Renascence School Education News - private school

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Denver teacher’s lesson plan goes viral, launches movement

The Denver Post – Anna Gauldin

“A Denver teacher’s lesson plan has gone viral after it revealed the inner workings of her students’ minds. Kyle Schwartz, 28, is a third-grade teacher at Denver’s Doull Elementary School, where more than 90 percent of students qualify for free or reduced-price lunches. In an effort to get to know her students better, she created a lesson plan called “I Wish My Teacher Knew.” She said she was blown away by her students’ responses to the prompt, which she began sharing on Twitter. Pretty soon, the hashtag #IWishMyTeacherKnew was trending.”(more)

Real-World Math: A Bit Of Trig And Hay For The Horses

NPR – Jenny Brundin

“The Soroco High agriculture shop is massive — a warehouse full of old motorcycles, tractors, various machines, even a greenhouse. On the concrete floor is the start of the feeder: an octagon of blue tape, laid down with the utmost precision, using the Pythagorean theorem. But getting those angles exactly right was the hardest part of the project. “Maybe somebody would not quite understand an equation,” says student Bailey Singer. “Sometimes you have to go back and redo some equations, redo some math, trying to make sure every angle is right.” Sometimes, the pursuit of perfection led to spirited, mathematical debate. “We all worked together pretty well but on some occasions we would somewhat argue — because one person would think something’s right and then one person would think it’s wrong,” says Harrison Ashley. Bruski says it’s important for students, especially those who traditionally struggle in math, to “sort out those difficulties and hopefully really see — because they’re able to touch the math, not just try to do the math on paper.” Though the project dovetailed with the kind of advanced work her upper-level students were doing, Bruski says Whaley’s shop students, most of them freshmen, eagerly tackled the trigonometry.”(more)

Monday, April 13, 2015

School districts looking to support popular dual-language programs

The Denver Post – Yesenia Robles

“Successful dual-language schools in Colorado often start as grassroots efforts, operating on their own paths, working with consultants to get advice on running the programs. But as the number and popularity of the bilingual schools grow, some districts are re-evaluating how to support them and make more of the schools successful. “We don’t want to make them cookie-cutter programs either, but right now they kind of became dual language on their own and we were not able to support them,” said Darlene LeDoux, director of academic achievement for English learners in Denver Public Schools. Colorado does not track the number of dual-language programs in the state. Nationwide researchers estimate there are more than a thousand such programs. There are different types, but most dual-language schools are defined by having all content — like science, math and social studies — taught in English and a foreign language, most often, Spanish. Young children start with varying amounts of time in each language, but the goal is to get to a half-and-half split by third grade.”(more)

Monday, March 16, 2015

Healthy Kids survey becomes parental rights battleground

The Denver Post – Eric Gorski and Electa Draper

“When students in southern Colorado’s Center School District fill out voluntary, anonymous surveys about their health and behavior, the answers do not get dumped into a report no one reads. The district and agencies have used the data to land grants to tackle drug use and low parental involvement, superintendent George Welsh said. Another grant paid for an abstinence-oriented program local officials credit for helping cut in half teen birth rates in Saguache County, where more than eight in 10 students live in poverty. If districts must obtain permission from parents before students take the Healthy Kids Colorado Survey, Welsh fears not enough will because they are too busy or not engaged, putting data at risk.”(more)

Monday, February 9, 2015

Colorado considering lowering the bar for high school graduation

The Denver Post – Eric Gorski

“Nearly two years ago, the state Board of Education approved the first-ever common set of expectations all Colorado students must meet to earn a high school diploma, starting with the class of 2021. The idea is to move beyond the mishmash of graduation requirements at 178 school districts and replace antiquated systems of counting credit hours with measures that matter. The shift envisioned for Colorado, a bastion of local control, grew out of education reform laws that are supposed to better prepare students for college and the workplace. Now, state officials are contemplating significant changes to those 2013 guidelines, including giving more local control over ways students can prove themselves, lowering the bar in some cases and eliminating science and social studies requirements, leaving only English and math.”(more)

Monday, January 26, 2015

Marketing, a need and benefit for Denver schools

The Denver Post – Yesenia Robles

“As the novelty wears off for a process that reformed the way Denver parents pick a school for their kids, school leaders are becoming more sophisticated in their marketing, trying to find students who are the right fit. The change comes even as participation is decreasing in the three-year-old SchoolChoice application process, which allows parents to fill out only one form to go to any district school. Options, meanwhile, increase each year, and by August, Denver Public Schools will have 200 schools, including 53 charters. With so many options, school marketing is still necessary, but now the reasons aren’t just about snagging more students than the next school but also about creating relationships with the community and getting the right students.”(more)

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Early investment in children’s education pays off later, group says

The Gazette – Debbie Kelley

“Bill Jaeger, a vice president with the Colorado Children’s Campaign, an advocacy and lobbyist organization, said the achievement gap starts early, with vocabulary disparities emerging at 18 months. By age 3, he said, children from wealthier families have spoken and heard twice as many words as children from poor families.”(more)

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Denver Kids program links at-risk students with education counselors

The Denver Post – Nick Kosmider

“Erin Howard, an educational counselor at Denver Kids Inc., is sitting in a classroom at Denver Discovery School, discussing daily goals with a group of sixth-graders when the conversation shifts to dreams.”(more)

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Report finds economic gaps for Colorado students attending top schools

The Denver Post – Yesenia Robles

“High school graduates from well-off families are nearly 12 times more likely to go to a top college than students from low-income households, according to a report released Tuesday by a group of local nonprofits.”(more)

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

4 ways to create a successful hybrid school

E-School News – Heather Hiebsch

“Six years ago, our district created the PSD Global Academy, and I was hired to launch the school. Our charge was to provide students with online learning opportunities. We partnered with personalized learning solutions provider Aventa Learning – now Fuel Education (FuelEd) – and started by serving a few high school students, primarily targeting dropout prevention and recovery.” (more)