Online School – Neopod http://neopod.net/ Tue, 19 Oct 2021 13:40:45 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.8 https://neopod.net/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/icon-1-150x150.png Online School – Neopod http://neopod.net/ 32 32 Classic education meets virtual reality https://neopod.net/classic-education-meets-virtual-reality/ https://neopod.net/classic-education-meets-virtual-reality/#respond Tue, 19 Oct 2021 12:59:33 +0000 https://neopod.net/classic-education-meets-virtual-reality/ BARCELONA, SPAIN – FEBRUARY 26: Visitor enjoys virtual reality experience at Saudi Telecom … [+] Company booth on day 2 of GSMA Mobile World Congress 2019 on February 26, 2019 in Barcelona, ​​Spain. The annual Mobile World Congress hosts some of the world’s largest communications companies, many of which show off their latest phones and […]]]>

There are several interesting cross currents running through education at this time. On the one hand, there has been tremendous growth in mainstream education, with more and more families turning to schools that eschew fads and focus on the timeless lessons of the Big Books. At the same time, educational technology has experienced tremendous growth, with more and more families and schools using computer, tablet and phone resources to help educate children.

At a developing school in Florida, the old meets the new. Optima Classical Academy, scheduled to open next school year, plans to use virtual reality and e-learning to teach classical education. Sounds pretty wild, right? I sent a few questions to Erika Donalds, President and CEO of the Optima Foundation, which founds the school, and she graciously answered them. Our slightly edited conversation is below:

Mike McShane: Can you give us an overview of the Optima Foundation?

Erika Donalds: I created the Optima Foundation after having done a mandate within my local school board. At that time, I concluded that the problems in our education system could only be solved with a strong free market where parents can vote with their feet. Prior to serving, I volunteered with other parents to start a charter school in my community, and learned that many families are unhappy with the education options currently available, even in the most popular school districts. research. I wanted to make sure that every family who wants or needs something different for their child can access it. I decided to quit my career in financial services in order to put my expertise in the service of compliance, operations and finance to provide high quality choice schools, focused on the classic education model and grounded in virtue, to parents all over the country.

The culture of our organization is centered on “service,” which is one of the Seven Pillars of Virtue that we teach our students. I have hired some of the most talented people I know to run the business operations of our charter schools, each a multi-million dollar company. We do this in the service of our principals, allowing them to focus on the servant leadership of their teachers, who in turn can focus on serving students and families. Optima’s mission is to provide the maximum amount of time and resources to trusted academic professionals who do the most important work in education, directly addressing the needs of students.

McShane: What attracted you to classical education?

Donald: I have three sons who are each very different. When my second son started kindergarten at our high performing neighborhood public school, it just didn’t work out well for him. I started looking for other options and discovered classical education. My son’s attitude towards learning has completely changed. He was enthusiastic about all the knowledge he was acquiring and loved to recite poetry to me, share the lessons of the great books he read and recite the virtues he was taught. In researching this knowledge-rich, virtues-based program, I have come to believe that it is far superior to the progressive education program in traditional public schools, including those I attended. growing up. My son knew more about history, geography, grammar and literature in 2sd grade that I did not know in my thirties! Not only did he benefit from superior academic experience, but moral character and civic virtue were infused throughout the program. I just knew we had to bring this proven program back into the mainstream of American education as a major component of modern education reform efforts.

McShane: You argued that schooling should be dissociated from childcare, can you explain that?

Donald: In this new, more flexible working environment, parents’ childcare needs are not all the same. Some families need full-time care during a traditional working day, others only part-time, and others outside of working hours. In the age of technology and personalization, why shouldn’t education and childcare be provided à la carte to provide maximum flexibility for families? If a mother’s only free time with her kids is 8-10 a.m., wouldn’t it be better for them to start school after that (and have babysitting) while mom is working? Our goal is to match families with similar childcare needs, to provide a more flexible, but higher quality form of virtual education, and to help families maximize their most valuable asset: their time together.

McShane: Tell me about your new school, the Optima Classical Academy.

Donald: Optima Classical Academy is the first and only classical virtual charter school. OCA will be available tuition-free for Grades 3 through 8 students across the state of Florida in August 2022. What makes OCA unique is the classic model, currently unavailable in any other public virtual option, the virtual reality classroom; and finally, a focus on student autonomy.

Classical education offers a rich knowledge of content that fosters a natural love for learning and reflection. Students learn about historical events, people, stories, fables, poetry, scientific facts, and mathematical evidence. They read classics like whole books in depth and learn to approach books with both the motivation to learn and the courage to question. The principles of morality and civic virtue, today absent from most classes in public schools, are fundamental in the classical curriculum.

Every day at the OCA, our researchers will receive live instruction in the Metaverse – our virtual reality classroom that could be anywhere from the ancient theater of Pompeii to a prehistoric waterhole. Fellows have an immersive, collaborative and socially appropriate experience with their instructor and peers unlike any other virtual school available.

OCA is organized to allow students to work on the material and the program independently, without a host at home. During the pandemic, parents were frustrated with the help needed just to move from one activity to another

McShane: How long will a child spend in virtual reality?

Donald: Scheduled live sessions total approximately three hours per day for four days per week, or approximately 10 to 12 hours per week. The rest of the program is experienced either online in two dimensions, outdoors on projects and homework, or traditionally, as with paper books. Each component of the classical education model was evaluated to determine the most effective delivery method (live, asynchronous, online, or analog) as the curriculum was built. The virtual reality component provides online students with a “classroom” experience, where they can receive instruction, interact with their teacher and peers, and build relationships unlike the “Zoom School”.

McShane: What will their experience look, sound and feel?

Donald: OCA Fellows will be transported from their homes to a virtual classroom environment like no other. In the traditional online broadcast model, students are viewing a two-dimensional screen with the “faces checkboard” and the sound is constantly lagging behind. Teachers manage over 20 different classrooms while students manage distractions at home. On our virtual reality platform, students are immersed together as avatars in a traditional looking and feel virtual reality classroom and can be transported back to any relevant learning environment. for the lesson. For example, while our 3rd schoolchildren read The whipped boy, they can be in a castle setting, more closely aligned with the context and the frame of the book. Marine biology studies can be done underwater. A study of the United States Constitution may include a visit to the Constitutional Convention. This additional element of learning leads to deeper understanding and better Socratic discourse.

McShane: Why has no one created a virtual reality school yet?

Donald: Before the pandemic, virtual reality headsets were prohibitively expensive and had to be connected to an expensive computer. Thanks to advancements in technology, reasonably priced standalone headsets are now available, improving access and scalability. We anticipate that our VR school will be the first to offer a full VR curriculum, but we won’t be the last. Numerous projections suggest that we will have one billion VR headset users by 2027. Education leaders around the world are analyzing how COVID-19 will change the education landscape, and we believe more learning virtual, including VR, and greater flexibility of access will be part of these changes. However, at Optima Domi we also ask what needs to reliably remain constant despite all the changes that have taken place in a post-pandemic world. We want to maintain a love for Great Books and focus on teaching civic virtue. The only way to teach virtue online is to use the common courtesy of connection that only virtual reality can offer.

Conversation has been edited and condensed for clarity


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Northwest Arkansas school districts operate on hiring shortages https://neopod.net/northwest-arkansas-school-districts-operate-on-hiring-shortages/ https://neopod.net/northwest-arkansas-school-districts-operate-on-hiring-shortages/#respond Mon, 18 Oct 2021 08:44:58 +0000 https://neopod.net/northwest-arkansas-school-districts-operate-on-hiring-shortages/ Due to a lack of staff, school districts in Northwest Arkansas are struggling to transport students, serve meals, and keep schools clean. “Anytime we have to cover a position that is unfilled, it impacts other classrooms or other positions in the district,” said Greg Mones, director of human resources for the school district of Fayetteville. […]]]>

Due to a lack of staff, school districts in Northwest Arkansas are struggling to transport students, serve meals, and keep schools clean.

“Anytime we have to cover a position that is unfilled, it impacts other classrooms or other positions in the district,” said Greg Mones, director of human resources for the school district of Fayetteville.

The pandemic is often a factor for people who choose not to work in schools right now, he said.

“They just don’t feel comfortable or safe right now,” Mones said.

Chris Davis, assistant superintendent of human resources and campus support for the Fort Smith School District, also noted competition within the region for workers.

“The biggest challenge in filling these positions is making sure that we are competitive with the job market that we have in the private and commercial sector,” said Davis.

School districts often have to compete with companies like Walmart or McDonald’s that pay at least $ 15 an hour, he said.

The wages of guards in Fayetteville range from $ 12 to $ 24.56 an hour, and Rogers bus drivers earn $ 17,085 to $ 23,949, per year, depending on district pay scales. Bus drivers are required to have a commercial driver’s license, administrators said.

The districts’ current hiring challenges reflect the general employment climate nationwide, Davis said.

Northwest Arkansas census area Fayetteville-Springdale-Rogers had an unemployment rate of 2.7% as of Sept. 29, down from the pandemic high of 7.6% in April 2020, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the United States.

The national unemployment rate fell from 14.8% to 5.2%, and Arkansas’ unemployment rate fell from 10% to 4.2% during the same period, according to the office.

The US Department of Labor reported that 4.3 million people left their jobs in August, or about 2.9% of the workforce, according to data released Tuesday. This total is higher than the record set in April and nearly matched in July of around 4 million people who quit smoking.

Administrators in northwest Arkansas and statewide say districts continue to face shortages in positions such as bus drivers, babysitters and cafeteria staff.

DRIVER DEFICITS

All of the larger districts in northwest Arkansas are in need of bus drivers, administrators said.

“Our routes are very full, our buses are very full, and our routes are longer due to the shortage of drivers,” said Tanya Sharp, director of operations for the Bentonville school district.

Bentonville has 15 open bus driver positions. Fayetteville has 50 openings, Springdale has 30 and Rogers has six, administrators said. The Fort Smith School District had two positions advertised on its website as of October 7.

“We could use an unlimited number of replacements,” Mones said of the drivers who cover shifts when others are sick.

Bentonville students arrived at school up to an hour late due to a shortage of drivers, Sharp said. She noted that drivers were doubling the routes to bring students to school.

Fayetteville and Springdale are taking similar steps, the directors said.

“Our schools have staggered start times, which has helped us a bit so that the kids aren’t too late to get there,” Mones said. “We are managing. It is not easy.”

Springdale is pulling other areas to meet the needs of the routes, said Trent Jones, communications director for the Springdale School District.

“Coaches, teachers, principals and even our director of transport have a bus line,” he said.

Bus driver shortages can impact student success, Jones said.

“When the students are in school, they learn and have fun, build relationships with friends and they are fed every day,” he said. “A shortage of bus drivers puts all of this potentially at risk because of the pressure it puts on our families to adjust their schedules to make sure their students get to school.”

Jennifer Keith, 46, said she has two children who attend Springdale schools and their bus was canceled due to a driver shortage three days earlier this month, forcing her to develop a plan to get them to and from school.

Keith is a single mother who is self-employed as an electrical engineer, she said. Waits ranging from 20 minutes to over an hour in the school stop and pick up lane are inconvenient for her children and interfere with her work, she said.

“I’m just telling them they’re going to have to wait there about 20 more minutes, so I don’t have to sit in the line of cars,” Keith said. “I’m on my computer all day, so I certainly can’t do this while I’m driving.”

Schools in the region also share shortages in child nutrition staff, administrators said.

A lack of staff can mean fewer dining choices for students at Rogers, said Roger Hill, the district’s assistant superintendent of human resources.

“We are cutting other one employee’s kitchens to cover the worst deficit,” he said of schools with shared staff. “We had to reduce the menu several times to one choice to simplify it.”

Rogers has five vacancies in its infant nutrition staff, Bentonville has 18, Fayetteville has 14 and Springdale has 11, the directors said. Fort Smith had four positions open on its website as of October 7.

A variety of other support positions are open in school districts, such as day care staff, substitute teachers, transportation helpers, before and after school staff and nursing assistants, administrators said.

DISTRICT EMPLOYMENT

School districts are often one of a city’s biggest employers, but are often overlooked by job seekers who don’t consider the many positions available in schools beyond teaching, Mones said.

The five largest school districts in northwest Arkansas together employ more than 10,000 people, according to administrators. Springdale, the state’s largest district, has about 3,000 of these employees.

School districts offer attractive benefits and competitive pay and retirement systems, Sharp said.

The Rogers School District also ranked No.1 on Forbes ‘list of Arkansas’ Top Employers for 2021, Hill said.

The survey, released in August, lists 25 employers for Arkansas. The survey ranked the top three employers at 101 in each state, based on the size of its workforce, according to the survey report. The Bentonville School District ranked fourth on Forbes’ list.

Working for young people can also have personal benefits, Jones said.

“There is something beautiful about serving children in your community,” he said. “It’s enriching.”

No more news

Salary scales

Information on the salary scales for the largest school districts in Northwest Arkansas can be found at:

Bentonville: https://bit.ly/3DERcqD

Fayetteville: https://bit.ly/3FRgJyz

Fort Smith: https://bit.ly/3p4QIG4

Springdale: https://bit.ly/3Dzy5ya

Rogers: https://bit.ly/3DMI4QT

Source: NWA Democrat-Gazette


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Newark has more than 115 schools. Only 3 Post COVID Data online. https://neopod.net/newark-has-more-than-115-schools-only-3-post-covid-data-online/ https://neopod.net/newark-has-more-than-115-schools-only-3-post-covid-data-online/#respond Sat, 16 Oct 2021 22:38:32 +0000 https://neopod.net/newark-has-more-than-115-schools-only-3-post-covid-data-online/ October 16, 2021 Over 57,000 Newark students have been learning in person over the past several weeks, along with thousands of teachers and school staff. So, how many cases of COVID have appeared in each school? The public has no way of knowing. Of more than 115 traditional and charter public schools in Newark, only […]]]>

October 16, 2021

Over 57,000 Newark students have been learning in person over the past several weeks, along with thousands of teachers and school staff. So, how many cases of COVID have appeared in each school?

The public has no way of knowing. Of more than 115 traditional and charter public schools in Newark, only three publish COVID data online.

The three schools that make the data public are managed by Marion P. Thomas Charter Schools, which publishes the latest number of student and employee COVID cases at each school.

“While transparency is not always easy,” said Angela Mincy, Superintendent of Schools, “we are committed to doing what is right for our students, families, staff and our wider community.”

Data from Marion P. Thomas is reassuring: Only 17 people have tested positive for COVID out of nearly 1,600 students and employees, according to the dashboard on the school’s website, which officials say is set updated every night. Since the three schools started classes on August 30, they have not had a single outbreak of COVID, which the state defines as three or more cases related to transmission at school.

In New Jersey and across the country, new daily coronavirus infections are declining as more Americans get vaccinated, and transmission of COVID is generally low in schools that follow safety guidelines. Yet some students and teachers continue to be infected, often outside of school, forcing them and their close contacts to self-quarantine.

For this reason, many people have searched for their schools’ COVID numbers. Yet in Newark, most schools do not publish this data.

Marion P. Thomas is the only one of Newark’s 17 charter school operators to publish her COVID case count online, according to Chalkbeat’s review of their websites. Public schools in Newark, the state’s largest traditional school district, also do not release school-level COVID data, although the superintendent shared the overall number of cases for the first time last month. . (As of September 28, 75 of the district’s 37,000 students have tested positive, he said.)

Schools are legally allowed to publish the number of COVID cases as long as they do not identify individual students. Like Marion P. Thomas, many other districts in New Jersey publish online data trackers that show the number of confirmed cases at each school.

Although the Newark School District and all but one charter school operator do not release their COVID data, they do follow it. Schools must report cases of COVID to the local health department; From October 26, they will also need to report the number of cases and weekly vaccination rates to the state health department.

Newark families and school employees have called on schools to share this data publicly.

“Some parents have expressed many concerns that they may not always be able to easily and clearly access information about COVID outbreaks in their schools,” Newark School Board member A’Dorian Murray-Thomas said during last month’s board meeting.

Newark Public Schools Superintendent Roger León has verbally shared employee case numbers at monthly board meetings since the start of the pandemic, and last month, for the first time, he gave the number of district-wide student cases. However, the district did not publish these figures online or provide data at the school level.

At the September meeting, León said the district was “really trying to figure this out”. A district spokesperson did not respond to an email Friday asking if the data will be uploaded.

It’s also unclear if or when the city’s charter schools will follow Marion P. Thomas’ lead and release school-level COVID data.

One of the largest charter school operators, KIPP New Jersey, which operates 14 schools in Newark, has “no plans at this time” to release COVID data online, spokeswoman Jessica Shearer said. However, each KIPP school sends families a letter every week with the number of people in quarantine, she added.

“The vast majority of students and staff are in classrooms and we have had no reports of widespread epidemics or building closures,” she said in an email.

Kyle Rosenkrans, executive director of the New Jersey Children’s Foundation, which supports Newark charter schools, argued that the state bears much of the responsibility. The New Jersey Department of Health only publishes COVID outbreaks in schools by county, not by district or school, and does not require districts to share their data locally.

“The lack of adequate state standards on the number of reported cases has left districts and schools to find out for themselves,” he said in a statement. “In this kind of vacuum, it’s no surprise that we see a variety of approaches on the ground in Newark.”

Rosenkrans said his organization has encouraged all schools to share their COVID data “liberally”, adding that he expects “reports to become more robust over time.”

In an email, Superintendent Mincy of Marion P. Thomas said she understands why other principals might feel vulnerable when sharing COVID data with the public. But allowing people to see exactly how many – or how many – cases of COVID have been reported in schools can help reduce anxiety and reassure the public that schools are keeping students and employees safe.

“We owe it to our community,” she said, “to continue to operate with empathy, grace and transparency”.


This story was originally published by Chalkbeat, a nonprofit news organization covering public education. Subscribe to their newsletters here.


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ParentSquare Launches Online Self-Assessment Tool to Help Districts and Schools Evaluate the Effectiveness of Their Home-School Communications https://neopod.net/parentsquare-launches-online-self-assessment-tool-to-help-districts-and-schools-evaluate-the-effectiveness-of-their-home-school-communications/ https://neopod.net/parentsquare-launches-online-self-assessment-tool-to-help-districts-and-schools-evaluate-the-effectiveness-of-their-home-school-communications/#respond Thu, 14 Oct 2021 13:14:02 +0000 https://neopod.net/parentsquare-launches-online-self-assessment-tool-to-help-districts-and-schools-evaluate-the-effectiveness-of-their-home-school-communications/ “This new tool will give K-12 leaders actionable insights they can use to refine and elevate their ongoing communication efforts,” said Anupama Vaid, Founder and President of ParentSquare. SANTA BARBARA, Calif. (PRWEB) October 14, 2021 Effective school-to-home communications are a critical part of student success, but many districts and schools are unsure whether their communications […]]]>

“This new tool will give K-12 leaders actionable insights they can use to refine and elevate their ongoing communication efforts,” said Anupama Vaid, Founder and President of ParentSquare.

Effective school-to-home communications are a critical part of student success, but many districts and schools are unsure whether their communications are working well or whether stakeholders are involved. To help them assess and improve their efforts, ParentSquare is sponsoring a new, free online school communications self-assessment tool, which allows principals to compare their school communications to current best practices from Kindergarten to Grade 12. year.

The School Communications Self-Assessment consists of multiple-choice questions that assess five critical areas, including:

  • Contactability – Practices and technologies that facilitate contact with as close as possible to 100% of families
  • Content and Frequency – Practices for ensuring that communications sent to families contain actionable content, are easily recognizable, and are sent at optimal times to avoid message fatigue
  • Family Access and Control – Practices that remove barriers to communication and increase flexibility
  • Privacy and Technology – Compliance with industry-leading security regulations and protocols
  • Supervision and Analysis – Practices and tools that enable administrators to fully understand homeschool communications in their district

Upon completion of the assessment, participants receive an overall score, as well as an individual score for each of the five areas of school communication. Additionally, participants will receive a detailed PDF report based on their responses, with score-specific recommendations to help them modify identified areas for improvement related to their district practices or homeschool communications. The self-assessment and its recommendations are designed to be useful to education leaders, regardless of the communication tools or methods they are currently using or planning to use.

A related infographic titled “K-12 Communication Platforms: What Matters Most?” », Serves as a quick reference for the evaluation. It describes the most important elements needed in a homeschool communication platform for various stakeholders including superintendents, communication officers, technology leaders, principals, teachers and families.

“There is no doubt that since March 2020, students and their families have had to experience a lot of disruption in their daily lives,” said Anupama Vaid, Founder and President of ParentSquare. “To ensure that they can adapt to the changing school environment and stay on track, schools need to share information with their families as quickly and efficiently as possible. This is why now is the time for districts and schools to take a close look at whether or not their current communication strategies.This new tool will provide K-12 leaders with actionable information they can use to refine and elevate their ongoing communication efforts.

The self-assessment of school communications is free at http://www.SchoolCommsCheck.com.

About ParentSquare ™

ParentSquare is used by millions of educators and families in 44 states for unified and effective school communications. ParentSquare provides parent engagement tools that run from the district office to the individual classroom, supported by powerful metrics and reporting. ParentSquare’s technology platform offers extensive integrations with student information and other critical administrative systems, translation into over 100 languages, and access to apps, email, text, voice, and more. to the web portal for fair communication. ParentSquare (http://www.parentsquare.com), founded in 2011, is based in Santa Barbara, California.

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The Pulaski County Special School Board provides teachers with a base salary of $ 40,000; employee vote needed to finalize the plan https://neopod.net/the-pulaski-county-special-school-board-provides-teachers-with-a-base-salary-of-40000-employee-vote-needed-to-finalize-the-plan/ https://neopod.net/the-pulaski-county-special-school-board-provides-teachers-with-a-base-salary-of-40000-employee-vote-needed-to-finalize-the-plan/#respond Wed, 13 Oct 2021 09:31:33 +0000 https://neopod.net/the-pulaski-county-special-school-board-provides-teachers-with-a-base-salary-of-40000-employee-vote-needed-to-finalize-the-plan/ Beginning teachers working in the Pulaski County Special School District are expected to see a salary increase of nearly $ 5,400 following the school board approval on Tuesday of a favorably weighted compensation plan for early-stage employees careers. The board voted unanimously for the compensation proposal which must now be approved by teachers in the […]]]>

Beginning teachers working in the Pulaski County Special School District are expected to see a salary increase of nearly $ 5,400 following the school board approval on Tuesday of a favorably weighted compensation plan for early-stage employees careers.

The board voted unanimously for the compensation proposal which must now be approved by teachers in the district for it to take effect for this school year – retroactively to July 1.

Also on Tuesday, the board of directors voted 4-2 to maintain for an additional 60 days the requirement that students and employees must wear masks inside schools to defend against covid-19.

The compensation plan, if approved by employees, will increase the salary of a first-year teacher with a bachelor’s degree from $ 34,617 to $ 40,000.

Teachers in grades 2 through 10 with a bachelor’s degree would receive increases of $ 1,300 to $ 4,969 this school year, with those with less experience receiving the largest increases.

Early career employees who have earned college credits above their bachelor’s through master’s levels are also in line for increases of $ 1,000 to $ 4,300 this year.

Long-term teachers and those with university credits above the master’s level would receive increases of less or far less than $ 1,000 for this year. A teacher with 10 years of experience and a master’s degree plus an additional 15 college credit hours would receive an increase of $ 524.92 at an annual rate of $ 53,016.

The district was motivated to draft the salary scale – in consultation with its staff policy committee made up of teachers and administrators – by state law that requires the minimum salary for teachers across the state or $ 36,000 by 2022.

Brenda Robinson, chair of the district’s certified personnel policies committee, cited the state’s salary law and noted the school board’s desire to be more competitive with other districts in central Arkansas in terms of starting salaries as a means of attracting and retaining teachers.

“During our discussions, we asked how we can move forward because we want to get ahead of the curve. We have fallen a bit behind” in surrounding districts, Robinson told the board. . “We are proposing tonight to go ahead and raise the starting salary to $ 40,000. That way we will be ahead of the game. I know we still have teaching positions available and that money attracts. “

Robinson acknowledged that the salary schedule changes focus on new teachers, while seasoned teachers like her won’t see significant increases.

“We’ve been discussing how we can revamp the whole salary scale, but for now we wanted to tackle that part because we heard you loud and clear … that you want a salary scale that will help. to recruit and retain teachers, ”said Robinson.

School board president Linda Remele and board member Eli Keller praised Robinson and the staff policy committee for the hard work in coming up with a salary plan that gives newer teachers more money. Remele said she believes the plan not only meets the requirements of the law, but it will help the profession and do the right thing for young teachers.

Board member Stephen Delaney said the district was in an “arms race” for teachers from other districts, including the nearby Little Rock School District, which has a property tax rate. of 46.4 million higher than the rate of 40.7 million of Pulaski County District.

The salary plan – coupled with the district’s “terrific” benefits package – takes the Pulaski Special District from the bottom of the rankings of some 15 central Arkansas districts to the middle of the pack or more, Delaney said. The plan won’t put the district in the top spot, but it feels very good about it, he said.

The Pulaski County Special District pays an employee’s health insurance $ 276.89 per month, which works out to $ 3,323 per year, he said.

Emry Chesterfield, who represents the district’s support services workers, told the board that while he doesn’t dispute that teachers are getting raises, unauthorized employees want bonuses in recognition of their work.

Regarding the mask requirement for students and employees, Superintendent Charles McNulty recommended that the existing requirement remain in place and be reviewed in December. The district and the community have seen a slight increase in cases over the past two weeks, he said.

Board member Brian Maune said he would prefer a system in which schools in the Generalized District could relax or tighten mask requirements based on their campus-specific covid-19 data. Some schools go weeks without any cases, apparently making them candidates to make masks optional, he said.

Deputy Superintendent Janice Warren and Director of Communications Jessica Duff informed council that a frequently changing district-wide requirement or different requirements in different parts of the district would be difficult to communicate to parents and students.

The Pulaski County Special District, which has 12,000 students, had 39 active cases of covid-19, the second highest number among school districts in the state, according to a report released Monday by the Department of Health of Arkansas. This week, the district had to switch to online education for kindergarten and fourth graders at Harris Elementary after more than 50 people had to be quarantined due to exposure to covid-19.

An audience member addressed the school board at the start of Tuesday’s meeting to say that an ongoing mask mandate puts the district at risk of prosecution, forcing the district to use its resources for legal fees .

Board members Maune and Keller voted against retaining the mask’s mandate. Board members Remele, Delaney, Tina Ward and Shelby Thomas voted to keep him. Council member Lindsey Gustafson was absent.


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“These wounds are fresh:” GVSU Recalls Boarding School Times in Indigenous Peoples History https://neopod.net/these-wounds-are-fresh-gvsu-recalls-boarding-school-times-in-indigenous-peoples-history/ https://neopod.net/these-wounds-are-fresh-gvsu-recalls-boarding-school-times-in-indigenous-peoples-history/#respond Tue, 12 Oct 2021 02:32:45 +0000 https://neopod.net/these-wounds-are-fresh-gvsu-recalls-boarding-school-times-in-indigenous-peoples-history/ ALLENDALE, Michigan – Over the summer, anonymous mass graves filled with hundreds of the bodies of Indigenous children were discovered in Canada. Monday was at the center of Grand Valley State University’s Indigenous Peoples Day event called “Resilience Despite Trauma: The Age of Residential Schools”. “This is a great opportunity for all US citizens and […]]]>

ALLENDALE, Michigan – Over the summer, anonymous mass graves filled with hundreds of the bodies of Indigenous children were discovered in Canada. Monday was at the center of Grand Valley State University’s Indigenous Peoples Day event called “Resilience Despite Trauma: The Age of Residential Schools”.

“This is a great opportunity for all US citizens and others to truly build a different relationship with the term ‘overcoming this’,” said event organizer Lin Bardwell. “I know we’ve all heard this as marginalized people. We just really don’t need to say it anymore because these wounds are so fresh. “

Bardwell is the Native American Student Initiative Coordinator at GVSU’s Office of Multicultural Affairs. She said one of the wounds people still feel are residential schools in which thousands of Indigenous children were forced to live in North America.

“I think anyone can imagine their young children, their grandchildren being forcibly taken away from home and what that feels like to this child’s experience,” Bardwell said in an interview Monday. “If you weren’t a parent or abused as a child, it’s kind of your status quo to associate with your own children. It’s this intergenerational trauma.

The conference took place in the Pere Marquette room of the GVSU. At the back of the room, on tripods, were several photos of Indigenous children in schools. One captain read:

“Punishment: Violations of multiple rules often resulted in the removal of privileges and / or additional work details. In addition, food and water were often refused. Both boys and girls were severely punished, including being forced to kneel for an extended period on a hard surface. or beaten with a leather thong or rubber hose. Flogging and other forms of extreme punishment were not formally banned until 1929. ‘ ~ Indian Industrial School of Mt. Pleasant

Opening day, operated from June 30, 1893 – June 1934

Bardwell said she has been working in this field for years and is always learning more about it.

“We had a lot of boarding schools. We called them residential schools in the United States. Canada calls them residential schools. So we had a lot of schools operating between the 1800s and 1983 here in the United States, ”Bardwell said. “The last one in the country closed in 1983. It is located in Harbor Springs, Michigan. It is called the Holy Childhood. So these wounds are fresh and the trauma is real.

In June, Home Secretary Deb Haaland announced the Federal Indian Residential Schools initiative, to learn in detail what happened at U.S. residential schools and the children there. .

“We are very happy to have Deb Haaland at the Home Office. As a nation, we have to support it because it still exists within a 200-year-old bureaucracy, ”Bardwell said. “So we really have to support her and give her the support of the work that she is committed to doing. It is very exciting for many of us to have this firsthand Aboriginal power, authority and influence in government policy.

The initiative’s results are expected to be released in April 2022. In the meantime, Bardwell said people should take the time to learn about the history of Indigenous peoples.

She said their story is all around us.

“I think locally, I would love for more Grand Rapidiens to take the time to learn more about the history of the Anishinabek along the Grand River, what it means to our community and how to better support our community. community, ”Bardwell said. “It would be a wonderful Indigenous Peoples Day.


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Analysis: Louisiana School Systems Divided Over Quarantine Rules | National policy https://neopod.net/analysis-louisiana-school-systems-divided-over-quarantine-rules-national-policy/ https://neopod.net/analysis-louisiana-school-systems-divided-over-quarantine-rules-national-policy/#respond Sun, 10 Oct 2021 20:00:06 +0000 https://neopod.net/analysis-louisiana-school-systems-divided-over-quarantine-rules-national-policy/ Large school systems differ in the way they react to Brumley’s latest directives. The public school districts of New Orleans, Monroe, East Baton Rouge Parish, Caddo Parish, Lafayette Parish and Jefferson Parish (where Brumley was superintendent until mid- 2020) have refused to relax their quarantine rules. “After consulting with medical professionals, we have decided not […]]]>

Large school systems differ in the way they react to Brumley’s latest directives.

The public school districts of New Orleans, Monroe, East Baton Rouge Parish, Caddo Parish, Lafayette Parish and Jefferson Parish (where Brumley was superintendent until mid- 2020) have refused to relax their quarantine rules.

“After consulting with medical professionals, we have decided not to implement this practice,” Jefferson Ward Superintendent James Gray said in an online article.

The Bossier parish school system said it needed “more clarity” before making any changes.

But school officials in Livingston, Ascension, St. Tammany, Calcasieu and Tangipahoa parishes quickly embraced the policy change, deciding to let parents choose to keep their children away from school if they have been close to them. a person who tested positive for COVID-19.

“Our school nurses will continue to reach out to parents or close contact staff and advise them of all options available in our school system, regarding quarantines,” Livingston Ward Superintendent Joe Murphy said in a statement. .

Brumley noted that local school districts can already make their own rules about sending students home for days after exposure to COVID-19. But most districts had followed the education department’s guidelines that these students should be quarantined.


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Local school boards emerge as hot races in November elections | national https://neopod.net/local-school-boards-emerge-as-hot-races-in-november-elections-national/ https://neopod.net/local-school-boards-emerge-as-hot-races-in-november-elections-national/#respond Sat, 09 Oct 2021 13:50:42 +0000 https://neopod.net/local-school-boards-emerge-as-hot-races-in-november-elections-national/ COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) – In a school district near the state capital of Ohio, school board members running for re-election this year have been subjected to a constant stream of lawsuits and attacks, to both in person and online. In another, a re-election candidate who supports student mask requirements received a letter from someone angry […]]]>

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) – In a school district near the state capital of Ohio, school board members running for re-election this year have been subjected to a constant stream of lawsuits and attacks, to both in person and online. In another, a re-election candidate who supports student mask requirements received a letter from someone angry with his position who warned, “We’re coming after you.”

A 15-year veteran board member in another Ohio district has decided not to run for re-election due to escalating public attacks.

It’s not just in Ohio. Across the United States, local school board races became an intense political battleground in the November 2 election, with high stakes for students.

Get more from the Citrus County Chronicle

Parents’ protests against COVID-19 mask warrants, gender-neutral bathrooms and teachings on racial history, sexuality and socio-emotional learning are used in takeover campaigns full-fledged who will get their first generalized test in just a few weeks.

“What is happening in 2021 is a prelude to some of the messages, to some of the issues that we will see ahead of the midterm elections,” said Scott DiMauro, president of the Ohio Education Association, the largest union in state teachers.

Local school board elections have generally been a relatively calm affair where incumbents have sailed for re-election, often unopposed. This year, candidate training academies organized by national conservative groups and state-level recruiting efforts are encouraging the challenges of right-wing political newcomers. The findings could have implications for public education and coronavirus safety measures across the country.

The thousands of local school districts in the United States make it difficult to know how many board members will face challenges from members of the conservative-leaning community next month. But the challenges appear to be widespread.

In Wisconsin, a conservative legal institute provides free legal advice on school board recalls to parent groups. In Iowa, Gov. Kim Reynolds, a Republican, made the unusual decision to approve a Conservative candidate for a seat on the local school board. And in Colorado, a group calling themselves MAD that opposes distance learning during the pandemic and what it says are partisan leanings in the curriculum is endorsing like-minded school board candidates.

“It feels like schools have become a political battleground, and they shouldn’t be,” said Dan Maloit, a former Army Green Beret who heads the Colorado group. “Children should be able to come in and not know what their teachers think politically or their administrators and be protected from what society argues so that they can concentrate on learning to read and write, understanding math, learning an unbiased story.

Teachers’ unions, which for years helped elect their own allies to school boards, are opposing the push. Their position is that many of the right-wing candidates are conspiracy theorists who take moderate positions to get elected, but once in power they will oppose mask requirements and other COVID security protocols, micromanage educators and censor content in classrooms they don’t like.

Randi Weingarten, president of the National Teachers’ Federation, called it a “cowardly and undemocratic attempt to usurp local control over the education of our children.”

“Their goal is to limit students’ understanding of historical and current events and to attack common sense security measures such as masking by intimidating those who believe in science and teaching honest history,” he said. she said in a statement to The Associated Press.

FreedomWorks, a conservative group that has backed the rise of former President Donald Trump, launched a candidate academy in March that has already trained around 300 people nationwide, the largest number coming from the United States. Ohio, said Laura Zorc, director of educational reform for the group. About 1,000 people have registered, she said.

“My message to these parents is this: run for office if you don’t like it and don’t feel your voice is being heard,” Zorc said.

Among those who acted on this message is Jennifer Feucht, a candidate for the local Olentangy School District outside of Columbus who completed her training through FreedomWorks Academy. After fighting to lift mask warrants and get the district to declare its opposition to critical race theory, the mother-of-three said she had also been the victim of “vicious” attacks on the media. social.

“I have learned that they are allowed to say things that are wrong because you are a public figure. I would never have imagined this at the local level, ”she said.

A particularly common claim among challengers is that schools teach black children that they are victims and white children that they are villains as part of their own, which they attribute to Critical Race Theory. It’s a characterization of district responses to last year’s racial protests that national education and civil rights organizations have dismissed as bogus and dangerous.

Critical Race Theory is a way of thinking about American history through the prism of racism that was developed in the 1970s and 1980s. Although there is little evidence that it is taught in schools, the concept has become a flashpoint in culture wars since the murder of George Floyd prompted a national reckoning on race.

Julie Feasel, who had been part of this Olentangy school board since 2006, chose to retire this year because all the ugliness made the job exhausting. She said she had not faced an application challenge since 2013.

“It’s the storm of all ages when it comes to public service,” she said. “People need to know who is behind the curtain. It’s like the Wizard of Oz – who’s pulling the strings? “

One of the groups active in Ohio is Ohio Value Voters, which formed its own spin-off – Protect Ohio Children Coalition – in April, according to state business records. The group’s leaders have not responded to phone calls or emails asking for comment, but its website urges parents to come in groups of 30 and use a ‘tsunami strategy’ to raise searing social issues and disrupt board meetings.

The group also maintains an interactive “indoctrination map” that targets districts offering what it describes as critical race theory, comprehensive sex education, and socio-emotional learning. It also directs parents to the FreedomWorks training academy, declaring as one of its goals “to replace radical school board officials through the electoral process”.

Charlie Wilson, a school board member from Worthington, another suburb of Columbus, and past president of the National School Boards Association, said board seats are particularly vulnerable to challengers emerging from this movement in a year like this. It’s an off-year election cycle with mostly local races on the ballot, and turnout is expected to be low for all but the most motivated voters.

Wilson said he believes the conservative insurgents – who often use the phrases “transparent education” and “putting our children first” – represent a political minority.

“They basically work with identical messages,” he said. “I think what they really want is that they want to end all mention of race, racism, slavery, Jim Crow, the civil rights movement, the Holocaust. I cannot tell you the emails I have received with other board members saying that by mentioning race we are racist.

Zorc called this characterization of the candidates a “fear tactic”.

As a taste of what the incumbents are up against, Wilson’s colleague Nikki Hudson, who is running for re-election, received a letter that threatened: “We are following you.” no reason in this world other than control. And for that, you will pay dearly. The letter was forwarded to the US Department of Justice, which is investigating.

“It’s really demoralizing and sad that we have lost this focus on what we really should be – students,” said Amie Baca-Oehlert, president of the Colorado Education Association, the largest union of teachers in the state. “It really seems like adult issues have monopolized conversations rather than thinking about the needs of our students.

———

Nieberg reported from Denver. She is a member of the Associated Press / Report for America Statehouse News Initiative body. Report for America is a national, nonprofit service program that places reporters in local newsrooms to cover undercover issues.


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EGADE Business School offers online courses with the MOOC EdX platform https://neopod.net/egade-business-school-offers-online-courses-with-the-mooc-edx-platform/ https://neopod.net/egade-business-school-offers-online-courses-with-the-mooc-edx-platform/#respond Fri, 08 Oct 2021 10:01:04 +0000 https://neopod.net/egade-business-school-offers-online-courses-with-the-mooc-edx-platform/ EGADE Business School in Mexico, the highest ranked business school in Latin America according to the QS Global MBA rankings, now offers its own online business courses in partnership with EdX. From organizational creativity to negotiation strategies, EGADE MOOCs teach the latest entrepreneurship and leadership skills to professionals around the world looking to accelerate their […]]]>

EGADE Business School in Mexico, the highest ranked business school in Latin America according to the QS Global MBA rankings, now offers its own online business courses in partnership with EdX.

From organizational creativity to negotiation strategies, EGADE MOOCs teach the latest entrepreneurship and leadership skills to professionals around the world looking to accelerate their careers.

These short courses are also a great entry point into a full business degree, as EGADE allows you to stack credits earned through MOOCs into the school’s business programs.


Who are the MOOC EGADE aimed at?

Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) are a flexible and fast-paced approach to learning, allowing you to improve your skills and increase your employability without the cost of a business degree.

180 million people took MOOCs in 2020, enrolling in short courses in various disciplines through platforms like Coursera, EdX and Udacity.

MOOCs allow participants to study at their own pace, making them a great option for busy professionals looking to develop quickly and efficiently.

With asynchronous lessons, there are no specific schedules to meet and you can do homework at your own pace, allowing you to make learning part of your day without sacrificing work and family commitments.

EGADE MOOCs are delivered in the same flexible and asynchronous manner.

“We have identified an opportunity to share with the community all the knowledge that our faculty is generating, mainly in terms of innovation, entrepreneurship and, more recently, sustainable development,” explains Laura Zapata, associate dean of academic affairs at the ‘EGADE Business School.

“In two clicks, you get all the knowledge you are looking for and the opportunity to develop specific skills.

If you want to hone your leadership skills, keep abreast of the latest technology in your field, and maintain a competitive advantage, MOOCs are ideal.

“It’s this idea of ​​lifelong learning,” says Laura. “Organizations need their talent to constantly develop, which includes interpersonal and emotional skills. “

For example, EGADE’s Effective Communication for Today’s Leaders course teaches participants how to communicate effectively with their colleagues by finding the right balance between assertiveness and empathy.

EGADE is also known for its emphasis on entrepreneurship and innovation, which is reflected in its MOOCs.

Through courses such as Fundamentals of Entrepreneurship in the Family Business and Organizational Innovation and Creativity, participants learn to develop an entrepreneurial mindset and to innovate both inside and outside structures. business.


MOOC vs business diploma?

Due to their short and flexible format, MOOCs take much less time than a full-time business degree. Individual courses at EGADE last four weeks and require five to eight hours of work per week.

You can even stack between two and six related courses, to create a “program” that lasts between six and seven months, which is considerably shorter than a conventional business degree.

MOOCs are also much more affordable than a business degree. EGADE courses are accessible free of charge, with the possibility of paying a relatively low fee to obtain an official certificate. Prices for individual lessons range from $ 90 to $ 190, while programs cost up to $ 800.

“It’s part of our efforts to democratize knowledge,” says Laura. “It is very important for us to share our knowledge with the community and to be part of the development of the company.

Course content is taken directly from EGADE’s full-time programs and taught by renowned lecturers and qualified industry experts with years of experience in their respective industries.


© EGADE Business School via Facebook


Why combine MOOCs with a business degree?

As useful as they are for skill enhancement, MOOCs are not a substitute for a business degree, which provides deeper and broader knowledge than a short course can.

But if a business degree is in the cards for you in the long run, MOOCs can help chart the course to get there and support your career development in the meantime.

When you complete an EGADE MOOC, you gain academic credits, which means you can enroll in a business degree and have already completed up to 25% of the program.

“This cumulative credit system gives professionals the opportunity to accumulate different skills, different knowledge, and then maybe two or three years later, get that full degree,” says Laura.

So, whether you are looking to quickly expand your expertise in a specific area at an affordable price or build a broad portfolio of skills to prepare for a business degree in the near future, MOOCs can be a great place to start.



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COVID down in St. Clairsville schools | News, Sports, Jobs https://neopod.net/covid-down-in-st-clairsville-schools-news-sports-jobs/ https://neopod.net/covid-down-in-st-clairsville-schools-news-sports-jobs/#respond Thu, 07 Oct 2021 05:19:37 +0000 https://neopod.net/covid-down-in-st-clairsville-schools-news-sports-jobs/ ST. CLAIRSVILLE – Masks will remain optional in the St. Clairsville-Richland City school district as cases of COVID-19 decline in schools. Superintendent Walter Skaggs confirmed at the education council meeting Wednesday morning that the district’s mask policy would remain optional for students and faculty. He said the number of cases had declined over the past […]]]>

ST. CLAIRSVILLE – Masks will remain optional in the St. Clairsville-Richland City school district as cases of COVID-19 decline in schools.

Superintendent Walter Skaggs confirmed at the education council meeting Wednesday morning that the district’s mask policy would remain optional for students and faculty. He said the number of cases had declined over the past two days.

School nurse Kerry Shepherd said there are currently 13 positive cases among students and staff – 11 cases among students and two cases among staff. The cases break down into four positive cases in elementary school, four in middle school and five in high school. There are also 17 reported close contacts among students and none among staff.

“The (Belmont County) health department estimates that three weeks ago should have been the peak for the delta (variant), so we should see a downward trend now,” she said.

Shepherd said she anticipates a slight increase after this weekend’s comeback dance; however, district figures are still “very well.”

“There is still no transmission in the classrooms other than the specialized classroom. Anyone isolated or quarantined due to close contact in the classroom had no issues. It is at the level of the community, it is especially in the families ”, she said.

Skaggs said he recently attended a statewide superintendents meeting where other superintendents also reported a drop in the number of cases in their schools. He said he hoped the downtrend continued.

In other areas, Belmont County Juvenile and Estates Judge Al Davies provided an update on some of the programs available to students in the county. Some of the programs he talked about are the Alternative School, which provides education for students suspended from school, and the Virtual Learning Program, which provides an alternative for students who have difficulty learning in a classroom. traditional class.

Davies said the main cause of sending students to the alternative school program this year and last year is due to students using vaping devices.

“I’m trying to get as much information as I can about destroying nicotine addiction. It’s amazing to me the amount of misinformation about vaping ”, he said, adding that he tries to educate young people that heroin and nicotine are the two most addictive drugs.

He said he was working on creating a program for schools to further educate students about the negative effects of vaping. Skaggs said people don’t realize how bad vaping is for them and the long-term effects it can have on a person’s lungs.

Davies also spoke about the Belmont County Schools Staying Clean program. He said the district is able to use some of the funds raised through the program to sponsor other programs for students in the county. One of those shows took place at the Capitol Music Hall in Wheeling on Wednesday. County students were transported to the scene to hear speaker Nathan Harman.

“He’s a very dynamic speaker with a very impactful story. He was a drug addict, alcoholic, and involved in a car accident. He was driving and killed one of his best friends. He went to prison, he was reformed, rehabilitated, reborn and now he has an incredible story that he can tell children very well ”, he said.

Another program is the Juvenile Justice Jeopardy Rollout run by the St. Clairsville Police Department. It is a Jeopardy-style classroom program with a range of topics on interactions with police, rights and the consequences of trouble. Davies said he hopes to expand the program to other schools in the county.

Davies said they are resuming mock trials this year. He said the seventh and eighth grade program would resume in December.

“If we can make an impact on just one child, I think it will be a victory” he said.

Davies thanked the board for its partnership on the programs.

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