class size is between 20 and 25 students.

For classes III to VI, the school has designed a common timetable for students online and offline. “It took a while for teachers to figure out how to place the laptop or whether to use a Bluetooth and walk around so the voice was uninterrupted or sit in a way that ensured eye contact with all the students. “, explains Sudha.

Being heard is a big concern for teachers. “Instead of watching a classroom session, I was logging into Microsoft Teams to offer feedback to teachers. Some teachers needed to connect the speaker to the system or needed Bluetooth,” she says.

Sudha says technology support plays an important role and principals need to support teachers. “We, for example, increased the bandwidth when classes were to be broadcast live,” she says.

The power of communication plays an important role in such a format.

“Beyond class III, most parents are not with the children and you have to tell them. We started the “Learning from Home” material in which we developed a list of items that a child should have when attending a class.

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Vision 2022: Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Mentorship Program | Vision https://abilitiesnetworks.org/vision-2022-dr-martin-luther-king-jr-mentorship-program-vision/ Mon, 14 Feb 2022 06:30:00 +0000 https://abilitiesnetworks.org/vision-2022-dr-martin-luther-king-jr-mentorship-program-vision/ Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Mentorship Program The PA 21st Learning Center, operated by the Meadville Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Scholarship Fund, is located at Meadville Area Middle School. The program, which serves seventh and eighth graders, is a collaboration between the Crawford Central School District, Allegheny College, and Meadville Dr. Martin Luther King […]]]>

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Mentorship Program

The PA 21st Learning Center, operated by the Meadville Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Scholarship Fund, is located at Meadville Area Middle School. The program, which serves seventh and eighth graders, is a collaboration between the Crawford Central School District, Allegheny College, and Meadville Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Scholarship Board. The program received an outstanding rating from the Pennsylvania Department of Education’s Office of Academic Support. He is greatly supported by the director, teachers and staff of MAMS. Its mission is to strengthen the academic and personal development of middle school students by offering them opportunities for lifelong success.

The goals of the program are to help students master their classes, develop workplace skills, provide character and community building activities that promote positive social interactions, maintain a connection with teachers and parents to keep them informed of student progress.

The program operates Monday through Thursday from 3:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. during the school year and in the summer for five weeks, Monday through Thursday from 7:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Safe transportation and nutritional snacks are provided. Parents participate in the decision-making process and are engaged in the program; they can enroll their children in the program at any time.

Programs offered include academic enrichment in English, math and science, one-on-one tutoring, drama, leadership, watershed STEM, nutrition and exercise, workforce readiness/ to career/college, character building/coping skills and CPR/AED/First Aid/Child CPR Certification. Community leaders visit from time to time to share their career paths.

Performance measures must exceed local and national academic standards, show improved school attendance, show improved classroom performance, and demonstrate additional positive educational, social, and behavioral changes.

Staff represent our amazing community and state which includes Acutec, K-12 Education Alliance, Watershed STEM, Women’s Services, Academy Theatre, French Creek Conservancy, Plaza Lane Bowling and PHEAA.

Now in its 11th year, the program has seen the success of its students who have participated in the mentorship program.

Our vision is to ensure that the program is sustainable over the years. For more information about the learning center, please contact the middle school at (814) 333-1188.

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Transitions from Vieth to teaching, coaching https://abilitiesnetworks.org/transitions-from-vieth-to-teaching-coaching/ Tue, 25 Jan 2022 15:46:02 +0000 https://abilitiesnetworks.org/transitions-from-vieth-to-teaching-coaching/ GLEN CARBON — Paul Vieth has taken another step to follow in the path of his former teachers and coaches at Edwardsville High School. A 1996 EHS graduate, Vieth was a standout offensive lineman for the 1995 EHS football team, which went 11-1 and reached the Class 5A quarterfinals. He then played at Illinois State […]]]>

GLEN CARBON — Paul Vieth has taken another step to follow in the path of his former teachers and coaches at Edwardsville High School.

A 1996 EHS graduate, Vieth was a standout offensive lineman for the 1995 EHS football team, which went 11-1 and reached the Class 5A quarterfinals. He then played at Illinois State University.

Vieth is now in his third year coaching girls’ and boys’ volleyball at Father McGivney High School. In 2021, he left a 25-year career in retail management to become a full-time math teacher and coach at FMCHS.

“I always wanted to be a teacher and my whole family apart from my dad who was a barber has been in the education business,” said Vieth, 43, who recently quit as a women’s volleyball player. coach, but will continue to coach the boys. “My mother has a doctorate in education and worked in an early childhood center and my sister worked for her.

“My brother (Dave Vieth) is an assistant principal at Mattoon High School and he’s a former baseball coach in Nashville and Valmeyer. In college, I changed my major from business to education, but I knew that there wasn’t a lot of money in education, and I ended up going into retail.I don’t regret it, but education has always been my passion.

Vieth, who was an inventory control manager for RP Lumber Company, planned his career change at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic when he started taking online classes at the University of Phoenix. He is preparing a master’s degree in secondary education.

He made the transition from retail to teaching at the start of the 2021-22 school year at Father McGivney.


“If I wasn’t able to teach full-time, I’d probably be doing a lot of supply right now,” said Vieth, who is due to get her master’s degree in August. “I can walk into the classroom and get real experience and enjoy my time at Father McGivney.

At EHS, Vieth was a freshman when Tim Dougherty took over as football coach. Dougherty guided the Tigers from 1992 to 2007 and posted a 132-40 record with 12 playoff teams, including back-to-back finalists in 2001 and 2002.

Every Wednesday, the Edwardsville Intelligencer will publish a “Where Are They Now?” story of former Edwardsville High School or Metro-East Lutheran student-athletes. If there is a former student-athlete you would like to know, please email Scott Marion at smarion@edwpub.net.


“I was there during his freshman year and I remember being in the classroom when we met him,” Vieth said. “He explained that this group of freshmen was going to be the first group he would have for the four years.

“It was amazing to see how it came to fruition and we ended up being the team that we were. It brings back a lot of great memories for me.”

After posting records of 6-3 in 1992, 6-4 in 1993 and 6-3 in 1994, Vieth’s senior year in 1995 proved to be the Tigers’ breakthrough. They won their first 11 games, including the first two rounds of the playoffs.

“I think it has a lot to do with what we did before this season, including my freshman year in 1995 when we had the teachers’ strike (which forced the Tigers to give up their first two games)” , said Vieth. “I shout out to a lot of upperclassmen because we went to their house and bonded a lot.

“It’s made football so much more important. When something you care about so much is taken away from you for a short time, it sharpens your focus. The coaching staff, with Coach Dougherty and all his assistants, were on the same wavelength and delivered the same message. It was a combination of great players with a lot of heart, restlessness and desire.

For the 1995 Tigers, the playoffs began with a 28-22 first-round win over Bloomington, which was followed by a 40-12 second-round win over Cahokia.

In the Class 5A quarterfinals, East St. Louis scored the game-winning touchdown with 17 seconds to beat EHS 32-26.

In the second half, EHS quarterback Jimmie Dougherty broke his ankle, initially diagnosed as a sprained ankle. He entered the game in the fourth quarter to score the extra point to tie the game.

“It was a game that they could probably make a movie out of,” Vieth said. “You start with the weather and the ice cover on the pitch and all the back and forth of the game. You had Jimmie kicking extra with a broken foot and Ryan Jumper coming in at QB (for Dougherty) and doing a great job.

“We had guys who stepped up and made plays when they needed to. It was a tough game and we left everything on the pitch, but we couldn’t get the win.

Vieth’s success on the offensive and defensive lines at EHS was enough to earn him a scholarship to Illinois State, where he played for three seasons.

“The ISU was kind of the perfect storm for me,” Vieth said. “I visited a few other schools like Eastern Illinois and Indiana State, but got a phone call one morning from Coach Dougherty, who told me an ISU coach was there. and they wanted me to come see a movie with them.

“We were watching a video of a play where he was impressed that I was on the opposite side on the defensive line and taking a chasing angle to chase the running back. It was one of those plays where I tell kids that you never know when it’s going to happen or what’s going to be filmed. That’s why you give 100% all the time and it’s a game that impressed that coach and that helped me get the ball rolling.

In his junior year at ISU, Vieth had a starting job on the offensive line at left guard, but at the end of the season he had to hang up his cleats for medical reasons.

Vieth transferred to SIUE, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration with a major in marketing.

He then embarked on a career in retail management, working 10 years for Home Depots in Alton, Edwardsville and O’Fallon, Missouri, before spending 14 years at RP Lumber.

While Vieth had already spent two years at Father McGivney coaching girls and boys volleyball, it still took him a while to make the transition from retail management to teacher and coach. full-time coach.

“Anytime you change professions, there will be an adjustment period,” Vieth said. “Fortunately, my family and lots of friends being in education were able to help me if I had any questions.”

Vieth got into volleyball when his daughter, Madison, now a senior at EHS, started playing the sport at a young age.

“I was inspired by dads who went out and helped with the Little Tigers (football) program and I always thought that if you’re going to teach, make sure you know you’re teaching the right way,” Vieth said. . .

“I got involved in volunteering with the Glen-Ed Volleyball Clinics, run by Doug and Brenda Saye, and then got involved in the H2 club program. I coached with H2 for a few seasons and then my daughter started playing for the Illinois team for HP in St. Louis.

The FMCHS women’s volleyball program, meanwhile, began at the junior varsity level in 2015, while the boys completed their first varsity season in 2019.

Amanda Dreyer, who compiled a 42-44 college record in three seasons, including a 25-win season and the program’s first-ever regional and section titles in 2018, resigned as coach after the school year. 2018-19.

Vieth learned of the opening via email and felt the opportunity was too good to pass up.

“I take all the lessons I learned from my football coaches and try to pass them on to a new generation,” Vieth said. “With the girls, you take a slightly different approach, but they want to learn the same lessons.

“I also coach the boys at McGivney and our next season is coming up in March, so I’m excited about that. They’re different sports and different techniques, of course, but it’s always about involving the kids and teaching them the value of dedication and what makes a team successful.

Vieth considers one of his greatest accomplishments to be the establishment of the Edwardsville City Youth Sand Volleyball Summer League.

“I approached the city four years ago and helped them create a kids’ sand program at Winston Brown Sand Courts for kids in middle school through high school,” Vieth said. “We have grown to over 300 children who are now participating in the program.”

Vieth and his wife, Heather, live in Edwardsville, and Madison is their only child.

In addition to his full-time duties at FMCHS, Vieth does woodworking and has a side business called Vieth’s Custom Furniture.

His current coaching schedule leaves him with less time to devote to this part of his life, but that suits Vieth, who relies on his football experiences at EHS to teach his current athletes.

“Edwardsville has always been an influence on me and I love the city,” Vieth said. “I love seeing my former coaches come out and can’t wait for Tim Dougherty to enter the EHS Hall of Fame (in February). I was asked to contribute to his intro video and it was cool for me because that Coach Dougherty had a big impact on my life.

“I am honored to have been part of his program and will be there to see him inducted. His son Jimmie walks in at the same time, which makes him even more special.

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Launching an online school to help parents teach their children from home https://abilitiesnetworks.org/launching-an-online-school-to-help-parents-teach-their-children-from-home/ Wed, 19 Jan 2022 22:02:00 +0000 https://abilitiesnetworks.org/launching-an-online-school-to-help-parents-teach-their-children-from-home/ Thursday, January 20, 2022, 11:02 a.m.Press release: Spectrum Academy A new online school for Kiwi children called Spectrum Academy opens enrollment today with parents and caregivers eager to teach their children at home. Karen Tui Boyes, managing director of Wellington-based Spectrum Education Limited and founder of Spectrum Academy, said the online school would appeal to […]]]>

A new online school for Kiwi children called Spectrum Academy opens enrollment today with parents and caregivers eager to teach their children at home.

Karen Tui Boyes, managing director of Wellington-based Spectrum Education Limited and founder of Spectrum Academy, said the online school would appeal to a wide range of students from kindergarten to year 13.

“The response to homeschooling needs has been overwhelming. We received hundreds of requests during the Christmas holidays. Parents are looking for change and different ways to meet the educational needs of their children. We provide this solution by offering support and guidance on how to teach their children in a fun, relevant and practical way,” says Karen.

Spectrum Academy learning coaches are fully qualified and experienced New Zealand teachers, who partner with parents to deliver the New Zealand curriculum while developing a personalized, flexible and forward-looking education plan for the students.

“Parents can expect a high level of online coaching delivery and positive results for students of all ages through our approach. We match each child and family with one of our learning coaches. They work together to develop an age-appropriate educational experience tied to the child’s curiosities, unique talents, and personal goals. Our overarching goal for all students is to help them enter the career of their choice suited to their strengths and interests or to undertake higher education.

“Our coaching schedule is flexible to accommodate each family. For example, most teens regularly need around 8-10 hours of sleep to maintain optimal health and daytime alertness. ‘they start their learning at 10 a.m., as long as they get the job done, that’s what matters,” says Karen. “Class sizes will be limited to 15 students, with frequent opportunities to receive one-on-one support and breakout sessions.”

Workplaces are increasingly offering work-from-home options for busy parents to help balance parenting and work. Karen says parents need to have realistic expectations for their children’s accomplishments when working from home.

“Working online presents many challenges, and as experienced teachers and experts in our field, we know precisely what workload and achievement is required for students. Parents who work from home also have the option of a learning coach spending more time with a child to free up a working parent,” she says.

The contact time with coaching is different for each student. For younger students, contact time may be three to five hours a day, while high school students may only have 30 minutes to an hour with their coach.

The school year is based on 40 weeks of learning, equivalent to the public school system. There are also opt-in modules during the summer holidays, as well as the possibility for parents to take a two-week break at the end of each learning cycle if they wish.

Creating a school that goes beyond the mainstream education system has been Karen’s dream for over 27 years.

“We adopt the 16 habits of mind as the basis for teaching and learning. Our students will learn to behave intelligently. It’s about knowing what to do when you’re not sure what to do next or you don’t know the answer. Future-oriented learning is not just about gathering information. It’s about knowing how to act on it, knowing what questions to ask, and being able to think critically content and origin,” says Karen.

© Scoop Media

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Learning Curve: Schools’ plan to teach refugee students goes beyond the classroom | News https://abilitiesnetworks.org/learning-curve-schools-plan-to-teach-refugee-students-goes-beyond-the-classroom-news/ Tue, 11 Jan 2022 06:15:00 +0000 https://abilitiesnetworks.org/learning-curve-schools-plan-to-teach-refugee-students-goes-beyond-the-classroom-news/ Since the start of this school year, around 115 refugee students have enrolled in public schools in the Daviess County area. Of these students, 40 attend Owensboro Public Schools and 75 attend Daviess County Public Schools. The education of these students requires collaboration and communication between several entities, and it all starts with building relationships […]]]>

Since the start of this school year, around 115 refugee students have enrolled in public schools in the Daviess County area.

Of these students, 40 attend Owensboro Public Schools and 75 attend Daviess County Public Schools. The education of these students requires collaboration and communication between several entities, and it all starts with building relationships and trust, for example in English.

“What’s important to address is why students are refugees,” said Jana Beth Francis, assistant superintendent of teaching and learning at DCPS, who is also the EL coordinator for the district. “By nature, the name refugee means that you must have undergone some sort of trauma and had to leave your home. “

School systems work with refugee students and their families to make sure they feel safe and welcome above all else. They help build communities among these populations and introduce these families to the community, Francis said.

Another variable is that educators often don’t know how long these students were in a traumatized environment, or how long these students were in school, Francis said.

Ashlie Hurley, the EL coordinator for OPS, said that a student’s mother once told her that she had spent 21 years in a refugee camp before coming to the area.

“Many refugees have different levels of English proficiency,” Hurley said. “Some have little or no experience of English and others speak six languages. It varies from family to family.

When needed, both school systems use an interpreter service, which Hurley says is a saving grace, as well as EL teachers who work tirelessly with students and families.

Educating all students is always the job and goal of teachers and those affiliated with school systems, but when it comes to students who have experienced trauma, such as some refugees, academics often do not come first. Hurley said.

EL coordinators and educators make home visits, show them the community, the school their child will attend, how bus transport works, she said.

“I think the best approach at the start is to just build these relationships and the basic understanding that they are safe, that they are going to be nurtured, cared for, that we can be trusted,” she said. declared.

When the time comes to introduce these students to the classroom, they work closely with the EL teachers, who coordinate with the classroom teachers. Often, refugee students are subject to a screening assessment so that educators can get a feel for their level of English proficiency. They are also reviewed regularly throughout the school year to see how they are progressing.

Many other information gatherings also take place, such as discussions with the student and their family about where they grew up, their level of education and any other needs of the student. Educators are also researching what school looked like in students’ countries of origin, Francis said.

One thing that’s interesting about most English learners and refugee students, Francis said, is that they generally excel at math, and that’s usually a marker for whether or not a student has a grade. of schooling.

Hurley agreed and said math can be kind of a universal language for students.

At the middle and secondary levels, both school systems have newcomer programs for refugee and EL students. This class teaches them basic English and other necessities that can help them navigate school life.

While EL and refugee students receive one-to-one tuition and targeted interventions, especially at the elementary school level, Hurley and Francis agreed that the best approach for EL and refugee students is to integrate them into classroom life. ordinary, if possible.

Typically, said Hurley, a student performs better by mid-year after being in a classroom for an extended period of time with his native English-speaking peers.

An important thing to also keep in mind is that these students are usually not graded in a traditional sense, Hurley said.

“We keep an eye on them and test them like other students, but what we’re really monitoring is growth and making sure all of the child’s needs are met,” she said.

Francis said that a learner of English can take five to seven years to master the language, and having a traumatic past can make learning the language even more difficult.

“The important thing is to make sure that they feel safe and that they are in a learning environment where they trust adults, and then we work on Academic English and develop the necessary skills from there. there, “she said.

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How to prepare children for school by training parents at home https://abilitiesnetworks.org/how-to-prepare-children-for-school-by-training-parents-at-home/ Wed, 05 Jan 2022 21:06:43 +0000 https://abilitiesnetworks.org/how-to-prepare-children-for-school-by-training-parents-at-home/ [ad_1] The key to improving the vocabulary and math skills of young children may lie in changing their parents’ beliefs. We describe these results in an article published in October 2021 in the peer-reviewed scientific journal Nature Communications. When we measured parental beliefs about child development in 479 parents of newborns living in the Chicago […]]]>


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The key to improving the vocabulary and math skills of young children may lie in changing their parents’ beliefs. We describe these results in an article published in October 2021 in the peer-reviewed scientific journal Nature Communications.

When we measured parental beliefs about child development in 479 parents of newborns living in the Chicago area, a striking pattern emerged: playing with them and spending time chatting with them affects development. of the child. We call such activities “parental investments”.

To understand how socio-economic differences in these beliefs can lead to skill inequalities in children, we designed two interventions among low-income families in the Chicago area. Both intervention programs promote language-rich interactions between caregivers and children.

Our first intervention consisted of a series of short educational videos that provided advice and information on babies’ abilities. Parents watched the videos when they visited their pediatrician for their child’s vaccinations in the first six months after birth.

The second intervention was more intensive. Families with a 24 to 30 month old child received home visits by specially trained members of our research team every two weeks for six months. During the 12 visits, home visitors showed parents an educational video and then did an activity that showed how to practice the concepts discussed in the video. These demonstrations included, for example, how to use descriptive language with their child or incorporate math into daily routines. Finally, home visitors provided feedback and set goals for the next visit.

At the end of both experiments, parents were more likely to believe that parental investments affect child development than parents who did not benefit from the interventions.

But we also found that parents in the most intensive program had significantly more interactions with their children than parents who did not receive the intervention. The less intensive program had a similar but weaker effect on parent-child interactions.

Importantly, our results also indicate that children whose parents received the home visits developed higher vocabulary and math skills – as well as better socio-emotional health – immediately after the intervention and six months later. , compared to those who did not benefit from the interventions. As these are readiness indicators for school, it means that children who received treatment were better prepared for school. The first intervention, on the other hand, did not improve the children’s vocabulary, which was the main outcome of interest for this program.

Research shows that socio-economic inequalities in child development begin long before the start of the school year. Investing in the early years of a child’s development can improve a variety of outcomes later in life, such as employment, income, and physical health.

In the first years of life, parental investments are essential for the healthy development of children. Yet socioeconomic differences in parental investments, which have been observed consistently over time and across countries, exacerbate the inequalities in education and income that are often seen in modern economies.

The fact that only our more intensive intervention succeeded in better preparing children for school suggests that simply providing families with more information about child development and parenting is insufficient.

Our future work will focus on the personalization of support for families. We are developing a computer adaptive version of the survey which we used to elicit parental beliefs. This will adapt to the specific knowledge and needs of each parent and help us identify the most appropriate programs for each family.

Julie Pernaudet is an associate researcher in economics at the University of Chicago. Dana Suskind is professor of surgery and pediatrics, and John List is professor of economics at the same university. This piece was first published by Conversation.

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From DIY to teaching: Virginia educator wins national cybersecurity award https://abilitiesnetworks.org/from-diy-to-teaching-virginia-educator-wins-national-cybersecurity-award/ Mon, 13 Dec 2021 22:49:00 +0000 https://abilitiesnetworks.org/from-diy-to-teaching-virginia-educator-wins-national-cybersecurity-award/ [ad_1] US Department of Education honors Virginia professor with cybersecurity award From a young age, Kristina Rice loved tinkering with electronics. Whether it’s taking phones apart and putting them back together, or learning all about computers when they come out, Rice has developed a natural talent for technology. “I’ve always had an interest there,” Rice […]]]>


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US Department of Education honors Virginia professor with cybersecurity award

From a young age, Kristina Rice loved tinkering with electronics. Whether it’s taking phones apart and putting them back together, or learning all about computers when they come out, Rice has developed a natural talent for technology.

“I’ve always had an interest there,” Rice said.

This childhood interest has recently turned into prestigious national recognition. Rice, a teacher at Spotsylvania High School in Spotsylvania County, became one of two educators nationwide to win the 2021 Presidential Cyber ​​Security Education Award. The other recipient, Sergio de Alba, teaches at the school Miano Primary in Los Banos, California.

According to the US Department of Education, the awardees are selected for their superior achievements as educators, indicators of academic achievement, and leadership contributing to the field of cybersecurity. The recipients also instill three key elements in their students: skills, knowledge and a passion for cybersecurity.

“It’s amazing. I’m very honored to be recognized for such a prestigious award,” said Rice. “To be recognized by so many people is incredible.

Rice’s career did not start with national recognition; it actually started with a lot of hard work and a bit of fate.

The open position becomes an opportunity

After high school, Rice decided to continue tinkering with technology, earning an associate’s degree in information technology (IT) with a minor in information systems. However, the job market had other plans.

Teaching was another of Rice’s passions, and her local school division needed a business teacher. So she got her Bachelor of Commerce and got to work. The career change allowed Rice to teach a cybersecurity course at Spotsylvania High in addition to her major.

“When I first started teaching cybersecurity, I was committed to increasing the participation of under-represented groups, especially women,” Rice said.

During the first semester, a total of 12 female students out of a total of approximately 1,300 students enrolled in the computer-based course. The professor was not discouraged by these figures. Instead, she invested in her students who chose to take the course, ultimately founding Cyber ​​Knights. The program provides students with technical resources to pursue their interests in cybersecurity.

In addition, she also led the Girls Go Cyberstart team, which was made up entirely of female students, to a second place finish at the national championships in 2019 and 2020. Thereafter, the business teacher’s cybersecurity course quickly multiplied attendance.

“It opened the eyes of a lot of the girls here at school because they didn’t know we had the program. [or] classes here, ”Rice said. “I had 12 daughters in the first year [and] 10 of these girls [then] came out and recruited over 100 girls into the school in this first year of teaching cybersecurity.

Teach with passion

“I am very passionate about cybersecurity. As soon as you walk into my room or hear me speak, you can tell how passionate I am, ”Rice said. “So by sharing my passion for cybersecurity with my students, it’s like they catch the virus too. It opens their eyes. It’s like sharing my passion with them and how passionate I am, it’s just contagious.

Rice’s teaching goes beyond her classroom at Spotsylvania High School. She also trains others statewide as an instructor for Virginia Tech’s GenCyber ​​program, which offers cybersecurity summer camp experiences for students and teachers at the K-12 level.

“I assist all the K-12 cybersecurity teachers across the country who attend and work with them on the lessons, on how to find resources, [and] how to implement these activities with their students, ”said Rice.

She has also designed a pace guide for educators teaching cybersecurity fundamentals and offers additional training upon request.

Find resources

For childhood or adolescent tech tinkerers like her, Rice suggested researching local resources to learn more about cybersecurity.

“[Students can] contact their school counselor to see if they can find any programs. Or a simple Google search – you can find so much online; there are so many programs out there, ”Rice said. “Even email me, and I’ll help a kid who wants to find something out about cybersecurity.” ”

She also suggested looking into CyberStart America, a free nationwide program that provides access to an online game that provides a fun and accessible gateway for high school students to explore their cybersecurity skills and learn more about cyber-security. industry and careers. Students can also learn more about cybersecurity scholarships through the program.

“I think it’s just important with the way the world is today, being so technologically driven it’s important that we make people understand that it’s important to be safe online,” Rice said. “It’s important to be careful what you click on. ”

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The mentoring program is looking for adult volunteers https://abilitiesnetworks.org/the-mentoring-program-is-looking-for-adult-volunteers/ Mon, 29 Nov 2021 05:00:12 +0000 https://abilitiesnetworks.org/the-mentoring-program-is-looking-for-adult-volunteers/ [ad_1] School Volunteer Coordinators Erinn Michaud, left, and Maureen Vashon, oversee the weekly Big and Little Games reunion at Williams Elementary School in Oakland. Adult volunteers are needed to serve as community mentors, as well as school coordinators in Kennebec, Knox, Lincoln, Penobscot, Somerset and Waldo counties. To get involved, call 207-236-2227 ext. 101 or […]]]>


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School Volunteer Coordinators Erinn Michaud, left, and Maureen Vashon, oversee the weekly Big and Little Games reunion at Williams Elementary School in Oakland. Adult volunteers are needed to serve as community mentors, as well as school coordinators in Kennebec, Knox, Lincoln, Penobscot, Somerset and Waldo counties. To get involved, call 207-236-2227 ext. 101 or by email [email protected] Contribution photo

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Mid-Maine is looking for adult volunteers to support their one-on-one mentoring programs in eastern, central and mid-coast Maine.

The agency is recruiting Big Brothers and Big Sisters to serve as community mentors for children ages 5 to 14 in Kennebec, Knox, Lincoln, Penobscot, Somerset and Waldo counties.

Community “grown-ups” build healthy, trusting relationships with their “little ones” by spending two to five hours a week together doing things of common interest, such as playing sports, hiking, going to the movies, playing games. at board games or doing crafts. The grown-ups commit to mentoring a child for at least a year, which promotes the development of stronger and more lasting relationships.

In addition, the agency needs adult school coordinators who can devote an hour and a half per week from October to May (except school holiday weeks) to oversee game reunions between the High School Bigs and the Little Littles. primary school.

The agency has an immediate need for school coordinators at the following sites for the 2021-22 school year:

• Boothbay Primary School (Boothbay);

• South School (Rockland);

• Miller Primary School (Waldoboro);

• Warren Community School (Warren);

• Nobleboro Central School (Nobleboro); and

• Lincolnville Community School (Lincolnville).

All volunteers are interviewed, screened and trained, and receive ongoing support and training from professional agency staff. Continuing education credits are awarded for volunteer coordinator positions.

Successful volunteers are responsible and caring adults who enjoy working with young people of all ages and backgrounds, have excellent listening and communication skills, are patient, willing to learn, and share the BBBS mission of igniting the power and promises of local youth.

To learn more about how to become an adult volunteer with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Mid-Maine, contact Haley Stearns at 207-236-2227 ext. 101, or e-mail [email protected].

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Petaluma’s Valley Vista Elementary School’s educational garden grows stronger two decades later https://abilitiesnetworks.org/petalumas-valley-vista-elementary-schools-educational-garden-grows-stronger-two-decades-later/ https://abilitiesnetworks.org/petalumas-valley-vista-elementary-schools-educational-garden-grows-stronger-two-decades-later/#respond Tue, 09 Nov 2021 20:16:31 +0000 https://abilitiesnetworks.org/petalumas-valley-vista-elementary-schools-educational-garden-grows-stronger-two-decades-later/ [ad_1] Twenty years ago, the principal of Valley Vista Primary School, Maureen Vieth, came up with the idea of ​​creating educational gardens in the school. In June 2001, parents, teachers and students began mulching an area of ​​grass between the classrooms for the garden. In the fall, they also built an educational space in the […]]]>


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Twenty years ago, the principal of Valley Vista Primary School, Maureen Vieth, came up with the idea of ​​creating educational gardens in the school. In June 2001, parents, teachers and students began mulching an area of ​​grass between the classrooms for the garden. In the fall, they also built an educational space in the garden. Later, when she retired, the garden was dedicated to her.

Today, Valley Vista has two gardens: a main garden and a smaller garden near the greenhouse.

“The Life Lab program was originally started in Santa Cruz, near the school where my husband, Bob Vieth, was first principal,” Maureen Vieth said via email. “I saw the wonders of the garden and its impact on children and realized it was something I wanted to achieve in the schools where I was also teaching. When I arrived at Valley Vista School there were a lot of parents eager to get involved and help make the garden a reality.

Today, Kathy Chambers and Mike Pesutich teach gardening classes for eight weeks in the spring and fall. Each class, from Transitional Kindergarten to Grade 6, has a gardening class once a week where they learn a gardening class in the outdoor classroom and tasks, projects or activities to do in the classroom. garden.

Maintaining a garden is no easy task, and Valley Vista School has an army of young gardeners working there.

“Elementary students do most of the planting, weeding and cleaning in the main garden. Higher level students do most of the maintenance in both gardens. Their tasks include filling the planters with soil, moving the bark, pruning, removing dead plants, raking, weeding and maintaining, ”explained garden coordinator Kathy Chambers. “We also have parent volunteers who help supervise students working in small groups. “

The students don’t always work in the garden, however. Kindergarten classes do a lot of exploration in the garden, such as a scavenger hunt, lessons on the senses where they smell different fruits, herbs and flowers, and use the sense of touch to smell different seeds and leaves.

This fall, grade two students removed the sweet pea seeds from their pods, made seed packets, and brought them home to their families. The third-graders harvested gem glass corn, removed the kernels, dried them, and popped them to make popcorn. Sometimes students can observe changes in nature such as fungi, spittlebugs, aphids, ladybugs, and various insect eggs using magnifying glasses.

The garden has developed in more than one way since its creation.

“We have been the lucky recipients of several grants over the past 20 years that have helped our garden program grow from one garden to two,” Chambers said. “We now have an eighth of an acre of garden space which includes our main garden, which was created in June 2001, and our second garden, which we call ‘back 40’, which was created later. “

Over the years, grants and funding from the Valley Vista PTA have enabled the school to purchase a greenhouse, drip system, more planters, fruit trees, and gardening equipment.

In fact, they are now growing a variety of plants in part thanks to Petaluma Seed Bank’s donation of a large number of unique seeds.

Currently, the garden has five varieties of tomatoes, Richmond green apple cucumbers, cucamelons (watermelon cucumbers), miniature white cucumbers, tiger melons, pineapple guava, lemon and lime trees, moon and star watermelon. The pumpkins were recently picked by the sixth graders who used them for the harvest party they organized for the elementary students.

Mother Nature and the school year calendar set a big part of the gardening calendar. Students plant later than the average gardener to ensure they can return to a lush garden in the fall.

The students recently planted beets, turnip, kohlrabi, onion seeds, daffodil bulbs and broad beans.

So what happens to all of these products?

“We eat it!” laughed the principal Catina Haugen. “The students appreciate the products and we share them with our community and our staff. When a table of products has come out in front of the school, it is only a matter of hours for everything to be picked up.

Retired Principal Vieth and current Principal Haugen agree that the Garden provides experiences to spark children’s curiosity and interest in our natural world. It promotes incidental learning and is a good flow for students to start thinking about larger global issues.

“When children have the opportunity to work with the land by cultivating it and watching it grow, they learn that they are making an impact and that what they do makes a difference,” said Vieth. “This knowledge alone can take a child this far and I always thought it was the gift from the garden.”

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Cape Launches District-Wide Mentorship Program https://abilitiesnetworks.org/cape-launches-district-wide-mentorship-program/ https://abilitiesnetworks.org/cape-launches-district-wide-mentorship-program/#respond Mon, 08 Nov 2021 18:00:36 +0000 https://abilitiesnetworks.org/cape-launches-district-wide-mentorship-program/ [ad_1] Cape Henlopen School District Mentor Coordinator Kim Hoey Stevenson is about to launch a program designed to help children in need of a positive relationship with a supportive adult. The pandemic has taken a toll on children’s mental health, Hoey Stevenson said, and other children may be homeless or unstable in their family life. […]]]>


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Cape Henlopen School District Mentor Coordinator Kim Hoey Stevenson is about to launch a program designed to help children in need of a positive relationship with a supportive adult.

The pandemic has taken a toll on children’s mental health, Hoey Stevenson said, and other children may be homeless or unstable in their family life.

Hoey Stevenson said he recently read a study that showed the average one-on-one time a child spends with an adult is only 13 minutes per day.

By having a dedicated mentor, said Hoey Stevenson, students will enjoy uninterrupted time with an adult for 30 minutes a week, during which they can play a game, read a book together, or just hang out talking about what is going on in their life.

All students, regardless of their educational ability or class rank, from Kindergarten to Grade 12 will be eligible for the program, said Hoey Stevenson. Students may be referred by a teacher or parent, or may refer themselves to receive a mentor.

Each school will have a mentor coordinator who manages the program for that building, said Hoey Stevenson, and she will oversee the entire program.

Mentors complete a free two-hour training course as part of the Creative Mentoring Program, which is used at many schools across the state to teach adults how to coach effectively and how to spot red flags that may signal the mentor. child needs more help, she said.

Mentor coordinators will work with mentors and students to find the right fit for each. Mentors can be adults, teachers and even high school students who will be working with younger students, Hoey Stevenson said.

Consistency is important, so mentors should commit to meeting their mentee once a week for 30 minutes during the school day, she said. The program will run from September to May of each school year.

For the relationship to really work, Stevenson said, it would be ideal if a mentor could work with a child from elementary to high school. Mentors must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and wear a mask in schools; a background check at no cost to the mentee is also required.

Hoey Stevenson urged mentees not to be patient when meeting their students.

“Don’t be discouraged if a connection doesn’t happen immediately,” she said. “Kids won’t necessarily trust you right away, but don’t give up.”

Hoey Stevenson grew up in Milford and now lives in Lewes with her husband and daughter, an elder from Cape High. She previously taught at Seaford Middle School and the Southern Delaware School of the Arts, and served as communications director for the Senate Minority Caucus.

Also a freelance writer, Hoey Stevenson is co-author of “Overcoming Misfortune: Children Who Beat the Odds,” which explores people who overcome adverse conditions and, against all odds, become successful adults.

“Someone was there for them at the right time when they were needed most, so mentoring is important work,” she said, noting she eagerly accepted the post at Cape. “I wanted something where I could really make a difference in a child’s life.”

Cape Town’s director of educational support LouAnn Hudson said the district plans to launch the program in the 2019-2020 school year, but the pandemic has delayed its start.

All of the mentors had been trained and some had started meeting with students when the pandemic hit and schools were closed, she said, and some of those volunteers are back.

“They want to be with the kids; they know a lot of kids have struggled, ”said Hudson. “Having an additional positive influence in the lives of students is never a bad thing. Due to COVID, volunteers have not been allowed into schools as usual, and we are ready to welcome them again. ”

With a large population of retired teachers and professionals in the area, Hudson said she hopes to see many volunteers sign up to help. Mentors can register to work with more than one child, she said, and many teachers and district administrators have already registered.

“It’s the kind of staff we have here,” said Hudson. “Some kids can get that extra boost, and others just need a stable person in their life. It is powerful to see a child flourish.

To learn more about how to become a mentor, send an email kimberly.hoeystevenson@cape.k12.de.us.

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