Life of Learning http://wesa.fm en What Changing Views of Zero Tolerance Mean for Pittsburgh Public Schools http://wesa.fm/post/what-changing-views-zero-tolerance-mean-pittsburgh-public-schools <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Pittsburgh Public Schools</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> may be modifying its Code of Student Conduct to reflect <a href="http://www.post-gazette.com/local/2014/07/21/Proposed-changes-in-the-Student-Conduct-Code-emphasize-progressive-and-positive-discipline/stories/201407190129">changing attitudes on zero tolerance</a>. With input from parents, educators and students, the school board will vote Wednesday on whether or not to decrease the use of exclusionary discipline, such as expulsion and suspension, among other changes.</span></p><p><a href="http://www.elc-pa.org/staff/cheryl-kleiman/">Cheryl Kleiman</a>, a staff attorney with the Education Law Center, was one of the collaborators in the new proposal.</p><p>“The Education Law Center has been looking at school discipline and zero tolerance policies in Pittsburgh, around the state and nationally for years...zero tolerance policy&nbsp;is a policy that assigns predetermined punishment to a specific violation of school rules regardless of the situation or the context."</p><p>Kleiman goes on to say, while it's become the norm nationally, zero tolerance rules have come&nbsp;under scrutiny because they are viewed as too rigid.</p><p>"The changes that are being voted on tomorrow night reflect a lot of stakeholder input," said Kleiman. "Parents, students, educators, teachers, as well as recent federal guidance on this issue. And reiterates the concerns for zero tolerance policies and instead provides more support and resources for school districts to minimize exclusionary discipline while keeping the schools safe." Tue, 22 Jul 2014 21:48:57 +0000 Essential Pittsburgh 33015 at http://wesa.fm What Changing Views of Zero Tolerance Mean for Pittsburgh Public Schools At Summer Seminar, Students Learn to Think Critically About Global Issues http://wesa.fm/post/summer-seminar-students-learn-think-critically-about-global-issues <p></p><p>For a small group of local teenagers, part of their summer has been spent learning to think critically about global issues. For the past two weeks the students have been learning Mandarin Chinese and Arabic, hearing speakers who work in the international community and learning from one another in the 2014 Summer Seminar of Global Issues.</p> Thu, 17 Jul 2014 19:33:27 +0000 Erika Beras 32775 at http://wesa.fm Parents Say Reading Not a Summer Priority for Children http://wesa.fm/post/parents-say-reading-not-summer-priority-children <p></p><p>Only 17 percent of parents believe reading is a top summer priority for their children.</p><p>That’s according to Reading is Fundamental (RIF) and Macy’s, which released a survey regarding parents’ attitude’s towards reading Wednesday.</p><p>The survey also showed that children spend almost three times as many hours weekly watching TV or playing video games as they do reading during the summer.</p><p>Kathryn Heffernan, Pittsburgh’s RIF assistant director of communications and development, said accessibility to books is one of the issues.</p> Wed, 18 Jun 2014 20:23:36 +0000 Jessica Nath 31153 at http://wesa.fm Going Beyond the Girls' School: Ellis Innovation Institute to Pilot, Research, Share Best Practices http://wesa.fm/post/going-beyond-girls-school-ellis-innovation-institute-pilot-research-share-best-practices <p>The Ellis School has launched the new Learning Innovation Institute to pilot, create and share innovative practices with the ultimate goal of improving learning outcomes for students and teaching outcomes for instructors.</p> Fri, 06 Jun 2014 11:58:16 +0000 Deanna Garcia 30445 at http://wesa.fm Schools and Libraries Confront Summer Learning Loss http://wesa.fm/post/schools-and-libraries-confront-summer-learning-loss <p>As the school year ends, summer learning loss, or "summer slide," might begin.&nbsp; According to the National Summer Learning Association, the loss amounts to about two months in math for all students and two months in reading for low-income students, while unequal access to summer learning opportunities might &nbsp;account for half the achievement gap between low- and high-income students.</p> Fri, 06 Jun 2014 10:00:00 +0000 Charlee Song 30271 at http://wesa.fm Is Teacher Absenteeism An Issue For Pittsburgh Public Schools? http://wesa.fm/post/teacher-absenteeism-issue-pittsburgh-public-schools <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Last week, the National Council on Teacher Quality (</span>NCTQ<span style="line-height: 1.5;">) <a href="http://www.nctq.org/dmsStage/Pittsburgh">released a roadmap to enhance teacher effectiveness</a> in Pittsburgh Public Schools. The report was commissioned by the Urban League of Greater Pittsburgh and A+ Schools. Kate Walsh, CEO of the National Council on Teacher Quality explains some of the good that has come along with the roadmap and Pennsylvania’s teachers.</span></p><p> Tue, 27 May 2014 21:14:01 +0000 Essential Pittsburgh 29914 at http://wesa.fm Is Teacher Absenteeism An Issue For Pittsburgh Public Schools? Students Learn from Trout in the Classroom, And Outdoors http://wesa.fm/post/students-learn-trout-classroom-and-outdoors <p>A 55-gallon fish tank sits to the side of Frank Todd’s 8th grade classroom at Moon Area Middle School, west of Pittsburgh. The water inside is so cold you can’t even see into the tank because of the water collecting on the outside.<br /><br />Todd’s using the condensation to teach about how gases and liquids behave.&nbsp; It’s 52 degrees in the tank because that’s the temperature needed to sustain Brook trout. The tank is home to about 100 brook trout fingerlings—juvenile fish about the length of a finger.<br /> Fri, 23 May 2014 16:48:23 +0000 Kara Holsopple | The Allegheny Front 29745 at http://wesa.fm Students Learn from Trout in the Classroom, And Outdoors High Schoolers Build Drones To Detect Gas Leaks, Measure Air Quality http://wesa.fm/post/high-schoolers-build-drones-detect-gas-leaks-measure-air-quality <p>For the last two months, more than 20 students at Winchester Thurston School in Shadyside have been building drones.</p><p>Part of a cross-curricular project led by science department chair Graig Marx and computer science department chair David Nassar, students were divided into seven teams and tasked with building a “quadcopter” with the ability to measure, report and analyze natural gas levels.</p> Fri, 16 May 2014 17:04:55 +0000 Michael Lynch 29320 at http://wesa.fm For Pittsburgh and Ecuadorian Students, Food Serves as a Cultural Bridge http://wesa.fm/post/pittsburgh-and-ecuadorian-students-food-serves-cultural-bridge <p></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">When Erick Rivas arrived in Pittsburgh last week, he had one thing on his mind: “la comida.”</span></p><p>“I really enjoyed trying different types of food,” he said through a translator. “Being friends with the teens here was a great experience.”</p><p>The 15-year-old is one of six students visiting the U.S. from Quito, Ecuador as part of the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh’s Scaling the Walls/Escalanda Paredas cultural exchange program.</p> Thu, 08 May 2014 13:29:08 +0000 Michael Lynch 28863 at http://wesa.fm For Pittsburgh and Ecuadorian Students, Food Serves as a Cultural Bridge Life of Learning: A Deeper Look In Innovative Education http://wesa.fm/post/life-learning-deeper-look-innovative-education <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">From flipped classrooms to blending the arts and sciences, what does it take to bring innovative approaches to the classroom? </span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Technology and innovation are being utilized as teaching methods by several school districts in the greater Pittsburgh area. This innovation has been recognized as the Pittsburgh area recently received the </span>Tribeca<span style="line-height: 1.5;"> Disruptive Innovation Awards in New York and was the only city to get the award.</span></p> Fri, 02 May 2014 23:43:01 +0000 Essential Pittsburgh 28583 at http://wesa.fm Life of Learning: A Deeper Look In Innovative Education Getting Students to Grow, Eat Local Foods http://wesa.fm/post/getting-students-grow-eat-local-foods <p>Food service directors, district officials and farmers are gathering at a conference in Pittsburgh today to talk about getting more locally grown produce into cafeterias. Schools around the country are now required to offer fruits and vegetables.</p><p>
But it can be a challenge to get kids to actually eat the healthier items. &nbsp;Schools that are having success in the cafeteria say they’re making food part of the regular curriculum.&nbsp;</p> Fri, 02 May 2014 07:30:00 +0000 Julie Grant 28537 at http://wesa.fm Why This Struggling School District Is Reviving Creative Electives http://wesa.fm/post/why-struggling-school-district-reviving-creative-electives <p>Daniel Funk’s construction technology classroom at Sto-Rox High School is literally buzzing with activity.</p><p>Students are confidently working with heavy duty power tools as they finish building small hanging display cases.</p><p>“Right now we’re working on the drawers,” said senior Asa Powell. “The drawer fronts are probably the hardest, because they have the knobs and whatnot."</p><p>Powell said he regularly looks forward to Funk’s class.</p> Thu, 01 May 2014 07:30:00 +0000 Liz Reid 28462 at http://wesa.fm Why This Struggling School District Is Reviving Creative Electives How These Pittsburgh-Area Students Are Turning Poetry Into Robotic Theater http://wesa.fm/post/how-these-pittsburgh-area-students-are-turning-poetry-robotic-theater <p>“A diorama on steroids.”</p><p>That's how Susan Mellon describes what she’s doing in her Springdale Junior and Senior High classroom, where students are combining poetry with computer technology and engineering.</p><p>“Kids tend to be a little intimidated by poetry, so I thought this would take something they’re intimidated by and don’t like and make it fun,” said Mellon, a gifted support coordinator at the school.</p> Wed, 30 Apr 2014 11:48:15 +0000 Deanna Garcia 28197 at http://wesa.fm How These Pittsburgh-Area Students Are Turning Poetry Into Robotic Theater From Biology To Music, Bringing Science And Technology To Every Classroom http://wesa.fm/post/biology-music-bringing-science-and-technology-every-classroom <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Dream. Discover. Design.</span></p><p>That’s the motto of Pittsburgh Science and Technology Academy in Oakland, a public magnet school focused on the STEM fields: science, technology, engineering and mathematics.</p><p>Essentially, the entire middle and high school shines a spotlight on innovation.</p><p>“The whole idea is tinkering, so we play, we tinker, we fail, we figure out what we did wrong, and we work again,” said Ann Gollapudi, who teaches physics and computer science at SciTech.</p> Tue, 29 Apr 2014 11:49:13 +0000 Liz Reid 28318 at http://wesa.fm From Biology To Music, Bringing Science And Technology To Every Classroom Flipping The Classroom Turns Classwork, Homework Model On Its Head http://wesa.fm/post/flipping-classroom-turns-classwork-homework-model-its-head <p>When you think back to your school days, or even if you’re still in school, you likely sat through numerous lectures, then went home and worked on math or science problems on your own. &nbsp;</p><p>Now, some teachers, such as Sue Marino at Chartiers Valley High School, are turning the traditional notion of schoolwork and homework on its head by “flipping the classroom.”</p> Mon, 28 Apr 2014 07:00:00 +0000 Deanna Garcia 28154 at http://wesa.fm Flipping The Classroom Turns Classwork, Homework Model On Its Head Pittsburgh-Area Students Tackle World Water Crisis http://wesa.fm/post/pittsburgh-area-students-tackle-world-water-crisis <p>According to the United Nations, nearly 800 million people around the world don’t have access to clean water — a daunting challenge for political leaders, humanitarians and scientists, but it hasn’t stopped a group of Pittsburgh area students from working on a solution.&nbsp;</p><p>”We actually didn’t realize how extensive it was until we did all of our research,” said&nbsp;Kambree Love, a junior at South Fayette High School. &nbsp;</p> Fri, 18 Apr 2014 07:30:00 +0000 Kevin Gavin 27734 at http://wesa.fm Is MyPath 101 a New Path to Success? http://wesa.fm/post/mypath-101-new-path-success <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">According to the Princeton Review fifty percent of college students change their major at least once. A Pittsburgh company has developed an app called </span><a href="http://mypath101.com/" style="line-height: 1.5;">MyPath101</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> to help students graduate on time.</span></p><p><a href="http://www.rachelgogos.com/" style="line-height: 1.5;">Rachel Gogos</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;">, CEO of </span>MyPath101<span style="line-height: 1.5;">, described the app in 3 parts.</span></p><p> Mon, 14 Apr 2014 21:22:16 +0000 Essential Pittsburgh 27536 at http://wesa.fm Is MyPath 101 a New Path to Success? Could 'Community Schools' Work in Pittsburgh? http://wesa.fm/post/could-community-schools-work-pittsburgh <p>Educators, administrators and parents from across the country are gathering in Cincinnati for the next three days to discover how to best coordinate support services for students and parents beyond the classroom.</p><p>About 30 Pittsburghers, including Board of Education members Carolyn Klug and Sylvia Wilson, the city’s chief education officer Curtiss Porter, teachers and representatives of Great Public Schools Pittsburgh are attending the Coalition for Community Schools' annual forum&nbsp;to “learn how they help the children succeed” according to Klug.</p> Wed, 09 Apr 2014 07:30:00 +0000 Kevin Gavin 27219 at http://wesa.fm How North Allegheny Schools Are Getting Kids Excited About Exercise http://wesa.fm/post/how-north-allegheny-schools-are-getting-kids-excited-about-exercise <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;&nbsp;</span></p><p>In an effort to combat the rising obesity rates in Allegheny County, physical education instructors in the North Allegheny School District have taken steps to ensure students coming out their system are devoted to lifelong fitness.</p><p>Dave Schmidt, the district's Health and Physical Education Department chair, said that over time his department has shifted from a team sports-based curriculum to one that focuses on lifetime exercise activities.</p><p> Fri, 04 Apr 2014 19:38:44 +0000 Katherine Blackley 27041 at http://wesa.fm How North Allegheny Schools Are Getting Kids Excited About Exercise Allegheny County Live Well Project Shows Students How to Bring Healthy Habits Home http://wesa.fm/post/allegheny-county-live-well-project-shows-students-how-bring-healthy-habits-home <p><span style="color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Georgia, Times, serif; font-size: 15px; line-height: 22px;">Nearly 1 in 3 school age children in the Pittsburgh region is overweight or obese. Last January Allegheny County launched the <a href="http://www.livewellallegheny.com/">Live Well project</a> to improve the health of county residents, particularly students, through health and fitness. It’s one of the leading health initiatives undertaken by Dr. Fri, 04 Apr 2014 17:50:40 +0000 Essential Pittsburgh 27023 at http://wesa.fm Allegheny County Live Well Project Shows Students How to Bring Healthy Habits Home A Conversation on Food and Physical Education for Allegheny County Students http://wesa.fm/post/conversation-food-and-physical-education-allegheny-county-students <p></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">The major components of living a healthy life are learning about and eating healthy food and the importance of physical fitness.&nbsp;</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">With 54 schools in the Pittsburgh Public School System and nearly 26 thousand students, getting them fed requires planning and adherence to government guidelines for nutrition.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">In some cases, the food for Pittsburgh public schools is prepared offsite, at a facility in the South Side.&nbsp;</span></p><p>Curtistine Walker, director of food service for Pittsburgh Public Schools explained “the only schools that receive meals from the satellite site, or I guess you could call it our plant, are those schools that don’t have full service kitchens and right now, there’s probably about 20 that don’t.”</p><p> Fri, 04 Apr 2014 17:25:27 +0000 Essential Pittsburgh 27024 at http://wesa.fm A Conversation on Food and Physical Education for Allegheny County Students Roughly 20 Percent of the World Population is Learning Differently With Dyslexia http://wesa.fm/post/roughly-20-percent-world-population-learning-differently-dyslexia <p>Some of the <a href="http://www.dyslexia.com/famous.htm">most notable people</a> in modern history have been diagnosed with the learning difference known as dyslexia.</p><p>Inventors, entertainers, authors and politicians have excelled in spite of -- or because of -- the unique way their minds work. But reading, writing, and even speaking can be an ongoing challenge as well, and proper support can help.</p><p>Christine Seppi is the chair of the <a href="http://www.pbida.org/index.html">Pittsburgh region of the Pennsylvania Branch of the International Dyslexia Association</a>, and organizer of an upcoming conference on diagnosis and management of learning differences. She also has an adult son with dyslexia. Wed, 02 Apr 2014 21:02:47 +0000 Essential Pittsburgh 26898 at http://wesa.fm Roughly 20 Percent of the World Population is Learning Differently With Dyslexia How The Homewood Children's Village Is 'Re-Weaving the Fabric of the Community' http://wesa.fm/post/how-homewood-childrens-village-re-weaving-fabric-community <p>In the 19th century, wealthy white Pittsburghers, including&nbsp;George Westinghouse and Andrew Carnegie, created estates in Homewood, which was a pastoral and welcome respite from the foul air generated by the industry.&nbsp;</p><p>By 1940, the population was diverse, middle class and about five times larger than it is now.</p> Tue, 25 Mar 2014 16:10:04 +0000 Charlee Song 25978 at http://wesa.fm Life of Learning Forum: Investment in Pre-K Critical to Future Educational Success http://wesa.fm/post/life-learning-forum-investment-pre-k-critical-future-educational-success <p></p><p>Last week, a panel of experts gathered at the Community Broadcast Center to discuss what the future of the learning/education system should look like to be as effective as possible for the region’s children. The public forum tackled a range of questions from the audience, including the state of early childhood education.</p> Mon, 24 Mar 2014 00:55:52 +0000 Deanna Garcia 26261 at http://wesa.fm Life of Learning Forum: Investment in Pre-K Critical to Future Educational Success Life of Learning Public Forum: What Should Pittsburgh's Future Education System Look Like? http://wesa.fm/post/life-learning-public-forum-what-should-pittsburghs-future-education-system-look <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Join </span>us&nbsp;<span style="line-height: 1.5;">for a 90.5&nbsp;</span>WESA<span style="line-height: 1.5;"> <a href="http://wesa.fm/topic/life-learning">Life of Learning </a>community forum on the evolution of learning in Pittsburgh. Come and ask questions and help us help the community grow.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">It will be held on Tuesday, March 18th at the Community Broadcast Center on the South Side at 67 Bedford Square.&nbsp; Doors open at 6:30 and the forum begins at 7. Among the topics posed, we'll explore:</span></p> Thu, 13 Mar 2014 17:55:23 +0000 Tammy Terwelp 25800 at http://wesa.fm Life of Learning Public Forum: What Should Pittsburgh's Future Education System Look Like?