#RethinkSchool: Choice Matters for Military-Connected Students

“There are so many active-duty military families today who are making decisions about how they advance within the military, or where they are going to live… based on educational opportunities for their children,” Secretary DeVos recently said in a conversation with Kay Coles James, president of the Heritage Foundation. “I think we have the opportunity to change the dynamic for them.”

Maddie Shick is from one such family – and, despite being a bright student, she faces challenges that accompany a military-connected lifestyle.  A self-proclaimed “professional new girl,” Maddie is now a sophomore at Robinson High School in Tampa, Florida.

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The Parent’s Guide to Filling Out the FAFSA® Form

While the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) form is the student’s application, we know that parents often play a large role in the process. After all, students who are considered dependent have to provide parental information on the FAFSA form anyway and must have a parent sign it. While we recommend that the student start his or her own FAFSA form, we know that’s not always what happens. With that in mind, we wanted to provide instructions for parents who are starting the FAFSA form on behalf of their child so you can avoid running into issues completing the form.

If you are a parent completing the FAFSA form for your child, follow these 8 steps:

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#RethinkSchool: Community-Led School, Community-Wide Solutions

“North Idaho STEM Academy was created at the request of parents and the community.”

The first line of the school’s promotional video, found on its website, underscores a key – indeed, perhaps the most important — tenet of North Idaho STEM Academy: it was created for the community, and by the community.

Opened in September 2012, the school serves students in kindergarten through grade 12 in Rathdrum, Idaho, and surrounding areas. School leaders don’t consider STEM a “buzzword” or a fad; instead, teachers incorporate science, technology, engineering and math into everything that students learn and do – from kindergarten through graduation.

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3 Types of FAFSA® Deadlines You Should Pay Attention To

Ah, deadlines. The sworn enemy of students across the nation. When you’re busy with classes, extracurricular activities, and a social life in whatever time you’ve got left, it’s easy to lose track and let due dates start whooshing by. All of a sudden, your 10-page term paper is due in an hour, and you’re only on page 5 (with the help of 26-point type and triple line spacing). We get it.

Nevertheless, we’re here to point out a few critical deadlines that you really shouldn’t miss: those to do with the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) form. By submitting your FAFSA form late, you might be forfeiting big money that can help you pay for college.

 

Here are those three deadlines:

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#RethinkSchool: Florida Teacher Closes Distance to Puerto Rican Students Displaced by Hurricane Maria

The most devastating storm in Puerto Rico’s history, Hurricane Maria, blasted the island relentlessly in September 2017, destroying roads, leveling homes, and causing wide-spread electricity blackouts. The schools were not spared as education came to an abrupt halt for thousands of students.

Jorge Bauzo, who was born and raised in Puerto Rico, was teaching Spanish and U.S. history at Chipley High School in the rural Florida Panhandle near the Alabama border. He also taught for the Florida Virtual School, which provided online classes. Bauzo closely followed news of the hurricane’s destruction, and when the winds finally subsided, he wanted to help. In his words:

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7 Things You Need Before You Fill Out the 2019–20 FAFSA® Form

If you need financial aid to help you pay for college, you must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) form. The 2019–20 FAFSA form will be available on Oct. 1, 2018. You should fill it out as soon as possible on or after Oct. 1 at the official government site, fafsa.gov.

It’ll be easier to complete the FAFSA form if you gather what you need ahead of time. Below is what you’ll need to fill it out.

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#RethinkSchool: Safety and Success in a Magnet School Setting

My zoned middle school, in Orlando, FL, made local news with a tragic and terrifying story: a student was taken into the bathroom and raped. That was exactly what my mom was avoiding five years ago, when she diligently fought to keep me out of that school, which had a reputation for being unsafe.  Unable to afford private education, thankfully we had another viable option. Howard Middle School, a public magnet school only twenty minutes away from my house, offered a Visual and Performing Arts program.

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National Blue Ribbon Schools—Learning Requires Engagement

Sunset Elementary School in San Francisco, CA – a 2017 National Blue Ribbon School

National Blue Ribbon Schools are special places, each unique to their communities, their students, their staff, and their leaders, yet they are producing outstanding results for all their students regardless of race, socioeconomic status, or zip code. They are closing the gaps in student achievement and, in most cases, demonstrating consistent excellence.

Each year, the National Blue Ribbon Schools Program visits a handful of schools to learn more about what makes these outstanding schools tick. Video profiles offer glimpses of dynamic students, teachers, and principals in action—a day in the life of a National Blue Ribbon School.

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Back to School by the Numbers: 2018

Across the country, hallways and classrooms are full of activity as students head back to school for the 2018–19 academic year. Each year, the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) compiles some back-to-school facts and figures that give a snapshot of our schools and colleges for the coming year. You can see the full report on the NCES website, but here are a few “by-the-numbers” highlights. You can also click on the hyperlinks throughout the blog to see additional data on these topics.

The staff of NCES and the Institute of Education Sciences hopes our nation’s students, teachers, administrators, school staffs, and families have an outstanding school year!

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#RethinkSchool: Performance, Partnerships and the Perfect Fit: The Professional Performing Arts School

Thanks to the Professional Performing Arts School – located in the heart of Manhattan’s theater district – New York City is about to be home to a few more young stars.

The high school, also known as PPAS, serves nearly 500 students who dream of pursuing dance, drama, music, or musical theater. Students in grades six through twelve split their days between academic instruction — when they can enroll in Advanced Placement courses or earn college credit through partnerships with New York University, Fordham University, and others — and arts instruction.

As one of more than 400 high schools in New York City, PPAS offers students the opportunity to partner with some of the foremost programs in the city, like the Ailey School, the National Chorale, the Julliard School,  the American Ballet Theatre and Rosie’s Theater Kids.

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Should I Stay or Should I Go?

Should I stay or should I go? This is the very question I’ve asked myself every year, with guilt, after successfully concluding each school year for the past seven years. The question is one that is not easy to answer because there are just too many reasons stemming from the question, “Why should I stay?”

The Whys of Teaching

I have thought about leaving because the trauma I face brings so much pain and stress, but I choose to stay because I can be a source of relief, comfort and healing to the child hurting greater and bearing burdens heavier than what I could ever carry.

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