Posts Tagged ‘ academics ’

School Lunch Policy Called ‘Segregation’ by Some Parents

Friday, November 8th, 2013

Some parents who are unhappy with a Tennessee high school’s lunchtime program that separates students who are under-performing academically so they can receive additional instruction while they eat, calling the program “segregation” that is unfairly punishing kids who struggle academically.  School officials, however, insist that the program has nothing to do with civil rights, and everything to do with education.  More from The Huffington Post:

According to local outlet WSMV-TV, La Vergne High School in Rutherford County has been requiring some of its students to attend academic intervention classes during lunchtime, in an effort to raise the grades of struggling students. The outlet reported that some parents are not pleased with the school for forcing certain students eat in a separate location.

“I call it a civil rights violation and segregation, no doubt,” local parent Paul Morecraft told WSMV.

However, Rutherford County School District spokesperson James Evans told The Huffington Post over the phone that La Vergne administrators decided to hold academic interventions during lunch so that the program would not cut into class time. He also disputes WSMV-TV’s assertion that the program forces some La Vergne students to eat separately from others in the cafeteria.

According to Evans, every student in the school is given 25 minutes for lunch. After that time, students who need extra help take another 25 minutes to study in a “learning lab.” Students who are in good academic standing have the option of staying in the cafeteria or participating in other enrichment activities for the extra 25 minutes.

“One misconception is that students are losing their lunchtime or being made to eat in some separate location,” Evans told HuffPost. “They’re still eating in the cafeteria for 25 minutes.”

Students who are scoring below an 80 percent in any subject are required to attend academic intervention.

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Study: Early ‘Full Term’ Babies May Face Academic Issues

Tuesday, July 3rd, 2012

Babies who are born at 37 or 38 weeks–considered to be “full term” but on the early end of the 37-41-week spectrum–may face increased risk of academic performance issues in school, a new study published in the journal Pediatrics has found.  The Huffington Post has more:

The study involved 128,000 New York City public school children and included a sizable number of kids from disadvantaged families. But the authors said similar results likely would be found in other children, too.

Of the children born at 37 weeks, 2.3 percent had severely poor reading skills and 1.1 percent had at least moderate problems in math. That compares to 1.8 percent and 0.9 percent for the children born at 41 weeks.

Children born at 38 weeks faced only slightly lower risks than those born at 37 weeks.

Compared with 41-weekers, children born at 37 weeks faced a 33 percent increased chance of having severe reading difficulty in third grade, and a 19 percent greater chance of having moderate problems in math.

“These outcomes are critical and predict future academic achievement,” said Naomi Breslau, a Michigan State University professor and sociologist. Her own research has linked lower IQs in 6-year-olds born weighing the same as the average birth weights at 37 and 38 weeks’ gestation, compared with those born heavier.

Image: Girl in school, via Shutterstock.

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Study: Obesity May Affect School Performance

Wednesday, June 27th, 2012

A new study published in the journal Child Development has found that obese children may persistently perform less well in school as non-obese children.  From CNN.com:

[The study] followed 6,250 children from kindergarten through fifth grade and found that those who were obese throughout that period scored lower on math tests than non-obese children.

What’s more, this pattern held even after the researchers took into account extenuating factors that can influence both body size and test scores, such as family income, race, the mother’s education level and job status, and both parents’ expectations for the child’s performance in school.

“In boys and girls alike who entered kindergarten with weight problems, we saw these differences in math performances emerge at first grade, and the poor performance persisted through fifth grade,” says lead researcher Sara Gable, Ph.D., an associate professor of nutrition and exercise physiology at the University of Missouri-Columbia.

Image: Heavyset boy in school, via Shutterstock.

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