January 16, 2014 |
Gov. Christie's call in Tuesday's State of the State address for lengthening the school day and year drew initial support, but it also raised some questions - and some eyebrows. His proposal came one day after he vetoed a popular bill that would have allowed a study of full-day kindergarten - an inconsistency to some observers. Others wondered where the money and resources to support a longer day and year would come from. And still others questioned whether any changes would be a collaboration between the state and local districts or whether they would simply be imposed.
December 25, 2013 |
Most area school districts were closed Monday for winter break, though a few, including Philadelphia, scheduled a regular day of classes. Not that it was a regular day at many schools. "We watched Home Alone and Home Alone 2 ," said one teacher at Philadelphia Learning Academy North, a district alternative school in Feltonville. And while some teachers planned full lessons, others did crafts, handed out work sheets, or gave pupils the opportunity to make up missed work.
December 8, 2013 |
It was all Nicole Munger had been thinking about for a while - game day. So you can imagine that, when the morning of the first contest of the Central Bucks West girls' basketball season arrived, it was hard to pay attention during school. Especially with the junior guard and the rest of the Bucks clad in their black-and-gold travel suits, high-fiving one another as they passed in the halls, getting encouraging words from fellow students between classes. Friday night, the Bucks took all of the energy and excitement surrounding the season and turned it into a nonleague victory over host West Chester Rustin, 71-55.
October 11, 2013 |
Halloween has been called off at one Montgomery County school. Why, though, is up for debate. In a letter to parents Tuesday, Inglewood Elementary School principal Orlando Taylor said he canceled parades and parties to comply with district policy. Quoting district regulations, he wrote that holidays such as Halloween and Thanksgiving are viewed by some to have "religious overtones. " And the Constitution, he wrote, bars the endorsement of religion in schools. But after some parents at the Lansdale school complained, North Penn School District officials said Taylor had missed the point.
October 2, 2013 |
The blueberry muffins are Calvin Bell's favorites, but Monday's apple muffins, plus accompanying pears, clearly hit the spot for the Camden sixth grader and his classmates, who were tucking into their school-provided breakfasts served up during homeroom. "A-OK," was Calvin's verdict. "Delicious. " Last year, his school, Camden's D.U.E. Season Charter School, greatly increased the number of students served the morning meal, according to a new report, by turning to "breakfast after the bell" - offering free and reduced-priced breakfast after the school day's start instead of before it. Calvin, 11, gave the practice a thumbs-up, too. "When you don't eat, you concentrate on your stomach," he said.
September 5, 2013 |
Our daughter came into the room to model her outfit, a sweet top and circle skirt, as she might for one of her first days of elementary school. Except it's not. It is her last first day of school. She is thrilled. We are, decidedly, less so. As a friend said of her son over the weekend, "He's still a junior until school starts. " And then school starts, a moment of annual delight that has been rendered bittersweet. This is our second child, our last. Her brother left two autumns ago. The parting was easier knowing she was still around.
September 5, 2013 |
Come September, most kids can count on one thing: the start of school. But many families make sure their students-to-be can rely on something else: a personal back-to-school tradition. From baked goods that serve as tokens of parental support to those first-day-of-class photo sessions, moms say it gives them and their kids something to look forward to each year, and helps just a little to ease the first-day jitters. Mimi Larkin has a great deal of experience with the subject: 14 years to be precise.
July 15, 2013 |
My first dog loved me and I her. Queenie would sit on my house's back stoop and await my arrival from school. I'd open the gate and hear her whimper some 50 feet away. As we eyed each other, she would begin swaying anxiously. I'd stoop down, place my book bag on the ground, and still she stayed put. Then I would put my hands out and yell, "Here, Queenie," and only then would the little cocker spaniel leap from the stoop and run, ears flapping behind her head, into my waiting arms.
June 20, 2013 |
Gov. Corbett's administration - along with city and state officials - is working to assemble a funding package that could pump as much as $100 million more into the coffers of the Philadelphia School District, according to sources with knowledge of the high-level talks. But the money, which could include federal funds the state would send to the cash-strapped district, might come with hefty strings attached, they said. The additional aid would be contingent on the district's ability to obtain major concessions from the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers, including requiring teachers to work a longer school day and contribute to their health-care coverage, sources said.
June 19, 2013 |
RECENTLY I took part in one of the most powerful and essential events I have ever attended. About two dozen parents and about 20 schoolchildren from several Philadelphia public schools took ourselves, along with 4,000 letters written to legislators by students K-12, to Harrisburg. Our goal was to personally deliver the letters and our opinion on the current school budget crisis to Gov. Corbett. We decided to go to Harrisburg to give our legislators and their leader the opportunity to make a firsthand connection between the numbers on their spreadsheets and the faces of the human beings standing in their offices and in the Rotunda.