Friday, December 2, 2011

Year-Round Schools Make Sense - 1975 Editorial

Year-Round Schools Make Sense

July 2, 1975

The annual American madness known as Summer Vacation is now underway and reminds us again that year-round schools make a lot of sense in more ways than one.

For well over two centuries, our education system has been geared to an agricultural economy that demanded youngsters to be free in the summer to help with the farming.

Today, when the industrial and technological eras have long superseded our rustic beginning, we continue to force two thirds of the population to compete madly for three months of fun and games.

Motels, resorts, national parks and scenic highways - almost deserted for most of the year - now cram in the customers and charge three times the going rate for everything in order to carry the facilities through the next "off season."

Schools stand idle, inviting vandalism; and businesses struggle with summer slump and overworked staffs filling in 'behind vacationing employees.

What slaves we humans are to habit.

A few communities around the country have found a better way - one all of us might find worth while looking into.

In 28 states, two million children are attending year-round schools, or have an option to do so. They get the same amount of vacation as before, but it is spaced out over the year.

A popular plan consists of four "attendance groups" having 45 days of school followed by three-week vacations. The breaks are scheduled in rotation so that when one group starts a new group returns to fill the school rooms, at any given moment, 75 pct. of a student body is a school.

Advocates of this plan are enthusiastic. It cuts down the need for classrooms and equipment, keeps the expensive school buildings operating year around, and improves the quality of education.

It is the latter advantage that sparks a growing interest in the arrangement.

"We're convinced it provides a better education," says Bruce Campbell, a New Jersey State school official who helps promote the growing movement through the National Council on Year-Round Education.

The U.S. News and World Report found that about 78,000 students are now on 12-month schedules. Most districts discovered through achievement tests that there was slight improvement in average scores. The biggest gain in education quality appeared to be an increase in pupil interest, and decreases in absenteeism and vandalism.

Breaking the year into shorter segments with more frequent vacations reduces boredom, tension and disorder. It gives more opportunity for elective courses of short range but high interest. Students who fail can make up quickly without falling behind their classmates. Gifted pupils have a larger selection of subjects to fill their minds.

The National Association Education was skeptical at first, but now says teachers usually decided they like the system after a fair trial.

Personally, I dislike summer vacations. All travel facilities are crowded, and I miss two or three weeks of wonderful weather in my own Beautiful Ohio. I like eating under my grape arbor, barbecuing hot dogs with friends, and playing golf on the course five minutes away.

I get grumpy when I find the gates of Disney World closed at 9:30 in the morning, or all the camping spots taken, or the "No Vacancy" signs winking at me in the dead of the night.

I much prefer winter vacations when I can join all other "snow birds" in sunny climes, but the sacrosanct school custom pushes me out on the turnpikes in search of a change of scenery for my youngsters.

But I must cut this short.

The family is waiting impatiently in the Magic Chariot, and we've got to put 600 miles behind us before we get to sleep in a strange bed.

When I get back I promise I will go around to the Board of Education and try to sell them on the idea of year-round schools.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Cleveland Schools Open Applications for New Magnet School

John Hay High School

John Hay High School is poised to host the two newest additions to the Cleveland Schools' long list of academically challenging magnet schools. Rather than focusing on only one discipline, John Hay High School will develop two completely separate programs for specially selected students. As part of its mission to better serve the students of the Cleveland Public School District, the school will screen applicants in two interesting and academically rigorous fields. One program will focus on Architecture and Design. The other will focus on Science and Medicine.

The Cleveland School of Architecture and Design

The Cleveland School of Architecture and Design is open to students in the Cleveland Public School District, including some qualified home school students. The school is focused on the commercial and applied arts as part of a highly competitive four year, rigorous, public, college preparatory program. In addition to their regular coursework, students will have the opportunity to take advanced coursework on campus as well as participating in activities and learning experiences at nearby institutions such as the Cleveland Museum of Art and the Cleveland Institute of Art.

Cleveland Public School District students will have to take on extra work in order to qualify for this unique opportunity. The school will have an extended school year and require students to participate in activates beyond regular school hours. All students will also have to maintain a high standard of personal and academic achievement, including following a rigorous code of conduct, a dress code, in addition to maintaining a high grade point average and school attendance record.

To be considered for the school, Cleveland Public School District students must have an overall high grade point average in addition to showing talent in the arts. Exceptional talent in the arts, including design and computer art, are weighed alongside potential for leadership and the demonstration of ethical behavior.

The Cleveland School of Science and Medicine

Like its counterpart in Architecture and Design, the Cleveland School of Science and Medicine is open to students in the Cleveland Public School District, including some qualified home school students. The school is focused on the fields of science and medicine within a rigorous academic institution. In addition to campus based learning, students will have opportunities to study at Case Western Reserve University as well as major local health care organization and the world renowned institutions in the University Circle neighborhood.

Like students at the school of Architecture and Design, the Cleveland Public School District students who join the Cleveland School of Science and Medicine will have to participate in educational activities outside of regular school hours as well as attend an extended school year. They will also be held to rigorous academic standards, including a high grade point average.

Cleveland Public School District students eligible for the program must show a demonstrated interest and talent in science, medicine, and mathematics and will be judged by the coursework they have already completed as well as their personal and ethical behavior. Like their fellow students in the school of Architecture and Design, the Cleveland Public School District students accepted into this program must follow a strict code of personal conduct.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Applying for Scholarship Grants for Nursing School

Scholarship Defined

Scholarships can be confusing for parents, but they can save them thousands of dollars. There are different forms of scholarships, but all of them are essentially gifted money for college. Unlike loans, scholarships don't have to be repaid. Some scholarships are paid to the student, while others go directly to the university. Scholarships are awarded by government, clubs, charities, businesses, schools, and other organizations.

Who can get scholarships?

Scholarship isn't limited to straight-A students, and many students who believe that they aren't academically qualified fail to apply for scholarships in their schools. There are, however, different types of scholarships for all students, including those with less-than-perfect academic records. There are athletic scholarships, scholarships aimed at students in a particular field of study -- why, some providers give scholarships just for living in a particular state or city. Another misconception about scholarship is that only college-bound high school seniors are allowed to apply for awards. Scholarship is available to all levels of college study, from freshmen undergrads to graduate and even PhD students.

Scholarship Grants for Nursing Students

There are four types of financial aid available to meet the educational expenses of nursing students: scholarships, grants, work study and education loans. Most nursing students use a combination of all four to fund their education.

Scholarships are awarded based on everything from special abilities to your religion. There are many sources of scholarships, and an Internet search should uncover a number of scholarship providers.

Here's how to get the scholarship you want:

o Take initiative

If you want to a scholarship, you'll need to do the legwork yourself - no one's going to track you down just to give you a scholarship. Look for scholarship grants whose criteria you meet, and then contact the provider and request a scholarship application packet. Applications may be requested by e-mail by sending in a self-addressed stamped envelope. You'll never get a scholarship if you don't try, so be proactive in requesting information for yourself.

o Be punctual

All scholarships providers set deadlines to which you must adhere, or else you'll lose any chance of getting the scholarship. Don't miss the deadlines - if you can submit all the required materials before the due date, do so.

o Be organized

Good organizational skills can really pay off. Try to keep your applications ordered by deadline date and give yourself plenty of time to complete the applications and send them in before the due date. Always keep letters of recommendation and transcripts on hand so you don't have to get new copies every time they are required for an application. By doing this, you'll not only save time but also money. Create copies of your completed applications before you send them in and then file them in folders with labels containing the deadline dates, mailing addresses and phone numbers of the scholarship provider. Call before the deadline to see if your scholarship application was received. If your application was lost in the mail, you can send the extra copy that you made.

o Be persistent

Don't expect for the scholarship process to happen overnight. You must be diligent about looking for new scholarships to apply for. Remember that the more applications you send to various scholarship providers, the better is chance of obtaining a scholarship.

o Be optimistic

Stay positive about yourself and your chances of getting a scholarship. Your hard work and the time spent searching for scholarships will eventually pay off.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Finding the Right Online Nursing School for You

The nursing profession is a noble career involving direct patient care in all settings. Nurses assist doctors and other medical professionals in every place from hospitals to free clinics. Nurses can specialize in virtually any medical field.

There are several types of nursing programs available leading to different nursing degrees. The Associate Degrees Nurse (AND) program entails two years of study and deals with the basic, practical elements of nursing. The Bachelor of Science Nurse (BSN) program is a four-year program. After completion of the aforementioned programs, nurses may take a board exam to become a Registered Nurse (RN). The exam is known as NCLEX-RN.

In choosing a nursing school, it's important to confirm that the programs offered by the school is accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC). You must complete an accredited program to take the board exam. Taking a nursing course today is very ideal, as there is a shortage of nurses in the United States.

At present, more and more nursing schools are offering web-based programs, designed for adult learners who have the desire for a learning experience that would fit their busy lifestyles. These programs offer convenient, quality courses, personal academic advisement, experienced nursing faculties, career mobility and advancement, and financial aid for those who qualify. Other advantages of enrolling in a web based nursing programs include convenience of scheduling, focus on core concepts applicable to professional settings, respect for previous work experience and interaction with peers who share similar professional experiences and values. There are many online nursing schools to choose from. Be sure to confirm that the program is accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC).

Likewise, licensed practical nurses (LPN) who wish to pursue an Associate of Science in Nursing Degree (ASN) may choose between campus-based and web-based learning. The difference between the two is that students choosing the campus-based option meet in traditional classrooms and engage in group clinical experiences, while web-based students study and take tests via the Internet. The only advantage of a regular clinical learning experience is that it enables students to apply theory to real situations. Web-based students are responsible for facilitating their own clinical experiences.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Student Finance for Chinese Universities

Chinese universities have recently started to attract a lot of students from abroad. The trend began in the 1950s and recent statistics shows that there were close to 410000 students studying in China as at end of the last decade. There were students from 125 countries and regions. There are undergraduates, postgraduates, doctoral students, trainees, scholars, and students pursuing research coming to China. China is one of the attractive education hubs. Infact, statistics shows that China was the 10th most popular destination for US students going abroad and third most popular non-western nation. However, foreign students cannot be employed in China while at study. Therefore, students must be able to support themselves and arrange for student finance before enrolling in a Chinese university. If you are one of them, how do you go about getting China university student finance? Read on.

Government help to students seeking finance to study in a Chinese University

Good news is that the Chinese government is encouraging its colleges and universities to expand the scholarship amounts and widen the horizon of fellowships and scholarships to foreign students and China university student finance. They are also encouraged to collaborate with private sector and come up with attractive scholarships for outstanding foreign students.

Already the Chinese government has approved finance worth $362 million to around 350,000 students looking to study in Chinese universities since the introduction of subsidized loans since 1999. The extent of subsidy provided by the government is 50% of the interest amount which is paid by the government and the remaining is paid by the students along with the principal.

However the government itself recognizes that the percentage of students who actually got the loan approved stands at 31.2% which is low and the government would like to grow this figure. The main cause for the low percentage is attributed to the fact that the private sector banks are not too keen on providing finance to students who want to study in Chinese universities as the loans are not required to be backed by collateral. Whether loans will be given out or not is determined based on the credit worthiness of the students and the absence of collateral is a deterrent in providing finance. As of now the People's Bank of China has appointed four main commercial banks to provide finance to Chinese students which are Bank of China, China Construction Bank, the Agricultural Bank of China and Industrial and Commercial Bank of china.

However such finance schemes which look at subsidizing interest repayments are at present only available to Chinese students who are Chinese citizens and have passed the requisite academic examinations

I am not Chinese, can I still get finance to study in a Chinese University or China university student finance?

There are finance programs available to international students who want to study in a Chinese University. One of the popular sources which the students are using today is to go to china by enrolling in an exchange program in a university that offers this option. Normally a host of universities have exchange programs going in which students from their universities visit universities abroad and students from universities abroad come and study in their colleges. These schemes exist not only for students who want to study but also for students interested in internship and working in these countries.

The main requirements of getting finance are credit worthiness, passing the requisite tests and getting through interviews and in some cases having collateral against the loan as well. However in the case of China some universities additionally put up the condition that the students should have a working knowledge of Chinese or Mandarin to be eligible.

There is a growing number of American students who are now interested in studying in China while in the past this was to gain exposure culturally and most of the students were of Chinese origin born in American the trend is changing now. More and more students are coming to China not only to gain cultural knowledge but also advance their careers professionally when they get back home. As a result commercial banks have also designed specialized finance programs with the needs of the students in mind and it is becoming increasingly easy for students to find such loans as China's Universities are becoming popular as an international destination for further education.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Modification of HS History Books to Keep the Politically Correct Minority Happy

Well here we go again modifying history and then using it as a tool to further indoctrinate our children. Sometimes I wonder if all the purported written history mankind has to offer is complete and utter hokum. Today they are considering taking historical figures in the past who were homosexuals and somewhat embellishing the storyline for use in Grade School, Middle School and High School Text Books.

But in doing so they will be basically changing or modifying history in order to make a point and get children to accept homosexuality as a choice and perfectly natural thing? Recently in a highly controversial political Blog one gentleman stated:

"Hey there is nothing wrong with honoring historical figures, but lets not rewrite history AGAIN for the mere sake of being PC and helping a minority trend and the homosexual movement. That is wrong, no matter how you feel about the gay issue. I think we need to close all public schools forever they no longer serve us and private enterprise could do it for half the cost and twice as good. This is too far over the line really. Debate me. I have facts."

Interesting how one subject or controversy of contention can bring up another sore subject about the problems and inefficiencies in our school system. Some might say that the real root of the problem is much bigger that this one issue, as it seems to be a trend causing further decay in our school system. Other commentors have ask; What on Earth is the World coming too? And indeed they seem believe many of the problems are coming from our school system? What do you think?

Monday, August 22, 2011

Students - Sharpen Your Focus and Banish Your Stress Too

Do you come home stressed from college? Does researching for that assessment leave you frazzled? Do you lie awake at night worrying about your exams? What do you do? Reach for a drink? Watch the TV? Complain to your friends? None of these solves the problem.

You can now simply listen to a special type of music and quickly feel relaxed, energised and sociable again. Some of us already listen to music whilst we are studying, but how do you know you have the right sort of music to help you to concentrate?

There are now special pieces of music, which students can listen to, to lower stress levels, improve concentration and memory, and help cure insomnia.

Many of these CDs on the market contain three types of sound:

Sound #1 Gentle relaxing music. Sound #2 A special tone called a binaural beat (more on this in a minute). Sound #3 Subliminal affirmations, which are only just above the normal conscious hearing threshold.

You all know what relaxing music is, but did you know that you read and study much more effectively when you are relaxed?

You may not have heard of binaural beats, sometimes called binaural music. Binaural music is a special type of music discovered in Germany in the 19th century. It works to 'tune' your brain from a state of high activity to a much more relaxed state. Just to reiterate - studying is massively more effective when you are in a relaxed state!

The power of subliminal messages or affirmations has been proven over many years to be a highly effective way of programming the unconscious mind. In fact, subliminal messages are so powerful in the way they work on the unconscious mind, that in 1974 the US government banned all forms of subliminal message advertising on radio and television.

Subliminal messages reach the unconscious mind by working at a level that cannot be detected by the conscious mind. The conscious mind therefore never has an opportunity to reject them and the unconscious mind can receive and act upon them. Subliminal messages can be transmitted either visually or via audio.

Some examples for students might be:

I am motivated. My motivation comes easily. I get things done early. I complete everything on time. I start every project early. I keep myself rested. I recall lectures easily. I use questions to find answers. Answers come to me easily. I listen to my intuition. I write my ideas legibly.

Audio subliminal messages are played at a frequency that is just above the normal threshold of human hearing.

Listening to binaural music with added affirmations is a really easy and enjoyable way to ensure stress doesn't damage your health.

Users of such tracks have reported:

· Massively improved learning ability

· Sharpened focus

· Significantly better memory

· Heightened creativity

· Reduced stress

· Greater happiness

· More restful sleep

For those who are interested, here's a bit of the 'theory' behind binaural beats:

Binaural beats were originally discovered in 1839 by the German H. W. Dove. He discovered that if signals of two different frequencies are played separately to each ear, the brain detects the phase variation between the frequencies and then tries to "reconcile" that difference between the two frequencies. This causes the brain to create its own third signal known as a binaural beat, which is equal to the difference between those two frequencies.

Research has shown that introducing a binaural beat will cause the brain to begin to and then continue to resonate in tune with the specific frequency of that beat. This was researched in 1973 by bio-physicist Gerald Oster at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City and subsequently published in Scientific American journal.

There are many benefits students can gain from using binaural beats. At any particular moment in time, the predominant brainwave frequency determines our capabilities. In a highly stressed state it is almost impossible to study effectively. When the brainwave frequency is calmed down by using binaural beats, this can lead to very high levels of focus, concentration, learning ability and relaxation.

The tracks can be used by students to help you study and dramatically improve your focus and concentration. They can also help you relax, let go of stress, boost your creativity and help you remember more. The relaxation tracks help you to tap into what scientists call "whole brain thinking" - characterised by creativity, clarity and inspiration. This is the type of brain function associated with geniuses - the Einsteins and Mozarts of the world. Finally they can allow you to sleep better, wake up refreshed and prepare you for ultimate exam success.

The powerful combination of the gentle relaxing music, the binaural beats and the subliminal affirmations make binaural music a truly effortless way to get amazing results.

Copyright 2006 Lisabeth Protherough

Lisabeth Protherough is a qualified Chartered Accountant from the UK, with 20 years experience training and teaching students in the university and business sectors. She is passionate about great education and the life changing impact it can have. She is on a mission to make education interesting and to help students unlock their potential.