Education News Roundup: Nov. 13, 2015

Students participate in activities at the Natural History Museum of Utah as part of American Indian Month celebration.

Students participate in activities at the Natural History Museum of Utah as part of the American Indian Month celebration.

Education News Roundup

Today’s Top Picks:

 

“Sen. Aaron Osmond is leaving the Legislature to lead tech college network.”

http://go.uen.org/5af (SLT)

http://go.uen.org/5as (Fox13)

http://go.uen.org/5at (MUR)

 

“Provo City School District: High school location decision could come by next meeting.”

http://go.uen.org/5al (DH)

 

“There are more than 800 homeless children in Washington County.”

http://go.uen.org/5aq (ABC4)

 

“Tooele County school officials planning move to 5-by-5 schedule.”

http://go.uen.org/5ar (KSL)

 

“How classrooms look around the world — in 15 amazing photographs.”

http://go.uen.org/5aw (WaPo)

 

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TODAY’S HEADLINES

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UTAH

 

Orem autistic teen defying educators’ expectations

 

Utah Sen. Osmond stepping down to lead state’s beleaguered tech college network Utah Senator accepts job with UCAT, will resign from legislature in January Lawmaker Aaron Osmond resigning to lead technology college

 

Small Colorado town rocked by sexting scandal at local high school

 

Reading, writing and dental exams? New center to bring health care inside S.L. school

 

High school students tackle new shows and old classics this year

 

Provo City School District: High school location decision could come by next meeting

 

Cedar City 4-H students attempt world record in sport stacking

 

Inside our schools

 

More than 800 homeless children in Washington County

 

Tooele County school officials planning move to 5-by-5 schedule

 


 

OPINION & COMMENTARY

 

  1. Scott Anderson: It’s time for comprehensive, long-term education reform and funding Deseret News commentary from A. Scott Anderson, CEO and president of Zions Bank.

 

Letter: Involving young minds

Youths must learn about climate change

Herald Journal News letter from Jack Greene

 

Why death should be discussed in school — and how teachers should handle it

 

How I Failed as the Teacher of an Autistic Student

 


 

NATION

 

How do parents in prison affect children in school?

 

How classrooms look around the world — in 15 amazing photographs

 

Kindergartners Behind Latest Incidents at Unruly School

 

Latest Test US Estimate Suggests 1 in 45 children have Autism

 

Sources: House and Senate Negotiators Have Reached Preliminary ESEA Deal

 

Given Internet access, can kids really learn anything by themselves?

 

What’s the Recipe for an Effective Anti-Bullying Policy?

 

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UTAH NEWS

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Orem autistic teen defying educators’ expectations

 

Provo, Utah • Michael Nielson is so good at designing and creating costumes, he was a popular attraction at Salt Lake City’s sold out Comic Con in 2014.

“He was Garrett from the video game ‘Thief’ and had built the glowing green eye. People kept stopping him to take pictures with him,” said his father, Bruce Nielson. “When he was in line to see his favorite group, Studio C, Stacey (Harkey) raved about his costume.”

Michael is a 15-year-old sophomore at Mountain View High School in Orem, the second oldest of four children in Bruce and Julene Nielson’s family. He’s a costume designer, born engineer, animal whisperer and budding author. He also has Asperger’s Syndrome.

Asperger’s Syndrome is a part of the autism spectrum of development disorders, but those with Asperger’s are typically more high functioning and of normal or higher intelligence. Similar to autism, they struggle with many things, including social interactions and communication. As for Michael, his parents and extended family just sit in awe of who he’s become.

http://go.uen.org/5ae (SLT)

http://go.uen.org/5an (CVD)

 


 

 

Utah Sen. Osmond stepping down to lead state’s beleaguered tech college network

 

State Sen. Aaron Osmond will resign from the Legislature to become president of the beleaguered Utah College of Applied Technology (UCAT).

Osmond, currently the vice president of a testing service used by the state’s tech-college network, is set to replace UCAT leader Rob Brems, the college’s board of trustees announced Thursday.

The announcement comes on the heels of a legislative audit that found the public institution began inflating its certification rates in 2013.

In addition to being an officer at Certiport Global Business Unit, which provides digital exams and certification programs, Osmond is the former CEO of WealthRock Real Estate Investor Education. He also held other jobs overseeing education programs for Microsoft Learning and for Novell.

Osmond will step down from Certiport sometime before he takes over, said UCAT spokeswoman Elsa Zweifel, though she could not say exactly when.

http://go.uen.org/5af (SLT)

http://go.uen.org/5as (Fox13)

http://go.uen.org/5at (MUR)

 


 

 

Small Colorado town rocked by sexting scandal at local high school

 

The small Colorado town of Cañon City was rocked Friday with revelations that at least 100 kids had been trading naked pictures of themselves in a “sexting” ring that was said to even include some kids as young as 8th graders in the local middle school.

The high school football team appears to have been ground zero for the scandal. “On Thursday night, separate community meetings were held for parents of football players and parents of other students to address the scandal, which has shocked this quiet, semirural community of 16,000. The team was forced to forfeit its final game of the season,” The New York Times reports.

http://go.uen.org/5ag (DN)

 


 

 

Reading, writing and dental exams? New center to bring health care inside S.L. school

 

In two years, Lincoln Elementary School students and their families will be able to get free dental, vision and preventive health care during the school day.

That’s the hope of education leaders and community organizations, who plan to build a new community learning center in a new school building at 1090 Roberta St. The plans were laid out Thursday along with the announcement of a donation from the Tye and Noorda Foundation that will contribute to the project.

Community learning centers combine basic health services from local providers with students’ regular school attendance in order to improve their ability to learn. This could include dental checkups, free glasses, and meals for students and their families, among other services. The Salt Lake City School District and the Salt Lake Education Foundation currently have several in operation.

http://go.uen.org/5ai (DN)

 


 

 

High school students tackle new shows and old classics this year

 

High school students are tackling big roles on stage this fall, some trying new musicals like “Big Fish” while others are doing proven classics like “Les Miserable” and “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.” There are even a couple of Christmas-themed shows for those ready to celebrate the holidays in November.

Fremont High School theater director Aubrey Obray had never seen “Big Fish” on stage, and at the time she decided to do the show it was the first time it would be done in the state. Since that time, Hale Center Theater in Salt Lake City and Orem have done the show, but this is the first time for high schoolers to take it on in Utah.

http://go.uen.org/5ak (SE)

 


 

 

Provo City School District: High school location decision could come by next meeting

 

There are no announcements yet, but the Provo City School District Board of Education is closer to determining where Provo High School will be in the future.

In 2014, voters approved a $108 million bond to rebuild Provo High and four elementary schools. The high school was planned for reconstruction on its current site, but recent talks have included building it from scratch on the northwest side of the city.

Board members are more than halfway through the process of making a decision, said board president Julie Rash during a Thursday meeting.

“Hopefully we have made more progress than being in the middle,” she said.

A decision could be made as early as the board’s next meeting on Dec. 8.

Previously there had been more questions than answers, Rash said, adding the process is now getting to the point where there are more answers than questions.

http://go.uen.org/5al (DH)

 


 

 

Cedar City 4-H students attempt world record in sport stacking

http://go.uen.org/5ao Photos (TS)

 


 

 

Inside our schools

 

Iron County

Canyon View High

Members of the Canyon View FFA Chapter attended the National FFA Convention in Louisville, Kentucky, the week of Oct. 26-31 with over 60,000 other FFA members from around the country. Their State Champion Agricultural Communications and Marketing Plan teams both competed for national championships. The Agricultural Communications team, comprised of Ashley Hopkins, Nicole Hopkins, and Taryn Roundy, received a gold medal ranking, finishing fourth overall. Nicole Hopkins was the eighth-highest scoring individual and also took first place in the electronic media portion of the contest.

http://go.uen.org/5ap (TS)

 


 

 

More than 800 homeless children in Washington County

 

  1. GEORGE (ABC 4 Utah) – It’s getting close to the holidays but did you know there are more than 800 homeless children in Washington County?

Mike Carr, the Homeless Student Liaison, said as of last week, there were 833 homeless students in the Washington County School District.

He works with mostly single mothers whose husbands have left their family or are in jail. Many families are doubling up in small apartments, living in cars or children are sleeping on someone’s sofa.

“That’s the problem. We don’t have enough low-income housing,” Carr said.

Another challenge is getting homeless children to school.

“They may not have nice clothes. They may not have showered so they may not smell very well. It’s embarrassing in a lot of ways just to come to school,” he said.

The school district helps students with transportation, clothes and food but then there’s another obstacle.

http://go.uen.org/5aq (ABC4)

 


 

 

Tooele County school officials planning move to 5-by-5 schedule

 

TOOELE — School officials are making plans in Tooele County to go to what’s known as a 5-by-5 schedule next year in its high schools.

Currently, high schools in the Tooele School District are on a 4-by-4 schedule, meaning four core classes a day. If that switches to 5-by-5, some parents are concerned it will mean more work for students, less time in classes, and maybe an increase in class size.

“I don’t think it will. But it kind of depends on the school,” said Maresa Manzione, Tooele County School Board president. “We did take a vote as a school board and we recommended to move to the 5-by-5 schedule.”

Manzione said the school board had to do something because high school test scores were below the state average.

http://go.uen.org/5ar (KSL)

 

 

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OPINION & COMMENTARY

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  1. Scott Anderson: It’s time for comprehensive, long-term education reform and funding

Deseret News commentary from A. Scott Anderson, CEO and president of Zions Bank.

 

Utah citizens and their representatives in the Legislature recognize the importance of education and that it must be improved and funded adequately.

Over many years, lawmakers have increased education spending significantly, devoting much surplus money to education and paying for specific reform initiatives and programs. Even during the recession, when state revenues plummeted, lawmakers funded education at the highest levels possible.

But despite those heroic efforts, education funding, and education reform, have been hit-and-miss for a number of years, reacting to specific needs and concerns.

Today it’s time for a comprehensive, unified, long-term approach to education funding and reform that will make Utah a top 10 state in education performance.

http://go.uen.org/5ah

 


 

 

Letter: Involving young minds

Deseret News letter to the editor from Jack Greene

 

I have strong evidence that students in the sixth and seventh grade are ready for climate change education, and deservedly so. Having taught this age group, and looking at what many of that age have contributed toward bettering our lives, we must not deny them the opportunity to gain more knowledge and insight in the science behind the greatest challenge facing humanity since our species evolved, or was placed here through divine intervention.

With the 21st Climate Summit to begin at the end of this month in Paris, France, the news will be rampant on this grand event. Climate summits began in 1992 with the Rio De Janeiro world summit, where 12-year-old Severn Suzuki delivered an address considered more powerful than any put forth by the hundreds of national leaders. This is but one example of young brilliant minds we must engage in finding solutions to pressing local and global problems.

http://go.uen.org/5aj

 


 

 

Youths must learn about climate change

Herald Journal News letter from Jack Greene

 

I have strong evidence that students in the 6th and 7th grade are ready for climate change education, and deservedly so. Having taught this age group, and looking at what many of that age have contributed toward bettering our lives, we must not deny them the opportunity to gain more knowledge and insight in the science behind the greatest challenge facing humanity since our species evolved, or was placed here through divine intervention.

With the 21st climate summit to begin at the end of this month in Paris, France, the news will be rampant on this grand event. Climate summits began in 1992 with the Rio Da Janeiro world summit where 12-year-old Severn Suzuki delivered an address considered more powerful than any put forth by the hundreds of national leaders which can be heard on YouTube. This is but one example of many, many, young brilliant minds with whom we must engage in finding solutions to pressing local and global problems.

http://go.uen.org/5am

 


 

 

Why death should be discussed in school — and how teachers should handle it

Washington Post commentary from Kelly Michelson

 

How do you explain to hundreds of grade school children that a beloved kindergarten teacher with breast cancer is dying?  That’s the start of the following post, which takes up the rarely discussed subject of why it is important that teachers be equipped to discuss death with students who are confronted with the loss of a family member or friend and come to school trying to make sense of it.

This was written by Kelly Michelson works in the pediatric critical care medicine at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago and is the editor of the Greater Illinois Pediatric Palliative Care Coalition newsletter. She is a member of the OpEd Project Public Voices Fellowship.

 

By Kelly Michelson

How do you explain to hundreds of grade school children that a beloved kindergarten teacher with breast cancer is dying? A friend recently asked me for advice as this was happening at her child’s school. Both she and the school leadership felt lost. While the situation was tragic, I was glad they wanted to have the conversation. I was glad they were reaching out for help.

http://go.uen.org/5av

 


 

 

How I Failed as the Teacher of an Autistic Student

The Atlantic commentary from Laura Rullkoetter, a high-school journalism teacher in Spring, Texas.

 

Every August, the week before classes begin is a parade of meetings for teachers. Meetings with administrators and colleagues fill the five or so days teachers have to get organized before students flood the school. This year, my roster included a student we’ll call H., one among 30 in my fall journalism class. H. would be more comfortable on the first day of school if he could meet me beforehand, his guidance counselor told me.

He walked into our first meeting eager to introduce himself and his favorite topic: comic books. Students with autism typically have an area of hyper focus, and his was Marvel heros. I hoped to use that topic to build a bridge to our curriculum for H. He liked to read and write stories, a seemingly good fit for the elective journalism class I taught at our public high school in suburban Texas. With his buzz cut and backpack, he looked like any other high-school junior.

http://go.uen.org/5aC

 

 

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NATIONAL NEWS

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How do parents in prison affect children in school?

 

The D.C. Council wants to study how parents’ incarceration affects their children’s performance in schools across the District and the types of supports that might help these students.

More than half of adults who are incarcerated in state and federal prisons have children at home under the age of 18, according to a national report.

“Often in the District of Columbia, we talk about the needs of returning citizens [from prison], but we have not explored the needs of their children,” said D.C. Council member David Grosso, chairman of the education committee, at a hearing on Thursday afternoon to discuss a new bill that would launch a study.

A bill, which was authored by D.C. Council member LaRuby May (Ward 8) and co-sponsored by 11 other council members, would require the mayor to hire a private firm to conduct an assessment of children who have at least one parent who is incarcerated. The assessment, due by March 2017, would evaluate the impact on their academic performance and recommend policies to meet the needs of affected children who are struggling academically.

http://go.uen.org/5au (WaPo)

 


 

 

How classrooms look around the world — in 15 amazing photographs

 

To mark last month’s World Teachers’ Day (sponsored by UNESCO , the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization), photographers from Reuters took pictures around the world of educators with their students in a telling exhibit of the very different circumstances under which children attend school. Here are 15 pictures taken by Reuters photographers, revealing the spectrum of “classrooms” — from those with literally no resources to those well-stocked and housed.

http://go.uen.org/5aw (WaPo)

 


 

 

Kindergartners Behind Latest Incidents at Unruly School

 

Kindergarten students have continued to act out at a western Pennsylvania elementary school, despite efforts including a “cooling off” space and extra staff hired to deal with unruly students who allegedly attacked at least 11 teachers this school year.

A kindergarten student pulled a fire alarm while another put his hands on a teacher’s neck while frustrated, Woodland Hills superintendent Alan Johnson told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (http://bit.ly/1RS5rKD ).

Both incidents happened Thursday at Edgewood Primary school.

Four teachers and a librarian have resigned from the school since September, and the teachers’ union filed a grievance last month claiming 11 teachers have been assaulted at the school which has 455 students in grades K-3. http://go.uen.org/5ax (AP)

 


 

 

Latest Test US Estimate Suggests 1 in 45 children have Autism

 

The government has a new estimate for autism – 1 in 45 U.S. children – but other federal calculations say the developmental disorder is less common.

The latest figure released Friday is one of three estimates that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention gives for autism based on different surveys; the most rigorous one gives a lower estimate of 1 in 68 children.

The new number is from a survey of parents of 13,000 children, who were asked last year if their child were ever diagnosed with autism or a related disorder. The lower CDC estimate is from researchers checking health and school records for more than 47,000 children.

The 1 in 68 will still be treated as the best estimate, said Michael Rosanoff, director of public health research for the advocacy group Autism Speaks.

But the new number supports a belief that 1 in 68 is an underestimate, he added.

Estimates of how common autism is have been steadily increasing. In 2007, the CDC estimated 1 in 150 children had autism.

For decades, autism meant kids with severe language, intellectual and social impairments and unusual, repetitious behaviors. But the definition has gradually expanded and now includes milder, related conditions. The cause or causes of autism are still not known.

http://go.uen.org/5ay (AP)

 


 

 

Sources: House and Senate Negotiators Have Reached Preliminary ESEA Deal

 

Christmas seems to have come early this year for education advocates. After weeks of long and hard negotiations, House and Senate lawmakers have reached preliminary agreement on a bill for the long-stalled reauthorization of the No Child Left Behind Act, multiple sources say.

The agreement will set the stage for an official conference committee, which would likely kick off next week. The legislation could be on the floor of the House and Senate by the end of this month, or early next, sources say. (Nothing set in stone on timing just yet.)

http://go.uen.org/5az (EdWeek)

 


 

 

Given Internet access, can kids really learn anything by themselves?

 

It started with a hole in the wall. Sugata Mitra, working for a software company in Delhi, cut a gap between his firm and the slum next door, putting out an Internet-connected computer for kids in the community to use. That simple experiment has turned into a radical idea that children can teach themselves in self-organized learning environments. Economics correspondent Paul Solman reports.

http://go.uen.org/5aA (PBS)

 


 

 

What’s the Recipe for an Effective Anti-Bullying Policy?

 

At her Moraga, California, junior high school, Rachel Jackson was a safe-school ambassador (SSA), part of a program that trains student volunteers to intervene in bullying situations among their peers.

SSA runs throughout the school year and requires students and teachers to work together, two elements of effective anti-bullying programs, experts say. But in practice, Jackson remembers, student apathy eroded some of the potential.

“About half of the SSAs took the program seriously,” says Jackson, now 16. “However, the majority of students … didn’t exactly see it as an opportunity to really make a change.”

Getting students—particularly junior high schoolers—to take bullying seriously is a daunting task for teachers, administrators, and school counselors. But a study published this month in JAMA Pediatrics suggests that anti-bullying efforts, including laws many states have passed in the past five years, appear to be helping the 20 percent of kids in the U.S. who say they’ve been bullied in the past 12 months.

http://go.uen.org/5aB (TA)

 


 

 

Fact Sheet: Empowering States to Transform the Education Landscape

 

In today’s increasingly global, knowledge-based economy, education has never been more important. Students need to master important skills like problem-solving, critical thinking, creativity, and team work in order to be prepared for the jobs of today and tomorrow and to lead fulfilling, successful lives. Over the past six years, the U.S. Department of Education has empowered states to develop locally tailored solutions to ensure students—regardless of disability, race, zip code, or family income—graduate from high school ready for college, careers, and life.

The Department is helping to support the transformation of the education landscape by working with states, districts, and educators to put in place the building blocks for schools to provide a world-class education for all students including, students of color, students with disabilities, low-income students, English learners, and other traditionally underserved populations.

http://go.uen.org/5aD (USDOE)

 

 

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CALENDAR

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USOE Calendar

http://www.schools.utah.gov/main/CALENDAR.aspx

 

 

UEN News

http://www.uen.org

 

 

November 17:

Executive Appropriations Committee meeting

2 p.m., 445 State Capitol

http://le.utah.gov/asp/interim/Commit.asp?Year=2015&Com=APPEXE

 

 

November 18:

Education Interim Committee meeting

8 a.m., 30 House Building

http://le.utah.gov/Interim/2015/html/00005017.htm

 

Economic Development and Workforce Services Interim Committee meeting

1:15 p.m., 20 House Building

http://le.utah.gov/Interim/2015/html/00005030.htm

 

 

November 23:

Charter School Funding Task Force

1 p.m.,  445 State Capitol

http://le.utah.gov/Interim/2015/html/00004734.htm

 

 

December 3:

Utah State Board of Education study session and committee meetings

250 E 500 South, Salt Lake City

http://www.schools.utah.gov/board/Meetings/Agenda.aspx

 

 

December 4:

Utah State Board of Education meeting

250 E 500 South, Salt Lake City

http://www.schools.utah.gov/board/Meetings/Agenda.aspx

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