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middle school

Brooklyn Charter School Expansion Put on Hold Due to Community Backlash

Community Roots Charter School

Expansion for a popular Brooklyn, New York, charter school was recently suspended in part by resentful community responses. The school, Community Roots Charter School, currently shares a building with a public elementary school and a separate special education school. Academic success in recent years motivated leaders at Community Roots to expand operations to accommodate middle school students; a plan greatly accepted by students and parents participating at Community Roots. The decision to postpone expansion came as a disappointing shock to families.

After opening in 2006 Community Roots Charter School has proved to be a positive and effective experiment in alternative education. In 2010 the school received almost 700 applications to fill only 50- open seats. Parents watching their children excel in the program dreaded the day they would have to enroll their students in traditional public middle schools. The announcement of adding middle school curriculum was a welcome plan and most parents didn’t bother with looking at other middle schools.

Unfortunately for Community Roots families the community did not express an overwhelming joy for the situation.

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Bullied Teens End Life in Suicide Pact

Middle schoolers Haylee Fentress and Paige Moravetz blame bullying for their suicide pact

In an apparent suicide pact, two female teenagers killed themselves at a sleepover last weekend. The middle-schoolers indicated that they were bullied at their Minnesota school.

Eighth-graders Haylee Fentress and Paige Moravetz ended their lives by hanging themselves. Facebook posts and cryptic notes pinpoint clues of them feeling outcasted and bullied.

Just weeks before their deaths, Haylee posted this disturbing note on Paige’s Facebook wall:

“I’m so nervous and I just want to get it over with … I love you, Paige.”

Though the two friends seemed to be fed up with their fellow classmates, Haylee and Paige found comradeship in each other. A few weeks ago, Haylee was suspended for fighting with a fellow student. Her reason: She was defending her best friend, Paige.

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Autistic Students Learn Life Lessons in Their School’s Coffee Shop

A public school in New Jersey has found a creative way to help autistic students learn social skills. Thomas Macchiverna is a teacher at Woodrow Wilson Middle School who started a special class for autistic students and students with multiple learning disabilities. In this class, the students run a coffee shop every Friday morning and sell coffee, tea, and various sweets to staff members at the school.

Edward Lin is a seventh grade student who is in the class. One day, when a customer came into the coffee shop, he was reluctant to make eye contact with the customer. However, with some coaching from his teacher, he eventually does connect with the customer and ends the transaction with a smile.

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Promise Academy Charter School in Harlem Keeps At-Risk Youth in School

harlem charter schoolAround the country, education is one of the hot topics of debate. While students seem to be slipping further and further behind in the public school system, teachers are getting laid off and classroom sizes are growing. Along with the struggles students face during the school year, teachers must also worry about summer learning loss in the summer, which can throw classes off schedule each year when previous material must be reviewed. The situation gets worse when it comes to kids that are considered at-risk, growing up in extremely poor neighborhoods that are heavily exposed to violence, gangs and drugs.

One school that is making a difference in the life of at-risk youth is the Promise Academy Charter School. This school is run by Geoffrey Canada, the president and CEO of the Harlem Children’s Zone. The Harlem Children’s Zone or HCZ is a program serving over 17,000 students in the city of Harlem. Each child that is part of the HCZ program is supported before birth all the way through high school. Read the rest of this entry »



The Value of Friendship Throughout School

Give your friends a big hug today!

My dad sent me this email the other day about friends. It really makes you think about how important your friends have been and always will be, even if you are graduating and moving to different states or won’t see each other for a few months over summer.

In kindergarten your idea of a good friend was the person who let you have the red crayon when all that was left was the ugly black one.

In first grade your idea of a good friend was the person who went to the bathroom with you and held your hand as you walked through the scary halls. Read the rest of this entry »



Vending Machines in Schools Dangerous to Students’ Health

An estimated three quarters of America’s middle schools have vending machines stocked full of snacks and sodas. Most contain items loaded with sugar, fat, and carbohydrates, some with up to 300-400 calories. This in a nation where roughly one out of three children is considered overweight, putting them at an elevated risk for obesity and diabetes.vending machine

The study, of 1,420 vending machines in 251 schools, was organized by the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI). CSPI contends that all foods sold out of vending machines, school stores, and other venues outside of the official school lunch program should make positive contributions to children’s diets and health. Read the rest of this entry »



Are 8th Graders Really Ready for College Board’s RediStep Tests?

Are 8th graders ready to study like this for a College Board test?

I remember sitting in a huge high school auditorium, nervously watching my teacher pass out scantrons. Everyone had at least two #2 pencils and several layers of clothes to take on and off, depending on when the A/C kicked in. We weren’t allowed to leave the room for any reason because it might allow us to cheat. We were taking a test in high school that could possibly get us college credit hours. It was nerve wracking!

I took my first College Board AP test when I was in 10th grade. I was terrified! I couldn’t eat the day before and during the exam. I couldn’t sleep. I was trembling throughout the exam. It was bad.

Recently, College Board announced plans to extend this terror to 8th graders. The test would be called RediStep and allow these middle school students to earn college credit through a test. However, due to the economic condition of many schools across the nation, the plan was postponed until 2010.  Read the rest of this entry »



Apple Laptops for Maine Middle School Students

Despite the economic turmoil, Maine is expanding its program to provide laptop computers to students.student mac

Maine started its first-in-the-nation program by distributing more than 30,000 computers to each seventh- and eighth-grader in all of the state’s public schools in 2002 and 2003. Now the goal is to provide a laptop to every public school student in grades 7-12 by the fall.

About 30 high schools already have laptops that they obtained outside the scope of the original program. But now all 120 of Maine’s high schools, along with 241 middle schools, will have new laptops under the same program, at a cost of about $242 per computer per year, said Education Commissioner Susan Gendron.

Education Department officials announced this week that they’re negotiating a four-year lease with Apple Inc. for 100,000 Apple MacBook laptops.

Via Google



College Basketball Recruiters Target Middle School Students

Oh dear…

basketball goal

As reported in the Miami Herald, the NCAA Legislative Council has recently lowered the grade limit on “recruitable” basketball players from ninth grade to seventh grade. This means that the ever competitive world of college basketball scouting is now in the middle schools, as college coaches start keeping their eyes on kids who are as young as 12 years old.

In Encino, California, an eighth grader named Michael Avery has already received a scholarship to play at the University of Kentucky in 2012!

Am I am spoil sport if I say this is totally ridiculous? Read the rest of this entry »





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