Wellington school board opts for Chromebooks over textbooks in high school math

first_imgby Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow—  The Wellington school board approved a new computer math software program and 500 Chromebook computers which will be implemented into the USD 353 curriculum starting this month and may be the first step toward replacing textbooks entirely.The new computer software called ALEKS – Assessment and Learning in Knowledge Spaces — is a web based, artificially intelligent assessment and learning system that uses adaptive questioning to quickly and accurately determine exactly what a student knows and doesn’t know through a course.The cost to USD 353 for the initial program is $8,250 to join ALEKS and issuing of 500 licenses. Also, 500 Chromebooks, will be used in four classrooms with rechargeable carts of $25 each. The Chromebook purchase will be $33,389. All funds will come out of the USD 353 Capital Outlay budget.With the school district facing the costs of replacing 400 textbooks at $80 to $100 a piece this next academic year, the board unanimously gave approval to go this alternative route.The system has been ordered today, and USD 353 assistant superintendent Brad Morris said the system will be in place as soon as possible.Wellington is ahead of the curve, Morris said. Only three other Kansas City public schools have implemented the system so far.Wellington board member Jackie Glasgow asked why there hasn’t been more schools using this particular kind of software. Morris said it was due to costs. Smaller school districts can’t afford to do so.This will be a five month trial program. If USD 353 board members decide this is a good learning tool then it will implement the program on a yearly basis.Wellington High School math teachers Bridget Vaughn and Katie Hollas made a 30 minute presentation to the board outlining the program’s benefits.ALEKS would systematic group students based on math abilities and charter their progress on an ongoing basis. For example in a class such as Algebra 1, a percentage of students may advance with a specific curriculum, faster than others. The design of the software gives each student to learn at his/her pace, and prevents a common problem in math classes for which some students are being held up from learning new material, while others are given material before they are ready.Morris said the beauty of the system is that when textbooks are purchased, the material is what it is for 10 to 15 years or however long the textbooks are in use. With this system, new material can always updated.“For example, they are currently looking at changing the math standards on the Kansas Assessment tests,: Hollas said.”This system would be able to adjust to meet those standards, as opposed to a textbook which presents the material as is.”—————In other board news:•Steve Adams of OPAA Food Service made a presentation concerning the benefits of the school going with a private management system for its school lunch program as opposed to doing it in house. The board is looking at alternatives, after long time food service director Sandy Clift announced her retirement last month.•The board approved the hiring of Queen Barnes, Rebecca Hile and Cindy Martin as paraprofessionals at the Wellington Middle School and High School. Also, Traci Hawks has been hired as a Wellington Middle School math teacher in 2016-17.•Steve and Brett Shogren requested the board refinance the 2007 bonds that could save the district an estimated $500,000. The board approved his recommendation unanimously.•Parent-Teacher Conferences have been rescheduled to Monday, March 7 and Tuesday, March 8 due to the possible conflict with the state basketball tournament games.•The board extended the contracts of all administrators for another year running through the 2017-18 school year after two 15-minute executive sessions.•The board also went into executive session for 15 minutes on teacher negotiations for 2016-17 but took no action.•The board will begin the interviewing process for a Wellington Superintendent in the near future. Wellington President Jackie Berryman said there has been around 80 applications including two or three that is in-house.last_img read more

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Silent Wenger’s future still up for debate

first_imgThere are many Arsenal fans who feel Wenger, appointed Arsenal manager in September 1996, has overstayed his welcome for an awfully long time, or that the title drought has been both awful and prolonged, but Bould was confident there would be plenty to cheer about before the end of the season.“The more games we can win now the better the season becomes and what happens in the end is what happens,” he said.Jack Wilshere has recovered from the knee problem that forced him to miss England’s friendlies with the Netherlands and Italy and striker Alexandre Lacazette is also back in full training following injury. The pair are more likely to be on the bench than start, however.Meanwhile Stoke manager Paul Lambert believes midfielder Joe Allen is so full of energy he could still star against Arsenal after rushing back from China.Allen has been hugely influential in midfield since Lambert took over in December and recently featured in Wales’ 6-0 win against the hosts and their 1-0 defeat by Uruguay in a tournament in China.“It wouldn’t surprise me if Joe Allen ran back from China and is still fit as a fiddle. He’s really brilliant — a manager’s dream,” said Lambert.“I don’t know how he does it. I spoke to him after his long flight and it was a breath of fresh air talking to him — he looked great and he was in a good mood.Relegation-threatened Stoke are three points shy of safety and go to the Emirates bidding to end a run of nine straight defeats at Arsenal.At least Lambert knows how to win there, having guided Aston Villa to a 3-1 success in August 2013.“For me, it’s fresh so I’m not thinking we haven’t won there — I don’t have anything in my head… just try to win,” he said.Share on: WhatsApp London, United Kingdom | AFP | Arsene Wenger may have lost his voice before Arsenal’s home match with Stoke City on Sunday but the discussion over his future is unlikely to be silenced just yet.At the end of the season Wenger will be halfway through a two-year contract many Gunners fans felt should never have been handed in the first place to a man who had not won the Premier League since 2004.The 68-year-old declared during the international break that many of his critics were simply guilty of age discrimination rather than a genuine unhappiness with Arsenal’s current position.North London giants Arsenal will kick off in sixth position, 13 points adrift of fourth-placed local rivals Tottenham Hotspur, and therefore in danger of missing out on the Champions League for a second successive season.Yet the Gunners can still pin their hopes on emulating Manchester United and qualifying for Europe’s elite trophy next term by winning the Europa League.The visit of second-bottom Stoke is the third in a five-game sequence of home fixtures, with the first leg of the Europa League last-16 clash with CSKA Moscow following on Thursday.Wenger’s throat problems saw assistant manager Steve Bould hastily thrust into media duties, and the former Arsenal defender, who also played for Stoke, his hometown club, was reluctant to take on the Frenchman’s mantle of providing intelligent yet often controversial commentary about all aspects of the game.The only game Bould wanted to talk about was the Stoke one, but he did offer an insight into how Arsenal fans’ unrest was perceived from the bench.– ‘Unbelievable stick’ –“I admire him immensely,” Bould said of Wenger. “He takes unbelievable stick off an awful lot of people and he’s just one of the great managers. It’s a pleasure for me to sit next to him.“He’s remarkable. Behind closed doors I’ve never known someone who’s as hungry and determined to win football games. It’s as big as I’ve ever seen. He’s doing a great job, as far as I’m concerned and has done a great job for an awfully long time.”last_img read more

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Gingerbread Neighborhood Rises in Atlantic Highlands

first_imgBecause Swedish bakers use metric measurements, Hjelm’s mother located an American cookbook called “Swedish Baking at Its Best” by Marianne Grönwall van der Tuuk that incorporated American measurements in its Pepparkakshus recipe. With the intricacies out of the way, workshop attendees moved on to making their gingerbread houses homey. Working individually or in family and friend groups, attendees applied royal icing with pastry bags, sketched in windows and doors and made their design choices until, in the end, no two houses were alike.  Sitting amidst an array of candy canes, gumdrops, nonpareils, Tootsie Rolls, marshmallows, sprinkles and cookies, about 15 aspiring gingerbread house makers glued their walls and raised high the roof beams under the expert tutelage of arts council board member Stephanie Ladiana and her husband Ulf Hjelm. By Eileen Moon He and Ladiana are the parents of two sets of twins, Rita and Linnea, and Maggie and Peter, all of whom are now in their 20s. Swedish by birth, Hjelm came to the United States at 13 when his mother Barbro Linnea (Samuelsson) Hjelm married an American, and the family settled in Southern California. In that ancient tale, a brother and sister have been led deep into the woods and abandoned by their family. Lost in the forest, the two starving children come upon a house made of bread and cakes and sugar and begin to feast on it. Soon they are imprisoned in the candy house, in the clutches of a wicked witch who plans to fatten them up and stuff them in the oven: A warning, if ever there was one, not to nibble on your neighbor’s candy house no matter how hungry you might be. ATLANTIC HIGHLANDS – The weather outside was frightful, but inside the Atlantic Highlands Arts Council gallery at 54 First Ave. things were as sweet as – well, gingerbread – as the council hosted its semi-annual Gingerbread House workshop. Fortunately for the sake of their story and ours, Hansel and Gretel escape unharmed. The kids have been helping with the holiday gingerbread house project since they were old enough to wield a frosting tube. Hjelm’s mother passed away many years ago, but the tradition she began continues. Hjelm uses the same recipe today, although it’s had some tweaking. “I make twice the batch because with four kids, you need twice as much,” Ulf said. Although Germany lays claim to originating the gingerbread house tradition, according to the Swedish Tourism Board, by the 19th century it had become a popular holiday pastime in Sweden, inspired, somewhat creepily, by the Brothers Grimm and the legend of Hansel and Gretel. Among the gingerbread creations from years past are the Eiffel Tower, Twin Lights, and the Cathedral of Notre Dame. The cathedral construction took some precise planning. “My son sat down and figured out how to do the flying buttresses,” Ladiana said. Initially, the Pepperkakshus batter will be soupy, Hjelm said. It’s necessary to keep adding flour until it takes on the consistency of Play-Doh. Then it’s time to employ your architectural skills. He uses a pattern to cut out the pieces of dough. After baking in a buttered pan, the pieces of dough are unlikely to come out perfectly plum. They will need to be cut carefully while they’re still warm. To achieve a smooth edge, he uses a hand-grater to plane the sides of the house down to an even thickness. It was some time after that when he began helping his mother make a gingerbread house each Christmas. For many Swedish families, making gingerbread houses during the holidays is a beloved tradition. They also made a football stadium to celebrate their older kids’ graduation from Colorado State and the University of South Carolina a couple of years ago. This year, they’re making plans to construct Australia’s Sydney Opera House. “My kids decided that a house was not enough, so we’ve built all kinds of strange things,” he said. The family long ago advanced from a simple four-walled house to elaborate constructions that include weeks of family discussions, architectural plans, patterns and cardboard models. In Sweden, gingerbread houses are called Pepparkakshus and are generally made with sugar, not corn syrup. “Corn syrup is an American thing,” Hjelm said. Then comes the magic part. After melting granulated sugar in a cast iron pan, Hjelm dips the edges of the gingerbread pieces into the hot liquid and glues the corners together at right angles as the pattern dictates. Within a few seconds, the walls are firmly connected. The larger pieces are more delicate to handle than accessory pieces like chimneys, and things do break occasionally. But there’s no crying in gingerbread house construction. So what are the secrets to making a great gingerbread house? It starts with the dough, Ulf told the class of aspiring gingerbread makers. While they used pre-made houses for the workshop, each of them went home with a recipe for the real thing. Atlantic Highlands residents Emily Hackett and her husband Cory Herrala came to the workshop with their son Leo, and Emily’s mother Barbara Berardo of Manchester, collaborating on a candy house that any gingerbread family would be proud to live in.“It was wonderful,” Hackett said. “It was really fun.” “There are people who go completely crazy with this stuff. I’m not one of them,” Hjelm says.last_img read more

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This Should Be Keeping You Up At Night

first_imgIt’s okay to ask your client the question, “What’s keeping you up at night?” It’s not the most powerful question you might ask. It assumes your client is concerned about something they don’t know how to resolve themselves.Two things are generally true right now. First, if your client was worried about something to the point they can’t sleep, they’d be doing something about it. Second, you wouldn’t likely be the first salesperson to try to discover the source of their dissatisfaction in hopes of making a sale.In this case, a statement is better than a question. That statement is this: “This is what should be keeping you up at night!”Keeping You Up At NightOne of the most difficult challenges for sales people and sales organizations today is developing dormant dissatisfaction. It’s tough to move your dream client to the point that they are compelled to change. If they knew that the status quo were untenable and believed they could do something about it, then your prospective dream client would already be making changes, wouldn’t they?If your prospects knew they needed to change and how to do it, you wouldn’t have a difficult time gaining an appointment. And you wouldn’t have a difficult time creating a new opportunity. But these things are difficult to do, especially in a complex, business-to-business setting.If you want your client to be compelled to act, discover what should already be compelling.What are the trends that are going to have the biggest impact on your dream client’s business in the next couple of years?What are the challenges they are almost certain to face? What are the root causes of those challenges, and how should your clients be addressing those challenges now?What are the opportunities that your dream clients are going to use to create new opportunities that your prospects could benefit from were they to act?These are the things that should be keeping your prospective clients up at night. If you wait for them to discover these things for themselves, you may allow them to be harmed by their lack of insight or inaction. This makes you reactive. If you get in front of these issues and trends and help your clients do something about them, you are proactive. Your choice here defines you as a salesperson, or as a strategic partner, trusted advisor, consultative salesperson, or consigliere.last_img read more

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Matriliny, border dispute may keep some Garos out of NRC

first_imgA sizeable number of people belonging to the Garo tribe are expected to be excluded from Assam’s updated National Register of Citizens to be published on August 31. The reasons: their matrilineal culture and Assam-Meghalaya boundary dispute.Most of matrilineal Garos inhabit the western half of Meghalaya. Some inhabit two districts of western Assam — Goalpara and Kamrup — in villages along the border with Meghalaya.“In our society, the men come to live with their in-laws after marriage. Some men from Meghalaya wedded into families in Assam could not get pre-1971 documents from the government or the nokmas [village chieftains]. They are expected to miss out on the NRC,” Thengsil Sangma, general secretary of the United Garo Autonomous Council Movement Committee (Assam), told The Hindu.March 24, 1971 is the cut-off date for considering a person’s citizenship in Assam.Mr. Sangma, based in Goalpara, said more than 60% of Garos living in Assam made it into the NRC published on July 30, 2018. Half of the remaining 40% comprise those who relocated or came to Assam from Meghalaya after marriage and have documents to get into the citizens’ list. Some of the Garos in Kamrup district to the east of Goalpara have faced a similar issue. But matrilineal complications have not played as big a part in their exclusion as has as an inter-State boundary dispute.Disputed areasThere are 12 disputed areas along the Assam-Meghalaya border, an outcome of Meghalaya challenging the Assam Reorganisation Act of 1971 after being carved out of Assam in 1972. One of the disputed areas is Langpih, which Meghalaya claims is in its West Khasi Hills district. Assam calls the village Lampi and claims it is in Kamrup district. “We don’t have the data yet, but we have estimated that at least 20% of the people in the border areas are likely to be excluded from the NRC for not submitting their legacy data in time. This should work out to 5,000 people,” Anindra Marak, the president of Garo National Council’s Kamrup district unit said.There are more than 130 Garo-inhabited villages and hamlets in Kamrup district. Most of these are within 5 km from the Assam-Meghalaya border.Some members of the community, Mr. Marak said, did not apply for the NRC because of their belief that they belong to Meghalaya and not Assam. Many Garos resent being left out of Meghalaya at the time of the creation of the State because of lack of development and alleged neglect by the local authorities in Assam.last_img read more

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10 days agoBlythe Spartans winger Cal Roberts targets Premier League return

first_imgTagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Blythe Spartans winger Cal Roberts targets Premier League returnby Paul Vegas10 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveFormer Newcastle United winger Cal Roberts retains hope of returning to the Premier League.Roberts, 22, signed for Blythe Spartans this season.He told the Evening Chronicle: “When I first came it was good, and the reception I got when I signed the contract made us feel special and part of the club.”I’ve never felt like this at a club before, you feel like you’re wanted there and happy. I’ve never been happier at a football club than I am at the minute.”Roberts added: “I set my standards very high, and I always want to better myself. The aim is still to play in the Premier League.”At the minute I’m very happy playing at Blyth, but the club and the gaffer knows I want to play at the highest level.” last_img read more

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Richard Branson Makes Wish Come True

first_imgRichard Branson recently made a wish come true for a young boy in San Diego.“Thomas Edward has already gone through an awful lot in his 12 years, having survived leukaemia,” blogged Sir Richard. “The Make-A-Wish Foundation – who grant the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions – asked him what he wanted to do, he said he wanted to become a CEO.“When I was in San Diego recently, we managed to catch up, and Thomas told me how he is looking forward to becoming a successful businessman in the future – I have no doubt he will achieve his goals. He was inquisitive, attentive and asked smart questions – three skills every good CEO needs.“Young Thomas even asked me a question in front of more than 2,000 people. He said: ‘What do you value most in life – and why?’“My reply? Good health for my family and loved ones – in the end, health is everything.”Source:virgin.comlast_img read more

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Elton John And Michael Stipe Write About Plight Of Transgender Inmates In

first_imgLast month, Elton John and musician, activist, and Elton John AIDS Foundation ally Michael Stipe, published an op-ed in the The Guardian about the horrific conditions faced by transgender people both inside and outside of prison, connecting their struggles with the larger effort to achieve equal rights for LGBT people everywhere.“There is a troubling lack of awareness in correctional facilities about the nuances of gender identity and the well-being of trans women inmates in male prisons,” they wrote. “All too often, transgender people are stripped of their dignity before they even step foot in prison. They are subject to discrimination, harassment and violence – leaving many in poverty, homelessness and without access to adequate healthcare. If we are going to raise awareness about issues facing transgender women inside prison, we must work in parallel by addressing these issues in our communities. As Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. once said: “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere”.“The cruelty and violence facing transgender people in our prisons is directly connected to the larger fight for equality for the LGBT community everywhere in America. To be sure, the despicably violent and discriminatory treatment of transgender prisoners must end. But so too must the broader violations of human dignity – behind bars and beyond them.”To read the full op-ed, click here.last_img read more

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Watchdog group urges probe of Ivanka Trump tax break role

first_imgWASHINGTON — A watchdog group is asking the Justice Department to investigate whether President Donald Trump’s daughter Ivanka violated federal conflict-of-interest law by her key role in promoting an Opportunity Zone tax break program from which she could potentially benefit.The complaint from the Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington follows an Associated Press investigation last month. The AP found that, as White House aides, Trump and her husband Jared Kushner both backed the Opportunity Zones program, which could financially benefit the couple.Kushner owns a $25 million to $50 million stake in Cadre, a real estate platform has announced plans to invest in several cities under the Opportunity Zones program.The CREW complaint says that, under the law, Kushner’s financial interests are considered of value to Ivanka Trump.Stephen Braun, The Associated Presslast_img read more

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