Wednesday, September 28, 2011
Narrated by Matt Damon, produced by Ninive Calegari and Dave Eggers and directed by Academy Award-winning filmmaker Vanessa Roth, "American Teacher" chronicles the lives of four educators across the country as they reach different milestones in their careers. Told with humor and wit, the film delves into the realities and frustrations of the teaching profession and examines possibilities for reform and what we can do to invest in it for tomorrow.
You can order tickets through a link on our school website: www.shermanschool.org.
Thanks so much for your time. I hope to see you there!
Tuesday October 11th from 6:30 to 8:30
Sherith Israel at 2266 California Street
Moderated by Steve Symanovich from the SF Business Times
Sponsored by The SF Parent Political Action Committee, Parents For Public
Schools, SF Family Support Network, Teach for America and Congregation
Refreshments, Childcare, and Interpretation Services will be provided.
Read more on Facebook http://www.facebook .com/event. php?eid=21363434 2032302
Tuesday, September 27, 2011
This from SFGate:
Four out of every 10 or so people say they hated math in school.
They didn't like fractions, they've told pollsters - or formulas, polynomials or even pi.
Solving for x was as bad if not worse than a pimple on prom night.
Yet with the 21st century job market increasingly requiring proficiency in math - and the critical thinking skills that come with it - the country can't afford that many math haters.
With that in mind, San Francisco has signed up to be among the first districts in the United States to put new national math standards in its classrooms. Adopted by 45 states, the standards' purpose is to make math more relevant and interesting, less about getting the right answer and more about why one might need to get that answer in the first place.
The school district has received a $3 million, three-year S.D. Bechtel Jr. Foundation grant to carry it out.
"We're getting killed across the world in terms of mathematics," said Terry Bergeson, executive director of the San Francisco School Alliance, a district partner in the implementation of the grant. "Around the rest of the world, the kids are ... applying mathematics to real-world problems. We teach formulas. We teach algorithms. We teach math facts."
And we bore students to tears.
Sleep inducing math
"I just think it's boring slash hard," said Jason Byers, 14, a freshman at San Francisco Mission High School. "I fell asleep last year."
The new "Common Core" math standards are sleeker and more in-depth than the old ones. They build on key mathematical concepts like measurement, size and volume. Kindergartners might be asked to identify the smallest of three apples, for example, while high school students would be required to calculate the growth of a bacterial colony.
It will be important that the students get the right answer, but the how and the why will be just as essential, said Common Core advocates.
"Kids will still have to add fractions. That's not going to change," said Phil Daro, an author of the new national math standards. But if it's successful, math "will look different."
That will especially be true in the early grades, with kindergarten students learning an elementary form of algebra even as they're being taught to add single digits.
They might count 10 bunnies and then move on to this question:
"A bunnies sat on the grass. B more bunnies hopped there. How many bunnies are on the grass now?"
The idea is to get them to come up with: "A + B = _."
Monday, September 26, 2011
I'm interested to hear your thoughts if you attended and which schools stood out. I felt after hearing about a few of the schools, they started to blend together and we wont' be able to really get a feel until we tour. I'll post more robust thoughts and facts after I start touring.
Friday, September 23, 2011
Decrying the state of American education, President Barack Obama on Friday said states will get unprecedented freedom to waive basic elements of the sweeping Bush-era No Child Left Behind law, calling it an admirable but flawed effort that has hurt students instead of helping them.Read the full story
Obama's announcement could fundamentally affect the education of tens of millions of children. It will allow states to scrap the requirement that all children must show they are proficient in reading and math by 2014 — a cornerstone of the law — if states meet conditions designed to better prepare and test students.
And the president took a shot at Congress, saying his executive action was needed only because lawmakers have not stepped in to improve the law for years.
"Congress hasn't been able to do it. So I will," Obama said. "Our kids only get one shot at a decent education."
Saturday, September 17, 2011
(From SFUSD Community Advisory Committee for Special Education Website)
Friday, September 23, 2011
Support For Families
Parent/Professional Workshop: BULLYING
Presented by the Office for Civil Rights
Time: 10:00 AM to Noon
Location: Support for Families of Children with Disabilities, 1663 Mission Street, 7th Floor.
To attend the workshop, call: (415) 920-5040
Oh, to be a fly on the wall! ...
(From SFUSD Website, Upcoming Board Meetings)
NOTICE OF SPECIAL MEETING OF THE BOARD OF EDUCATION SAN FRANCISCO UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT IN CLOSED SESSION
The Special Meeting of the Board of Education, San Francisco Unified School District, in Closed Session, will be held on Sunday, September 18, 2011, immediately following the Special Meeting of the Board in Retreat, and will take place at 236 Monterey Boulevard, San Francisco, California, for the following:
PUBLIC EMPLOYEE PERFORMANCE EVALUATION
(Government Code § 54957) Title: Superintendent of Schools
(Government Code § 54957) Superintendent of Schools
SUPERINTENDENT OF SCHOOLS AND SECRETARY, BOARD OF EDUCATION
Public Comment is welcome prior to the Closed Session
Thursday, September 15, 2011
I'm afraid this is a rather long first post. I've been thinking so much about the search and writing about it that I've been trying to collect too much data, when I need to be collecting feedback from parents with more knowledge about the schools.
To start with a little about us.
My Blogging name is MJ. Myself, my husband and two children (4.5 and 2) live in SOMA.
We are not in CTIP1. We do own our little apartment and are not in any position to move any time soon, and we do not want to move out of the city.
We are lucky to be able to walk to our childrens daycare/preschool and then bus (my husband Downtown) and walk or bus (me to the Mission) to work. We do have a car which we street park, this is relevant to the school search as if we do drop offs by car to school, we will either have to pay for parking near one of our work places or come home look for parking on the street which is difficult at that time of the morning, before we rush off to work.
SOMA as you SFKfiles readers know is a pretty large area with only one elementary school (Bessie Carmichael - citywide) and our AA school for the whole area Daniel Webster in Potrero Hill.
What we are looking for in a school for our son is a great GE program with additional art, music, sport, secondly a guaranteed spot in an after school program which isn't outrageously expensive and thirdly we would like the school to be easily accessible by public transportation or walking so that either of us can do pick ups.
I took some pointers from the responses to Lola's first post which referenced after school care. I will be calling all of the schools on my initial list to see what their aftercare options are before we tour. I will also be attending the Noe Valley School Fair on the 25th, which I am very grateful exists as we hope to have toured our schools of interest before the SFUSD school fair in November. I also added parochial as based on not too much research the cost is comparative with after school care that we would have to pay in some publics. I don't know if parochials offer after school but I'm guessing they do based on other threads on sfkfiles. I've heard that their class sizes are bigger and don't know if this is true. I went to Catholic school in another country and find the Church here quite open to everyone compared to my upbringing so the Catholic values issues that others raise here are not an issue for us. Private is not an option for us.
Our initial list, is ordered in distance from our home and is comprised of schools which are easy to access from our home, on our way to work by walking or public transportation, along with our AA school which is not as close geographically as a number of other schools and is a bit of a trek from downtown if my husband had to pick up or drop off using Muni. So here goes with my list. I'm looking forward to your feedback and any other schools that I may be missing that may suit us. So no "trophies" in our list that I know of and that is fine with me. It means we can concentrate on the 3 items which are important to us without worrying that we will get into the school (hopefully).
Bessie Charmichael - less than half a mile from us. Easy to get to for either parents work. Close to younger childs daycare. Afterschool care is quite high in the $400 range (is that high? I dont' know). There are limited places and priority is given to low income parents, but I think they would like to have a mixed group of kids. I have not toured it and don't know how it stacks up in regards to actual GE. API scores I think are OK. But I don't know how much we should be focusing on those unless they are below 700. Also as a K-8 we don't have to worry at about the Feeder plan.
Tenderloin Community - walkable and closer than our AA school. I think their after school care is open to all students, but I need to research that. I spoke with their principal last year at the SFUSD fair (I went as I thought it would help me this year) and I really liked her. They seem to have wonderful programs outside of pure academics for the children and we will definitely tour it.
Sanchez - yes closer than our AA school! I toured Sanchez last year and I really liked it. The children were all well behaved and happy. I toured on a Friday which is parent involvement day and lots of parents were in the classrooms with the kids. The library was in the process of having a makeover and the children (maybe 4th grade) were learning how to catalogue the books on their individual laptops. They have a part time dance teacher, a gardening teacher, the SF Opera has a program there (I think that is right). They had a plan on the wall for greening their playground and I'm really looking forward to touring this year to see how it turned out. They also have a program where each grade reads the same book and all of the children do a project on it which is displayed in the halls. Maybe this is usual in schools in San Francisco but I am not from the US and thought this was really cool. Sanchez also has after school care available to all children. My only negative on the school was the start time 8am but I did like it very much as my only school tour last year.
Daniel Webster -- our AA school and I know a school with a growing reputation (good). They also I believe have afterschool for all kids at cost but no space limits, once again I need to confirm this. Then the Middle School Feeder Plan was thrown into the mix and ISA was the feeder for Daniel Webster. I am talking myself down and going with the thinking that by the time we get to Middle school this will not be the same ISA test wise and with a 6-12 grade set of kids. I do think the PTA and community are awesome with Daniel Webster and talking to a resident in Potrero Hill with children in High School she said that most of her neighbours agree that if the school as it is now existed when their kids were young they would all have sent them there. I'm really looking forward to touring. It is still not an ideal location for us.
Harvey Milk - The furthest away in our line up but easily accessible from home, downtown and the Mission. After school for all and I believe it is very reasonable if not free? confirmation neeeded. I know there are some issues with the Principal being let go and parents not being informed. Perhaps you readers can give me a better understanding of the school.
Mission Delores - I know nothing about this school except its location and tuition. Who can fill me in?
St. Charles - So close to my work but never listed as desired school. Why? Be kind but honest.
Thats it. Thanks for reading all of the way through this. I'm really looking forward to getting your insights to the schools I have listed and any that I may be missing. I'm excited to share our K journey with you all and hope that we find the best place for our son.
Wednesday, September 14, 2011
What I'm looking for in a school: Hmmmm, I've thought about this a lot. Besides being a safe and nurturing environment we'll be looking for a progressive school, strong parent community, and a school that offers a variety of activities including art, science, sports and music. Not very creative, I know! My kids already speak another language, so immersion is a plus, but not a priority.
I know there is no perfect school. Again, these are just some of our criteria that we will be looking at while we are touring schools. We'll be looking at public, private and parochial. At the end of the day, the most important things are: Is this an environment where he will love learning? Can I see him growing here?
Thanks for reading my first post. As I go through this journey, please be kind and supportive, and no grumpy emails. Promise. Ok, just a few are fine- I can take it.
Sunday, September 11, 2011
The Friends of Noe Valley Recreation Center are sponsoring a free elementary school fair Sunday, September 25, from 9:30 a.m. to noon, featuring public, private, and parochial schools convenient to families in central and southern neighborhoods.
Parents and administrators from schools in Glen Park, Bernal Heights, Noe Valley, the Mission, Eureka Valley, the Castro, Miraloma Heights, the Market Street Corridor and the 280 Corridor will be on hand to answer questions.
Please see noeschools.com for more info.
(From SFUSD Website)
EVENT: The San Francisco Unified School District invites you to a meeting for parents and guardians of special education students. This will be a chance for you to tell us about the special education services your child has had. We are also interested in learning about your child’s experiences in the programs the school district provides for infants, toddlers, children, and youth. We would like to hear about what you think works and what areas could be made better.
The parent or guardian meeting is an important part of the California Department of Education’s Special Education Verification Review process for school districts. It is one way that school districts can examine their compliance with the law as stated in the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). This meeting is designed to gain as much information as possible from parents and guardians about key areas in the district’s implementation of IDEA.
WHERE: The Parent or Guardian Input Meeting will take place at Mission High School, 3750 18th Street, San Francisco, CA 94114
WHEN: Thursday, September 22, 2011
TIME: 6:00 - 8:00 PM Refreshments will be provided.
The meeting site is physically accessible to individuals with disabilities. If you are in need of further accommodations in order to participate (for example: assistive listening devices, materials in an alternate format, or translation if English is not your primary language) please contact Kristen Devine at (415) 379-7677 by September 19th. We will make every attempt to provide accommodations, but cannot guarantee that we will be successful. Childcare will be provided. To secure your child’s care, please call Kristen Devine at the number above.
Please confirm your interest in coming by calling: (415) 379-7677 or email: email@example.com by September 19, 2011
PARENT SURVEY/WRITTEN COMMENTS
If you are unable to attend, we would like to have you fill out a survey within the next two weeks.
Contact Donna DeMartini, Education Programs Consultant
Special Education Division, California Department of Education
1430 N Street, Suite #2401
Sacramento, CA 95814-5901
Phone Number: 916-319-0298
If you have any questions please contact Donna DeMartini
We genuinely look forward to meeting with you and listening to your comments about the special education programs and services provided by your school district.
Tuesday, September 6, 2011
Hello, my name is Lola. My family is entering the K search this year. We’re a family of four, with two boys aged 4.5 years old and 1 year old. I feel like I’ve been following the San Francisco education process for a while now. Wait. I have. Ever since my 4.5 year old was in my belly. It started when we were looking for daycare. Applying, touring, anxiety, sweats and finally joy, because it all worked out. After nanny-shares, family day care, and two preschools, we are in a lovely Pre-K program in the Southeast part of the city. It’s near our places of work and a relatively easy commute. We adore the school but now it’s time to do it again. Applying, touring, anxiety, sweats and I know we will eventually, hopefully, find the joy.
I grew up in the suburbs of the Midwest. We walked 2 blocks to Kindergarten, 10 blocks to middle school and a quick car ride from mom got me to High School. We went to the schools that were in our neighborhoods. It was a given. No ifs, ands, or buts. That’s just what happened. When I moved to San Francisco and started a family I was a bit thrown back to learn that this is not the case in this lovely city of ours. The process is daunting, terrifying, and I just can’t believe, stressful. Part of me feels that maybe if I just sit back, apply at the schools near our home and the ones that we really want to get into, we’ll be ok. Then the other part of me (I’m a Gemini) has been scouring the blogs, the websites, and the yahoo groups for over a year and knows that this isn’t always the case. Which brings me to blog on SF K Files. What a perfect place to let it all out and maybe get, as well as give, some helpful insight.
We plan to go the public school route. At first it was a money issue. Isn’t it always? With two kids, we just can’t afford privates. So, I’m prepared to give it my all at the public schools and come to terms that this is what will be best for us. I believe that education doesn’t stop at the school doors. We as parents are just as much educators as the teachers and we owe it to our children to provide that environment. We’ll be focusing on the Southeast part of the city since this is where we live and work, but of course are open to other areas depending on what we find during the tours.
I hope this time next year will find us all happy, excited and ready for our first day of Kindergarten. Let’s do this.