Education News Roundup: August 15 – 2016

 

Map of School Trust Lands in Utah

Map of School Trust Lands in Utah/Education News Roundup

Education News Roundup

Today’s Top Picks:

 

Local and national stories on the new Academic Pathway to Teaching Level 1 License, APT.

http://go.uen.org/7Li (SLTrib)

http://go.uen.org/7Lm (DNews)

http://go.uen.org/7Ls (HJ)

http://go.uen.org/7Lt (CVD)

http://go.uen.org/7LK (WaPo)

http://go.uen.org/7LB (EdWeek)

 

School board delays decision on $240 million Facebook deal http://go.uen.org/7Lh (SLTrib) http://go.uen.org/7Ll (DNews)

 

Granite School District helps refugees get ready for new school year http://go.uen.org/7Lx (Fox13)

 

Treasurer David Damschen Announces Record Earnings from Utah’s Permanent State School Fund http://go.uen.org/7LE (UTPol) http://go.uen.org/7LI (DNews)

 

If you missed the Utah State Board of Education’s August meeting, here is a summary of actions taken:

http://go.uen.org/7LJ (UTPublicEd)

 

 

————————————————————

TODAY’S HEADLINES

————————————————————

 

 

UTAH

 

Disabled kids in Utah schools and across the nation face digital gap

 

School board delays decision on $240 million Facebook deal State School Board holds off taking position on Facebook data center deal

 

Starting Monday, Utah schools can hire people without education training, experience State school policy creates new alternative to teacher licensing Utah schools can now hire teachers without teaching licenses

 

Utah school board approves settlement to end UEA lawsuit

 

Facebook partners with Silicon Valley charter schools to develop a new personalized learning software platform

 

Back to School 2016: When school begins in Northern Utah districts

 

BYU professors lead next generation of female scientists

 

Sun safety concerns bringing change to schools

 

Canyons launches new initiative to help students graduate

 

Granite School District helps refugees get ready for new school year

 

Treasurer David Damschen Announces Record Earnings from Utah’s Permanent State School Fund

 


 

OPINION & COMMENTARY

 

Funding education is an ounce of prevention

 

Too many children

 

State board stays strong on new route to teacher licensing

 

Writing instruction in our schools is terrible. We need to fix it.

 

Letter: Utah school board has a lot to learn about teaching

 


 

NATION

 

Teachers union blasts Walmart for its back-to-school promotion

 

Texas, other states ask judge to halt Obama transgender policy

 

Despite Public Outcry, Utah Schools Can Now Hire Teachers With No Training

 

Can Florida honors students be held back if they ‘opt out’ of state tests?

 

One School, 10 Languages

At a “newcomer” school in Indiana, teachers are finding creative ways to communicate.

 

A 12-year-old is off to the Ivy League. ‘It’s a challenge to keep him challenged,’ his dad says.

 

————————————————————

UTAH NEWS

————————————————————

 

Disabled kids in Utah schools and across the nation face digital gap

 

Strides in special education have not caught up with technology, leaving disabled students in the digital dust as their peers type and swipe through daily lessons.

Federal investigations in Utah and across the country are drawing attention to the lag this summer, highlighting just how difficult it can be for disabled parents, students and others to access school websites and curriculum available to their peers.

“When it comes to the new media of educating,” said Sachin Pavithran, chairman of the U.S. Access Board, “schools just haven’t kept up.”

It’s a frustration Jacob Hansen’s family knows well, even though his mom, Jodi Hansen, says Alpine School District has “really gone out of their way” to accommodate her 16-year-old son. Jacob is an aspiring video game designer and sci-fi writer with cerebral palsy, a neurological disorder that hinders muscle movement.

At Westlake High School in Saratoga Springs, administrators hired a full-time aide to make sure Jacob could attend the school.

For the last eight years, Jodi Hansen has prodded administrators in annual meetings to install dictation software she purchased for Jacob, who has limited control of his limbs. But the school has not set up the program on a computer set aside for her son.

http://go.uen.org/7Lg (SLTrib)

 


 

 

School board delays decision on $240 million Facebook deal

 

State education leaders are reserving judgment on a $240 million proposal to lure a Facebook data center to 232 acres of farmland in rapidly growing Jordan School District.

The state School Board voted unanimously Friday to postpone a decision on the economic development project that would make Jordan School District the main contributor toward tax breaks for the Silicon Valley tech giant.

The state panel is waiting on a decision from Jordan’s own school board, which still is undecided on the push to replace rows of corn and alfalfa with an expansive server farm storing status updates, images and videos shared by Facebook’s 1.65 billion users.

But the wider board may end up taking a different stance than Jordan’s, said state board member Jennifer Johnson.

“We have our own set of responsibilities” to Utah students, she said.

The plan allows gradually increasing tax breaks over 2 decades, starting at 75 percent and growing into a full rebate. Jordan schools would supply roughly three times more tax revenue for the project than West Jordan City, passing through $93 million over a 20-year period. Salt Lake County, the second-highest contributor, would be on the hook for $38 million, according to estimates from outside consultant Zions Public Finance Inc.

http://go.uen.org/7Lh (SLTrib)

 


 

 

State School Board holds off taking position on Facebook data center deal

 

The Utah State Board of Education held off taking a position Friday on $240 million in tax incentives intended to entice Facebook to construct a large data center in West Jordan.

The State School Board has one seat on the eight-member Taxing Entity Committee, made of up government and water districts that levy taxes on the 1,000-plus acre parcel that West Jordan wants to designate as an economic development project where the data center could be located.

The Taxing Entity Committee is scheduled to vote on the plan on Aug. 22. Other committee members include two representatives of West Jordan, two of the Jordan School Board, one for all other taxing entities, and two for Salt Lake County.

County officials have expressed their opposition to the incentive package while West Jordan officials back the plan.

Salt Lake County Council Chairman Richard Snelgrove addressed the State School Board during the public comment portion of its Friday meeting, describing the plan as “corporate welfare for a very rich company” and a “sweetheart deal.”

“We’re all for economic development, but we’re not for economic development at any cost,” Snelgrove said.

http://go.uen.org/7Ll (DNews)

 


 

 

Starting Monday, Utah schools can hire people without education training, experience

 

A new rule granting a teacher license to college graduates without training has won approval from the Utah State School Board.

“Times have changed” — not everyone wants to return to school for a teaching degree, said Superintendent Sydnee Dickson.

An existing path gives permits to school district employees after one to three years of practice teaching and college classes. The new license, heavily criticized since being approved by the state board in June, is available immediately to applicants with bachelor’s degrees who pass a subject test.

The elected panel over Utah’s school districts and charter schools voted unanimously in favor of the measure at its monthly meeting Friday, but will consider tweaks to the policy that several Utah teachers and their unions have decried as an insult to their profession.

Vice chairman Dave Thomas said the move was made in part to address a teacher shortage and has largely been misunderstood.

“I don’t view this as an attack on traditional teachers,” Thomas said.

http://go.uen.org/7Li (SLTrib)

 


 

 

State school policy creates new alternative to teacher licensing

 

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah public schools can immediately start hiring people without classroom training as teachers if they hold a bachelor’s degree and can demonstrate mastery of a course subject, among other requirements.

The Utah State Board of Education gave final approval to a new teacher licensing rule Friday despite criticism by veteran educators and education groups that prospective teachers who lack of pedagogical training would negatively impact student learning.

But members of the State School Board have said the rule was intended to provide a more rigorous route to alternative certification and to help recruit new educators and address the profession’s low retention rates.

The board made no changes to the rule, which allows it to go into effect immediately.

In related action, the board agreed to create a task force to study all educator licenses.

The rule, called the Academic Pathway to Teaching, becomes one of a variety of alternative licensure options currently used by school administrators in hiring nontraditional teachers. Once hired, they must undergo at least three years of supervision and mentoring from an experienced teacher as designated by the school. After that, education leaders can grant the person a teaching license.

http://go.uen.org/7Lm (DNews)

 


 

 

Utah schools can now hire teachers without teaching licenses

 

Utah public schools facing a teacher shortage can now hire people without teaching licenses or experience after the State Board of Education voted unanimously to allow the new policy to take effect Friday.

Utah has long had a program that let people with bachelor’s degrees get teaching jobs before they were licensed, but the new policy change lets them get a license right away and drops a requirement that unlicensed teachers take college teacher-training courses.

No school is required to hire unlicensed educators under the new policy, but the change could also help combat a teacher shortage that’s left half of Utah schools with open teaching positions on the first day of school, according to district surveys. Utah colleges are turning out fewer teachers even as the number of students grows.

The state’s student body now stands at more than 640,000 students, up 10 percent over the last five years. Enrollment in collegiate teacher-training programs has dropped by about a third over the last decade.

Those hired without licenses or without taking the courses must be mentored and overseen for three years by licensed, supervising teachers.

http://go.uen.org/7Ls (HJ)

http://go.uen.org/7Lt (CVD)

 


 

 

Utah school board approves settlement to end UEA lawsuit

 

The Utah Board of Education agreed Friday to repeal and replace teacher discipline rules that were challenged in a lawsuit by the Utah Education Association.

Board members discussed a settlement agreement in closed session Friday morning, before voting 11-4 to approve the agreement during the regular meeting that day.

The settlement puts an end to a legal challenge by the UEA, filed in December, which claimed that new rules for the adjudication and discipline of teacher misconduct violated educators’ rights and state law.

The agreement also included disciplinary actions for six educators, ranging from letters of reprimand and warning to the revocation and surrender of teaching licenses. Board members did not debate the disciplinary procedures that will change under the settlement agreement prior to their vote.

But board member Jennifer Johnson expressed concern about the disciplinary action for one of the six educators. She did not specify which case, but said the punishment was too lenient for allegations of inappropriate sexual contact with a student.

“I just really worry that there might be additional victims,” Johnson said.

http://go.uen.org/7Lj (SLTrib)

 


 

 

Facebook partners with Silicon Valley charter schools to develop a new personalized learning software platform

 

A charter school network that operates 11 schools in California and Washington state announced this week that it is partnering with Facebook to develop an innovative personalized learning software platform that is about to begin its second year of testing, the New York Times reports.

The software program, known as Summit Basecamp, puts students in charge of their own progress, allowing them to organize and schedule pieces of what they need to learn themselves, while teachers work directly with students one on one. The idea is to give students greater control, helping them learn to be “project managers” for their own lives, not just in school.

Facebook’s announcement that it had come on board to help improve and scale the software is a huge boost for Summit Public Schools, but it paved the way for that partnership by developing and testing the software itself over the past school year.

Summit began the experiment last year with 19 schools scattered across 13 states. Fifteen of those schools were traditional public schools, and only four were public charters, proof that Summit does not view this platform as a proprietary, niche product or one aimed purely at charters.

http://go.uen.org/7Lk (DNews)

 


 

 

Back to School 2016: When school begins in Northern Utah districts

 

OGDEN — Although summer may not be officially over according to the calendar — fall technically doesn’t begin until September — summer is soon coming to an end for Northern Utah students, teachers and staff.

Ogden School District

Students in Ogden School District begin school Tuesday, Aug. 23, with kindergartners starting Aug. 29.

Weber School District

Students in Weber School District begin school Tuesday, Aug. 23.

Davis School District

School begins Wednesday, Aug. 24, for students in Davis School District.

Box Elder School District

Students in Box Elder School district begin school Monday, Aug. 29.

Morgan School District

School begins Wednesday, Aug. 17, for students in Morgan School District.

http://go.uen.org/7Ln (OSE)

 


 

 

BYU professors lead next generation of female scientists

 

Female scientists are making an immense impact throughout the world with their research and teaching. This impact can inspire young girls and women alike to one day make their own mark in the science world. In the BYU College of Physical and Mathematical Sciences, three female faculty members are determined to keep female students interested in the sciences.

 

Combating Social Pressure at Camp

BYU Chemistry and Biochemistry Assistant Professor Rebecca Sansom is one of four professors in charge of a new summer outreach program called Chem Camp. An important goal for the camp in its first year was to ensure an equal number of female and male participants.

Sansom said the camp targets upper elementary school students because that is the time when girls start losing interest in science.

“There’s some social pressure that happens between the 4th and 8th grades that conditions girls to dislike science,” Sansom said.

http://go.uen.org/7Lo (DH)

 


 

 

Sun safety concerns bringing change to schools

Southern Utah’s frequent high temperatures are bringing about gradual change when it comes to the children who are playing outside at school.

The heat and potential sun damage has brought together educators and parents in an effort to ensure students’ safety during recess times.

The most recent change in the Washington County School District was the addition of a large sun shade structure at Little Valley Elementary.

Installed this summer, the roughly 60-by-40-foot shade came about after a collaborative effort between the school, PTA and a local dermatologist. The shade covers the main playset behind the school.

Little Valley Elementary Principal Rob Stevenson said the lack of shade on the playground had been a concern for parents for several years, prompting a group to start fundraising for a structure that would provide relief from the sun. After approximately three years of pulling together financial resources, Dr. Greg Jacobsen got involved by working toward getting the school an $8,000 grant from the American Association of Dermatologists.

http://go.uen.org/7Lu (SGN)

 


 

 

Canyons launches new initiative to help students graduate

 

Hillcrest High School’s graduation rate last school year was only 76 percent, according to statistics reported in a U.S. News and World report.

In an effort to bump up graduation rates there, the Canyons School District launched a new initiative this year with a seven-week summer boot camp at Hillcrest, 7350 S. 900 East, for about 80 incoming freshmen.

Fifty-four of the students received certificates of completion last week, according to Sarah Newberry, assistant principal intern at Hillcrest High School. Twenty-eight of those students graduated from the boot camp with perfect attendance. And overall, 70 of the 80 students attended regularly, Newberry said. The progress of each student will be tracked and monitored throughout the school year to make sure they are still getting the individual help they need.

The 13- and 14-year-old students spent 33 full school days receiving instruction in math, science, language arts and social studies to help prepare them for their first year of high school.

With extra pressure from a new school, teachers and higher expectations, some freshmen find their first year of high school very challenging. Studies show that freshmen have lower grade-point averages, more absences and more failing grades than older high school students.

Gregory Leavitt, principal of Hillcrest High School, said it is important for students to learn study habits early on as they enter high school.

http://go.uen.org/7Lw (KSL)

 


 

 

Granite School District helps refugees get ready for new school year

 

With a new school year just around the corner, one district is reaching out to thousands of refugee families.

The Granite School District wants to make the back to school process easier for students and their parents, and they are working to help Utah’s 60,000 refugees feel right at home.

“I think a lot of people don’t recognize the difficulty it is to come not only to America, but go to a school system when you may or may not have had any formal education at all,” said Ben Horsley, a spokesman for Granite School District.

Nearly 70 percent of the state’s refugees live within Granite School District’s boundaries. This week was the 3rd annual Refugee Outreach Night, where more than 100 volunteers, including 20 translators, helped kids register for school.

The event included something for parents, too.

“Immunization clinics and other resources to help parents get health care for their kids,” Horsley said.  “Legal resources for families who are trying to acclimate themselves and potentially gain asylum here in the country, things of that nature.”

School administrators say the families come from many different backgrounds, but the district wants everyone to start off on the right foot.

“Some come with a huge amount of knowledge and skills, some come with not even knowing how to hold a pencil,” said Amy Harmer with Utah Refugee Connection. “So you can’t stereotype any of them, because they are all so different, but they are beautiful, amazing, resilient people.”

http://go.uen.org/7Lx (Fox13)

 


 

Treasurer David Damschen Announces Record Earnings from Utah’s Permanent State School Fund

 

Utah State Treasurer David Damschen announced the annual earnings from the Permanent State School Fund, which increased by 7.7 percent to a record $49.3 million – a $3.5 million increase over the previous year’s earnings.

The Permanent State School Fund is the state’s largest land grant trust fund, with a balance of $2.08 billion. The Fund’s interest and dividends are distributed directly to schools statewide each year under the School LAND (Learning and Nurturing Development) Trust Program. These funds support academic programs chosen by local School Community Councils, which are composed of parents, teachers and the principal from each school, and are approved by each respective school’s local school board.

“Every dollar we earn through prudent investment of State School Fund is a dollar in school funding not paid by the Utah taxpayer, and this year we’re excited to announce record earnings,” said Utah State Treasurer David Damschen.  “These funds support academic programs chosen at the local level, and are increasingly becoming more important in how we invest in the education of Utah’s children.”

http://go.uen.org/7LE (UTPol)

http://go.uen.org/7LI (DNews)

 

 

————————————————————

OPINION & COMMENTARY

————————————————————

 

Funding education is an ounce of prevention

Daily Herald commentary from Sammy Jo Hester

 

The Provo City School District successfully approved a tax increase to boost its budget revenue 14 percent more than current revenue.

According to the meeting notice issued, the tax increase includes two aspects.

First, the annual tax on residences valued at $198,500 will increase from $565.20 to $642.82. That’s a $77.62 increase. Second, the tax on businesses at that valuation will increase from $1,027.63 to $1,168.77, and that’s a $141.14 bump per year.

According to the Daily Herald’s Braley Dodson, this is the first time in seven years Provo City School District has increased taxes.

“About $1.3 million of the $3.4 million raised will go toward retaining and attracting teachers,” wrote Dodson. “The extra funds will also go toward items like replacing aging buses, updating technology infrastructure and providing school support positions like social workers and counselors.”

I’ve seen some comments before the meeting and some reactions after the approved increase and I feel like they highlight a major issue in the conservative movement.

Some complain that taxes are already too high and that this is just another burden we must carry. Some have expressed frustration for the fact that they couldn’t vote for or against the tax increase. I even saw one home school parent complain that she shouldn’t be forced to pay for a service she doesn’t use.

http://go.uen.org/7Lq (DH)

 


 

Too many children

Spectrum letter to the editor by Norm Pak

 

Here’s a way to correct the teacher shortage: Stop having 7-8-9-10 kids. The more kids in school, the more taxes that family owes. Sometimes money speaks louder then words.

And it doesn’t care what religion you are.

http://go.uen.org/7Lv

 


 

 

State board stays strong on new route to teacher licensing

Sutherland Institute commentary by Christine Cooke

 

This morning the State Board of Education voted unanimously in favor of making effective the new route to teacher licensure—called Academic Pathway to Teaching (APT) Level 1 License. Sutherland Institute commends the board’s work on this issue.

APT has drawn a lot of praise and criticism since it was first adopted in June. The rule (R277-511) allows candidates with a bachelor’s degree, a proven expertise in a given field, and a willingness to work with a mentor teacher for three years to apply to an LEA for a teaching position. Not surprisingly, the new route to licensure has prompted a slew of op-eds and articles. Opponents have called the rule “insulting” and “demoralizing,” and proponents have argued that APT has potential to invite talented people into the profession and possibly curb the teacher shortage.

At the request of the House Democratic Caucus, the board held a public hearing on APT on July 26. The hearing was well attended and certainly spirited. I made a public comment at the hearing in support of APT and wrote an op-ed encouraging the board to focus their attention on how the rule affects students’ achievement, not teachers’ feelings.

http://go.uen.org/7Ly

 


 

 

Writing instruction in our schools is terrible. We need to fix it.

Washington Post commentary by Jay Mathews

 

Several years ago, I stopped reading the reports I frequently receive on “the future of education research” from many fine universities. Most education research has little or no relationship to important developments in schools, and it never will.

Thankfully, there are exceptions. The Education Trust, a nonprofit that advocates for students from low-income households, has been peeking recently at what is happening inside classrooms, an intrusion rarely done because it is expensive and tends to expose unattractive realities.

The organization collected 1,876 school assignments from six middle schools in two large urban districts in two states. The idea was to see how well English, humanities, social studies and science were being taught in the new era of the Common Core State Standards. The results are distressing and show that the instruction students are getting — particularly in writing — is deeply inadequate.

Only four percent of all assignments reviewed pushed student thinking to higher levels,” one report said. “About 85 percent of assignments asked students to either recall information or apply basic skills and concepts as opposed to prompting for inferences or structural analysis, or doing author critiques. Many assignments show an attempt at rigor, but these are largely surface level.”

http://go.uen.org/7LL

 


 

Utah school board has a lot to learn about teaching

Salt Lake Tribune letter by Anna Tibbits

 

The Utah State Board of Education will once again review the Academic Pathway to Teaching program it passed in June. This ill-conceived idea of letting college graduates teach without having taken any teaching courses has to be one of the worst ideas the board has come up with in recent years.

Teaching is a profession that requires a great deal of skill and education. Many of us can remember teachers who knew their subject well but had very little skill in conveying that knowledge.

I have two elementary-age children and am a college graduate. Yet I have been surprised how many times my kids have brought home homework that I wasn’t able to explain to them. Sure, I told them how I had learned to do it. But it wasn’t until their teachers implemented learning strategies tailored to their specific needs that my children made progress.

http://go.uen.org/7LH

 

 

————————————————————-

NATIONAL NEWS

————————————————————-

 

Teachers union blasts Walmart for its back-to-school promotion

 

Retail giant Walmart is running a back-to-school promotion this summer, encouraging customers to nominate their favorite teachers to win school supplies and a $490 gift card — the estimated amount public school teachers spend out of pocket each year on their classrooms.

On Friday morning, members of the Washington Teachers’ Union slammed the competition as “deceitful” and “bogus.” They argued that the Walton Family Foundation, the charitable organization started by Walmart’s owners, has pumped hundreds of millions of dollars into backing charter schools, which they say are undermining traditional public schools.

“It’s a cynical coverup,” WTUP President Elizabeth Davis said at a news conference outside Moten Elementary School in Southeast Washington.

The union’s criticism of the Arkansas-based retailer stems from its concerns with the Walton foundation, one of the country’s biggest financial supporters of charter schools. The foundation says it has poured $1.3 billion into K-12 education over the past two decades, and it announced in January a commitment of $1 billion to help expand charter schools and other school-choice options nationwide.

http://go.uen.org/7Lz (WaPo)

 


 

 

Texas, other states ask judge to halt Obama transgender policy

 

Texas and a dozen other states asked a U.S. judge on Friday to block Obama administration guidance to public schools that transgender students must be allowed to use bathrooms of their choice, saying it usurps the authority of school districts nationwide.

But at a hearing in Fort Worth in a lawsuit filed by the states against the U.S. government, Justice Department lawyer Benjamin Berwick urged U.S. District Judge Reed O’Connor to dismiss the injunction request because the federal guidelines issued in May were non-binding with no legal consequences.

Berwick also said the primarily Republican-governed states objecting had failed to show the guidelines would harm them.

“These documents state explicitly that they do not have the force of law,” Berwick told O’Connor.

The guidance issued by the Justice Department and Education Department said public schools must allow transgender students to use bathrooms that correspond with their gender identity, as opposed to their birth gender, or face the loss of federal funds.

Following milestone achievements in gay rights including same-sex marriage becoming legal nationwide in 2015, transgender rights have become an increasingly contentious issue in the United States. The use of public bathrooms has been a key element in the controversy.

http://go.uen.org/7LA (Reuters)

 


 

 

Despite Public Outcry, Utah Schools Can Now Hire Teachers With No Training

 

Despite overwhelming outrage from teachers, Utah public schools can now officially hire people to teach without a teaching license or teaching experience.

In June, the Utah State Board of Education voted to create an alternative pathway to obtaining a teaching license, under which school districts and charter schools can hire individuals with relevant professional experience, particularly in hard-to-staff areas like computer science or mathematics. To be hired as a teacher through this pathway, applicants need a bachelor’s degree, must pass the state test required for teacher certification, and must complete an educators’ ethics review and pass a background check.

http://go.uen.org/7LB (EdWeek)

 


 

 

Can Florida honors students be held back if they ‘opt out’ of state tests?

Students in Florida may have to repeat third grade because their parents choose to pull them out of taking the state standardized tests.

 

Parents in six Florida counties are suing school officials and school boards after a number of third graders were not allowed to move on to the fourth grade because their parents had chosen to pull them out of Florida Standards Assessments (FSA) reading tests.

Many of the students involved were honors students who had already demonstrated they possessed the required reading proficiency level in their academic work, but they were still prevented from advancing to fourth grade.

The lawsuit is based on claims of inequitable treatment, because only certain Florida counties interpret the third grade retention law to mean that opting out of the FSA means being held back a grade. The Florida Department of Education has never required it.

Circuit Judge Karen Gievers held a meeting to consider the request, but decided to let the law stand for now in order to give the school time to respond. She said she is worried about the students involved who have already started school for the 2016-2017 year, and added she could rule by the end of next week.

http://go.uen.org/7LC (CSM)

 


 

 

One School, 10 Languages

At a “newcomer” school in Indiana, teachers are finding creative ways to communicate.

 

It was the first week of school and the teacher Andy Slater wanted his new class of ninth-graders to understand the school’s rules.

Students must wear long pants—not shorts—so he tugged at his pant leg and gestured, holding his palm up as if to ask a question. He made a similar gesture as he pointed to his head, asking students if they thought hats were okay. Then he directed the class to series of photos displayed on a classroom screen to give students an idea of which outfits are acceptable for school.

The Newcomer program enrolls only students who received low scores on an English language-proficiency test, and the school’s 68 immigrant and refugee students—all in grades seven through nine—come from a mix of countries including Mexico and the Congo. Collectively, they speak 10 different languages.

The language barrier means teachers like Slater have to come up with creative ways to communicate—like giving a slideshow on the dress code. “The challenge is finding what each kid’s individual strengths are,” Slater said. “I’m presenting myself that I’m learning their languages, too, and that I’m learning their culture.”

So far, it’s working. Slater’s students were engaged in his dress-code presentation. They laughed at his photos and shouted ‘No!’ when he showed them a picture of bedroom slippers.

http://go.uen.org/7LD (TA)

 


 

 

A 12-year-old is off to the Ivy League. ‘It’s a challenge to keep him challenged,’ his dad says.

 

When he was three months old, Jeremy Shuler’s parents were surprised to find he seemed to pay close attention to things for so long. Instead of the seconds they expected from an infant, he would watch closely for half an hour. And it seemed the things that fascinated him most were letters and numbers — they joked that he sat through a whole video to get to the credits.

When he was 15 months old, Jeremy knew the alphabet and made letters and numbers everywhere — in his pasta and with the shower hose at bathtime.

When he was a year and a half old, he asked his mother about an email she was typing to a friend in Seoul, and she off-handedly showed him letters in Korean. The next day he was combining consonant and vowel sounds to make syllables. And he was reading a book in Korean.

Something had clicked. By the time he was 2, Jeremy could easily read both Korean and English on his own.

After that, his father Andy Shuler said, they realized, “This is going to be different.”

When he was 12, Jeremy Shuler got accepted to college.

http://go.uen.org/7LM (WaPo)

 

 

————————————————————

CALENDAR

————————————————————

 

USOE Calendar

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

 

 

UEN News

http://www.uen.org

 

 

September 8:

Utah State Charter School Board meeting

250 E 500 South, Salt Lake City

http://go.uen.org/62M

 

Utah State Board of Education study session, USDB and committee meetings

250 E 500 South, Salt Lake City

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

 

 

September 13:

Joint Education Conference

8 a.m., 800 W University Parkway, Orem

http://le.utah.gov/asp/interim/Commit.asp?year=2016&com=SPEJEC

 

 

September 20:

Executive Appropriations Committee meeting

2 p.m., 445 State Capitol

http://le.utah.gov/asp/interim/Commit.asp?year=2016&com=APPEXE

 

 

September 21:

Education Interim Committee meeting

1:15 p.m., 30 House Building

http://le.utah.gov/asp/interim/Commit.asp?year=2016&com=INTEDU

 

 

September 22:

Public Education Appropriations Subcommittee meeting

9 a.m., 445 State Capitol

http://le.utah.gov/asp/interim/Commit.asp?year=2016&com=APPPED

 

Related posts:

Comments are closed.