October 28, 2020

LEAP Student, Jeison, Shares What Learning Looks Like This Fall

Recently LEAP high-school student Jeison sat down with Teen Center Coordinator Vicki Tzortzis to talk about school, life, and LEAP during the pandemic. Their insightful q-and-a follows. VICKI: How many years have you been coming to LEAP? JEISON: I came to LEAP before it was LEAP. I started coming to LEAP officially when I was a freshman, but LEAP has been a part of my life since the fifth grade, a year after I came to this country. I went to Cyberspace with my cousins and
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August 16, 2018

What They Don’t Tell You: An Unconventional Guide to Your Senior Year of High School

Dear High School Senior, First and foremost, I’d like you to congratulate yourself. That’s something I didn’t do enough. Contrary to what you may believe, graduating high school is a big deal. You may be the first in your family to do so, so stop undermining your accomplishments, no matter how “small” you might think they are. The only person stopping you is you; you’re your own worst enemy. If your goal is to attend college after high school, make sure that’s what you make this
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August 3, 2018

Why Should High Schoolers Come to the Teen Center?

BY CAROL KASULE, TEEN CENTER SOCIAL MEDIA INTERN The Teen Center is a welcoming after school program where high school students come. When students come to the Teen Center, it is where their joy and laughter begin after having a long day at school. It’s open from 2:30 pm to 6:00 pm. One reason why students should come to the Teen Center is to keep busy when they have nothing to do after school. Students can engage in different after school programs that enable them to
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November 17, 2017

Our Children, Education and the Future of Work

You don’t have to go far these days to find an article, data, conference or book about the Future of Work. It is clear that the way we work and live is poised to go through a major change as robotics, machine learning, artificial intelligence and genetic engineering (among other disruptive innovations) become more prevalent in our society. There are differences of opinions on the makeup, magnitude and timing of this change, but what is widely agreed upon is that our children entering school now will
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September 16, 2012

What to Test Instead

September 16, 2012 | Leon Neyfakh | Source: Boston Globe When Harvard University announced last month that it was investigating 125 students for cheating on a take-home exam, most of the ensuing public fuss focused on the students: whether they were kids wrongfooted by the requirements of an unpredictable class, as they claimed, or sneaky overachievers driven to cut corners by some mix of ambition and laziness. But beyond the question of the moral fiber of Harvard students, there was another player in the drama: the
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March 20, 2012

Speaking a Foreign Language

Wow, it has been a long time since I have blogged.  Life has a way of intervening doesn’t it?  I recently had the opportunity of traveling to Argentina with my family.  After coming up with many reasons not to go (too expensive, not a good time, etc.), I finally gave in to the pleasures of vacation and a first-time trip to South America and the Southern Hemisphere.  I had only a month to prepare for this trip and worked furiously to finish all my grant applications,
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February 28, 2011

Introducing the New Salem Community Charter School

February 28, 2011 Today the Massachusetts Board of Education approved the charter for the Salem Community Charter School.  This is a Horace Mann Charter which means it is an in-district charter school.  Unlike a Commonwealth Charter (such as the Salem Academy) which is totally independent of the public school district, the Horace Mann Charter is approved by the local school committee and by the local collective bargaining unit (i.e., the teachers are still part of the teachers’ union).  However, the Horace Mann charter is governed by
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January 30, 2011

College Success

  In today’s (January 30, 2011) Sunday Boston Globe,  Lawrence Harmon wrote an Opinion piece entitled “The Transition Coach.”  This article talks about a Boston Foundation-funded program, Boston Success, that places college coaches into the community colleges to help students coming for Boston Public Schools navigate college. The goal of these programs is to improve college retention, particularly for students who are first in their family to go on to post-secondary education. The article correctly pointed out that the real solution lies in fixing the high
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December 30, 2010

It Is Time To Update Our High School Reading Lists

Have you ever tried to read a book in a language other than your native language?  In college, after 6 years of middle and high school French and having spent a summer in France, I decided I would take a 20th century French Literature course — in French, of course. We read such easy page-turners as Madame Bovary (Flaubert), Man’s Fate (Camus), No Exit (Sartre) – you get the picture. It was painful.  Armed with a French-English dictionary, it took me forever to navigate one page
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October 30, 2010

Yes, My Child Is Book Smart, But Does S/He Have What It Takes?

There has been a lot of talk in education circles about the failure of schools to teach 21st century skills.  Driven by the insatiable appetite of our knowledge economy, our schools need to address the needs of employers across all sectors for employees with strong problem solving, critical thinking and communication skills.  In an age of mega-standardized testing from MCAS to SAT to Accuplacer, our emphasis on test prep is reducing the time students have to build these skills. In addition to problem solving, critical thinking
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