Tag: The Daily Courier

Lots to be learned on road to college. See more education stories here

| November 1, 2017
Lots to be learned on road to college. See more education stories here

As the first generation of her family to be able to go to college, Prescott High School senior Elena Aragon is investing considerable time and effort in figuring out options that will suit her career goals and wallet.

On a Monday evening, more than five hours after her school day ended, Elena and fellow senior Tania Andrade joined with about a dozen parents, a couple attending with their children, to hear a program from a local lawyer and PHS parent, Mitch Padilla, titled “My College Roadmap — Finding the Best College for the Least Amount of Debt.”

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Prescott High School senior remains focused on his future: Bradley Stalnaker is also independent and takes nothing for granted

| October 18, 2017
Prescott High School senior remains focused on his future: Bradley Stalnaker is also independent and takes nothing for granted

Two months into his senior year, Prescott High Class of 2018 member Bradley Stalnaker is clear-eyed about what he needs to do to move forward with his plans after graduation.

On Oct. 19, Bradley will be sitting for an exam that packs a big punch: it will determine his eligibility to enlist in the United States Air Force and dictate what job he will likely be assigned to perform.

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Prescott 8th-graders’ math scores are down; district doubles efforts

| October 11, 2017
Prescott 8th-graders’ math scores are down; district doubles efforts

For the second year in a row, Mile High Middle School eighth-graders’ scores on the AzMerit standardized math exam were less than stellar.

Only about 9 percent of those who took the test — about 62 percent of the class of 325 students — scored at proficiency level.

“That’s a little bit of a downer,” said Prescott Unified School District Governing Board member Maureen Erickson about the scores.

Assistant Schools Superintendent Mardi Read offered a highlight of the AzMerit test scores at the PUSD board meeting on (Oct. 3). The test scores students from third through 11th grade in language arts and math.

For the most part, Prescott’s students continue to score above the state average; no third-graders will be retained because they did not reach proficiency in reading, Read said. But eighth-grade math for the pre-Algebra or basic math students has proved something of a “conundrum,” she admitted.

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Officials to put spotlight on bullying, including showing provocative film. See related story

| October 4, 2017
Officials to put spotlight on bullying, including showing provocative film. See related story

For those who think bullying is an innocent playground ritual, experts who have studied the phenomena will assure you that is patently false.

Bullies, and the bullied, cannot be ignored, according to experts in the fields of sociology, law enforcement and education. Society needs to be alerted that childhood bullying is the seed to what can become serious abuse in later years. Law enforcement officials are beginning to draw links between bullying and domestic violence. They see it as a serious threat to individual safety when not publicly exposed and addressed.

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Senior Experience: Signing through his foreign language. See more education stories here

| September 27, 2017
Senior Experience: Signing through his foreign language. See more education stories here

Prescott High School senior Kody Jones needs a foreign language credit to graduate.

To accommodate his class and athletics schedule, Kody opted to enroll in a year-long American Sign Language class at Yavapai College. His mother, Karen, who works in the administration office, encouraged that choice over his other options of two back-to-back semesters of Spanish, or an online foreign language course.

With this option, the scholar/athlete spends two hours on Tuesdays and Thursdays after his regular school day learning about this one brand of sign language for the deaf and hearing-impaired.

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Superintendent’s Report: Argument for early childhood education

| September 20, 2017
Superintendent’s Report: Argument for early childhood education

In the world of education, early childhood education (ECE) is a hot topic that many people are discussing. ECE serves children ages 3 and 4 with the goal of improving children’s cognitive and behavioral development. Ninety percent of a child’s brain develops by the age of 5 and the belief is that ECE provides the boost to prepare children to be better learners in the future.

Quality ECE programs are required to focus on reading and number skills, cognitive development and motor skills. Programs can also supplement instruction with recreation, meals, health care, parent education and social services.

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Gov. Ducey gets word of his opponents’ school-voucher referendum win

| September 13, 2017
Gov. Ducey gets word of his opponents’ school-voucher referendum win

Gov. Doug Ducey was notified (Sept. 8) that foes of his school-voucher expansion law had qualified their referendum for the November 2018 ballot, where they will seek to undo the expansion. 

The state elections director announced the news on Twitter, and through an email to Beth Lewis, chairwoman of Save Our Schools Arizona. That group, a coalition of parents and public-school advocates, seeks to undo legislation that made all public school kids eligible for the school-voucher program, capping it at 30,000 by 2022.

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Donations fill school district gaps: Prescott Unified leaders grateful for donations as lean budgets continue to be Arizona’s educational legacy. More education stories here

| July 26, 2017
Donations fill school district gaps: Prescott Unified leaders grateful for donations as lean budgets continue to be Arizona’s educational legacy. More education stories here

The only way Prescott High School will have a full-time school resource officer on its campus next year is if a community benefactor opts to cover the cost of the contract that is about $83,000 for the year.

Prescott Unified Schools Superintendent Joe Howard would love to have someone save that position because he knows it is needed. He commends the city of Prescott for picking up the expense for more than a dozen years.

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New grant helps Discovery Gardens Preschool grow

| July 12, 2017
New grant helps Discovery Gardens Preschool grow

Prescott Unified School District’s Discovery Gardens Preschool was recently awarded a $143,000 grant by the Arizona Department of Education. This grant will help the District’s Quality First accredited preschool grow by 30 more four-year-old students this coming school year.

According to Discovery Gardens’ Director, Stacy Williams, the grant helps pay for staff and supplies to provide free preschool to qualifying students.

“We are thrilled to have been awarded this funding and provide quality preschool for more students,” said Williams.

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‘Talk, talk, talk’ is key to avoiding summer ‘brain drain.’ Please see related stories

| June 14, 2017
‘Talk, talk, talk’ is key to avoiding summer ‘brain drain.’ Please see related stories

Summertime is synonymous with fun — no homework, no tests, no essays and no math formulas.

Such fun, though, can prompt what some educational professionals refer to as the “summer brain drain,” a true phenomenon statistics suggest can lead students to forget as much as 20 percent of what they learned during the prior school year.

“People don’t realize how important the summer months are,” said Denise Murphy, the early literacy coordinator for Arizona Reads Now, a program of the Yavapai County Educational Service Agency.

So how do families combat this syndrome? 

With the same fun that children crave on their summer vacations, Murphy sand fellow educators said.

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