Friday, February 27, 2015

Our Schools Are In Crisis: Life In the Petri Dish

Beginning March 2, 2015 children in grades 3 -11 will take a standardized online test called the PARCC. 

It is extremely important that all families understand the enormous change that is coming about in the lives of our children. Your children will be anxious and will need your love and understanding more than ever before. The information in this post is intended to provide you with the information currently available about the experiment that is the PARCC online standardized test.  

Save and read these documents thoroughly.

This is the latest OFFICIAL update on the PARCC from the NJ Department of Education. It contains comparisons between the PARCC TEST and the ones your children took in the past. (NJASK, HSPA) A letter from David Hespe, Commissioner of Education State of New Jersey.

PARCC refusal information is included from the Statewide organization.
If you are not refusing the Test, you must still actively participate in order to help your child do well. Please share this email with your friends and neighbors. 
  • Your children will need more rest and support during this crucial time. Help them reduce this inevitable stress. You know what makes your child feel happy and secure.
  • Experts agree that teenagers and young children need 8-10 hours of sleep in order to be well rested and ready to perform.
  • If you transport your children to school, make sure that they are on time.They should get up earlier.
  • They should eat a good breakfast with as little sugar as possible.
  • If your child eats breakfast at school and takes the bus, pay close attention to the bus schedule. Make sure that the bus gets your child to school early enough to eat a breakfast low in sugar. A hungry child will not do well on the test.
  • Understand that the young children may not know how to communicate their feelings of stress and anxiety. (Grades 3-11 will be tested online.) 
  • The test will last several days. Check the calendar.
  • Look for signs of stress and allow your children time to decompress when they come home from school. A good cup of hot chocolate or whatever makes your child feel loved and nurtured will go a long way in helping them feel more confident.
  • Random hugs and kisses will definitely ease the anxiety.
  • Please plan ahead. 
This is the link to Englewood's corrected PARCC standardizd testing schedule.  Check this calendar on the Englewood Public School District Website regularly. Contact your child's school if you have problems.

UPDATED: Graduation Requirements for the classes of 2016, 2017, and 2018

A List of Refusals by County
Step by Step Refusal Information

Pearson's Test Coordinator Manual For Teachers

"It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men." Frederick Douglass

                             "...And how are the children?"

Friday, February 6, 2015

HERE AND NOW: Please Move Their Seats!

I would like to officially ask 
Howard Haughton,
President of the Englewood 
School Board

that he require Glenn Garrison 
and Stephen Brown sit apart 
at school Board

It is distracting to 
the public and disrespectful to 
the Chair for these 2
School Board Members to continue 
to have their own little meeting 
within the Public Meeting.

This behavior is in violation of the
New Jersey Open Public Meetings Act.

Mr. Haughton. Please move their seats!.... They are like 2 children in a classroom who crave
attention. The behavior is annoying and impairs one's ability to concentrate on the content of the meeting. It is also insulting since they appear to sleep through public comments.

New Jersey's Open Public Meetings Act        "The Sunshine Law"

"New Jersey’s Open Public Meetings Act, known as “The Sunshine Law,” is designed to ensure that decision-making government bodies in the state conduct their businesses in public except in specific circumstances where exclusion of the public is needed to protect the privacy of individuals, the safety of the public or the effectiveness of government in such areas as negotiations or investigations."
In other words, all of that whispering during School Board Meetings is inappropriate
bordering on illegal.