|March 08, 2011||Tupelo School Board March 8 meeting||no comments|
|March 06, 2011||Union County dad to address school board||no comments|
|February 15, 2011||Tupelo adds makeup date||no comments|
|February 01, 2011||Tupelo High's new schedule||no comments|
|January 31, 2011||After the snow: Teachers adjust because of time missed during January||no comments|
|January 26, 2011||Learning Pad: Parkway teachers use iPads to boost lessons||no comments|
|November 23, 2010||Tupelo High Super Bowl commericals||no comments|
|October 20, 2010||Joyner balloons||no comments|
|October 04, 2010||Suspensions, expulsions dip||1 comments|
|September 29, 2010||Early childhood education summit||no comments|
Live blogging from Tupelo School Board Meeting:
Tuesday, March 8
Board elects new officers for the next year: President Amy Heyer, Vice President Eddie Prather, Secretary Beth Stone.
I spoke this weekend with Brian Randle, the father of the East Union High School student whom was seen being punched by another student in an online video.
In the video, Randle's son, a 16-year old special needs student, appears to be totally caught off-guard when he was struck by another student in the school's gym.
Randle said that he planned to address the Union County School board at Monday's 5 p.m. meeting. Although law prohbits Union County Superintendent Ken Basil from disclosing what discipline was handed down in this case, Randle said he will advocate that the violators are sent to the district's alternative school.
"In my opinion, what would be considered fair would be if they had at least alternative school and some counseling," Randle said. "There is something inside a child that would make them do this. I think they need counseling. It wouldn't hurt to make them do a little community service in a special needs facility."
Randle said that he has received an outpouring of support from people around the country since the incident. Many have left messages for him on Facebook, and he has even heard from TNA Wrestling, which apparently is an anti-bullying advocate.
"I would have never dreamed the support would come like it has," he said.
Randle said that when he saw the video for the first time, he had difficulty controlling his emotions.
"I had rage and anger and then I was crying," he said. "I can't explain what I went though.
"He is one of the most lovingest kids you could be around, and it crushed me. It broke my heart to see it happen to him."
The Tupelo Public School District on Tuesday added a day to the end of its school year to replace the Feb. 10 snow day. May 24 will now be the last day for students, and May 31 will be the final day for teachers.
Tupelo previously added Feb. 18, Feb. 21, April 25 and May 23 to replace its other snow days.
The district has also canceled its early-release days scheduled for Feb. 23 and March 9 in order to increase instruction time for students. The district has three early-release days remaining: March 30, April 13 and May 16. Those afternoons will be used for training for teachers.
While we're on the subject of school makeup days, here is a fun unscientific poll. Ginna Parsons here at the Journal recently told me that the Weather Channel ran a poll asking if students would rather make up snow days during spring break or by adding days to the end of the year. Most of those respondents said they would rather give up spring break. What would you choose?
The Tupelo School Board voted at its meeting today to use a block schedule at Tupelo High School beginning in the fall.
Under the new schedule, students will take four 90-minute classes each day. They will take four different courses during the second semester than they take during the first semester.
The school currently offers seven 50-minute classes that span both semesters. Although some students are given permission to take an eight course instead of a lunch break, most students can only earn seven credits in a year. Under the new schedule, they will be able to earn eight.
A team of teachers and administrators from THS have been studying the block schedule since October and even visited three schools in DeSoto County that use block schedules.
They said on Tuesday that the longer courses will allow teachers to include more depth in their classes.
Teachers said they would have more time for group discussions and for students helping their peers who are struggling to grasp a concept. Research shows that those two strategies greatly increase how well students retain new material.
Teachers would also have longer planning periods, 90 minutes instead of 50 minutes.
Lee County Schools already use block schedules.
What do you think? Do you have experience in block schedules? What do you see as the advantages or hazards?
From today's NEMS Daily Journal ...
Getting students and teachers back into a rhythm after Christmas break is generally difficult, said Amy Alexander, who teachers senior English and oral communications at Nettleton High School.
Add several snow days at the beginning of the new semester and the challenge is magnified.
In case you missed this from the education page earlier this week ...
TUPELO - Parkway Elementary first-grade teacher Georgia Marlin stood in the back of a classroom last week watching several 6- and 7-year-olds flick their fingers across the glowing screen of an iPad device.
While some students played various math games on the devices, others answered addition and subtraction questions displayed on a screen that projected what was on their teacher's computer.
"It sure is a lot different than when I was in school," the 16-year teaching veteran said.
Like many districts across the country, the Tupelo Public School District has been actively adding technology to its classrooms. All of its sixth- to 12th-grade students were supplied with laptop computers, and many classrooms are equipped with special projectors that allow students to interact with the images that are displayed on screen.
Students in Braden Bishop's economics class at Tupelo High recently used their MacBooks to create Super Bowl-style commercials as part of a class project. Subjects include a car dealership, soft drinks, candy bars, chips, sun glasses, hair gel and personal hygiene products, to name a few. Most of the commercials feature students as actors, with the MacBooks used to record them, but a few just used music and graphics.
The work is a good example of how the school's students are using their MacBooks to produce projects.
Which ones do you like best?
On Friday, roughly 150 second graders from Joyner sent letters attached to balloons into the mercy of the winds. Today they received their first response, principal Jason Harris said.
The school received a letter from a man in Cottondale, Ala., which is located near Tuscaloosa in the western part of the state.
Each of the student's letters described the student and his or her hometown and asked for the recipient to respond by sending a letter to the school. The students will use the responses for geography lessons.
According to an Associated Press story (with information from the Clarion Ledger) that was posted on our website, the number of students who were expelled or suspended from Mississippi schools has fallen significantly since the 2005-06 school year.
The Clarion Ledger story quotes Shane McNeill, director of the state Office of Healthy Schools, who credits the improved student behavior on an increase in exercise in local schools.
What have you seen in your schools? Have you noticed similar trends? How much do you feel better exercise and dieting has to do with the improved student behavior? What other factors have you noticed that could be contributing?