school district – Gicarg http://gicarg.org/ Thu, 17 Mar 2022 08:34:14 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.9.3 https://gicarg.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/icon-105x105.png school district – Gicarg http://gicarg.org/ 32 32 Sentinel Grove Cottage | Health center aims to close funding gap https://gicarg.org/sentinel-grove-cottage-health-center-aims-to-close-funding-gap/ Thu, 17 Mar 2022 02:57:26 +0000 https://gicarg.org/sentinel-grove-cottage-health-center-aims-to-close-funding-gap/ Caught in a seemingly perpetual race to the finish line, the Cottage Grove community health center project is slowly closing in on its financial goal. Although approximately $4.5 million has already been committed to the project, rising costs have stalled progress and created its current funding shortfall of $1.2 million. Community health centers primarily serve […]]]>

Caught in a seemingly perpetual race to the finish line, the Cottage Grove community health center project is slowly closing in on its financial goal.

Although approximately $4.5 million has already been committed to the project, rising costs have stalled progress and created its current funding shortfall of $1.2 million.

Community health centers primarily serve those with limited access to health care, although all are welcome to use them. As Federally Licensed Health Centers (FQHC), they are eligible for public health funding and often offer a sliding fee scale for patients.

When the Cottage Grove Clinic opens, it will be the seventh such site for Lane County.

The stated mission of Lane County Community Health Centers is to improve the health and well-being of the community through affordable holistic health care.

The Cottage Grove project aims to integrate these health services into the local Lane Community College (LCC) building on River Road.

Lane County opened its first Community Health Center in 2004 in Springfield at the Riverstone Clinic and has added several more sites to this list since, though they are all in the Eugene-Springfield metro area.

Cottage Grove will house the county’s first rural community health center.

Making the health center a reality was a broad collaboration between many groups, including LCC, Lane County, South Lane School District, Be Your Best, PeaceHealth and South Lane Mental Health. The Oregon Community Foundation and the YARG Foundation were also heavily involved in fundraising.

Cottage Grove Clinic is intended to expand service to residents of Oregon’s South Lane and North Douglas counties.

A long list of programs and services are planned for the center, including pediatrics, family planning, alternative medical services, integrated oral health care, behavioral health, pharmaceutical consultations, and maternal health programs and infant.

The clinic will provide local students with access to primary care and dental services and will employ over 22 people when fully staffed. It will also serve as a health and dental training site for students from the South Lane School District and LCC.

It is estimated to be able to provide access to primary care services to over 5,000 patients in the community and surrounding areas with four primary care practitioners at full capacity.

Career development opportunities for higher paying jobs and hard-to-recruit health career categories are counted among the center’s potential economic impact at the local level.

The need for a health center is also evident in the region.

The South Lane community ranks among the top two primary care service areas in Oregon, according to the Office of Rural Health. The area is also designated as a “health professional shortage area” for primary and dental care by the Health Resources and Services Administration.

Federal funds were recently committed to complete this project.

On March 9, Oregon Congressman Peter DeFazio voted to provide $17,945,000 in community project funding he secured for communities in Oregon’s fourth congressional district.

The funding will help support local initiatives that invest in needs such as infrastructure, community health, education, homelessness prevention and wildfire resilience.

“These investments will have a profoundly positive impact on our district,” Rep. DeFazio said. “I’m proud to have secured funding that makes our communities stronger, safer and healthier. »

Of the 10 projects for which funding was secured, $1,500,000 was allocated to Lane County to establish the Cottage Grove Community Health Clinic.

Board Update

At a Cottage Grove town council meeting on March 14, representatives from the clinic project provided an update on its progress and discussed its need for additional funding.

Jim Gilroy of Be Your Best presented information to the council, with contributions from Lane County Health and Human Services Director Eve Gray.

Margaret Hamilton, president of Lane Community College, Brian McCasline, assistant superintendent of the South Lane School District, and County Commissioner Heather Buch were also in attendance.

Gilroy attributed the gains made towards the clinic today to a decision by city council many years ago to implement a strategic plan.

The city council passed a resolution at its July 12, 2010 meeting supporting the designation of Cottage Grove as a rural site for a federal health clinic.

However, Gilroy said many of the same issues the town encountered on the projects are impacting the development of the South Lane Community Health Clinic.

“If COVID hadn’t been interrupted, we would have been open a year ago last January,” he said. “So think about the costs that have increased over that time.”

Current plans are to start the project in August and open the doors in mid-winter or early spring, but there’s still a $1.2 million gap. Gilroy said that when representatives told the board about the project about a year ago, they had the unfortunate problem of having too much money.

“Now it’s the opposite,” Gilroy said.

In light of this, Gilroy asked the city to contribute $100,000 to the project.

“But anything the city can contribute to support stakeholders in their efforts to provide the service to the community will be welcome,” he said.

Discussion

Reactions from advisers were mixed.

Councilor Greg Ervin asked if abortion services would be available, which Gray confirmed they would not.

Ervin then said that spending taxpayers’ money should generate some sort of return.

“Let’s not just give it away,” he said.

Councilor Mike Fleck said he sees it as an investment in the health care needs of the community.

“Unfortunately, I know that Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement rates keep going down all the time so I can’t imagine this is going to be a profitable business,” he said.

Councilor Candace Solesbee shares Ervin’s concerns.

She added that she was concerned about the mental health services provided near Cottage Grove Secondary School, which is right next to the LCC.

“It’s a bit of a stressor for me that I would like to explore a bit more because we have kids there,” she said. “Working and living downtown, I’ve seen some of the effects of South Lane Mental Health downtown so I’m having a hard time getting some of their services moved next to our high school.”

On the other hand, Councilor Chalice Savage highlighted the potential for upward mobility that the educational aspect of the health center could offer.

“I thought of it as an investment in our children’s future,” she said. “Our children will be able to have an education there.”

Councilman Kenneth Roberts, however, echoed Solesbee’s concern about mental health services near the high school.

“There are parts of it that I like and parts that I’m a little worried about,” he said. “I think we still need to sit down and discuss this before we move forward with any funds.”

Councilor Jon Stinnett said the clinic was a way to invest in preventative care, thereby reducing emergency room visits.

Director Gray spoke about counselors’ concerns about behavioral health around the center.

“Currently, we don’t have needle exchange in our primary care clinics. Most of the behavioral health services that would be provided in the federally licensed health center would be what we call ‘integrated behavioral health,’” she explained. “So someone comes in for primary care services, the primary care physician has 15 minutes with that person and recognizes that there are a range of other services that that person needs. And that can also include behavioral health services, it can include poverty or homelessness services.

FQHCs do not refuse patients due to inability to pay.

“We know that behavioral health outcomes, mental health outcomes are associated with physical health outcomes. You can’t process one without the other,” Gray said. “So we integrate those models, and we have someone who can come and provide short-term therapy services to people while we connect them to longer-term therapy. This is therefore generally the model that we aim for within the FQHC.

Ervin said he wanted to be as responsible as possible with the city’s money and felt $100,000 was too much.

Fleck pointed out that the city was receiving more than $2.3 million in ARPA stimulus funds and considered the $100,000 a reasonable request.

For information, no council action was taken on Monday regarding the donation.

The city council will discuss funding priorities for its U.S. bailout at its March 28 meeting, where the community health center’s funding request can be considered.

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Caliber Public Schools appeals VCUSD denial – Times-Herald https://gicarg.org/caliber-public-schools-appeals-vcusd-denial-times-herald/ Sat, 12 Mar 2022 22:37:23 +0000 https://gicarg.org/caliber-public-schools-appeals-vcusd-denial-times-herald/ Once denied, Caliber Public Schools is still trying to open a high school in Vallejo to accompany its current K-8 campus in the city – Caliber: ChangeMakers Academy. Earlier this week, a public hearing was held in front of the Solano County Office of Education for the Caliber High School petition. In December, the Vallejo […]]]>

Once denied, Caliber Public Schools is still trying to open a high school in Vallejo to accompany its current K-8 campus in the city – Caliber: ChangeMakers Academy.

Earlier this week, a public hearing was held in front of the Solano County Office of Education for the Caliber High School petition. In December, the Vallejo City Unified School District (VCUSD) denied the petition based on tax impact.

The Caliber High School petition was originally submitted in September 2021.

Caliber argues that the District’s denial was improper, given that the VCUSD staff report “found no factual evidence to support a denial based on the District’s inability to absorb a fiscal impact. “, according to Jared Austin, the co-founder and executive director of Kairos Public Schools.

At Wednesday night’s public hearing, about 60 Caliber families and students attended in Suisun City. Many families said that if there was no Caliber High School, they would leave the neighborhood because they cared about quality options in the city. The vote is due to take place on April 13.

“It was very disappointing to see that families advocating for quality public schools were forced to sit at the back of the room, often on the floor, barely visible to the council and unable to hear the debates that took place. were taking place inside,” Austin said. the Times-Herald on Friday. “Families speaking only Spanish were unable to participate because comment cards were only available in English. This shows how willing this office and county council are to ignore their own students and families. .

“The Caliber High School model would improve graduation and college attendance rates for Vallejo students by aligning GA requirements with graduation requirements, staffing clinicians in mental health at a rate nearly four times that of the average district school,” Austin continued.

Attorney Richard Soto wrote an email to Solano County Board Chair Teresa Lavell expressing his frustration.

He specifically had a problem with the VCUSD during his slide presentation, which quoted assemblyman Patrick O’Donnell. Soto argues that the legislative intent of the rebuttable presumption of denial, and a charter petition appeal to the county school board based on such a finding, misrepresents the actual legislative language under it. and are not indicative of legislative intent. As such, Soto says they should disregard O’Donnell’s statements.

“In general, a legislator’s personal understanding of a bill does not indicate the collective intent of the legislature in enacting that bill. Carter c. California Department of Veteran’s Affairs (2006) 38 Cal.4th 914, 928-9,” Soto writes. “Furthermore, “the statements of an individual legislator, including the author of a bill, are generally not taken into account in the interpretation of a law, because the task of the court is to determine the intention of the Legislature as a whole in enacting legislation.”

Soto also writes, “A charter authority cannot deny a charter petition unless it makes written findings of fact, based on the charter petition, setting forth specific facts in support of one of the findings. listed for denial under Education Code Section 47605(c)(1)-(8). A charter authority is NOT required, or mandated, to make any of these findings unless it has facts to do so to deny the charter application.

Caliber emphasized that they consider themselves part of the district and anticipates that their high school would represent less than two percent of the district’s overall budget, demonstrating that the district is able to support Caliber families.

Austin also raised the fact that Calibre, having only suspended two students since its founding in 2016, also has a strong restorative justice and SEL program.

Caliber has no connection with ELITE, a charter school located at 100 Whitney Ave. in Vallejo. Ramona Bishop, the former Superintendent of VCUSD, is the President and CEO of Elite Public Schools.

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We know how to close the success gap https://gicarg.org/we-know-how-to-close-the-success-gap/ Fri, 11 Mar 2022 23:45:23 +0000 https://gicarg.org/we-know-how-to-close-the-success-gap/ Creating a Minnesota where all children can thrive requires a serious examination of how we are failing to meet the needs of our most vulnerable populations. The reality is that Minnesota has some of the widest gaps in the nation when it comes to educational outcomes measured by race and socioeconomic status. Not only are […]]]>

Creating a Minnesota where all children can thrive requires a serious examination of how we are failing to meet the needs of our most vulnerable populations. The reality is that Minnesota has some of the widest gaps in the nation when it comes to educational outcomes measured by race and socioeconomic status.

Not only are our gaps large, but our students of color also perform worse in direct comparison to students of color in many other states. In eighth-grade reading assessments given to students nationwide, black students in Minnesota rank near the bottom (tied for 36th out of 41 states), black students in Georgia, Florida, and Mississippi scored outperform black students in our state. And our graduation rates continue to be among the worst in the nation for children of color.

A recently released Legislative Auditor’s report found that state leaders lacked a strategic plan or policy to improve educational outcomes for Minnesota’s increasingly diverse student population (“Audit indicates that Minnesota’s Efforts to Close the Achievement Gap Lack Clarity and Structure,” March 9). The good news is that research and experience have validated proven, successful educational interventions.

As we emerge from a pandemic that has disrupted learning for students across the state, the report underscores the need for policymakers to match financial investments in education with these bold, community-backed policy changes. research :

Quality early childhood education. To ensure a strong academic foundation before kindergarten, investments should be made in early learning scholarships that target low-income families and send children into high-quality programs. According to a new report, Minnesota meets only five of 10 quality criteria for early childhood education and ranks only 29th for preschool access for 3-year-olds and 37th for preschool access. access for 4-year-old children.

As the 2022 legislative session unfolds, with a record budget surplus available, now is the time to act to increase both the quantity and quality of early childhood education options.

Research-based tutoring programs. Trained tutors (including volunteers) can lead to significant academic gains, especially in elementary schools. In the aftermath of the pandemic, national leaders called for massive investment in guardians. Other states have started to act. For example, Tennessee is spending $200 million on a statewide tutoring program for 150,000 reading and math students. State and district leaders should invest in effective tutoring programs here in Minnesota.

Scientific literacy (explicit teaching of phonetics). The research is clear: we know how to teach children to read. Explicit and consistent instruction in phonics and decoding is fundamental to developing proficient readers. A dedicated phonetic program leads to better comprehension – as readers master decoding text, they free up mental space to understand increasingly complex words and themes and access a program rich in literature, history , science and arts.

Too many classrooms across Minnesota use “whole language” or “balanced literacy” curricula, which ignore decades of research and do not include enough explicit phonetic instruction to ensure that all students become good readers.

Increase teacher diversity. Minnesota has one of the largest gaps in the nation between our percentage of students of color and teachers of color. Having even one black teacher in elementary school makes kids more likely to graduate from high school and more likely to enroll in college, and teachers of color have an impact positive on the learning of students of all races.

One solution that has met with significant resistance in the Minnesota Legislature is to expand alternative and non-traditional paths to teaching careers. In recent years, policy makers have made some progress in this area, but not enough.

Transparency of school performance. Minnesota collects a lot of information about student and school performance, but it’s often difficult to find and interpret. Many families struggle to know if their school or district is doing well and if their child’s needs are being met. Many states have adopted “summative” school rating systems, which typically use a number of stars or a 1-100 rating scale to tell families how schools are performing. A redesign of the Minnesota report card is overdue.

We know what works to help all Minnesota kids learn. It is time for policy makers to act.

Daniel Sellers is Executive Director of the Ciresi Walburn Foundation.

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The Bilingual Program gives the children of Edmonds a bilingual education https://gicarg.org/the-bilingual-program-gives-the-children-of-edmonds-a-bilingual-education/ Fri, 11 Mar 2022 09:30:00 +0000 https://gicarg.org/the-bilingual-program-gives-the-children-of-edmonds-a-bilingual-education/ LYNNWOOD – Alex Toro dreaded going to school. He couldn’t understand what anyone was saying. That changed last year when 6-year-old Alex started kindergarten in the Edmonds School District’s new bilingual program. Now he is learning to read and write in his mother tongue, Spanish. His mother, Faviola Hernández, said that Alex loved school so […]]]>

LYNNWOOD – Alex Toro dreaded going to school.

He couldn’t understand what anyone was saying.

That changed last year when 6-year-old Alex started kindergarten in the Edmonds School District’s new bilingual program. Now he is learning to read and write in his mother tongue, Spanish.

His mother, Faviola Hernández, said that Alex loved school so much that he wished he could sleep there at night.

Until this year, Alex attended an English-only school. He was still confused, his mother said. When Hernández and her husband, Ismael Toro, heard about the program through College Place Elementary, they decided to give it a try.

“At first I considered taking him out because I was worried he wouldn’t learn English,” Hernández said in Spanish. “But his teachers assured me that he would learn English and Spanish. When he finishes high school, he will be bilingual.

Last fall, the Edmonds School District launched its bilingual English-Spanish kindergarten program at two schools – College Place and Cedar Valley Community School. Each year, the district plans to add another grade level to the program until it is open to all ages.

In the program’s inaugural year, kindergarten classes are taught 90% of the time in Spanish and 10% in English, said Mary Williams, director of multilingual education for the district. As students age, this ratio will change. By the time they reach college, it will be 50%-50%.

At College Place, approximately 50% of the student body is Hispanic. The English-Spanish program is open to students with any native language, including those who do not speak either.

Candace Haas-Jaramilla (right) helps Jafet Rivas at College Place Elementary School in Lynnwood. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)

“The main reason we’re doing this program is because we empower students,” Williams said. “So they can ultimately be stronger students in both languages. There is evidence that shows that when you are strong in your first language, it helps you grow and become stronger in your second language.

Carla Carrizosa is the manager of College Place. She said the program unifies people.

“I’m bilingual and bi-literate myself,” Carrizosa said. “This program offers families the opportunity to use their native language in a way that will educate their students, whether it’s Spanish or English.”

The director said the district is considering similar programs for other languages, such as Vietnamese.

Erika Rabura leads her class at College Place Elementary School in Lynnwood.  (Kevin Clark / The Herald)

Erika Rabura leads her class at College Place Elementary School in Lynnwood. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)

Families who don’t speak English at home often feel pressured to prioritize teaching English reading and writing to their children so they don’t fall behind in school. This can cause a sense of shame in students who are forced to give up their mother tongue at school.

“Right now, for students who speak Spanish as their first language, there is a sense of pride – pride that they are not just speaking their language, but learning to read and write their language” , said Carrizosa.

Carrizosa said the bilingual program has inspired cultural respect in the school’s leadership. Members of the school’s parent-teacher association are predominantly white, Carrizosa said. At a recent meeting, parents asked the principal how to diversify the PTA so that it accurately represents the student body.

“I feel like our dual language spearheads those interactions,” Carrizosa said. “For the PTA to say, ‘Look, we’re all white women here, and we want to change that. We want to see the PTA become more inclusive.’”

The program allows parents who do not speak English, like Hernández, to be able to help their children with their homework.

A student works on a spreadsheet at College Place Elementary School in Lynnwood.  (Kevin Clark / The Herald)

A student works on a spreadsheet at College Place Elementary School in Lynnwood. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)

Hernández and her husband moved to Lynnwood from Oaxaca, Mexico in 2002. She said they considered moving back to Mexico in 2018 when her father was diagnosed with cancer, but decided to stay in the United States. United so that Alex has more opportunities. She said Alex was so much happier since he started kindergarten.

“He will come home and be so proud,” she said. “He will talk about reading and writing activities in Spanish.”

And although the first year is mostly taught in Spanish, Hernández said, her son’s English has also improved. He has befriended English-speaking students, she says, and they sometimes speak in English at recess.

“Being bilingual will open so many doors for Alex,” she said. “With employment options but also to help others, even just at the grocery store – if a person feels more comfortable because someone understands what they’re saying, they feel less alone.”

Hernández heard about the kindergarten program from a friend.

“It benefits so many Hispanic kids who live here,” she said. “So many people lose all their Spanish when they go to school in the United States.”

An informational Zoom meeting on the program will take place from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday.

Interested in teaching your child English and Spanish?

Children entering kindergarten or first grade for the 2022-23 school year can apply to be part of the Edmonds School District Bilingual Program. For more information, visit the school’s website.

¿L’interesa que su hijo(a) aprenda dos idiomas?

El programa de lenguaje dual español/inglés del Distrito Edmonds is open for the incoming kindergarten y 1st grade for the year 2022 to 2023. For mayor information, ir al site web de la escuela.

Faviola Hernández’s quotes were translated from Spanish to English, with her permission, by Herald reporter Ellen Dennis.

Ellen Dennis: 425-339-3486; edennis@heraldnet.com; Twitter: @reporterellen.

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Kansas architecture, engineering and construction industry must step up efforts to support public education https://gicarg.org/kansas-architecture-engineering-and-construction-industry-must-step-up-efforts-to-support-public-education/ Thu, 10 Mar 2022 09:35:34 +0000 https://gicarg.org/kansas-architecture-engineering-and-construction-industry-must-step-up-efforts-to-support-public-education/ The Kansas Reflector welcomes opinion pieces from writers who share our goal of expanding the conversation about how public policy affects the daily lives of people across our state. Marcel Harmon is an anthropologist, engineer and former member of the Lawrence School Board. Eighty-five billion dollars – according to the 2021 State of Our Schools […]]]>

The Kansas Reflector welcomes opinion pieces from writers who share our goal of expanding the conversation about how public policy affects the daily lives of people across our state. Marcel Harmon is an anthropologist, engineer and former member of the Lawrence School Board.

Eighty-five billion dollars – according to the 2021 State of Our Schools Reportthe amount of American underinvestment in school buildings and land that occurs each year.

Approximately one-third of this variance is attributed to maintenance and operating deficiencies, while the other two-thirds is attributed to unrealized but necessary capital improvements. For Kansas, this annual discrepancy is about $375 million, or $1.17 million per district on average.

The gap is not evenly distributed. Between 2009 and 2019, high-poverty districts spent 37 percent less than low-poverty districts on improving school facilities, and Hispanic and Latino, Black, and Native American students are disproportionately represented in these high-poverty schools. poverty.

Those of us in the architecture, engineering and construction (an umbrella term for those who provide building design and construction services) industry understand perhaps better than most what ‘Such underinvestment means for the health and well-being of students and teachers, for the long-term success of students. , for district operating costs and for greenhouse gas emissions.

This growing, unevenly distributed gap has grown from $46 billion in 2016 to $60 billion in 2020 dollars and is the result of multiple factors. More directly, it’s the result of rising construction costs, increased school district building inventory, and the fallout from lower facility spending due to the Great Recession. But other long-standing issues arguably have a greater effect, such as funding major capital improvements primarily through local property taxes (which disadvantage poorer urban and rural districts), under- general assessment of public education (communities failing to secure school bonds, chronic state underfunding, and school closures first during a pandemic), as well as direct attacks from conservative lawmakers, governors and anti-public education activists.

As a result, we are less likely to see Net Zero or regenerative school facilities optimized for student learning and health/wellbeing. We are less likely to see well-ventilated facilities, school gardens, neighborhood schools, green cleaning policies, use of renewable energy sources, a district-level sustainability director, or facilities department well trained and fully staffed.

When school districts struggle financially to provide basic services, pay living wages to uncertified staff, or simply fix roof leaks – when educators and school board members are threatened and harassed in the wake of mandates for masks or books that might make white, straight, and cisgender children uncomfortable — then sustainable, healthy school environments and communities become much less of a priority.

Frankly, talking about it at this time may even seem frivolous.

the direct attacks state legislators and public school advocates are particularly insidious in that they reflect an organized effort to weaken public education while benefiting private schools and other special interests, often using issues of culture war or crises like the Great Recession and pandemic to amplify their efforts.

In Lawrence, where I live, over the next year we will need to determine what combination of staff reductions, program restructuring/cuts, and neighborhood school closures will be made to address budget shortfalls. As a community, we have invested millions of dollars in these facilities over the past decade to create better learning environments for our children while reducing their operational impacts on the planet. But the higher cost per pupil of our small neighborhood schools makes them “inefficient”.

Kansas has a long history of public schools enduring such attacks, and this legislative session is no different. Two specific examples include House Bill 2550 (a “school choice” bill), which seeks to shift already limited funds from public education to private schools and House Bill 2662 (a “parents’ rights” bill), which seeks to take control of programs away from local school boards and educators, add extra work to staff, increase financial constraints, and discredit districts and teachers.

These and others anti-public education bills of this session and the last decade, combined with significant underfunding that will take years to recover from, have taken their toll. The pandemic has only exacerbated all of this, bringing many teachers, administrators, and districts to breaking point.

In Lawrence, where I live, over the next year we will need to determine what combination of staff reductions, program restructuring/cuts, and neighborhood school closures will be made to address budget shortfalls. As a community, we have invested millions of dollars in these facilities over the past decade to create better learning environments for our children while reducing their operational impacts on the planet. But the higher cost per pupil of our small neighborhood schools makes them “inefficient”.

The benefits to students and the community are not recognized by our market economy’s narrow definition of value, conservative lawmakers, or Kansas’ education funding formula. If the money isn’t there and our community is arguing over school closures, staff compensation/retention, classroom sizes, sports to be cut, and associated inequities, to what extent do you think- do you think the focus is on achieving net zero schools, optimizing indoor environmental quality or creating a sustainability director position?

Short answer, not close enough. Similar stories can be found in other communities in Kansas as well as in other states.

Those of us in the AEC industry need to step up. Presenting benefits to clients, attending or speaking at conferences, or serving on professional committees is not what I am talking about. You have to be much better defenders. You’re going to have to play politics and help put school districts and their communities in a better position to do these things. Politics and governance are intertwined, and the collective action and decision-making needed to achieve the desired goals above depends on both.

As companies, as professional organizations or industry alliances, as individuals, we need to work with and support politicians, unelected officials and organizations that share these same goals. We must demonstrably and verbally stand up to those who work against these goals.

Maybe it’s speaking up at school board meetings, city/county commission meetings, or engaging with your state and federal officials. This may include writing opinion pieces for newspapers or industry publications. Maybe it’s about taking a definitive public stance on a specific issue as a business or professional organization. Perhaps it is about refusing work that is not aligned with these goals or denying professional memberships to those who are actively working against said goals. Maybe he gets involved with other advocacy and good governance groups (there are plenty in Kansas alone, from General public coalition to the League of Women Voters of Kansas) or explore methods to generate collective action at multiple scales.

Maybe it’s just brave enough to have a one-on-one conversation with someone. Or maybe you are running for office yourself. And not just the city, state, or federal offices that everyone thinks of, but also the school board, precinct committee member, water district, or whatever. Be prepared to serve on a local or state body of which there are a multitude of options, from planning commission to housing boards.

If we don’t step up, advocate and act to support public education, then equitable access to sustainable, regenerative and healthy schools will be more the exception than the rule. This $85 billion gap will only widen and we will more easily lose all the ground previously gained.

Through its opinion section, the Kansas Reflector works to amplify the voices of people who are affected by public policies or excluded from public debate. Find information, including how to submit your own review, here.

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ASU sends ‘acceptance letters’ to boost Phoenix high school students https://gicarg.org/asu-sends-acceptance-letters-to-boost-phoenix-high-school-students/ Thu, 03 Mar 2022 17:36:02 +0000 https://gicarg.org/asu-sends-acceptance-letters-to-boost-phoenix-high-school-students/ March 3, 2022 Initiative keeps potential Sun Devils on track to college As part of its mission to expand access to higher education, Arizona State University sent “letters of acceptance” to more than 1,450 Phoenix high school students at the start of the school year to keep them on the right track and demystifying the […]]]>
March 3, 2022

Initiative keeps potential Sun Devils on track to college

As part of its mission to expand access to higher education, Arizona State University sent “letters of acceptance” to more than 1,450 Phoenix high school students at the start of the school year to keep them on the right track and demystifying the university process.

Now, more than half of Phoenix Union High School District students who received the letters have applied to ASU and been officially accepted, according to Matthew Lopez, associate vice president of college business enrollment at ASU. and Executive Director of Admissions Services.

“What we were hoping would happen is a bit of behavioral psychology – that, ‘Hey, we got your back and you can do it’, and get that message out early,” he said.

About half of Phoenix Union seniors received letters telling them they had the 3.0 grade point average and 14 courses required to meet ASU’s admission requirements. The other half received letters telling them that they were close to meeting the requirements, with a GPA of 2.8 to 2.99 and in both courses, and what they needed to do to enter.

Juniors and rising sophomores also received a letter stating the number of required courses they had taken and the number of courses required per senior year.

The students were thrilled, according to Thea Andrade, chief achievement officer for the Phoenix Union High School District, which has 22 high schools.

“It created a really good energy on campus for our seniors,” she said.

“Two of them said, ‘Whoa, is this real? Which is good – we want them to question. Now the next step in the process will come with more confidence through these letters.

Lopez said one of the purposes of the letters was to demystify college admissions.

“I have no interest in making it a scary, anxiety-inducing process,” he said.

“It was really good to hear students say, ‘Oh, it was such a relief to know I was going to college.’

“If we can get this into the hands of more young people, as well as family members, I think we’ll start to see some of the accomplishments that we need in this state.”

The increase in the number of Arizonans with a post-secondary education is important to the state’s economy, as nearly 70% of jobs require it, according to Education Forward Arizona.

About 46% of Arizonans had a two- or four-year degree or a post-secondary degree in 2019, and the goal is to reach 60% by 2030.

Additionally, according to the Arizona Board of Regents’ 2021 Post-Secondary Education Attainment Report:

• In 2020, 46% of Arizona high school graduates enrolled in a two- or four-year degree program.

• Of students who pursue a four-year degree after graduating from an Arizona high school, about 68% choose one of the state’s three public universities.

• Based on current trends, only 17% of Arizona students will graduate within six years of high school.

Andrade said the Phoenix Union District has worked for many years to dispel two myths around the university:

“’Can I pay for college?’ The price displayed can give a shock,” she said. “And, ‘May I come in?’

“We’ve done a lot of work on affordability and need-based scholarships and working with the FAFSA, and we’ve made a lot of progress in the area of ​​’Can I afford it?'”

And they also worked with students to understand grade point averages, visit colleges, and untangle the process.

“It’s so that our children are as comfortable as they will be,” she said.

“The ASU letter was, for me, the icing on the cake of a long journey with many parts surrounding college culture.”

The acceptance letters were the latest action in a years-long initiative to increase college attendance in the Phoenix Union School District.

In 2018, Phoenix Union and ASU collaborated on a simple flyer that was sent to all ninth-graders, Lopez said.

“It was very non-technical in the initial iteration. The idea was to educate ninth graders about the admissions criteria,” he said.

One side was printed in English and the other in Spanish. Lopez made a video with district superintendent Chad Geston to build excitement around college readiness.

“Our desire was to help set that expectation on the first day of high school that they can do it. This is college material, even on the first day of ninth grade,” Lopez said.

Students had access to resources such as ASU’s Me3 major and career planning platform, as well as scholarship and financial aid tools.

“The most important thing was to keep them on track,” he said.

ASU and the district continued to send out information to huge groups of students, but the game-changer in fall 2021 was the personalized nature of the acceptance letters, Lopez said.

“What really changed is that through a partnership with the Arizona Department of Education and the ASU-Helios Policy Center, we were able to use individual student data and tailor our letters to the ‘student,’ he said, noting that each student’s data stays with the district, not ASU.

ASU hopes to expand the initiative to other school districts.

“We’d like to expand that so every student gets something like that,” Lopez said.

And reaching out to middle school students is also important.

“One hope is to start letters with eighth graders, because what we have found is that with ninth grade, they are already almost a semester behind because they picked their ninth grade courses year before I received the letters,” he said.

“In eighth grade, they can really think, ‘I need to take math, English, science, etc.’ and some of them, especially a foreign language or mathematics, must be sequential.

“If you get lost in math, it’s hard to get back on track.”

Andrade said district counselors have always done a good job working in classrooms to help students navigate course selection.

“These letters sparked conversations in counselors’ offices and got kids asking the right questions to stay on track – ‘Do I need to learn a foreign language? “And they’re talking about it before it’s too late.

Andrade said not every student would choose to go to college right after high school.

“But that doesn’t change our mission,” she said.

“If someone decides to pursue a bachelor’s degree in their twenties, they’ll remember that ‘ASU wanted me. “”

Top photo: Palm Walk on ASU’s Tempe campus. Photo by FJ Gaylor

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Elevate K-12 Announces Program to Help Students Prepare for Careers with Vocational and Technical Education Courses in School Districts Across the United States https://gicarg.org/elevate-k-12-announces-program-to-help-students-prepare-for-careers-with-vocational-and-technical-education-courses-in-school-districts-across-the-united-states/ Wed, 02 Mar 2022 19:00:00 +0000 https://gicarg.org/elevate-k-12-announces-program-to-help-students-prepare-for-careers-with-vocational-and-technical-education-courses-in-school-districts-across-the-united-states/ The live-streaming technology company helps students who don’t have access to a variety of courses succeed by offering an expanded curriculum. CHICAGO, March 2, 2022 /PRNewswire-PRWeb/ — Elevate K-12, the educational services company that provides high-quality, live instruction in K-12 classrooms, enables school districts across the country to deliver that they have never been able […]]]>

The live-streaming technology company helps students who don’t have access to a variety of courses succeed by offering an expanded curriculum.

CHICAGO, March 2, 2022 /PRNewswire-PRWeb/ — Elevate K-12, the educational services company that provides high-quality, live instruction in K-12 classrooms, enables school districts across the country to deliver that they have never been able to provide before.

Launched in 2015 as a solution to the lack of high-quality, certified educators plaguing schools across the country, the live-teaching brand recognizes the need for early exposure to an expanded curriculum beyond core classrooms. which allows students to develop areas of interest.

“‘Elective’ isn’t really the right word anymore,” Elevate K-12 CEO says Shaily Baranwal. “The world is moving towards acquiring skills rather than degrees. These courses go beyond basic courses by giving students exposure to the jobs of the future.”

From cybersecurity to IT, music to art, French to Spanish and German to American Sign Language, Elevate K-12 lives up to its name by improving the lives of students on markets without access to quality teachers for every subject and by enriching their minds with a solid curriculum that, in most cases, would not be accessible to them otherwise.

“Research shows that a child can learn up to six languages ​​if exposed to them at an early age,” Baranwal said. “It’s a small window of time that many schools can’t take advantage of.”

This was the case in Marlboro County school district of Caroline from the south, where it has been difficult to recruit teachers for core subjects. “We are struggling in our neighborhood,” said Barbara McCalldirector of human resources at Marlboro County School district. “We have a high turnover rate in terms of teaching staff, and we are not able to be competitive with our salary. Add to that the fact that we are in a very rural area and it is extremely difficult for us to recruit teachers for basic subjects, let alone language lessons.”

But this year, thanks to a new partnership with Elevate K-12, middle and high school students in Marlboro The school district can teach Spanish and American Sign Language.

“I was very impressed with the program,” McCall said. “Teachers are teaching in real time so they can interact with the kids. It’s really changed what we’re able to offer our students.”

Elevate’s network of talented teachers has made a big difference in Marlboro County The school district and plans for Elevate’s programming only continue to expand with more life skills and STEM classes in the works. With its robust course offerings, Elevate hopes to bridge the learning gap and create a culture of achievement for students in underfunded districts.

“Children need to be exposed to electives from an early age so they can choose the path they want to take,” Baranwal said. “The job of the education system is to align a student’s skills with their passion. We know that if people follow their passion, they will succeed. We have already seen a massive improvement in our students’ educational outcomes.”

About Elevation K-12
Elevate K-12 is a ChicagoNew York-based educational services company that brings high-quality live streaming instruction to K-12 classrooms. Schools and districts partner with Elevate K-12’s unique instructional solution to address issues of teacher shortages, overuse of long-term replacements, or poor quality teachers. Its technology service includes proprietary live instruction management technology, live instruction service, curriculum and classroom management to provide the tools for collaborative teaching and learning that mimics the experience of a real physical classroom. Elevate K-12 currently operates in 15 states and is rapidly expanding to new states across the United States in K-12 schools. For more information, visit http://www.elevatek12.com and follow us on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

Media Contact

Lawrence Turnermainland, 3125263996, lturner@hellomainland.com

SOURCE Elevation K-12

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Governor Polis speaks about affordable housing, child care and teacher retention during his visit to Glenwood Springs https://gicarg.org/governor-polis-speaks-about-affordable-housing-child-care-and-teacher-retention-during-his-visit-to-glenwood-springs/ Mon, 21 Feb 2022 01:00:00 +0000 https://gicarg.org/governor-polis-speaks-about-affordable-housing-child-care-and-teacher-retention-during-his-visit-to-glenwood-springs/ Governor Jared Polis speaks with Garfield County resident Roger Ben Wilson during a stop in Glenwood Springs on Thursday.Ray K. Erku / Independent Post Gov. Jared Polis’ election campaign brought him to Tequila Mexican restaurant in Glenwood Springs on Thursday night, where he spent time answering questions from local leaders and activists. Polis, running for […]]]>

Governor Jared Polis speaks with Garfield County resident Roger Ben Wilson during a stop in Glenwood Springs on Thursday.
Ray K. Erku / Independent Post

Gov. Jared Polis’ election campaign brought him to Tequila Mexican restaurant in Glenwood Springs on Thursday night, where he spent time answering questions from local leaders and activists.

Polis, running for his second term as governor of Colorado, was in the middle of a three-day swing, hitting 22 saves statewide on Centennial.

Discussion topics included housing, child care, the need for more Spanish translators, and the recruitment and retention of educators.



He also highlighted how the state responded to disasters like COVID-19, the Glenwood Canyon wildfires and debris slides beginning in the summer of 2021.

“In the midst of all of this, I was truly so impressed to see the great resilience of the people of Colorado,” Polis said.



The last three years for Garfield County under Polis’ leadership have seen a whirlwind of major events. Eighty-nine residents died of COVID-19, while the Grizzly Creek Fire and subsequent debris slides have exacerbated displacement and economic hardship.

And when the cost of living rises, the average sale price of a single-family home in Garfield County continues to hover around $660,000.

The Polis administration reacted to housing inflation by asking if the state should do more to push more affordable housing construction.

“We are working very aggressively to partner with cities and counties to create more housing close to jobs in a thoughtful and planned way, so that we don’t put more traffic on the roads, so that we don’t. let’s not add more air pollution,” Polis said. “We’re excited to help communities like Glenwood have more affordable housing, close to jobs, which is especially difficult in the high country.”

The high cost of housing and living in Garfield County has also caused difficulty in recruiting and retaining educational staff for school districts. The Roaring Fork School District just passed a factory tax waiver to be used to get an additional $7.7 million to raise teacher salaries.

At the other end of Garfield County, the District of Garfield Re-2 is currently trying to make health care packages more affordable.

Polis said the state’s current proposed education budget is a “record increase.”

That’s almost a 9% increase,” he said. “What that means is an increase of about $13,000 for a class of 25 students.”

Polis also spoke about other ways the state is trying to strengthen education.

“In addition to the 9% increase in school funding law, we are separately sending an additional $90 million to school districts for special education,” Polis said. “Then distributed according to special education accounts to meet the needs of our learners who have special needs.”

Gov. Jared Polis addresses voters during a stop in Glenwood Springs on Thursday.
Ray K. Erku / Independent Post

Local Spanish interpreter Jen Quevedo also asked Polis what it is doing at the state level to provide more access to the Spanish language in all institutions, such as schools and police departments.

“Our hospitals don’t have interpretation,” she says. “Nonprofit organizations that accept federal grant money don’t have access to interpretation. Counties, municipalities, they have no proper interpretation.

Polis said the state created the New Americans Initiative in 2019, which employs Coloradans who came to the United States as immigrants or their children, according to the website.

“They mostly work with people who have arrived within the past two decades,” he said. “And so he’s probably our language contact person, and I’m going to ask him to contact you.”

Local attorney Karl Hanlon asked about health care and how Polis plans to reduce small business policy costs.

Polis, which has enacted new health insurance policies aimed at keeping premiums lower for individual and small group markets, said this Colorado reinsurance program saves money for people who don’t. are not insured by their employer.

“The last thing we did was the Colorado options policy, which includes small group markets. What the Colorado public option does is it will reduce rates by about 15% on the small group market over the next two years.

The election for the Colorado gubernatorial race will take place on November 8.

Journalist Ray K. Erku can be reached at 612-423-5273 or rerku@postindependent.com

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Amid the pandemic, Sonoma County’s high school graduation rate has increased, but disparities have also widened https://gicarg.org/amid-the-pandemic-sonoma-countys-high-school-graduation-rate-has-increased-but-disparities-have-also-widened/ Thu, 10 Feb 2022 21:48:54 +0000 https://gicarg.org/amid-the-pandemic-sonoma-countys-high-school-graduation-rate-has-increased-but-disparities-have-also-widened/ Gabe Albavera, principal of Elsie Allen High School, shared some of the challenges his students have faced during the pandemic, from exposure to disease to difficulty accessing reliable internet and even pressure from work to help support their families. “Many were. hit hard,” he said. Many “were concerned about their health, both physical and mental.” […]]]>

Gabe Albavera, principal of Elsie Allen High School, shared some of the challenges his students have faced during the pandemic, from exposure to disease to difficulty accessing reliable internet and even pressure from work to help support their families.

“Many were. hit hard,” he said. Many “were concerned about their health, both physical and mental.”

As hybrid learning approaches in the spring, and especially during the current school year, Albavera said, her staff have been working to provide a sense of normalcy, even as the pandemic continues to take a heavy toll. tribute to students and school communities.

“I don’t think we’re there yet,” he said.

District-wide data

The crisis was far from over when the California Department of Education released data in early January on graduation rates, chronic absenteeism and assessments from last spring.

School officials are facing a deluge of requests during the new academic session amid a surge of COVID cases linked to the omicron variant.

Keeping schools open and functioning has been the top priority, more so than diving into last year’s data, officials said.

“We had to act quickly on the data we need to make immediate decisions,” said Santa Rosa City Schools Superintendent Anna Trunnell, such as student and staff absences.

By mid-January, she said, her district was “preparing to start these discussions” on academic indicators.

Educators typically point to graduation as a “lagging” indicator — because it conveys information about the end of a student’s public school career, giving the district no other chance to change the outcome.

“I think what people have come to over the last two years is really seeing the need for data closer to the student experience, the day-to-day lived experience, rather than wait for graduation rates to be released,” said Jennie Snyder, assistant superintendent of educational services for the Sonoma County Office of Education.

Still, the data offers insight into school districts’ abilities to get students to an important academic benchmark that can have lifelong implications for their earning capacity, health, and well-being.

While the statewide four-year graduation rate has fallen slightly over the two years of the pandemic — from 84.5% in 2019 to 83.6% last year — the Sonoma County saw an increase from 81.9% before the pandemic to a graduation rate of 83.9% in 2021. By 2020, the rate had dipped slightly, to 81.1%.

Districtwide, 80.4% of Santa Rosa seniors graduated in 2021. The rate is lower than the county and state, and several other local school districts also achieved higher rates.

“We would definitely like to see our graduation rates higher,” Trunnell said. “That’s always our goal.”

In the West Sonoma County Union High School District, 94.8% of seniors graduated in 2021. In the Windsor Unified School District, 92.2% of seniors graduated. Cotati-Rohnert Park had a 91.8% graduation rate, while schools in the city of Petaluma saw 88% of their seniors graduate in 2021.

Mayra Perez, superintendent of Cotati-Rohnert Park Unified, said she was both pleased with the district’s numbers but wanted to see more growth.

“We can do better,” she said. “I always want to do better.”

She and other district officials touted the decision they made last year at Rancho Cotate High School to move to a new schedule during distance learning. Instead of six periods, the school reduced to four periods per day each semester. Students said they felt they could concentrate more with fewer periods per day, enough that the school decided to stick with the schedule change this year.

“We didn’t have to change our graduation requirements in any way,” Perez said. “The program was the one that supported the students.”

“A very special year”

Santa Rosa was one of the few local school districts that changed its graduation requirements last year, reducing the credits needed to the state minimum. Trustees and board members who endorsed the change said the move was necessary amid a sharp rise in failing grades among seniors.

The California Legislature also granted some leniency to students through Assembly Bill 104, which, among other things, allowed them to ask their school districts to change low grades to pass/fail grades. success. The purpose of this bill was to help more students meet college graduation and admission requirements, as well as retain financial aid that may have a GPA requirement.

For students in Sonoma County, the pandemic came on the heels of a four-year period marked by repeated disruptions — fires, power outages and floods — that led to many seniors missing, on average, 18 days from school during their time in high school.

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Rochester students left public schools during pandemic, budget hole remains https://gicarg.org/rochester-students-left-public-schools-during-pandemic-budget-hole-remains/ Wed, 09 Feb 2022 22:15:00 +0000 https://gicarg.org/rochester-students-left-public-schools-during-pandemic-budget-hole-remains/ In the fall of 2020, when Dr. Angela Thompson found out her three children would be returning to Rochester Public Schools in a hybrid classroom, the recurring schedule didn’t work for her or her husband, who owns a restaurant. That’s how she and her partner found themselves homeschooling their kids — it gave them stability […]]]>

In the fall of 2020, when Dr. Angela Thompson found out her three children would be returning to Rochester Public Schools in a hybrid classroom, the recurring schedule didn’t work for her or her husband, who owns a restaurant.

That’s how she and her partner found themselves homeschooling their kids — it gave them stability on which to build their work schedule.

“If we just have the program and just homeschool, we’ll eliminate any possibility of problems with the hybrid. [learning],” she said. “We tried to keep some consistency.”

The Thompson children are among a net 660 children who left the school district in the first year of the pandemic and have not returned. About half have left the region or state. A quarter left for private schools or homeschooling. Others went to nearby neighborhoods.

With those departures, about $8,000 in funding per student was spent, according to the district.

It’s a phenomenon unfolding in school districts across the state, said Deb Henton, Minnesota Association of School Administrators.

“We are seeing declining enrollment since the start of the pandemic, families have chosen different options for their students due to their own family needs and due to the uncertainty of sending their students to school,” a- she declared.

Some parents worry about their children getting sick, some worry about COVID mitigation measures.

Henton said schools have seen more children return this school year, but not always enough to erase associated budget shortfalls.

“It’s related to funding,” Henton said. “And so it’s very difficult for school districts to continue to offer the type of programs that they had in the past.”

Academic and social concerns

Parent Jessica Cruz said the hybrid model adopted by the school district for the 2020-2021 school year was difficult for her kindergarten and first grade.

“I think the students didn’t get the level of instruction they should have had,” she said. “I found that my two children, who were doing quite well academically, actually regressed during that year.”

Cruz is among the parents who have moved their children to the nearby school district of Byron, where she says her children are receiving a more rigorous education. There were no periods of distance learning. Her children have not been quarantined despite close exposures to COVID because her children wear masks every day at school – even though they are optional.

Cruz said that while she and her family take COVID-19 seriously, she felt the mitigation measures in the Rochester School District ignored the academic and social needs of students.

“School should be a priority, both academically and from a student mental health perspective,” Cruz said.

Aleta Borrud (right) holds a sign outside a Rochester Public Schools Board meeting in Rochester, Minnesota in July 2021.

Evan Frost | MPR News 2021.

Meanwhile, Thompson, who said she generally supports COVID mitigation measures and vaccination against the virus, worries that masking children will come at the expense of their academic and social development.

Looking at other countries that haven’t required children to wear masks in school, Thompson said she’s frustrated the district hasn’t considered more targeted masking policies.

This is one of the reasons she now sends her children to a local Catholic school. Although her children are still required to wear masks there, she said her school seemed more willing to make them optional.

“We have a very high prevalence of eligible people who have been fully vaccinated in our county. So, from this point of view, it would be the moment to discuss [optional masking],” she said.

A growing gap

In previous years, Rochester Public Schools has predicted enrollment with remarkable accuracy, often coming within one percentage point of the estimate of the number of students it will serve each year.

But in the 2020-2021 school year, that number dropped by 4.6% due to the unexpected nature of the pandemic.

Still, unenrollment directly related to the pandemic is not the main driver of the deficit, Acting Superintendent Kent Pekel said.

It’s a growing gap between student enrollment and staff.

“Enrollment has increased in Rochester public schools by about 8% over the past 12 years. Our staff numbers have grown much faster – about 31%. And so obviously that’s not a strategy. sustainable given that all of our funding is dependent on enrollment,” he said.

The construction of new schools, which were approved before the pandemic, will also incur short-term costs. While these facilities may open at a lower capacity than expected, Pekel is confident the space will eventually be filled.

The budget shortfall, which predates the start of Pekel’s term, was on the district’s radar under its former superintendent, who resigned last spring after it was revealed he had plagiarized school communications.

Fixing the deficit will require quick action, Pekel said. Earlier this week, the board approved a plan to reduce its shortfall by $7 million by eliminating budgeted but open positions and making program cuts.

In the following school year, the district may experience more painful cuts. And the school board is considering a referendum to raise funds.

Meanwhile, Pekel said it was essential to keep tabs on why children are leaving.

“I’ve always said that the most important solution to our financial challenges is to be the provider of choice for Rochester families, for all Rochester families.”

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