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Is your child ready for kindergarten? Here are a few things to consider

The Seattle Times – Paige Cornwell

“With school sign-up time approaching, this is the time of year many parents have to ask a tricky question: Is my child ready for kindergarten? And if the answer is no, they wonder whether to “redshirt” the child — a term borrowed from sports that means holding kids out of school for a year to give them more time to grow academically, physically or socially. “It’s a perennial question for parents,” said Kristen Missall, associate professor at the University of Washington College of Education. “It’s one of the questions I get the most.” In Washington, students must be 5 years old on or before Aug. 31 to enroll in kindergarten. But state law doesn’t require that students enroll in school until they’re 8, so parents can keep them at home or in child-care programs for an additional year — or more.”(more)

Students need tech skills for more than just jobs — they need it to be good citizens

The Seattle Times – Jerry Large

“You’ve heard many times the complaint that Washington state is not preparing enough of its students for high-tech jobs. Job preparation is a good reason for making a high-quality math and science education more broadly available, but there is another increasingly important reason to move quickly to give young people a solid grounding in those areas of study. This country desperately needs a science-literate citizenry. Reading is fundamental, the arts are essential and history is a must. But more than at any time in our development, an understanding of math and science has become crucial in our political and personal lives. And we’re not where we need to be in preparing Americans with a solid base of understanding in any of those areas.”(more)

Guest essay: Social-emotional skills should be part of every lesson

The Seattle Times – Lyon Terry

“As social and emotional learning has come to the forefront in education, what teachers worry about is another initiative piled on our already crowded desks. Rarely is anything taken off. Fortunately, social and emotional learning doesn’t have to be added to what we teach, but can be an essential part of our existing lessons. Many teachers know this already and are ready and willing to bring this instruction out in the open. It’s time to embrace social-emotional learning as an important part of every lesson, because these skills support students in learning academic content and in becoming the citizens we want them to be.”(more)

How You Can Use the Power of STEM to Change Lives

Komo News – Staff Writer

“Even if you know what STEM stands for – Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics – there’s a good chance you don’t know the full extent of what it means. Lee Lambert of nonprofit Washington STEM is quick to point out STEM-based skills hiding in plain view. “Anyone in construction, that’s STEM – no one can add fractions like those people! That big warehouse on the way to work could be a carpet liquidator or it could be an advanced manufacturing facility that makes precision water knives to cut through carbon fiber. That’s a STEM job too.” Any tech company counts as STEM, and so does any healthcare company, the sheet metal fabrication shop down the street, plumbers, shipbuilders and tons of other professions in Washington state.”(more)

Guest opinion: Global learning starts at home

The Sequim Gazette – John Burbank

“For example, Washington is an important part of the global economy, but our schooling tends to separate us from the global market by assuming our children and grandchildren will be monolingual, speaking only English. That might have been true 50 years ago, but it isn’t now. It not even true within our state, much less in the global community. Bilingual kids have a huge advantage in the world community and economy. Reykdal proposes adding dual language acquisition starting as early as kindergarten.”(more)

Why placing students in difficult high school classes may increase college enrollment

The Hechinger Report – Sarah Butrymowicz

“Principal Lori Wyborney and her three assistant principals were gathered around a table covered with papers and Popeyes takeout at John R. Rogers High School, two weeks before graduation last spring. On the screen in front of them was a list of three dozen students administrators believed could succeed in an AP class. But the students were not yet scheduled to take one in the coming fall. One by one, the principals looked at each student’s profile, which included the student’s answers to district-wide survey questions about what worries them about AP classes, what subjects interest them and what adults they trust in the building.”(more)