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New Leaf Community Markets - Everything for Healthful Living!
  Santa Cruz Parent Santa Cruz County

August 16, 2012

K-8 or K-5 and 6-8 ?

Suki: A Boy at 13

Science Fun with Christine: Biggest Quakes in the US
Textbook Shopping? Check out these Sites!
This Week
MAH: Metal Festival
Click to view our Business Directory
 

(Books/Products) book_InspiringMiddleSchoolMinds.jpgBack to school -kindergarten, grades, high school or college-- the children go, excited, hesitant, scared, cheerful, reluctant or teary. We parents are the same. It's all part of the process of letting go, allowing others to be mentors to our children and hoping they will interact successfully during "recess". That is precisely why it is so important for us to be informed parents about our students' school environments.

Last week we shared a list of questions to ask when visiting preschools. A reader wrote to us that she had to pull her son out of a preschool where he was scared by the stories a teacher was reading which reflected her personal political agenda. So dear parents, for those who care, we add another question to our list, "Do you promote/foster/float any political positions in your school via any part of the curriculum at any time?"

Historically, in sequence, our public and charter schools were comprised of:
1. One room school houses (all grades) or home schooling
2. K-8 schools and High School
3. K-6, Jr. High and High School
4. K-5, Middle School, and High School
5. and s growing home schooling population

I'm late to the K-8 or K-5 & 6-8 party!  All these years I thought it was just Santa Cruz County that adopted the middle school model and that it was for declining student population / economic reasons.  Now I learn it has been a national trend and, according to some, not grounded in empirical evidence. I recently became aware that there is a movement back to the K-8 model. Actually, if you look around, some schools don't get caught up in "new and better" waves.  We share with you a few articles on the "Back to K-8 model movement". 

Children in the 12-14 ages bounce between childish and maturing behaviors in the wink of an eye.  As a teacher they are the most delightful, challenging, amusing, rewarding and frustrating to work with.  As parents we are very needed to guide them through this transition stage.  Read the articles and think about what's best for the children.  Read Suki's thoughts on 13 year olds.  Enjoy!

The parks are bursting with family activities.  The calendar is full of family friendly eventsPreschools and Home Daycares await your inquiries.  Schools with space available are welcoming visitors.  Enrichment Classes are forming.

Have a great summer weekend, Parmalee

  K-8 or K-5 and 6-8 ?

Bullying and the middle school years: The case for K-8 by Marsha Sutton

(Photos General) JrHigh_BoysBand.jpgAll the recent media coverage on bullying reminded me of several lectures I attended a few years ago by a UCLA psychology professor whose area of expertise is young adolescent peer relationships and school adjustment. Her lectures focused on bullying, peer group conformity among young teens, and middle school.

Jaana Juvonen, chair of UCLA's developmental psychology program, addressed bullying as it relates to the middle school years, and she offered some interesting, research-based evidence that isolating young adolescents in separate middle school facilities may be a flawed practice.


Juvonen's research, as explained on her Web site, has examined "the development of some questionable peer group norms and values that seem to surface at the time when students transfer to middle school."
Juvonen also served as adjunct behavioral scientist at RAND Corporation in 2004 where she worked with colleagues to produce a book titled "Focus on the Wonder Years: Challenges Facing the American Middle School."


According to the book's summary, the middle school years represent a critical time for young teens who "undergo multiple physical, social-emotional and intellectual changes that shape who they are and how they function as adults. The schools young teens attend play a critical role in shaping these futures."
The summary states that "middle schools have been called the Bermuda Triangle of education and have been blamed for increases in behavior problems, teen alienation, disengagement from school, and low achievement."


Some findings from Juvonen and RAND include: Read the rest of this article>>>


Stuck in the Middle, How and why middle schools harm student achievement by Jonah E. Rockoff and Benjamin B. Lockwood

The Question:
(Photos General) JrHigh_FoolinAround.jpgMiddle school. The very words are enough to make many Americans shudder with memories of social anxiety, peer pressure, bad haircuts, and acne. But could middle schools also be bad for student learning? Could something as simple as changing the grade configuration of schools improve academic outcomes? That's what some educators have come to believe.

States and school districts across the country are reevaluating the practice of educating young adolescents in stand-alone middle schools, which typically span grades 6 through 8 or 5 through 8, rather than keeping them in K-8 schools. The middle-school model began to be widely adopted almost 40 years ago. Now, reformers in Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Tennessee, Oklahoma, Maryland, and New York, and the large urban districts of Cincinnati, Cleveland, Philadelphia, and Baltimore, are challenging the notion that grouping students in the middle grades in their own school buildings is the right approach.

Why the turn against middle schools? Read more about the study>>>


Board eyes K-8 School Model by Elizabeth Murray, Special to the Reporter, Jun. 28, 2012

Does the K-8 school configuration lead to more student success than the grade 6 through 8 middle school configuration? The Boston Public Schools Committee examined this question last Wednesday at the Edward Winter Chambers in Boston.

(Photos General) JrHigh_3Girls.jpgThe featured speaker of the evening was Dr. Martin West, an assistant professor of education at Harvard School of Education. His research examined the success rates of students in both New York and Florida enrolled in K-8 schools versus those enrolled in middle schools. West said this subject does not normally receive much attention as many school districts seem to think the middle school configuration has always been employed.


"There's actually been a lot of change over time," West said during the hearing. "Traditionally the model was that there was a single K-8 school, later a high school added on top of that. . . In the 1960's, the case was made for the advent of the middle school model serving students as young as grade 6. The case for these models was that adolescents had unique needs that would be best served by placing them in this school that was devoted specifically to addressing those needs."

According to West's research, there is a drop in student success rates during the transitions from a kindergarten through fifth (K-5) grade elementary school to a grades 6-8 middle school. Further, the students do not seem to recover from this drop as they advance through middle school, and in the case of West's Florida research, even into high school. West also looked at the transition of students from K-6 schools to 7-8 middle schools and found the same drop, only this time at the transition from sixth to seventh grade.  Read more>>>


K-8 Comeback by Debra Bell Geiser, BS

(Photos General) JrHigh_2Boys.jpgBecause middle school education (grades six through eight) in the United States has struggled in terms of academic achievement, school districts in several states are returning to the K-8 model. Reform is underway in Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, and Tennessee, and districts in at least eight other states across the nation are considering merging their middle schools and elementary schools into K-8s.


The authors of a new study comparing academic achievement in K-8 schools with middle schools in Philadelphia note that the resurgence of the K-8 model is based on research showing that K-8 students have higher levels of math and reading achievement. They caution, however, that these conclusions are based on case studies and anecdotal evidence and not enough on actual comparative studies of the two school structures.


Researchers Vaughan Byrnes and Allen Ruby from the Center for Social Organization of Schools at Johns Hopkins University took a more rigorous approach to comparing academic achievement between the K-8 and middle school models. They took advantage of a "natural experiment" in the Philadelphia City School District to investigate student achievement as the district implemented a K-8 conversion policy.


Employing a multi-level modeling approach and a substantially larger sample size than preceding studies, Byrnes and Ruby looked at math and reading scores on standardized tests for 40,883 Philadelphia 8th graders. These students came from 39 middle schools, 42 established K-8 schools, and 14 newly formed K-8 schools across five classes from the 1999-2000 to the 2003-2004 school years.  Continued>>>

 

 

 

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  Suki: A Boy at 13

(Photos General) SukiRedHead_138.jpgThe big news in our town recently was that a thirteen-year-old boy was shot and killed in his neighborhood. Police say the boy had gang ties, though his mother and a counselor who worked with him said he'd been turning his life around. My son is thirteen. It's hard to look at lives like his next to lives like my son's and make sense of it.

It sounds like the adults in his life were trying to do the right thing. But when I read the headline, with its emphasis on gangs and police, it made me think of how little sense our systems make when you compare them to what we know about brain development. I was blown away some months ago when I read the book Inspiring Middle School Minds by Judy Willis. Willis has the impressive creds of being a pediatric neurologist who changed careers to be a middle school teacher. Not only does she get kids' brains, she gets kids.

What I learned from Willis and from other people studying and writing about brain development is that we have it all wrong when it comes to how we're dealing with teenagers... Continue>>>

 

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  Science Fun with Christine: Biggest Quakes in the US

This article is for those who think California will slide into the ocean after a big quake. Probably not going to happen. Of course this makes me happy because I am on the ocean side of the San Andreas Fault. I would be doing the sliding.

So where does all the slippin' and slidin' happen? Check the USGS link below. Alaska wins, hands down. Alaska has the biggest, and 9 out of the top 10. The number 2 biggest happened in the Cascadia subduction zone. This is the same kind of quake that happened in Japan last year. It would cause major damage to Seattle and Portland, and could generate an enormous tsunami. When this quake happened in 1700, it hit Japan with a tsunami. I guess Japan returned the favor last year.

Once you move out of Alaska, there was a biggie in...Read more!>>>

More posts at Science Fun with Christine Cockey, local scientist and mom.

  Textbook Shopping? Check out these Sites!

(Graphics) BooksClassicLook.jpgAmazon Textbook rental service -save up to 70 percent.

Chegg -textbooks to rent

Calibre -lists multiple e-book retailers

Overdrive -search multiple libraries at once

Project Gutenberg and Feedbooks -public domain books for novels or

BIGWORDS -book price shopping

  This Week

(Ads) SantaCruzParentFacebook.jpg(BUILT IN) (Icons/Graphics) Text_Calendar.jpgBelow is only a partial list

of upcoming events and activities.

Click on our EVENT CALENDAR.

Submit your event!


Check the Events Calendar for More Fun!

 

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School Corner

Seek schools with small classes, unique enrichment classes  and teachers who are passionate about serving children and their families.

Click Here!

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Plastic Free: How I Kicked the Plastic Habit and How You Can Too

Sunday 1-2pm

Living Plastic-Free:
Five years ago, after learning about the devastating effects of plastic pollution on the environment and human health, Beth Terry began an experiment to see if she could live without buying any new plastic. Since then, she has reduced her plastic waste to less than two percent of the national average. That experiment turned into the popular blog MyPlasticFreeLife.com and new book, Plastic-Free: How I Kicked the Plastic Habit and How You Can Too.

During her talk, Terry will share solutions, stories, and the reasons why, despite what critics assert, our personal actions really do make a difference. Beth will be available to sign books and answer questions after her presentation.

Seymour Center
100 Shaffer Rd,
Santa Cruz
831) 459-3800

(Special Event Images / Graphics) Movie_FantasticMr.jpgFree Family Movie Night

Fantastic Mr. Fox
August 22, 7pm

 

Admission is free with a donation to Santa Cruz City Schools through the Santa Cruz Education Foundation.

 

Donations of cash, gift cards and classroom materials will be accepted at the Del Mar on the night of the event.

Del Mar Theatre
1124 Pacific Ave
Santa Cruz

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Visit the parks!

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 MAH: Metal Festival

(Special Event Images / Graphics) MAH_MetalSparks.jpgA two day festival exploring the art of metal working. Sign up for all workshops in advance
Saturday, Aug. 18, 11-am - 5-pm

$5 General Admission, $3 Student

Join us for ongoing demonstrations and workshops in metal working including blacksmithing, junk metal art, metal jewelry, wire art and welding. Demonstrations will be ongoing in Abbott Square and our Front Street Entrance. A one week only metal art exhibition in the atrium will showcase work by all the metal artists involved in the event. Enjoy the demonstrations, drop in activities and one week exhibition on metal art. Interested in a more hands on experience with metal? Sign up for an artist-led workshop!


DEMONSTRATIONS

(Special Event Images / Graphics) MAH_WendyBallen21-199x300.jpgEd Martinez: Scavenged Art - A site specific urban scavenger artist demonstrating effects on different metals using found materials.

Nora Dougherty: Jewelry Making - 3-5pm Demonstrations on metal jewelry making.

Wendy Ballen: 3D Wire Sculptures - Wire art demonstrations making figures, forms and designs.

Mike Wood: Blacksmithing - Live blacksmithing demonstrations all day.

Paul Hempstead, Chris Cravey, Ari Finkelstein and Benjamin Osen: Freak Bikes - On display is a compilation of tools, appliances, and cargo-carrying devices, all powered by the humble bicycle. Included are such creations as a bike blender, a hacked tandem independent drive, center-pull brake grabber tool, and more. Plus, join us for a gathering of Tallbikes, Freakbikes, Swingbikes and other wild contraptions that you can try out on the Test Track!

Toni Danzig and Dawn Nakanishi: Metallic Quilt Participatory Demo - Join in on hammering, texturing, and coloring metal pieces of recycled metal. Each visitor's personalized small copper and aluminum piece will be tied together to form a collaborative metallic quilt by the end of Experience Metal.

Aaron P. Van De Kerckove: Oxy-Acetylene Welding - Ongoing demonstrations in welding - Liz Judkins, Daniel Yasmin and Nick DeFillipo: Bronze Bell Casting - Watch a live bell pour, sand casting and see an inside glimpse into the process of foundry work.

Re-Cycle Santa Cruz, Liza Miller: Re-Cycled Motorcycles - Learn about the process of fixing old motorcycles and getting them back on the road again.

Ed Martinez, Pat Accorinti - Re-Cycle Santa Cruz - Laamie Young from Blank Verse -


WORKSHOPS - Visitors are encouraged to sign up for all workshops in advance. There are different registration fees for each workshop in addition to the cost for general admission.

(Special Event Images / Graphics) MAH_Noradougherty1-171x300.jpg11am-1pm - Laamie Young from Blank Verse: Chain Mail Necklaces - Mend broken jewelry in a workshop that creates new necklaces from old metal scraps. Ages 8 and up. 15 student maximum.

 

11am-12:45pm and 1:15-3pm - Pat Accorinti: Silver Clay Charm Making - Make your own silver clay charm using PMC.


1:30-3pm and  3:30-5pm - Toni Danzig and Dawn Nakanishi: Craft a Copper Bracelet - Start with a strip of copper and learn how to texture, stamp, emboss and decorate your own cuff bracelet. Learn techniques in applying patina and buffing copper for your own finished bracelet to take home.

 

705 Front St, Santa Cruz
(831) 429-1964 •website Santa Cruz

 

Back to K-8 Model?
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Back to K-8 Model?
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Back to K-8 Model?
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Contra Dancing
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  Contra Dancing
Santa Cruz Dance
Date: The 3rd Fri of every month from 8:00pm to 10:00pm
Ages: 7+
Details: Contra couples dancing for beginners and experienced dancers
Special Instructions: Usually Third Friday, Check website.
City: Felton view all details >>
     
Paso Robles Olive Festival
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  Paso Robles Olive Festival
Paso Robles Main St Association
Date: 08/17/2013
Ages: all
Details: Olive Inspired Fun
City: Paso Robles view all details >>
     
Back to K-8 Model?
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  Back to K-8 Model?
Date:
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Back to K-8 Model?
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  Back to K-8 Model?
Date:
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Back to K-8 Model?
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  Back to K-8 Model?
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Hot Rods for Kids Car Show & Raffle
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  Hot Rods for Kids Car Show & Raffle
Walnut Ave Women's Center
Date: 08/18/2012 from 10:00am to 5:00pm
Details: Hot Rods for Kids Car Show and Raffle, fantastic raffle items!
Special Instructions: www.HotRodsForKids.com for vehicle registration or vendor application
City: Watsonville Phone: (831) 426-3062 view all details >>
     
     
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