Calling for change in Douglas County
PARKER – Teachers, students and parents packed a middle school auditorium and spilled into the hallways during a school board community forum Tuesday night that was long on criticism and short on answers. Brenda Smith, president of the Douglas County teachers’ union, spoke Tuesday about staff morale, which a survey says is plummeting.
Some 20 speakers, many of them teachers, used the occasion to vent concerns about deep cuts to schools that have swollen class sizes and to accuse board members of starving public education in their quest to implement the state’s first district-run voucher program. Read more in EdNews Colorado.
Boulder Valley School District’s dropout rate dropping
The Boulder Valley School District’s already-low dropout rate is inching closer to its goal of zero.
The district’s overall dropout rate fell from 1.5 percent in 2009 to 0.8 percent in 2011. The dropout rate for Hispanic students fell from 4.9 percent in 2009 to 2.9 percent in 2011. Read more in the Daily Camera.
Bill would eliminate some state tests
Rep. Judy Solano’s promised testing measure was introduced Tuesday, setting the stage for what’s expected to a lively debate this session over the extent and funding of the statewide achievement tests that will replace the CSAPs.
Testing costs also came up during a 90-minute meeting at which Department of Education executives finished answering Joint Budget Committee questions about 2012-13 school spending. Read more in EdNews Colorado.
How to unlock your child’s academic potential
Of course, with budget constraints, all of America is looking for cost-effective ways to invest in America’s future. As parents begin making plans for their preschoolers for the coming year, they can use clear tips from new research to help get kids ready to learn when they walk through the doors on the first day of kindergarten. Read more in TIME.
Parent engagement survey run in Poudre schools
To continue engaging its parent community in efforts to improve student success, PSD is conducting a parent engagement survey. The survey, which is offered in both English and Spanish, can be found at the links below.
- Poudre School District | Winter 2012 Parent Survey (ENGLISH) http://www.ncfsl.org/limesurvey/index.php?sid=31532&lang=en
- Poudre School District | Winter 2012 Encuesta de los padres (EN ESPAÑOL) http://www.ncfsl.org/limesurvey/index.php?sid=29617&lang=es-MX
As an alternative to the online survey, a paper version of this survey is available in English or Spanish and can be obtained from any school site or the district offices at 2407 La Porte Ave. This survey will be available through Feb. 17.
The survey, created and hosted by a national company, solicits input from parents of current PSD students across a fairly comprehensive collection of topics. It is designed to measure general satisfaction, commitment to student education, the nature of interactions with the school and the level of engagement with the school. The questions are categorized in 10 dimensions ranging from academics to homework to school pride.
This survey should take approximately 10 to 12 minutes to complete. Results from the survey will be reviewed by both PSD administration and the Board of Education.
Parents: a love of reading starts early
Learning to enjoy reading at an early age gives your child a jumpstart on her education, but schoolwork should not be the only reason to raise an eager reader. Enjoyment of reading is an important puzzle piece to a fulfilled life. Here are some fun strategies to get your children interested in the written word. Check out the tips at USA Today.
Study questions popular explanation for gender gap in math
A new study casts doubt on the popular notion that a gender stereotype—namely, that girls are bad at math—explains why men dominate the higher levels of mathematics achievement and accomplishment. The researchers suggest that evidence is “weak at best” for what’s been called the “stereotype threat” explanation. Read more in this EdWeek blog post.
Adams 12 Five Star Schools to begin advertising on buses
The Adams 12 district announced it will begin advertising on school buses, part of an effort to raise additional revenue amid severe budget cuts.
Adams 12, which serves some 42,000 students, will begin placing exterior advertisements called busboards on its buses to help generate additional revenue. Ads will be approved by the district to ensure they’re appropriate for children and families, according to officials. Read more in the Denver Post.
Denver Public Schools delays start of school year
Denver school board members voted 6-1 to delay the start of school by 11 days this fall, an attempt to deal with hot buildings. Read more in EdNews Colorado.
New definition of autism will exclude many, study suggests
Proposed changes in the definition of autism would sharply reduce the skyrocketing rate at which the disorder is diagnosed and might make it harder for many people who would no longer meet the criteria to get health, educational and social services, a new analysis suggests. Read more in the New York Times.
Arts program aims to keep DPS students with emotional issues in school
About 18 students bounced between nervousness and overwhelming excitement as they showed off their work during a biannual art show Thursday.
“It just lets you have fun. It makes you feel proud,” said 10-year-old Noemi as she showed off her artwork: a pirate spaceship in which an alien travels the galaxies rescuing princesses. Read more in the Denver Post.