Tag Archives: public school

School Uniforms

School uniforms have been part of the private school setting for a number of years. Over the last decade we have found that many public schools are now adopting school uniforms as well. There are many arguments both for and against school uniforms. Today we will take a look at a few of the arguments from both sides to try and give a little more insight into the issue of school uniforms.

Some major reasons those in favor of school uniforms feel they are beneficial:

  • Uniformity – for many years now school administrators have tried to set dress codes that were appropriate and fair but still allowed students to expression their own individuality. This has become increasingly difficult with popular trends in clothing showing more and more skin and insignia on clothing becoming more vulgar and suggestive.
  • Save money – fashion can become so important to a teenager that a family will spend more than they can afford just trying to keep up.
  • Stop dress-identified cliques – many gangs or other cliques will choose clothing as a way of signifying that they belong to a certain group.
  • Community spirit – wearing a school uniform can help make everyone feel like they are part of something significant.
  • Reduce crime – if everyone is wearing the same clothing it is much less likely that students will steal clothing from other students. Also victims that became targets because of their clothing will be eliminated.
  • Reduce intruders – if everyone in the school dresses the same, anyone at the school that does not belong will be easily identified.
  • Recognizing individual talents – having everyone dressed the same forces teachers and peers alike to look further than one’s clothing to determine who that person really is. In this way everyone is given a fair chance to prove who they are.

Some reasons individuals oppose school uniforms include:

  • Lack of self-expression – it may be more difficult for an individual to feel like they can express their personality if they have to dress the same as everyone else.
  • Expense – some feel that purchasing school uniforms is more than their budget can afford.
  • Exertion of power – some think that school uniforms are just a way for school administrators to show their power over their students.
  • Doesn’t prevent cliques or gangs – while they may not use clothing to show they are part of a gang or clique, having school uniforms does not prevent these groups from forming.
  • Negative expression – if teenagers are not allowed to show self-expression in how they dress, they may find other, inappropriate, ways to express themselves.
  • Self-image – some uniforms are very unflattering and students may develop a very negative self-image if they are forced to wear something that they do not look good in.
  • Differences – forcing everyone to dress the same can take away opportunities for children and teens to learn tolerance and skills for dealing with people they find different or unappealing.
  • Conformity – some feel that uniforms send the message that conformity is the way to prevent conflict and that this is not an appropriate message for schools to teach.

Both the arguments for and the arguments against school uniforms have some validity. With the increase in crime and behavioral issues in public schools over the past decade, many schools are choosing to adopt a school uniform in an effort to help stop these problems. Find more information and statistics regarding public school uniforms here.

Education Bug Site Upgrade

If you have been on the site recently, you may have noticed that educationbug.org has undergone a major upgrade. We took a look at all the categories and organization that had slowly evolved from the site’s early days in the first half of 2006, and rethought everything. When we were done, we had created a new hierarchy and organization that we hope will make our education articles easier to locate.
There are two main parts to the hierarchy. In the first section, all articles of every type are sorted by topic. This section is called “Article Topics,” and it has 11 top-level categories.

In the second section, articles related to specific types of schools and written for specific audiences are categorized by the schools and the audiences. This section is called “Finding Articles for Special Interests, and it has two top-level categories.

Each top-level category has two or more subcategories. Each article is placed in every sub-category in which it fits. For example, the article “Public School Uniform Debate” is filed under Other Education Issues and also in Public Schools, while the article “What Is Peer Pressure?” is filed under Safety and Parents.

The new hierarchy is shown below, to help you get the gist of the site’s new organization.

ARTICLE TOPICS

Career Education
Career Training
Education Careers
Education Choices
Adult Education Choices
Post-Secondary Choices
PreK–12 Choices
Education Costs
Financial Aid
Other Financial Topics
Education History & General Information
General Information
History
Education Issues
Safety
Other Education Issues
Education Resources
Community Resources
In-School Resources
Online Resources
Family Involvement in Education
Applying to a School
College-Age Children
Preparing Your Child for School
School Involvement/PTA
Students w Special Needs
Gifted and Talented
Learning Disabilities
Special Education
Subject Information & Homework Help
Language Arts
Easily Confused Words
Grammar and Mechanics
Other Language Arts
Math
Other Learning Areas
Science
Social Studies/History
Teaching and Learning
Classroom Approaches & Issues
Homeschool Setup
Homeschool Curriculum
Testing
Admissions Tests
Testing in the Schools

FINDING ARTICLES FOR SPECIAL INTERESTS

Articles About Specific Types of Schools

Homeschools
Public Schools
Private Schools
Preschools
Kindergartens
Elementary Schools
Secondary Schools
Colleges and Universities
Vocational/Technical Schools
Charter Schools
Christian Schools
Online Schools/Distance Education

Articles For Specific Audiences

Elementary Students
Secondary Students
College Students
Parents
Homeschoolers
Adult Learners

Comments on our new system are welcome!

Free Web Hosting for Schools

LunarPages, an award-winning web host, offers a program of free web site hosting for K-12 public schools in the United States.

The program can be accessed by an administrator at the district or school level, a classroom teacher, or a PTA representative.The account must be used for educational purposes.

See the LunarPages Education webpage for more information.

Those who do not meet these criteria might still be interested in the low-cost starter plan.

You can also find the Best Web Hosting at besthosting101.com or find bluehost coupons at bluehost101.com.

Alternative Education

Alternative education can be defined as any form or method of education that is not traditional. This would include home education (homeschool), charter school, alternative schools, independent schools and more. Typically these education methods consist of small class sizes and good relationship between students and teachers.

Different scholars and philosophers have very contrasting ideas in what type of education is right. For example Ralph Wald Emerson and Henry David Thoreau (to name a few) were proponents of progressive education which is based in the belief that humans learn most when doing real-life activities. Educational innovators such as Maria Montessori believe that education is more of an emotional, physical, psychological and spiritual cultivation. There there are Anarchists such as Tolstoy who think education is a means to political endeavors like the eliminations of social classes.

There are many more theories that we could talk about but the bottom line is that there are many alternatives. Luckily, education is not one size fits all and most methods have some merit and can be great for students. This belief is on the rise and is evident in the fact that some districts let their be “school choice”. For example, public schools can have magnet schools which focus in one particular area like performing arts or science.

Many alternative school methods were brought about in the 1970′s to give options rather than traditional public school. Since then these alternative schools (many but not all of them) have become accredited schools with transferable credits. Some of these are for troubled teens that have had discipline or legal problems. In these particular schools they can offer more structure, sometimes in a residential fashion with strict rules and consequences for actions. There are times when teens are court ordered to attend such schools.

It is believed that with different options comes a higher retention rate which means fewer drop outs. The fact that schools can be varied as to meet the needs of the students benefits society as a whole.

The Homework Debate

Homework Facts:

  • In 2004 the University of Michigan did a study and found that there had been a 51% increase in the amount of homework that students were receiving.
  • In 1981, students ages 6 to 8 were doing about 52 minutes of homework per night. In 1997 this had increased to 128 minutes per night.
  • Studies have found that while some homework does cause standardized testing scores to rise, if students in high school are doing more than two hours of homework per night the scores lowered. For middle school student test scores dropped if they were doing more than 60 to 90 minutes of homework.
  • Countries that outshine the U.S. in education typically assign less homework.
Homework opinions:
  • Some educators feels that we assign children more homework because we are crazed with standardized test results. It has been said “it isn’t about knowledge, it’s about winning”.
  • Parents have stated that a student’s interest in learning overall fades when homework is so time consuming.
  • One parent makes the point that what goes on in schools should set an example to the students. If there is so much homework, doesn’t this give the student the example of poor time management by the schools? How is it that they can’t get the work done with all of the hours they have our children?
  • One private school that does not promote a lot of homework finds that their students are excited about taking projects home to their parents, enjoy playing music with friends after school, get involved in other great activities and in general are not “at risk”.
  • Educators who are pro-homework have declared that homework sends the message to parents that the schools “mean business”. They believe that homework fosters critical thinking, persistence and diligence when looked at over time.
  • Parents and educators tend to agree that in younger years there is little academic value to homework.
  • An educator pointed out at a forum at Harvard recently that a teacher never knows who is doing the homework when it is sent home. There are those parents who do it for a child or hover over the student and don’t let them really learn.
One thing is consistent and that is that this is an ongoing debate with heated opinions on both sides of the fence. There are those that want to abolish homework altogether and there are those that believe it is a precursor for real life and teach valuable skills to students.
Parents in general find homework to be a full time job. While they may enjoy having the time with their students they may wish that they had more options of how to spend such time. Homework tends to become a full time job just for the parent and in many homes causes great contention between parent and child. Perhaps if this is the case a parent contract could be used to help set standards in the home.

School Accreditation

In today’s education world the options are without limits. There is something for everyone. With K-12 there are private schools, public schools, charter schools, homeschool and probably something else. Then there are boarding schools and military schools. For colleges and vocational schools you can go to a campus or you can get most of your education online.

While all of these options are fantastic for the general public it does raise some concerns. Parents with children in Kindergarten through high school need to be very careful that their child is going to get a high school diploma and credits from a source that is recognized as they enter college and/or the work force. The same goes with continuing education. You would hate to waste time getting a masters degree or other degree just to find out that no one would recognize your work.

Students cannot receive federal aid or other funding if the school that you choose is not accredited. The key is to make sure you ask smart questions when you are choosing a school. Make sure that you ask if the school is accredited and even if they say that they are make sure you ask who they are accredited with and do your homework on that organization.

Year Round School Pros and Cons

Year round school is not a new issue in education. It has been contemplated, even tried in different places. There are some schools that currently use this system. In the traditional school year there are 180 days of school and breaks for holidays and other necessary days. One way of doing year round school is a 45-15 schedule. Students go to public school or private school for 45 days and then have 15 off.

The opinions about year round school vary. Parents who have experienced both have their own opinion but it is often based on the specific needs of their family. For example, if both parents work outside of the home and they have students on different year round schedules have problems finding day care for their children and trying to keep all the schedules straight. Other families may love having the time together every 45 days to take vacations throughout the year.

Here is an overview of the pros and cons of year round school.

Pros of year round school:

– Children retain information better, there is no long period of time between one year ending and another school year starting.
– The 15 day period of time can be used for extra curricular activities that enhance what the child is learning in school and therefore reinforce what the child learns.
– Kids don’t get bored with a long summer break and they like having breaks to look forward to every few weeks.
– Other countries use this system successfully.
– With staggering the scheduling, school buildings can be used for more students which is more economical and efficient.

Cons of year round school:

– Families with children on different scheduling tracks have a difficult time.
– Certain school clubs and groups like sports, cheerleading, band, theatre, could have difficulty in planning and practicing when there are frequent breaks.
– Schools have to be equipped for year round weather to accommodate year round schooling.
– Community programs and private industries that provide youth camps and such activities suffer but now entirely, it just has to be scheduled right. However, if you have schools in the district on staggered schedules it is hard to get an influx in kids for these programs.
– Teachers may spend more time reviewing information than with a traditional year because even in two weeks, kids tend to forget. This may not be entirely negative as it helps students keep reviewing information and therefore, keeping it fresh in their minds.

Studies regarding both schedules have been inconclusive as to which is better for students. It is always good for schools to try new ways of doing things because when they find something great the students benefit. It pays to have a willingness to try something new as long as it doesn’t do any harm to the student.

Struggling in School?

All parents dread the day that they discover their child is struggling in school. Whether they are struggling with social aspects such as school bullying or peer pressure or academically. Here we identify a few ways in which kids struggle in school and hopefully help you to know better how to help your child so that their school experience is as good as possible. After all, not much learning happens if a child does not feel safe in school or confident in their academic abilities. These problems occur in children in both public schools and private schools.

Social aspects:

* School bullying - Your child may be the victim of bullying or they may be the bully. Be sure you have a clear understanding of your child’s role in things before you take further steps.

  • If your child is being bullied – there are two main reason why kids get bullied (this is not always the case) and they are social status and appearance. Bullies will pick on any child who appears to be different and perceived as being weaker. Bullying can be verbal or physical but it is NEVER acceptable. The best thing you can do for your child is to listen to them, believe them, empathize, help them where you can (with appearance, social skills, etc.) and then work with the school to resolve the problem without making worse for the child. You also need to teach your child the skills that are necessary for dealing with a bully. Often time a school counselor or other child therapist can help your child learn coping mechanisms so that they go to school not in fear but armed with a plan to help themselves. This will increase their self esteem so much if they know they have handled it themselves for the most part.
  • If your child is the bully – make it clear that there is never a time or place for such behavior. Be sure that your child is not learning this type of behavior from you, your spouse or other family and friends that are close. Don’t be fooled. If you get a call saying that your daughter is being a bully you may as well face facts that bullies are girls and boys. Often times we think of boys as being the real bullies and it just isn’t right. Some children who are bullies actually do have personality disorders that keep them from relating with certain peers and their way of handling that is to display poor behavior. You may want to get the help from therapists as well as putting in place a consequence for such behavior to make it clear that you will not accept it.
  • Cliques – we all want a peer group that we feel accepted by and that we feel comfortable but cliques can be a lesser version of a gang in ways. Be sure if your child is part of a clique that you always teach about the important of accepting and befriending others and never leaving other people out or make them feel alienated. If you child struggles because they just don’t seem to have a clique you may want to help them find activities and other after school programs where they can find a peer group that they relate to and can feel accepted in. Schools have many clubs, organizations and activities. Community involvement will also help this.

* Academically:

  • If your child is struggling in their classes with low grades, incomplete work, below average test scores or any other problem you, as the parent, need to work closely with the parent to resolve these problems. You may want to look into tutoring for that child. You may also want to have the assessed to see if there is an underlying learning disability that may make it harder than you realize for the child to complete the tasks expected of them.
  • If you child is a behavior problem in class this not only will affect the child’s grades but the grades of all those around them. It is important to get to the bottom of behavior disorders and find out what kind of help is available to you so that you can help your child be successful in school. If a child is ADD,or ADHD, they may need therapy to learn skills and/or medication to help them focus. The same goes with other disorders. A good place to start is the school counselor but remember to keep pushing on the behalf of your child, you are their only true advocate and if you won’t go to bat for them to find solutions for them who will?

The best thing a parent can do is to be a school volunteer as much as possible without hovering over the child. Show your involvement. For bullies, this will make them aware that you could see what the bully is doing to your child at any time and may lesson the attacks. For kids who do bully, they will think that you may see something and see to it that the child is reprimanded. And if your child struggles in the classwork or with staying on task and other issues, you can make a huge difference by volunteering in the classroom. This frees the teacher up to help more students, even yours. Teachers are overwhelmed with the load they have and too often kids slip through the cracks. Teachers simply don’t have time to get to the underlying issue of why every child does what they do.

Realizing your child is struggling in school for whatever reason is the first step in solving the problem. Just try to be loving and understand through this time as well as firm and resolved. Know that you are not the only parent going through these issues and that there is help if you will just ask your school. If your problems are deeper than the ones discussed here you may want to look at getting your child some serious help. There are many youth programs that can help children and teens in succeeding while helping you as a family unit.

School Fundraisers

When getting involved in school fundraisers you may want to keep in mind that the goal is to make the community aware of your need and that you also want to make the community aware of your school and what it offers the community. Getting the community actively involved in your school is a great idea and everyone benefits.

Organizing fundraisers can be complicated and intimidating. In this post we hope to give you ideas on how to stay organized, choose the right school fundraiser, and more.

Organization:
1. Make sure everyone involved (in your school or after school program) knows what the goal of the fundraiser is. You may want to have a catch phrase or a single sentence that clarifies exactly what you are out to accomplish and then get the whole group to memorize this catch phrase.

2. Do you have what you need for awareness of your fundraiser:

  • fliers
  • press release
  • posters
  • roadside signage
  • newspaper article
  • radio announcement
  • e-mails
  • mailers (can be costly, take great care when using these)

3. Make sure you have the help that you need. Don’t just assume that everyone in your group or school will come to help out with your fundraiser. You need to assign people to specific tasks and get them to commit. Then you need to make sure that you have enough people for each task. Make lists with names and phone numbers so that if you end up short handed you can call people and round up some help or just remind the people that are committed to your cause.

Make people aware of your fundraiser:

1. Any salesperson will tell you that the key to making a sale is to get people emotionally involved in your product. In this case, get people emotionally involved in your fundraiser and it will be successful. You will get sponsors, customers and help that you need to make your fundraiser successful if you can get people to relate to the cause and to clearly identify how the cause directly affects the community and individuals.

2. Everyone in the group has to share the excitement. Every person in a group makes a huge difference. Don’t sign up for a school fundraiser that you can’t get a lot of people to back you up with.

The best advice we have heard about fundraising is that you don’t sell yourself, you sell your organization. If you can get people to believe in your organization they will come back time and again to support you in your endeavors. Whether you are doing fundraising for your public school or for your private school keep in mind that it brings a community together to take part in these events.