Students and teachers in New York City and around the country are back in their classrooms on Monday, and many will hold discussions on the school shooting on Friday in Newtown, Conn. SchoolBook wants to know how students and teachers are processing the information together.
Newtown, Connecticut, is a small town nestled in Fairfield County. It is home to roughly 27,000. Its main street, Churchill Road, winds through the town center past restaurants and shops and Colonial style homes draped in Christmas decorations.
Two experts weigh in on how to discuss Friday's mass school shooting with children. The primary concern, they said, is to emphasize to young people that they are safe.
A professor and a hip hop icon have teamed up to help high school students use popular music techniques like rhyme and keen observation to communicate science concepts. The idea is to let students be brilliant about a topic, and to express complex ideas in a way they enjoy. The project will culminate in a musical showdown this spring.
Schools on the city's "early engagement" list have finished up their meetings with education officials. They now wait to see which schools the Education Department will propose for phase-out. SchoolBook spent time at the Juan Morel Campos Secondary School which is facing possible closure for the second year in a row.
A report by the city comptroller's office shows that some consultants, hired by the Education Department to provide special education services to students, billed the city for services provided in the middle of the night or for 15-hour days. The report's findings of possible fraud have been turned over to the city's Special Commissioner of Investigation.
Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott said Wednesday that without a teacher evaluation agreement, which comes with an increase in state funding, there could be major cuts to New York City schools. But his laying out of grim consequences was met with a call to untie much needed education money from the deal, and politics, altogether.
Naoual Eljastimi is the kind of chemistry teacher who assigns homework every day and yet receives impromptu hugs from students at Leon M. Goldstein High School. She is one of seven city teachers to receive this year's Sloan Awards for Excellence in Science and Math.
With $300 million in state funds on the line, the January deadline for reaching a teacher evaluation agreement in New York City looms large. The United Federation of Teachers and education officials agreed to a framework long ago. Now it's down to the excruciating details of how to make it work.
Students, who have perhaps the greatest interest in how their schools perform, are also thinking critically about how the Department of Education grades high schools each year. A group of students taking part in a youth leadership program examined the reports and compared them to the realities they know of their own schools.
A group of candidates running for mayor of New York City debated which education policies they would support as the race begins to carry mayoral control and school reforms into the post-Bloomberg era.
The overall number of suspensions declined by more than five percent last school year, and longer-term suspensions showed an even greater drop. But some of the same trends remained: African-American students and students with disabilities were disproportionately suspended from school at higher rates than their peers.
About 15,000 students are in schools relocated to other buildings after storm Sandy. The students at P.S. 288 on Coney Island are adjusting to the new routine. Some said the comfortable coach buses make it feel like a field trip that happens every day.
Middle school students from I.S. 211 return to their home building in Canarsie on Thursday thanks largely to the hard work of the custodial staff who worked long days to ready the building for classes again.
While the use of school buildings as shelters makes sense in the short term they are not necessarily meant for the long-term sheltering of displaced people. Take a listen to the discussion about school facilities and emergency planning.
As of Thursday morning, the Education Department said all schools are open to students for the first time since Sandy hit the region. Many students expressed relief to be back, even though some are getting used to life in new buildings for the foreseeable future. Students from Scholars' Academy in the Rockaways settled in to a new home at P.S. 13 in East New York.
Three high schools opened Wednesday serving the dual purpose of educating its students and sheltering people displaced by the storm. A small sample of the Brooklyn Tech school community revealed little concern about sharing space with evacuees for now.
Teachers used Election Day, technically set aside for professional development, to offer help to people struggling in parts of the city devastated by Sandy.
Campaigning. Compromising. Figuring out how to represent the people. Student leaders talk about what it means to be a part of student government at their schools, including one overarching rule that could serve the nation's politicians: Don't make any promises you can't keep.
School officials are scrambling to re-route buses and get the word out to parents about the start of school Monday. While most students will return to the classroom on Monday, about 100 schools will not open, including schools in eight buildings that are serving as emergency shelters for people displaced by Sandy.