elementary school

elementary school

Sandy Hook Students Welcomed at a New School in Monroe, Connecticut

After last month’s tragic event at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, students have yet to return to a classroom. As reported by CBSNews, the students at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown will be attending a new school redesigned specially for them.

The new school is in the town of Monroe. Signs saying “Welcome Sandy Hook Elementary School” and “Welcome. You are in our prayers” hung along the road greeting students, parents, and teachers as they made their way back to class today. Security will be enforced at the new school to ensure students, parents, and teachers feel safe.

A few weeks of renovating from volunteers and the former middle school known as Chalk Hill School in Monroe, Conn. is ready for these young students to step foot inside. Volunteers even made the school size friendly by raising bathroom floors for smaller children to reach the toilets. Students’ supplies from Sandy Hook Elementary and photos will be placed in the new school to make students feel comfortable. Experts and counselors say it is vital that students feel comfortable and back to a regular schedule. Read the rest of this entry »

Elementary Students Need Physical Education, Even if the School’s Budget Doesn’t Cover It

elementary school gym classJessica Mazeau teaches physical education at Clifford School in Redwood City, California, five days a week. Her students are in kindergarten through fifth grade and a typical class includes activities such as keep-away with basketballs, hula hooping, and jumping rope. However, Mazeau does not work for the school or for the school district, nor is she a volunteer. Instead, she works for a private company, Rhythm and Moves, which was hired by the school’s parent-teacher organization, to provide physical education and activities for the students after the school’s budget cuts required it to eliminate its programs for students in all grades, except sixth through eighth.

“Clearly, if we don’t fund it the kids are not getting any active outside, except for minimum recess time and lunch time,” said Marilyn Ezrin, co-president of the Clifford School Parent-Teacher Organization.

Along with music education, physical education is becoming a luxury that schools simply cannot afford due to budget cuts and a hurting economy. However, with state requirements in California mandating that students receive 200 minutes of PE classes every 10 days, the responsibility to fulfill this requirement has fallen on classroom teachers.

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Los Angeles Elementary School Tries to Fix Things After Two Teachers are Arrested

los angeles elementary schoolLast week, two teachers at Miramonte Elementary School in Los Angeles were arrested on charges of child sexual abuse and it was announced that classes would cancelled until Thursday, February 9, 2012. On Monday, February 6, 2012, the Los Angeles Unified School District Superintendent John Deasy announced that when the school reopens its doors on Thursday, there will be an entirely new group of teachers and faculty members ready to welcome the students back to class. The current teachers and faculty members are being relocated to a school that is currently under construction. While there, they will be interviewed about their knowledge about the child molestation cases by school officials, and if it proves to be necessary, by the police.

“We have to investigate this,” said Deasy. “And we don’t want to constantly disrupt education while we do that.”

Deasy also said that he felt personally responsible to do two things: comfort the children who were abused and regain the parents’ trust. In an effort to accomplish these goals, he is also assigning psychiatric school workers to each class.

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Michelle Obama Visits a Secondary School in Virginia with the Cast of iCarly

tv show logoMichelle Obama is always a class-act, but she also knows how to have fun, and she showed off this funner side when she appeared with the cast of iCarly at Hayfield Secondary School in Fairfax County, Virginia. Michelle and the cast of the popular Disney show were at the school to promote a new episode of the show. Michelle will appear in this episode and thank the thousands of military families in this country for their services and sacrifices.

The pep rally also allowed Michelle to get groovy during a minute of “random dancing,” which is also a staple of the television show. Michelle’s dancing featured a few variations of some old-school dances, like “the Jerk” and “the Monkey.”

“I think she showed everybody up in the dance department,” said Jennette McCurdy, an actress on the show who plays Samantha.

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Talking Vending Machines Teach Healthy Eating Habits

generic brand chips and candyWhat would vending machines say if they could talk? Would they tell us to quit punching their buttons so hard or to not shake them when they don’t dispense their goods properly? Well, to the surprise of some students at Rose Park Elementary School in Salt Lake City, Utah, several of their vending machines have started talking and what they are saying is actually some pretty good advice.

“I’m a vending machine and can’t move without someone’s help,” one vending machine told a student when he tried to buy a Lava Cake. “Keep buying food like this and we’ll have that in common.”

Yep, the vending machines are offering the students tips on how to stay healthy by avoiding common vending machine foods, like greasy potato chips and fattening chocolate cakes.

The fake vending machines were installed in the school by Intermountain Healthcare in an effort to teach students about healthy eating habits. The vending machines are filled with pretend treats and do not accept money, but they talk whenever students press a button. According to Tamara Sheffield, a medical director with the company, the goal behind the machines is to get students to start thinking about what they are eating but in a lighthearted and entertaining way.

“What we want to do is do things that actually get kids’ attention,” Sheffield said. “If they have fun with it, they’re more likely to listen.”

In 2008, more than 80 percent of middle schools and high schools in Utah sold candy and other unhealthy snacks in their vending machines. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, this made Utah the state with the highest percentage of unhealthy vending machines in schools, out of the 40 states that were surveyed. By the next year, 15 school districts in the state had taken out vending machines from their elementary schools and 32 charter schools did not have any of the sweets-peddling machines.

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Students in Chicago Face Longer School Days

chicago school signAfter the two-week long winter break, most students are not exactly excited to go back to school. However, the complete opposite was true in Ashley Tam’s third grade math class at Genevieve Melody Elementary School in Chicago. When Tam asked a question on the second day back from break, all twenty students immediately threw their hands in the air, begging to be the one to give the answer. What makes this even more surprising is the fact that the students were not only readjusting to being in class after their break, they were also adjusting to a longer school day. Melody Elementary School is the 13th public school in Chicago to lengthen its school-day to last 7.5 hours, instead of the traditional 5 hour and 45 minutes schedule.

“I think the kids have adapted faster than we have,” said Tiffany Tillman, the assistant principal at the elementary school.

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Elementary School Alumni Group Helps Current Students Realize Their Potential

Detroit SchoolWhen most people think about Detroit Public Schools, they think about debt and the school district’s challenges with keeping students in school. However, a brighter subject that is often overlooked is the way that many educators, student, and members of the community are working toward a common goal: strengthening the schools and improving the quality of education that the students receive.

This effort to improve the school district has been going on since the 1990s. In 1996, alumni from an elementary school formed the Pasteur Elementary School Alumni Foundation in order to improve the lives of the students who currently attend the elementary school. They do so by providing books and funding field trips and scholarships for the students. Last year, the foundation sent 28 students and their parents to Florida to visit the Kennedy Space Center. The trip cost was paid for with donations that were made to the school by alumni in 2011.

The members of Pasteur Elementary School Alumni Foundation do not only donate money to the school, they also donate their time. There are currently 231 members in the foundation and it has a database of 1,300 alumni. These alumni encourage students to stay in school by sharing stories of their own successes and how an education helped them achieve their goals.

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Elementary Students Use iPads to Create School Blog

tablet computerThe first grade students at Burris Laboratory School in Muncie, Indiana, are a little bit different from other elementary school students their age across the country. They do not look any different, nor are they learning from a different curriculum. However, they do have a blog.

Last August, the Indiana Department of Education gave a $200,000 grant to the school, allowing students in kindergarten through fifth grade to have their own iPads. The teachers also received their own iPads.

“It has been a wonderful experience, for the students and for me, ” said Stefanie Onieal, a first-grade teacher who was also one of the authors of the grant.

So what can you find on the blog that these students have created. Among many other things, you can find students’ recent letters to Santa (which they wrote on their iPads), photos of nouns found in their classrooms (the pictures were taken on the iPads), and a fire safety public service announcement (which, of course, was created on the iPads).The blog is viewable for parents at any time, which helps them stay up to date on what their children are learning in school.

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Socioeconomic Standing Impacts Students’ Abilities to Ask for Help in Classrooms

1st or 2nd grade student with his hand raisedFor a long time, we have thought that students from different socioeconomic backgrounds have different levels of success due to the resources available to them in their schools and from their families. However, a new study from the University of Pennsylvania shows an equally important factor in a child’s success is how the study identifies and secures resources for himself.

The study found that the children who came from middle class families are more comfortable and assertive when asking their teachers for help than are the children who come from working class families. Because the students ask more often and more assertively, they often get more attention and assistance from their teachers, which in turn helps them do better in class.

The students who come from middle-class families often directly address the teachers in class and sometimes will even interrupt the teacher in order to make their questions known. The students who came from working-class families were more likely to wait for assistance and rarely sought it out themselves. If they did actually seek out assistance from the teacher, they were passive and waited longer for the teacher to notice them than the students from middle-class families did, on average.

According to Jessica McCrory Calarco, the author of the study, the children who are more comfortable asking for assistance might have learned to do so from their parents. These parents “also deliberately coach children on the language and strategies to use in making these requests [for additional help from the teachers].”

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Small New York School Goes International

What do a small mining town in the Adirondacks and a group of international high school exchange students have in common? Maybe nothing, but the combination is proving to be a successful experience for Newcomb, New York, and international students eager to learn outside of their home country.

The idea was born when Superintendent Clark Hults was fearful of the dropping population in his town and at the only local school. 55 students, from pre-kindergarten to 12th grade, were enrolled in 2006. This was a major drop from the 1,500 enrolled in the 1980s. Hults knew that if the school closed, the town would suffer, so he drafted an ambitious proposal.

Inspired by the number of students who study internationally every year, Hults decided to open up the opportunity for a local economy boosting, educationally enriching experiment. His theories proved true and students began arriving from all over the world. Iraq, Vietnam, France, Russia, Israel and Lebanon are all countries currently represented by Newcomb students. Enrollment is currently at 85 students, 30 of them exchange students, and still growing.

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