Monthly Archives: December 2008

Peer Pressure (part 1)

When we think of “peer pressure” we often think of teenagers and the negative influence that teenagers can have on one another in trying to convince them to do bad things that are not within their normal choices. We also often associate the peer pressure with their schoolmates. I am going to write a second part to this that deals specifically with “teen peer pressure” because I feel it is in a realm all of it’s own.

For now I want to discuss the fact that peer pressure effects everyone, and it can have a negative effect or a positive effect. It is important to teach our toddlers social skills even before they start pre-school or kindergarten. While doing this we can also teach them about peer pressure and that it is ok to stand up for themselves if they feel they are being asked to do something they are not comfortable with.

Once they have started school it is important for them to understand the difference between peer pressure and school bullying and know how to handle them both before it starts. If they can learn these communication skills in their early childhood they will be much more prepared for their teenage and adult years where they may be more greatly influenced.

As these children become young adults (13-18) they are more like to start getting peer pressure to do things that can have a major effect on the rest of their lives such as smoking, drinking, drugs, and sex. Discuss these issues with your teens and make sure they are clear on how they are going to handle that kind of peer pressure when it happens. And don’t just talk to them once, talk to them regularly. Also teach them how they can have positive peer pressure with their friends to get them to make good choices by inviting them to study together or attend a movie or a sober party instead of the alternative.

After 18 they are going to be moving on with their lives but that does not mean they are free from peer pressure. If they choose to go to college it can be a very trying time to fight off peer pressure because they may not have the support or influence of family and friends to keep them strong. Even if they are not living at home, keeping open communication with your college student will help them remain strong and focused while attending college.

As adults we need to be setting the example to them all along by practicing what we preach and remaining strong and making good choices when our “peers” try to influence us. Even as parents we have the ability to gently apply positive pressure with our children to insure they become strong educated successful adults.

Internet in Public Libraries

As the internet era began in the early 1990′s (less than 20 years ago, wow) there was a growing concern about how many people would be able to afford to be a part of this new digital world. Hence, in 1996 President Clinton launched the “KickStart Initiative” which was a campaign designed to bring the internet to America’s most established institutuions, namely public schools and public libraries. This program has provided America with a great start to making sure we do not create a “digital division” amongst our nation.

However, as technology continues to change and grow it is important that we grow along with it. Many of our public libraries do not have the funding to have the most up to date computers or the fastest servers which can create a number of issues for the libraries as well as the people who need to use these computers. Many libraries are limited on how many computers they have and the ones they do have take a great deal of time for someone to complete what they need to do. Most libraries have time limits of 30 or 60 minutes to try to alleviate some of the problems. However, this does not allow enough time to say build a resume online, research a project, or complete an online college exam.

Last week the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation announced they would be contributing $7 million to Connected Nation, and others, to help seven states improve their internet service and speed in hopes they can “ensure that all people have the chance to connect to information, education, and economic opportunity”. Please click the links below to learn more about public libraries in these states: (Indicates how many public libraries in each state)
Arkansas (213)
California (1132)
Kansas (379)
Texas (855)
Virginia (374)
Massachusetts (490)
New York (1094)

Colorado Schools

Our Popular Texas ISD (Independent School District) blog has been so popular and had so many great comments about how helpful it was that we have decided to continue these blogs as a series. If we do not cover your city, state, county, school district, or specific school you may always go to our education.bug website and on the right hand side of the page we have the information you are looking for.

I have decided to focus on ISD’s in Colorado this time.

1. Denver ISD- This county has over 145 school districts and is located at 900 Grant Street Denver, CO 80203-2996. You can reach them by phone at – 303-764-3200.

2. Colorado Springs ISD- Is located in El Paso County, Colorado at 1115 North EL Paso Street Colorado Springs, CO 80903-2599. Their phone number is 719-520-2000. Within Colorado Springs they have 8 school districts, 152 public schools, 45 private schools, 17 colleges, and 7 libraries.

3. Pueblo ISD- Has 38 schools in this district with about 18,000 students grades K-12. They are located at 315 West 11th Street Pueblo, CO 81003-2804 and can be reached by phone at 719-549-7100.

4. Boulder ISD- Although not far out of Denver is often searched for. They seem to continue to steadily grow. They are up to having 53 schools within their district (33 public, 18 private, and 6 colleges) They are located at 6500 Arapahoe Avenue Boulder, CO 80303 in Broomfield county. They can be contacted at 303-447-1010.

If we did not mention the school district you are interested in please feel free to visit our Colorado education directory where you can search them alphabetically:

School Districts by Name
School Districts A-I
School Districts J-R
School Districts S-Z

or if you do not know the name by district you may also search: School Districts by City
School Districts by City A-I
School Districts by City J-R
School Districts byS-Z

There is an amazing amount of information on each school such as how many girls/boys, student/teacher ratios, maps and much much more.

Talk Higher Education Early

The best time to start talking to your children about their college education is in early childhood. Studies show that if a child knows up front from the beginning what is expected of them they will strive to meet those expectations. Education is important from day one. Starting to talk about college in their junior or senior year of high school is not going to let them know that it is important to you and it is expected of them. By the time they are in high school they should be preparing for college by studying for and taking their SAT’s, researching colleges, applying for scholarships, and even taking college courses while they are still in high school. The questions should not be should I attend college or not? It needs to be which college should I attend? which will work better for me a college or a university? and what am I going to major in?

Teaching Children to Read

I recently read an article about a San Francisco clothing company called Miss Do Gooder who designs clothing to help charitable causes. Their latest effort is teaming up with First Book, a company dedicated to providing new books to children across America and Canada. The t-shirts have a Miss Do-Gooder cartoon character promoting literacy. They will give First Book $2.50, which equates to one new book for a child, for every t-shirt they sell. This article prompted me to check into the well known Hooked on Phonics program and have an article featuring this product on our educationbug.org website.

If we do not prepare our children for school by teaching them how to read we are doing them a terrible disservice as once they do start school they will be at a disadvantage to those whose parents chose to help their child learn how to read. With the student teacher ratios increasing all the time we cannot expect teachers to be the only source of educating our children about reading. Teaching our children to read does not always have to be a chore or a mundane routine of a set time period to sit down and read a book, although this is a great idea to implement as well to get children into the habit of reading. There are great ways to have fun teaching our children to read. There are a ton of learning games you can play with your children and they will not even realize they are being educated in the process.

California Schools

I recently posted an article about year round school statistics. There are a number of great reasons why year round school is the best option. Just to name a few:
*Children retain information better when they have several short breaks vs. a 3 month vacation.
*If you plan vacations during these breaks they are not usually when every other school in the nation is trying to go to the same hot spots which will save you money and help avoid crowds and long lines.
*It is easier to find daycare services for small children for short periods of time vs. summer time when many programs fill up.

In my research I found California is leading the nation by far in year round schooling with over 1,300 schools that participate in year round schooling. Which has prompted me to share more information about California schools.
At our website http://www.educationbug.org/ we have loads of information on nearly every school in every state. This is a great resource for anyone who is looking into what options are available for education in California schools. We have categorized the schools into groups such as; California Public Schools, California Private Schools, California School Districts, California Public Libraries, California Colleges, and California Universities.

Within each category you have the option to search for a school within any city, county, or even by the name of the school and type. Within these links you will be able to find specific statistics, reviews, maps, contact information, and much more on each individual school.

And if you are not sure whether you want your children to attend a public school, private school, a charter school, or even thinking about homeschooling you will find our articles that compare what these different types of schools have to offer very interesting.

College? or University?

Just one of the many many questions to answer when making decisions about higher education is whether a college will be able to provide you will all of your needs or if you should consider going to a university. What is the difference between a college vs. a university? And why do people choose one over another? This answer varies for everyone, some may base their decision on what their short or long term education goals are, others may decide based on what they can afford, and yet others may not be sure yet which direction they would like to go with their education. And once you have attended a college or university are you better off to get right into the work force, or should you consider graduate school? We hear all the time about people who are making millions of money without spending years and years pursuing an education. We have recently posted some articles on educationbug.org that have useful information to help you decide what will work best for you and your family.

educationbug.org is also a great place to find out what colleges or universities are available and what they have to offer. You will find links to colleges in every state.

Physical Education in Schools

The No Child Left Behind campaign has brought up many hot topics of discussion within the education community. One of those being whether or not we should have more cirriculum during a school day and less recess breaks. First thing I think is, “What? that is every child’s favorite part of school.” Some of my fondest memories are learning how to jump rope, hopscotch, and manuever the monkey bars. How sad that our children may not have these kinds of memory of school.
Secondly, I wonder where these children are going to get any physical exercise. We are already struggling with a huge childhood obesity problem in our country. Certainly cutting out physical activities is only going to make this issue worse. Which will also create more youth who struggle with eating disorders.
Third, sunshine is proven to help improve our moods and keep us healthy and happy. If we lock these kids in a classroom all day are we not just asking to have to deal with more issues in regards to depression?
Which brings me to last but certainly not least, the teachers, how are they going to handle all of these kids in a classroom for so many hours? And what about their recess break? And with more and more children being diagnosed with such things as ADHD, how do you think that will play out? Our children and our teachers are all going to go crazy! As if our teachers do not have enough stress on them already, let’s keep them inside all day with a bunch of young children being forced to sit still, listen, and learn.
Getting rid of recess can certainly not be the only solution.

Bullying in Schools

There has always been at least one child who would tease or torment others in the class room or on the playground. Years ago bullying in schools meant someone was calling names, teasing, and on occassion someone would picking a fight. These fights were usually few and far between and were quickly put to a stop and punishment ensued. Today, school violence has taken on a whole new meaning. Statistics on teen violence indicate it is continuing to become a greater issue all the time. These statistic also show that about 6% of kids will cut classes or not attend school because they are insecure about being there. Kids no longer fear being called names because they have much harsher terms of bullying to worry about. Simple name calling has turned into out right verbal abuse, emotional abuse, and often physical abuse. Amongst some of the many reasons we are seeing more and more abuse within our schools is because the number of teen gangs continue to grow and our youth are attracted to the image they portray. Although they may not initially join to become violent as they get involved they are expected to carry out violence, which is often brought into the schools.
Yet another way of teen bullying has come to light with the use of electronic devices. Although most schools do not allow use of cellular phones it seems most kids have them anyway. Texting is an easy way for them to mock, degrade, or send terrible messages. Last week an LA jury convicted a mother of participating in bullying a 13 year old girl by posing as a boy on MySpace and once she gained her trust began to belittle her creating a verbal and emotional abuse situation. This 13 year old wound up commiting suicide. The statistics on teen suicide indicate our youth are suffering from terrible emotion issues we may not even be aware of. Some of the warning signs of someone who may be having suicidal thoughts are feeling of worthlessness, anger, withdrawal, weight loss/gain, and teen depression.
Teen violence statistics continue to increase, it is important that parents get involved with their children and well as their schools and educate themselves on what is going on with their kids as well as any potential dangers of their children while at school.

Popular Texas ISD – Independent School Districts

One of the most searched for areas on our site is that of ISDs. This is a term most commonly used in the name of school districts in Texas. ISD stands for Independent School District. To find a school district or Texas ISD on our site – start at http://texas.educationbug.org/ – this will take you to the directory for the entire state – then click on one of the search links under the school districts tab. You can search by name, city, or county. Most districts

We decided to list some of the most viewed Texas ISD profiles on our site. These are sorted by most popular:
1. Houston ISD – this ISD has many schools (we list over 308) and is located at 3830 Richmond Ave Houston, TX 77027-5838 – you can reach them by phone at 713-892-6000. The Houston ISD is located in Harris County, Texas. This is the 7th largest school district in the country.
2. Dallas ISD – another very large district with over 227 public schools listed in our directory – main offices are located at 3700 Ross Ave Dallas, TX 75204-5491 and they can be reached by telephone at 972-925-3700 – The Dallas ISD is located in Dallas County, Texas. This is the 14th largest school district in the country.
3. El Paso ISD – not as large as some of the others listed, but it manages to bring lots of visitors – their main offices are at : 6531 Boeing DR EL Paso, TX 79925 – this district has approx. 93 schools and over 63,000 students. Located in El Paso County, Texas. 58th largest school district in the U.S.
4. Katy ISD – another not so large school district where a lot of parents are searching for contact information. This district is in Waller County and can be found at : 6301 S Stadium LN Katy, TX 77494-1057 – Phone: 281-396-6000 – Katy ISD contains over 40 public schools and has over 40,000 students registered.
5. San Antonio ISD – a pretty good size district with over 100 school and nearly 60,000 students enrolled – 141 Lavaca ST San Antonio, TX 78210-1039 or by phone at 210-299-5500. This district is located in Bexar County, Texas. 74th largest school district in the country.
6. Fort Worth ISD – another huge school district in Texas. Ft. Worth ISD has over 140 schools and over 80,000 students. Find them at : 100 N University DR Fort Worth, TX 76107-3010. 38th largest school district in the U.S.
7. Austin ISD – This is the 36th largest school district in the country. Located at 1111 W 6th ST Austin, TX 78703-5399 in Travis County.
8. Other popular districts include – Cypress-Fairbanks ISD, Northside ISD, Fort Bend ISD, Arlington ISD, North East ISD, Aldine ISD, Garland ISD, Plano ISD, Pasadena ISD, Brownsville ISD, Alief ISD, Lubbock ISD and Mesquite ISD. Many of which are ranked in the U.S. top 100 by student population.

For more information on any Texas ISD – please visit our sections of the Texas education directory where you can search them alphabetically:
School Districts by Name
Texas School Districts A-I
Texas School Districts J-R
Texas School Districts S-Z
Our Texas school district directory contains approx 1265 ISD/School Districts which are responsible for the education of well over 4.3 million public, charter, and magnet school students.

If you’re looking for more information on Texas Education – we found a great site!!! Check it out when you have time and link to it from your blog! http://texaseducation.wordpress.com