Fox Road Elementary School has received a $5,000 grant from the Laura Bush Foundation for America’s Libraries, which annually makes grants to support school libraries. The grant will be used to support Fox Road’s library improvement goal to develop a culture of literacy outside school hours. For their emerging readers, this means reading with parents at home. Funds from this grant will be used to improve the library collection for children from kindergarten through second grade, honoring the school’s diversity by purchasing books on other cultures and increasing bilingual texts, particularly those written in both English and Spanish.
The Board of Education approved the following staff appointments at its July 22 meeting:
- Rene Alford has been appointed Assistant Principal at Walnut Creek Elementary School.
- Rebecca Beaulieu has been appointed Principal at East Wake Middle School.
- Vicki Brown has been appointed Interim Principal at Douglas Elementary School. Continue Reading . . .
The North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences’ e-Mammal International program is one of nine new projects announced today by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and the American Alliance of Museums as part of a Museums Connect grant. This award of $83,000 will allow Wake students to connect with communities around the world through a museum-based exchange program.
e-Mammal International seeks to promote cultural understanding among children between the ages of 11 and 14 through the lens of applied scientific research among middle schools in the United States, India and Mexico. This international partnership will expand upon the work of Dr. Roland Kays (Director of the Biodiversity Lab at the NC Museum of Natural Sciences) and his ongoing research project, e-Mammal, to collaboratively engage children worldwide in learning about science while simultaneously learning about each other’s cultures. e-Mammal is a citizen science project that uses camera traps to document animal population sizes and habitat use. The Museum (Raleigh, NC), the Bombay Natural History Society (Mumbai, India) and the Museo de Paleontología (Guadalajara, Mexico) will work together to engage children and their teachers while also generating data for scientists in each of these respective countries.
The Museums Connect grant also leverages a larger grant from the National Science Foundation (Students Discover) that will allow Museum staff to produce a curriculum module that teachers can use to implement e-Mammal in the classroom.
“Camera traps are a great tool for teaching about science because they allow kids to get their own amazing pictures of animals, translate those into data points, and start to ask their own questions about zoology,” said Kays. “This Museums Connect grant will add a new dimension to our work, using cool animal pictures not only to engage kids with science, but also to help them learn about other parts of the world and their cultures. We know our cameras in North Carolina return all kinds of surprising pictures of wildlife living near schools like deer, raccoons, foxes and coyotes – I can’t wait to see what species we find in India and Mexico.”
The program, which runs through June, 2015 will encourage 6th, 7th and 8th grade Wake County Public School students from Carroll, East Cary, East Wake, and North Garner Middle Schools and their teachers to:
- Create an introductory video that captures the nuances of everyday life as a middle school student in their country. This video will aid students in expanding their knowledge of different cultures and will be uploaded onto the e-Mammal website, www.emammal.wordpress.com
- Learn more about the scientific method and contribute to making new discoveries about how wildlife adapts to humans around the world.
- Upload data to the e-Mammal website and database, which will be used by the scientific community.
- Meet working scientists and researchers to learn more about careers in STEM
The Museum will partner with International Focus to stage a cultural event at the Museum as part of the capstone experience to help teach local children and visiting Indian and Mexican children about cultural diversity. International Focus is a non-profit, 501 (c)(3) organization with the mission to support North Carolina’s international communities and promote American ideals through cross-cultural communication, education, understanding, and the celebration of culture, arts, and cuisine from around the world. The event will feature youth groups performing traditional Indian and Mexican dances in costumes. Since its inception and now in its seventh year, Museums Connect has linked American museums in 26 states and the District of Columbia with partners abroad in 45 countries, including Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Cambodia, China, Mexico, Kenya and Morocco. The program is excited to announce that it is now accepting applications for the 2015 cycle to further extend the program’s reach. This year’s grantees embrace the discipline and geographic diversity that is the signature of Museums Connect; locations new to the program include Cambodia, Honduras, Jamaica, Mongolia, and Romania. Further information about the 2014 awardees can be found at www.aam-us.org/museumsconnect.
The WCPSS Maintenance and Operations Department has been honored with a 2014 Facility Maintenance Decisions Achievement Award that will be presented at the NFMT conference in October. Continue Reading . . .
The school website outages have been resolved.
A report issued this month by the Center for American Progress ranks the Wake County Public School System as one of the most educationally productive in North Carolina.
The report uses data from 2011, the most recent data available from the U.S. Department of Education, to evaluate the achievement of the country’s public school systems relative to their spending.
An interactive analysis of North Carolina districts is available alongside the report.
July 21 is the cut off date for new bus riders at traditional calendar schools to request bus service for 2014-15 to receive service with the start of the school year.
Visit www.wcpss.net/busrider if you need bus service for your child next year. You can determine if your child is eligible to ride the bus and request bus service. If your child was a bus rider in 2013-14, they will be automatically assigned a bus stop. Also, if your child has a sibling that is a current bus rider, they, too, will be automatically assigned a bus stop.
For families who are eligible for transportation and request services after the cutoff date, first day bus service is not guaranteed. Requests received after the cut off date will be processed in the order received. Transportation will make every effort to provide service using existing bus stops as quickly as possible.
Special needs students
Families of children who are homeless, have Individual Education Plans (IEPs), or have plans under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (504) may need to request special transportation, as they move into the community or change address. These families will need to enroll their child in the new school or notify their current school of the address change and inform school staff of their child’s IEP, 504 plan or homeless status. Students will be assigned to transportation.
Why make this change?
Beginning the planning process with accurate ridership will help Transportation planners provide superior bus routing. This should provide families better bus service from the start of the school year. Routes for known riders will be set for the first day of school. Bus drivers will practice set routes to be ready for the first day of school. With superior routing, buses will travel less distance saving money on fuel and maintenance.
New bus routes for the 2014-15 school year will be available online July 21 for WCPSS modified calendar schools. The bus routes will be shared at http://www.wcpss.net/parents/transportation/routes-and-stops.html the week before the new school year begins.
Families should check the bus routes to find the stop closest to their address. Each year, bus stops change based on the students who ride the route. Students should be ready and waiting for the bus at least 10 minutes before the bus is expected to arrive. Continue Reading . . .
Este año el Informe Estudiantil N.C. READY incluye una nueva información para mostrar a los padres y maestros donde tienen éxito los estudiantes y donde es posible que necesiten ayuda adicional. Las familias podrán comenzar a recibir estos informes por correo en julio. Continue Reading . . .
Many new families will move into Wake County during the summer months and the Wake County Public School System wants them to Enroll Now in school.
The school system has shared posters and flyers with schools, churches and community centers to enlist help in sharing the message with newcomers to the community. The groups were asked to encourage families to enroll at their base school after they establish a residence in the county. Continue Reading . . .