• Online School

    In Sri Lanka, a dangerous climb for online school

    BOHITIYAWA, Sri Lanka — Getting online school lessons for residents of a remote Sri Lankan village requires a trek through dense bushes sometimes visited by leopards and elephants. The teachers and about 45 schoolchildren in Bohitiwaya then climb more than 3 kilometers (2 miles) to the top of a rock to find an internet signal. Information technology teacher Nimali Anuruddhika uses the signal to upload lessons for her students who haven’t been able to go to school because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The students who also live in the village make the same climb to download online lessons sent to them by their teachers. Not all have mobile devices or…

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  • Education

    ‘I have a future’: how Biden’s free community college plan could transform education | US education

    Abdi Yusuf’s first day of middle school was tough. He was 13 years old, and he and his family had recently fled to Texas from South Africa as refugees. Yusuf had just finished the equivalent of third grade in Cape Town but found himself in eighth grade in the US, and remembers trying to decipher a math worksheet and to find a friend amid a sea of unfamiliar faces. “That was really hard because in my school in Africa, I always had friends,” said Yusuf, now 19. In high school, his family moved to Seattle and he started to find his footing, even taking a college-level English class in his…

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  • Jobs

    $15 wage becoming a norm as employers struggle to fill jobs

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The signs and banners are dotted along suburban commercial strips and hanging in shop windows and restaurants, evidence of a new desperation among America’s service-industry employers: “Now Hiring, $15 an hour.” It is hardly the official federal minimum wage — at $7.25, that level hasn’t been raised since 2009 — but for many lower-skilled workers, $15 an hour has increasingly become a reality. Businesses, particularly in the restaurant, retail and travel industries, have been offering a $15 wage to try to fill enough jobs to meet surging demand from consumers, millions of whom are now spending freely after a year in lockdown. And many of the unemployed,…

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  • Science

    Ancient fossil threads may be the oldest known archaea microbes

    Threadlike filaments pressed in rock may be the remnants of archaea that burped methane near hydrothermal vents 3.42 billion years ago.  If so, these strands in rock excavated in South Africa around a decade ago, would provide the earliest direct evidence of a methane-based metabolism, researchers report July 14 in Science Advances. Such ancient fossil filaments may contain clues about Earth’s early inhabitants and hint at where to look for extraterrestrial life.  Scientists suspect that life on our planet could have arisen in such an environment (SN: 9/24/20). Biologists have deduced that metabolisms based on munching or belching methane evolved early on, but don’t know exactly when, says Barbara Cavalazzi,…

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  • Home Schooling

    Number of students being homeschooled in Colorado more than doubles

    DENVER (KDVR) — New data from the U.S. Census Bureau shows the number of families opting to homeschool their children rose by 11%. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the rate of households homeschooling reached 11% by September 2020. Six months prior, it only 5.4% of families registered for homeschooling. In our state, the latest data from the Colorado Department of Education shows the number of students homeschooling more than doubled last year to 15,773. In 2019, only 7,880 students were being homeschooled. Two-thirds of Colorado should be under mask mandates in new CDC guidance “Colorado is representative of what we’re seeing across the country – which is families had…

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  • Exchange Student

    5 Benefits of Hosting a Foreign Exchange Student

    Late summer is an exciting time for a group of teens who will arrive at the airport ready to begin a ten-month journey of discovery. Through AFS-USA, foreign exchange students from Israel, Bulgaria, Nigeria, France, Germany, Italy, China and more will live with Chicagoland host families, attend local schools and become part of the fabric of a new culture. “These host families are so excited to meet their students and to welcome them into their homes. It’s a really fun thing to be a part of,” says Kelly Fitzgerald, regional field specialist with AFS-USA. A nonprofit organization, AFS-USA is a partner in the AFS global network that facilitates cultural exchange…

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  • Online School

    Some parents are seeking out permanent virtual school for the fall

    “When the pandemic first hit, online school was a bit messy for everyone,” Lucero, a stay-at-home mother from Colorado Springs, told CNN Business. “But my older daughter did so well with it. She started participating more with teachers and became more comfortable than when she was in a school setting. Her grades were amazing.” Her daughter, 13, is on the autism spectrum and diagnosed with sensory processing disorder, conditions that often make it harder for children to communicate, socialize and adapt to environmental changes, such as distracting noises in the classroom. When the Colorado Springs School District announced plans earlier this year to launch a permanent online school option, called…

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